DSNY's Regular News Service Will Resume With A New App Update In August/September

Hi there,

This is Jack of DSNY Newscast and of DSNY Digest. I want to be completely honest with everyone that uses this app. As I started a YouTube channel in April providing Disney News updates 3 times a week, and have seen the channel skyrocket. Which is great! But along with that is A LOT of work; research, writing, filming and editing. Therefore, the app has become a lesser priority as of recently, as the 1,000 people who use the app, more than likely watch the videos, and I made a decision to focus on providing great content to all you Waltineers!

However, I have a plan.

I DO want this app to be brought back to life, as it is what started it all.

But to do this it will take a bit of time rework how the app operates, so that it's quicker to update.

But along with it, Push Notifications will be brought back and we'll be adding new Movie Countdown Widgets, plus support for multiple Countdowns to Disney Vacations.

And ONE DAY SOON, you'll receive an update in the App Store that brings a new design and this app back to life once again!

Thanks

Jack

In the meantime stay tuned to DSNY Newscast on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/c/DSNYNewscastTheWorldofDisneyNews

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Iconic Scene from 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Changing at Disneyland Paris, and Disneyland & Walt Disney World In 2018

When Pirates of the Caribbean re-opens at Disneyland Paris on July 24, guests will discover new surprises as well as a band of new buccaneers. The blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” films provided the inspiration for our Imagineering team to come up with new twists and turns in our story, and a chance to introduce new characters and magic to this classic attraction. 

Captain Barbossa, from the blockbuster films, will appear in the attraction for the first time, joining a skeletal crew in a scene unique to Disneyland Paris. Also, ghostly visages of Davy Jones and Blackbeard will warn that “dead men DO tell tales!”

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

Throughout the attraction, we’ve enhanced the show with new Audio-Animatronics figures, costumes, special effects, lighting and sound, including some of the now-classic musical themes from the films. Of course, the classic “A Pirates Life for Me!” song will continue to underscore the attraction.

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

You’ll even discover that a familiar character is playing a new role joining the pirates ranks and helping the local townspeople “unload” their valuables at the Mercado auction. In the U.S., this famous redhead will appear in a similar scene at the Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland park in 2018 following a previously scheduled refurbishment. Click here to view an artist’s rendering of the new Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort scenes.

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

Disneyland Paris guests will also discover some changes to the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, re-opening as Captain Jack’s. It seems that Captain Jack won the restaurant in a wager and is now welcoming pirates of all ages to relax over a drink and hot meal. The interior of the restaurant has been re-themed and the establishment has been staffed with a fun-loving band of pirates.

The adventures set sail on July 24 in Adventureland at Disneyland Paris.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Banner Photo Credit: Disney

Disney Research Experiments With Interactive, Storytelling Robots For Children

Disney has long been experimenting with robots in the parks, but recent work at Disney Research has been pushing the idea of robot interaction to new heights.

Three studies were conducted together that focused on different ways children can interact with robots, and which of these methods they respond to best. The experiments explored whether or not kids like it when the robot retained information from one conversation to the next, how well robots can interact with kids during storytelling, and whether or not smart TVs and tablets can have question and answer sessions with kids.

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

The children participating in the research varied in age, and older kids preferred the more human-like responses while younger children did better when the robot had very basic interactions. Since research showed it’s possible to be too interactive for younger kids to understand, robots in the parks would either have to be able to judge a child’s age and choose the best way to interact, or they would have to be used in attractions with specific age guidelines.

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

This research may be linked to Disney’s recent patent to create a soft-body robot for the parks, and the company also recently previewed a “Tangled” robot at South by Southwest. During the preview, Senior Vice President of Research and Development Jon Snoddy emphasized that artificial intelligence is going to be a big part of the way Disney tells stories in the future.

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

Judging by these experiments, it seems that Disney is pushing the boundaries of AI not only for the parks, but for the way kids watch and interact with Disney programming at home. The research indicated that games and storytelling activities like these have great benefits for kids who need speech therapy to improve their diction and understanding.

As Disney continues to experiment with warmer, human-like robots, they’ve also made it clear that the goal is to have robots interact naturally, in a non-creepy way. As Snoddy said, Disney is “not in the business of scaring kids.”

Source: Inside The Magic

Banner Photo Credit: Disney

Pixar's Experimental Division Reveal First Images For 'Smash and Grab' Short

Pixar and Neill Blomkamp seem to have the same, exciting idea — when you’re in a creative rut, turn to the thing that helped you break onto the scene in the first place: short films.

We learned in May that Pixar would be getting in touch with their roots by launching an experimental short film division. Now we get a sneak peek at the fruits of their labors with the first images from the division’s first film, which is titled Smash and Grab.

Photo Credit: Disney•Pixar

Photo Credit: Disney•Pixar

Pixar exploded on the filmmaking scene with their revolutionary shorts The Adventures of André and Wally B and the Academy Award-winning Luxo JR in the 1980s, which ushered in a new era for 3D animation. Since then, they’ve released beloved short films to accompany their feature films, themselves award-winning and revolutionary.

Photo Credit: Disney•Pixar

Photo Credit: Disney•Pixar

But then Pixar started to lose its edge in the animation industry, as Disney — which acquired Pixar in 2006 — gained on it creatively and commercially, eventually overtaking Pixar at awards season. 2016 was a prime example of this turning point, with Disney producing the critically acclaimed Moana and Zootopia, the latter of which won Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, and Pixar’s only film Finding Dory — itself a late sequel to one of its early greats — receiving tepid reception and no awards love.

So it’s exciting to see Pixar return to what made them great, with an experimental short film department that will nurture new creative minds and stories. Pixar artist and producer David Lally:

Below is the text in the SIGGRAPH description of the panel introducing Smash and Grab and its department:

In 2016, Pixar launched an internal, experimental storytelling initiative to enable new creative voices and explore alternative storytelling techniques, pipelines, and workflows in production. Within the new program, filmmakers are granted total creative freedom to develop a story, design a world, and produce a short film, within six months, and without any executive supervision. Smash and Grab is a seven minute short film that explores the use of a comic book development process, virtual production, performance/camera capture, and procedural shading and lighting techniques. With the backdrop of a busy feature film studio, limited resources, and a minimal crew, this talk is the story of our journey.

Here are the larger versions of the images that Lally posted.

More will be revealed about Smash and Grab at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference, the annual gathering on computer graphics, July 30 to August 3 in Los Angeles.

Source: Slashfilm

Banner Photo Credit: Disney•Pixar

Michael Keaton Confirmed As The Villain For Tim Burton & Disney's 'Dumbo'

Michael Keaton took to “Good Morning America” this morning to promote the upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” During the show, the veteran actor unexpectedly announced one of his upcoming roles. He will be playing the villain in Disney’s live-action remake of its animated classic, “Dumbo.”

This will reunite Keaton with director Tim Burton, who is set to helm the project. The two worked together in the past on “Beetlejuice” and “Batman.”

Colin Farrell, Eva Green and Danny DeVito have also been linked to the movie, but there is currently no scheduled release date.

Keaton will hit the big screen as the villain on July 7 when “Spider-Man: Homecoming” swings into theaters.

Source: Inside The Magic

Banner Photo Credit: Disney

WATCH: First Footage of Disneyland Railroad Beginning of Test Cycles

On July 29th, the Disneyland Railroad will once again take guests on a grand circle tour of the magic kingdom after more than a year away. In preparation for this exciting return, the train began making test cycles around the park beginning Friday, June 23rd. Our own Patty happened to be in the park that day and managed to capture video of the train passing over the new trestle near the Rivers of America and the recently reopened Big Thunder Trail:

Stay tuned for more from the Disneyland Resort as these classic attractions return to the Happiest Place on Earth this summer.

Source: Laughing Place

Banner Photo Credit: Disney

WATCH: Disney CEO Bob Iger Says That 'Star Wars: Han Solo' Movie Won't Be Delayed

TMZ spoke with Disney CEO Bob Iger today about Ron Howard taking over directing the untitled and Han Solo standalone film. While Iger had nothing but good things to say about Howard’s involvement, he had little to say to fans worried that the film may be pushed back.

Iger firmly believes Han Solo isn’t “doomed,” and fans are still looking forward to the next installment in the standalone series. The next few weeks will  be the time to closely watch the production. I’m looking forward to it.

Source: Making Star Wars

Banner Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Disney Reveals Plans for Facebook-Distributed 'Club Mickey Mouse' Show

The revival of the classic variety series 'The Mickey Mouse Club' will not be distributed as a standard web series.

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E is coming to Facebook and Instagram at the end of the summer.

Disney Digital Network is revealing more details about its plans to revive iconic variety series The Mickey Mouse Club as a socially distributed program called Club Mickey Mouse.

The new project, which was first announced at Disney's NewFronts in May, will feature a new crop of digital talent that will be announced soon. Andrew Sugerman, the Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media executive who oversees DDN, teased during a panel with The Hollywood Reporter at VidCon on Friday that Disney searched for castmembers who are still on the rise and have yet to build up the online profile of some social media influencers. It also sought those with a range of talents, from choreographer-dancers to singer-songwriters.

The hope is that Club Mickey Mouse will be able to help create a new crop of stars the way the original series did.

But that's where the similarities with The Mickey Mouse Club end. The new project is not being conceived as a standard variety series. Instead, it's envisioned as something resembling a multimedia experience, with various assets programmed on Facebook and Instagram.

Sugerman noted onstage at VidCon, the annual online video conference that takes place in Anaheim every summer, that Disney wanted to create something that would appeal to young consumers, even as attention spans become shorter, hinting that Club Mickey Mouse will be released as bite-sized pieces of content.

"Club Mickey Mouse is the perfect opportunity for us to take an iconic brand, with so much legacy and nostalgia, and make it relevant to a new generation," Sugerman, who serves as executive vp publishing and digital media at DCPI, said in a statement ahead of the keynote discussion. "The original show broke new ground from a talent and programming perspective, and we're continuing that legacy with this program."

Club Mickey Mouse will start rolling out on the Oh My Disney Facebook channel at the end of August.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Banner Photo Credit: Disney

RUMOR: New Hotel Planned Near Walt Disney World's Swan & Dolphin Hotels

The Swan & Dolphin hotels are undoubtedly very unique resorts. While they are not owned by the Walt Disney Company, these resorts were built in an excellent location, being just steps away from Disney's BoardWalk Resort, Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf, as well as two of the world's busiest theme parks: Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. These hotels are already very large, but it looks like a new resort may join them in the near future.

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels are currently operated by Marriott International, Inc., a company that already operates countless hotels and resort around the world. While the company is already investing money on its existing hotels, it appears that there are plans to build a completely new boutique resort right next to Disney's Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf.

Not too long ago, some height balloons were spotted in and around the tennis court area of the Swan & Dolphin hotels, which is located directly across from the miniature golf course. You can see the tennis courts in the scale model below:

According to some rumors that we recently heard, a new hotel will replace the tennis courts. While it is expected to be a small building, it will require a reconfiguration of Fantasia Garden's existing parking lot, which will be expanded by taking up some backstage areas located behind the Dancing Hippo and Sorcerer's Apprentice pavilions.

The project will impact the Fairways course at Disney's Fantasia Gardens, but changes should be minor. The first hole could be reconfigured to make way for a new pathway and a new storage space will be created (that will be necessary to make up for the storage space that will be lost due to the parking lot expansion):

Here's an aerial view of the location showing the area where the new resort should be built (from Google Maps):

Photo Credit: OTPN

Photo Credit: OTPN

Source: Orlando Theme Park News

Banner Photo Credit: Todd F. Burgess

'Talking Skull' Returns to 'Pirates of the Caribbean' After 12 Year Hiatus

The talking skull that was removed in 2006 has returned at Pirates of the Caribbean. The skull is used to draw guests attention to the direction of the new on-ride photo. A flash of lighting and clap of thunder are used to mask the flash of the photo quite effectively. Here’s our low-light video of the effect.

Much like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, there is no area after the ride to review photos. The on-ride photo is automatically linked to your account via MagicBand, if you’re wearing one.

Source: Blog Mickey

Banner Photo Credit: Blog Mickey

'Cars 3' Races Past The Competition at the United States Weekend Box Office

A $53.69 million box office debut is certainly respectable for Cars 3, the latest project from Disney and Pixar, that’s fair to say.

However, the release of the threequel also raises two questions. Namely, how does the opening compare to the first two Cars movies, and perhaps more importantly, how does it compare to the opening weekends of the other 17 movies that Disney and Pixar have turned out?

Firstly, if you don’t adjust the opening weekends for inflation, Cars 3 falls behind both the original Cars movie ($60.12 million) and the critically maligned sequel, Cars 2 ($66.14 million). Although Cars 2 opened stronger than the first film the franchise, Cars ended up in pole position when it came to final domestic box office whether you adjust the ticket sales for inflation or not.

In order to answer the second question, I’ve ranked the 18 Disney-Pixar releases to date by their opening weekends - all figures are for domestic box office take and are unadjusted for inflation. So far, they have collectively taken $4.56 billion at the domestic box office, unadjusted for inflation - that figure increases to $5.89 billion adjusted. What will probably strike you straight away is that two big movies are in 18th and 17th place, A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2 respectively. The reason is they opened in just one movie theater and then went wide.

18. A Bug’s Life (Disney) 1998

Opening Weekend: $291,121

Final Box Office: $162.8 million

Inspired by Aesop's fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, production on A Bug's Life began not long after the release of Toy Story in 1995 and was Roddy McDowall's final role before his death. The film went on to inspire the theme park attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, It's Tough To Be A Bug.

17. Toy Story 2 (Disney) 1999

Opening Weekend: $300,163

Final Box Office: $245.9 million

Made in nine months and initially envisioned as a straight-to-video sequel, when story reels went down well, Disney upgraded Toy Story 2 to a full theatrical release. Pixar wasn't happy with the film so director John Lasseter and his team redeveloped the entire plot in one weekend. The whole film was turned around in nine months - they usually take two years.

16. Toy Story (Disney) 1995

Opening Weekend: $29.14 million

Final Box Office: $191.8 million

This was Pixar's first full-length feature having previously only turned out shorts. At the time Pixar was just a small company with a handful of employees and budgets were tight. The release, critical and commercial success of Toy Story changed everything.

15. The Good Dinosaur (Disney) 2015

Opening Weekend: $39.16 million

Final Box Office: $123.09 million

Set on a fictional Earth in which dinosaurs never became extinct, The Good Dinosaur grossed $332 million worldwide, making it Pixar's lowest-grossing film. Even though critics liked it, audiences failed to get onboard with the 3D animated adventure.

14. Ratatouille (Disney) 2007

Opening Weekend: $47.03 million

Final Box Office: $206.45 million

Ratatouille, directed by Brad Bird, grossed $620.7 million at the box office and received worldwide acclaim. It went on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for four others including Michael Giacchino's first Oscar nomination for Best Original Score

13. Cars 3 (Disney) 2017

Opening Weekend: $53.69 million

Final Box Office: TBD

Projected to open with a domestic take of around $60 million, it debuted with $53.3 million but that was still enough for Cars 3 to take the top spot at the weekend's box office. The 16th Pixar film to debut at number one it was, however, the lowest opening tally of the Cars series.

12. Cars (Disney) 2006

Opening Weekend: $60.12 million

Final Box Office: $244.08 million

Cars opened to mostly positive reviews from critics and was nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Animated Feature. Merchandise based on the film broke records for retail sales of merchandise based on a Disney-Pixar film, bringing an estimated $10 billion for 5 years after the film's release.

11. Monsters Inc. (Disney) 2001

Opening Weekend: $62.58 million

Final Box Office: $255.87 million

John Goodman and Billy Crystal led the cast as top scarer Sully and his colleague Mike Wazowski as two monsters employed at the energy-producing factory, Monsters, Inc. - the help generate their city's power by scaring children. Originally released in 2D, Disney and Pixar re-released Monsters, Inc. in 3D a year later.

10. WALL-E (Disney) 2008

Opening Weekend: $63.09 million

Final Box Office: $223.81 million

Pixar's first animated film with segments featuring live-action characters, WALL-E was an instant smash hit, grossing $533.3 million worldwide over a $180 million budget, and getting almost unanimous acclaim from critics. It also went on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, one of five things it was nominated for.

9. Cars 2 (Disney) 2011

Opening Weekend: $66.14 million

Final Box Office: $191.45 million

Cars was only the second Pixar film, after Toy Story, to have a sequel as well as becoming a franchise. However, on Rotten Tomatoes, Cars 2 has, based on 205 reviews, an approval rating of 39% making it the only Pixar film to be certified as "rotten".

Source: Forbes

Banner Photo Credit: Disney•Pixar

New Changes Coming to Disneyland's FastPass System Starting June 21, 2017

In preparation for Disneyland's long-in-the-works MaxPass option, some changes are being made to the resort's current free FastPass system. Starting June 21st, guests will still obtain their FastPasses as normal, but they will be redeemed slightly differently.

Instead of scanning their printed FastPass in order to gain entry to attractions, guests will now scan their ticket or Annual Pass instead. However, guests will still receive paper FastPasses as a reminder of their return time.

Source: Laughing Place

Banner Photo Credit: Justin Brown

Pixar Reveal New Insights Into 'Coco' at the Annecy International Animation Festival

The 2017 Annecy International Animation Film Festival (in Annecy, France) is well underway with Pixar Animation Studios sharing some insights into their fall feature, Coco. According to Variety, the presentation was lead by co-director Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson who shared design elements and delighted the audience by showing the first five minutes of the film.

With each Pixar film, there is a creative team that focuses heavily on research to ensure the accuracy of their films and Coco was no exception. “These trips [to Mexico] have greatly influenced every part of ‘Coco’s’ production, from story to music to design, even to the way we’re lighting the film,” Anderson said. We can't agree more, after watching the official Coco trailer and teaser, the film is vibrant and colorful with beautiful ambient lighting that is sure to enhance our emotions as we join Miguel on his journey.

One of the challenges that the Coco team faced during the production of the film was how to move the skeletal figures in the Land of the Dead. “Skeletons don’t have muscles, so there’s nothing holding them together,” Molina said, as he explained to the Annecy audience that the skeletal characters didn't respond well to the traditional character rigs (depicting human movement) - making us wonder if the team created new character rigs for the film.

When the concept of Coco was first announced back in April of 2012, it was noted that it would have a strong musical presence with the film centering around Miguel's dream of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz - all while navigating through his family's baffling generations-old ban on music. As the presentation at Annecy came to a close, there wasn't a real mention of any of the music from the film. However, Molina did share that he wrote the lyrics to the song featured in a scene with Miguel disguised as a skeleton set to perform on-stage to prove himself in the Land of the Dead and earning his family's benediction to get back to the land of the living.

Source: Pixar Post

Banner Photo Credit: Disney•Pixar

Monorail Suspended at Walt Disney World Due To Monorail Blue Losing Large Piece Off The Track

The Walt Disney World Monorail System is currently down and Monorail Blue is being evacuated following a piece of the vehicle falling off at Epcot.

Photo Credit: @iOSTrade on twitter

Photo Credit: @iOSTrade on twitter

The photo above shows a guest finding a piece of the monorail on the ground, having fallen off as it departed from Epcot.

Monorail Blue is currently being evacuated on the turn just before Disney’s Contemporary Resort on the Epcot line. We assume that this breakdown is related to the piece that fell off, but can not confirm at this time.

Needless to say, all Monorail lines are currently down until further notice.

We will provide updates as they are available.

Source: WDW News Today

Banner Photo Credit: DreGGs

'Fantasmic!' To Return July 17th and Disneyland Railroad To Open July 29th

This summer, iconic Disneyland park attractions make their return with the reopening of “Fantasmic!,” the Rivers of America attractions and the Disneyland Railroad. We know these classic attractions – many of which have delighted guests since the park’s opening day – are very special to Disneyland park fans, and we are excited to celebrate their return.

For 25 years, “Fantasmic!” has taken Disneyland park guests on a journey into Mickey Mouse’simagination, and its return on July 17 – in celebration of the park’s 62nd anniversary – will bring new magic to this beloved nighttime spectacular! The treasured Disneyland park experience guests have loved for years, complete with its original fanfare and theme song, will be taken to brilliant new heights. New mist screens will combine with innovative, state-of-the-art projection technology for brighter and more vibrant visuals than ever before, and the show will feature new scenes inspired by Disney animated classics such as “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”

Also this summer, the classic Rivers of America attractions will reopen, starting with Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island this Friday, June 16, followed by Mark Twain RiverboatSailing Ship Columbiaand Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes on July 29. For decades, guests have traveled the landscapes inspired by four of America’s majestic rivers: the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Missouri and the Rio Grande; each carefully recreated, complete with indigenous rock formations, natural forests and wildlife. The return of these watercraft will bring even more breathtaking views for guests to discover, including an enhanced adventure featuring the new Columbia Gorge section, highlighted by five picturesque waterfalls. Last year, we shared the artist’s rendering above, courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering, showing the gorgeous new north bank of the Rivers of America, which will feature a beautiful new waterfront.

This new waterfront will also include several elevated trestles over which the Disneyland Railroad will travel when it reopens along with the Rivers of America attractions on July 29. An icon for more than 60 years, the Disneyland Railroad holds a special place in the hearts of our guests, and we are excited to take them on the grand circle tour of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom once again. This classic experience will also feature new and enhanced adventures! For the very first time, the Disneyland Railroad will make a left-hand turn to continue around Disneyland park, and I’m excited to tell you that Walt Disney’s legendary dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World have been carefully restored to their original splendor, with a bit of new magic added to both!

Don’t miss this iconic summer as some of your favorite attractions return to Disneyland park.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Banner Photo Credit: Disney

WATCH: New Preview Released For Pixar's 'LOU' That Will Debut With 'Cars 3'

Before audiences hit the speedway in Cars 3, they’ll first tread a different kind of asphalt — that serenely hopscotched tarmac of an elementary school playground — in the latest short from Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

EW is pleased to exclusively introduce you to Lou, the star of Lou, the new short running before Cars 3 (in theaters June 16).

Lou himself is… well, up for debate. It’s probably easiest to describe him as a friendly monster who runs the school’s lost and found, inhabiting all sorts of mismatched and misplaced objects in his duty as omniscient playground watchdog. Lou keeps a close eye (or two) on the kids and makes sure everyone is reunited with the treasures they’ve lost — even those who didn’t realize they’ve parted ways with something precious.

In a new clip, above, from the six-minute film, directed by Dave Mullins and produced by Dana Murray, you’ll get a good glimpse at Lou’s happy world — and meet the very rude reason why Lou has to come out of his shell. Well, technically, sweatshirt.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Banner Photo Credit: Disney•Pixar

WDI & Hanson Robotics Developing Artificially Intelligent Disney Characters

Dr. David Hanson, founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics, made a big announcement at the TechXLR8 conference today.  Hanson Robotics is partnering with Disney to bring artificially intelligent Disney robots to life. This may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie but in the not-too-distant future these robots could be everywhere, even your home.

Hanson Robotics is developing amazingly expressive and lifelike robots that build relationships with people through conversation. Hanson works to create Genius Machines that “will have emotional intelligence matching – and one day surpassing – human emotional intelligence”. All of this achieved through the use Artificial Intelligence.

It has yet to be announced which Disney character will be the first to make it’s robotic debut but Hanson did use a slide of Elsa at the conference to reveal how people are drawn to characters with human options. It would make sense if Elsa was chosen with Frozen 2 on the horizon. Good news is we won’t have to guess for too long. Currently, the launch date is scheduled for 2018.

Source: Chip and Co

Banner Photo Credit: Abigail Campbell

WATCH: New Disney Short, 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure' To Debut Alongside Pixar's 'Coco'

Icy hearts will be significantly easier to melt this Christmas season in part thanks to Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, a new 21-minute featurette starring Frozen snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) on his quest to find an apt holiday tradition for sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) in their first merry season together as non-estranged princesses.

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

“People forget that the first movie took place in the middle of summer, so this is really the first holiday season after the girls have come together, but what they’re realizing is that because they were separated for so long, they don’t have any family traditions” explains John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Disney and Pixar animation, speaking exclusively to EW about the new original (the trailer for which debuted on Good Morning America earlier this morning). “So, Olaf is so sad about this that he decides to step out with Sven the reindeer to go around Arendelle to find the greatest family tradition for Anna and Elsa.”

Initially announced as an ABC television special, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure was bumped up to theatrical run status after Lasseter and the filmmakers decided it was too cinematic to not inhabit the big screen (to wit, it’ll now run in 3-D). Moreover, as an apt thematic match for Coco, Pixar’s upcoming Nov. 22 release about a boy uncovering his own family’s traditions on Día de Muertos, the opportunity was clear as ice crystal, and the result will be Pixar’s first movie to feature a lead-in from Walt Disney Animation Studios. (Cool your comment fingers: Yes, on the flip side, there indeed have been plenty of Pixar shorts that ran before WDAS films).

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

“When we put shorts in front of features, I always love to have shorts that contrast, that aren’t about the same subject or setting or environment, but with this, both stories are incredibly emotional and so much about family that they really fit,” Lasseter says. “And both celebrate two completely different holidays, so I think that was also fun to put them together.”

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure reunites the principal cast (including Jonathan Groff, returning as Kristoff), enlists decorated directors Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Prep & Landing) and producer Roy Conli (Big Hero 6), and adds four new original songs to the Frozen canon, this time from a new composing duo, Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel. “This was a high hurdle I set, but one of my dreams was to create a new Christmas standard in one of those songs, and Kate and Elyssa just killed it,” says Lasseter. “The song that’s actually in the trailer is ‘When We’re Together,’ and it just brings tears to your eyes. It has such great meaning for frankly anybody coming together for the holiday season.”

More than anything, the holiday featurette sticks to Lasseter’s philosophy on sequels — “No matter the length, you only do it when you have a great story” — and serves as a fundamental foundation for Frozen 2. In a string of projects set in the world of Arendelle, the animation chief stresses that everything you’ve seen thus far of Frozenwill coalesce in the November 2019 sequel, which will pick up after this timeline and examine the next chapter of Anna and Elsa figuring out how to co-exist on a united front. “In Frozen, they dearly loved each other but were separated, and now they’re back together and never going to close the doors again. But now what? What are they going to do with their first birthday? That’s Frozen Fever. Now, they have their first holiday season together. [That’s Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.] And then what? We go from there, and it fits in perfectly with Frozen 2,” he says. “It’s interesting to have this continuity between FrozenFrozen FeverOlaf’s Frozen AdventureFrozen on Broadway… all of these projects really lead to Frozen 2 and this new story we’re creating that’s all, in a weird way, connected in the life of Anna and Elsa. You could sit and watch Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and Frozen 2 as one big marathon. And it’s all in [Anna and Elsa’s] learnings. As we learn, they learn.”

For the purposes of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, the big lessons this time around are most felt by Olaf, who remains committed to discovering everything he can about the seasons — only he’s now less concerned with what happens to snowmen in summer and more by what befalls fir trees in winter. “It’s fun for him to go around and listen to everybody’s traditions and analyze them very blankly, like a Christmas tree—‘You cut down a tree and dress its corpse with ornaments!?’” Lasseter chuckles. “Olaf is one thousand percent enthusiastic and positive, but also one thousand percent naïve about everything. And he’s so much fun because of it. Every now and then, you create a character and you’re just like, ‘Oh, this is comic gold.’”

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure debuts in front of Coco on Nov. 22; you can also catch the trailer in front of this weekend’s Cars 3.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Banner Photo Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company Finally Takes Full Ownership of Disneyland Paris

In a rather exciting piece of new, the Walt Disney Company has successfully taken full ownership of Disneyland Paris.

Disney required more than 95% of the stock via buyout to complete the transaction by ;last week, and they reached 97.08% which will eventually grant them full ownership of the entire resort for the first time in its 25 year history. The remaining shareholders will see their shares automatically redeemed at the price of €2 each.

Before the buyout, Disney stated that this deal “affords maximum flexibility to shareholders, addresses the group’s financial needs and reflects its ongoing support for the long-term success of Disneyland Paris”. To this end, Disney said it will support Euro Disney’s recapitalization to the tune of 1.5 billion euros. This follows a 2014 rescue plan in which Disney committed to at least 1 billion euros over 10 years.

Disneyland Paris racked up a net loss of 858 million euros (over $900 million) in 2016 after the terrorist attacks in Paris in late 2015 led to a downturn in the tourism industry across France.  Additionally, the European economy hasn’t been been kind to businesses across the continent.  In 2015, the company recorded a net loss of 102 million euros.  The financial saga of Euro Disney is frequently discussed in most writings about the resort, including the recently released "Building Magic – Disney’s Overseas Theme Parks" and the earlier "Once Upon an American Dream: The Story of Euro Disneyland".

Source: WDW News Today

Banner Photo Credit: Disney

EPCOT Introducing 'Frozen Ever After Dessert Party' with Fireworks Viewing Area

Epcot is getting a new fireworks dessert party focused around the Frozen Ever After attraction in Norway.

Frozen Ever After takes guests through the kingdom of Arendelle from the Disney animated hit, “Frozen.” Located in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot, Frozen Ever After celebrates a “Summer Snow Day” on a journey through a frozen willow forest, past Troll Valley and up to Queen Elsa’s palace high up on the north mountain. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

The dessert party portion of the event will take place just steps away from the current FastPass+ viewing area for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. After guests enjoy a spread of delectable desserts, drinks, and the nightly fireworks show, they will then be whisked over to Frozen Ever After to enjoy a ride on the attraction with little-to-no-wait after normal park closing time.

The event will be offered on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting in July, replacing the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party which concludes July 14th. The price will be $79 per adult and $47 per child. Bookings should open following a Disney announcement.

Source: WDW News Today

Banner Photo Credit: Matthew Cooper