MALEFICENT: The Film is Coming Soon – Are You Excited?

Written by Terri Hardin Jackson. Posted in Disney, Features

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Published on May 07, 2014 at 2:00 am with 16 Comments

Last week was action packed as I had a book tour that took me across Ohio and Indiana. On May 3rd I was lucky enough to do a book signing at Brian’s Bookstore and Coffee Bar in Connersville, Indiana. I love this little coffee house where you can have a nice home cooked meal and read some really awesome books or magazines while doing so.  Not to mention meeting Brian, who never ceases to put a smile on your face and make you laugh with delight at his banter.

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Terri and Brian at her book signing in Brian’s Bookstore and Coffee Bar in Connersville, Indiana.

On Friday May 2, I spent an evening signing books at Bonnett’s Book Store in Dayton, Ohio.  This wonderful little bookstore has been in Kevin’s family since the forties I believe, and it’s a kick in the pants to visit.  Kevin’s a fan of many things and it shows in his bookstore. This store is packed, literally to the rafters, with cool used books and things from every area including some amazing Disney paraphernalia from stem to stern.  Truly a must see if you’re in the area.

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Terri and Kevin chat out front of Bonnett’s bookstore, Dayton, Ohio.


Anita Schaengold was my date for the night as I visited and signed my book, ”Tales from Terri: A Disney Sculptor’s Life.  Thank you Anita, and also to you Gary for the hospitality you both showed me while on the book tour.

Anita and I ran the Flying Pig Half Marathon on May 4th, the toughest race I’ve run to date.  Anita comes out to join me for the Disneyland and Walt Disney World runs, so I thought it would be nice to join one in her neck of the woods.  We were quite tired when we finished as it included scaling a hill we nicknamed “Swine Hill.”

This hill was so difficult it had me thanking god that I hadn’t signed up for the full marathon.

I know Anita and I will cherish that medal for years to come. I urge you to come join us if the mood takes you as it’s a great way to see the city you’re in.  We ran from Ohio to Kentucky and back again. Whew!

Terri and Anita with their “Flying Pig Race Finisher Medals.”

Terri and Anita with their “Flying Pig Race Finisher Medals.”

 

MALEFICENT: The Film is Coming Soon. Are You Excited? And Why Can’t We Have An Event That Caters More To The Collector?

What does this film have to do with me?  Nothing.  However, like you, I’m a huge fan.  Maleficent is my favorite villain.  Ever since I was a young child I’ve loved her.

My favorite scene is when she sits down exhausted in her thorn and says of her henchmen, “Oh! They’re hopeless. It’s a disgrace to the forces of evil.”  I also love that she turns into a Dragon.  Surprise!

There has been a lot of hype about this movie, and I ask, “Are you Excited?”

I am. I’m also a little scared, as I’m hoping they don’t do to my beloved villain what they did to Anakin Skywalker in “Return of the Jedi,” and turn her into a weenie.”

Maleficent is evil and I hope she stays that way.  We shall see.  Angela Jolie looks amazing and she is the exact right person to give the human version of this tale just the right touch of malevolence. Fingers crossed.

Why bring this up now? Well, it reminded me of something I wanted to talk about in this week’s article.

I was asked to create a Maleficent piece for the Disney Diva’s Villain’s Event at Disneyland back on October 26, 2000.  This event turned out to be amazing, as Disney seemed to pull out all the stops. They really gave you a lot of bang for you buck.  Then when you thought they could do no better, Disney blew your socks off and gave you the LE (Limited edition of 500) boxed “Maleficent” pin as you exited the park.

This pin was beyond words. The box was black velvet with the event date imprinted on the inside.  Pass-holders were talking about it for days and it’s still one of their favorite merchandise events.

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However, why don’t they do events like this one anymore? How do they stack up today?  Are they good? I’m not so sure.  Have they done events that have excited you lately?  If so, please share them with me as many I see seem to miss the mark. Why?

This event was full of excitement.  You dined with master artists, and met with special guests.  You also had the opportunity to collect special limited edition art pieces, including high end art and art that everyone could afford. Sometimes there was even a show at these events.

I was excited to have my art included in this event and not one piece but two: Chernabog and Maleficent.

I had spoken to a lot of collectors and I asked Disney if I could have a larger edition of each of these pieces. Many of you had told me that the one thing you really didn’t like about my Disney art was that the editions were way too small.

The edition for Chernabog was very limited. Only 5 were produced in addition to the original. “Huh?”  I was confused. All I could think of was that in order for a pass-holder to become the proud owner of Chernabog, you’d have to sell your first-born!

An edition of 5 would make him very expensive.  Plus the cost of the original would be out of this world and to top it off you had to enter a lottery to get the chance to do so. Still this is what Disney wanted.

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Chernabog LE Edition of 5

There had to be a better way.

For some time, annual pass-holders had asked for not only larger editions but also a way to get some of these lovely event exclusives no matter what time you arrived at the event.

In order to get the good stuff you had to arrive very early and stand in line, otherwise you were out of luck.  Heaven help you if you had to wait to get off of work or travel a long distance to the events, as upon arriving later most of the stuff was all sold out.

Maleficent became a solution to that problem.  After a bit of brainstorming, Disney came up with this wonderful idea. Why not create a sculpture and let the pass-holders who attend be the ones to dictate the edition size?

A Maleficent maquette was displayed on the night of the event.  Alongside the maquette was a color drawing of the finished piece.  Listed on the sheet given to guests was a special note that showed the cost of the Maleficent, how many you could buy and a little notation stating that the edition would remain open until the close of the event. Once closed, the piece would be delivered at a later date. Thus allowing all guests the opportunity to own her.  Once the event ended, “Maleficent” sales were tallied to determine the edition size.  That night’s “Maleficent” by Terri Hardin edition size became 400.

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Maleficent LE Limited Edition size 400 a decided by Pass-holders.

This was a very successful event and seemed to please a multitude of guests that night. We thought we had a great solution.  Just have a few pieces at each event remain open until the close of the event.  But that’s not the way it turned out.

This method was used only one more time that I’m aware of, then vanished.  Why? Perhaps you have a theory. You might even have a better idea for handling the release of highly sought after specialty artwork.

Next time around, what would you like me to share with you, Captain EO? RunDisney Events, or something else (be specific)??

READER FEEDBACK-

This week it seems that a lot of you have questions about the Tokyo Dragon. So this is what I will speak to briefly.

The Tokyo Dragon is as you say, one that was in an attraction that celebrated all the villains.  You would go down in an elevator and yes, it was too dark to really see.  The strobe effect seemed to be there to add a bit of fear factor, but you couldn’t really see the dragon much at all.

I cannot say if it’s still there today, as I’ve not been to Tokyo Disneyland in a while.  However, I can say that this is the very same dragon.  Disney felt that the Dragon had not really been showcased well, and wanted to fix that.  This is how the “La Taniere Du Dragon” idea was formed.  Disney Imagineers were asked to showcase this poor cramped Dragon in Tokyo in a better light.  I was the lucky winner of that project.

The Dragon is much happier in her new environment, wouldn’t you say?

Thank you for all you comments, thoughts and questions. Please continue to post them as it’s such a great help.

As always, thanks for listening.

About Terri Hardin Jackson

Terri Hardin has designed attractions as a Disney Imagineer from 1987-1997. She's also a Jim Henson Puppeteer and has worked on over 42 film and TV projects including Ghostbusters & Captain EO. She currently creates Disney collectables and plays a Foster Farms Chicken.

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  • Conconhead

    Thank you for sharing. I am filled with envy for the owners of the pin and statue. Beautiful beautiful work of two of my favorite baddies.

  • Terri, you amaze me. I could sit hear and read about you forever.

    And oh how I miss the splashy merchandise events. I think they sort of collapsed under the weight of their own success. Too many people wanted to go, it was hard to fulfill the orders of so many folks in one night, etc. But it’s high time for them to return.

    I actually owned that large Maleficent pin for a long time. The owner of another site kept hounding me for it saying that she had a buyer. I didn’t want to give it up, but eventually did. In the end I never got paid and never got the pin back. I should have kept it, it’s a real treasure.

    Regarding the Maleficent Movie, I’m excited to see it. Maleficent is also my favorite Villain, and perhaps my favorite character overall (sorry Mickey). I went to the teaser at California Adventure and it sure looks beautiful. However, there’s one thing that has me very worried. Instead of saying that the princess will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die (love the drama of that, don’t you?!). She instead says that she’ll fall into a death-like sleep. What? Please tell me they haven’t turned Maleficent into a toothless misdirected villain with a heart of gold (or even silver). Maleficent is pure evil and that’s the way I want her to stay.

    Thank you for the great story Terri. I vote for Captain EO for the next one, :-)

    • Conconhead

      Ohno! Your poor pin. I’d be heartbroken.

    • CaptainAction

      Terrible about your pin! That’s really sorry.
      I’m also concerned that Maleficent will be portrayed as good and King Stephan as bad.

  • EC82

    How did they turn Anakin Skywalker into a weenie in “Return of the Jedi”? He was Darth Vader then, and appeared as Anakin for all of two minutes in the movie, when he finally talks to his son.

    • ayalexander

      i agree. On behalf of Star Wars fans everywhere and on behalf of the fallen Lord Vader, I take insult to her comment! Actually, my favorite part of Return of the Jedi is when Darth Vader realizes he wants to save his son, and grabs the Emperor and throws him over the railing. That is just a magnificent moment. Wish my Dad would throw people over railings for me…

    • Conconhead

      Preach it, brother/sister.

  • BradyNBradleysMom

    I am bowled over how great this article was. Wow. Just wow. So grateful Terri is writing. She is amazing.

  • Aladdin

    Thanks for your wondful column! It’s always a great read! You mention your idea for opening up a piece of art , and limiting the ordering to just the timeframe of the special event. In a way, Disney started doing this about a year ago, with the 50th anniversary of the Tiki Room. But with a slight change. They started offering t shirts. At disney.com. allowing online orders, for just a few days. Since that time, it’s become quite common to see these limited tshirts (and somes coffe mugs). At the dinsey online store. Most recently for. Small world and Carousel of Progress. It would be nice to see something more collectable, offered in a similar way.

  • Witches of Morva

    ORWEN: I’m excited to see the Maleficent movie–but not because of Maleficent, herself. I’m more interested in Princess Aurora because she’s always been my favorite character. I just love the sweet, innocent types in Disney films.

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    Another wonderful article, Terri!

    In answer to your question, the dragon in Tokyo is no longer there. The Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour (the attraction the dragon was in) closed back in April 2006 (apparently it was “too scary”). The space was reused and is now a Cinderella themed castle walk-thru, telling the story of Cinderella via different styles of art.

    As for your next article? Captain EO for sure!

  • davanzino

    I was thrilled to be part of the Disney Divas event too. That was one of my first ones and the pieces I created for that are still some I my favorites. I also still talk about that one-night-only show they produced for that event. I thought that would have been a great show to have running in the Parks every day. Those events were really great back then. I’m thankful that I got to be a part I so many I them with you.

  • FredSimmons

    I think the enthusiasm for “Maleficent” and any other future live-action movie based on a Disney animated classic has been dampened by the existence of the TV show “Once Upon a Time”.

    That show has taken a crack at reinventing virtually every classic animated character in the Disney lexicon, from Snow White to Aerial, with a live actor, often with unfortunate results (e.g. we are now told that Peter Pan is a murderous bad guy in real life, while Captain Hook is a budding hero, while the Beast that Belle loves turns out to be none other than Rumpelstiltskin).

    After seeing this kind of thing week after week on ABC, it’s hard to get worked up about a movie that basically does the same thing – only this time with a major star in the lead, and a bigger budget.

    • Conconhead

      I actually have to disagree on that. The show is essentially a soap opera featuring Disney characters which broadens the appeal beyond the standard Disney fan audience. After what little they DID feature Malificent in OUAT (2 appearances in season 1) I’m still eager to see what their take on her in the film is. Part of the fun of that show is seeing how they re-envision classic Disney characters and broaden their horizons. The show has a huge following and people are even cosplaying the modified Disney styles the’ve featured.

  • Chernabog

    I still have that pin! It’s the only one I actually held onto because it is cool. I have been told by a crazed pin trader years ago that it is the “holy grail of pin trading” LOL

  • Witches of Morva

    ORDDU: ABC’s Once Upon a Time has actually made me more eager to see Disney’s live action version of MALEFICENT simply because the TV series did so LITTLE with her character. I think the writers of Once Upon a Time focus way too much on the Evil Queen and Snow White and not enough on the rest of the fairytale world. It’s been very disappointing for fans of Sleeping Beauty to see how they treat Aurora and Maleficent on that show–reducing them to cameo appearances only. So Once Upon a Time doesn’t compete for my attention what-so-ever compared to MALEFICENT. And if Once Upon a Time had been more accurate with the fairytale characters, Maleficent would have mopped the floor with the evil queen instead of it being the other way around…