Disney to Assume Control of All Disney Store Locations in Japan

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It was announced yesterday by The Walt Disney Company Japan that Disney Japan will acquire Retail Networks Co., the company that owns and operates the country’s Disney Store retail locations, from parent company Oriental Land. Talks of the acquisition began last year and the transition is expected to be finalized as of April 1, 2010, the eighth anniversary of RNC. RNC owns and operates 54 Disney Store locations throughout the country, although it’s expected to close six of them by March.

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New Disney-Star Wars Collectible Puzzles to Debut in Parks this Month

Disney Star Wars PuzzleLater this month, Disney Parks Merchandise will debut a collection of four 200-piece jigsaw puzzles based on classic Star Wars posters. Each puzzle, measuring 9×13, features Disney-Star Wars merchandise previously sold in the parks and retails for $10.95

For more information and to see the other designs, visit the official Star Wars site.

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Fun Facts about Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’

THE BIG PICTURE

  • DIVINE DIGS – Director Tim Burton’s London office was once owned by Arthur Rackham, a famous English book illustrator who created the iconic color plates for the 1907 edition of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
  • THE QUESTION IS WHO ARE YOU? – Lewis Carroll is actually a pen name for Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics at Christchurch University in Oxford, England.

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Huge Fireworks Displays Indoors? It’s Possible According to Disney Patent Applications

I won’t pretend to understand them, but two related patent applications have just been published for Disney Enterprises in which Disney presents a way of producing colorful fireworks using an alternative chemical make-up.

The problem with current fireworks, the applications say, is that the perchlorates commonly found in pyrotechnics such as fireworks produce a large amount of smoke which makes use of large fireworks inside some closed arenas such as stadiums implausible. In addition, even when used outdoors, the perchlorates can find their way into a small percentage of drinking water, posing health risks.

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ABC to Premiere New Drama ‘Happy Town’ on April 28

ABC has announced the premiere date of its new drama, “Happy Town,” WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET). The residents of the sun-splashed town of Haplin, Minnesota — also known as “Happy Town” — have enjoyed an uneasy peace for the past five years — but that is about to change. Still haunted by a number of unsolved kidnappings, Haplin now faces a disturbing new crime that brings all of its unresolved fears to the surface. Has the elusive “Magic Man” – who many believe is responsible for the bizarre abductions — returned to claim yet another innocent victim? As Haplin’s mysteries are revealed, many of its prominent citizens’ motives come under scrutiny as their own secrets and personalities are peeled back one layer at a time.

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ABC News to Begin Offering Content on Hulu

ABC News today announced that ABC News programming from its platforms and shows will be featured on a branded page on Hulu, an online video service. The site will feature short form news content and long form programming from morning to night — including “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline,” “This Week,” “20/20? and “Primetime” limited series.

“We’re happy to be able to provide our audience with another way to watch ABC News,” said David Westin, President, ABC News. “We look forward to sharing our reporting with users on one of the top video destinations on the Internet.”

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Cosmetics Manufacturer Files Suit Against Disney Over Use of Tinkerbell

Earlier this week, Icebox-Scoops of Brooklyn, NY filed a lawsuit against Disney in federal court claiming that Disney engaged in unfair business practices, effectually negating existing rights the company had obtained to create and market a line of cosmetics under the Tinkerbell name.

Tinkerbell (as opposed to Disney’s Tinker Bell) is owned by a company called Finanz St. Honore, B.V., who obtained the rights to Tinkerbell in 1951 from Great Ormond Street Hospital (Disney’s Peter Pan was released in 1953). Throughout the years, there has been little dispute to ownership of Tink and according to Finanz, the only limitation they have in regards to use of the fairy is that Disney’s representation of her cannot be replicated.

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Enter to Win an ‘I Love Mickey’ Gift Pack from the Disney Store

February is official ‘I Love Mickey’ month with exciting new items from the Disney Store for under $20 each and special in-store events throughout the month.

To celebrate, our friends at the Disney Store are helping us give one lucky Stitch Kingdom reader a gift pack featuring just some of these fabulous items. The gift pack (pictured) contains: a Disney Store exclusive Mickey Mouse plush with Mickey decked out in a red shirt, denim jeans and holding a bouquet of roses ($19.50); a textured Minnie Mouse themed journal ($7.50); a stressed and sequined ladies ‘I (Heart) Mickey’ tee, size large ($19.50) and a Mickey themed sequined bag ($16.50) with a total approximate retail value of $63.

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New Season of ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’ to Debut Feb 27; Plus New Short-Form Series and Specials

Disney Chanel will debut the third season of its #1 Playhouse Disney series “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 (9:00 a.m., ET/PT). The third season, which brings the series to 100 episodes, will also include the new physical fitness-themed short-form series, “Mickey Mousekersize” and three new primetime specials.

Supporting Disney’s ongoing commitment to helping kids and parents achieve healthier lifestyles by engaging preschoolers in fun physical activity, the 10 new three-minute “Mickey Mousekersize” shorts, hosted by Mickey Mouse, focus on the fun of exercising and encourage kids at home to get up and move along with Mickey and pals. The short form series will debut this fall.

In addition to 31 new music-filled episodes, three brand new primetime specials will be presented. Last October, the series’ first-ever primetime special, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Choo Choo Express,” ranked as TV’s #1 program in its timeslot among its targeted Kids 2-5 demo, more than doubling year-ago preschool ratings in the time period. A family viewing event, 54% of Adults 18-49 viewed the event with a preschooler.

The season launches with an episode entitled “Goofy’s Goofbot” in which Goofy builds a super smart and strong toy robot that looks just like him. Other storylines for season three include an “Indiana Jones”-like adventure, an underwater submarine voyage and a desert journey.

Continue reading…

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Alyssa Milano Returns to ABC in ‘Romantically Challenged’ This Season

Production has begun in Studio City, California on “Romantically Challenged,” an ensemble comedy about four friends trying to find love and happiness, coming to ABC this season.

In “Romantically Challenged,” Alyssa Milano stars as Rebecca, a very recently divorced mom of two who hasn’t gone on a date since President Clinton was in office. Rebecca’s best friend since childhood, Perry, is a romance-aholic who falls in love with women 20 minutes after meeting them. Perry lives with his BFF Shawn, a struggling writer who has depended on Perry for financial stability since the turn of the century. Rounding out the group is Rebecca’s younger sister Lisa, a sweet kindergarten teacher who tries to hurt every man before he can hurt her.

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