We hope you’re ready for the 2010 Disney Trivia Challenge, because it’s pretty much the only thing we’ve managed to get done around here in months. It’s worth the wait, though — the quiz is so tough, we haven’t seen anyone get more than 5% correct!
Archive for the ‘Trivia’ Category
In an interview with Underwire magazine, filmmaker Andrew “Mr. Stanton” Stanton revealed that not only was his new feature Wall*E a sequel to the classic Silent Running (as we discussed yesterday), it was also inspired by other classic Sci Fi films. For example:
Alien: This inspired the scene of WALL*E being chased through air ducts by overweight people armed with flamethrowers. The movie also inspired Stanton to cast Sigourney Weaver as a voice that “bursts from the chest” of a computer system.
Blade Runner: Referenced in WALL*E’s bizarre unicorn-dream sequence (which, at press time, it appears has been cut from the final print of the film — look for it to appear in a DVD “director’s cut” release).
2001: A Space Odyssey: The first half of WALL*E has no dialog because there is so much poetic silence in 2001.
Outland: Wall*E was clearly modeled after Sean Connery (though he’s armed with a fire extinguisher instead of a shotgun).
Planet of the Apes: WALL*E is cleaning up after the “damned, dirty humans.” Also referenced in the scene at the beginning of the film where WALL*E is dismantling the fallen Statue of Liberty.
Star Wars: WALL*E is actually Eve’s brother, but they don’t discover this until after they “kiss.” Also, WALL*E’s movements are based on those of actor Kenny Baker.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Stanton claims that “a close encounter of the fourth kind involves robots cleaning up after encounters one through three.”
Tron: As a nod to this film, Stanton suggested that Disney purchase Pixar.
So now that you know all about the film, go out and see it!
You may be interested to know that Pixar’s new film Wall*E isn’t a standalone feature. Although it is not widely known, this feature is actually a sequel of sorts to 1972′s Silent Running, which starred Bruce Dern as a space-faring gardener armed with nuclear weapons.
Silent Running is largely about three robots who are taking care of what is left of Earth’s plant life while certain other robots — not mentioned in the film — are trying to clean up the planet so that the plants can be reintroduced. The Disney connection is made clear by the robots’ names — Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
There are parallels in the films’ dialog as well. Silent Running: “Take good care of the forest, Dewey.” WALL*E: “Take good care of the planet, WALL*E.”
Tomorrow, we’ll look at a few more classic films that served as inspiration for WALL*E.
Pixar’s next feature film is titled Wall*E — but how many of you know what the “*” in the film’s title stands for?
The story is long and interesting, but in the interest of my not having to type so much, I’ll just give you the boring details.
In 2001, the folks at Pixar decided that they should do a movie about robots. They did a lot of brainstorming about plot and design, but mostly they just discussed the robot’s name — what should it be? Obviously, it should be something robot like, and since people were so used to seeing a lowercase “i” in the names of computer equipment (iPod, iTunes, iGlasses), something with one of those might be nice. They also wanted the robot’s name to reflect the fact that it lived on a planet where insurmountable walls of garbage had made the place unlivable.
Hence the name iWall was formed.
But that name didn’t last long. Common wisdom was that the name sounded too much like the name of a country (I-ran, I-raq, I-reland). Well, what if they put the “i” at the end of the name? “Wall-i” — hmmm.
Wall-i sounded good, and it fit with the fact that the robot was supposed to have a lazy eye. But it never caught on. People started referring to the robot as “Wall-a,” “Wall-o,” “Wall-u,” and sometimes “Wall-y,” which was actually close to a real name. The idea of a name that sounded like a real name was appealing, so to appease the it-needs-to-have-a-vowel folks the robot was rechristened “Wall-e”.
So far so good. But wasn’t a hyphenated name passÃƒÂ©? And might it not make people think that “Wall-e” was a hyphenated last name and robot’s parents were Mr. Wall and Ms. e? So other forms of punctuation were tried:
And, finally, Wall*e.
But why an asterisk when some of the other bits of punctuation look much better? The answer is simple — there’s a footnote in the middle of Wall*e’s name. In the film, if you happen to catch a glimpse of the bottom of the tread on the robot’s foot, you may see the text of the footnote: “*Formerly Wall-i.”
Here’s a bit of trivia for you. Many years ago, workers at Disneyland discovered that if you take the distance around the park’s hub and divide it by the distance across the hub you get 3.14. And since 3/14 is March 14, that day has been referred to as “Hub Day” by Disneyland employees ever since!
So happy Hub Day, everyone!
At Disney’s California Adventure, guests can experience Golden Dreams, a film about Whoopi Goldberg’s influence on hundreds of years of California history. At the end of the film, there is a montage of scenes and photos of significant events in California’s past. One of the short clips depicts the fall of the Berlin wall, prompting many people who went to American public schools to ask themselves, “Where exactly in California was the Berlin wall located?”
Those of you who remember correctly that the Berlin wall was in the Soviet Union probably wonder what its fall is doing in a film about California. The fact is that the wall-fall footage has three links to California:
- Ronald Regan, who ordered the U.S.S.R. to take down the wall, used to be Governor or California,
- The handles of the sledgehammers used to destroy the wall were made from California pine, and
- The wall itself, although appearing to be made of concrete, was actually a light-weight structure fashioned under the direction of Hollywood movie-set designers.
All Disney fans are familiar with Herbie, the lovable anthropomorphic VW bug from The Love Bug and a raft of sequels and remakes. But did you know that the car originally chosen to play Herbie was, in fact, a girl? “It’s a lot like the situation with Lassie,” says Pete Wrench, car customizer to the stars. “Lassie was a girl dog that played a boy dog, only in that case ‘Lassie’ is kind of a girly name where ‘Herbie’ isn’t, but it’s no big deal. Who cares? It’s a car!”
Well, at least one person cared. It’s a well known fact that after learning Herbie’s true gender Dean Jones spent an entire afternoon throwing up.