Mickey Mouse Unveils Latest Train to Join Disney History, Mickey’s Magic Choo Choo, in Kansas City

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGDAqCdG9qsKANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mickey Mouse paid a visit to Kansas City this weekend, Walt Disney’s hometown, as he celebrated the unveiling of a traveling art exhibit that pays homage to Walt’s lifelong love of trains. He also unveiled the latest Mickey Mouse-inspired toy train set, Mickey’s Magic Choo Choo, releasing in time for the holidays. Local preschoolers along with Kansas City officials and hundreds of fans saw Mickey off as he kicked off his virtual train tour departing Union Station for Los Angeles, where he will arrive just in time for a viewing party showcasing the upcoming Disney Channel primetime special, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Choo Choo Express airing Sunday, October 25th (7:00-7:45 p.m. ET/PT).

Families and their kids can track Mickey’s travels online at www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving, where they can now view the debut of “Mickey’s Evolution,” a video retrospective that reminds us why Mickey Mouse is a bona fide global icon. Fans can also follow Mickey’s virtual train tour on www.Twitter.com/DisneyLiving, and on Facebook, search word: Disney Living, as he makes his way to the Travel Town Railroad Museum in Los Angeles.

The Art Exhibit
The exhibit captures the history of Walt’s and Mickey’s love of trains with a nod to life on the railroad in the early 20th century. Introducing visitors to rare animation art, historic photography and some of Walt’s personal train-related artifacts, the gallery tells the story of a simpler time when Mickey and friends traveled by rail and Walt himself was building one-of-a-kind miniature railroads in his backyard for friends and family. Including photographs of Walt riding the “Lilly Belle” or Mickey rushing to catch a train in an early animation sketch from Mr. Mouse Takes A Trip, this unique art collection comprised of nearly two dozen pieces, will be on display at Union Station from October 10-11, 2009; select images will then move to the Travel Town Railroad Museum in Los Angeles, Calif.

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American Idol Judge Kara DioGuardi Guest Stars on New Episode of ‘Hannah Montana’ October 18

In “Judge Me Tender,” Hannah fills in for Kara DioGuardi alongside judges Andy and Byron on reality show “America’s Top Talent.” Her stint as a guest judge turns complicated when Oliver auditions and delivers a knock-out performance. Oliver turns into a heartthrob overnight and gets so caught up with the attention, he neglects Lilly, so when he is scheduled to perform again, Lilly pressures Miley to give him a bad review so he won’t advance to the next round. Much to their dismay, he delivers another great performance and Miley finds herself stuck between being honest or helping Lilly. Meanwhile, as punishment for receiving a traffic ticket, Robby makes Jackson clean the attic. When another ticket arrives, father and son discover a case of mistaken identity, in a new episode of “Hannah Montana,” premiering SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18 (7:30-8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. Guest starring is Kara DioGuardi (“American Idol”) as herself, Charles Shaughnessy as Byron and John Henton (“Living Single”) as Andy.

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Disney Channel President Rich Ross Named New Chairman of Walt Disney Studios

Rich Ross (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Company)BURBANK, Calif., October 5, 2009 — Rich Ross, President of Disney Channels Worldwide, has been named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, it was announced today by Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger.

Ross will oversee worldwide production, distribution and marketing for the company’s range of live-action and feature animated film labels, including Walt Disney, Touchstone, Miramax and Disney/Pixar. In his new role, which he assumes immediately, he will also head Disney’s theatrical and music groups.

In his thirteen years at Disney, Ross has consistently created hit original programming, effectively expanded a worldwide creative and distribution organization, skillfully built the Disney brand with global franchises that work across borders and technology platforms and put in place a strong management team.

“Rich has an outstanding record of creating high-quality family entertainment that delights audiences around the world,” said Iger. “With his success in building the Disney brand across many of our businesses, his astute marketing sensibility, his proven ability in working effectively with talent and his skill at navigating complex global markets, I’m confident he’s the perfect leader for our studio group.”

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Production Begins on All New Disney Channel Original Movie, ‘Starstruck,’ Featuring Hollywood Landmarks

Production has begun on “Starstruck,” a music-filled Disney Channel Original Movie starring Sterling Knight (“Sonny With A Chance”) and introducing Danielle Campbell. Slated to premiere in 2010, the movie is filming in and around Los Angeles at landmark locations including Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, the Hollywood Sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Venice Boardwalk.

The story follows Jessica Olson (played by Campbell), a down-to-earth girl from the Midwest who collides (literally) with Hollywood’s teen heartthrob, pop star Christopher Wilder (played by Knight). They wind up on a love-struck adventure in Southern California, but their bond is tested when she returns home and he publicly denies their relationship.

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D23 Expo: Wizards of Waverly Place Fashion Show, Screening, Panel; Performance by Honor Society

Baljeet, Jeremy, Candace, Buford, Phineas and Ferb in Phineas and Ferb's 'Wizard of Odd' © Disney XD Still flying from winning their Creative Arts Emmy the day before, the cast of Disney Channel’s Wizard of Waverly Place held a panel on Sunday in which thousands of fans were treated also to a brief runway fashion show showing off a clothing line inspired by the show, the premiere of the third season (which airs October 9) and a performance by Disney recording artist Honor Society. Hosted by Radio Disney’s Ernie D, the only cast member unable to appear was David DeLuise who had broken his clavicle at the awards ceremony.

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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Holiday-themed Special Features New Songs from TMBG and ‘Sensational Six’

A primetime special for preschoolers and their families, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Choo Choo Express,” starring Disney’s beloved Sensational Six – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Pluto – premieres SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 (7:00-7:45 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. In the colorful special of this Emmy Award-nominated series, Mickey and pals climb aboard the Clubhouse Choo Choo Train for a snow-filled adventure. Grammy Award-winning alternative rock band They Might Be Giants and the Sensational Six themselves each perform a new song in the special.

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All New Disney/Pixar ‘Cars Toons’ Rev Up on Disney Channel, Disney XD and ABC Family

All-new episodes of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars Toons,” an animated short series directed by Academy Award©-winner John Lasseter with Rob Gibbs co-directing and starring Lightning McQueen’s rusty friend Mater, will debut beginning FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20 on Disney Channel, Disney XD and ABC Family. They are titled “Unidentified Flying Mater,” “Monster Truck Mater,” “Heavy Metal Mater” and “Tokyo Mater.”

Mark Mothersbaugh (“Devo”) composed the music for three episodes and BT (“The Fast and the Furious”), a prominent composer of dance and electronic music, scored “Tokyo Mater.”

The four new stories follow the popular shorts that began debuting in October 2008 and which have reached 22.9 million Kids 2-11, or 56% of all kids in that age group in the U.S., and 67.5 million total unique viewers.

“Cars Toons” are directed by John Lasseter, (“Cars,” “Toy Story 2,” “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story”) and co-directed by Rob Gibbs (“Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “Monsters, Inc” and “Toy Story 2″). Kori Rae (“The Incredibles” and “Monsters Inc.”) is the producer. Victor Navone (“Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and “Monsters, Inc.”) co-directed the episode “Tokyo Mater.”

In “Unidentified Flying Mater,” premiering Friday, November 20 on Disney Channel, Mater meets a cute little bucktoothed UFO named Mator, takes him out for a night of fun and they quickly become best friends. But when Mator is captured by the military, Mater and Lightning McQueen come to the rescue.

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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 Channel Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month Beginning September 15

Disney Channel will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with programming events for preschoolers, kids, tweens and families beginning TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15. Included is a Playhouse Disney mini-marathon and new episode of its Emmy and Imagen Award-nominated series “Handy Manny.”

Wilmer Valderrama of “Handy Manny” and Maria Canals-Barrera of the hit Emmy-nominated series “Wizards of Waverly Place” will host interstitials highlighting Hispanic traditions. The interstitials will also feature kids from around the nation sharing cultural traditions such as La Arana, Los Pollitos, salsa dancing and Quinceañeras.

The programming line-up includes:

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The Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) Scores 19 Daytime Emmy Awards

The Disney/ABC Television Group received 19 Daytime Emmy Awards at the 36th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards presented this weekend, August 29th and 30th.

ABC’s “The View” received four Daytime Emmy Awards and made history when the honor of Outstanding Talk Show Host was bestowed on Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd. It was the first time in the 36 year history of NATAS that multiple talk show hosts were bestowed this honor. The women of “The View” have been nominated for 12 consecutive years in this category; this was their first win.

Other wins for ABC’s “The View” include Outstanding Directing in a Talk Show/Morning Program for Director, Mark Gentile; Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling and “Outstanding Achievement in Makeup.

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