Humana Launches New Game to Get Kids Active, Contest to Win Trip to G-Force Premiere

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), a leading health-benefits company, announced today a unique collaboration with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures that will impact children’s health in a fun and innovative way. “Operation Planet Savers” is a game developed and sponsored by Humana’s Innovation Center “Games for Health” team that combines real-world and online game play. The game offers kids a cool way to participate in physical, mental and social challenges this summer while getting excited about Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ G-Force, arriving in theaters July 24.

G-Force is about a team of secret agent guinea pigs on a mission to save the planet. Players of Operation Planet Savers, OPS for short, complete weekly training missions that require real-world activity and train the young game-players to become G-Force agents. Players can earn virtual prizes, like new G-Force holograms – unique to Humana and Disney – and sneak peeks at G-Force movie clips. OPS players also compete each week for prizes like an iPod nano and the grand prize – walking the red carpet at the G-Force movie premiere in Los Angeles.

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Disney Consumer Products Unleashes All New Intiatives, from Mickey Mouse to Rapunzel and Everyone Inbetween

Disney unveils a line of fashion inspired by Mickey Mouse at the Licensing International ExpoLas Vegas, NV – June 2, 2009 – Disney Consumer Products(DCP) today announced new content and product line extensions behind its renowned portfolio of character franchises starting with the return of the classic Toy Story franchise, the addition of two Disney Princess characters, new Mickey Mouse initiatives, a new Winnie the Pooh theatrical movie and the expansion of the Disney Fairies film series. Disney Channel also announced major milestones for the global sensational hit Hannah Montana as the series is renewed for a fourth season and the award-winning Handy Manny preschool series adds two primetime specials and a new 20 episode short-form series.

“Everything we do is inspired by the magic and creativity that only Disney can deliver,” said Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products Consumer Products. “Each product tells a story and this year sets off an unprecedented slate of entertainment offering many storylines that will translate into global merchandise programs uniquely positioning DCP for breakout growth.”

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ESPN and Ad Council Team Up with Fatherhood.gov to Encourage Fathers to ‘Take Time to be a Dad’ (Video)

The Advertising Council and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse join ESPN today to launch a new series of national public service advertisements designed to show dads the critical role they play in their children’s lives. The ads will debut this week on ESPN media in advance of Father’s Day.

According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), an estimated 25 million children live without their biological fathers and are on average at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health and emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior and avoid high-risk behaviors.

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Star Wars Weekends Event: Book Signing with Author Ryder Windham June 6

Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual GuideCome meet author Ryder Windham as he signs copies of his book, Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide, on Saturday, June 6 at Wicket’s Warehouse (at Soundstage 1 near the Backlot Tour entrance). Windham has authored over fifty titles including junior novelized versions of Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies and will be signing his book from 11 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 6 pm.

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Details on Star Wars Weekends’ The Clone Wars: Behind the Force

Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold TaylorHosted by Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), the show will consist of the celebrity guest and even a participant from the audience performing a live reading of the script as the sequence plays out on screen.

The first week’s celebrity guest will be James Arnold Taylor (Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi).

Source: StarWars.com

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Wayne Allwine, the Voice of Mickey Mouse, Dies at 62 (Updated)

Wayne Allwine, only the third person to have ever voiced the American icon (following in the big yellow footsteps of Jimmy MacDonald and Walt Disney himself), passed away at the age of 62 on Monday, May 18 due to complications tied to diabetes. Allwine was married to Russi Taylor whom he met on the job as she is (fittingly enough) the voice of Mickey’s long time romantic partner, Minnie.

Disney has updated Allwine’s Legends page to reflect the unfortunate news. Both he and Taylor were named legends last year.

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Walt Disney World’s Spoodles to Close August 1

Spoodles © DisneyTo make way for the new Cat Cora restaurant, Kouzzina, Spoodles at the BoardWalk will be serving its last meal on August 1.

This information is derived from the new online booking system which shows zero availability for the restaurant beyond this date.

No opening date for its replacement is known at this time other than it’s expected to open this fall.

Photo © Disney

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Muppets ‘Ode to Joy’ Named Best Music Video in 13th Annual Webby Awards

Burbank, CA, May 13, 2009 — The global Web community has voted Beaker’s performance of “Ode To Joy” as Best Music Video of the Year in the Webby People’s Voice Awards. The musical performance – a solo tour de force by Muppet Labs most famous, most combustible and only assistant – was part of a viral video campaign that was produced by The Muppets Studio and Soapbox Films and was released surreptitiously on the web by the Muppet characters themselves.

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All Aboard for “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” Train Tour and Contests (Full Details, Photos)

From Sneak Peeks of Exclusive 3D Film Footage to Summertime Snow – Disney Pulls out All the Whistle Stops for 40-City Traveling Experience

Map of Christmas Train Tour

Disney's A Christmas Carol LogoBURBANK, Calif. — Disney is pulling out all the whistle stops and taking its show on the road with a spectacular immersive and interactive 40-city train tour including a 3D sneak peek of film footage from the upcoming movie “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” it was announced today (05/08/09) by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. Set amidst a snowy backdrop—complete with all of the sights and sounds of Christmas including carolers, decorations, giveaways and many more surprises in each of the 40 cities—the Train Tour is being launched with HP on board as the title and technology sponsor and driven by Amtrak. This family event is for guests of all ages and is free to the public.

A Christmas Carol Train

Starring Jim Carrey and directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” opens in theatres November 6 in Disney Digital 3D™ and in IMAX 3D®.

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Imagineering’s Dr. Ben Schwegler to Present at 2009 World Science Festival in New York City

The second annual World Science Festival in New York City (June 10 – 14, 2009) has just posted its schedule of presentations and opened up for ticket sales. Unfortunately it looks like Disney’s participation is limited this year, but for the adults, WDI Chief Scientist Dr. Ben Schwegler will be part of a panel entitled WALL-E’s World: Designs for an Invisible Footprint.

The description for the panel is as follows:

Beneath WALL-E’s whimsical surface lies a grown up, cautionary tale about humanity’s relationship with the environment. In this program scientists reveal ingenious strategies for creating a sustainable future — from ‘carborexic’ cities made entirely from recycled trash to how the pursuit of “green” space exploration may one day help to revolutionize waste management here on Earth.

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