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  1. #1

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    Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    This all sounds pretty darn cool to me:


    By Paul Bond of The Hollywood Reporter

    Get ready for more rides based on animated Disney characters that have yet to be seen -- and having them up and running at the company's theme parks within two months of the corresponding film's release.

    John Lasseter, soon to be the Walt Disney Co.'s creative head of Imagineering, unveiled his quicker movie-to-ride timeline Friday at the company's first shareholder's meeting under CEO Robert Iger.

    The event, at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim near Disneyland, was a happier affair than the past two, when former CEO Michael Eisner was under the intense scrutiny of disgruntled shareholders.

    In contrast, Friday's affair was free of controversy, save for a shareholder question put to Iger about whether the company would ever put the cartoon classic "Song of the South" on DVD. Iger responded that, given the film's stereotypical portrayal of African-Americans, it wasn't a good idea.

    Disney said in January that it would buy Pixar for $7.4 billion, giving control of Disney's animation studio to Pixar president Ed Catmull while Lasseter becomes chief creative officer.

    Of his new role at Imagineering, where Disney rides are conceived, Lasseter said: "I never understood why you wouldn't start designing a ride when you start making a film, so two months after a film comes out you have a ride."

    Along those lines, Iger stressed the importance of the Pixar acquisition and of animation in general, calling it "our biggest wave-maker."

    The ripples of animation "can be profound," he said. "They can be felt across all of our businesses. Animation is not just our legacy, it's vital to this company and its future."

    Disney's animated characters, Iger said, "become part of our culture. That's why they create so much value."

    Disney chief financial officer Tom Staggs said that the Disney-Pixar merger should close in late April or May.

    Meanwhile, board chairman George Mitchell, who was under fire at recent shareholders' meetings, was easily re-elected this time, and he plans to retire at the end of his one-year term.

    Disney is still seeking a replacement, and there is speculation that Steve Jobs, who will be a Disney board member and the company's largest shareholder after the Disney-Pixar merger closes, is being considered. Iger, though, dismissed such a notion before Friday's meeting when he told a reporter that Jobs has not even expressed a desire to be Disney's chairman.

    Jobs, who is CEO of Pixar and iTunes parent Apple Computer, was not at Friday's meeting, though his name received rousing applause when Mitchell said he would soon be a board member. Shareholders also cheered enthusiastically for Lasseter.

    "I am so proud to be part of this company ... again," said Lasseter, who was a Disney animator before joining Pixar and directing or executive producing the megahits "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc.," "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles."

    He told of the early days of Pixar, a company named by Jobs after buying it from George Lucas.

    "For the first 10 years we lost a lot of Steve's money," Lasseter recalled. He showed a clip from the upcoming "Cars," a movie he said he has been working on since 1999 and is a labor of love because his father used to manage a car sales lot.

    Lasseter confided that, when he first learned that Disney wanted to buy Pixar, it didn't sit well with him -- until he got to know Iger. "Ladies and gentlemen, you are led by a great man," Lasseter said.

    Shareholders elected all 13 directors with a minimum of 94% support for each, another sharp contrast to recent meetings, one of which had shareholders withholding 45% of their votes for Eisner's re-election to the board.

    Iger said that ABC television shows, some of which are for sale via download at iTunes, would be offered for free viewing with commercials at ABC.com.

    "The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo," Iger said, promising that Disney would aggressively embrace digital technologies.

    The CEO even offered ESPN video cell phones, available for purchase for a few months now, at a 10% discount to the shareholders present at Friday's meeting.
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

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  2. #2

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Hmmm, interesting.

    I guess all these rides would be going into DCA?

  3. #3

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    I know he wants to change DCA as soon as possible. There isn't much room let in Disneyland is there. I hope he doesn't plan on pulling out classic rides to accomplish this. Better not!!!
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

    Thank You Poisonedapples

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Boy
    Of his new role at Imagineering, where Disney rides are conceived, Lasseter said: "I never understood why you wouldn't start designing a ride when you start making a film, so two months after a film comes out you have a ride."
    It is a good point. As people keep mentioning, the Castle was up before Sleeping Beauty came out.

    Of course, in those days, anybody with talent and without and ego could just freely contribute to rides. Some of the Nine Old Men worked on Pirates as is my understanding. It would be great to get WDI involved at the storyboard/rough animation stages of an animated film (or script stages of a live action film) to start planning a ride or attraction out. That way, the creative elements from both worlds could perhaps contribute something unique to the film and/or ride which the othe rmay not have thought of.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


  5. #5

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Let's get rid of Snow White and Peter Pan and get some new CARS and INCREDIBLES rides in Fantasyland!

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer
    Let's get rid of Snow White and Peter Pan and get some new CARS and INCREDIBLES rides in Fantasyland!
    Heck no!!!

  7. #7

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapplewhipaddict
    Hmmm, interesting.

    I guess all these rides would be going into DCA?
    I kind of skimmed, but I don't think theres anything that says the new rides will be only for Disneyland Resort.

    Although Lasseter isn't shy about letting people know Disneyland is his favorite, we musn't forget he has four other resorts across the world (containing 9 parks) to play with, not only Disneyland's two parks.

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Quote Originally Posted by Loomis
    It is a good point. As people keep mentioning, the Castle was up before Sleeping Beauty came out.
    Wasn't it Snow White's then? I'll say one thing about replacing Peter Pan and Snow White, lets not and say we did peter pan just needs new breaks. Plus, I'd rather see those rides in DCA.

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    good point MG.

    i think a lot of attention should be going to DCA right now, though. i really don't mind movie-based rides. i just worry about them being put in before it's determined how a movie is received. a ride based on "the wild" anyone?
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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    It's nice when an attraction transcends its mere physical experience, with accompanying characters, which give a sharper point of reference and focus to the attraction.

    Does that make sense?

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Quote Originally Posted by pixie chick
    good point MG.

    i think a lot of attention should be going to DCA right now, though. i really don't mind movie-based rides. i just worry about them being put in before it's determined how a movie is received. a ride based on "the wild" anyone?
    Under Lasseter and Crew I don't think we'll have to worry about bad movies being made into bad rides. I don't suspect we'll be seeing a bad script or a bad idea being produced at Disney for quite some time.

    I mean, not to say there wont be one or two hiccups here or there, but for the most part I think we've got a winning team now. How amazing would it have been if Lassater had made this announcement back in Disney's rennaisance (Little Mermaid, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin) ...Imagine the attraction's we'd have now! ...And if Lasseter had been on back then inthe role he has now, I doubt we'd've ever seen the less-impressive releases such as Home on the Range or Chicken Little or Atlantis... or at least not in their current forms.

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  12. #12

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Interesting Thanks for info


  13. #13

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Of his new role at Imagineering, where Disney rides are conceived, Lasseter said: "I never understood why you wouldn't start designing a ride when you start making a film, so two months after a film comes out you have a ride."
    I think it's a HORRIBLE and downright SCARY thing to say. This is obviously coming from a man who has never had a failure or even a box office release with a tepid response. If anything, it sounds like a statement that an incredibly conceited or at least short sighted person would make. It's only a matter of time until John Lasetter hits a pothole in his road to fame and fortune, and imagine if Disney had sunk millions of dollars into a ride for "Treasure Planet" or "Atlantis"? Some may say that "Atantis" wouldn't have been as bad with Lasetter at the helm... well, that sounds pretty short sighted to me as well.

    Me, I don't want a ride for every movie release anyway. Give me some rides like "Screamin" or "Haunted Mansion" (you know what I mean) that break away from the uber-hyped marketing and positive spin on corporate greed of promoting a movie. I don't need a "Shaggy Dog" ride.

    But I'm not going to lose sleep over it, and I'm certainly not going to sell any of my stock over it. It's a scary statement, but I'll take it for what it is and for where it was said. A lot of hoo-ha is blown around these types of meetings, and that's what I'll file it under.
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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    I'm not sure I COMPLETELY buy the whole 'what if it is a failure?' argument. Waterworld was largely considered a flop, but the Waterworld attraction/stunt show at Universal is one of the most popular - and one of the most exciting - things to see while you are there.

    If, for example, Indiana Jones movies had been complete flops, but we had the ride as it is now, would that make it less of a ride? Of course not - you'd just have a ride that exceeds the movie it is based on. The idea, then, is to create the attraction/ride while the creative energies are all still going during the movie-making process. That way you either have a ride that is completely caught up in the movie, and sweeps you away to another place (as the best rides do), or a ride that is as good as the film it is based on.

    I guess my point here is that it doesn't matter if the film is any good: the idea is to make the rides well in the first place. One can have good rides based on bad films, but it is worse to have bad rides made to quickly cash in on the good ones. That is why it is a good idea to start that creative process early.

    If you take the idea that DCA is a good spot for new attractions, then it can be the place that is always trying new things. Imagine if DCA became an experimental ride park. It was the place that debuted the rides for all the new Disney releases: after all, DCA has been trying to tap a more 'contemporary' market, and is in desperate need of new rides and attractions anyway. If the ride and/or movie fails, and people don't go to it, it is ok. You haven't taken a way a 50 year old piece of Disney history, and you can start again. Perfect place to keep looking forward.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Disney: Movie-to-ride path will be speedier

    Quote Originally Posted by daddyb
    I think it's a HORRIBLE and downright SCARY thing to say. This is obviously coming from a man who has never had a failure or even a box office release with a tepid response. If anything, it sounds like a statement that an incredibly conceited or at least short sighted person would make. It's only a matter of time until John Lasetter hits a pothole in his road to fame and fortune, and imagine if Disney had sunk millions of dollars into a ride for "Treasure Planet" or "Atlantis"? Some may say that "Atantis" wouldn't have been as bad with Lasetter at the helm... well, that sounds pretty short sighted to me as well.

    Me, I don't want a ride for every movie release anyway. Give me some rides like "Screamin" or "Haunted Mansion" (you know what I mean) that break away from the uber-hyped marketing and positive spin on corporate greed of promoting a movie. I don't need a "Shaggy Dog" ride.

    But I'm not going to lose sleep over it, and I'm certainly not going to sell any of my stock over it. It's a scary statement, but I'll take it for what it is and for where it was said. A lot of hoo-ha is blown around these types of meetings, and that's what I'll file it under.

    Tokyo Disneyland features an attraction Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour where the Horned King from the non-blockbuster Black Cauldron. Why? the attraction opened around the time the movie came out in an effort to do what Lasseter wants to do. The movie bombed, yet the attraction is still very popular. If the attraction is good enough, it won't matter how well the movie it's based on does. The attraction needs to be able to stand on it's own and not be a recreation of the movie itself.

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