It's time for the February Disney news roundup!
...The Spring edition of Disney Twenty-three looks fantastic, focusing on the 1964-65 World's Fair. The cover features Walt with the model for the Tower of the Four Winds, which stood in front of It's a Small World at the Fair -- I wonder if it's the same model that's on display at the Contemporary Resort in Orlando? The Disney Parks Blog previews the issue.
...And from the D23 site: "Everything You Need to Know About Walt Disney, Rolly Crump, and the Tower of the Four Winds." (Free D23 registration required to access article.)
...The World's Fair will also be one of the topics featured at this year's Destination D in Orlando -- an event I'm giving more than passing thought to finding a way to attend.
MARC DAVIS: WALT DISNEY'S RENAISSANCE MAN from Disney Editions. This will be a must for the serious Disney fan. As the book description says, "Davis touched nearly every aspect of The Walt Disney Company during his tenure. He began as an animator, whose supporting work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi inspired Walt to promote him to full animator. In the ensuing years, Davis breathed life into a bevy of iconic Disney characters, including Cinderella, Alice (in Wonderland), Tinker Bell, Maleficent, and Cruella De Vil. Then, in 1962, Walt Disney transferred the versatile Davis to the Imagineering department to help plan and design attractions for Disneyland and the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. While at Imagineering, Davis conceived of designs for such classic attractions as Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion."
...The L.A. Times recently ran a very interesting article on FROZEN (2013), "Finding a Diva in 41 Languages," about the challenges of voice casting a musical for an international audience. Disney did a beautiful job, as can be seen from this terrific video the studio put out of "Let It Go" sung in 25 different languages. Each line of this already-iconic Disney song is performed by a different singer in a different language.
...The cast of FROZEN recently performed the songs in a live concert. I would love to see this happen at the 2015 Disney Expo! In fact, there's talk FROZEN is headed for Broadway...wouldn't it be interesting if the soundtrack cast, which includes Broadway veteran Idina Menzel, were to perform it on the stage?
...Here's a fun account of one person's experience at a FROZEN sing-along screening...and my daughter the college student liked this Tumblr reworking of the "Let It Go" lyrics to fit academic life.
Blu-ray and DVD will be released in just a month, on March 18, 2014. Details on the release are here. Considering the film is still playing to huge audiences in theaters, I wonder if Disney is regretting rushing out the DVD in time for Easter baskets...maybe it should have held back the DVD release for Christmas gift giving!
...Tokyo Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride is undergoing a rehab this year, after which there will be a special "night cruise."
...Susan King of the Los Angeles Times recently interviewed veteran Disney animator Floyd Norman. Norman was also recently interviewed on The View, desiring to put to rest some recent absurd assertions about Walt Disney.
...This new trailer for MALEFICENT (2014), reworking the classic SLEEPING BEAUTY (1959) song "Once Upon a Dream," is downright creepy:
I'm really wondering what they're going to do with this movie, which if it follows the story of SLEEPING BEAUTY must end with Maleficent's death. Will they find a way for her to be "reborn"?
...104 Montgomery is a blog run by Walt Disney Family Museum volunteers. The first substantive post last month was "A History of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through" at Disneyland.
...Trivia for Disneyland fans: BoingBoing recently posted Walt Disney's letter purchasing Disneyland's Petrified Tree.
...Sounds like Disneyland's going to launch the summer season with another 24-hour party...and they are finally getting serious about putting in a "back alley" exit down Main Street to relieve overcrowding on busy days. They've been kicking the idea around since a Disney News post I did exactly four years ago!
Throwback Thursday" film at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood is ALADDIN (1992). The monthly Throwback Thursday screenings are for a discounted price and include popcorn and soda in the cost of admission. Disney Annual Passholders can also see ALADDIN in a "sing-along" format at Disneyland this Wednesday and Thursday, February 19th and 20th. My account of last week's THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989) sing-along is here.
...Hayao Miyazaki's THE WIND RISES (2013) opens at the El Capitan on Friday, February 21st and runs through the 27th. Some of the screenings are in the original Japanese, with subtitles, while the majority of showings are in English. I may try to go see one of the Japanese screenings next weekend; I've never seen a Miyazaki film but my children are fans.
...The next MouseAdventure game at Disneyland, titled "Card Games - Deuces Wild," will take place on Sunday, April 27th.
For more recent Disney links, please visit the Disney News posts for January and November.