Hero Ventures, a Los Angeles based entertainment company, announced today that it is teaming up with Marvel Entertainment to create ‘The Marvel Experience,’ an innovative, traveling experience, featuring dozens of Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes. This attraction will appeal to a multi-generational audience and will leverage state-of-the-art interactive and multimedia technology, including a 4D motion ride and original 3D animated features, allowing fans to be a part of the action. The tour comes to life in 2014.
‘The Marvel Experience’ is a first-person super hero adventure in which audiences step into the Marvel Universe to become a part of the story and the action. Innovative tour elements include a one-of-a-kind, traveling dome complex the size of two football fields developed exclusively by Hero Ventures. In addition to the 4D motion ride and 3D animated features, other components will include digitally projected animation, motion-comic book origin stories, virtual reality and holographic simulations, dynamic interactive activities, as well as integrated social media touch points which are carefully woven into the rich narrative story line at every twist and turn. In addition, the Tour will include both a themed megastore and cafe, featuring unique and exclusive merchandise and concessions.
Founded by sports and entertainment industry entrepreneurs Rick Licht and Doug Schaer, Hero Ventures is dedicated to producing unique themed entertainment experiences. Solidifying the management team are Michael Cohl, former Live Nation Chairman and legendary live event impresario, along with his ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ co-producer and PRG founder Jeremiah ‘Jere’ Harris, who will serve as lead producers. The team is rounded out by co-founding partner Jason Rosen.
Thanks to a couple of articles over at VinylmationKingdom, it has come to our attention that in light of Toys ‘R’ Us having an exclusive to the Infinite Crystal line of figures, starting with Lightning McQueen, other retailers are getting into the ‘Disney Infinity’ exclusive business by way of early releases.
GameStop will have an exclusive release window for the Jack Skellington figure beginning October 5, 2013 and running through October 28. His description on the site reads as follows: ‘Boo! Jack Skellington is up to his spooktacular Halloween tricks! Bone up on the action as the creepy King of Halloween uses Jack-o-Lanterns, screams and screeches to scare off rivals. How terrifying do you feel?’ He is now available for pre-order on their website.
Not to be outdone, Walmart will have an early release for the Sheriff Woody figure, who has the added bonus of working alongside Jessie and Buzz Lightyear with the Toy Story Space playset (sold separately) when it’s released. Shipping beginning October 1, 2013, his description reads: ‘Rustle up some action with Woody, the fastest-moving cowboy in the West as he uses his shoulder charge to knock villains clean off the range. Shake the snakes outta your boots and get moving.’ Woody is now also available for pre-order.
Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios have once more provided us with a series of what they call ‘fun facts,’ this time in support of their upcoming film, Thor: The Dark World in theaters on November 8, 2013.
Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
In Thor: The Dark World more of the Nine Realms are introduced, offering a better understanding of the history and complexities of Thor’s universe. The Nine Realms are taken from Norse mythology and refer to the nine worlds that are supported by Yggdrasil, an immense ash tree, central to Norse cosmology. Asgard is depicted at the top and Earth, known as Midgard, in the middle. In the original Thor, Yggdrasil was established as a cosmic structure formed by a series of interwoven wormholes linking the nine worlds (Realms) together.
The Medina/streets of Asgard set is the biggest set ever built for a Marvel film. One can actually walk around the streets of Asgard and see the shops, the pubs and the training ground.
An aerial camera crew flew to the Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland (Europe’s most powerful waterfall) to film the cascading waters from every angle so that the waterfalls ringing Asgard could be rendered realistically by the computers to replicate the world.
Filming in Iceland involved remote locations where the crew had to drive for hours from the airport just to get to their hotels. Then, to get to the fields of volcanic ash that stood in for The Dark World, they drove for up to two hours more.
A close look at the set decorating for Jane Foster’s London apartment would reveal sheet music on the piano that reads: ‘Thor The Thunder God.’
Photos of young Jane Foster in the apartment set were courtesy of Natalie Portman’s mother, who keeps a binder filled with photos of Natalie at different ages for occasions like this.
There were about 30 hammers made for Thor of various weights for different uses. The master hammer is made from aluminum but it is replicated in different materials and weights, including a ‘soft’ stunt version. Of the 30, five versions are used most often, including the ‘lit hammer,’ that emits light when lightning strikes.
The design of Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer, was changed from the version Thor wielded in Marvel’s The Avengers. The new hammer has more of a sense of history and age to it and its grip is more aligned to the hammer Thor used in Thor.
The inscription on Thor’s hammer, written in Norse runes, translates to: ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’
Prop master Barry Gibbs and his team of 18 technicians designed/produced 140 weapons in 10 weeks, then went on to make four more of each weapon for a grand total of 516 weapons for the Marauders to use in the battle scenes. This is before he even got into making the principal weapons for Thor, Odin, Volstagg, Heimdall, Sif, etc.
Thor and Odin each have one look in costuming, but Thor needs 15 sets of his costume as he does so many stunts and action scenes. Odin has about 6 repeats of his costume.
David White, the designer of the dark elves and the prosthetic effects on Thor: The Dark World, designed and created 40 suits for the dark elves, utilizing 100 technicians over a 3 ½ month period. The off-world look was derived from diverse ethnic and tribal elements.
The stunt men and extras playing the dark elves had to go through a training period where they practiced standing tall and proud since the dark elves are envisioned to be a noble people. Prosthetics designer David White helped out too by designing the helmet so that the eye line was slightly pulled down, forcing the actors to tilt their heads slightly up and back, which gave them a very proud, strong feel.
Both Christopher Eccleston and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who play the dark elves Malekith and Algrim, respectively, had to memorize their dialogue written in an elven language that was created specifically for the film.
The film shot between October and December 2012 at Shepperton Studios in England, with key locations in London — Greenwich, Wembley, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Borough Market and Hayes — Bourne Wood in Surrey and Stonehenge in Wiltshire. For the look of the dark elves’ world, Svartalfheim, the filmmakers chose Iceland for its black, volcanic landscapes.
Before sending helicopters to film over historic Greenwich, England, on a quiet Sunday morning, the location crew dropped 4,000 letters in the area: 2,000 on one side of the river and 2,000 on the other side of the river, explaining to the residents what was going to be happening.
Filming at the famous Stonehenge historical site proved to be a challenge. After finally getting permission from English Heritage, the filmmakers found out that there were lots of rules and regulations associated with filming there. They could only be in amongst the stones outside of the normal visiting hours. So shooting had to take place early in the morning before opening, which only gave the film crew about three hours before they had to pull back for wider shots once the stones were opened to the public. Being a heritage site, no one was allowed to touch the stones or walk on any stones, so a lot of logistics had to be applied to the filming there.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, and Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World is directed by Alan Taylor, produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., from a story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat and screenplay by Christopher L. Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and is based on Marvel’s classic Super Hero Thor, who first appeared in the comic book Journey into Mystery #83 in August, 1962.
New Disney Store arrivals and sales for August 21, 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.
Teen Beach Movie Musical Doll – Lela – 11 1/2” – $22.95Sing along with the cast of Teen Beach Movie! Each doll is wearing their iconic ”Crusin”’ biker-themed fashions and sings their favorite song from the movie! Hear Lela sing Fallin’ for Ya. share this item
Mickey Mouse Tee for Adults – Hipster Mickey – $27.95A star since his 1928 debut, Mickey likes to keep up with the latest fashions. This tee features artist Jerrod Maruyama’s Hipster Mickey, complete with his chic eyewear, hat, and all the hipster accessories including a cool cup of Joe. share this item
Teen Beach Movie Musical Doll – McKenzie – 11 1/2” – $22.95Sing along with the cast of Teen Beach Movie! Each doll is wearing their iconic ”Crusin”’ biker-themed fashions and sings their favorite song from the movie! Hear McKenzie sing Like Me. share this item
Teen Beach Movie Doll – Lela – 11 1/2” – $14.95Based on the new Disney Channel Original Movie debuting this summer, the Teen Beach Movie dolls, put kids right in the middle of this musical beach party! Join in on the fun with the film’s stars, McKenzie, Brady and Lela. share this item
The Disney Parks official blog today confirmed earlier speculation by Stitch Kingdom that the Disneyland Resort will soon be introducing its first official Marvel meet and greet this year, that of Thor.
Earlier this month, we noted that the Disneyland Resort had issued a casting call for a mysterious, unnamed meet and greet to take place in an immersive environment. Specifically the role called for a ’6’0” – 6’2” male to play 20 – 30 years old. Look is handsome, athletic, muscular build with broad shoulders. Be able to portray a hero type with a commanding presence. Acting experience is a plus.’
Given the description, we assumed (correctly) that this could possibly represent Marvel’s first foray into Disney theme parks. Indeed, the Disney Parks blog confirms the immersive environment will be Thor’s native home, Asgard.
Depending on when Thor makes his Disneyland debut, this could actually be the second Marvel character to make appearances via Disney Parks and Resorts. Starting in October, Captain America will perform meet and greets aboard the Disney Magic as part of its Avengers Academy. CA made his debut earlier this year at the D23 Expo, from which we have videos and photos here.
Featuring music from and inspired by The Little Mermaid, the album will also feature two additional covers by contemporary recording artists Carly Rae Jepsen and American Idol semi-finalist, Felicia Barton. Jepsen, whose video will also be featured on the Blu-ray bonus features, has covered ‘Part Of Your World’ which has just been released as a single via both iTunes and Amazon. Barton, meanwhile, will tackle ‘Kiss the Girl’ in a track titled ‘The Real Thing.’
The full tracklist is as follows:
1) Fathoms Below (The Little Mermaid Soundtrack) – Ship’s Chorus 2) Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid Soundtrack) – Ariel 3) Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid Soundtrack) – Sebastian 4) Part of Your World (Reprise) (The Little Mermaid Soundtrack) – Ariel 5) Poor Unfortunate Souls (The Little Mermaid Soundtrack) – Ursula 6) Les Poissons (The Little Mermaid Soundtrack) – French Chef 7) Kiss the Girl (The Little Mermaid Soundtrack) – Sebastian 8) You Can Get It if You Really Want (Sebastian: From The Little Mermaid) – Sebastian 9) One Dance (The Little Mermaid and Friends) – Ariel 10) Down to the Sea (The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea) – Ariel 11) Iko Iko (Sebastian Party Gras) – Sebastian 12) The Scuttle Strut (Ariel’s Favorites) – Scuttle 13) The Real Thing (Kiss the Girl) – Felicia Barton 14) Part of Your World – Carly Rae Jepsen
At the 2013 Disney D23 Expo which recently took place in Anaheim, California, we caught up with former Disney animator (and now Disney Legend) Glen Keane as he was being recognized for his contributions to the Walt Disney Company. Amongst one of Keane’s many tasks over the years at Walt Disney Feature Animation was acting as the supervising animator for Beast in Disney’s immortal classic, Beauty and the Beast.
We seized the opportunity to ask Keane his thoughts on whether Beast had an alternative, human form name, a rumor in the form of Prince Adam, which has not only perpetuated itself on the internet, but has extended to merchandising and even wall space at the Port Orleans Walt Disney World Resort (which has reportedly been taken down since).
Although not quite flat-out denying it here, Keane tells our Keith Lapinig that if Beast did have an alternative name prior to being Beast, it just doesn’t matter. ‘I never referred to him as anything but Beast,’ he answered. ‘To me he’s always been Beast. I always just believed that Belle called him Beast from the moment that he transformed… so whatever his name was before is not important because he was called Beast after that.’ Keane also went on to add, ‘matter of fact, when he changed into the prince, I knew everybody was going to be disappointed by that, because they fall in love with the beast.’
Keane also told us about his plans for keeping the memory of Beast alive even after the transformation. ‘We recorded a line when we were actually recording Robby Benson and Paige O’Hara as they were at that scene where they’re dancing,’ he told us. ‘I wanted there to be this moment where as she’s now dancing with her handsome prince, something’s missing, and she just says, “do you think you can grow a beard?” So we recorded that — we should’ve put it in there — I’m still hoping someday we still put it in there.’
Video contribution by Keith Lapinig on assignment from Stitch Kingdom. Photo courtesy Disney.
New Disney Store arrivals and sales for August 19, 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.
Hitchhiking Ghosts Tee for Adults – Disneyland – $29.95Fans of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction will give a big thumbs up to this phantasmical tee featuring the three Hitchhiking Ghosts. Gus, Ezra and Phineas catch a ride from the front to the back of this Halloween 2013 shirt. share this item
The Art of Ariel Charm Bracelet Watch – D23 – $99.95Voyage to a timeless tale while wearing Ariel’s treasured chain link bracelet with petite watch pendant and a bounty of sea harvest charms, including shimmering gem starfish, seashells and pearled bangles. share this item
Archie Walker Toy – Monsters University – $9.95Rival mascot Archie will stir-up screams when he scurries across the table like a wild pig! Join the merrymakers of Monsters University in capturing him for your own toy collection. share this item
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort Baseball Cap – Limited Availability – $19.95Keep happy memories of your Disney Vacation Club holiday in your head with this Vero Beach Resort Baseball Cap. Your trip to Florida’s picturesque Atlantic treasure coast will be filled with golden moments you’ll be happy to relive. share this item
Ariel Plate – $6.95Swim on over for under-the-sea snacktime fun with Ariel. Every Little Mermaid will dine like royalty in Triton’s kingdom from our glittering sectioned plate, also featuring Flounder and Sebastian. share this item
Disney’s Old Key West Resort Mug – Limited Availability – $14.95Drink in your happy holiday memories with this Old Key West Mug. Picturing the logo from the Disney Vacation Club’s Florida resort, this ceramic cup also extends the greeting ”Welcome Home” that will make you thirst for a return visit. share this item
Walt Disney Studios and Disneynature Studios have just released the official trailer for their upcoming nature documentary, Bears, as it premiered at the Disney D23 Expo earlier this week.
In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure Bears showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’ s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting but risky as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever present wolf pack. Bears captures the fast moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses — Alaska!
Disneynature also announced its ‘See Bears, Protect our National Parks’ program which invites moviegoers to see the film during opening week (April 18-24, 2014) and Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to protect wildlife and wild places across America’s national park system.
Directed by Alastair Fothergill (Earth, African Cats and Chimpanzee) and Keith Scholey (African Cats), Bears arrives in theaters April 18, 2014 to celebrate Earth Day.