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Old 01-20-2013, 07:18 PM   #211
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I kept meaning to come back and look at these updates on the computer. The phone just doesn't work. Those evil queen segments always scared me. It's amazing how much work goes into one of these movies. Absolutely fascinating!
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:14 PM   #212
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WOW! Great promo for the WDFM. I wish my timing worked out better so that we could have caught the Snow White displays.

Ah well.....

Great update. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:25 PM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
Lovely session on Snow White. I love the Dopey sketch sawing the tree limb.
At the exhibit they had all sorts of gags, mostly involving Dopey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
Lovely update, all of the details and inside information is so wonderful, I have learned so much reading thru your two different events.

Thanks for all the wonderful information.
You're welcome. Another update is coming soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
Can't wait to hear about Burbank! My friend's hubby worked there. While he liked the job, the commute was horrible.

Shirley Temple. I'm sad my kids don't enjoy her films. Classic. Loved her.

And you've got 16 days until your trip to WDW!
Sadly, I haven't seen many of her movies either.

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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
I kept meaning to come back and look at these updates on the computer. The phone just doesn't work. Those evil queen segments always scared me. It's amazing how much work goes into one of these movies. Absolutely fascinating!
It's amazing the insight that Walt had.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:36 PM   #214
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At the exhibit they had all sorts of gags, mostly involving Dopey.



You're welcome. Another update is coming soon.




Sadly, I haven't seen many of her movies either.



It's amazing the insight that Walt had.


As a kid I was a huge Shirley Temple, Bing Crosby, and Lucille Ball fan. Born in the wrong era I was.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:14 PM   #215
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As a kid I was a huge Shirley Temple, Bing Crosby, and Lucille Ball fan. Born in the wrong era I was.
I know what you mean Yoda, me too but not the film part, I was the Rock n' Roll part....
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:26 PM   #216
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So after Snow White we headed back to the room. As usual Fran laid down for a nap and I checked the DIS and other online stuff. This is what I had for dinner.



I believe that the concert started at 8PM and the doors opened at 7:30. One of the reasons that we paid for Diamond level admission is that this is what everyone else waited in to get into the show floor. If you look carefully at the floor you will see that taped on the floor are clear lines for people to wait in for the show. You can bet that each one of those lines that you see at the front, goes clear to the back of the room.





This was the diamond level line. This clump is the front of the line.



And then it extended back from there. Only 100 people or so were diamond level.



Finally we were seated.



Steven Clark introduced our entertainer for the night.



And the Man, Alan Menken, evidently the lights were rather bright.



He immediately sat down at the piano and began playing, singing and introducing the numbers that he was going to play.



His first musical was an ďOff BroadwayĒ production called God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, an adaptation of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. This was one his first collaborations with Harold Ashman who later become his long time writing partner.



This was well received, but three years later he achieved much more success with the Off Broadway Musical Little Shop of Horrors on which Ashman also collaborated. From this show he sang all sort of tunes, of course the Main Title Song.



But he also sang Somewhere Thatís Green, Dentist, Suddenly Seymour, Feed Me, perhaps some others that escape my mind.











Ashman wrote the screenplay for the 1986 Marvin Hamlisch musical Smile, so he played a couple numbers from that show. I donít remember which ones as itís not a real familiar musical to me.



Then he moved on to his best-known works, those with Disney. His first Disney feature that he worked on with Ashman was The Little Mermaid. From this feature he sang Part of your World, Under the Sea, Poor Unfortunate Souls and probably more.









He talked to us about writing the music and how it came to be that Sebastian was Jamaican. I donít quite remember, but he had the melody in his mind and just thought how cool it would be to have a calypso tune in there to lighten the mood. It had nothing to do with the story line, but it totally changed the film. He also mentioned about how he received two Oscars for this film and he was feeling pretty darned good about working for Disney at that point. However, this was right around the time that they also learned that Ashman was diagnosed with AIDS. Ashman had been working on a pet project called, Alladin but agreed to sign on with Menken to work on Beauty and the Beast. To accommodate Ashman's failing health, pre-production of Beauty and the Beast was moved from London to the Residence Inn in Fishkill, New York, close to Ashman's New York City home



Since the original story had only two major characters, the filmmakers enhanced them, added new characters in the form of enchanted household items who "add warmth and comedy to a gloomy story" and guide the audience through the film, and added a "real villain" in the form of Gaston. The animated objects were, however, given distinct personalities in the Disney version. By early 1990, Katzenberg had approved the revised script, and storyboarding began again. The production flew story artists back and forth between California and New York for storyboard approvals from Ashman, though the team was not told the reason why.



"Human Again" was dropped from the film before animation began, as its lyrics caused story problems about the timeline over which the story takes place. This required Ashman and Menken to write a new song in its place. "Something There", in which Belle and Beast sing (via voiceover) of their growing fondness for each other, was composed late in production and inserted into the script in place of "Human Again". Menken would later revise "Human Again" for inclusion in the 1994 Broadway stage version of Beauty and the Beast, and another revised version of the song was added to the film itself in a new sequence created for the film's Special Edition re-release in 2002.

I think he included this song in the medley that he sang which also had Belle, Gaston, Beauty and the Beast, Be Our Guest as well. Ashman died of AIDS-related complications on March 14, 1991, eight months prior to the release of the film. He never saw the finished film, members of the film's production team visited him after the film's well-received first screening, with Don Hahn commenting that "the film would be a great success. Who'd have thought it?", to which Ashman replied with "I would." A tribute to the lyricist was included at the end of the credits crawl: "To our friend, Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice, and a beast his soul. We will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman: 1950Ė1991".



[Continued in Next Post]
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:27 PM   #217
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[Continued from Previous Post]

Aladdin had been pitched to the executives at Disney by Ashman and Menken and after comparing it with two other productions, Aladdin ended up becoming the next motion picture. One of the other screenplays ended up becoming The Lion King and the other was an adaptation of Swan Lake.



Ashman and Menken wrote 14 songs for Aladdin, but in the end only three of their songs were used. Harold Ashman passed away before production on Aladdin was completed and Tim Rice was brought in to help finish the lyrics.



He sang quite a few songs including Arabian Nights, Prince Ali, Friend Like Me, A Whole New World, and Iím sure a few others, but I donít remember. This was a GREAT movie and big part of my life, these tunes put me in tears, as if I wasnít already there.



The movie ended up winning two more Oscars and by this point, Menken was thinking, ďYou write a score for Disney and you get a couple Academy Awards.Ē It just seemed that easy!

The next show that he sang some songs from was Newsies. Iím not really familiar with this show, so I canít tell you what he sang. They were all pleasing enough, and Iím glad that the show is having a new rebirth on Broadway.



The Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast had quite a few songs added for the stage production.



I canít remember if he sang multiple numbers from the stage production, but some of those songs were No Matter What, Wolf Chase, Me, Home, The Battle and Transformation.



For the 1998 version of the show they also added a song A Change in Me. I know that he did sing that song from the show.



Pocohontas was his last big double Oscar Winner which makes Alan Menken the second most Oscarized winner in the music category after Alfred Newman who has nine Oscars. From this show he sang, Just Around the Riverbend, Colors of the Wind and probably a few others.



He also worked on Hunchback of Notre Dame, where he was nominated for an Oscar. Unfortunately the songs from this movie escape me, but I know he sang a medley of these as well.





Apart from Disney he did a musical on A Christmas Carol and he shared a few numbers from this musical as well.



He was also nominated for an Oscar for Hercules. There were several catchy numbers that he sang from this, including Zero to Hero, Go the Distance, The Gospel Truth and others.







King David is a musical that I was not at all familiar with. He played a few selections from this, but since I didnít know any of the songs, I donít remember which ones he played!



Alan Menken actually wrote five songs for ďWho Discovered Roger RabbitĒ a sequel to ďWho Framed Roger Rabbit?Ē This Only Happens in the Movies. The only time that it was recorded was in 2008 on the debut album of Broadway actress Kerry Butler.



Then he sang a couple number from this Home on the Range.



Soon Aladdin will be hitting the Great White Way (if it hasnít already) and he sang a few of the songs that were added for the Broadway production.





He also wrote the music for Enchanted (again receiving an Oscar nomination). I saw this movie once, but donít remember any of the songs from it.





Obviously he sang a few tunes since they showed so many slides while he was singing.





[Continued in Next Post]
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:30 PM   #218
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[Continued from Previous Post]

The Little Mermaid has come to the stage as well. Iím not sure what he played here, I canít find anything about which songs were added for the musical, but I donít think he repeated any of the tunes here.







Sister Act (The Musical) is another show that he wrote the music for. I havenít seen it yet, so I canít remember the songs he sang from that one, but they were good.



Tangled is another film that Menken wrote the music for while Glenn Slater wrote the lyrics.



From this movie he sang, When Will My Life Begin?, Mother Knows Best and I Have a Dream.



He must have sang Waiting for the Lights from this slide.



Now donít flame me, but Iím not a big Avengers fan, so I havenít seen any of these movies. Therefore the songs were unfamiliar to me.



Now I donít remember if he just talked about Newsies here or actually sang some more songs, but I figured Iíd show you the slide.



Leap of Faith is another musical that he co-wrote with Glenn Slater. It debuted in Los Angeles in 2010 and was on Broadway in 2011. I know he didnít sing anything that I didnít like that night, I just donít remember the songs from the musicals which were new to me.



As the evening was coming to a close, he talked about Aladdin and how truly special it was to his later songwriting partnerís heart. The show debuted in a short run in July 2011 on 5th Avenue in New York. Another run went in St. Louis a year later. Supposedly starting in 2014 the show will play at the New Amsterdam Theater taking the place of Mary Poppins.



One of the highlights of the stage show is that they have included one of Ashmanís numbers, Proud of Your Boy which he sang as the penultimate number for the evening. This was one of Ashmanís favorite songs that was originally cut from the movie. While he sang the song they showed this picture of Alan Menken and Harold Ashmanís partner posthumously accepting the Academy Award for their writing on Aladdin.



As I said, this whole post has been from memory and the pictures, so I am assuming that he ended the show with If I Ever Knew You from Pocohontas.



Thoughts and reflections on the evening and concert: I really wondered how this show was going to stand up to past entertainment at the Destination-D events. I mean Richard Sherman was a hard act to follow, he had us laughing, crying and sometimes even singing along. But Wow! Let me put it this way, Sherman wrote the soundtrack to my childhood, Alan Menken, well he wrote the soundtrack to most of my adult life. His shows hit right around the time I was in the middle of or finishing college and continued right on through all the highs and lows of my life.

Every song brought back memories for me and I was just an emotional wreck with tears streaming down my face with each new song that I remembered. Even as I write this I having a hard time seeing the screen through the blur. Not only did he write amazing songs, his performance level was equally amazing, such musicianship, and such conviction behind the words as he sang them. I was in awe of his every note, even the songs I didnít know moved me. But the ones that I did know hit me really hard, Disney has been there throughout my life. I wonít spare you the gory details, but I remember who I first saw just about all of these movies with, and that alone took me on quite a magic carpet ride! Evidently he doesnít perform like this often so we really experienced a rare treat.

If you EVER have the chance to catch him in a live performance anywhere, I would urge you not to miss it. Not only is he a funny guy, he is talented beyond belief! I have known a lot of very talented musicians, but I canít imagine how much fun it would be to be a fly on the wall while he is brainstorming! I was so high on life when I got back to the room, but we had to go to bed right away. The next morning we had to be up EAR-LY for another amazing day!
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:55 AM   #219
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Much as I adore all the details and your gorgeous pictures in your latest updates, this is one time I wish that we could HEAR the session!
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:50 PM   #220
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I knew that you were going to say that! You said the same thing about the Dick Van Dyke Concert!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:39 PM   #221
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I wish, I could hear it all too, it sounds like a beautiful experience.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:40 AM   #222
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Quote:
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I knew that you were going to say that! You said the same thing about the Dick Van Dyke Concert!
I'm Ms Consistency! But seriously.....you get so see and hear all these great people....and much as I love your updates of it, I am so green with envy because you also have the audio memory as well. Good for you.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #223
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I wish, I could hear it all too, it sounds like a beautiful experience.
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I'm Ms Consistency! But seriously.....you get so see and hear all these great people....and much as I love your updates of it, I am so green with envy because you also have the audio memory as well. Good for you.
I wish you all got to come with me and see and hear all these great concerts and stuff! I'm starting to get really excited about the Expo coming up this August. Being Sorcerers and all, we won't have to suffer through all the blasted waiting we did the last time!
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:15 PM   #224
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I bet most of you thought that I had abandoned this TR, but I am determined to finish it! This installment was a long time in writing because there was so much information and no pictures. I had taken notes on my Windows phone, but failed to send it to myself before service was disconnected. I had to retype all my notes before I could edit them into proper prose for a TR.

The next morning we were up bright and early. The Diamond package offered bussed transport to and from the Disneyland Resort, but Fran is much more comfortable in her own vehicle under her own control. We drove to Burbank, following the busses with the rest of the group most of the time. As we drove up the freeway, we saw this from the freeway. Usually we just drive by, but today we were actually going there!



However we had to go to a different location and we parked in the lot that we were designated. Two other folks had driven separately as well. We met the DH of Laura (who coordinates most of the D23 events) on the plaza. I took some pictures as we made our way to the Animation building.







They had pastries and coffee being served outside the front of the building, although we had stopped at McDonald's in Anaheim on our way up. They were adamant about us not taking any pictures during our tine in the Animation building. I overheard Laura, the gal in charge, telling one of the guides that they were free to confiscate any cameras or cell phones if they saw us take them out. They did take a group picture outside the building before we went in to start our tour.

They divided us into five groups so that we could more easily see the various areas. The entire group gathered in The Coffee Clutch. This is an area where a barista serves all sorts of beverages to the employees. It was a nice open space where folks could come and congregate, blow off steam and just relax.

Our group went to an area where they had just finished up work on Wreck It Ralph. We were actually in the Sorcererís Hat of the Animation building. When the building was built it was originally Roy Disneyís office. Evidently he was a heavy smoker so they built an extensive exhaust system into the room to suck the air up and out of the building so he didnít disturb or irritate his coworkers. He quit within a year of the buildingís completion.

So back to our tour, the gal who talked to us in this hat/office that was converted into workspace was in background creation. Her job focused on the color palettes and styles they used for each of the various worlds in the arcade. Visual rendering is the name of the process. Hero's Duty used dark colors and vividly real animation. The land with the most elaborate planning was Sugar Rush. The buildings were designed with a definite "old world" quality. The design team actually took a trip to a small village in Spain to study architecture for the style of buildings in this land. She showed us pictures of the actual buildings behind the design of some of the scenes. The colors of this land were pinks and pastels. They also searched worldwide for candies to use for the characters, landscapes and other features. They used candy from all over the world.

They also differentiated the various worlds in the arcade games with shapes. Ralph's 16 bit world is based on squares, while Hero's Duty makes use of triangles. Grand central is made up of mostly rectangles with curved tops. Sugar Rush had mostly circular features.

Disney does all it can to really put the imagineers in the frame of mind of the picture that they are working on. In the area where they were working on Wreck it Ralph they had a facade of an old school Taco Bell with video games in it to simulate the arcade in the movie. They had a bunch of 80's games like Centipede and Asteroids. There were probably about eight video games in there, including Wreck It Ralph.

Our group went to Character Rigging next. This was a computer studio where I imagine that they did training classes. There was one desk at the front of the room on a raised platform, about six feet. There were several clusters of desks and each desk had a computer and dual monitors. There were enough stations that just about everyone in our group of about 20 could try it out. They had loaded up software on each computer and Ralph was on the screen. The software was fairly easy to work and they gave us a quick overview. Essentially you could take a portion of the character's body like the hand or the shoulder, or maybe a leg and move it slightly. Then you would save that movement to a frame. You could move it a bit again and save it to the next frame. I created a little 12 frame movement thing where he was sort of breakdancing.

They took us to the drawing studio next. Ever since the days of Walt's Studio on Hyperion, drawing classes were offered to the animators to help them build their craft. That is still true today, but they are not limited to imagineers or animators. Anyone including accounting, mailroom clerks, security guards whoever is welcome to participate in the classes.

Our next stop was voice over. For those of you who have seen the movie they did the scene where Ralph meets Vanelope. They are climbing in the Peppermint trees and she is repeating everything he says in a mocking tone. The tech explained to us that John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman recorded many of their lines together. Normally each actor records their lines separately, but this method made for a more spontaneous and animated dialogue for both characters. Three or four different pairs from our group had the opportunity to try at recording. I didn't volunteer. It was definitely a lot harder than it seems!

We headed to "story" next. We were seated around a large table which filled the entire room. There was just enough extra room to walk around the table provided no one was sitting in the chair you wished to pass behind. All around the room were storyboard sketches from. WiR. There were some large pieces of paper (the kind with Post-it paste on the back) on the dry erase boards that lined most of the walls. They talked about the essential elements of a good story. Characters you care for, believability, engaging story, etc. This is sort of the same stuff that they told us in some of the sessions over the weekend.

Our job was to add to the story our D23 group was creating. So far the prior groups had started the story with a boy and his dog, a roller derby girl had stolen his teddy bear. There was something special about the bear, but no one knew just what. Also the roller derby girl had special powers or was from outer space.

The boy pursued the girl on his bicycle, his dog felt neglected but he followed along as well. They followed the roller derby girl to an active volcano, which she began to climb. Somewhere around this time we begin to suspect that the Roller Derby Girl had powers of time travel and that the teddy bear might have lifetime passes to all the Disney parks.

At this point our group came in to add to the story. We added this portion:

As the roller derby girl was coming down the volcano, the boy was riding his bicycle up. The dog had somehow got ahead of the boy and was chasing the girl down the volcano. The dog was wearing heat resistant lava boots to protect his feet. Precisely at the moment where the two were about to pass each other, activated her time travel abilities. However at that exact moment, the dog bit onto her skirt and the boy grabbed onto the dog so all of them went back in time three years to the Macy's Christmas sale where the boy learned that the roller derby girl was actually his mother.

At this point in the story we had to give up and leave it to the next group who was waiting in the hall. There were still two more groups left to add to the story. The next area we went to was a screening room where we saw the process of one of the animators and how a scene less than 10 seconds long was animated and the amazing amount of work that went into that. If you remember the scene in the movie when Vanelope steals Ralph's medal, she takes it, spit shines it and then hops and runs off. To actually create this scene, the first thing our animator did was film herself doing the actions that Vanelope did. She showed us her video of herself. This helped her to figure out the way that vanelope would move and she could make her movements more lifelike and real.

Once she actually had the movements down then they were able to create the scene. Using the real life actions of the movie she was able to make the computer animation look real and have something to compare it to. When they were designing this scene they also worked in the little "glitch" in Vanelope's character that defined her eventually. Our animator pointed out that this was still very raw animation. Once the character movement was correct and approved, it would be sent on to another animator to do the hair and other stylized items. This particular animator did only 10 seconds of the character in one scene. I asked if this was the reason that in the credits for the movies you see 30-40 names under each character and she confirmed that with all the different scenes in a movie it could easily involve that many people to create that role for the movie.

After that we headed to our final gathering for the morning. There was a theater in the Animation building. On the chairs were some tote bags waiting for us with a mug and a framed picture that we took that morning. We also got a Wreck-It-Ralph poster and a book on Paperman.



We got to hear the entire story that our group wrote. Remember we left off that the boy had gone back in time to the Macyís Christmas sale where he learned that she was actually his mother. Well it turns out that his mother had stolen the bear because she worked at Macyís during their Christmas Sale and evidently had sold the bear that was supposed to go to the boy by mistake. The bear that was supposed to go to the boy had lifetime passes to all the Disney parks sewn inside. While the boy was chasing his mother back in time and all this was going on, the father was out purchasing replacement lifetime passes for the family, so no one had anything to worry about after all and they all lived happily ever after.

Following this presentation, we went back out and loaded onto the busses. Fran and her scooter headed back through the route we originally took to get there, along with our guide from the morning. Me and the other folks who drove themselves found seats on the bus and traveled back with the rest of the group. We went to the esplanade where Fran and I started our day at the studio where they had set up a buffet style lunch for us.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:12 AM   #225
ACDSNY

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Neat update! Can you have a Coffee Clutch installed at my office, it's so needed?

The group picture came out nice!
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