Walt Disney Studios Hosts Special Engagement of the Princess and the Frog; Ziegfeld in New York

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UPDATE: SEE OUR FULL REVIEW ALONG WITH DOZENS OF PHOTOS OF THE ULTIMATE DISNEY EXPERIENCE HERE!

BURBANK, Calif. & NEW YORK — In celebration of Disney’s newest animated musical “The Princess and The Frog,” Walt Disney Studios is opening its Burbank gates to the public for a once-in-a-lifetime advance special engagement, welcoming Disney fans to experience its newest animated musical comedy Nov. 25-Dec. 13, 2009. The advance special engagement will also be featured in Clearview’s historic Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. Following the film, fans on both coasts will also be treated to The Ultimate Disney Experience, an exciting extravaganza that will feature—for the first time ever—all nine of the Disney princesses (including the film’s Princess Tiana, Disney’s newest princess), as well as exciting Bayou games, movie archives, how-to presentations from Disney animators, Studio tours (for L.A. guests) and more. Tickets went on sale at midnight last night.

“We’re welcoming families to our Studio to see where Walt Disney made real movie magic,” said Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “Our Studio is not open to the public, so it’s an unprecedented opportunity for Disney fans to experience a movie right here on the Disney lot where we’ve filmed Disney classics like ‘Mary Poppins,’ ‘Princess Diaries,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and many more. In fact, Walt built the original theater on the Studio lot back in 1940; it opened just in time for special audiences to view his ‘Fantasia.’ With a newly renovated, state-of-the-art theater, the Studio will open its gates once again, inviting audiences to not only see our newest animated musical, but to take part in a one-of-a-kind experience after the movie. We’re bringing the same exciting experience to New York City at the historic Ziegfeld Theatre and Roseland Ballroom.”

Themed to the film’s setting, New Orleans, The Ultimate Disney Experience will feature something for the whole family.

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Directors Tim Burton and Robert Zemeckis to Join Dick Cook and Nicolas Cage at D23 Expo

D23 has just announced that directors Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland) and Robert Zemeckis (A Christmas Carol) will join Dick Cook on stage during his address at the D23 Expo on Friday.

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Disney Consumer Products and LEGO Group Unveil New Six Foot Woody Statue at Venice Film Festival

LEGO Sculpture of WoodyVENICE, Italy — LEGO models of Woody and Buzz Lightyear were unveiled by Disney Consumer Products as part of a dedicated Toy Story-themed family area at the 66th Venice Film Festival. Constructed from 13,600 LEGO bricks in 150 hours, this was the global unveiling of the Woody model which stands at over 6 1/2 feet tall. The Buzz Lightyear model, seen for the first time in Europe, was constructed from 40,000 LEGO bricks in 250 hours by 3 Master Builders and stands just over five feet tall.

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Photo Call: John Lasseter and Pixar Receive Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award in Venice

Disney world of color 1269 The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 66th Venice International Film Festival (2nd-12th September 2009) was awarded to the American director and producer, John Lasseter – one of the protagonists of the innovation in contemporary animated cinema – and to the directors of Disney*Pixar. Exceptionally in the history of the Venice Film Festival, the award celebrates not only a single filmmaker, but also the contribution of all the directors of this visionary studio.

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Disney-Pixar Jolted by Shocking Lawsuit Over Lamp

Luxo Jr. alongside his ball outside Pixar Animation Studios (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)You know him by sight if not by name, he is Luxo Jr., the official mascot of Pixar Animation Studios. The squisher of the I in Pixar before every film, he and the ‘Luxo Jr. Ball’ are the stars of Pixar’s first animated short over 20 years ago. He has become such an icon, that he is quite literally an icon, looming over Pixar Studios in Emeryville. He has also now become the latest entity on the line of Disney’s Living Character Initiative (LCI), appearing in full animatronic form at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. He’s also the prized collectible in a Pixar boxed Blu-ray set to be released just in time for the holiday season.

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New Hi-Res Concept Art from Disney’s Rapunzel

047 Disney has just treated us to some newly released concept art from the upcoming production of Rapunzel (Holiday 2010). While smaller images have surfaced on the net recently, these are the full-sized images showing every splendid detail of the amazing art behind the film.

The entire gallery of concept art is below. As usual, click on each thumbnail to see a larger version. Click on the resizing arrows in the lower right hand corner (if visible) to see the image’s original size.

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Preview First Six Minutes of Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Today!

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment would like to invite you to a sneak peek at the upcoming Disney Fairies Blu-ray and DVD release, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. You can read all about the upcoming release which debuts October 27 here.

Attendees of the D23 Expo will also have an opportunity to experience the film in its entirety on Sunday, September 13 at 4 pm in the Walt Disney Studios Theater.

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Review: Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie

The cast of Wizards of Waverly Place the MovieFor the most part, the movie takes place during a family vacation at the Caribbean resort where Jerry Russo (David DeLuise) and Theresa (Maria Canals-Barrera) first met years before. With the absence of a studio audience (and their fits of timely laughter), the movie can take additional liberties including a slew of special effects, which it does spectacularly well particularly in the beginning of the movie when Alex (Selena Gomez) selfishly and comically puts herself first, openly defying her parents’ wishes (i.e., par for the course).

Things go horribly wrong for the Russo children, however, when a heated argument between Alex and her mother causes Alex to say things she doesn’t mean including the wish that her parents had never met. Enter the first lesson: be careful what you wish for.

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First Look: ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’ Doc Looks at Rebirth of Disney Animation

020 Waking Sleeping Beauty, directed by Disney film producer Don Hahn and co-produced by Hahn and Peter Schneider, is an upcoming documentary that goes behind the scenes of the rebirth of Disney Animation with films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Walt Disney Studios has provided us with these stills from the film which capture the essence of what went in to creating a series of films that defined an entire generation of new fans of Disney animation.

Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version or click on the PicLens link to start the slideshow.

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