Disney issues curious promotional art for upcoming Star Wars Land

As if you haven’t heard: The Walt Disney Company is adding a Star Wars Land to Disneyland. They’re doing so by clearing out some super outdated “old west” style attractions that no one has given a crap about since 1969 and replacing them with the space-themed goodness that modern minds crave.

A long-overdue updating of a long since stagnant portion of significant land area of the Disneyland park + utilization of the Star Wars intellectual property recently acquired by the Walt Disney Corporation isn’t anything strange.

What’s odd is the promotional art for it… Who would have guessed that it would look anything like this?:

The promotional art Disney has released for Star Wars Land is curiouser and curiouser, lacking any of the Death Star or Corusant style metal-tech seen in Tomorowland (where the Star Wars themed ride Star Tours still resides) and going instead for organic earthy representations of tall treehouse style towers (the likes of which we’ve never seen in any Star Wars films) bordering open courtyards with aliens milling about.

A zoomed out version of the same location shows the area to be a city among cliffs with termite hive style spires protruding from a decidedly singularly themed location – again – with style and architecture not present in any of the mainstream Star Wars media.

With all the planning that goes into such a major and permanent design, it makes one wonder what the thinking was in creating this specific look. Disney Chairman Bob Iger said of the unveiling, “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

Star Wars Land will appear to mostly manifest its 14-acre footprint in currently non-attraction utilized land on the theme park property and only replace Big Thunder Ranch, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Since 10 out of 10 people reading that didn’t even know any of those things were things in Disneyland, I’d say it was the right choice, even though it’s interesting to see Disney pull a corporate version of the plot of Toy Story (Read: “Strange Things are Happenin” to Fronteirland).

Source

Tip: Buy Disney

I’ve never written a stock tip post before but I feel like I’m observing what seems to be obvious to me and yet Googling all the main points in the article yielded zero results. So, while I have to warn you that I could not find Forbes, MarketWatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York times – or anyone else to make these recommendations and then cite them as the source – I will reveal why me as my own source is making these claims…

From September 2015 (the time of this writing) for at least a year, Walt Disney Company stock is going to be a good bet, says I.

1- FRANCHISING BOOM (alternative title: FRANCH & MERCH)

The studio excels at 2 things that they’re doing more and more of: Franchise Building and merchandising. Since the 1950s, Disney has been Boss at extending their intellectual property as far as it will stretch and plastering it all over any physical products that could possibly be conceived of.

Especially recently, the company has been franchising in a way I am seeking to emulate in my own productions. No one does franchising better than Disney. They milk characters and storylines into movie, television, sequel, and product gold on a level akin to printing their own currency. This makes the company a great long term play for its existing properties but a quintuple or more of a good bet for the following reasons –

2- GROWTH:

The previous 5 years especially has shown huge growth and while that doesn’t necessarily mean future growth (as shown above) for most entertainment companies, I will explain why I think Disney is a major exception

 

3- MARVEL:

Disney bought Marvel a few years ago and it has been pumping out movies that have been fan and critic hits with no sign of stopping as they keep increasing their cinematic universe with more films. An excellent example of the Marvel longevity is that this years Ant-Man movie – hardly one that is even on the radar of most movie goers – is set to earn almost half a billion worldwide. Upcoming in the franchise is a super fan-favorite storyline to be covered in “Captain America, Civil War” (the 3rd Cap movie), and a 2-parter Avengers 3 & 4. They will be huge hits at the box office and spawn tons of profitable merchandise and media offshoots.

 

4- STAR WARS:

Disney bought Star Wars several years ago as well for a few billion and they will certainly earn that back probably with just their first movie. There is no possible way that the new Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens” will not be record-breakingly huge. It has even more curiosity among the hundreds of millions of people familiar with the franchise than the previous set of movies had and far more good will from the fans and is going to make box office billions worldwide. It is released in December but again, it’s all about the franchise: Star Wars merchandise, themepark attractions (With a new “star wars land” being added to Disneyland & Disneyworld Themeparks) and a planned new Star Wars movie to be released almost every year after this one – the franchise is going to rocket beyond it’s already firm position in its field.

If you are skeptical of this, then you need to go back and re-read what I said about Ant-Man… *ANT-MAN* for Christ sake. Star Wars is going to slay. Watch…

 

5- ATTRACTIONS:

The Shanghai Disneyland park opens in 2016 and will include full theme park, hotel and resort attractions that Disney excels at. It will not be a failure.

6-BONUS REASON: NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!:

DIS stock is down over 16% in the past 2 months evidently because of problems with it’s ESPN property and concern over cord cutters but that nonsense is a short term problem and ESPN is in no long term danger of losing its dominance in the field of live sports or sports television in general. That aspect will soon correct itself and the stock price will at minimum return to highs seen earlier in the year and as I explained above, much more according to my forecasting.

At the time of this writing, I am buying stock in Disney at $100 a share. The companys high-point of this year was $120. So you tell me… Do you think, given the stuff I listed above, that Disney will under any circumstances possibly NOT reach that high point again in the coming year?…

I think it will far surpass it, given the above, so I’m betting big on Disney and urging others to do the same for these reasons.

Robin Williams is Not “Free”. He is Dead.. (and other things wrong with this image)

Some dope at “The Academy [of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences]” (better known as “the place that gives people Oscars) reacted in a terribly irresponsible way to Robin Williams’ suicide and well meaning people on social media are spreading it. You shouldn’t.

In a tweet by the official @TheAcademy Twitter account a screenshot from Disney’s Aladdin of the Genie and title character hugging is followed by  the text “Genie, you’re free”…. WTF.

There aren’t many things more irresponsible than a leading figure in the creative community, glorifying killing yourself as being freedom.

Death is not “freedom”. It is death. It’s the end. And killing yourself because you are sad is not setting yourself “free” of anything – you are merely multiplying and transferring your sadness onto others so you don’t have to deal with it anymore. It’s taking a giant water balloon of sadness and saying “here. You deal with this instead” and popping it over all who knew you – with those closest to you getting the most drenched but its splash reaching far and wide, wetting many beyond that circle and at least spritzing those who just knew of you.

Aside from the whole “do not murder” thing that the 3 major world religions find being a pretty big deal, they probably are against suicide because of this pain-spread transference inherent in the act.

This image posted by Disney on their official Facebook page shows the correct way of making this sentiment (or just an appropriate sentiment in general):

Subtle, non-offensive, morally sound, minimalist imagery presenting an ambiguous but respectful sentiment. Was that so hard?

Death isn’t freedom. Not even freedom from pain. It is an end to pain of the deceased but not a “freeing” of them as the word has an inherent implication of choice and opportunity which by definition requires life. The difference is significant.

Equating suicide with freedom is unAmerican. The famous Patrick Henry quote is “Give me Liberty OR give me Death”. Not “Give me Liberty *by* giving me Death”. Because death is not a liberation.

If you busted a laboratory doing cruel experiments on chimps and you put an end to it and sign up for the years of rehabilitation of those animals, you are “freeing” them. If you just go in and kill all the chimps, all you’ve done is kill a bunch of chimps. You haven’t freed anything. You ended pain by ending life.

But with this tweet, the Academy committed a crime far worse than merely glorifying suicide or perpetuating bad moral philosophy: it didn’t even get the picture right…

The screenshot posted in the tweet is not from the Genie being freed. A good hint of this fact to this possibility to someone less familiar with the film would be those big gold wrist bands, cuffing him to the servitude and rules of the lamp and its master. Those aint bracelets, dawg (even though I originally thought they were when I saw the movie). They’re slave clasps. It’s kindov a major point int he movie when they come off (and go on another character, shortly before coming off Genie). You’d think some kind of Academy of Motion Pictures (and Sciences!) would maybe know that…

The scene isn’t even close to the Genies (spoiler alert) eventual freeing. It is from when Genie saves Aladdins life at the end of the 2nd act and they embrace as friends (even though Genie cheated the wish rules in his – not Aladdins favor – in effect billing him for the rescue as it was counted as a used wish when no wish was made).

But like I said: the choice of that quote, correct scene or not, is what is inappropriate. The proper sentiment to deliver would have been the line Aladdin delivers at the end, “Genie…I’m…gonna.. miss. you.” in which Genie replies “me too, Al…” and the two hug – Aladdin bittersweetly and Genie, teary eyed and frowning at this necessary departure. This is the first time in the movie both are truly “free” (the Genie from the servitude of the lamp and Aladdin from the bondage of his lies stemming from the issues of inadequacy that were holding him back all this time), so that message could have been positively delivered in an “up for interpretation” kind of way.

When a person dies, yes, it means they aren’t suffering anymore but it also means they aren’t happy anymore. It means they will never hurt again but it also means they will never smile, laugh, love or feel anything positive ever again. They are gone, not liberated. They aren’t anything anymore. Not in this world. They exist only in the memories of the living and that’s about it. I know it is comforting to think someone who killed themselves is somehow better off but they aren’t. There’s no religious, secular, or scientific basis to think otherwise. Which i’m not pointing out to make you sad – I’m pointing out to not romanticize killing yourself to be “free” of sadness.

Don’t do it. It ain’t freedom. Hollywood doesn’t know WTF it’s talking about.

Disney’s Goofy says Justin Beiber is a jerk

Did you know that Goofy is an evil liar? I know…I was shocked too. but there is no other explanation for this tale of whoah. Heartbreak of the year… A reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) user who makes his living as Goofy in Disneyworld, had the pleasure of working with the most Charming Prince in all the land, but tragically…does not have good things to report…

I have met a ton of celebrities and a few times I was filmed for an interview where I had to interact with the celebrity. My best story would be when I had to work with Justin Beiber during the filming of the Disney 2011 Christmas Parade aired on Christmas day. There were a couple of Goofys working with him that day but here is me with him. He is an absolute asshole and a punk ass bitch. He kept saying the word “fag” or “faggot” at least once every sentence when I had to wait with him for his manager. He has no pride in his work as a performer and entertainer. He is not humble and the entire time I was hanging out with him, he was on his cell phone texting and barking orders at people in the most disrespectful way.

Itching for more punishment? Bill Nye the Science Guy is an elitist jerk as well:

Pretty much. I remember meeting Bill Nye while working an event and off stage he was pretty brusque and unfriendly. People always seem shocked that entertainers are busy, impatient, and short tempered just like anyone else…maybe more so since they have to deal with their on-stage/camera persona the rest of the time.

Prompting this reply:

My uncle is an astronomer who met Bill Nye after a TED conference once.He told me all about how much of a dick he can be offstage. Says he was probably one of the rudest people he’d ever met, thinking he was the most important person who was talking at the conference.Makes me sad, really. I lost so much respect for Mr. Nye when he told me that story.

Which got this reply:

I was Bill Nye’s banker a very long time ago. Without question, he was one of the biggest assholes I have ever had the displeasure to meet. Worst part is: I love what he does for science awareness.

EDIT: Here is my ‘best’ Bill Nye the Asshole Guy story:

I am a young banker, he walks up to my desk (we’d met several times before) hands me several blank deposit slips and says “fill these out for me, I need to make some deposits.”
I say, “Of course,” and begin doing as he asked even though he’s the only person I’ve ever had who was unwilling to write out his own deposit slips…whatever – he’s Bill Nye and I’m happy to help.
I was apparently taking too long, so he says, “You wanna hurry it up? We got a dollar waiting on a dime here.”

I apologize and tell him I am almost finished.
He then says, “In case you couldn’t figure it out: I’m the dollar. You’re the dime.”
I say, “Yes, I understood you,” and continue finishing up.
As I hand him his paperwork he looks me dead in the eye and says, “Because I am worth a lot more than you, get it?”
Literally snatched the deposits out of my hand and walked to the teller window.

Offensive Image circulates after Kim Jong il’s Death

This picture is being posted around the interwebs of the display case of dead dictator Kim Jong-il and some have asked if it is in bad taste or makes you a bad person for posting it…

YES you are a frigging terrible person for posting this. whomever made this image should be ASHAMED of themselves. the insensitivity of switching princes is outrageous. YES, prince Phillip and Prince Unnamed [from snow white] are both princes who awaken a “dead” princess with a kiss but to just swap them out like they’re nothing? to just show one and then with no warning replace him with a completely different prince is just… i just. i cant… fa;klsdfhjl;aksdghj;lkahs. im so fkking mad i could spit. GOOD DAY

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Animated Series

2 years ago I couldn’t talk about the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series without mentioning my crusade to get Disney to make a non-shitty animated series of it. Air it on ABC, air it on the Disney Channel – I don’t care. but it’s such a better way to utilize the franchise. Put Will Turner, Elizabeth Swan, Captain Barbossa, Captain Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones in an episodic endless cycle that creates and breaks alliances, introducing us to wonderful new adventures.

Well today, someone sent me this:

Coming Soon? Unfortunately…not so much… The sad, stupid truth is that image above is fan art. there is no cartoon and there is no plans for a cartoon…. I am sorry to crush your dreams. Pay it forward.

Toy Story 3 pre-thoughts

I am fighting the urge to download the Toy Story 3 bootleg before I go and actually see it some time this weekend (finally, gawd). But in the mean time I’m taking the opportunity to carry over some issues I’ve been discussing about it with others:

First, we can all handle T3 with the sighs of relief via the knowledge that it won’t be the last time we see them in theaters ever. the Toy Story characters will come back to big screens in 2011 in a short skit before Cars 2.

Too bad Cars sucked. Granted though that Pixar doesnt make bad movies, so even their fails are better than Dreamworks or Fox’s best efforts, but no – Cars lacked anything epic. It’s actually one of Pixars worst performers, box office wise but the NASCAR merchandising is such a goldmine that they want to keep the characters fresh in the popculture mind.

I actually think nothing truly good should “end” if it can still be done right. I dont mind waiting. TS3 took so long because the Pixar President had it in writing that it would NOT be made in it current form when Disney planned it years ago. Originally it was the story of TS2 except with Buzz in the Woody spot – he gets recalled and the toys travel to Tokyo to rescue him. It blew so Pixar forced Disney to kill it and only relented when a TS3 script came along that actually moved the story somewhere.


I would like to see Seinfeld, Friends – even Cheers, come back every 11 years or so when legit stories to be told are thought of. I like that they’re not cutting us off entirely with TS3 so its not like the characters have died to us – just fade away.

Princess and the Frog

Princess and the Frog isn’t nearly the heaping pile of shit it looks like it would be. Someone gave me a bootleg and I enjoyed the crap out of it. Disney returns to hand drawn animation, Broadway style musical numbers, actually developing fkking characters within a coherent storyline and flavors it with a spicy blend of humor, drama and – yeay! someone dies! – thumbs up.

Plus they can finally inject some personality into Disneylands New Orleans Square now that they have a movie that takes place there.

FrogPrince does look a lot like Prince Eric but I don’t think there’s much of a template to the Disney dudes outside this comparrison so I let it slide.

The villains had a little more depth to them as well: Lawrence didnt start out with bad intentions but was tempted into villainy which he later had doubts and regrets over and Dr Penis/Phallus/ShaddowMichaelJackson seemed to me to stay within a reasonable character profile.

I liked how there were nice people and cruel people, heart warmers and skeptics, charitable people and greedy people – of both races and it never appeared forced. you never, as you do with Pocahontas, see a jerk with X skin and know its just a matter of minutes till they balance it out with a jerk with Y skin. They even cleared the “work hard and don’t wait for handouts” + “womanizers outta settle down” + “think outside of your current view” + the all the other little anecdotes sprinkled about without sounding preachy and forced. the more i think about this movie, the more im so proud it wasn’t an embarrassing Fail.

If you have an ear for voices though, watching a dude with Goliath from Gargoyles voice doin a soft shoe (Dr F) and hearing Tigger (Ray the fly) with a Cajun accent could get distracting here and there.

Disney World Fantasyland expansion & makeover concept art

Cindarella and Sleeping Beauty’s cottage. Some kind of Ariel castle thing that isn’t really described. Gastons hunting lodge style pub and a “Be Our Guest” restaurant set in the Beasts dining hall. Lots of injections of more activities and character interaction (which i think is a little overdone. you go to the parks to ride rides, meet the characters and move to the next ride, not so much to spend lots of time with the actors in character.

A much needed doubled up Dumbo with a series of circus games for kids to go through instead of waiting in line. John Lassater said at a separate convention Q&A type thing I saw that the “the smallest customers wait in the longest lines for the shortest rides”.