Happy Thursday! I hope you’re all having a fabulous week. It’s looking more and more like spring here in Southern California, when it’s not feeling like summer! This edition of Fab News is chock full of goodies: I had a really nice chat with The Good Dinosaur director Peter Sohn, found out about a sweet new perk for the Walt Disney Birthplace that will take you inside one of the most famous theme park dream factories, got a preview of a really funny LEGO Star Wars video, found out a really happy story about a humpback whale being rescued from a tangled situation – thanks to people visiting theme parks, yay! – and even have a bonus music video at the end!

Interview with The Good Dinosaur Director Peter Sohn

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I got a chance to chat with The Good Dinosaur director Peter Sohn earlier this week, a real treat. He was closing out the last of the press coverage for the film (at least until ten years from now, when he’ll be onstage at the El Capitan being interviewed by Don Hahn, right?)

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When Sohn took over the film, he wanted to make it like the stories he’d loved as a kid; live-action Disney adventures like Swiss Family Robinson and films like The Black Stallion. Fortunately, boss man John Lasseter loved the idea, but knew it would be a real challenge: a simple core, with no place to hide. His goal was Walt-style storytelling; the journey and growth of the hero and companion through loss and fear to a happy ending. We talked about the research the team did. One member barely missed serious damage or loss of a leg at one point when a horse rolled; another time the whitewater almost claimed them. There is danger in the wild, and there is danger in classic stories. There always has been, from the legends of the ancients to Hans Christian Andersen to now; the forest fire in Bambi, the terrifying scenes of children turning into donkeys and being sent to slave in the salt mines in Pinocchio, and the scenes where nature is scary and new to Arlo.

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The dark side balanced the “fairytale” side of the story. As Arlo and Spot journeyed, nature became their teacher, and became less frightening, very much like in the Disney classic Swiss Family Robinson.

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In the beginning, the world that supported Arlo was too cartoony. It just didn’t feel dangerous enough. So they strove for a more realistic look, not like a photograph, but like a spectacular 70mm scene straight out of Lawrence of Arabia. A broad landscape almost too beautiful to be real. But Arlo can be easily spotted on it; if he or the set were different, it wouldn’t work as well. He would fade in too much.

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It was cool getting to bond with another When Disney Channel Had Walt Disney On It fan, and someone who loves the old Disney live-action films. when you look at this film, you can see that pedigree; the road picture, the boy-and-his-dog story, (but no rabies, thank goodness), the WESTERN (and they should have just said so!), the hero’s journey and the coming-of-age tale. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

The Good Dinosaur has just been released on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Fab News is sponsored by my Patreon Patrons, my Square Squares and DVCResaleMarket.com!valentines_dvc

A Fantastic New Perk To Save The Walt Disney Birthplace!

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A Fantastic new perk just bloomed where Creativity Springs at The Walt Disney Birthplace!

You and up to seven friends will get a private tour through the incredible creative spaces of BRC Imagination Arts, one of the world’s leading themed entertainment design companies!

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Knott’s Berry Farm’s legendary Mystery Lodge, NASA’s Shuttle Launch Experience and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library are just a few of the many world-famous attractions that BRC has created.

Your personal guide for this amazing tour will be Bob Rogers, the company’s founder and Chief Creative Officer.  Bob proudly claims he was fired by Disney 3 times, but each time was hired back at a better position – once each as magician, screenwriter, and Imagineer.  Bob quips, “Who knew getting fired could be a career move?” Today he leads an award-winning international team that designs immersive experiences for visitor centers, museums, theme parks, and World’s Fairs, all over the world!  Visit BRC’s web site at www.brcweb.com.  More about Bob at www.BobRogers.com .

After the tour, you’ll enjoy a typical BRC Working Lunch (sandwiches and a brainstorming session) with Bob AND — each guest will get a special, Bob Rogers-signed BRC keepsake!

This tour is a very rare opportunity to see how the magic is created.DON’T MISS IT!
Approximate duration: 2 to 2 ½ hours.

Hilarious LEGO Droid Tales Out on DVD March 1, 2016

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I watched this on my computer with headphones so that I would not bother my family. All of my cackling, snorting and groaning bothered them anyway. I mean, look:

It’s LEGO, so you know the jokes are incredibly stupid and funny and come pretty much non-stop, from Vader’s force-choke turning into a force-breakdance and C-3PO informing his erstwhile partner that his middle name “isn’t ‘Danger’, it’s ‘Hyphen’!” to some extremely astute jokes about the plots of the prequels. They get around some of the less kid-friendly parts of the stories in pretty creative ways. Six episodes, and Billy Dee Williams does show up to voice Lando Calrissian, among other cool surprises. Three collector cards that are referenced jokingly in one of the episodes are actually included in the box, a funny, cool extra. Also nice is that they slip in a chapter with the Star Wars Rebels characters, and have a really nice extended look at the series as an extra on the disk. It will be listed at 19.99 when it hits on March 1, but if you pre-order it on Amazon.com right now, it’s only 14.99.

Fab’s Bad!

I still call Launch Bay the Carousel of Progress. I’m just the worst with new nomenclature. So, yes, I DO know that the Kodak Theater is NOT the Kodak Theater, it’s actually the DOLBY Theater.  Honest! I just didn’t type it, and I’m sorry. And I’ll be sorry every time I call it the Kodak Theater and FedEx Kinko’s and Soupplantation Sweet Tomatoes and Rally’s Checker’s, because I’m just wired that way. But now I’ve been reminded by someone really nice so at LEAST I’ll get it right when I do columns, one would hope.

Also, I got the name of the conductor mixed up for the Disneyland special. In the press info, they said it was Dudamel conducting during Star Wars, but he was only conducting for Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Still trying to track down info on the correct person. I regret the error.

Sea World Rescues Tangled Humpback Whale

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The whale, estimated to be 1 year old, was spotted approximately 3 miles off the coast with fishing line running through its mouth and entangled around its fluke area. The whale was also seen dragging fishing gear from its tail.

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After two hours, the rescue team was finally able to cut the whale free. After a successful disentanglement, the team followed the whale for several moments to confirm that there was no more fishing line attached to its body. The team observed the whale quickly begin to swim northward in the direction of the normal migration pattern.

The SeaWorld rescue team came to the aid of six entangled whales in 2015. So far in 2016, SeaWorld rescue has rescued more than 130 ill, injured, or stranded sea lions – including this recovering sea lion – and seals in San Diego County.

Video Bonus: Here Comes the Lion Guard by Beau Black

In celebration of this week’s release of The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar!, here’s a sneak peek at one of the awesome bonus features:

Win Something Nice

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a two night stay at the Anabella Hotel in Anaheim. Anabella is a MiceChat partner hotel and a really swell place to stay when visiting Disneyland or any of the SoCal attractions.

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AND, if you were planning to visit Disneyland February 28 – March 3rd, you can get the GREAT rate of $89.00/night with a comp breakfast for two. That’s a really good deal folks. Call the hotel and ask for the special offer that you read on MiceChat: 800.863.4888

Thank you!

Fab News is sponsored by my Patreon Patrons, my Square Squares and DVCResaleMarket.com. I truly appreciate your support.

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DVC Resale Market has sold over 300 million dollars worth of DVC points. That’s a lot of experience, and a lot of happy clients. Check out their website, learn about the process and how Disney Vacation Club works, and see if it’s a good fit for you. Going through DVCResaleMarket.com will save you time and money!

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Sponsorship for this edition of Fab News was provided by DVC Resale Market.