“Princess and the Frog” Hints at New Era for Disney

For the past decade, Disney Animation has meant little without Pixar. All of the sharp storytelling and visual artistry that made Walt Disney famous came not from the studio he started, but from a company originally founded by George Lucas. Some movies made in that time stood out, such as “Lilo and Stitch” and “Enchanted.” But they never quite achieved the magic Disney had lost. By 2004, Disney altogether stopped making hand-drawn animated movies. “Princess and the Frog” restores the glimmer of Disney’s previous glory to a respectable glow. The movie isn’t perfect, but the studio’s finally returning to form. … Continue reading

“Dreams Come True” in New Orleans

In my introductory blog from last week, I talked about how when I was young Disney films felt like a magical place of escape. Clearly I’m not the only one who thought so; now Disney offers us a chance to wander through the magic itself. “Dreams Come True – Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studio” is appearing at the New Orleans Museum of Art from November 15, 2009 through March 15, 2010. The exhibition details the true artistry involved in the making of classic Disney films, highlighting the skill that made Walt Disney famous and … Continue reading

Two Years of Millions of Dreams Coming True

A year in Disney time just isn’t 365 days. The Walt Disney Company has actually extended the year of a Million Dreams for another year! More dreams will be coming true for thousands of Disney guests in 2008 and you can be one of them. The 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway promises to be just as exciting as 2007 was. A million new dream prizes will be awarded at both the California and Florida resorts. One of them includes a Disneyland Dream that was one of Walt Disney’s special dreams that sadly never came true before his death. Some of the … Continue reading

Couple Visits Disneyland Every Day in 2012

At the end of 2012 I came across an interesting post on the official Disney Parks blog: a couple visited Disneyland every single day in 2012.  On December 31, Jeff Reitz and Tonya Mickesh received special gifts personally from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.  It was a typical fancy Disney ceremony: as the two made their way down Main Street, Staggs was waiting for them to present their honors in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Their honors included being made honorary citizens of Disneyland, and a stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite, a luxury apartment off the … Continue reading

Art Show Coming to Downtown Disney

One thing that never comes to mind when I think of the Disney Parks is art. I know that isn’t entirely fair; I’ve pointed out in the past how members of the Disney Animation team had a hand in designing the parks. But I can’t help it; when I think of “art” and “Disney” my mind immediately goes to the movies and doesn’t stray. I’d only be interested in purchasing Disney-themed art if it was a still from one of the movies (though the movie stills I really want come from films by Hayao Miyazaki, most of which Disney distributes … Continue reading

“Spirit Beasts” at Epcot

Coming from a literary background, I love examining the interconnectivity between stories. I am especially addicted to studies on how stories function and overlap in different forms, be it literature, film, television, art, or anything else. For example, Disney’s now-defunct “Dreams Come True” exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art, which explored the connection between Disney’s movies and their fairy-tale sources. I’ve lamented a few times the fact that the exhibition only appeared in New Orleans for five months, and Disney has no plans at the moment to run it anywhere else. Now Disney’s teasing me again. The official … Continue reading

Vacation in an Animation-Themed Suite

Way back in December I posted about a one-of-a-kind exhibition Disney debuted at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The show celebrated the fairy tale nature of Disney’s movies, revealing behind-the-scenes glimpses of animation work and studies on the relationship between Disney animated films and their source material. Unfortunately, only New Orleans hosted the show. But almost as if to make up for it, Disney World’s building a new resort hotel which carries on the theme and spirit from the “Dreams Come True” exhibition. Breaking ground this summer, and expected to open in 2012, is Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. … Continue reading

Singer/Songwriter Alex Chilton Dies at 59

Singer/songwriter Alex Chilton, a Memphis music legend, passed away in New Orleans this week of a heart attack at the age of 59. Alex Chilton may not be a familiar name to you, but his music career spanned more than 40 years and he left his mark on countless other musicians. His father Sidney Chilton was a jazz musician, so music was in his blood. Chilton joined the band The Devilles as a teen in 1966. The band was soon renamed the Box Tops and when Chilton was only 16 years old, they had a number one hit with “The … Continue reading

Teaching the Youth the Importance of Education

We are taught that while we can’t take any of our earthly possessions with us when we die, we can take our intelligence and our understanding with us as we progress past the veil. This knowledge has always inspired me to get a good education and to seek learning throughout my life. We recently watched the education segment of the church’s “Brand New Year” DVD with our youth, and I loved many of the aspects of the video. We watched and then talked about education, and I was really impressed with the way the video taught the youth about the … Continue reading

Women’s History at Disney

In recent years more credit and accolades have gone to those behind the birth of animation, through the many acknowledgments (including a 2005 documentary) to Disney’s famous “Nine Old Men,” the main animators responsible for Disney’s golden age. But these Nine Old Men were backed by more than their mostly-male animation department. For the glory years of Disney’s early animation, from the first cartoon shorts to the feature films leading up to World War II, the department in charge of all the inking and painting of the drawings was staffed almost exclusively by women. In honor of Women’s History Month, … Continue reading