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Disney Headline News

Stanley Cheung to Head The Walt Disney Co. China

Stanley Cheung has been named md, The Walt Disney Co. (China), responsible for driving the company's strategy, coordinating all of Disney's business efforts in China, including overseeing Disney's global brands in the market, expanding existing businesses and seeking out new business opportunities.

Disney will now have its existing businesses in China managed locally, with all business segments reporting into Cheung, as well as their respective business units. Based in Shanghai, Cheung assumes his new post on Jan. 1, 2005.

Disney Headline News

Chicken Little Gets Cars Slot

With Disney/Pixars CARS being pushed back from Nov. 4, 2005, to June 2006, to maximize profits, Disney confirmed that the 3D-animated CHICKEN LITTLE, formerly a summer 2005 title, would now slide into the vacated Nov. 4 slot. Disney already has next summer covered with two live-action movies, THE LOVE BUG and SKY HIGH.

Disney Headline News

Disney Supports Blu-ray Disc Format

The high-def DVD war just got more interesting, as The Walt Disney Co. announced its non-exclusive support of the Blue-ray Disc format embraced by Sony and manufactured by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. This comes on the heels of last weeks announcement that Toshiba Corp. is getting support from Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Bros. and New Line for its rival next-generation DVD format, HD DVD.

Disney Headline News

Disney & Gold Won’t Issue Alternate Slate of Directors

In a letter sent to the Disney board on Dec. 3, 2004, dissident shareholder leaders Roy Disney and Stanley Gold announced they will not present an alternate slate of directors at Disney's annual meeting next year. This year the pair led a 45% vote of no confidence in Michael Eisner that led to his resignation as chairman. Eisner has since announced he will retire at the end of his contract in 2006. Disney and Gold have threatened to issue an alternate slate of directors, fearing Eisner would be replaced by deputy Robert Iger, who they do not support.

Books Headline News

Disney Animator/Illustrator J. P. Miller Dies

John Parr Miller, an early animator for Walt Disney and best-selling children's books illustrator, died on Oct. 29, 2004, in Long Island, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES. He was 91 and lived in Manhasset, New York. His death was announced by his family.

J. P. Miller is best known for his work on the Little Golden Books line of books. His THE LITTLE RED HEN is still a perennial seller, despite being published a half a century ago.

Disney Headline News

Disney Channel Orders New Emperor's New Skool Series

The Disney Channel has ordered 21 half-hour episodes of EMPEROR'S NEWSKOOL, an animated series based on the 2000 Disney feature film EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE, to be produced by Walt Disney Television Animation.

Exec producer is Bobs Gannaway (LILO & STITCH: THE SERIES) with David Knott (RECESS) directing the series for 2006.

Disney Headline News

AFI To Highlight Best Quotes

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 12:00am

In the American Film Institutes on-going AFI's 100 Years series, AFI will highlight the 100 best movie quotes. AFI'S 100 YEARS . . . 100 MOVIE QUOTES: AMERICA'S GREATEST QUIPS, COMEBACKS AND CATCHPHRASES will count down America's 100 greatest lines of dialogue spoken in the movies, as chosen by experts of the motion picture community, in a three-hour television event on the CBS Television Network in June 2005.

Below is a list of the four lines from animated films that made the 400 nominees.

Disney Headline News

Disney Moves Ahead on Toy Story 3

Walt Disney Studios is moving full steam ahead on a second sequel to TOY STORY, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Disney is setting up a digital studio in Glendale, California, to produce the film without the participation of original producer Pixar. David Stainton, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, is heading up the project along with Andrew Millstein, who headed the company's defunct Orlando animation facility. The Mouse House is courting 3D animation and visual effects wizards from other studios to come and work on the film.

Comics Headline News

Disney Publishing Adds Crossgen Ent. To Comics Portfolio

Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) has acquired of the assets of CrossGen Entertainment Inc., an innovative publisher of comicbooks and graphic novels. CrossGens stable of epic fantasy and science fiction properties include ABADAZAD, RUSE, WAY OF THE RAT, MERIDIAN, MYSTIC, ROUTE 666 and SOJOURN. Disney represents approximately 50% of all childrens comic magazines sold around the world, reaching readers of all ages, with 220 million comics each year.

Disney Headline News

Disney Animation Opens Lab In Chicago Magnet School

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 10, 2004 at 12:00am

The Disney Elementary Magnet School dedicated its new state-of-the-art computer facility on Nov. 9, 2004, reports NBC5. All of the school's 1,600 students will have the chance to make animation on the computer. Walt Disney's daughter, Diane Disney Miller, was a major sponsor of the lab, in addition to IBM.

"You know, my dad always said, 'Education should not be boring; it should be entertaining!' And that was kind of the key word to everything he did," she said.

Animation Headline News

ASIFA Names Winsor McCay Award Recipients

ASIFA-Hollywood, The International Animated Film Society, announced today (Nov. 10, 2004) this years Winsor McCay award recipients, Don Bluth, Virginia Davis and Arnold Stang. These are juried awards recognizing lifetime achievement or exceptional contributions to the art of animation.

Disney Headline News

Cingular Brings Disney Content to Mobile Phones

Cingular Wireless is teaming with Disney Mobile to allow Cingular customers to access the Disney and Pixar characters from their mobile phones. Disney Mobile content, including ringtones, graphics, games, multimedia messaging and more, is now available directly from Cingular handsets and via the Web at www.cingular.com/media. Downloads range in price from $1.99 for ringtones and wallpapers to $5.99 for games.

Disney Headline News

Walt Disney Television Animation Gives Two SVP Stripes

Walt Disney Television Animation (WDTVA) has named Meredith Metz, svp, creative affairs, and has promoted Lisa Salamone Smith to svp, production.

"Being able to bring Meredith to WDTVA to lead our development efforts is especially meaningful," said Barry Blumberg, WDTVA president, to whom they both will report. "Her vast experience and exceptional eye for creative, innovative projects are a winning combination that will make her a valuable addition to our team."

Disney Headline News

Marvel Sues Disney Over Superhero Copyrights

Three months after suing The Walt Disney Co. in a dispute over royalties, Marvel Enterprises Inc. wants to take the copyrights to Marvel superheroes away from the Mouse House, reports REUTERS. In a suit filed on Oct. 29, 2004 in Los Angeles federal court, Marvel requests a judge to declare that Disney never legally assumed copyrights to Marvel characters when it bought the original licensee, Fox Family Worldwide, in 2001.

Studio Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

When word leaked to us that the shuttered Walt Disney Animation (Japan) studio was reopening with most of the former Disney animators and staff as The Answer Studio, VFXWORLD immediately tried to secure an interview with president Motoyoshi Tokunaga. The former vp/gm of the Disney studio in Tokyo politely asked us to be patient.

Disney Headline News

First Pooh, Now Pan: Disney in Court over Peter Pan Rights

If Disneys decade long battle over the merchandising rights to WINNIE THE POOH wasnt enough, Walt Disney Co. is now in a legal wrangling with a U.K. children's hospital over the copyright to J. M. Barrie's classic novel, PETER PAN, reports THE LONDON TELEGRAPH.

Story Headline News

Eisner Says Toy Story 3 & 4 in Development

Walt Disney Co. is simultaneously working on two new TOY STORY sequels, according to Disney ceo Michael Eisner, who listed some of the studios film plans at a Goldman Sachs investment conference in Manhattan, NEW YORK NEWSDAY reports.

Eisner added that while computer-animated movies are the current rage, success would come down to storytelling and emotion, and not just technology.

Disney Headline News

Disney's Iger Paints Poor Pixar Prospects

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 29, 2004 at 12:00am

Disney president Robert Iger said on Wednesday that a renewed deal between the house that Walt built and Pixar Animation Studios was "unlikely, reports REUTERS. He added that partnerships like the one Disney had with Pixar to distribute its films often "outgrow one another."

"If it's not Pixar, it will be someone else," Iger told an audience at the Royal Television Society's international conference in London.

Online Headline News

Disney's Toontown Online Unleashes Pets in Tooniverse

Disney Online has unleashed pets called Doodles in Toontown (www.toontown.com), the award-winning, massively multiplayer 3D online game for families. With this latest extension of the game, members of Toontown can adopt a variety of outrageous creatures to play with and raise as pets.

Doodles are available now for adoption in exchange for jellybeans, the currency of Toontown online. They can be found at newly unveiled Pet Shops located in each of the Toontown neighborhood playgrounds.

Disney Headline News

Disney Names 2004 Legends

The Walt Disney Co. today named the 2004 Disney Legends, recognizing individuals who have contributed creativity, innovation and imagination to Disney's rich heritage. Walt Disney Co. ceo Michael Eisner presided over the ceremony, which takes place each year at the Disney Legends Plaza at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA.

The following are the 2004 Disney Legends:

Company Headline News

Eisner’s Reign At Disney to End in 2006

Walt Disney Co.s ceo Michael Eisner has announced that he is stepping down from his post when his contract expires in Sept. 2006, reports the WALL STREET JOURNAL. This move ends Eisners two-decade reign at the mega-corporation and comes six months after former board members Stanley Gold and Roy Disney tried to oust him from the firm. Gold and Disneys efforts did lead to Eisner being removed as chairman. Disney president Robert Iger is Eisners "preferred choice" to succeed him.

Animation Headline News

Disney Pioneer Frank Thomas Dies at 92

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 9, 2004 at 12:00am

Frank Thomas, who helped pioneer the animated art form as a member of Walt Disneys elite Nine Old Men, passed away Wednesday night at his home in Flintridge, California. He celebrated his 92nd birthday on Sunday with family and friends, including director Brad Bird, who honored Thomas and lifelong friend and colleague Ollie Johnston the last of the Nine Old Men with cameo appearances in both THE IRON GIANT and Disney/Pixars THE INCREDIBLES.

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