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2008

Happy New Year

It’s been awfully quiet around Progress City during the holidays, but I thought I should drop in and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Things have been hectic, of course, and unlike more dedicated bloggers we’ve taken a little break. But the new year means returning to the real world, and that includes blogging. Look for things to pick up around here very soon.

2007 was an interesting year for Disney fans, as we watched the company try to pick itself up from the ashes of the last decade. The last stretch of the Eisner reign took a brutal toll on both theme parks and animation, with such infamous luminaries as Paul Pressler and David Stainton running the creative branches of the company over a cliff and into a seemingly unending morass of mediocrity.

But with new management came new times, and step by step we saw Disney slowly get itself off the ground again. There have still been setbacks (Laugh Floor and the continuing toonification of Tomorrowland) but there have also been halting steps forward (management change at EPCOT and the recognition of fan desire to celebrate that park’s 25th anniversary). 2008 is a real transition year in which the last projects of the old regime overlap with the first projects of the new. Bolt will hit theaters, having been reworked from the ground up by Lasseter’s WDAS story trust. Toy Story Midway Mania will arrive in theme parks, heralding the start of California Adventure’s billion-dollar facelift. Both projects, initiated under Eisner rule, have been fully reworked by Iger’s team and will truly indicate what the future holds for Disney fans.

Here at Progress City HQ we’ll be doing our best to chronicle all this, patting Disney on the back when they get it right and kicking them in the seat of the pants when they don’t. Also, we’ll probably talk about The Apple Dumpling Gang. Just because.

Here’s hoping that everyone out there has started their new year off with a bang; if not, then here’s to the rest of us digging ourselves out of the hole by, say, mid-May or so. There’s nowhere to go from here but up…

(Image nicked from here.)

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