Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Mr. Toad’s Wild Film

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

According to recent news reports, Disney is in pre-production on a feature film based on the Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride attraction. Details are scant at this time, but a few facts are known:

  • Mr. Toad will be a live-action film with some animated elements, much like Song of the South, Cool World, and other features kids can’t see.
  • In a tribute to the original attraction, many sets and some secondary characters will be painted on plywood.
  • The title character will be played by Steve Buscemi, possibly with Danny DeVito costarring as Mole.
  • This will be Disney’s shortest feature film, with a run time of less than three minutes.
  • Despite the short run time, the film’s script is more than four hundred pages long and consists almost entirely of descriptions of action and sight gags.
  • Disney is currently actively searching for an author to create a novelization based on the attraction, since this is the only Fantasyland attraction that was not (so far as anyone can recall) based on a novel or traditional story.
  • Simultaneous world premiers were scheduled for after-hours events at Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom, but the Florida event was canceled due to its intense popularity.

If the film is a success, it will be part of a string of successful movies based on Disneyland attractions that includes Pirates of the Caribbean, Third Man on the Matterhorn, That Darn Carrousel, and Stop “it’s a small world” — I want to get off.

Live-action cartoon remakes

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Disney recently announced that it would, following in the tradition of Wicked and Hook, be producing a series of live-action films in which famous Disney animated features are retold from the point of view of the villain. The first film, Maleficent, will star Angelina Jolie as the title character in 2014, followed in 2015 with Rosie O’Donnell in Ursula.

Rumor has it that Dane Cook is in negotiations to star in Pixar’s first live-action film, Sid’s Story. If the series proves popular, Sid will be followed in short order by Gaston, Man Was in the Forest, Chernabog, Who Crazied Judge Doom, Avoiding Darla, The Oogie Before Christmas, Bert, Stepsisters, and Grumpy.

John Carter: failure of Mars

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Disney’s recent big-budget action film John Carter opened with a disappointing $30 million weekend, and data just released and verified show that revenue has fallen sharply from there. Over its third weekend, Carter grossed only $5 million, and $4.8 million of that appears to be tickets purchased because The Hunger Games was sold out and The Lorax wasn’t violent enough.

Although we tried to reach them while writing this article, both director Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, Finding Nemo) and author the late Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan, The Land that Time Forgot, various séances) were unavailable for comment.

Disney’s estimated $200,000,000 loss on this film will have repercussions far beyond the company’s film production and distribution business. The theme park division, for example, has made the following announcements:

  • Development of the new Mission to Mars: 1868 attraction has been canceled.
  • Tomorrowland bathrooms will not be relabeled “Tomorrowland Barsooms.”
  • The Magic Kingdom will not go forward with plans to dress the Hall of Presidents’ Jimmy Carter in “Martian warrior” garb as a tribute to his fictional ancestor.
  • Production of souvenir “Thark arm” hats has been suspended.
  • For the next 200,000 lucky guests, Disneyland admission will cost $1,000

Dejah Thoris will, however, remain an official Disney princess.

Pixar sets a new record!

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

This weekend, Pixar set an amazing record by selling some $109 million in tickets to their new short film, Night & Day. Never before in the history of cinema has a film of less than 6 minutes in length earned this kind of money. Said a person standing near Pixar’s home office, “Kaching!”

Sadly, Pixar’s new feature-length film Toy Story 3 didn’t do nearly as well, earning less than $75 in theaters where it did not run with Night & Day. It is hoped that their next feature starring Woodie and friends — a short film that will accompany Cars 2 — will help restore the value of the beloved brand.

Prince of Persia, Pttttth!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Despite the best efforts of Disney marketing, Prince of Persia opened to disappointing results over the holiday weekend. Production on a sequel — in which the prince attempts to bring modern nuclear power to the people of Persia, despite interference from a “great Satan” from across the sea — has been suspended.

Prince of Persia promotion problem

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Disneyland and Walt Disney World planned to surprise park guests with a special promotion tied in to today’s release of Prince of Persia, Disney’s third video-game-inspired film (after Tron and Grand Theft Auto: Toontown). The promotion involved special “Sands of Time” tickets randomly distributed to guests who received FASTPASSes. According to the text on the tickets, a guest leaving an indicated attraction could give the ticket to any cast member and “be taken back in time to the point where you entered the vehicle loading area, exactly as if you had returned to the moment before you rode!” This effectively allowed a lucky guest to ride an attraction twice in a row while only standing in line once.

It sounded like a neat idea, something that would generate excellent online buzz, but there was a problem. Guests quickly began to balk when cast members attempted to take their Sands of Time ticket from them. As one guest put it, “If I’m traveling back in time, then I’m traveling back to a time when I had the ticket, not to a time when I didn’t have the ticket yet, so why should I have to give it up? And since I still have it when I get off the ride, why can’t I use it to travel back in time and ride again, like I’m in an infinite time loop? Then when I’m tired, I can just get off the ride and choose not to use the ticket, and I shouldn’t have to give it away when I didn’t use it, so there’s no situation in which I should have to let a cast member take my ticket.”

When guests who had won tickets began using this logical loophole to bring the queue at Expedition Everest (and, soon, other attractions) to a crawl, Disney realized they had to do something. The first thing they did was stop FASTPASS machines from giving out more tickets. The second thing they did was quickly inform cast members not to mention to guests that if the park is closing they could use their ticket to “go back in time” to just before the park closed and take another ride, then do it again, and again, and again, possibly keeping attractions open long into the night.

And the trouble doesn’t stop there. “We forgot to put expiration dates on the things,” said a suicidal-looking member of the team that brainstormed the Sands of Time promotion. “At this point, there’s nothing that can be done. We may have ruined Disney parks permanently.”

Disney makes Marvel movies!

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

The success of Iron Man 2 means big money for Disney, but the company is not thrilled that distribution fees for the film are going to Paramount. And to make matters worse, contracts are in place that put distribution in non-Disney hands for upcoming Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, Hulk, X-Men, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Ant-Man, Deadpool, Sgt. Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Daredevil films, among others.

“We’re not out of the running, though,” said Stanly “Stan” Leeman, Disney’s supposed Marvel Productions press liaison. “Far from it. There are still plenty of properties in the Marvel universe ripe for film making, and Disney will concentrate on those until the contracts run out with those other distributors and our characters can finally come home to rest.

Marvel comics films currently in production by Disney include:

  • Starbrand
  • Luke Cage and The Falcon
  • Howard the Duck Returns
  • Power Pack 2099
  • Watching the Watcher (iMax 3D only)
  • Ocean Raves featuring The Little Mermaid, Nemo, and The Sub-Mariner (musical)
  • Ultimate Forbush Man

Cinderella lives!

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Rumor has it that Disney is working on a live-action remake of 1950’s animated masterpiece Cinderella. According to our sources, Johnny Depp is in negotiations to play the prince, Ilene Woods will reprise her role as the title character, and the part of the fairy godmother will go to either Harvey Fierstein, John Pinette, or (as a last resort) John Travolta.

Due to concerns that boys may not be interested in the film due to Cinderella’s association with princesses, the 3D, live-action movie will be titled Kick Ash.

The cost of Oceans

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Final weekend numbers are in, and Disneynature’s second release, Oceans, has so far taken in only about $14 million domestically. “Those numbers may sound bad considering that the film cost $80 to make,” said Disney accounting consultant and part-time maintenance worker Mannie “Money” Moonie. “But you have to remember that their first film Earth only grossed $32 million, so Oceans was only expected to gross $22 million since Oceans is 70% of Earth. So really, it’s not far under expectations, and it’s only been out two weeks.”

Still, it would be nice if the films in this series were more financially successful. That’s why the narration of the series’ third film, African Lolcats, is being written with a more modern, hip tone, to appeal to a broader audience. From a psionically delivered Disney press release on the subject: “African Lolcats will combine dramatic, never-before-seen footage of big African cats with information that will appeal to Internet-age sensibilities. This is ‘I can has cheeseburger’ pumped up to the level of ‘Iz can chase down, killz, an devower antelopeburger.’ Jim Carrey is all set to narrate. We have one of Siegfried and Roy’s white tigers set to play Ceiling Cat, and a team in Latin America is attempting to get footage of Basement Panther.”

The big problem for the third film has to do with great white sharks eating seals. “They were a big hit in the first two films, but we’re having trouble finding somewhere in the Africa savanna to film them for the third.”

Main Street: Legacy

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

In honor of the upcoming Tron sequel Tron: Legacy, Walt Disney World will be celebrating by converting the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A., into Main Street, MCP! The transformation will take place just before the highly anticipated film is released this December, and will remain in place until 3-5 weeks after it has worn out its welcome.

According to virtual Disney cyberfan and FPS LAN party aficionado BuZZedLiteYear, the transformation will include the following:

  • A new paint job and neon lights for all Main Street vehicles (including horses).
  • A transformation of the Main Street Cinema from a turn-of-the-20th-century movie house that sells Disney art into a turn-of-the-22nd-century hyper-5D “sensua-immersion” theater that sells Disney art.
  • Occasional impromptu performances by a group of cast members who will hop off the “Tron Trolly” and sing “The Light Cycle Song.”
  • Hula-hoop playtime for children will be replaced with “flying disk battles” in which young guests can try to “de-rez” each other with special glowing Frisbees.
  • The Dapper Dans will be replaced by The Space Paranoids.
  • Because Tron: Legacy is a holiday release, Main Street, MCP’s holiday decorations will have a futuristic tone, with a gigantic procedurally rendered fractal tree as it centerpiece. There will also be visits from Tron Santa (as portrayed by Jay Maynard).