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Woody’s Roundup 08-02-2008

It’s been a while, eh?

TRON posterFirst, a note on the Tron 2 buzz that’s circulated since our last story. Jim Hill posted a somewhat breathless tale this week about the film’s production and how original TRON director Steven Lisberger had been taken off the project by John Lasseter, scrapping the years of development work that he had put in on the production. Lasseter, says Hill, was inspired by the original TRON to pursue a career in computer animation and thus has a great deal of interest in the film’s success. According to Hill, Lasseter’s interest has led to a great deal of drama with new writers being brought in and Lisberger being replaced with director Joseph Kosinski.

What Hill’s potboiler tale of seething angst and intrigue left out is that many of these changes were made months, if not years, ago, as described here in March. Thankfully Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News had a scoop handed to him when, upon reporting on Hill’s article, he was contacted by Lisberger. Although Lisberger is not directing the project, he remains actively involved in the production as Producer and promises amazing things to come. Good news all around.

Old links for perusal:

- In the light of recent events, this seems even more germane. In fact, I might trot that visual out every time the P.R. machine puts up their typical smokescreen

- Remember when the Disney Channel was good?

- World’s oldest animation!

- Donald Duck’s family tree. Expect to see a great deal about the Ducks here in the future.

- When the new Spaceship Earth show opened last fall, there was a great deal of controversy about the new, oversimplified narration and (to put it politely) anticlimactic finale. While the first act of the attraction, replete with new animatronics, is indeed spectacular, the more objectionable changes are symptomatic of the problems endemic to WDI’s output in recent years. Re-Imagineering posted a very on-the-target analysis of this thematic drift.

- Alvy Ray Smith, though unknown to most Pixar fans, was one of the three founders of that company along with Steve Jobs and Ed Catmull. He has posted some documents from Pixar’s founding at his website.

- Taking a moment to reflect up the recent it’s a small world fiasco, I’d like to link to a rebuttal to Disney P.R.’s spin by John at the Disney Blog. I think it’s an excellent riposte to Disney P.R.’s highhandedness (also to be seen in last month’s Adventurer’s Club dealings) as well as an indictment of Disney’s corporate dependence on the fleeting popularity of trends.

Finally, since one cannot link enough to the fine writings of Foxx at Passport to Dreams Old & New, these stories:

- First, her thoughts on the small world issue. Not only does this mirror my own first thought about the Adventurer’s Club fiasco – I thought we were past this – but she also points out the complete breakdown of communication between Disney and its fans since the Toad Wars of 1998. Not only have certain elements within Disney corporate made no secret of their disdain for their most devoted fanbase, but they have repeatedly and publicly lied to said fandom. Those rifts will take a while to heal, and apparently there’s still need of some housecleaning at Team Disney.

- I encourage everyone to read this dissection of Walt Disney World’s film-based attractions. Although I far too often get distracted by current news or the state of the animation program, this is the Disney I am most in love with. The Disney of Walt Disney World, 1971-84. I only wish I had more time to write about it. These “Phase I” attractions were technologically advanced, thematically and tastefully sophisticated, and embodied that great era before “loud = FUNNY” became the watchword of the day. If I had one wish for WDI’s future, it would be that they could in some part return Walt Disney World to that wonderful holistic feeling of balance that made the resort “The Vacation Kingdom of the World”.

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3 comments to Woody’s Roundup 08-02-2008

  • WDWLocal

    You know, I very strongly feel that due to such things as hating all the recent classic attraction changes for no real reason, taking sides with such questionable sites as the Re-Imagineering blog, etc., I have every reason to feel that this blog is just as bad and anti-Disney as so many of the other controversial sites out there (Re-Imagineering, MiceAge, Broke Hoedown, etc.).

    You folks on here are way too negative for your own good. I mean it!

    • You’ve found me out; I am indeed extremely anti-Disney. So anti-Disney that I spend hours and hours of my free time every week, without pay or compensation, to write and write and write about it. Though my blathering might be inane, I’m glad that my hatred for Disney shines through. Look for my 10-part expose “Why I also hate oxygen and food,” coming soon.

      I also enjoy the conceit of “hating all the recent classic attraction changes for no real reason.” If my reasons aren’t “real”, what reasons would you prefer?

      I’m embarrassed that my shocking support for “questionable” sites like Re-Imagineering has come to light. My sad associations with such strident supporters of high quality show standards will surely be the end of me. Those sites are indeed firmly anti-Disney; why would I want to be associated with MiceAge? After all, Al Lutz has only dedicated something like 15 years now to writing about Disney online – he must hate it more than I do. And their writers? Werner Weiss? I shudder to think that my name be mentioned in the same breath as such a renowned – I mean, infamous – writer.

      So look for my hatred to Disney to grow as my soul grows darker and more twisted, and as I devote even more of my life and precious free time to exploring its most obscure obscurities.

  • Another Voice

    Michael (you hater you), two words. “Lifestyle Brand”

    Defined as “when one’s desire to be associated with a commercial brand image becomes disconnected from the actual products and services offered by that company.”

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