When it Comes to Big Love, HBO has Nothing on Disney

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Topeka’s KTKA is reporting that the Topeka Zoo’s lonely hippo-turned-cougar, Mara,  will soon have a potential suitor in Tucker, a younger hippo gentleman from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In the name of ‘research,’ I mistakingly googled on the mating habits of the hippopotamus. I didn’t go past that, but evidently it’s made the list of several top 10 ‘bizarre’ mating rituals.

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Forget the Palm d’Or, Dug from Disney/Pixar’s UP Takes the Palm Dog

The American Free Press is reporting that Dug and the rest of his canine pack (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and perhaps a couple of others) have secured the top canine prize at Cannes, the Palm Dog, which celebrates dogs on film.

From the article: “Up was a favourite from the word go as it featured loveable Dug and a pack of wild but wonderful hounds with comically malfunctioning human voice collars,” said journalist Toby Rose.

For more information on the award, check out the article here.

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Central Florida Charities “Shine On” Thanks to $700,000 in Disney Grants

Mickey MouseLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 21, 2009 – Showing a strong commitment to building a better future for the children of Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort gave a total of $700,000 in grants to 34 worthy non-profit organizations via prize patrols that blanketed the region during the last two weeks.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of these very deserving non-profit organizations that tirelessly work on behalf of our community’s youth,” says Eugene Campbell, vice president of Community Relations and Minority Business Development for Walt Disney World Resort. “Walt Disney World Resort is always looking for ways to invest in the children of Central Florida. By doing so, we hope to ultimately create a stronger community for us all.”

Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants recognize those who commit their time and talent to making a difference in the lives of Central Florida’s children. This year’s recipients were chosen by panel of judges made up of Central Florida community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members. In order to be considered for a Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grant, non-profits must offer programs that focus on children in four specific areas: connecting with adults, constructive use of free time, character development and compassion.

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Star Wars Weekends Event: Book Signing with Author Ryder Windham June 6

Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual GuideCome meet author Ryder Windham as he signs copies of his book, Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide, on Saturday, June 6 at Wicket’s Warehouse (at Soundstage 1 near the Backlot Tour entrance). Windham has authored over fifty titles including junior novelized versions of Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies and will be signing his book from 11 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 6 pm.

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Star Wars Weekends Hints and Tips from StarWars.com (Video)

StarWars.com has produced a really great video full of tips for surviving Star Wars Weekends. While the big figs displayed at one point are actually from last year, the video is new and current and includes vital information such as the change this year with celebrity FASTPASSes being distributed outside the park. To some extent, the video also features the Prop Shop which is a backstage venue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Check it out here.

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A Christmas Carol Train Tour Event Photocall and New Photos of Train Interior

The 40 city whistle-stop tour of the train promoting Disney’s A Christmas Carol kicked off today at Union Station in Los Angeles and star Jim Carrey and director Robert Zemeckis were on hand to kick it off. In addition, we get a new glimpse of some of the exhibits on display inside the train.

Photos from WireImage. © Imagemovers Digital LLC. Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

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Star Wars Weekends Event: Book Signing with Illustrator Chris Reiff May 30

Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate CollectionCome meet Chris Reiff as he signs copies of his book, Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection, on Saturday, May 30 at Wicket’s Warehouse (at Soundstage 1 near the Backlot Tour entrance). Reiff is a frequent contributor to Star Wars Insider magazine, co-founder of the Parts of Star Wars and the designer of the Riddell miniature Star Wars helmets and will be signing his book from 11 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 6 pm.

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Disney Channel’s Summer of Stars Debuts Friday, May 29

Disney Channel’s special summertime lineup, Summer of Stars, kicks off FRIDAY MAY 29, with a cavalcade of special event episodes, new double-feature movies and marathons of kids’ favorite series. Highlighting Disney Channel superstars Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, Summer of Stars celebrates the strong connection that kids age 6-14 have with the entire lineup of Disney Channel talent. Disney Channel.com, the #1 entertainment website for Kids 6-14, will also launch a new supersite, game or activity every Saturday to coincide with Summer of Stars.

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NY Times Offers First Look at Changes to Hall of Presidents and its New Resident Obama

Audio Animatronic of President Barack Obama soon to debut at the Magic Kingdom's Hall of Presidents © Disney

Audio Animatronic of President Barack Obama soon to debut at the Magic Kingdom's Hall of Presidents © Disney

The NY Times brings us an exclusive behind the scenes look at the new President Barack Obama animatronic figure that will be making its Walt Disney World debut in July. The article, which features a Disney approved photo from afar, talks about the care and excessive detail that went into the faithful re-creation, right down to the detail of his wedding ring. The article also goes into some of the additional changes that will be taking place including confirming (as well as putting to bed) many of the rumored changes, particularly on who will have a speaking part and who won’t.

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Disney Channel Presents ‘Special Agent Oso’ Marathon, Featuring New Episode and Viewer Painted Digi-Medals

Disney Channel will present a marathon of its newest hit, “Special Agent Oso,” an animated series for preschoolers starring Sean Astin, SATURDAY, JUNE 13 (6:00 – 10:00 a.m. ET/PT). The marathon will feature eight episodes, including the premiere of a new episode, “The Living Flashlight / Sand Castle Royale,” at 8:00 a.m. ET/PT. Online at PlayhouseDisney.com preschoolers can digitally paint their own Digi-Medals featured in the series and then submit their virtual creation for the opportunity to be highlighted on Disney Channel during the marathon.

“The Living Flashlight” – When Theo and Oliver find their flashlight isn’t working, Special Agent Oso leaves his Deep Sea Training Exercise to shed light on the problem.

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