Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Shorts - Japan Earthquake, Annette Funicello

Odds and Ends From the Week in Disney

As Japan struggles to recover from Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami, Disneyland Tokyo and Tokyo DisneySea remain closed for at least ten days. Neither theme park currently lists any operating hours on their website until March 22. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Tokyo parks sustained minimal property damage and there were only reports of minor injuries. Thousands of guests were stranded in the parks overnight following the 8.9-magnitude quake when Japanese transportation services failed.

Nationwide, the death toll could exceed 10,000 from the biggest quake to hit Japan since records began being kept in the late 1800s.

Related Story: Disaster at Tokyo Disneyland's Doorstep


Mouseketeer Annette in 1957
Original Mouseketeer Annette Funicello was listed in good condition after suffering smoke inhalation from a house fire on Thursday. Her husband and nurse were also injured in the blaze, but not seriously. The fire badly damaged Funicello's Encino, California home. The 68-year-old Disney Legend has multiple sclerosis and has been wheelchair-bound for over 20 years. We wish her well.


Earth didn't need Mars Needs Moms this weekend. The motion-capture animated sci-fi film starring Seth Green and Joan Cusack opened to mediocre reviews and dismal box office, taking in only $1.7 million on Friday. Mars Needs Moms was beaten handily by the alien-invasion epic Battle: Los Angeles and Johnny Depp's animated lizard flick Rango. Mars Needs Moms was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Robert Zemeckis's Image Mover Digital studios and is based on the book by Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed.


In the more-anticipated movie category, a new Cars 2 trailer came out this week. The Pixar film follows Lightning McQueen on a worldwide race where he and his travelling buddy Mater somehow get mistaken for international spies.

Director John Lasseter says, "This is not a parody of a spy movie. This is a spy movie."

He says a lot more stuff about Cars 2 here:


Disney Interactive Studios will release Cars 2: The Video Game this summer. This week, they gave us a sneak peek at how players will race and go to spy school:

Cars 2: The Video Game will be available on all major video game platforms.

Related Story: A 'Cars 2' Toy Story


Disney/ABC stirred the ire of the Parents Television Council with their current production of a pilot for Good Christian Bitches, a proposed TV series based on the book of the same name. Calling the title "an affront to women," the Council accused ABC of tarnishing the Disney brand. It also felt the title was an attack to the Christian faith.

Responding to the pressure, ABC has changed the working title of the show to GCB.


Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. has moved from the diamond to the world of children's sports fiction. His new book Hothead was published this month by Disney/Hyperion. It tells the story of Connor Sullivan, a talented young ball player with a bad attitude. Disney is giving readers a chance to win autographed Cal Ripken, Jr. swag on their website. Enter at


Walt Disney World announced this week that after more than 30 years of hosting Grad Nite parties at the resort, they will discontinue the high school tradition after this year. On the Disney Parks Blog, they cited increased springtime attendance by leisure visitors as the major factor in the decision (Read: We can get more money from tourists than from locals).


No comments:

Post a Comment