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Woody’s Roundup 04-01-2008

Yes folks, I’m back. I apologize to the small but valued handful of “regulars” here for taking a powder without notice, but c’est la vie. A too-short holiday in the mountains, a backlog of “real” work, some downtime as my web host moved its servers, March Madness (go Heels!) and the general azalea-blooming weather lately has been a distraction. More importantly, though, is the fact that most of the news out of the House of Mouse lately hasn’t been very inspiring.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t 2001 and we aren’t facing the constant strikeouts of the Eisner-Pressler regime. But perhaps my hopes got the better of me with the management change and I expected more than the singles and weak doubles we’ve been seeing lately. I certainly expected a damn sight more than this, but there will be more on that later. The point is that while many things in the Disney empire are OK on the micro level, at the macro level there’s a distinct lack of vision. Things are continuing to slide, and that’s a problem.

But I’m back, and here are a few tidbits to get the pump primed:

Thankfully the EPCOT Central blog is back at work, and have a post about EPCOT’s current state that touches on the themes I mentioned above.

Alain Littaye hits us with a slew of concept art – from Disney’s America (with props to me!), California Adventure before its budget was slashed, and the Disney-MGM Studios (1, 2). He also has some interesting photos from the Carousel of Progress.

The Hallmark Channel has acquired a 99-film library of classic Disney films to air on their network. According to the press release, the deal includes:

Disney’s “The Shaggy Dog,” “Flubber,” “Old Yeller,” “The Parent Trap,” “The Incredible Journey,” “The Princess Diaries,” “Freaky Friday,” “The Santa Clause,” “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” “That Darn Cat,” “The Love Bug,” “The Shaggy Dog,” “Mighty Joe Young,” “Babes in Toyland,” “The Cat from Outer Space,” “Gus,” “Return to Snowy River,” “Snowball Express,” “White Fang,” “The Apple Dumpling Gang” and “Swiss Family Robinson.”

While it’s great that people are going to be able to see these films on television, and they’ll be made available to a new generation of fans, I can’t help to think that it’s sad that Disney doesn’t have their own cable outlet to show their classic films. Why, maybe someday there could be an entire “Disney Channel”, so to speak, that could show Disney material 24 hours a day! Oh I know, it’s just a pie in the sky dream… but wouldn’t that be a great idea? Man, I know I’d watch that channel all the time! But what do I know? I’m old enough to drive so Disney doesn’t really care what I think…

Old EPCOT geeks like myself will remember SMRT-1 from the glory days of CommuniCore. The Paleo-Future blog has a nice piece of concept art I’d never seen before, but the point of the link is the blog itself. You should definitely check it out, as it’s one of my favorites.

Page down for some nice side-by-side comparisons of scenes from Enchanted.

Indeed.

And finally this. Change your life, it will:

I’ll be back soon with more…

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