Ahem.... Harry here and this is a helluva damn fine report... I mean real damn good. Lots of info about the next few years of Disney Animation.... So pull up to the table, put on the bib and start to read, there seems to be good things in the future.... Unless we hear otherwise from Jim Hill or Sir Etch-A-Sketch....
My mother wears the Mouse Ears in the family, working in Orlando. (while I'm stuck in Texas. sniffle.) She forwards me quite a lot of information, almost all of it reliable, culled from sources around the parks. (one guy, who originated the e-mail, has a list set up for these) Most of it is more business-related (who Disney is suing or being sued by this week) but every now and then I get sent something like this.
If you actually use this, call me
Hi! Recently a friend of mine down in Australia attended a Animation Features Preview given by Walt Disney Australia....Here is his report...Makes for interesting reading and NOTE: If you don't want to know ANYTHING about upcoming Disney Animated Films, then DON'T read this as there are some great SPOILERS below).... thanks again, Wayne...... Arlen
Wednesday 23rd May 2001 Greater Union Cinema Sydney Approximately 250 people attended the day which commenced just after 9am with an introduction by Mark Scott Marketing Manager The Walt Disney Company Australia. He commenced by saying that The Walt Disney Companies and its various divisions in Australia now all come under the one brand "Disney Australia" with total sales in 2000 of $500 million. This new branding will lead to more integrated events here in Australia. He then had great pleasure in introducing Zoe Leader Director of Communications of The Walt Disney Studio. Zoe's presentation was a wonderful two and a half hour journey through the next 4 Disney animated features after Atlantis. Zoe commenced with a trailer from the "Princess Diaries". A live action movie opening here in Australia in September. It is produced by Gary Marshall who also produced Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride. It is a movie for the whole family. It stars Anna Hathaway (could be the next Julia Roberts) and Julie Andrews. It is the story of a young teenage girl who learns she is a Princess and the experiences she has as she learns to be a Princess. A very funny movie with looks to be may classic scenes.
This was the first time this preview presentation had been made anywhere in the world about this feature.
Due for release November 2002 in the USA and Christmas 2002 here in Australia. The story is loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. The setting for the movie is Outer Space (which in the feature is called the etherium). It is Directed by the same directors as The Little Mermaid and Aladdin.
The technology in the movie has an 18th century look. The movie is filled with amazing solar sailing ships (imagine an 18th century three masted sailing ship with Solar Sails not sails to catch wind with to catch the solar wind from the stars, Also the ship is equipped with artificial gravity and propulsion drive and you get an idea of the ships). These ships sail through the Universe as well through the etherium are amazing space creatures.
Jim Hawkins ? a teenager, smart but he has a big chip on his shoulder which we learn came about because his father left when he was very young.
- he is voices by Joseph from 3rd Rock from the Sun. Jim is always getting into trouble.
Dr Doppler ? an explorer and friend of Jim's mother. Voiced by David Hyde Pierce. He is an avid explorer.
Captain Amelia ? Captain of the "RLS Legacy" she looks cat like in her facial features.
John Silver ? half cyborg. Half human and half machine. Hand drawn animation on human half and computer animation on cyborg half. Glen Keene is the lead animator on this character.
B.E.N. ? Bio Electronic Navigator. Voiced by Martin Short. He was marooned on Treasure Planet all alone for 100 years (so later in the movie when he meets one of the people in the movie he cannot stop talking). A very funny character.
Morph ? a cute shape shifter who is a friend of John Silver. He is like a mixture of Flubber and a number of cute Disney characters combines eg Flit, Meeko , Abu.
The story opens with a Prologue as we go 100 years into the past to meet Captain Flint the Greatest Pirate of all time. He plundered the ships of 1,000 worlds and after plundering the ships he would mysteriously completely disappear. It is folk lore that his treasure is on Treasure Planet but no one knows it's location.
We then cross to the setting of the movie to a town with the Ben Pzo Inn run by Jim's mum. At the Inn everyone from all over the region is fed. Great animation as we saw this sequence. Jim is out and runs across an old Geyser who has been mortally hurt Billy Bones. Jim helps Billy to the Inn where Jim is given an orb and Billy tells him to guard it well. Pirates suddenly attack and burn the Inn as Dr Doppler , Jim and his mum escape. Later at Dr Doppler's residence he says that it will take years to understand the orb. Suddenly Jim does something to it and an amazing star map appears (great animation) showing the way though the galaxies to Treasure Planet.
Dr Doppler organizes an expedition to Treasure Planet. We find ourselves at an amazing 18th Century looking port city which is a ringed space station with 18th century sailing ships (actually space ships that sail through the etherium). We saw amazing animation this space port.
We get our first look at the RLS Legacy (the expedition ship). The animation of the ship leaving the port, unfurling its solar sails, the commencement of propulsion and heading into the etherium was outstanding. It journeys into the etherium passing a pod of amazing space creatures that looked a little like whales but more majestic.
Captain Amelia takes Jim and Dr Doppler aside and tells them not to mention anything about Treasure Planet to the crew. The crew comprises some very unusual looking creatures.
We saw the first meeting between Jim and John Silver in the galley. In this scene we also meet Morph ? a shape shifter friend of John Silver.
During the course of the movie Jim and Silver do a lot together and become close. There is one song in the movie and it is a wonderful bonding song of Jim and Silver in it and we see flashbacks to Jim's father leaving.
Silver thinks Jim's great and Jim feels warmth towards Silver. This is the heart of the story.
As the ships journey continues on we see the first Solar Storm absolutely amazing animation. The ship is guided safely away from a black hole. During the storm a character is lost overboard. Jim is in trouble for this as he was responsible for securing the lifelines. Jim thinks it was his mistake but is was one of the other members of the crew.
Later the crew mutinies and the Captain, Jim and Dr Doppler escape to Treasure Planet. Jim heads of and meets B.E.N. the robot and the adventure continues as they find the gateway to the treasure.
- A great animated feature it is only disappointing that we have to wait till Christmas next year to see it. My score 10 out of 10.
Lilo & Stitch
Scheduled to open in June 2002 in the USA and September 2002 in Australia.
Lilo and Stitch is an all original story.
Lilo ? little Hawaiian girl with a vivid sense of imagination and loves Elvis Presley music. Both Lilo and her older sister Nani are orphans.
Nani ? Lilo's 19 year old sister. She works hard at keeping the family together.
Stitch ? experiment 626. He resulted from an unauthorized Genetic experiment. He has no ability to care and is the ultimate fighting machine and the destroyer of cities.
Jumba ? was the alien responsible for the genetic experiment that created stitch.
Politely ? is Jumba's assistant and has only learned things about Earth from a view master.
The story opens with Lilo at the beach and swimming and then realizing she is late rushing to her hula class. She gets into trouble and her sister Nina races home to see what trouble she has been in. She finds the door locked and nailed in place by Lilo and we see Lilo lying on the floor next to her record player listening to Elvis songs as Nani tries to get in. (Disney has licensed 7 Elvis songs for the movie. Three of them are: Heartbreak Hotel; Hound Dog; Devil in Disguise). As Nina tries to get in the house the Social Worker Mr Bubbles the social worker arrives to see how Nina and Lilo are doing. What he finds in a great animated sequence does not install much trust in how Nina is looking after her sister.
The scene changes and we see Stitch imprisoned on a penal ship in outer space. He escapes the ship after a series of classic sequences and eventually crash lands on Earth. After crash landing on earth he wonders onto a busy road and gets run over by a semi trailer. As he is virtually indestructible be is unconscious but his weapons are destroyed. Now unconscious he is taken to an animal shelter by the owners of the truck. In a very funny sequence the other animals in the shelter are petrified of Stitch. The next morning Nina takes her sister to the hospital to get a pet. Lilo borrows money from her sister to buy a pet. Lilo wanders out the back of the shelter to find a pet and she can't find any animals in the cages as they are all hanging from the rafters afraid of Stitch. She finds Stitch who has transformed himself into a Blue Dog. He goes with Lilo to use her as a shield against Jumba and Politely who are hunting him.
Later we see a classic animated sequence when David Nina's boyfriend takes them all to the water and Nina, Lilo and Stitch go surfing.
There is great animation in this feature and (watercolors) used in the coloring of all the cels. There is a real heart to the story of the relationship that develops between Lilo and Stitch.
My rating. This will be a very word of mouth animated feature. 8 out of 10
Peter Pan ? Return to Neverland
The sequel to Peter Pan animated here in Sydney at Walt Disney Animation Australia. Coming Eater 2002 in Australia and March 2002 in the USA.
The sequence we saw was a trailer and opened with Captain Hook kidnapping Wendy's niece Jane and we see them head to Never Land. Jane is 12 years old and doesn't believe Aunt Wendy's stories about Peter Pan and Neverland.
Songs in the movie by Jonathan Brrok. Jane in Neverland wonders how she can ever get home. We are re-introduced to all the characters from the original and with a sprinkle of Pixie Dust the adventure begins.
The animation we saw in the trailer was excellent and one to look forward to.
My rating very good 8 out of 10.
Another release from Disney/Pixar. Coming in November in the USA and Christmas here in Australia.
Again another great story and wonderful computer generated animation from Pixar.
In the land of monsters screams power everything and there is a huge shortage of screams.
Monsters scare because it is there job.
Mike Wzowski ? voiced by Billy Crystal
James P. Sullivan (Sully) ? voiced by John Goodman. He's the best scarer at Monsters Inc. He huge Blue and purple and hairy.
Boo ? The small human girl
The opening sequence begins in the scare floor of Monsters Inc. There is a door for every child's cupboard in the world. We see the doors coming out on an overhead rail and lowered onto the floor and locked into place with assistants next to each door. We then see the monsters come out in a scene reminiscent of The Right Stuff as they line up and approach their door. If any item of a child enters the Monster's world the anti contamination squad arrives and decontaminates the area which is what happens in once classic sequence. One day a little girl comes into the monsters world.
We see the adventures of the little girl Boo, Sully and Mike as they work out a way to get her back to her bedroom and along the way find a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of Monsters Inc. They also discover that it is better to capture laughter than screams.
Another wonderful animated feature from Pixar.
My rating 9 out of 10.
We then had a morning tea break and went back into the cinema to see Disney's next animated feature in it's entirety Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Opens June 2001 in the USA and on September 13th here in Australia. There will be a massive media campaign and a large online promotion on Disney.com.au , Saturday Disney and theme windows in The Disney Store.
Milo James Thatch ? voiced by Michael J Fox. He's a cartographer and an expert on the Atlantean language.
Commander Lyle T Rourke ? voiced by James Garner and he looks like him in some ways.
Helga Sinclar ? Rourke's second in charge.
The Expedition Team:
Mole ? A digging expert
Vinny ? An explosives expert
Audry Rominez ? youngest member of the team the mechanical expert
Cookie ? The cook
Dr Joshua Sweet ? Medical
Bertha Pachard ? Communications
A great animated feature with adventure, wonderful lands and vehicles and a great story.
The story begins with a flash back to Atlantis and the catastrophe that destroyed it. We then move forward to 1914 Washington and see Milo making a presentation about the location of the shepherds journal which shows how to find Atlantis. We's unable to convince the board of the museum to fund his expedition. Later that day he gets an invitation to Preston Whitmore's home a friend of his father who give him a present left by Milo's father. It is the shepherds journal. Preston finances the expedition and we the the wonderful submarine the Ulysees. The adventure continues and our team arrive at Atlantis.
Atlantis is a completely new animated feature from Disney and I am looking forward to seeing it again in September. I have purposely not put too much down as I don't want to spoil the surprise and treat that is in store as you see it for yourselves.