Jun 5, 2012

DCA Grand Re-Opening

With the Grand Re-Opening just 10 days away for Disney California Adventure, Disney has been pumping out new merchandise to match the new look of the park entrance. In particular, this new logo blew me away.
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The park has come so far since its opening day 11 years ago. This poster really captures, in a very classy way, the new feeling of the park while making Walt and Mickey a central focus. There are references to all the lands: Pan Pacific entry gates, Buena Vista Street buildings, Red Car Trolley, Carthay Theater, a plane for Condor Flats, pine trees for Grizzly Peak, World of Color, Screamin` and the Fun Wheel for the Pier, a section of the Cadillac Range for Cars Land. It's subtle and the color choice gives it an antique feel. A massive improvement on the original park opening day poster:
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It was bright and colorful, but kind of leaves you wondering. There's only one iconic "California" image and that's the Golden Gate Bridge. Strangely, there is a futuristic Monorail coming through it. There is no Disney reference at all in the image except the word "Disney's." It really leaves you wondering what this place is.

The new artwork and merchandise has a quality that has long been absent from California Adventure as well as an intangible "Disney" feel. I am beyond giddy June 15th and what it means for the future of the Disneyland Resort. Finally, the 2nd gate has come of age as a real Disney park. Despite all this talk of the end of construction and the new park opening, this is not the end. Disney will continue to add to, change, develop and modify California Adventure well into the future. This is just the beginning really. And what a beginning it is!

Wreck-It Ralph 1st Image

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So we got our first look at Wreck-It Ralph today. From this image, I'm loving it already. The idea of out of work video game characters is kind of funny to me. It's apparent that the animators and story writers have delved into the world of gaming. The joke on the cardboard sign, "Will NPC in FPS for food" is just perfect. I love the idea of the fuses leading to all the different games in the arcade as well.

For those who don't know, here is the official synopsis:
Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore (TV's "The Simpsons," "Futurama") take moviegoers on a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey in "Wreck-It Ralph." Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly, "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," "Step Brothers") is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock"), the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.

On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch, TV's "Glee") from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty. But it’s the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program") from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late?

I honestly can't wait for this one. November can't get here soon enough. Quite a risky departure for Disney who normally stick to the princess/fairy-tale style. While this film definitely has a typical Disney plot, the presentation is anything but what we expect from the Mouse. I'm glad they are branching out and exploring areas traditionally left to Pixar. It will be good for them.