18 July 2013

World News Roundtable - 18 July 2013

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

Behind the Scenes Revival

Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com)

The TV station Disney XD will host a 3-night dream come true for any Disney nerd: an exclusive new programming block called Disney Fandom, airing July 30-August 1 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Exclusive content will air that dives behind the curtain of Star Wars, Once Upon a Time, Marvel, and other Disney properties. Also among the festivities is a special all about Disney's presence at this year's San Diego Comic-Con and even a tribute to the 2013 Disney Legends inductees. A partial schedule can be viewed here, with a full schedule promised to be released July 23 at Disney.com/Fandom.

This is a long time coming, and I'm giddy with what Disney might do next with this programming block if ratings go well with this first run. I've been wondering if Disney would tap into the fan market on television, especially since the advent of D23. With so much supplemental material available today on Blu-ray and online, it was only natural for Disney to segue out of developing backstage content exclusively for television like it used to do so often. Nonetheless, I still had a twinge of sadness as The Wonderful World of Disney slowly started to disappear from ABC over the last couple of years. In fact, much of the Disney Fandom lineup sounds a lot like what was shown on that very program during its heyday: a behind-the-scenes look into the world's most enduring entertainment company provided by the only people who can give us such a thorough backstage pass: the company itself.

Follow that Hippo

Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog)

Interesting news coming out of Animal Kingdom this week. Since the park is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, animals are occasionally shuffled around to different habitats depending on several factors. There was a great example on this happening this past week.

After a death of a mom hippo in Memphis, one of the AK hippos will find a new home there. I love that. A younger hippo will get a new friend, and a Memphis zoo gets a little Disney magic. Love to hear this kind of stories coming out of Animal Kingdom. They always warm my heart (and prove that Animal Kingdom is more than just a theme park).

Andrew (Disney Hipsters Blog)

Starting today the "Hat Lady" show at the Rose and Crown Pub at the UK pavilion at Epcot will no longer be performed. A longtime favorite with patrons of the rowdy bar, the "Hat Lady" (actually two women, on different shifts...) will be tragically missed. The pub will still feature entertainment in the same vein...a pianist, taking requests, and guests joining in. However, without the lively, dare I say pushy, antics of the Hat Lady and her shtick the show will certainly fall by the wayside, becoming yet another blah sideshow.  The only bright spot in this otherwise sad story, is that the women who portrayed the Hat Lady will still hold residence at the pub...hopefully with a sly wink and nod toward their old show. 

In Planes Sight

Alan Mize 

Disney has found an interesting new marketing partner.  Disney has joined forces with American Airlines to promote their new film, Planes.  As part of the deal, Disney gets a new way to promote their film to a captive audience on American Airlines flights and American gets to join forces with the Disney company and show the film on their planes one month prior to other airlines.

This deal seems to work well for both companies.  Disney gets to team up with a big company that is about to get bigger after the US Air merger.  Meanwhile, American gets to have one of their planes animated in the film and gets to bring some publicity to their name during their current merger. While I have no interest in the movie itself, I do find this partnership interesting.

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