The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team is taking the bull by the horns and heading to Tennessee, “The Volunteer State.” With their sights set on the city of Nashville, the designers are poised to honor a community that lives by the code that neighbors help neighbors. After the devastating 500 year flood on May 1st of this year, much of “Music City” was left under water, a number of people died and there was widespread property damage. At the center of the tragedy is the Lighthouse School and the family who’s been running it since 2003, the Sweatt family. The school became known nationally when news stations featured footage of one of their buildings floating down the interstate. Yet, despite the extensive damage to their own facility, the Sweatt family spearheaded recovery efforts, and to date have helped over 200 families.
Let’s face it, audio animatronic figures are just a passing fad. Sure they look and move in realistic fashions, even so much as being able to appear to walk steps or be able to twirl a lasso, but it all comes at a high cost — literally and figuratively. They’re expensive to design and create, require expensive maintenance and heavy and large platforms and have extremely limited mobility. And that’s coming from one of the leaders in robotic development at Disney Research, Lanny Smoot. Smoot, Imagineer Gary Schnuckle and Timothy Caldwell are the driving forces behind a new patent application which seeks out the next generation of reliable, consistent, automated performances and they just might have found the answer for 2010 in technology whose origins have been traced as far back as 2000 B.C. — marionettes.
A couple of days ago, Walt Disney Animation Studios released a ‘Double Tower’ parody of the universal sensation ‘Giant Double Rainbow’ video by Paul ‘Bear’ Vasquez which to date has seen nearly 14.5 million views since its debut just 8 months ago. Today there are countless numbers of videos and songs that have been inspired by the video, but perhaps none (or very few anyway) have disappointed Bear as much as Disney’s promotion did. What affected Bear isn’t so much that it was done however, but how it was done. A huge fan of Disney (or Disneyland as he points out to me below), Bear is none too pleased that Disney’s marketing made no attempt to contact him regarding their efforts, ‘taking his words’ as he puts it in his emails below. He’s hoping Disney will see the error of its ways however and at least treat him to a Disneyland in recognition of the joy he and both the company bring to the world. Personally, I believe Disneyland should go one further and give him and his family nothing short of a ticker-tape parade, but here’s hoping he at least gets a trip out of it.
New DisneyStore.com arrivals for September 9, 2010
Below is a list of new items now available for purchase at DisneyStore.com. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on DisneyStore.com in another window.
|”Santa’s Little Helper” Tinker Bell Ornament by Lenox – $19.95
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|Distressed D23 Baseball Cap for Adults – $24.95
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|D23 Membership Exclusive Mens Polo Shirt – $34.95
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|World of Color Tumbler — Green – $14.95
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Walt Disney Studios held a screening and press event for Tangled earlier today in Los Angeles according to tweets by LatinoReview.com’ George Roush (@elguapo1). We hear that in addition to appearances by the film’s stars Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, the event was attended by John Lasseter and Alan Menken. Roush also tweeted out a photo that features the new meet & greet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider characters that will be making their Disney Parks debut beginning October 15.
Note that we do anticipate the meet and greet areas at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts to embellish on Rapunzel’s hair which is significantly hidden in the photo.
New Marvel Shop arrivals for September 8, 2010
Below is a list of new items now available for purchase at Marvel Shop. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on Marvel Shop in another window.
On Thursday, September 16, ABC’s ‘LIVE! With Regis and Kelly’ is looking to set a new Guiness World Record for the largest ‘human mattress dominoes’ attempt as part of the ‘Guinness World Record Breaker Week 2010.’
Participants will each be provided with a twin-sized mattress and arranged in the ‘human domino’ formation. When signaled, participants will fall backwards one-by-one just like a set of dominoes. Participants must be 17 years of age or older (17 year olds must be accompanied by someone 18 and over) and taller than 4’11”. Participants must also be able to provide ID and sign a release form.
Walt Disney Studios has released two featurettes today focusing on its upcoming buzz-worthy October 8 release of Secretariat.
In ‘Penny’s Story – Against All Odds,’ director Randall Wallace, producer Mark Ciardi and Diane Lane talk about the challenges Penny Chenery faced when she decided to bring Secretariat to the world of horse racing, in a place where women simply weren’t meant to be, accomplishing something most men couldn’t. Among much of the new footage introduced in the clip are scenes with Dylan Baker and a great introduction to horse trainer Lucien Laurin as portrayed by the incomparable John Malkovich.
Making its debut at a Grand Slam tennis event, ESPN’s SpiderCam at the US Open has taken viewers where they’ve never gone before for dramatic shots of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The aerial camera system – which is exclusive to ESPN2 and its approximately 100 hours of US Open action – is suspended by four thin Kevlar ropes connected to large winches via pulleys high above the court surface on light poles at the four corners of the world’s largest tennis arena. It moves in three dimensions, ranging from as low as one meter off the court to 33 meters high, from beyond one end of the court to the other and from side to side. The camera can pan, tilt, zoom and focus, with the images sent via fiber optics wiring within the Kevlar roping.
Walt Disney Studios released this clip earlier today in which Secretariat director Randall Wallace discusses the reaction Penny Chenery had to seeing her life played out on the big screen. ‘It was in seeing the movie that she understood for the first time just how lonely she had been in her life, how isolated the journey had been, what it had cost her emotionally,’ he notes.