Saturday, December 18, 2010

Outside Addresses: Sexy, Dopey, Nostalgic and Weird

What others were saying this week about the many worlds of Disney entertainment:

"Still, it seems unlikely that the money-strapped Playboy would risk the ire of Disney unless they got some kind of go ahead. The general theory right now is that Disney, a company that used to shuffle any movie even slightly controversial to one of their other wings like Touchstone, is looking for any extra way to market a movie that has been rumored to cost more than $300 million and so decided to just let this slide as long as their name was nowhere near it.  If the pictorial doesn’t vanish and Disney doesn’t make a comment, we might have to assume that to be the case."

Jon Bershad

"In Scandinavian countries, it was once common to bury a fish until it rotted, then dig it up and eat it.  Most Americans would say they'd never do anything so unhygienic. But the Walt Disney Co., possessed of an overstuffed pop-culture pantry, has done something almost as gamy: It's excavated a 28-year-old flop, Tron, and is offering it as a Christmastime delicacy. To be fair, Disney isn't simply reheating leftovers. It's concocted a sequel, with the curious title of Tron: Legacy. ("Legacy," ironically, being a high-tech euphemism for "obsolete.") Everything in the long-delayed follow-up is said to be brand new, except the dopey premise and the likelihood that it'll lose a bundle."
Mark Jenkins

"It's an extremely fun bit of entertainment, with some surprises, loads of nostalgic pandering to the sort of person who saw the original Tron as a kid (such as me), and some interesting commercial notes."

Cory Doctorow
Boing Boing

     "A half-century ago,  well-known Disney theme-park creators Rolly Crump and Claude Coats designed the Museum of the Weird with the idea of spotlighting a parade of ghostly organists, magic carts, talking chairs and other surreal exhibits. Walt Disney wanted to use the museum as an adjunct to the Haunted Mansion, complete with its own restaurant. But the museum was never built, though some of the more ambitious pieces were incorporated into the mansion itself.
     Disney is in discussions for a movie based on the museum with screenwriter Ahmet Zappa, according to a source close to the project. (Zappa, son of Frank, is also developing a movie for Disney that may or may not be inspired by its Enchanted Tiki Room attraction.)
     Under its new leadership, Disney seems to be taking a two-pronged approach to movies. It's getting into business with top-tier filmmakers (add David Fincher and Tim Burton to Del Toro and Favreau) even as it's putting chips down on seemingly as many theme-park attractions as possible, and trying to merchandise more than ever. The net effect: a studio slate that's a strange combination of stubbornly visionary and explicitly marketing-driven."

Steven Zeitchik
Los Angeles Times

What have you been saying about Disney entertainment this week?  Let us know!