Tag Archives: world

San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) 2012: Stan Lee, Mark Hamill at ‘Stan Lee’s World of Heroes’ Panel

Comic book writer, actor and producer Stan Lee joins actor Mark Hamill to speak at panel discussion for Stan Lee’s World of Heroes, a newly introduced YouTube channel that will feature a podcast along with fan-dedicated content and narrative programming. “I’m happy as hell that Marvel’s doing so well,” he said. “The fun of what we do is that we’re always moving ahead.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (thr.com)

‘Avatar’ Theme Land Headed to Disney Parks

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, by Alex Ben Block

The first themed “land” will be built at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, with construction expected to start by 2013.

The blue people are coming to Disney.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide has sealed a deal with filmmaker James Cameron and producer Jon Landau, Fox and Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment to create themed attractions at Disney parks based on the 2009 movie.

The first themed “land” will be built at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, with construction expected to start by 2013.

The first Avatar attraction will be inside the Animal Kingdom park. Disney said this was chosen because “with its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the Avatar stories, which share the same philosophy.”

Cameron and Landau, through Lightstorm, will be creative consultants and partner with Walt Disney Imagineering in the design and development of the Avatar attractions, which eventually will be at other Disney parks worldwide as well.

The deal is exclusive to Disney, which plans to roll out other Avatar attractions over time. Some of that will depend on discussions with joint venture partners on parks outside the U.S.

The parks will not only play off the huge hit movie which dominated the box office for months in 2010, but also benefit from the release to two more movies now in pre-production. Cameron has announced plans to release those movies at Christmas 2014 followed by the second at Christmas 2015.

Avatar was a movie that broke new ground in terms of presentation and technology, especially in the use of 3D. It is expected that the theme park attractions will also use that technology and new innovations to engage park visitors.

“James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible,” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James’ talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney.”

Avatar created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new Avatar films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron.  “I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our Avatar universe to life.  Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of Avatar with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

“This exciting new venture combines the world of Avatar with the enormous reach of Disney and the incomparable talent of Jim Cameron,” said Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman.  “While Jim is bringing audiences further into Pandora with the next two chapters in the Avatar motion picture saga, the theme park attraction will likewise bring a new dimension to the amazing universe he created.”

Avatar is a uniquely powerful franchise that has global appeal with audiences of all ages. Its spectacular settings, intriguing characters, imaginative creatures, and strong themes of family and loyalty make it a perfect fit for Disney,” said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We can’t wait to give our guests the ability to journey to Pandora and explore the incredible immersive world of Avatar in person.”

Angry Birds’ Plan for World Domination

Funny, they don't look angry: Developer Peter "Mighty Eagle" Vesterbacka and "bird whisperer" Ville HeiJari have big plans for the Angry Birds brand.

By Laurie Segall, staff reporter
CNN Money
March 13, 2011: 2:36 PM ET

AUSTIN (CNNMoney) — With very little cash, the developers at Finland’s Rovio Mobile created the wildly popular Angry Birds game. Now they have $42 million in venture capital to throw at expanding their “mean pigs, cranky birds” empire.

“I think it’s pretty clear that this is an unbelievable consumer phenomenon,” says Richard Wong of Accel Partners, who led the firm’s investment in Rovio. “We believe it can be an incredible consumer franchise beyond just being a mobile game.”

The funding, announced Thursday, is the first venture-capital money Rovio has taken. Founded in 2003 as a mobile game development studio, Rovio steadily built up a reputation as one of Europe’s most innovative game shops. The company partnered with key global players like Electronic Arts (ERTS, Fortune 500), Nokia (NOK) and Vivendi, and developed a portfolio that includes dozens of mobile games, like “Need for Speed” and “War Diary Torpedo.”

Then came Angry Birds. Hatched in 2009, the game took flight last year, dominating Apple’s list of top-selling paid iPhone apps. From there it sailed to other platforms like the iPad, Android, and almost every other smartphone out there. (A Windows Phone 7 version won’t be available until later this year — the subject of much moaning in Microsoft’s ecosystem.)

The birds’ creators are ready to escape the digital realm.

“We’re going to expand the franchise in a lot if directions, so we’re working on the movie side, broadcast, TV,” Angry Birds developer Peter “Mighty Eagle” Vesterbacka told CNNMoney at the SXSW Interactive conference.

Vesterbacka, who cites Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers franchise and Disney’s Pixar studio as role models, plans to use the funding round to turbocharge Angry Birds’ brand growth.

“We’re of course looking at the whole online social experience,” he said. “We are working on a game that will involve Facebook … really the plan is to make Angry Birds playable everywhere.”

The game has now been downloaded 100 million times. What’s its secret sauce? Underpinning the now-iconic characters are carefully honed game mechanics. As Vesterbacka puts it: “It’s easy to pick up and very addictive … very hard to put down.”

Angry Birds’ admirers seem willing to make the leap offline. Rovio has sold 2 million plush toys, and recently branched out into selling Angry Bird apparel.

“It seems like our fans really love to wear and play with Angry Birds physical toys as well,” Vesterbacka said.

Ville HeiJari — whose title at Rovio is the “Bird Whisperer” — thinks they were able to crack into the market at the perfect time.

“Games are becoming such a massive media that all the game developers are transforming into something else entirely,” he said.

Vesterbacka agrees. “Timing-wise, we sort of planned it. We saw it coming. We were looking at the market and we saw this is now the sweet spot to get in.”

Rovio now brands itself an “entertainment media company.” Like its birds, it’s ready to fly off into new territory. 

TRON Legacy World of Color Video

SDCC Exclusive #18: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Undertaker Figure

Mattel World Wrestling Entertainment Undertaker Figure
San Diego Comic-Con Price: $25

This Undertaker figure comes straight from the Hell in a Cell match (Wrestlemania 15) where he defeated The Big Boss Man! One of the most fan-demanded appearances ever of this world-champ warrior.

Part 3: Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary

HIST_DLmansionWith the loss of their great visonary, the Imagineers debated over the design concepts of the haunted mansion, such as whether the haunted mansion experience should be scary, or funny. In the end, imaginers Marc Davis (funny), and Claude Coats (scary), combined their ideas, so the ride begins with spooky sets and chilling concepts, and eventually becomes “a swinging wake”, full of silly spooks, and ghostly gags.

Finally, after years of planning the New Orleans Square Haunted Mansion opened its doors, on August 9, 1969.

During this time the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom was being planned and constructed in Florida. So duplicates of each mansion prop and scene were constructed, with one staying in California, and the other going to Florida, to be stored until the WDW haunted mansion was completed.

LibertySquare_frontThe haunted mansion in Disney World was located in Liberty Square, and the façade reflects the Colonial architecture of the surrounding structures.   The façade is a mixture of Hudson River Valley, Dutch Gothic style, and of a particular mansion in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, called The Harry Packer Mansion.

The Liberty Square mansion was completed in time for Walt Disney World’s opening in 1971.

HISTtokyomansionAnother haunted mansion was built in Tokyo Disneyland.   It has the same architectural style as the Liberty Square mansion, but it is located in Fantasyland.   It also has been known to break Walt Disney’s “rule” of “taking care” of the outside, having a somewhat neglected appearance.

HISTphantommanorThe haunted mansion in Disneyland Paris, known as The Phantom Manor, completely ignores Walt’s decree, and returns to Harper Goff’s original concept of a ramshackle Victorian house on a hill.   Disneyland Paris, and The Phantom Manor opened on April 12, 1992.   This haunted mansion is l ocated in Frontierland, next to Big Thunder Mesa. Unlike the other Disney haunted mansions, Phantom Manor follows a specific story plot, of a jilted bride, and a phantom groom.


That’s the end of my three part series on the Disney Haunted Mansions. If you want the definitive history of the haunted mansions, I recommend that you purchase Jason Surrell’s excellent book, “The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies“.

Doombuggies.com is also a great web site dedicated to the Haunted Mansions!

Sources: History Text (haunteddimensions.raykeim.com)