The Walt Disney Company China Announces Local Adaptation ‘Disney High School Musical: China’

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BURBANK, Calif. and SHANGHAI, Nov. 22  — The Walt Disney Company in China today announced the start of production on its third local co-production project in just two years, “Disney High School Musical: China.” Working with local partners Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, the movie is planned for cinematic release in summer 2010.

Under development for over a year, and created uniquely for Chinese audiences, “Disney High School Musical: China” is the story of a new student who meets a gifted young man with whom she shares a secret passion for singing. With the help of their friends they overcome the odds to win an inter-school singing competition, and discover their true calling in the process.

“Disney’s ongoing commitment to local content development underpins our strategy to connect with new audiences around the world,” said Mr. Jason Reed, general manager, Walt Disney Studios International Production. “Our local team has done an amazing job and we are fortunate to be building on the Disney Channel’s success by working with a world class cast and crew led by our producer Janet Yang and visionary director Shi Zheng Chen.

“The choice of the right stories and best local partners is key to the success of our localization strategy. Shanghai Media Group and Huayi Brothers Media Corporation are leaders in their field and their involvement and contribution to this project is invaluable,” added Mr. Reed.

In 2007, the Studio’s first Disney branded local co-production, the award-winning, “The Magic Gourd” was released, followed by “Roadside Romeo” from India in 2008, “Trail of the Panda” (China 2009) and the feature film, “Book of Masters” (Russian 2009), based on a classic Russian fairy tale which opened in first place at the box office in October. Disney’s sixth local production “Zokkomon” is currently in development in India and is expected to open in 2010.

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Celebrity Designer Mychael Darwin Unveils Apparel Collection Inspired by The Princess and the Frog

Commemorative-Sterling Silver Princess Tiana JacketDesigner Mychael Darwin — best known for creating one-of-a-kind limited edition leather jackets — and Disney Consumer Products are launching an all new outerwear collection in honor of Disney’s newest and first African American Princess, Tiana. Arriving in time for the Holiday ‘09 release of Walt Disney Pictures’ new animated film The Princess and the Frog, the collection is inspired by the warm textures and bright colors of the hand drawn animation of this highly anticipated animated film and will appeal to both the fashion conscious and the Disney devotee.

When asked about his design inspiration for the collection, Mychael Darwin said, “I drew from my own Southern upbringing, the richness of the film’s country landscapes and the beauty and grace from my own true life princess — my daughter.  It was also important to me that I create a line that appeals to the inner desire of all women to be treated like royalty, specifically as they work hard to achieve their dreams.”

Mychael Darwin Denim & Leather for Disney for women, tweens and girls consists of limited edition Italian all-leather jackets with hand-carved .925 sterling silver buttons, featuring custom-printed leather with beautifully artistic background scenes reminiscent of The Princess and the Frog. The leather jacket collection uses a revolutionary proprietary printing technique known as Leathergenix©—which allows extraordinary artistic printing on supple leather. The collection also includes special edition premium denim jackets accented with Italian leather trims and jacket backs that feature original artwork from the film elegantly highlighted with hand-beaded Swarovski crystals.

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Enter to Win a Holiday Gift Pack from Disney’s PhotoPass!

Disney’s PhotoPass is the premiere photo service when it comes to capturing memories at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, allowing you to bring home memories of the magic for years to come and there’s no better time of year to make new memories than the holidays.

We are thrilled to be able to offer five of our fans a special holiday gift pack from Disney’s PhotoPass, each consisting of a PhotoOrnament and a 20-pack of Standard PhotoCards and just to make it that much more special, free standard shipping*.

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Tyra Banks Makes Dreams Come True with Tiana and Disney World; Show Airs Nov 25

Tyra Banks with Princess Tiana and friends. Photo courtesy DisneyEmmy Award-winning talk show host and supermodel Tyra Banks (right), poses Nov. 20, 2009 with Disney’s newest princess, Tiana (left), and three girls dressed as Princess Tiana — (L-R): Kimani Smith, age 6, from Fredericksburg, Va.; McKenna Pope, age 10, from Lodi, N.J.; and Shadeh Belgrave, age 8, from Jamaica, N.Y. — in the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Earlier on her talk show, Banks surprised the three girls and their mothers with a vacation to Walt Disney World where they attended a tea party in their honor with Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog.” The young girls’ first-time visit to Walt Disney World with their mothers and Banks will be featured Wednesday, Nov. 25 on “The Tyra Show.” The show will air nationwide at 4 p.m. on The CW Network. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

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Win a Family Vacation from Pizza Hut and the Orlando Convention & Business Bureau

One Grand Prize winner will receive round-trip airfare to Orlando for a 5 day/4 night stay with hotel accommodations, a special Family Reunion VIP Party, a special behind-the-scenes experience at a major theme park, two one day passes to the winner’s choice of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Sea World and one day admission to two other area attractions.

Five runner-ups will receive a 4 day/3 night vacation for four in Orlando with hotel accommodations and car rental along with two one day passes to the winner’s choice of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Sea World.

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Figment and Tink Holiday Releases at Epcot Signing with Disney Artist Randy Noble Dec 9

Santa Hat Figment and Tink's Christmas by Randy NobleOn December 9 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, the Art of Disney in Epcot will host a product release and signing event with Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble.

One of a kind framed originals will be available. Both measure 18″ x 24″ unframed. Santa Hat Figment ($2100) is oil on canvas and Tink’s Christmas ($1600) is in watercolor.

Both will be also be available in a 95 piece limited edition giclyee for $350 for Figment and $400 for Tink. Open edition petite prints will also be made available.

Park admission will be required to attend the event.

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Disney Channel Launches New Year’s Eve Event Today; DC Stars to Compete in NYE Game Show

Disney Channel invites viewers to create their own New Year’s Eve programming event by voting for their favorite episodes, moments, music videos and more in online polls at DisneyChannel.com. Beginning FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, three new polls will roll out each Friday inviting viewers to vote in a total of 18 categories, including Favorite Episodes and Favorite Guest Star. Fans can also vote for their Top 10 favorite music videos of 2009, and the songs will air on Radio Disney. Voting will determine the New Year’s Eve programming lineup, entitled “New Year’s Star Showdown,” airing THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31 (6:00 p.m.–12:30 a.m. ET/PT) on Disney Channel. Throughout the night, Disney Channel will air sneak peeks of upcoming Disney Channel and Disney XD series and original movies including the much-anticipated “Camp Rock 2 The Final Jam.”

Last year nearly 33.7 million online votes were cast during the “Totally New Year” programming event. This year, every time one of the online polls is completed, users will unlock that week’s digital prize and reveal a piece of the mystery puzzle. Prizes include a 2010 printable calendar, New Year’s Eve party decorations and games. Fans can also test their Disney Channel knowledge in new online trivia games every week.

During the “New Year’s Eve Star Showdown” programming lineup, favorite Disney Channel stars will compete in five Game Show challenges: “So Random,” “Last Star Standing,” “Sound Off,” “Quick Draw” and the “New Years Eve Countdown Game.”

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Clorox Cleans Up with Disney Online and The Jim Henson Company

According to AdAge, Disney Online is poised to present a new web series titled The Possibility Shop which was produced with The Jim Henson Company and will be sponsored by Clorox. Although the online series was created to help showcase the Clorox family of cleaning products, the products won’t be mentioned by name during the show itself as the characters constantly clean up around the sets. Instead, Clorox-branded vignettes will accompany the episode demonstrating how Clorox could have helped the show’s cast out.

This represents the second time a promotion has created by Disney that’s specifically tailored to a sponsor’s needs, the first being the ‘Rock out Your Zone’ campaign with Walmart.

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WDW Refurb Update: Old Key West Pool Closed for the Month of February

The feature pool at the Old Key West resort will be closed for the entire month of February 2010. Guests will continue to be able to use the leisure pools as well as as the feature pool at Saratoga Springs Resort. Shuttle service between the resorts will be provided.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch!

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Is the University of Oregon Duck Swimming in Hot Water with The Walt Disney Company?

A trio of University of Oregon students: Brian McAndrew, Jamie Slade and Michael Bishon, also known as Supwitchugirl, have come into the limelight recently with a music video they produced and released on YouTube singing (and/or rapping) their praises of the school’s football team, the Oregon Ducks.

They’ve also produced a little bit of controversy and it may not be reasons that you’d immediately think of. The problem, some are finding, including the UO Athletic Department, is the prominent appearance in the video by the school’s mascot, the Duck (and often just the head of the Duck on someone’s body).

What this has to do with controversy (and — more importantly — Disney) is that the UO Duck, although not an identical twin by any stretch of the imagination, is a licensed version of Donald Duck. Donald was licensed to the University by Walt himself in a famous anecdote in which the deal was sealed with a simple handshake. Upon Walt’s death, when the question of the legitimacy of the claim came up, a photograph featuring Walt wearing a UO Letterman’s jacket featuring Donald was accepted as grounds for continuation of the deal, this time on paper.

What some are afraid of is that the unauthorized use of the mascot in the video may be subject to legal action by The Walt Disney Company as Disney would need to explicitly provide consent for anything beyond the already agreed upon use of Donald’s likeness. While the licensing contract details haven’t been revealed, some are concerned this may be the beginning of the end of the agreement altogether and have asked the students to remove the mascot from the video, a Herculean task which the students have respectfully declined.

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