This Sunday (October 4), Disney and Hasbro officially launch the first wave of Playmation, the inter-connected toy system that promises to ‘flip toys-to-life on its head.’ Usually reserved for describing specific video console games, the ‘toys-to-life’ concept allows players to use real-world toys (usually stationary figures) to affect gameplay — one that Disney’s own ‘Disney Infinity’ franchise has managed to do incredibly well. Instead of plopping down in front of a television screen, however, Playmation combines new technology with old-fashioned imagination and physical play for an almost-new play pattern. The result is augmented imaginative role-play that encourages physical activity both indoors and outdoors, alone or with friends, anytime and virtually anywhere.
Ahead of any official announcements, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released a teaser trailer for the Blu-ray, digital and Disney Movies Anywhere release of the Pixar Animation Studios’ holiday special, ‘Toy Story That Time Forgot,’ which you can find embedded below.
During a post-Christmas play date, the gang find themselves in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional. It’s all up to Trixie, the triceratops, if the gang hopes to return to Bonnie’s room in this ‘Toy Story That Time Forgot.’
On December 2, ABC will premiere the second half-hour television special from Pixar Animation Studios, ‘Toy Story That Time Forgot.’ A follow-up to the Halloween-ish ‘Toy Story of TERROR,’ ‘Time Forgot’ is billed as a holiday special, taking place a couple of days after Christmas.
This is a placeholder for my review of the first episode of Disney XD’s ‘Star Wars Rebels’ that was screened last night to an invitation-only crowd at San Diego Comic-Con. It is a placeholder because I did not have the opportunity to actually attend the screening held at the Reading Theater in the Gaslamp District. Perhaps when I actually get to see ‘Star Wars Rebels,’ I will update this article. Until then, this is a placeholder. And in order to fill the space which is being held, I will indulge my self and explain just why it’s a placeholder.
One of the titles I was looking forward to the most this summer was The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino (July 22, 2014). A follow-up to her acclaimed Fairest of All which chronicled the Evil Queen’s (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) descent into madness, Beast tackles what I have long considered my favorite Disney animated film of all time, Beauty and the Beast.
It’s deceptively simple. It’s deceptively hard. And it’s blatantly addictive. It is ‘Lost Light,’ the newest mobile app game from Disney Interactive and Creature Feep, the studio behind ‘Where’s My Water?’ and other original properties for Disney, now available for Apple iOS and Android devices.
Note: This is a review of the original motion picture soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen. Reviews for the film are under embargo until later this month.
On November 25, Walt Disney Records will release the original motion picture soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen in both single disc and 2-disc deluxe formats (available for pre-order via Amazon and iTunes), the latter of which features demos of songs that didn’t make it into to the film for various reasons (25 were written with just eight plus a reprise making the final cut). In addition to the songs written by the [married] songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the soundtrack features a score by Christophe Beck and orchestration and arrangements by Dave Metzger. With a pedigree such as this, it’s a natural expectation for the soundtrack to exceed, but frankly expectations are greatly exceeded in what can easily be seen as Disney’s best musical since Beauty and the Beast, and in some ways, even better.
Television, movies, living vicariously through others, Disney, rare and unique finds, whiskers on kittens and cheap and feeble attempts at humor by parodying Hollywood’s most beloved classic musicals: these are a few of my favorite things. So needless to say I was thrilled when I learned that Syfy would be introducing a new series titled ‘Hollywood Treasure’ in which we followed the path of Hollywood’s treasures from unearthing to ending up on the auction house block. And when Syfy reached out to me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing the first two episodes from the 12-episode season, I would have ordinarily jumped at the chance, but what could Syfy (owned by NBC Universal incidentally) possibly offer me, someone who focuses on The Walt Disney Company? Apparently everything (but more on that later).
TRON is, I say with no shame to speak of, one of my all-time favorite films (it’s so me and Al Gore will always have something to discuss). So when Walt Disney Studios decided to revive its viral campaign a second time (the first being San Diego Comic-Con’s reincarnation of Flynn’s Arcade) and combine it with my hometown, I was at the ready.
It all started when Flynn Lives, a grassroots campaign of members unknown, published what was almost immediately identified as a binary clock counting down to February 24 at 11 am ET. Apparently ENCOM CEO Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) had gone missing twenty years ago and hadn’t been heard of since, but the organization is certain Flynn is alive and is doing whatever it can to bring his cause to the nation’s attention.
As the countdown continued, a list of 25 cities worldwide appeared below the clock. Then at 11 AM ET on February 24, the cities were each listed alongside a numbered grid and — throughout the day — cities would become active, requesting than a volunteer operative go to a designated location revealed only when the city opened up (an arcade) and be the first to locate a contact in a FLYNN LIVES tshirt and pass along the secret phrase. In return, the operative received a nylon TRON wallet containing newspaper clippings about the campaign, three TRON trading cards (which then translated into the numbered mosaic of a new image from the film) and a Flynn’s Arcade token.
It was then revealed that a special IMAX event would be taking place earlier today with limited tickets simultaneously becoming available at 9 PM GMT for five cities: Los Angeles and New York in the United States, Toronto, London and Sydney. Based on the audience size, I suspect no more than 50-75 tickets were available (each being a +1), so I was fortunate enough to secure one.
Entering the IMAX theatre (the 8-story tall one in New York), we were handed our 3D Glasses and a free FLYNN LIVES tshirt and found our seats. Shortly after 10 am ET, the lights dimmed and the trailer unceremoniously began. And now, the review/spoilers:
Title: The Muppets Animal Drummer (link)
Publisher: Walt Disney
Released: December 15, 2009
Pros: The Muppets; good graphics; great music and sounds; fun, addictive and simple gamplay
Review: From Disney Interactive Studios, Enorbus and the Muppets Studio comes The Muppets Animal Drummer, a rhythm based game that has its roots in the electronic board game Simon in which you must repeat Animal’s drumming sequence in (near) perfect rhythm, so it differs from the Dance Dance Revolution genre in that you must remember the sequence rather than reacting to it in real time.