11 July 2013

World News Roundtable - 11 July 2013

Roundtable Contributors: Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog), Alan Mize, Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com), Andrew (Disney Hipsters Blog), and yours truly. 

Who's Saving Who

Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog)

I'm looking forward to Saving Mr. Banks more than any Disney movie this year. It's so interesting to me that after glossing over the difficultly that Walt had in obtaining P.L. Travers' permission to make Mary Poppins into a movie in The Man Behind the Myth documentary that they are making a film that depicts that messy time.

I would gladly watch Tom Hanks recite the alphabet so to see him as Walt waving to the crowds in Disneyland while Emma Thompson as P.L. walks behind him in a huff? Remarkable. It's no secret that the Company likes to gloss over certain facts and create big fairy tales so I can't wait to see how they handled a storyline that might not always be brimming with positivity.

December can't come sooner enough!

Andrew (Disney Hipsters Blog)

OK. Stop what you're doing right now. Go find a youtube video of "Mickey's America Streetbeat." If you're in Epcot, head over to the American Gardens Theater and watch it live. Being a glutton for punishment, I am obsessed with how horrible and offensive this new show is. Sure, its only part of the "limited time magic" and is ending its run on July 14th... but this has got to go down in the history books. Boring? No. Completely cringeworthy? Yes. Remember that show at DCA where Mickey break dances and sings "Drink up me gangstas yo ho?"  Think in those terms.

Destination: Soarin'

Alan Mize 

Good news for Soarin’ fans!  According to an old rumor that has picked up quite a bit of steam this week, Soarin’ could be getting some TLC from Disney in the next few years.  Starting next year, it seems that a new HD version of the current “Soarin’ over California” film will be in place.  Not only that, but a short two years later we may see an entirely new film called “Soarin’ over the World” debut at Epcot.  Rumor has it that this film will be a clone of the new “Soarin’ over the Horizon” set to debut at Shanghai Disneyland in 2015.

Personally, this is very exciting news to this WDW fan.  Even if the rumor only turns out to be half true and all Epcot gets is a new HD version of the current film, I’d be happy with that.  It’s been several visits in a row where the quality of the picture has been lacking.  It’s not uncommon to see dirt on the film and bad spots on the screen which can take away from the attraction experience.  Now, if the rumor turns out to be entirely true, and Epcot gets a completely new film with an international flavor, that would be very exciting.  While The Land Pavilion isn’t part of the World Showcase, the international flair of the new film definitely would fit in with Epcot.  This is something that I’ve seen thrown around for years as a possible rehab for Soarin’ and I’m hopeful that this will actually occur.

The Lone Flopper?

Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com)

In a year of critical and financial successes with the likes of Oz, Iron Man 3, and Monsters University, the big-budget western spectacular The Lone Ranger was poised for another Disney win. Unfortunately, poor reviews and hefty competition got the best of John Reid and Tonto. With a price tag of over $200 million and a holiday weekend take-in of $48.9 million, the film received much less money than anticipated for such a costly production. Meanwhile, Despicable Me 2, released on the same day, had a weekend box-office celebration of $141.2 million.

It's a bit of deja-vu to July 2011, when Winnie the Pooh released on the same day as the final Harry Potter film. It's not that moviegoers are uninterested in the Disney flick, it's that they'd rather (understandably) see the opposing film, and in the midst of that buzz, both Pooh and Lone Ranger were overlooked. (I say this being a complete Potterphile and a moderate fan of Despicable Me.)

The critics weren't kind to The Lone Ranger, though I thoroughly enjoyed the film. The story gets a bit tricky to keep up with sometimes, but as a whole the movie is pure fun, particularly the train chases. It's disappointing that it is getting overlooked in the bustle of a crowded summer of incredible movies because it's worth the ride.
Ryan P. Wilson (Main Street Gazette)

In just a few short weeks the D23 Expo will be taking place, and with that a new batch of actors, Imagineers, artists, and innovators will be inducted into the Disney Legends circle. While I take nothing away from the talented individuals on this year’s list, there is still someone missing.

If you have been following along with the Main Street Gazette, then you know how strongly I feel that George McGinnis should be recognized as a Disney Legend. Early on in the Gazette’s history I even went so far as to dedicate an entire series of articles to his exploits and contributions to Disney, everything from Horizons to V.I.N.CENT. from The Black Hole. I don’t think it is being overdramatic to say there a very few lives that have had contact with the Disney organization that George McGinnis hasn’t touched in one way, shape, or form.

2013’s list of inductees includes, as is generally the case, a couple of post-mortem inductees. For all the work he has done and all the lives he has made better, shouldn’t George McGinnis be honored during his lifetime? Even if it is but a token of what he has meant to the Disney community?

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