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August 30, 2006

Monday MouseWatch and Enchanted

bits taken from Jim Hill Media's Monday MouseWatch: "That's why I invited you here ... So that we can avoid the mistakes of the past" article below:

You all remember the Michael Eisner era, right? Back when the company was run by a guy who'd first brag about how there were only two letters difference between how his last name was spelled and how Walt Disney's last name was spelled, then pull out his old Paramount Pictures playbook. Which told him that the very best way to make an executive-level decision was (I'm quoting from James B. Stewart's "DisneyWar" here)" ... put six pit bulls together and see which five die."

Iger? He doesn't do the pit bull thing. He doesn't share Eisner's go-with-your-gut sensiblity. Though -- that said -- Bob has still done some pretty gutsy things over the past 11 months.

And -- no -- I'm not talking about the Pixar acquisition. Truth be told, Iger had to make that deal. Otherwise Wall Street would have never forgiven him for allowing Pixar Animation Studios to get away. No, I'm talking about Bob's decision to finally move "Enchanted" out of development hell and make this ambitious live action / animated feature Walt Disney Pictures' big holiday release for 2007.
"What's so courageous about doing that?," you ask. Well, you have to understand that "Enchanted" is a romantic fantasy-comedy that riffs on traditionally animated Disney films like "Beauty & the Beast," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella." And -- in order for this Kevin Lima film to work -- the first 10 minutes or so have to be traditionally animated.

And given that -- back in 2003 -- Disney Feature Animation made a very big deal about how it was getting out of the traditional animation business, how Disney Studios would only be making CG features from now on ... To put something like "Enchanted" into production sends a very clear message to the rest of the industry.

To put it bluntly, this is Bob Iger's way of acknowledging that Disney made a mistake by shutting down its traditional animation unit. And by positioning "Enchanted" as the studio's big release for the 2007 holiday season, that signals that Disney believes that there is still a significantly large audience out there that would be eager to see this sort of picture.

And make no mistake, folks. Disney plans on giving "Enchanted" a huge promotional push next year. Not just because the success of this film will then clear the way for a full-blown traditionally animated feature like "The Frog Princess." But -- rather -- because Disney Consumer Products genuinely believes that there are millions of little girls out there that will want to own their very own Giselle doll (I.E. The character that Amy Adams plays in ).

I mean, this is a business after all. But -- that said -- isn't it kind of refreshing to have Disney's new CEO working to ensure the company's future by trying to correct some of the mistakes that the Mouse made in the past? Rather than just ignoring these previous errors and/or pretending that they didn't exist?

Your thoughts?

Posted by dschnee at 12:22 PM

August 24, 2006

King Kong: Deluxe Extended Edition

Saw this one coming... but I'm excited to see the extra what? ~230 vfx shots!!! and to see all the more fleshed out sequences, and ones that were left on the cutting room floor put in there will be great! I definately felt cheated at the content the put on the regular special edition of Kong... and I knew they were going to continue to work on stuff for the dvd, I can't wait! Kong is too long, and with this edition much too long, but it will fantastic to see the work! sweet-as Weta!

via-My Two Cents @ thedigitalbits.com (from 7.27.06):
Here you go... Universal has finally sent over the complete DVD details and cover art for the King Kong: Deluxe Extended Edition, due to street on 11/14 (SRP $34.98). The 3-disc set will include a 13-minute longer version of the film in anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The film will be split over the first two discs in the set. The new footage will include over 230 additional special effects shots. Some 40 minutes worth of additional deleted scenes will be included separately on the 3-disc set as well. Here's the disc by disc breakdown:

Disc One - The Film, Part One - audio commentary with director Peter Jackson and co-writer/producer Philippa Boyens, 16 deleted scenes

Disc Two - The Film, Part Two - audio commentary with director Peter Jackson and co-writer/producer Philippa Boyens, 5 featurettes (The Eighth Blunder of the World, The Present, A Night in Vaudeville, Kong Kong Homage, Weta Collectibles) and theatrical trailers

Disc Three - The King Kong Archives - introduction by Peter Jackson, 8 featurettes (The Origins of King Kong, Pre-Production, Part 1: The Return of Kong, Pre-Production, Part 2: Countdown to Filming, The Venture Journey, Return to Skull Island, New York, New Zealand, Bringing Kong to Life, Part 1: Design and Research, Bringing Kong to Life, Part 2: Performance and Animation), 5 video galleries (The 1996 King Kong, The Venture, Skull Island, New York, Kong), 5 Pre-Viz Animatics (Arrival at Skull Island, Bronto Stampede, T-Rex Fight, Kong's Capture, Empire State Building Battle), 3 Motion-Capture/Animation Comparisons (Ann Disarms Kong, Kong's Capture, Kong in New York), DVD credits, the 1996 and 2005 screenplays (via DVD-ROM) and more

In addition, as we mentioned earlier, you'll be able to purchase the same 3-disc set in a King Kong: Deluxe Extended Limited Edition DVD Gift Set (SRP $79.98) in collectible packaging, which will also include "A beautifully crafted King Kong figurine, created exclusively for the package by the Oscar-winning artists at Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, the company responsible for the film's creature design, special makeups, miniatures and dazzling visual effects." Here's a look at the DVD cover artwork for the King Kong: Deluxe Extended Edition and also the new figurine that will be found in the Gift Set...

Posted by dschnee at 2:38 PM

August 18, 2006

Santa Clause 3 a wrap

The Santa Clause 3 PosterThe Santa Clause 3 escaped Tippett Studio today, as this show is officially wrapped! congrats to the sc3 crew!

Santa Clause 3 - HD Trailers - I think I saw the kid, Tim Allen's son from The Shaggy Dog in the trailer...nice

"The sleigh ride of your life begins November 3rd, 2006" -omg



Holiday magic mixes with comical chaos at the North Pole in THE SANTA CLAUSE 3. Tim Allen reprises his role of Scott Calvin -- AKA Santa -- as he juggles a full house of family and the mischievous Jack Frost (MARTIN SHORT), who is trying to take over the "big guy's" holiday.

At the risk of giving away the secret location of the North Pole, Scott invites his in-laws (ANN-MARGRET & ALAN ARKIN) to share in the holiday festivities, and upcoming birth of baby Claus with expectant wife, Carol, -- AKA Mrs. Claus -- (ELIZABETH MITCHELL).

Along for the adventure are Scott's extended family, son Charlie (ERIC LLOYD), ex-wife Laura Miller (WENDY CREWSON), her husband, Neil Miller (JUDGE REINHOLD) and their daughter, Lucy (LILIANA MUMY) who together with head elf Curtis (SPENCER BRESLIN), foil Jack Frost's crafty scheme to control the North Pole. -- © Universal Pictures

Posted by dschnee at 7:23 AM

August 1, 2006

The Shaggy Dog DVD Released!

shDVDgermanOhh yeah... look for my shaggy dog show reel sometime soon'ish

Rebecca got to see this for the first time on the airplane trip home from our Honeymoon... haha, nice.

DVD Details:
2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen,
1.33:1 Reformatted Fullscreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 (English),
Dolby Surround (French, Spanish - fullscreen only)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Closed Captioned
Release Date: August 1, 2006
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9)
Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
White Keepcase with Side Snaps

Check out UltimateDisney.com for The Shaggy Dog (2006) DVD Review

Theatrical Release: March 10, 2006 / Running Time: 99 Minutes / Rating: PG

Director: Brian Robbins

Cast: Tim Allen (Dave Douglas), Robert Downey Jr. (Dr. Kozak), Kristin Davis (Rebecca Douglas), Danny Glover (Ken Hollister), Spencer Breslin (Josh Douglas), Jane Curtin (Judge Claire Whittaker), Zena Grey (Carly Douglas), Philip Baker Hall (Lance Strictland), Coal (The Shaggy Dog), Annabelle Gurwitch (Justin Forrester's Attorney), Jane Hajduk (News Reporter), Joshua Leonard (Justin Forrester), Joel David Moore (Pound Employee), Jarrad Paul (Larry), Phil Pavel (Highway Driver), Shawn Pyfrom (Trey), Rhea Seehorn (Lori), Bess Wohl (Dr. Owen Lightman), Craig Kilborn (Baxter), Laura Kightlinger (Ms. Foster), Casey Sander (Leader)

Comedian Tim Allen unleashes all the outrageous fun in this doggone hilarious update of Disney's comedy classic! The adventures begin when workaholic Dave Douglas (Allen) is accidentally transformed into a lovable dog. Now as Dave digs to uncover the mystery, this overworked dad wants nothing more than to stop fetching ... and get back to fathering. But before he does, he's about to discover that being man's best friend gives him a curious insight into what it takes to be a great dad! The tail-wagging fun continues with bonus features to howl about including bone-tickling bloopers, deleted scenes, and a special bark-along bone-us feature dogs will love! Rated PG.

Interesting Post-script:
This is actually the fifth time that the Disney studio has mined the source material -- roughly, Felix Salten's 1930 mystery novel The Hound of Florence; more accurately, the premise of a male human turning into a shaggy dog and the comedy that emanates from it. I've already discussed at length the 1959 original, the 1976 sequel, and here, this loose 2006 remake; these three are the best-known adaptations, for they are the only three that reached the big screen (and home video, for that matter). But, in the fall of 1994, at the beginning of a period rich in remakes-for-TV (which soon spilled over to the remakes-for-theaters business), there was Dennis Dugan-directed The Shaggy Dog starring Scott Weinger, Ed Begley Jr., and James Cromwell. Before that, there was 1987's The Return of The Shaggy Dog, a sequel to the original co-written by Oscar winner Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby) and featuring Gary Kroeger and Cindy Morgan (Tron). These two made-for-TV outings probably won't see the light of DVD or American airwaves anytime soon, but know that they do exist and that Disney chooses to release endless compilations of cartoon shorts and random TV show episodes instead.

Posted by dschnee at 7:27 AM