Report: Disney Consumer Products and Pixar Present ‘Toy Story 3′ – Part One

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I was extremely fortunate to attend an event earlier this week in which Disney Consumer Products launched dozens of new toys from Mattel, Thinkway Toys, LEGO, Hasbro and JAKKS Pacific, just some vof the licensees for Toy Story 3 products with the aid of some very special guests.

Epic Mickey iPhone/iPad App Held at Gotham Hall in the Herald Square area, the space was magically transformed into the Sunnyside Daycare Center featuring oversized props, shrinking us all down to toy size. An over-sized chair provided an appropriate photo opportunity while Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear were on hand to greet guests and to take complimentary photos.

Epic Mickey iPhone/iPad App To kick off the presentation, Mary Beech, Vice President/General Manager for Global Studio Franchise Development at Disney Consumer Products, talked about the previous night’s event at the Toy of the Year Awards in which John Lasseter was inducted into the International Toy Hall of Fame. We were shown the mini-documentary that was shown during the awards show which focused on Lasseter’s contributions to the industry and featured many of his colleagues at Pixar as well as his wife, Nancy, and his three sons who spoke of receiving a Buzz and Woody for Christmas after Toy Story had first been released.

[SinglePic not found]Lasseter took the stage next and talked about the genesis of the toy story franchise — how the idea was hatched after witnessing his niece’s approach to toys and wondering how the toys would react if they were alive. After implementing some of the concept in the Pixar short Tin Toy, he talked about how the story was made to be able to reach an older audience by giving the toys neuroses such as Rex’s expectation to be the fiercest creature on earth despite his tiny little arms or Mr. Potato Head’s chip on his shoulder because his body parts are always being removed and re-arranged. Of course, Lasseter says, a toy’s biggest fear is being outgrown, leading into a key plot point in Toy Story 3 in which the toys are led to believe that a daycare center is nirvana — a ‘retirement home for toys’ — in which there will always be a steady flow of children needing the toys and no need to become emotionally attached to the kids as they come and go.

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Toy Fair 2010: Disney’s Alice in Wonderland

With Tim Burton’s vision of Alice in Wonderland just on the horizon, there are naturally dozens of new and wonderful licensed toys and collectibles inspired by the film headed our way. Here’s just a taste of some of the amazing product we encountered at the International Toy Fair this year that we can all look forward to seeing in 2010.
Alice by Tonner © Stitch Kingdom. All Rights Reserved.Alice by Tonner. Image © Stitch Kingdom. All Rights Reserved.From Tonner,we have a full line of limited edition dolls including this gorgeous likeness of Mia Wasikowska as Alice. Tonner also has Iracebeth, the Red Queen, and Mirana, the White Queen, on display. While we were unable to take photos as the final product is awaiting approval, we can certainly say they were all very impressive as one would expect from a company like Tonner. Not on display at the show is Tonner’s Mad Hatter, but we were given a sneak peek at the current incarnation and he’s naturally equally as impressive in his detail. Pending the dolls’ final approvals, we can expect to see them sometime in spring.

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Receive a Free Enchanted Call from Tiana Courtesy of Disney Movie Rewards

In celebration of the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray releases of The Princess and the Frog, Disney Movie Rewards is offering its members a free Disney Enchanted Call from Princess Tiana through March 28.

If you are not already a member of Disney Movie Rewards, now is the time to join. It’s completely free and offers many perks to its members throughout the year, the least of which being the ability to exchange reward points earned by simply purchasing most Walt Disney Home Entertainment Blu-ray and DVD releases for exclusive merchandise.

To claim your free call from Tiana, visit http://www.disneymovierewards.com/TianaCall and use magic code GUMBO when prompted.

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Adventures by Disney and HarperCollins Announce Winners in ‘Flat Stanley’ Contest

Adventures by Disney and HarperCollins Children’s Books today announced three winners from “The Search for Flat Stanley’s Next BIG Adventure” contest. Children, ages 7 to 12, had the opportunity to win an Adventures by Disney vacation by creating a specially-themed Flat Stanley and a 150-word story describing his “Next BIG Adventure.”

Following hundreds of creative entries crafted from all sorts of material, including glitter, sand, yarn, construction paper and even jeweled stickers, three winners have been chosen from the following age groups:

  • 7-8 yr-old winner Lauren Shepard from Tennessee sent Flat Stanley to Australia for a great adventure “Down Under”
  • 9-10 yr-old winner Adia Chaney of Maryland designed a European-style Flat Stanley; her story highlighted the Queen of England
  • 11-12 yr-old winner Destiny White from Texas captured her win with an Asian-inspired Flat Stanley and an unforgettable adventure to the Great Wall of China

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Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Celebrates the ‘Art of Flavor’ at Disneyland Resort April 16 – May 31

Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival will create a kaleidoscope of culinary experiences for guests of every palate April 16-May 31 at Disney’s California Adventure park and select locations across the Disneyland Resort.

Chefs, winemakers and brewmasters will celebrate The Art of Flavor at this year’s tantalizing festival, which features entertaining culinary demonstrations, outstanding wine and spirits seminars, and delicious food, wine and beer. General sales for Festival events began Feb. 16.

Look for chefs Guy Fieri and Cat Cora of Food Network, along with Disney culinary masters and special guests as they present their gastronomic talents in a full menu of complimentary demonstrations and signature paid events. The signature events include winemaker dinners, Sweet Sundays, Napa Rose Cooking School and Taste Food-Wine-Life, a night that celebrates the essence of the festival with a mosaic of food, wine and live entertainment.

Opening weekend features celebrity chef Guy Fieri, the popular television personality and “food dude” who appears on shows such as “Guy’s Big Bite” on the Food Network. Fieri will conduct complimentary food demonstrations on the Festival’s main stage.

“Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival is a great time,” Fieri said. “Of course the kids love Disneyland, but now this is something extra for the adults. It’s incredible chefs, great wines from around the world and Disney. You’re gonna dig it. See you there!”

Some events, including culinary demonstrations, are included with admission to Disney’s California Adventure park. Signature events are separately ticketed and require reservations. For details, visit www.disneyland.com/foodandwine.

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Disney Interactive Announces ‘Toy Story 3: The Video Game’ with Innovative Toy Box Mode

Disney Interactive Studios today officially announced development of Toy Story 3: The Video Game, supporting all major platforms and featuring a fun, new way to enjoy the Toy Story universe. Unveiled at the American International Toy Fair in New York City by Mary Beech, general manager and vice president of franchise development and marketing for Disney Consumer Products, Toy Story 3: The Video Game will feature film adventures along with Disney’s first open-world gameplay for kids. Inspired by the upcoming Disney•Pixar animated film, Toy Story 3: The Video Game is due on retail shelves June 15, 2010.

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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Winner Donny Osmond Helps Launch ‘Dance Star Mickey’ from Fisher-Price

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Legendary entertainer and reigning ‘Dancing with the Stars’ champ Donny Osmond joined Fisher-Price at the International Toy Fair in New York yesterday to help launch their newest product, Dance Star Mickey.

Introduced by Mattel Brands President Neil Friedman, Donny burst onto the stage with Mirror Ball Trophy in hand and immediately set the room on fire, regaling those in attendance with details of his lengthy relationship with The Walt Disney Company beginning with the Osmond Brothers being discovered by Walt himself.

Before long, Donny was joined by special guest Mickey Mouse himself who fearlessly accepted a dance-off challenge issued by Osmond. After a little tap dancing and a bit of disco, it was the Mouse’s split that sealed the win.

At last it was time for the curtain to rise, revealing the real star of the presentation, Dance Star Mickey, Fisher-Price’s most technologically advanced toy to date. Using a new, innovative mechanism, Dance Star Mickey is able to move and gesture in a very fluid and life-like way.

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First Look: Disney Online’s World of Cars, Plus News for Other Disney MMOs

Earlier today I had the opportunity to visit Disney Online at the International Toy Fair in New York City and got a preview at Disney’s newest massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, The World of Cars in addition to some of the new and not-yet-released enhancements to Disney Online’s other worlds.

Sharing a lot in common with the Club Penguin model, the World of Cars is completely Adobe Flash-based. This means there are no downloads required aside from the common plug-in that most folks should already have. Although I probably should know better than to be impressed to how the game has been implemented inside the Flash engine, I still am. The game looks very appealing with a great heads-up display (HUD) loaded with information and controls while still leaving plenty of room for the actual gameplay.

As you might imagine, you will assume the role of a car in Radiator Springs. The action in the game takes place after the first movie — Lightning returns to the sleepy town after winning the Piston Cup and has set up shop in the middle of Downtown Radiator Springs. Throughout the game, you’ll encounter all of your favorite characters from the film with all new original dialogue as recorded by the original actors with exception to Owen Wilson (Lightning), Paul Newman (Doc Hudson) and George Carlin (Fillmore), the latter two having passed away prior to the studio work. For those three, Disney has brought in soundalikes who do a really good job at filling in some rather large tires.

Meeting the characters, who are non-player characters (NPCs), meaning they’re automatic and interaction is quite limited, you’ll often find a yellow exclamation point over their heads. This means they want to talk to you and might even have a job for you. Performing jobs for the characters will yield you rewards, often being money and additional jobs.

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Epcot 2010 International Flower and Garden Festival Guide Now Available

Walt Disney World has released the Guide for the 2010 International Flower and Garden Festival which kicks off March 3.

Despite the lengthy 2 1/2 month festival, only a few special weekends are noted in the guide: Art in the Garden Celebration (March 26-28) in which guests can get a unique look at nature through the eyes of “Plein Air” artists and see one-of-a-kind works of art; Fresh From Florida (April 23-25) which features Florida’s native agriculture in the Florida’s Farmer Market in Garden Town; and the annual favorite I Dig Bugs (May 1-2) in which experts from Disney’s Animal Kingdom come share some of their favorite friends with Epcot guests.

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Toy Story 3 Video Game for All Gaming Platforms Now Available for Pre-Order

In the Toy Story 3: The Video Game, help Buzz, Woody and the rest of the toys ensure no toy gets left behind. Dive into all new heroic adventures in Story Mode or let your imagination run wild in the exiting new open world of Toy Box Mode! Available to own June 15, 2010.

Pre-order from DisneyStore.com today and save $5! To pre-order, click on the link below and search for the product number for the gaming platform you’re interested in: Nintendo Wii (712725016418P), Microsoft Xbox 360 (712725016456P), Sony PlayStation 3 (712725016432P), Windows (044702010288P), Nintendo DS (712725016371P) or Sony PSP (712725016470P)

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