Video: Mickey Mouse Checks in on D23 Expo Preparations

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It’s the eve of D23 Expo and Mickey’s hard at work making sure everything goes off without a hitch. Join Mickey Mouse as he checks out The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives and all sorts of things going up for the Expo like the 5’3″ Buzz Lightyear made entirely of LEGO bricks and the fully interactive Storytellers’ Sandbox from Walt Disney Imagineering. Footage courtesy of Disney.

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Mandy Moore lets down her hair for “Rapunzel”

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – After combing the acting landscape, Walt Disney Pictures has chosen Mandy Moore to voice the lead role in its Digital 3D-animated musical action-adventure “Rapunzel,” inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

Zachary Levi, star of NBC’s “Chuck,” has been cast as the voice of the dashing bandit who finds himself on the road with the rebellious teen “hair apparent.”

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D23 Expo Features Walt Disney Signature Home Fragrance Collection by Seda France

Anaheim, CA, September 10, 2009 — Seda France recently unveiled the all-new Walt Disney Signature Home Fragrance Collection – part of Disney’s premiere upscale, non-character, adult lifestyle brand – and this week that line can be found at the first-ever D23 Expo, an event that Disney President and Chief Executive Bob Iger is calling “the ultimate event for the multitude of fans who have been so instrumental in Disney’s success.” The Expo, to be held September 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center, will offer a sneak peek at all-new Disney films and will also showcase a collection of Disney props, artifacts and costumes.

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Welcome Foolish Mortals…Walt Disney Records Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of The Haunted Mansion with Two CD Releases

BURBANK, Calif. — On September 9, 2009 Walt Disney Records celebrates the 40th Anniversary of The Haunted Mansion with two CD releases — The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion and The Haunted Mansion. Both CDs were produced, fully restored and compiled by Grammy®-winning producer Randy Thornton.

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Special One-Hour Episode of ‘The Suite Life on Deck’ has Kids ‘Lost at Sea'; Kicks off Week-Long Event

Zack, Cody, London, Bailey and Woody are lost at sea in a new one-hour special episode of “The Suite Life on Deck,” premiering FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. Viewers go around the world to the S.S. Tipton’s ports of call during a week-long programming event.

In “Lost At Sea,” Zack, Cody, London, Bailey and Woody find themselves stranded on a deserted island when Woody accidentally hits the release lever on a lifeboat and the gang drifts out to sea. Zack hops into action, putting his survival tactics to use, while London takes it all in stride, believing that they have found a remote five-star resort. When Mr. Moseby realizes that the kids are missing, he sets off on a search to find them.

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Disney Launches Nationwide Environmental Science Competition for Classroom, Prizes Include Class Disneyland Celebration

BURBANK, Calif. — With the school year in full swing, educators will have a new environmental science learning tool to draw from as they develop their curriculums. Disney today announced the nationwide launch of Disney’s Planet Challenge, a project-based environmental competition for 4th – 6th grade classrooms that will empower students to make a difference in school, at home and in their local communities. With more than 15 years experience running highly-acclaimed classroom environmental competitions in regional markets including California and Florida (as “Disney’s Environmentality Challenge®”), Disney developed the new Disney’s Planet Challenge in response to growing demand across all 50 states. Program collaborations with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the K-12 Alliance and state and federal government agencies ensure academic and environmental excellence. Participation in the program is free, and enrollment is open today at www.disney.com/planetchallenge.

“Disney’s environmental legacy is carried forward today in our ambitious environmental goals that not only focus on how we operate our businesses, but on how we inspire others to learn about the planet and take action as well,” said The Walt Disney Company’s senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, Tom Staggs, who oversees the company’s environmental efforts. “Disney’s Planet Challenge is an excellent example of how our unique connection to children can give us the opportunity to inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.”

To ensure Disney’s Planet Challenge promotes excellence in science education and adheres to the specific educational standards of each state, Disney is collaborating with NSTA and the K-12 Alliance. Disney has also worked closely with the U.S. and California Environmental Protection Agencies, U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife and the California Department of Education to achieve the highest in environmental standards.

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MINDstyle Sets up Shop at D23 Expo with New Exclusives, New Project 626 and Photos Inside

Project 626 from MINDstyleMINDstyle has just updated its blog with a couple of entries of particular interest to those attending D23 Expo (and perhaps even some who aren’t). Filled with photos from inside the Anaheim Convention Center as well as a look at some D23 exclusives and a sneak peek at dozens of new entries into the Project 626 Vinyl project which is essentially a Stitch version of Vinylmation.

Check out the D23 Expo setup here and some of the new Project 626 entries here, including Lilo wearing a Stitch costume and an Audrey 2 (from Little Shop of Horrors).

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Walt Disney Studios Hosts Special Engagement of the Princess and the Frog; Ziegfeld in New York

UPDATE: SEE OUR FULL REVIEW ALONG WITH DOZENS OF PHOTOS OF THE ULTIMATE DISNEY EXPERIENCE HERE!

BURBANK, Calif. & NEW YORK — In celebration of Disney’s newest animated musical “The Princess and The Frog,” Walt Disney Studios is opening its Burbank gates to the public for a once-in-a-lifetime advance special engagement, welcoming Disney fans to experience its newest animated musical comedy Nov. 25-Dec. 13, 2009. The advance special engagement will also be featured in Clearview’s historic Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. Following the film, fans on both coasts will also be treated to The Ultimate Disney Experience, an exciting extravaganza that will feature—for the first time ever—all nine of the Disney princesses (including the film’s Princess Tiana, Disney’s newest princess), as well as exciting Bayou games, movie archives, how-to presentations from Disney animators, Studio tours (for L.A. guests) and more. Tickets went on sale at midnight last night.

“We’re welcoming families to our Studio to see where Walt Disney made real movie magic,” said Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “Our Studio is not open to the public, so it’s an unprecedented opportunity for Disney fans to experience a movie right here on the Disney lot where we’ve filmed Disney classics like ‘Mary Poppins,’ ‘Princess Diaries,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and many more. In fact, Walt built the original theater on the Studio lot back in 1940; it opened just in time for special audiences to view his ‘Fantasia.’ With a newly renovated, state-of-the-art theater, the Studio will open its gates once again, inviting audiences to not only see our newest animated musical, but to take part in a one-of-a-kind experience after the movie. We’re bringing the same exciting experience to New York City at the historic Ziegfeld Theatre and Roseland Ballroom.”

Themed to the film’s setting, New Orleans, The Ultimate Disney Experience will feature something for the whole family.

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Thinkway Toys’ Toy Story Definitive Collection Vol 4: Lasseter Revs up on RC

The third installment of the very popular video series from Disney Consumer Products has been released in which John Lasseter talks about some of the background on RC from the Toy Story Definitive collectibles line from Thinkway Toys.

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RC from the Toy Story Definitive Collection by Thinkway ToysHere’s some of the features you’ll find with the Toy Story Definitive Collection RC:

* The most movie accurate RC produced to date, completely in scale to Buzz Lightyear

* RC’s playful personality is revealed with bouncing action, horn honking, free motion eyes, multiple expressions and driving sound effects

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Directors Tim Burton and Robert Zemeckis to Join Dick Cook and Nicolas Cage at D23 Expo

D23 has just announced that directors Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland) and Robert Zemeckis (A Christmas Carol) will join Dick Cook on stage during his address at the D23 Expo on Friday.

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