Earlier today at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of The Walt Disney Company, chairman and chief executive officer Robert A. Iger unveiled the first image of a model of Shanghai Disney Resort, featuring the resort’s theme park, Shanghai Disneyland.
“With Shanghai Disneyland, we’re creating a one-of-a-kind destination that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” said Iger. “We believe this will be one of the most spectacular Disney experiences yet – and an important part of our future. We look forward to opening the gates at the end of 2015 and welcoming the first of the millions of guests who will enjoy Shanghai Disneyland for generations to come.”
The image illustrates a portion of the model of Shanghai Disneyland, and provides a first look at a beautiful, 11-acre green space at the center of the park, and a closer look at the unique design and scale of Enchanted Storybook Castle, the iconic central attraction of the theme park. On opening day Shanghai Disney Resort will include Shanghai Disneyland, two themed hotels, a 46,000-square-meter (495,000 square feet) gross floor area retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and associated parking and transportation hubs.
“We are incredibly excited about the developments and progress of the Disney resort in Shanghai, one of the world’s most vibrant cities,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Shanghai Disney Resort will bring a classic Disney Parks experience to mainland China and will immerse Chinese guests in a whole new world of creativity, imagination and adventure that only Disney can deliver.”
Targeted to open at the end of 2015, Shanghai Disney Resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China.
We have just a few more days before Oz the Great and Powerful debuts in theaters nationwide on March 8, 2013 and so far we’ve seen plenty of images of the mystical land and its inhabitants. Today, Walt Disney Studios has decided to share with us stills of a couple of characters from Oscar Digg/Oz’s world in Kansas, where he performs in the traveling Baum Brothers Circus. While we have a photo of the sideshow Strongman (portrayed by Tim Holmes), we also have a photo of a young lady who bears a striking resemblance to actress Joey King. How’s that? You know how the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz ends (the book itself does not share the same ending in the slightest), so it’s only fair that you know just how this prequel begins. It’s already been shared that Zach Braff, who voices Finley, also serves as Oz’s assistant in Kansas. In fact, there may be even another friendly face or two in the opening scenes, so you’ll want to keep an eye out.
The new stills have been added to the beginning of our gallery below. As always, click on any of the thumbnails to enlarge and the resize arrows on the larger image to view it at its original resolution.
Oz The Great and Powerful imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot — fame and fortune are his for the taking — that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry — Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
We received a few new updates from Walt Disney World over the past week or so regarding upcoming refurbishments and have new additions as well as several date revisions. While we recommend verifying all of the changes by visiting our ReSearch page, here are some of the highlights:
Main Street Bakery — which is being converted over to the Magic Kingdom’s Starbucks location — is now slated to open on June 19, 2013. This is actually the second delay we have seen before (it was initially slated to open on May 18, then was pushed back to May 28).
Mad Tea Party is currently expected to close on April 10 and is expected to re-open on May 22, 2013.
Carousel of Progress is currently expected to close on May 13 and is expected to re-open on May 16, 2013.
Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel is currently expected to close on May 28 and is expected to re-open on June 11, 2013.
The animated series starring Disney’s first little girl princess, “Sofia the First,” the reigning cable TV series among Kids 2-5, Girls 2-5 and Boys 2-5, has been ordered for a second season on Disney Junior, the daily programming block for preschoolers and parents on Disney Channel, as well as the burgeoning 24-hour channel, Disney Junior. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide. In addition to its regal standing with the youngest viewers, “Sofia the First” is also the #1 preschooler cable TV series in Total Viewers and Women 18-49, a key indicator of parental approval.
“Sofia the First” stories show young viewers just what makes a real princess — the inner character of kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty and grace. Viewers follow as Princess Sofia, an ordinary little girl, learns how to adjust to royal life after her mom marries the king.
Kanter said, “We are so proud of the strong connection our young viewers and their parents have forged with Sofia. While she and her family live in a magical make-believe world, the storytelling and relatable everyday themes have struck a chord with our audience and has created demand not only for more stories, but to extend the ‘Sofia the First’ experience beyond the screen.”
Extensions of the hit series include the illustrated storybook Sofia the First from Disney Press, and the record-breaking TV movie “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess” which will be released on DVD by The Walt Disney Studios today. The “Sofia the First: Story Theater” app has held the #1 spot in the iPad and iPhone Books category five of the seven weeks it has been in the marketplace, and the “Sofia the First” soundtrack from Walt Disney Records is #1 on iTunes Top 10 Children’s Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard’s Kid Albums chart. An exclusive “Sofia the First” product line is in Disney Stores and a full “Sofia the First” line including apparel and toys will launch at major retailers nationwide this summer.
“Sofia the First” is also now a prominent part of the popular “Disney Junior Live on Stage!” attraction at Disney’ Hollywood Studios in Florida and will be added to the attraction at Disney California Adventure later this month. The Sofia character is scheduled to make her Disney Parks debut this summer.
The TV series airs daily during the Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel and on the 24-hour Disney Junior channel. The series stars the voices of Ariel Winter as Sofia, the young princess in training; Sara Ramirez as Queen Miranda, Sofia’s loyal and caring mother; Wayne Brady as Clover, Sofia’s wise-talking rabbit sidekick, and Tim Gunn as Baileywick, the castle’s royal steward. Craig Gerber (“Pixie Hollow Games”) developed the series and serves as executive producer and story editor. Jamie Mitchell (“Special Agent Oso”) is executive producer and director. John Kavanaugh (“Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo”) serves as songwriter/music director and Kevin Kliesch (“Tangled Ever After”) is the composer. “Sofia the First” is a production of Disney Television Animation.
PetSmart today introduced new Disney pet apparel and toys. Characters such as Donald Duck, Tinker Bell, Kermit the Frog, Tigger and, of course, Mickey Mouse will add fun and magic to more than 30 new products available at all PetSmart stores in North America and online.
“Disney characters have a special place in many pet parents’ hearts, and this new PetSmart collection allows them to share the magic of Disney with their pets in a fun and fashionable way,” said Laurie Taylor, PetSmart’s vice president of dog and cat hardgoods.
From bandanas and tees to ropes and squeaky toys, the new assortment of Disney products includes:
To celebrate the introduction of these products, pet parents can enter to win a grand prize of $10,000 in the PetSmart “Pin It to Win It” sweepstakes featuring the Disney products, March 4 through April 1 on PetSmart’s Facebook page. The Facebook photo gallery will showcase nine new Disney products each week and allows fans to pin their favorites directly to their Pinterest accounts. For every three products pinned, contestants have a chance to win one of 15 weekly prizes and are entered into the $10,000 grand prize drawing. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios have just released the new trailer for Iron Man 3 which debuts in theaters on May 3, 2013. You can watch it embedded below.
Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Ahead of any official announcement, Amazon.com has begun listing Disney’s direct-to-video Super Buddies on Blu-ray for a release of August 27, 2013.
While we are currently short on plot de-tails (yes, we went there), it’s not hard to imagine what Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Buddha and Mudbud are up to in this super puppy romp, but it’s pretty much a given it will be cute. We have, however, managed to dig up this official synopsis:
An ordinary day at Fernfield Farms turns extraordinary when Budderball, Mudbud, B-Dawg, Buddha and Rosebud discover mysterious rings that grant them each a unique super power. Before you can say, ‘Buddies, assemble,’ the pups unleash their amazing abilities and race to the rescue when a shape-shifting bully from outer space threatens the planet. But can they succeed in kicking major tail without revealing their new secret identities?
A must-own movie event packed with laughter, action and incredible new characters, Super Buddies proves that when you use your wits and work together, you don’t need super powers to be a super hero!
Super Buddies stars John Ratzenberger, Michael Teigen, Jason Earles and more.
The movie’s fantastic voice cast includes Colin Hanks, John Michael Higgins, Atticus Shaffer, Alyson Stoner, Maulik Pancholy, Chris Coppola, Amy Sedaris, Zendaya, Debra Jo Rupp, and the legendary Tim Conway as the voice of Deputy Sniffer. The ‘Buddies’ voices include Cooper Roth who voices B-Dawg; Tenzing Trainor who voices Buddha; Jeremy Shinder who voices Budderball; Ty Panitz who voices Mudbud; and G. Hannelius who voices Rosebud.
Super Buddies is directed by Robert Vince, written and produced by Robert Vince and Anna McRoberts.
Guests to the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot will journey “between the pages” of history as the American Heritage Gallery opens its doors to an art exhibit representing over 400 years of African-American achievement and contribution.
“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” which opens March 8, draws from an extensive collection of rare art, documents, books and artifacts amassed by philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who share a passion for African-American history.
Their private collection has been displayed throughout the U.S., including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Approximately 40 pieces will be on display for Epcot guests at any given time on a rotating basis during the exhibit run.
“We always wanted to extend the reach of the Collection to a larger, more international and diverse audience,” explained Bernard Kinsey. “So we are delighted to be collaborating with Disney to share the stories of our remarkable ancestors.”
Overseeing the collection is the Kinseys’ son, Khalil, whose school-age curiosity inspired his parents to build their collection.
The exhibit – themed to hope, belief, courage, imagination and heritage – provides optimistic and empowering stories from American history from voices that are not commonly seen or heard. Art and artifacts pay homage to African-Americans who helped build and transform a nation. Their stories of determination and courage, from the nation’s early days to the present, are at the heart of the exhibit.
To enrich the immersive storytelling experience of the exhibit, Walt Disney Imagineers added interactive displays in which Epcot guests can deepen their knowledge of the American heritage that the Kinsey holdings represent. Epcot guests will be able to use touch screens placed throughout the exhibit to further explore the art, artifacts and history. Guest-activated lanterns will help bring the history to life, with narration provided by Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg (“The View”), Diane Sawyer (“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”), and actors Chandra Wilson & James Pickens, Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Zendaya Coleman & Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up”), China Anne McClain (“A.N.T. Farm”), Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Lab Rats”).
“We are thrilled to bring the Kinsey Collection to Epcot guests,” said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president, Walt Disney World Parks. “Epcot is such a rich cultural tapestry that it serves as the perfect showcase for this powerful collection, with its celebration of the human spirit.”
Among highlights of each themed gallery:
By age 19, Phillis Wheatley became internationally known as the first African-American ever to publish a book of poetry (1773). She wrote poetry about hope and freedom and is now known as The Mother of African American Literature. (Document on display: Phyllis Wheatley’s first book).
Other Hope Gallery highlights: Samuel Francis Smith, My Country ‘Tis of Thee lyrics (1895); “Untitled,” Hughie Lee Smith (1951); Almanack, Benjamin Banneker (1796)
Harriet Jacobs, an enslaved young black woman often called an “American Anne Frank” stayed seven years in a tiny attic until she could escape to freedom. She later chronicled her story in an autobiography. (Document on display: Harriet Jacobs’ book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1862)
Other Courage Gallery highlights: Sea Island Woman, fiber art, Bisa Butler (2006); Loss, sculpture, Michael Chukes (1998);
In 1870, only seven years after Emancipation, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. Josiah Walls became the first African-American to represent Florida in the House of Representatives. (Document on display: “Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels Cabinet Card Photograph”)
Other Belief Gallery highlights: Buffalo Soldiers Parade Flag (1889); What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Abby Fisher (1881); A Negro Explorer at the North Pole, Matthew Henson book (1912) and article.
Alain Locke not only became the first African-American Rhodes scholar in 1907, but his book “The New Negro” helped inspire the Harlem Renaissance, a period in American culture that produced artists, musicians, writers and thinkers that showed the world how American greatness comes from all of its citizens. (Document on display: The Negro in Art, by Alain Locke).
Other Imagination Gallery highlights: Harmon Foundation Catalogs (1931-1935); American Beach Negro Ocean Playground, Florida – Steel plaque (1930); “Untitled” (Kadir Nelson, 1992)
History can be shared through many types of artifacts. Sometimes it’s as simple as a timeworn letter written by Carrie Kinsey (Bernard’s cousin) to President Roosevelt. Or an old sewing machine passed down through generations by Shirley’s grandmother, Susie Plummer Pooler. (Document on display: “Letter to President Roosevelt,” by Carrie Kinsey)
Other Heritage Gallery highlights: Bill of Sale-William Johnson (1832); Schedule of Over 500 Slaves (1820); Sewing Machine (1900), Susie Plummer Pooler
The American Adventure pavilion is in the heart of the World Showcase area of Epcot. “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” is included in Epcot admission. For more information, visit http://thekinseycollection.com
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a new digital restoration of Who Framed Roger Rabbit in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary on Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 pm at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening will feature a post-screening onstage discussion with director Robert Zemeckis and members of the cast and crew, including actress Joanna Cassidy, voice actor Charles Fleischer, supervising animator Andreas Deja, screenwriter Peter S. Seaman and associate producers Don Hahn and Steve Starkey. The panel will be moderated by director Rich Moore, who received an Oscar® nomination for Animated Feature Film for Wreck-It Ralph this past year.
A masterful blend of live-action filmmaking and classic animation, Who Framed Roger Rabbit boldly announced the rebirth of the Disney animation studio. The film endures as an inventive tribute to animation’s golden age that also set a new standard for what the medium could achieve.
“Roger Rabbit brought together the greatest animators, the most skilled technicians, and the finest talent of the day,” said Zemeckis. “It’s good to have this chance to show our work to both those who remember the film as well as to a new audience.”
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) received Oscars® for Film Editing, Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects, and a Special Achievement Award for Richard Williams’s animation direction. It also was nominated for Art Direction, Cinematography and Sound.
This digital restoration is provided courtesy of the Walt Disney Studios. The Disney restoration team used the original 35mm picture, VistaVision optical work and original sound elements to create this pristine digital version.
Tickets for Who Framed Roger Rabbit are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open at 6:30 pm. All seating is unreserved. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit oscars.org.
New Disney Store arrivals and sales for March 4, 2013 Below is a list of new items and sales now available for purchase at Disney Store. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on Disney Store in another window. Note that this list is generated and posted automatically. Stitch Kingdom should not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, misinformation or item availability. Disclosure: This post includes specially formatted links which allow the site to receive a small percentage of purchases made through them. Using these links does not affect your shopping experience in any way, but it does help the site. Even if you don’t purchase anything, even just sharing products you like through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest using the icons below them will help the site.
Tinker Bell Flip Flops for Women – $8.50
Give your wings a rest as you take magical steps in these Tinker Bell Flip Flops. The lightweight footwear will make you feel like you’re flying and you’ll be joined by Tink on your journey to Never Land. share this item
Oswald Ear Hat for Adults – $16.95
Put-up your rabbit ears to get a welcome reception from passers-by while wearing our popular ear hat inspired by Walt Disney’s original cartoon star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. share this item
Jack Skellington Flip Flops for Women – $8.50
The Pumpkin King is sure to get under your feet with this pair of frightfully fashionable flip flops. Jack Skellington is pictured on the left footbed and makes a name for himself on the right sole of this ghoulish footwear. share this item
Polka Dot Walt Disney World Minnie Mouse Tote — Black – $19.95
Carry Minnie’s signature polka dots around wherever the fun is found with her roomy Walt Disney World tote. Tiny ”hidden Minnie” icons are interspersed in the dotted pattern for a pop art Disney shopping bag with a bold fashion flair. share this item
Disney Logo Tee for Women – Summer Fun – $14.50
Invite your favorite friends for a day of animated fun wearing our comfy 100% cotton tee emblazoned with the famous Disney logo plus seven iconic characters. share this item
Grumpy Flip Flops for Men – $8.50
The bad-tempered dwarf is not happy about being stepped on! Screen art sports the year Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released, and its surly star, who’ll be sure to get underfoot with these Grumpy Flip Flops for Men. share this item
Mickey Mouse Tee for Men – New York – $19.50
Mickey shows his love for The Big Apple on this vintage-style souvenir tee made in the cool comfort of heathered jersey knit! share this item