Archive for November, 2007

The Return of Tim Burton

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Tim Burton fans will be thrilled to hear the famed director and hair stylist is returning to Disney to work on a trio of new animated features.

The first will be a remake of Disney’s classic Alice in Wonderland, reinvisioned so that it retains all of the biting nineteenth-century political satire of the original novels. As Burton has worked with Johnny Depp so many times in the past, the veteran actor will star as the title character.

Second on Burton’s Disney feature list is an expanded version of his frightening stop-motion short subject, Frankenweenie. For those of you who are not familiar with this brilliant piece of animation, it is the story of a young boy who, by calling upon certain forces that should have remained unknown to science, brings a frankfurter to life. Johnny Depp will voice the title character. Despite rumors to the contrary, there will be no cameo performance by Vincent Price, largely due to certain philosophical concerns.

The third in Burton’s trilogy of Disney epics will be a traditionally animated anthology feature in which Burton’s films are reimagined as Disney cartoons starring the “fab four” (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy) and an animated Johnny Depp. The lineup is currently listed as: “Planet of the Ducks,” “Toontown Attacks!,” “Pee-Wee Mickey’s Big Adventure,” and “Goofy Sciscorhands.”

Pixar in 2008

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Continuing yesterday’s update on Pixar, details continue to emerge about the company’s next animated feature WALL-I. Informants deep within Pixar’s maintenance organization were able to provide DisneyLies with the following synopsis for this exciting science-fiction tear fest (which, ironically, was made by humans using computers to animate the computers that act like humans).

The movie is about a robot named WALL-I, the last robot left on Earth because all of the other robots’ dialogue was left unfinished due to the Hollywood screenwriter’s strike. Although WALL-I has work to do on Earth, he is always looking toward the stars because he has this one eye that wasn’t installed correctly and points up instead of straight ahead. WALL-I, although a robot, has human-like feelings, and falls in love with the beautiful EVA, a robot with an excellent singing voice and political aspirations in Argentina.

One unique aspect of this film is that the robot characters do not speak English. Rather, they speak in modern computer languages such as C++ and JavaScript (with older robots shown in flashbacks speaking Pascal, Fortran, or Cobol). In keeping with the technological theme, film’s soundtrack will be made available only in binary.

Live Action from Pixar!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

The rumors are true! Pixar, known for cutting-edge computer animation that shuns motion capture and other shortcuts in the same way that Windows Vista shuns reasonable pricing, now has a live-action film in pre-production! The film, Jimmy Carter, Warlord of Mars, will be a science-fiction romp through the adventures of a poor peanut farmer who is accidentally launched to Mars in his brother’s beer-powered rocket ship. He finds the red planet inhabited by bizarre creatures with more arms than are really necessary, but instead of fighting with them he puts their surplus appendages to work building homes for destitute Martians!

“This will be a feel-good movie for the whole family,” says some who isn’t John Lasseter but is using his name to sound like he knows what he is talking about. “And it will show the world that Pixar can kick serious backside, no matter what kind of film we’re doing. So there!”

Film References in “Enchanted”

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Disney fans who have seen Enchanted may have noticed that the film is filled with sly references to previous Disney features. Here are ten of the most interesting (in no particular order):

  1. Giselle’s name is completely made from letters used in the names of other Disney princesses.
  2. The lips referenced in the song “True Love’s Kiss” are the same tulips seen in the animated short, “Flowers and Trees.”
  3. Morgan is the same height as Alice was in Walt Disney’s original Alice films (which were, in turn named for the title character in the film Alice in Wonderland).
  4. Prince Edward’s horse has the same name as the prince’s horse in Snow White (“Pestilence”).
  5. The scene in which Giselle invites rats to help her clean Robert’s apartment parallels a similar scene in Disney’s animated version of Willard.
  6. When Giselle cleans the floor amid floating soap bubbles, the floor is as clean as the floor in the Beauty and the Beast ballroom.
  7. During the singing of “That’s How You Know,” a child in the chorus has a “buzz” (as in Buzz Lightyear) haircut.
  8. When Queen Narissa turns into a dragon, she is simply a recolored version of Pete’s Dragon.
  9. The film’s narrator is Julie Andrews, one of the Andrews sisters, who once worked with Candice Bergen, daughter of Edgar Bergen, who appears briefly in Enchanted.
  10. When Giselle is sucked into our universe, the animation is similar to that used at the end of The Black Hole.

Princess or Not?

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Quite a debate is raging within the halls of Disney over Giselle, main character of Disney’s Enchanted. Apparently, Disney’s promotion department is referring to Giselle as the “newest addition to Disney’s stable of princesses,” but the feature film department — which actually created the film — says that this seriously misleads the public.

“Giselle isn’t a princess,” says Helena Joybounty, animation keyframe studio art direction lead in charge of royalty. “She was going to marry a prince but married a lawyer instead. So saying she’s a princess is like calling someone First Lady just because she once dated George Bush, which would be giving her unearned airs instead of the sympathy she justly deserves.”

“If she gets to be a princess, so do I,” said Alice in Wonderland in a recent off-camera interview. “And while we’re at it, what’s with calling Pocahontas a princess? She was the chief’s daughter, but does that make her a princess? It’s like calling Mulan a princess — which some people do — but she just married a general, right? This whole thing’s just out of control.”

Giselle, being fictional, was not available for comment.

“Enchanted” — Triumph for Traditional Animation

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Disney’s most recent family-friendly film, Enchanted, has only been out for a few days and has already raked in more than $50 million at the box office, completely silencing critics who predicted that this feature’s traditional animation would, “…horribly alienate modern audiences who can’t stand anything less than computer animation in a feature film. They’ll be clawing at their eyeballs and fleeing the theater within the first five minutes.”

Fans of traditional animation are, to say the least, overjoyed at the film’s reception. Says Peter Celinker of the California Center for Intense Manual Labor Arts, “Although the first ten minutes of the film were obviously created using traditional animation techniques, most viewers should be unaware that the entire film is, in fact, hand animated. This proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that traditional animation can hold its own with ‘computer’ or ‘lazy’ animation when it comes to realism.” Celinker admitted that hand-drawing this kind of detail was time consuming, even when digital methods are used to color cells. “It’s true that the whole process is labor intensive. Enchanted began principle animation in 1998 and was barely completed before the film’s release date, and production costs were somewhere in the low billions, but once you see the final product on the screen, you know it was all worth it!”

Save Maliboomer!

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Plans for Disney’s California Adventure’s remake clearly show that Maliboomer is going to be replaced — probably with shade trees, benches, and an interactive fountain. The Save Maliboomer organization has arisen to protest the destruction of one of DCA’s most visible attractions.

“We don’t want Maliboomer to end up like Mr. Lincoln, mothballed, forgotten, and rented out to frat parties for petty change,” said Save Maliboomer founder, Larry “Boomer” Lawrence. “They can retheme the attraction if they like, by giving it a new soundtrack or adding cool stickers to the barf shields or something. But close it down? No way!”

Lawrence, whose organization’s members number in the low single digits (if you include his girlfriend), plans to have a Web page up as soon as he has a chance, what with him having been moved to the night shift at Costco and all. The site will have up-to-the-week information and an online petition that Lawrence is pretty sure will be legally binding on Disney.

10 Thanksgiving Thanks

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

In the spirit of the season, 10 things Disneyland fans can be thankful for this year (in no particular order):

1. Bigger crowds mean more chances to mingle.

2. The submarines returned (but this time it’s little Nemo who gets attacked by the giant squid).

3. “it’s a small world” is going to be made safe for the big world.

4. Wayward cast members are showing up on YouTube faster than ever.

5. They finally brought pirates back to Tom Sawyer Island.

6. That kid who was lost in the secret underground tunnel complex was found safe and sound, if a little thin and hungry.

7. Churro fights are now illegal in Anaheim.

8. They solved that whole problem with cast members wanting to be able to buy a house near where they work.

9. Disney’s California Adventure finally got the rest of the budget it was supposed to have back when it was under construction.

10. That thing on Donald’s beak turned out to just be a cold sore.

Thanksgiving Alert!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

We just heard through the grapevine that tickets are still left for tomorrow’s Chicken Little’s Thanksgiving Mini Feast at the Disneyland Hotel. Guests at the Feast are each served a little mashed potatoes, a bit of cranberry sauce, a string bean, a game hen stuffed with croûtons, and a sliver of pumpkin pie, all for just $175. We suggest you flood Disneyland telephones with your reservation request immediately!

A Billion Oahu Bucks!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Disney has announced that it will be spending some $1 billion on a new resort in Oahu — more than ten times what this Hawaiian island brings in each year in revenue from its two biggest industries, pineapple and corporate luaus. The resort, as yet unnamed, will have a Tiki Room theme, and every stateroom will sport beds with hand-carved chanting bedposts.

A large portion of the expense will be invested in relocating all native wildlife from the resort grounds to make way for animatronic creatures. Said a Disney spokesperson, “If it moves, you’ll be able to talk to it. If it’s got legs or wings, it’ll also have a song in its heart and some kind of funny foreign-sounding accent.”