Archive for July, 2007

Up in Smoke

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

On Wednesday, Disney Chief Executive Robert “Bob Iger” Iger announced that the company would no longer release Disney-branded films in which smoking was depicted, and that any future DVD rereleases would be edited to eliminate smoking references and images.

This surprise announcement impacts a number of upcoming projects. For example, the animated remake of classic action film “Smokey and the Bandit” and Pixar’s “Nicotina” have both been canceled. Work is underway on a rerelease of “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” in which Cruella De Vil’s signature cigarette holder has been replaced by a ballpark-style hot dog. Disney corporate history is also being rewritten to depict Walt Disney as having died from a stroke instead of cigarette-related cancer.

Although smoking is banned in Disney-branded films, young fans will be pleased to learn that dogs peeing on people and tasteless jokes about bodily functions are still fair game.

Harry Potter Book Spoiler

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

The Walt Disney Company, bitter that it was not able to sign a contract for the building of Harry Potter-themed attractions, had this to say upon the release of the final book in the Potter series: "Harry dies."

$$$$ for California!

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

The Walt Disney Company announced last week that $1 billion would be made available to add and improve infrastructure at Disney's California Adventure (sometimes referred to as "The Park that Guests Forgot"). The enormous size of this sum was, in part, due to Disney's desire to gain public support by refunding the money of anyone who purchased a full-price, one-day, one-park California Adventure ticket at any time since the park opened. Further research revealed that this would cost the company only some $40,000 (including the cost of hunting down the guests qualifying for refunds, most of whom are in foreign countries or institutions of some type). This leaves much more money available for park improvements than originally anticipated.

Improvements planned for California Adventure include a newly themed entrance, a more kinetic environment, new "e-ticket" attractions, and a systematic tearing down and rebuilding of the entire park one section at a time to make it the kind of place it should have been on opening day.

After hearing that the board had approved the $1 billion budget, John Lassiter — Poobah of Disney Imagineering — was heard to say, "That's all?"

Magical ashes

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Reader J.G. writes, “I think everyone should know that when people buy a brick in the plaza between DCA and DL, they can choose to have their ashes buried underneath it when they pass away.”

Unfortunately, J.G. has his facts slightly wrong. What guests can do is have a loved one’s ashes mixed with the cement used to create a commemorative brick. Disney doesn’t want to be in the business of prying up bricks and putting ashes under them every time a fanatical fan passes away — that’s just too labor intensive.

Disney is also unlikely to ever promise “post death” services again. They surely learned their lesson after the 2000-2001 “Cooler Heads” promotion in which annual passholders could purchase a slot in the cryogenic vault beneath Space Mountain for their head when the time comes. It was a paperwork disaster, and far too many guests showed up at the main gate with the upper part of a decapitated loved one in an ice chest, wanting to know where to put it.

Disneyland strikes back!

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Disneyland management continues to be ireful at the recent theft of Tom Sawyer Island’s Fort Wilderness by a group of dissatisfied annual passholders who were angry with the island’s pirate overlay. Management has decided that the incident cannot be allowed to go unpunished, but the problem of retribution remains in that they have to date been unable to positively identify the cuplrits.

So the decision was made to punish all annual passholders for the deeds of those few.

“As of August 1,” said Head of Corporate Affairs Maria Thornly, “the Disney Gallery will be permanently closed. This will surely come as a blow to Disneyland’s annual passholders, many of whom enjoyed wandering its halls and viewing important artwork and memorabilia from Disneyland’s past, and concept art hinting at its future. Those few who knew how to actually get a balcony seat for Fantasmic! viewing will surely be doubly disappointed. Perhaps this will cause them to think twice before again attempting to blackmail the Walt Disney Company with threats of petty thievery.”

Rumors are that the Disney Gallery will be returned to its former apartment format and made part of Disney’s timeshare program.

In related news, Walt Disney World management is currently engaged in battle with passholders over the “magic wand” above Epcot’s Spaceship Earth. “They’re stealing parts of it as fast as we can repair it,” said one maintenance lead, hopped up on too much coffee after days without sleep. Rumor has it that cast members sympathetic to the protestor’s dislike for Epcot’s current character-heavy trend may be aiding the rebels. How will management retalliate? We’ll let you know as soon as we do!

Analysts call Ratatouille "Horrible, dismal failure"

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Disney studio estimates on Sunday say that Ratatouille made some $47.2 million over its first weekend. Investor groups and entertainment industry analysts were, to say the least, horrified.

“What a horrible, horrible disappointment,” said Fred Pessimisto, a major financial industry guy. “What can you buy with $47 million these days? Diddly and squat, that’s what. They need to just pull this clunker out of theaters and make room for something that can do the job.”

“Pixar’s had its first big, gigantic, stinker,” said investment consultant Pete Holenhead. “I thought it was bad enough when Cars dragged in a pathetic $60 its first few days, but this is so, so much worse. Did anyone even go to the movies this weekend? Disney needs to get Pixar on board with those direct-to-video sequels that make guaranteed money and just ignore those Internet-fan morons who keep worrying about ‘brand quality’ and unmonitizable garbage like that.”

Wikipedia editor Barry Headinsand said, “Check out the Ratatouille reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. It only got 95%! Everybody hates this film. Rats hate it. The French hate it. I hate it.”

Disney management is considering pulling the film from theaters and trying to make it more palatable to mainstream audiences. “We’d like to rename it Spaghetti or something more recognizable to Americans,” said Disney marketing manager Sylvia “Bottom Line” Artless. “And we should never have released a movie about rats in kitchens. How can you do a Happy Meal tie-in with something about that? And the movie has no fart jokes, or dogs peeing on anything — and the one vomit joke doesn’t show anything. What is this, 1937? No wonder kids hate the thing. In addition, the movie has a short before it. Nobody does shorts any more. They waste valuable theater time.