Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Inside The Mouse Castle 07-29-2014 - Comic-Con, 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron,' 'Once Upon a Time' and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Comic-Con has come and gone and Tim and Anthony have all the news from San Diego, plus plenty of other cool stuff from the world of Disney:
  • Marvel didn't offer any new hints on their unnamed movie release dates that span through 2019, but they did provide a heaping helping of Avengers fun. Most of the gang was there, including producer Kevin Feige, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Colby Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, and Chris Evans. Newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe were also part of the Hall H panel: Aaron Taylor Johnson (Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and James Spader (Ultron).
  • The new Frozen story line in the upcoming season of ABC's Once Upon a Time continues to have fans buzzing. This week, it was announced Tyler Jacob Moore will join the cast as Hans, the good/bad prince from the Southern Isles. John Rhys-Davies will also provide the voice of Pabbie the Troll King because trolls are a thing in Norway (see also: Maelstrom, World Showcase). To our knowledge, there will be no boats floating backwards in Once Upon a Time.
  • In a touch of strange casting, Joaquin Phoenix is said to be in negotiations with Marvel to play the title character in Doctor Strange. The film is slated for release in July 2016.
  • We still think a movie reboot of The Jungle Book is questionable at best, but that still doesn't mean we aren't intrigued by the casting. Oscar-winner Christopher Walken will voice King Louie and Giancarlo Esposito will voice alpha wolf Akela. The head-scratcher remains Scarlett Johansson providing the voice of Kaa. No, really.
  • Happy Birthday to the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. The excellent indoor coaster is holding up well after 15 years. So is Steven Tyler, who hasn't aged a day in the attraction since it opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Backstage passes for everyone!
  • Disney twenty-three, D23's quarterly magazine, will release it's 23rd issue next month. The issue will have an international feel with stories about the new Ratatouille attraction at Disneyland Paris, the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit touring Japan, and the Asian influences that will bring San Fransokyo to life in the upcoming Big Hero 6. What we like best about the issue, though, is the terrific vintage cover featuring Walt Disney, Roy Disney and Margie Gay, one of the star of Disney's early Alice Comedies.


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Monday, July 28, 2014

The Mouse Castle Lounge 07-28-2014 - Disney Imagineer Alan Coats Part Two

Alan Coats' first job at WED (Walt Disney Imagineering) was to destroy attraction and character models that were no longer used or needed. Fortunately, his future projects at Disney actually allowed him to create things.

Alan Coats did lighting design for
Cinderella Castle and it's a small world.
With Yale Gracey, Alan did lighting design at Walt Disney World, often working late hours to get exterior lighting correct for Magic Kingdom structures like Cinderella Castle -- just in time for the October 1971 grand opening. He worked on the interiors of many other attractions, including it's a small world, and later partnered with his father, Claude Coats, to design the Eastern Airlines travelogue ride If You Had Wings. Alan would then move on to various projects at Epcot's World Showcase.

In part two of Alan's visit to The Mouse Castle Lounge, he shares more of his experiences as a self-described "Disney brat" and recalls his father's legacy as an artist and Imagineer.

Two generations of Disney creative artists are yours in this edition of The Mouse Castle Lounge. Enjoy!

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Related: Imagineer Alan Coats in the MCL

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Inside The Mouse Castle 07-25-2014 - Comic-Con, Marvel, 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' and Disney Infinity

In this edition of Inside the Mouse Castle, Anthony and I do a lot of whining about not being in San Diego for Comic-Con. We talk about a few other things too:
  • Marvel has marked release dates for 11 films through May of 2019. Most of them we don't even know the titles of yet, but there's a lot of speculation about an Avengers meets Guardians of the Galaxy crossover being one of them. We expect to find out more Saturday when Marvel has its panel at Comic-Con.
  • Disney will release a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie with Johnny Depp (we assume) returning as Captain Jack Sparrow. It's set to hit theaters on July 7, 2017. Remember when a new Pirates film was something to be excited about? After On Stranger Tides, this is not one of those times.
  • Steve Carell will produce and star in Brooklyn Family Robinson for Disney, a family-friendly comedy about a family that relocates from the big city to a tropical island. People seem to be more excited about this film than we expected. Are we missing something?
  • Toy Story will return to TV with a new holiday special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, on December 2nd. We're just glad that Tim Allen is still finding employment.
  • Disney Infinity is exceeding all expectations as Disney's biggest video game title ever. Just wait until September 23rd when Disney Infinity 2.0 comes out with a slew of Marvel characters.
  • Walt Disney World is giving Downtown Disney a face lift as it expands to become Disney Springs. Looks like they finally figured out what to do with all those old Pleasure Island buildings.
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum will celebrate its fifth anniversary (already?) on October 1st. Many special events are planned for the month including a members-only Tinker Bell Tea with author Mindy Johnson (Tinker Bell: An Evolution). Mindy will also do a book signing that's open to everyone.

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