EU sues Hollywood studios
After an 18-month investigation, the European Union issues anti-trust lawsuit against Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros, as well as Britain and Ireland’s Sky TV. The suit specifically calls into question copyright laws which allow Hollywood studios to sell their content individually to national markets, creating a divided European market in defiance of EU rules, according to the commission. Specifically, subscribers to the Sky TV’s network of channels are blocked from accessing its offerings of films and TV series outside Britain and Ireland. Competition Commissioner Vestager:
European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channels of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU. Our EU economy Internet antitrust investigation shows that they cannot do this today. We believe that this may be in breach of EU competition rules. The studios and Sky UK now have the chance to respond to our concerns.
NBC and Warner said they were in talks with the Commission. Fox declined to comment.
Hollywood Studios statue removed
A bronze bust of Cosby that has been in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza at Hollywood Studios since 1994 is removed. Traitz started a Change.org petition seven months ago to have the statue removed from Disney. Her niece:
He has no place in Disney. It’s not a place for a predator. To see the bust of Bill Cosby as a hero on a pedestal in Disney after the family history, and we know of what had happened to my aunt all those years ago, it’s hurtful.
Will direct live action ‘Dumbo’
Birton will direct Disney’s live action version of Dumbo. The film will use a mix of CGI and live action and will add a family story that parallels Dumbo’s journey.
Ice Bucket Challenge: Bob Iger
Iger accepts the Ice Bucket Challenge and nominates Olivia Pope, Peter Quill and Tony Stark.
Genie In The Stars
Disney releases artwork titled Genie in the Stars paying tribute to Williams, created by Genie at Disney supervising animator Eric Goldberg. CEO Robert Iger:
We’re deeply saddened by the loss of Robin Williams, a wonderfully gifted man who touched our hearts and never failed to make us laugh. An incredible actor and a comedic genius, Robin will always be remembered for bringing some of the world’s favorite characters to life, from his zany alien on ABC’s Mork & Mindy to the irascible genie in Disney’s Aladdin. “He was a true Disney Legend, a beloved member of our family, and he will be sorely missed. We join Robin’s friends and fans everywhere in mourning, and offer our thoughts and condolences to his family during this difficult time.
A tribute to Robin Williams by Eric Goldberg (Supervising Animator of Genie): pic.twitter.com/hZOiwNMZgz
— Disney (@Disney) August 12, 2014
Elsa first look
E! online reveals a first look at Georgina Haig as Elsa in the upcoming season of Once Upon A Time. In the two photos, Haig is wearing the trademark blue dress of the Ice Queen. Of her new blond look, Georgina wrote
Ahhhh blonde hair- sometimes I think you look quite nice, other times like village of the damned high school reunion.
— Georgina Haig (@GeorginaHaig) July 16, 2014
Favreau announces that he has cast ten-year-old Neel Sethi for the role of Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Sethi will play the young Indian boy that is found in a jungle and taken in to be raised by a pack of wolves. Favreau:
Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative. Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.
Once Upon a Time casts Georgina Haig (Fringe) as the Queen of Arendale, Elsa. The story surrounding these characters will take place post-Frozen with Elsa keeping her powers in check through the love and bond she has with her sister, Anna. However she is still very aware of how much of a threat she can be if she loses control again. Once Upon A Time co-creator, Adam Horowitz:
We are very well aware of how beloved [Frozen] is, so we’re very careful that we want to tell a story that is uniquely ours but also honors those characters that everyone fell in love with this past year.
The thing we love about Elsa is she is perceived to be a villain but is clearly misunderstood, and that goes to the heart of our show.
Cast as Bagheera
Disney announces that Kingsley has been cast as the voice of the black panther, Bagheera, in the live-action film The Jungle Book. The movie is slated to be released in 2015.
‘Into The Woods’ changes
In a master class, organized by the Academy for Teachers, Sondheim reveals that Disney has asked for changes to be made to the Into The Woods script/libretto. The writer admits that in the revised version of the script, Rapunzel does not die, the Prince does not sleep with the Baker’s Wife and the song Any Moment will most likely be cut. This announcement has been received negatively amongst fans of the original musical.
And they’re right. But you have to explain to them that censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, and it’s something that they’re going to have to deal with. There has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical. You have to deal with reality.
Toy Story That Time Forgot announcement
Disney announces the Toy Story That Time Forgot television special that will air on ABC December 2 at 8pm. Hanks and Allen return to voice Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Official plot summary:
During a post-Christmas play date, the Toy Story gang find themselves in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional. It’s all up to Trixie, the triceratops, if the gang hopes to return to Bonnie’s room.
Disney acquires Lucasfilm
Walt Disney Company enters into an agreement to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. from George Lucas.
For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s strength gives Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.
Along with this announcement, Disney reveals plans to continue the Star Wars franchise. At least three new films in the Star Wars saga have been confirmed as well as upcoming television shows and feature films.
Big Top Souvenirs opens
Big Top Souvenirs opens at Magic Kingdom in Florida. The shop sells treats like caramel corn and cotton candy, in addition to storybook-themed clothing and toys. The store is decorated with a circus theme.
Big Top Souvenirs is incredibly detailed with beautifully ornate designs that capture the golden age of the circus perfectly.
Donates bobsled to museum
Disneyland donates an old ride vehicle to the National Roller Coaster Museum. The ride vehicle comes from the Matterhorn Bobsleds roller coaster, which received new vehicles along with its refurbishment.
We’re delighted to provide these pieces of Disneyland Resort history to the National Roller Coaster Museum, an organization that celebrates our industry. The Matterhorn bobsled and California Screamin’ signage represent two of our most beloved attractions, from the first tubular steel-tracked roller coaster in the world to one of the longest and most thrilling.
Cruise line voted #10 Comments
Disney Cruise Line is rated the #1 large-ship cruise line for families by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. This is the fourth consecutive win for the cruise line. Disney Cruise Line has been honored as one of the top five cruise lines for eight years in a row.
Our cast and crew members are passionate about surprising our guests with a magical experience at sea, so it means a great deal to us that we have exceeded your expectations.
Disney Dream departs on maiden voyage0 Comments
The Disney Dream, one of the Disney Cruise Line’s ships, departs on its maiden voyage to the Bahamas. Guests on board are treated to exclusive parties and a fireworks show at sea.
Whether you’re a toddler, teenager or grownup, there’s something for everyone on the Disney Dream. From fun clubs for kids and teens to nightclubs and lunges exclusively for adults, the ship is a terrific mix of imagination, innovation and pixie dust.
Winnie the Pooh attraction reopens
The Winnie the Pooh ride and gift shop reopen at Walt Disney World. Both the loading area of the ride and the shop, which sells apparel and toys, include redesigned features and theming.
And beginning Thanksgiving week, young guests will start their adventure through the Hundred Acre Wood by jumping with Tigger, crawling through Eeyore’s house and playing in Rabbit’s garden before they board the attraction
Duffy debuts at parks
Duffy the Disney bear debuts at EPCOT and California Adventure. Duffy is Mickey Mouse’s teddy bear, and he can be seen in the parks for meet and greet experiences. A line of Duffy-themed merchandise, including teddy bears, doll clothes and keychains, also debuts in the parks.
Duffy is not just your typical stuffed bear – he’s Mickey’s bear and he resembles his owner. Duffy’s face is shaped like Mickey’s, he has Mickey heads on his paws, and he has a very unique birthmark on his hip.
Wine & Dine half marathon
As part of EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival, Disney debuts the Wine & Dine half marathon. Guests run 13.1 miles, starting at ESPN Wide World of Sports, and ending inside EPCOT. Unlike other half marathons, this race is run at night. At the end of the race, runners attend an exclusive party where they dine on some of the food and wine from the festival.
One of the other really cool features of the event will be a two-person relay team option. Hey, dividing up the 13.1 miles between two runners is a lot easier than running the entire way by yourself – especially when there is a plate of Smoked Ribs with Braised Red Cabbage and Chestnuts and a nice California Chardonnay waiting for you at the finish line.
Karamell Küche opens
The Karamell Küche bakery and store opens at EPCOT in Florida. The bakery is sponsored by the Werther’s candy company, and it sells treats made with Werther’s caramel. Guests can watch cast members as they make the caramel treats.
A fun fact about this unique shop is that it is the only freestanding retail location for Werther’s in the world, and not only will carry items made fresh daily but a variety of specialty merchandise and gifts that are only available at Epcot.