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Changes that should be made at the House of Mouse: Disney January 12, 2010

The other day, I purchased The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2010. For those of you that love the Walt Disney Company (like I do), I highly recommend this book because, aside from things like hotel accomodations, it gives a little bit of inside info in regards to the parks and what may become extinct soon.

Reading the book, I could not help but come up with some ideas for the Walt Disney Company.

Disneyworld:

This is one great place that Disney could make some changes.

Epcot:

  • Where the Wonders of Life pavillion used to be, make another ride. One idea that would work well would be a 4D spectacular ride called Space Paranoids – based on the 1982 Disney cult classic and video game Tron and the December 2010 release of its sequel, Tron Legacy. It would take elements of the Toy Story Midway Mania ride and expand on them. The preshow area would consist of narration and instruction by a man named Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) and there you would recieve your 4D helmets which would come in adjustable sizes. The interior of the place would look alot like Flynn’s arcade in the original movie. These helmets would look like the ones in the new movie – complete with surround sound and a clear shield that would show you things such as targets. The preshow area and helmets would be designed by the original Tron designers Syd Mead, Peter Lloyd, and Jean Giraud (a.k.a Moebius). The ride would start off as a virtual track ride where each participant would ride in a light-cycle and would be guided by bit, who can only tell you in yes-or-no fashion whether a data bit is safe to merge with. The second game in the ride would be the light-cycle race, where (in virtual form) the object of the game is to cut off the other light-cycle. The last one standing would be the winner. In the final game, it would be a shooter style game where you shoot down enemy spacecraft. The helmets would look like what is seen in this trailer.

Epcot World Showcase

  • Another country needs to be added. My recommendation would be Australia so that you could do the outside exterior of the Sydney Opera House which would house The Rescuers Down Under ride.  There, you could add a Rescuers Down Under-style 4D show where Cody, Bernard, Miss Bianca, and Marahute rescue a red kangaroo from the clutches of fur-hunters. The Sydney Opera House structure at Epcot could also house other live acts such as Austrailian cover bands that would cover such artists such as Rebecca St. James, Men at Work, Kylie Minogue, Keith Urban, INXS, AC/DC, and Olivia Newton-John. As far as retail shops go, a Billabong surf shop would be a great aspect to the Australia pavillion. They would offer shipping of your surfboard or skateboard (should you choose to purchase one) to anywhere in the world. Swim and skatewear would also be sold. Next door there would be a shop where children could purchase toys such as boomerangs, rugby balls, stuffed kangaroos, as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed up as surfers. For dining, 2 restaurants – one being a fine dining/bar and the other being a quick-service restaurant would be a great choice. These choices would be Uncle Tony’s Kebab’s, an actual fast food restaurant based in Australia that serves kebabs but in this case would also serve vegemite sandwiches, and Quay.
  • The Germany Pavillion would have a new live-music act entitled 99 Luftballoons that would play popular music from Germany. Included in their setlist would be the german version of 99 Red Ballons by Nena and both Der Kommisar and Rock Me Armadeus by Falco.
  • The England pavillion would lose the cover band “The British Invasion”- a Beatles tribute band in favor of a ride entitled Yellow Submarine – based on the upcoming Disney film of the same title, which has been in talks by Disney for a remake directed by Robert Zemeckis. To replace the cover band, there would be a Top of the Pops-style show that would feature 1 band that would cover lots of British artists and bands such as the Eurythmics, Coldplay, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Oasis, The Clash, Yes, the Who, Queen, Kate Bush, Duran Duran, the Pretenders, etc.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formely MGM studios)

  • The Great Movie Ride, while it is a good ride on its own, needs a little updating. It was suggested in the forementioned travel guide that they are thinking of getting rid of the soundstage set for Alien (1979) and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). In place of those soundstages, some suggested great assets to these sets would be the soundstages for Poltergeist (1982), Blade Runner (1982), and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).  Some suggested scenes that could be used would be the scenes from Poltergeist where Carol Ann Freeling is getting messages from the static in the tv and exclaims “They’re heeree!” , the scene where mom gets possessed , or when Carol Ann gets rescued . The most appropriate scene from Blade Runner would be the following scene . Any scene would do from The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
  • Get rid of Sounds Dangerous starring Drew Carey. Instead, why not a show about how special effects are done?

The Magic Kingdom

  • Get rid of Stitch’s Great Escape. Replace it with a 3D space adventure-motion simulator ride.
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Post 9-11 entertainment: what changed and why January 8, 2010

Part 1: television

One thing that is rarely looked at as far as how the world has changed after the horrible events of September 11 is how entertainment media changed. Whenever a major event or catastrophe happens, the entertainment portion of the media reacts.

Take for instance the current hit NBC show The Office. In the 2009 season, one of Michael Scott’s (played by Steve Carell) excuses for not being able to take a call is that he is at an “Obama fashion show.” This was no exception in 2001 in the days after 9/11 – albeit with a serious tone. Post-9/11 ratings for television show such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart soared. Some viewers proclaimed the show as their “bonafide news source.” Other comedy shows, such as The Late Show with David Letterman, opened with a more somber tone where a rather nervous and sad Letterman lamented to the audience about hwo the attacks “made any goddamn sense.”

Television was heavily afftected byy the attacks with a major blow producer David Angell, who was on board hijacked American Airlines Flight 11. Angell was a producer and co-creator of NBC’s Frasier. In Frasier’s final episode, Niles and Daphne have a baby and name their son David as a tribute to Angell.

Other television shows inevitably had to write in plots dealing with terrorism and grief. Shows such as The West Wing aired non-story arch episodes that dealt with the attacks. The West Wing episode Issac and Ishmael opened with a plea from the cast to donate to charities for those that were lost in the 9/11 attacks. Other shows, such as NBC’s Third Watch, directly dealt with the attacks by including them into their storylines.  The start of the fall season of television for new shows was delayed or it had to be altered due to the show’s content.

Other mainstay shows had to quickly pull episodes that dealt with some form of terrorism. Reruns of certain episodes of  shows such as Married……..With Children and The Simpsons were pulled from syndication. The Simpsons episode The City of New York vs. Homer, there are scenes that prominently display the World Trade Center. After the events of September 11, many thought that, despite the relative innocence of the scenes in question, that viewers might have been too sensitive to seeing images of the building intact (even in cartoon form), with the events of that day still fresh on the minds of the people. This episode has since been put back into syndication as time has passed. The episode in question in regards to Married…..With Children was the episode Get Outta Dodge where Al Bundy is approached by some Arabs who want to buy his old Dodge car and also ask Bundy for directions.

After September 11, 2oo1, FOX notified all of its syndicated carriers of the show about the episode in question and left the decision up to the discretion of the individual stations. A number of TV stations in the US did temporarily pull the episode and showed other reruns in its place. As time passed and sensitivity lessened, the episode began being aired again regularly.

Awards shows were also affected. The 2001 Emmy Awards were postponed twice due to the terrorist attacks, the then-impending US airstrikes against Afghanistan and the bakckout of Don Mischner Productions – who was producing the show. The telecast finally aired on November 4, but cost CBS millions of dollars. The 74th Annual Academy Awards held a tribute to New York-themed films hosted by Woody Allen.

Sources:

http://www.film.com/features/story/tv-after-911/16331988

http://www.guardian.co.uk/pictures/image/0,8543,-10404256105,00.html

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106004/trivia

http://www.twiztv.com/cgi-bin/transcript.cgi?episode=http://dmca.free.fr/scripts/thewestwing/season3/thewestwing-300.txt

http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Emmy_Awards/2001

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0313162/trivia

http://www.snpp.com/guides/lisa-5.html#5.2.7

http://www.bundyology.com/hpg/817.html

 

“I Want My Mtv!” January 3, 2010

On August 1, 1980, Mtv launched with the rallying cry “ladies and gentleman, rock and roll!” and made television history with the Buggles Video Killed The Radio Star, followed by You Better Run by Pat Benatar.

Mtv was, at the least, a revolutionary idea. It introduced us to great artists such as The Police, Duran Duran, Madonna, and Billy Idol. The network also broke color and success barriers with the airing of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. Jackson would later go on to have massive success with the music video genre right up until his death in June 2009.

According to the BBC, what Mtv did was allow the record companies “to market and package bands to a much greater degree than before.” “MTV was born partly out a backlash by the music industry in an attempt to boost sales” says pop music lecturer Simon Warner.

This push also enabled record companies to push their bands through videos without relying on live performance, which musicians of the past heavily relied on. It also gave the 80’s a fresh start in music by ushering in acts such as the Eurythmics, U2, and Tears For Fears.

With that said, here is some of the best videos that were ever aired on Mtv.

Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

Who’s That Girl – Madonna 

White Wedding – Billy Idol 

Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police 

You Better Run – Pat Benatar

Sources:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1465495.stm

 

Happy Festivus! December 23, 2009

Alas, another year has come to pass and once again we as a nation are brought to this day, 23 of December, better known to all Seinfeld fans (like myself) as “Festivus.”

If you are not familiar with the holiday of Festivus, the holiday has a rich history that starts with a man, Frank Costanza, who explains here in this video how festivus came to pass:

Instead of using a Christmas tree, it is required that you use an aluminum pole so that participants won’t be distracted by the tinsel.

“The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances.”

With that said, it is now time for 2009’s Airing of Grievances!

  • Ex boyfriend: Things were going just fine between us and then you had to break it off just days before one night in heaven event, my birthday, and valentines day. You suck!
  • Facebook and whoever posted U2 concert photos on that site: You became an addiction for me. I had to rid myself of you because frankly I do not care about who posted U2 concert photos. Furthermore, I do not care that the rich church-fakery-playboy named Matt Ferstler went to the U2 concert and was in that little circle. He probably paid off the band or his rich daddy did! Thanks for rubbing it in of what I don’t have and what some don’t deserve!
  • People who leave me out of things such as invites, parties, etc: I may understand if we are not close, but I frankly don’t need to know about your dumb party all over facebook. Thank you for not inviting me, you suck!
  • The band “Heart” a.k.a “Ann and Nancy Wilson:” In 2008, you put on a rockin’ show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion with Journey and Cheap Trick. The air was hot (as it is in Houston when it is summertime) but the concert was cheap for lawn seats – $29.oo for me and my friend Caitlyn to go. In 2009 you come back to Houston, TX to the Htown Arena Theater with just the band and no other acts like Journey or Cheap Trick and you jack up the ticket prices to a whopping $65!  So guess who could not go to your concert? Two great fans of yours named Christina (me) and Caitlyn! Thanks! Other than that your music still rocks!
  • Jon and Kate Gosselin (of the tv show “Jon and Kate Plus 8): Kate you must change your attitude! You are mean on that show and mega-harsh!
  • The “De-friend” option on facebook: Oh how I love to know that people I thought were my friend were, well, not!
  • Healthcare public option: There is a reason that people come from all over the world for healthcare. Yes, systems have flaws and our private healthcare is no different; but getting the government involved will not solve any issues, but will make things worse. Just look at how other countries are having troubles with public healthcare, therefore their citizens are coming to the USA.

Now all of you must try to wrestle. Don’t knock yourselves over.

 

Captain EO to launch once again at Disneyland December 22, 2009

Captain EO

Captain EO, starring the late Michael Jackson, originally ran for over 10 years at Disneyland. All incarnations of the ride closed in 1998

LOS ANGELES – “Captain EO” will once again return to Disneyland in February 2010. The theme park said last week that plans have been enacted to bring back the 3-D film starring the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The 17-minute film starred the late King of Pop as a song-and-dance intergalactic space captain. The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola with George Lucas serving as executive producer.

In the film, Jackson leads a rag-tag team consisting of an alien and a robot as they battle the evil queen played by a nearly-unrecognizable Anjelica Huston. “Captain EO” originally debuted in 1986 at Disneyland’s Tommorrowland in  and ran for more than a decade. Identical versions later opened at other Disney theme parks. They were all closed by 1998.

Jackson died June 25 at age 50.

Associated Press

 

Movie remakes versus the Original: who will win? December 4, 2009

Today in Hollywood it seems like there’s nothing short of remake mania.

Many popular classics such as Poltergeist, Adventures In Babysitting, Disney’s Flight of the Navigator (slated for a 2011 release), and RoboCop are in talks of being remade. There is also talks of a remake of Disney’s The Black Hole.

While some movies that were remakes, such as Disney’s Freaky Friday and The Parent Trap, have done well at the box office; others, such as the recent remake of Fame, which was both a critical and box-office failure.

It’s like Hollywood has lost its sense of originality!

Don’t get me wrong, however, because some movies do deserve a remake – Disney’s Flight of the Navigator being one of them mainly due to the technological advances that have been made since 1986. One must ask though when is enough enough?

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS200137+03-Sep-2008+PRN20080903

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2008/11/hollywood-back.html

http://themovingpicture.net/disney-to-remake-flight-of-the-navigator

http://www.shockya.com/news/2009/12/02/disney-set-to-remake-the-black-hole/

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10011235-fame/