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Monday
Sep102012

Hidden Mickey Monday ºoº - Custom Painted Hidden Mickey Car Hoods

With features like Flo's V-8 Cafe and the Cadillac Range, Cars Land gets the motor running for Disney loving gear-heads. Automotive enthusiasts visiting Disney Caifornia Adventure Park can spend hours shifting through the car-inspired details scattered throughout Radiator Springs.

While most cars are judged by everything under the hood, the custom painted hoods in Cars Land are unique headturners. More than a dozen custom bonnets were created by famed auto designer & customizer Chip Foose, host of televsion's Overhaulin' and owner of Foose Designs in Huntington Beach, California. A vital Imagineering consultant in creating Cars Land, Foose had originally helped Pixar Studios by styling Ramone's authentic lowrider look in 2006's Cars.

One of the hoods displayed at Ramone's House of Body Art Gift Shop

A Hidden Mickey from one of seven hoods displayed at Ramone's Gift Shop.

Each of Foose's classic car hoods features a unique paint scheme and a Classsic Mickey hidden somewhere within its design. Seven of the custom creations have been displayed in Ramone's House of Body Art Gift Shop, six in the storefront windows and one behind the register counter.


Ramone's Custom Painted Hood behind The House of Body Art Gift Shop sales counter.

A coin-sized Mickey hidden on a Custom Painted Hood in Ramone's House of Body Art Gift Shop

At least five more of the Disney-inpsired Foose designs appear inside the Radiator Springs Racers attraction. After meeting Sally & Lightning McQueen, racers heading into Ramone's shop for a quick paint job, pass several ornate hoods and their Hidden Mickeys.

Ramone's workshop inside Radiator Springs Racers.

Orange Hidden Mickey from the green hood in Ramone's Radiator Springs Racers workshop.

Monday
Aug272012

Hidden Disneyland Details - The Three Marionettes

As Disneyland guests exit Pinocchio's Daring Journey, they pass by an often overlooked window display. Featured in a little workshop-inspired vignette are three marionettes, Pinocchio, a girl in a green dress and an unpainted wooden figure.


Three Marionettes in Fantasyland, Disneyland, Anaheim, California

Probably added during Fantasyland's 1983 refurbishment, the three marionettes are meant to symbolize Disneyland. Pinocchio, the star of Walt Disney's 1940 animated feature, is a reminder of Disneyland's storied past. The doll in the green dress is a dressed like a Fantasyland Cast Member. The Cast Member marionette symbolizes the present day and the people who make Disneyland such a happy place. The unfinished marionette represents the infinite possibilities in Disneyland's future.

 

Monday
Aug202012

Hidden Mickey Monday ºoº - Storybook Land - Canal Boat Hidden Mickey

 

On July 17, 1955, Canal Boats of the World opened as one of Disneyland's original attractions. However, the attraction was only partially completed, as money was tight and the construction deadlines even tighter. After a couple months, the lackluster attraction was closed to be remodeled. When the ride reopened on June 16, 1956, it featured Disney-inspired miniatures, improved landscaped and a Monstro the Whale for the boats to sail into. With its storybook-themed villages, the attraction was renamed the Storybook Land Canal Boats.

Each of the cute little canal boats has been christened with a Disney name and decorated to match. Belle features paintings of Mrs. Potts, Lumiere and other Beauty & the Beast characters painted onto the hull. Sebastian and Flounder have beem painted onto Ariel's namesake, which carries a seafoam green, Little Mermaid-themed paint scheme.

Hidden Mickey hunters should keep an eye out for Flora, named after one of Sleeping Beauty's fairy godmothers. The predomninantly pink canal boat features floral-themed embelishments. A small, purple Hidden Mickey has been hidden along with all of Flora's flowers.

Friday
Aug172012

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie Electrifies the San Diego Comic-Con

Walt Disney Studios electrified the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con with multiple incarnations of Tim Burton's newest featured project, Frankenweenie.

A cult figure at Comic-Con, Burton's dark, quirky style has loyal fans excited about the black & white stop-motion animated feature. Frankenweenie (2012) is a Mary Shelley-inpired tale about a young boy who brings his dead dog back to life. In a Burtonesque twist of fate, the talented Tim Burton returns to Disney Studios, creating a full-length feature inspired by the Frankenweenie (1984) short-film that led to his firing as a young Disney animator and director.

On June 12, a month before doors opened to convention attendees, Walt Disney Pictures sponsored Frankenweenie Comic-Con banners that appeared all over Downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp District. Hanging on lightposts from Petco Park to Point Loma, the ads featured a stitched-up Sparky, Frankenweenie's four-legged star.

Frankenweenie Banner in San Diego's Historic Gaslamp District

At 2:05pm on Thursday, July 12, Walt Disney Studios presented Frankenweenie inside the San Diego Comic-Con's marquee venue, Hall H. To attend the afternoon event, many of Burton's fans lined up before dawn, competing with Twilight fans for coveted Hall H seating. Those lucky enough to get in were treated to Frankenweenie previews and a special Q & A panel with Tim Burton.

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie in SDCC's Hall H - Photo by Loren Javier

Following the Hall H panel, Walt Disney Pictures whisked Burton, actor Atticus Shaffer and producers Don Hahn and Allison Abate to a press conference held at the Bayside Hilton. Media outlets asked questions about the black & white Frankenweenie project, including technical aspects related to stop motion animation and the intricately made puppets. Burton also remembered attending the San Diego Comic-Con in the late 70's as a college student, when the event was little more than a collection of comic book dealers in a rented hall.

Frankenweenie Press Panel - (L-R) Don Hahn, Atticus Shaffer, Tim Burton & Allison Abate

Frankenweenie Director Tim Burton

Home & Garden Television partnered with Walt Disney Pictures to create HGTV's Electrifying Garden, a Frankenweenie-style crossover featuring a pet cemetery, Frankenweenie trailers and spooky loooking plants. The Burton-inspired exhibit was located in front of the Gaslamp Hilton, just across Harbor Drive from the San Diego Convention Center.

Electrifying Garden guests were invited to take photos, which were green-screened to place subjects in New Holland, Tim Burton's suburban setting for Frankenweenie. Every attendee enterprising enough to cross the street and enter the HGTV tent also received special Frankenweenie mini-tote bags and San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Sparky pins.

Frankenweenie Tote Bags from HGTV's Electrifying Garden

HGTV's Electrifying Garden - San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Sparky PinsEven if Comic-Con attendees decided walking to the Gaslamp Quarter was too much effort and skipped the HGTV event, the Comic-Con's main convention floor featured plenty of Frankeweenie.

The fun folks from Funko featured a pair of SDCC 2012 Frankenweenie Exclusives. Funko's Sparkysaurus figure and Frankenweenie T-Shirts drew long lines, as people vultured around the Funko booth to purchase the popular items.

Funko's Sparkysaurus Figure and Frankenweenie T-Shirt

Gentle Giant also had a little Frankenweenie to show conventioneers. Their Frankenweenie collection included several figures patterned after Frankweenie characters, as well as the cute and cuddly Sparky plush.

The biggest Frankenweenie-related draw, besides Tim Burton himself, was the Art of Frankenweenie Exhibition. The gallery of stop motion puppets, movie props and Burton's concept art created a constant crowd clamoring to get their first peeks at Frankweenie. The movie's official traveling exhibition made the San Diego Comic-Con its second out of eight worldwide stops. The five day stop in San Diego allowed fans in Southern California a sneak preview. For those who missed out, Vincent, Sparky and the exhibition gallery will re-appear at the Disney California Adventure Park from September 14th to November 5th, in time to build buzz for the Frankenweenie's theatrical debut on October 5, 2012.

Sparky Stop-Motion Puppet - Art of Frankenweenie Exhibit

Monday
Aug132012

Hidden Mickey Monday ºoº - Buena Vista Street - Julius Katz & Sons - Window Display Mickeys

Over the past five years, the folks from Imagineering have outdone themselves revamping the Disney California Adventure Park. In addition to creating a new land and new attractions, Imagineers pulled from Walt Disney's past to give DCA's main thoroughfare a distinctively Disney feel.

Carthay Circle Theater Cosntruction - Disney California Adventure Park - April 2011The Carthay Circle Theater - Disney California Adventure Park - March 2012

Using Walt Disney's journey to 1920's Los Angeles as a template, WDI created a California Adventure counterpart to Disneyland's Main Street. Although Disney died in 1966, Buena Vista Street feels magical, as if it were finished with Walt's personal touch. After recreating iconic landmark's from Hollywood's past, Imagineering completed the illusion, by staging Buena Vista Street with dozens of historic Disney Details and a few Hidden Mickeys.


Julis Katz & Sons Storefront - Buena Vista Street - DCA

The only repair shop on Buena Vista Street, Julius Katz & Sons features radios, cameras, watches, televisions and other mechanical items from the 1920's & 30's. The items on display in the Katz & Sons front window, include a vintage television set featuring a Classic Mickey test screen and several Mickey-shaped antique locks.

Test Screen Hidden Mickey on a 1920's-era television - Julius Katz & Sons - Buena Vista Street

Test cards or test patterns were used calibrate early televisions and broadcast cameras. In an era when stations did not have programming to broadcast twety-four hours a day, test patterns also let viewers know that they were receiving signals (but no programming) from a specific broadcast station. In a nod to television's infancy, Imagineer's staged the window with a six-inch wide television screen, state of the art for the late 1920's.

Classic Mickey shaped antique locks in a display window - Julius Katz & Sons - Buena Vista Street

The pair Mickey-shaped antique locks are on display, hanging in a case above the television set. Imagineers understand that Disney is in the Details, so decorating choices are usually conscious ones. Mickey-shaped items are often used as Hidden Mickeys, especially antique locks, cameras with unusually shaped lenses and double alarms with bells as Mickey ears.

 

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