Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook Resigns

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Exactly a week after his mind-blowing presentation at the D23 Expo (give or take a few hours), Dick Cook has has saved the biggest bombshell for last and has announced his resignation from The Walt Disney Company after 38 years.

Having started at the Disneyland park as a train and monorail operator, Cook worked his way up the ladder to head one of the largest studios in Hollywood.

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D23 Expo: Lasseter Turns Back the Page on New Winnie-The-Pooh Movie

As part of his presentation Sunday at the D23 Expo, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter spent a great deal of time talking about the upcoming Winnie-the-Pooh movie from Walt Disney Animation that was announced a few months ago.

Lasseter began by fighting off the notion that Pooh was just for kids and that he and co-directors Steve Anderson and Don Hall recently reviewed the original Walt Disney Pooh films, Winnie-the-Pooh and the Hunny Tree and Winnie-the-Pooh and the Blustery Day and how they found them just as charming and funny today as they did back then and it was there they found inspiration for the new film.

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‘WALL-E’ Screenwriters Receive Humanitas Honor

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter walked away with the feature film award for their “WALL-E” screenplay Thursday at the annual Humanitas Awards, which honor TV and film writers whose work enriches human understanding.

In his acceptance speech at the Beverly Hills Hotel luncheon, Reardon noted that to keep themselves thematically on-point while writing their script, the “WALL-E” scribes referred to their animated protagonist as Johnny Humanity-Seed.

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Tron: Legacy to be Released as IMAX(R) 3D Film On December 17, 2010

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2009 — Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) today announced that Tron: Legacy, the intense, high-tech 3D adventure starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, will be released to IMAX(R) theatres in IMAX(R) 3D simultaneously with the film’s wide release on December 17, 2010. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Tron: Legacy will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R) with IMAX DMR(R) (Digital Re-Mastering) technology. Tron: Legacy is the third film of the previously announced five-picture agreement between IMAX and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

“This is an ideal movie for IMAX’s immersive format,” said Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. “Tron: Legacy already packs a punch in Disney Digital 3D(TM), and to give audiences the option to experience the enhanced premium IMAX 3D version is a real treat. We’re particularly excited to reach a much wider audience now that the IMAX network is expanding with its digital locations.”

“2010 is shaping up to be a powerful year for IMAX 3D releases, and Disney’s Tron: Legacy is a great addition,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “We believe the buzz that already surrounds this film, combined with its fan-boy following and high-tech visual effects makes it a perfect fit for IMAX and we look forward to its release next year.”

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New Image from ‘A Christmas Carol’ Features Gary Oldman Alongside Jim Carrey

From the scene in which Jacob Marley comes to warn Scrooge of the night’s upcoming festivities, here’s a new still Disney has provided us featuring both Gary Oldman (Marley) and Jim Carrey (Scrooge).

Courtesy of Disney. © ImageMovers Digital LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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‘Disney’s A Christmas Carol’ Premieres in London November 3, 2009; Tickets Now on Sale

BURBANK, Calif., Sept. 13 — London will host a traditional Dickensian Christmas with a little Disney magic this holiday season as Jim Carrey, Colin Firth, Robin Wright Penn, Bob Hoskins and Academy Award -winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis come together to celebrate the World Premiere of “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” on November 3, 2009. The festivities include a history-making coordinated Christmas Lights Switch-On: for the first time ever, the world famous Christmas Lights on Regent and Oxford Streets, plus the festivities in The City of London – at the very heart of Dickensian London – will share the same theme of “Disney’s A Christmas Carol.”

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D23 Expo: Lasseter Reveals Details on Cars 2

Cars 2, due out in summer of 2011, finds its foundation when Lightning McQueen is invited to participate in the International Race of Champions, a world-wide race in which McQueen competes against all genres of racing cars.

Inspired by the press junkets Lasseter used to make around the world while promoting Cars, Lasseter said he often found himself wondering ‘What would Mater do?’ when encountering all of the different types of unique driving experiences around the world, such as driving on the other side of the road in London, the roundabout in Paris, viewing scooters in Italy as gnats, etc.

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D23 Expo Day Two: Dick Cook and the Walt Disney Studios Present Everyone

It was news when it was announced that Dick Cook would be a keynote speaker at the D23 Expo on behalf of the Walt Disney Studios. It was big news when it was announced that he would be joined on stage by actor Nicolas Cage. It was headlines when D23 announced at the eleventh hour that directors Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton would also take the stage. But what literally thousands of rabid Disney fans bore witness to this morning defies any category of news. Filled with exclusives and celebrities upon celebrities, even those who had an inkling there was more than Disney was letting on couldn’t have imagined what the Walt Disney Studio managed to pull off in front of the capacity crowd.

Getting settled in your seat, it  was impossible not to notice the orchestra setup at stage right – you knew then you were in for something a little extra. The lights dim and the orchestra fills the Arena with epic theme music as clips from Disney films begin to play. Then you start to hear singing voices as a 10 person choir chimes in when there are lyrics to be sung. Theme song after theme song, movie after movie, from Snow White to the Proposal and everything in-between. It has to be at least, oh, I don’t know… 23 minutes long. An absolute masterpiece crafted by Barnette Richie with music and songs sync’d perfectly every frame of the way, remarkably demonstrated by an extended clip of a musical number from Enchanted mid-way.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick CookThen Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook took the stage. He talked of his love for the company ever since he started as a steam train and monoral operator at the Disneyland Resort some 40 years ago. He spoke of quality being the underlying factor in movies produced by the studio. He talked about the animation studios and upcoming projects such as Cars 2 and Rapunzel which will be covered in depth when John Lasseter takes the same stage on Sunday. He talked about how for the first time in history the Walt Disney Studios will open its gate to the public and invite them to see a limited pre-release engagement of The Princess and the Frog in the studio’s newly renovated state-of-the-art theater as well as the special engagement in New York City’s famous Ziegfeld Theatre.

He acknowledged the work of Miramax before turning to the Touchstone Pictures label and its newest upcoming release The Last Song, written by Nicholas Sparks for and starring Miley Cyrus. And he mentioned the upcoming sequel Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride.

Director Robert Zemeckis takes the stage (more…)

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Video: D23 Expo Walt Disney Studios Presentation Featuring Dick Cook et al

Enjoy footage from the exciting events and announcements from the Walt Disney Studios presentation featuring WDS Chairman Dick Cook. Dick welcomes numerous celebrities to the stage for the event including directors Robert Zemeckis, Jerry Bruckheimer and Tim Burton, actors John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Ella Bleu Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, the Muppets, a performance by Miley Cyrus and more. Plus see what the fans have to say! Footage courtesy of Disney

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All New Disney/Pixar ‘Cars Toons’ Rev Up on Disney Channel, Disney XD and ABC Family

All-new episodes of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars Toons,” an animated short series directed by Academy Award©-winner John Lasseter with Rob Gibbs co-directing and starring Lightning McQueen’s rusty friend Mater, will debut beginning FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20 on Disney Channel, Disney XD and ABC Family. They are titled “Unidentified Flying Mater,” “Monster Truck Mater,” “Heavy Metal Mater” and “Tokyo Mater.”

Mark Mothersbaugh (“Devo”) composed the music for three episodes and BT (“The Fast and the Furious”), a prominent composer of dance and electronic music, scored “Tokyo Mater.”

The four new stories follow the popular shorts that began debuting in October 2008 and which have reached 22.9 million Kids 2-11, or 56% of all kids in that age group in the U.S., and 67.5 million total unique viewers.

“Cars Toons” are directed by John Lasseter, (“Cars,” “Toy Story 2,” “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story”) and co-directed by Rob Gibbs (“Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “Monsters, Inc” and “Toy Story 2″). Kori Rae (“The Incredibles” and “Monsters Inc.”) is the producer. Victor Navone (“Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and “Monsters, Inc.”) co-directed the episode “Tokyo Mater.”

In “Unidentified Flying Mater,” premiering Friday, November 20 on Disney Channel, Mater meets a cute little bucktoothed UFO named Mator, takes him out for a night of fun and they quickly become best friends. But when Mator is captured by the military, Mater and Lightning McQueen come to the rescue.

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