Posts Tagged ‘D23’

I love pretty much all incarnations of Peter Pan: Disney’s 1953 Peter Pan, the Peter Pan tv special starring Mary Martin, Hook, 2003’s Peter Pan, Finding Neverland. You name it, I will read it or watch it if it concerns our favorite lost boys and gangs of somewhat-surly pirates (scariness varies from one adaptation to another).

So even though I’m not exactly part of the demographic for a preschool aged show, you can bet I wanted to be at the D23 event giving us a sneak peak of Disney Jr’s new show Jake & The Neverland Pirates.


Disney Jr is the new name for Playhouse Disney, and Jake is the first new show under the Disney Jr name. After a few months on the Disney Channel in the mornings (like Playhouse Disney is now) Disney Jr is planning on migrating to it’s very own channel! I’m sure this is very exciting news to babysitters, nannys and moms & dads alike 😉


About to head into the theater

First there was a screening of the first two 11-minute episodes that will make up a half hour of Jake & the Neverland Pirates. I have to say — again, as someone that doesn’t have kids and isn’t 4 myself — that this is a VERY cute show. Jake & his crew, Izzy and Cubby  (voiced by Colin Ford, Maddison Pettis from The Game Plan and Jonathan Morgan Helt respectively) have adventures around Neverland and try and avoid/outwit Captain Hook, Smee and the rest of his dastardly pirate crew. Myself, and the rest of the audience, laughed out loud quite a few times, especially when Captain Hook was around.

After that there was a brief panel with: Story Editor Mark Seidenberg, Executive Producer Rob LaDuca (who also worked on the Gummi Bears, Duck Tales and Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers back in the day!), and voice actors extraordinaire Corey Burton (the voice of Captain Hook for the past 25 years!) and Jeff Bennett  (voice of Smee). They had a lot of fun talking about how the Neverland on the show is similar yet different to the Neverland we’ve seen before (Tink is off in Pixie Hollow for one thing…) D23 Disney Geek/Moderator  Jeffrey Epstein got the voice talent to do a lot of their iconic voices too, which was really neat to see in person.

Following the panel there was some mix and mingle time outside, where you got to meet Captain Hook himself!

Captain Hook and Me

Me & the Captain

Captain Hook and the Neverland Pirate kids!

Captain Hook with Izzy (Maddison Pettis) & Jake (Colin Ford)

Let’s just say there’s a possibility I may be watching Jake & the crew if I ever find myself with a lot of downtime & Disney Jr is on…

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And by that I mean that, thanks to the glorious folks at D23, I found myself at the Walt Disney Studios a few weekends back walking through the animation building and trying to sneak into a sneak peak of Tangled. I’m mostly kidding on that last part.

The tour had two main parts — a knowledgable guide took us around the lot, and then let us loose for a few minutes near the end in the Archives, under the watchful eye of the recently retired chief archivist Dave Smith. I’ve been on the lot a few times before, and everyone who knows me would not be surprised that I knew a few of the stories they told, but it was a really fun tour all around.

We started out at Pluto’s Corner:


Near the front of the lot were some buildings that they had actually brought with them from their old location — they actually carefully tore down each building and then rebuilt the same buildings on the new lot. When I was younger I used to think it’d be cool if you could just take your house with you when you moved…and it seems Disney had the same idea!

We then went down to where the Animation building, and Ink & Paint buildings are. No pictures were allowed inside the  buildings, but the walls are lined with art from their animated films with plaques that explain the film process. There’s also a somewhat-secret passage (just in the fact that they don’t really use it anymore) that connects the Animation building with the Ink & Paint building underground. It was made so that the clear cels wouldn’t get dust on them, or rained on.


We also walked by the ginormous sound stages, and the small piece of “backlot” (the area that looks like building fronts) that remains from years past. There used to be a neighborhood street, as well as the whole town where Zorro was set.

Next up we headed to the Archives — the place where Disney records all of their film/park/you-name-it history, and stores memorabilia they deem necessary to preserving the legacy. They actually have huge warehouses elsewhere (the room we were in was MUCH too small for parts of the plane from the LOST set!) but they did have some cool things lying about:


Me, in the Archives

The  main room is mostly filled with books, and clay models for the animated characters. They brought out this shiny gem for us to see though:


I'd like to thank the Academy...

And Dave Smith was there to answer any questions anyone might have. He essentially came up with the idea of the Archives and started them from scratch when he was younger (in the mid60s)


After the Archives, we spent some time in Legends Plaza outside of the 7 Dwarfs building (aka the Team Disney Building aka The Place that Michael Eisner Built):


This definitely rivaled the Warner Brothers Studio tour I did with my mom when I first moved out here. Unlike that tour though, Disney doesn’t usually do studio tours, so it was an extra special experience. I’m slowly making my way around all the studio lots 🙂

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As I’ve said before, I get a LOT of mileage out of my D23 membership from living in the LA area. Aside from the awesome magazine (full of gorgeous pictures, and great articles too, of course) there are a number of events at Disneyland and the studio lot in Burbank that I’ve had the ability to attend — like the Ponyo premiere in Hollywood, D23’s 1st Birthday Party, and the D23 Expo.

They’ve been doing screenings on the lot pretty frequently, and when a screening of Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (a month before it airs on Disney Channel) followed by a Q&A came up on the site I geekily jumped at the chance to go. DCOM’s (Disney Channel Original Movies…) are pretty much the ultimate guilty pleasure for me. There is rarely one I don’t enjoy, especially if it involves a lot of music.

This lights up at night!

We were asked not to give too much away, since it doesn’t air for almost a month, and no cameras were allowed inside, so you’ll have to check out D23’s article on the event for pictures of the panel, but here are my brief thoughts on Camp Rock 2:

* I liked it a lot more than the first one. Not that I didn’t enjoy the first one, but this one (as mentioned in the Q&A) was much more of a “musical” i.e. spontaneous dance numbers that move the story along vs the previous one which used a lot of performance numbers (stages, microphones, etc), and I loooove musicals.

* Speaking of the music, my favorite songs after the initial viewing were: Can’t Back Down, Wouldn’t Change a Thing, and Introducing Me. After repeat viewings that list will probably grow. Because Disney songs are annoyingly (or awesomely, depending on your viewpoint) catchy like that.

* Many more quippy one-liners this time around. Also, a fun stunt thing that happens early on that is awesome.

…being vague is difficult. Get excited for fun dancing (Alyson Stoner!), catchy songs, general summer goofiness and other expected DCOM fun.

The panel following featured Michael Healy (senior vice president, Original Movies, Disney Channel), Steve Vincent (vice president, Music and Soundtracks, Disney Channel), director Paul Hoen and screenwriter Dan Berendsen. Some quick hits from that:

* Writer Dan put himself through college working at Club 33. Seems like many Disney greats (hello, John Lassiter) started one way or another in those parks. Woot!

*When asked about the old Vault Disney shows (classics of the 50s/60s and lots of animated shorts), Michael Healy said there are no current plans to get them back on the air, since airing them at 2/3 AM (since they have, you know, Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana to air for the current generations) seems like a disservice to the material. BUT with the expansion of various viewing markets (read: the internet/hulu/ipad etc etc) opening up, he also said there’s definitely hope they’ll be seen again soon. I’m personally hoping that they’ll be including all varieties of oldies (up through the 80s/90s/early 00s, which are all unfortunately for me in this “old” category now) — I want to see Mickey Mouse Club & Zorro AND Gummi Bears/Famous Jett Jackson etc

Upon exiting the theater, we were all gifted with some pretty cool Camp Rock “swag”:

Handing out goodie bags

I didn’t get a clear picture of it at the time, but I decided to send one of the bags to my good friend and resident king of all things Jonas Brothers, Gerald and he did post a picture:

So…that’s my take on Camp Rock 2! Coming to Disney Channel September 3rd

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