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MousePlanet Mailbag for December 9, 2004
Concerned Ex-reader writes:
Concerned Ex-reader Man, I hope that's true.
I'm not exactly sure what we would be taking kickbacks on, but I'm sure the combined nefarious mental powers of MousePlanet and the Walt Disney Company could come up with something.
I look forward to the upcoming day when I'll be able to quit my day job and live a quiet life on a Carribean isle living off the afterglow of my illicit $4.63 cents from additional movie ticket purchases based on my movie reviews.
Those will be days of sunshine and happiness.
Sadly, the plot is now ruined. Curses, you insightful reader!
Michael Patalano writes:
You make a good argument, Michael.
I was making more of an argument of perception, and you seem to show that my perception was wrong. Going over the movies released by Pixar and Disney since the first Toy Story, you are correct that Pixar has made more prominent use of recognizable actors. Though the gap at Disney was hardly as long as The Lion King to The Emperor's New Groove. Just as one example, Hercules (1997) used Danny DeVito, James Woods, Rip Torn, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Amanda Plummer, Charlton Heston, and Wayne Knight in parts of various sizes.
And yet my perception has always been that with Disney's in-house features I spend more time trying to figure out who I am listening to. But then it could just be that with Pixar movies I'm more involved and have less opportunity for my mind to wander.
Kevin Baxter also writes regarding Alex's The Incredibles review:
Tina Brooks writes regarding Alex's review of National Treasure:
Tina As always, I don't expect everybody to agree with my response to a movie (and sometimes I don't even expect the majority to agree).
I disagree, though, that this one asks you to check your brain at the door. More than most action/adventure movies it engages you intellectually; going to great lengths to put together a plot and series of clues that makes sense (at least within the fiction of it).
Also, as I admitted, I enjoyed both Con-Air and The Rock, two movies that were much more mindless than this one. For me, the problem wasn't the need to check my mind at the door, but that once doing so there wasn't anything to engage the adrenals.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Alex here.
Glenn asks about some home theater questions:
Hi Glenn Thank you for the kind words and taking the time to write. I'll start with the answer to your second question first, since it's quick: Unfortunately, no new news on Song of the South, and I'm guessing we will not hear anything about it in the near future.
As for your first question, well, there are a whole bunch of factors that play into HD-DVD, so I'll try to whittle it down to a couple of key issues and hopefully avoid massive confusionwhich, as you'll see, is almost unavoidable when talking about this subject.
First, HD-DVD does indeed promise to provide stunningly high-resolution pictures that rival theatrical film detail in your home. If you have seen an HDTV picture, you kind of get the idea of what is possible. The standard NTSC TV signal we now see on TV and DVD contains 525 horizontal, interlaced scan lines that are 427 pixels across. However, an HDTV signal (depending on which one of the 18 standards you look at), has up to almost double the number of scan lines and over four times the number of horizontal pixels. That's a lot of additional video detail to gain by moving up to HDTV and HD-DVD, which is a good thing.
However, this brings up a big issue for most peopleyou will need to own an HDTV in order to watch an HD-DVD. For most people, a good-sized HDTV (40-inch or larger) is still out of reach and will be for a few more years. Granted, they have dramatically dropped in price over the last few years, but spending a few thousand dollars for a TV is not very high on most family's financial priority list.
Second, HD-DVD requires an enormous amount of storage capacity. A standard DVD holds over 8 gigabytes (GB) of data, but an HD-DVD disc will hold upwards of 30 GB! The problem with this? There are two competing formats to achieve the capacities required to hold a high-definition movie: HD-DVD and Blue-Ray. The HD-DVD format is developed by the DVD Forum Steering Committee, the same group that formalized the current DVD format. Blue-Ray is developed by Sony (surprise, surprise). The biggest difference between the two is that HD-DVD has a lower data storage capacity than a Blue-Ray disc, but HD-DVD can store more high-definition programming because of more efficient compression. Both formats allow for backward compatibility, which is a necessity, but the big question is which studio will commit to a particular format.
Currently, most of the studios are waiting and watching to see which format gets its act together with the best copy protection first. Unfortunately, the end result will be that there will inevitably be two formats that consumers will need to choose from in the next year or so, and the confusion will be similar to that of the old VHS/Beta war of yesteryear. This is bad for both consumers and the studios, so hopefully things will be quickly ironed out, but I'm not holding my breath. Plus, I don't have an HDTV to watch an HD-DVD on yet, so until that happens, I too will wait and watch.
So, what is Disney doing about high-def DVD? They have stated that they will begin to release titles in high-def DVD (no format has yet been specified by Disney as far as I know) in a couple of years, so they are actively working to release as many of their movies as they can on standard DVD before 2007 or so. This is one of the reasons they have accelerated their Platinum titles to two a year. Will it be worth upgrading your current Disney DVDs in a couple of years? Disney is going to have to make a pretty darn strong argument for why we should ditch our old DVDs, but they sure got me to sell off my VHS tapes. With the right mix of additional material and the promise of film quality video at home, they might convince me again, but there is a lot of additional and costly home theater infrastructure that you and I will need to put in place before buying that HD-DVD box set of Pixar flicks.
I hope that helps a bit.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Kevin here.
Ursula LeDesma-Kietzke writes:
Ursula The Buzz Lightyear ride is going to be a copy of the one already located at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Florida, and is currently under construction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland. The ride is supposed to open next May.
Some work is being done in the Submarine Lagoon, and there is a great deal of speculation that this will eventually be the site of a new Finding Nemo attraction. Disneyland has not confirmed anything, but our weekly Park Updates have had several photos of the work being done now.
Elizabeth: As you know, Marie Osmond will be narrating the Disneyland Candlelight Processional on December 4 & 5 at Disneyland.
In the past, the Candlelight Processional was held on Main Street, and the majority of seating was first-come, first-served. Hopeful visitors would spend the entire day camped out on the curb along Main Street to get a decent spot on the ground. There was very limited chair seating, and that was reserved for VIPs and Club 33 members.
In 1998 Disneyland moved the show to the Fantasyland Theater, which has seating for 1200 people. Then last year, Disneyland moved the ceremony back to Main Street to make room for the Snow White musical show. Unfortunately, this again meant that there was almost no seating for the general public, but Disney offered a dining package which allowed people to get reserved seatingon chairs, even!at the Candlelight shows without waiting in line all day.
Disneyland had said that they would not offer the dining packages this year, but have apparently changed their minds. We published this in the November 15 Disneyland Park Update.
Here's how it works: you first need to decide which night you want to attend (Dec. 4 or 5), which show you want to attend (5:30 or 8:00), and what restaurant you want to eat at. There are 6 resort restaurants participating in the program, and they have different purchase minimums.
Once you've determined this, call Disney Dining at 714-781-3463 for reservations. The less-expensive restaurants fill up fast, so don't wait too long. And make sure that you schedule your reservation to allow you to get to Disneyland 30 minutes before your showif you want to catch the earlier performance, you need to be there by 5:00, so plan for a late lunch or early dinner NO later than 3:45. You must schedule your meal before your show, which is why the later showings sell out much faster.
When you get to the restaurant, remind them that you are dining as part of the Candlelight package. Each restaurant has a set minimum that you must spend per person in order to receive your ticketsno splitting entrees!
You will receive your tickets at the completion of your mealthey were presented in a very nice little folder last year. When you get to Disneyland, you'll probably be instructed to line up outside the train station, and then they'll let you into the seating area. Once inside, seating is first-come, first-served. The narrator's podium is on the RIGHT side as you face the stage, so if you want to be closer to Marie, those are the seats you want.
If you want more information about Candlelight, you can read this article I wrote about last year's show
If you want to know more about the restaurants you have to choose from, our Disneyland Restaurant Resource may be of help, although some of the menus are out of date.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix here.
Jane Haddock writes:
Hi Jane I am so sorry that you had a problem. We, unfortunately, are not offical Disneyland. You might want to contact Disneyland guest relations:
I hope they can help you out.
During the off-season (after summer) many attractions go down for repairs and the hours are shorter. Space Mountain, for example, has been down for over a year. They have closed many attractions to prepare for the 50th anniversary, which starts May 2005. When you booked they should have made clear that the hours could change with very little notice (I think it says it on the guidebook).
Please let me know if you get a response so I can save other families that kind of frustration.
Heather E. writes:
Hi Heather I'll try to help any way I can.
First, check out this Cast Place article on Working for the Mouse.
Then go to Disney's official careers page (link). Poke around on the WDW site and you can find info on performers and any job under the sun. Hope that helps!
Hi Sonia There are many opportunties for international students at Walt Disney World in Florida. Disneyland doesn't have a program like it (although I have seen people from other countries work there).
You do have to be 18 to be in the WDW international program. Go to the Walt Disney World Careers Web page (link). The only qualifications are:
You can be 17 for some positions at Disneylandto see what is available, visit Disneyland's Careers page (link). At Disneyland, you will need to find your own place to liveat WDW they will have housing for you.
Hope that helps good luck!
William Shandling writes:
Hi William Thank you for your story. I was there over MouseAdventure weekend (in October) and went to show my cousin the mezuzah (which is the first time I saw it was missing). I was very upset when I discovered it was missingand even moreso when I found out it was taken. I'm also glad that facilities is taking care of it and that observant guests like yourself pointed it out to them. I'll be at the park in late November for the Holiday Tour and as soon as it is back up, we will let everyone know in the update.
[Editor's Note: Shoshana has since confirmed the existence of the mezuzah, and reported it in our November 23 Disneyland Park Update, as promised.]
NTSC Mickey writes:
Tom Jukes writes:
Hi Tom The California Screamin' single rider line is relatively new (yeah!) It changes a 60-minute line into 5. The rumor is Tower of Terror will be getting one soon (possibly), although I don't know how they could do that unless they had the single riders come in the exit. Enjoy the solo ride!
Sinead Duignan writes:
Lani Teshima responded:
Hi Sinead Thank you for taking the time to write.
Since you did not provide me with your academic background, I am not sure if you are looking for an internship to augment your degree (in journalism, business, or marketing, for example), or you are considering a completely new experience.
Your best bet is to contact the Disneyland Press and Publicity office directly. You might phone them at their officially published phone number (714) 781-4500, or write to them at the following:
I assume that phoning the official number and inquiring about their internship opportunities may lead you to the person or office you need to speak to.
Since you are obtaining your degree from a non-U.S. university, I presume you are not a U.S. citizen. I do not know if this will prove a hindrance, as much may depend on how you plan to garner your experience. If you expect to continue university (for example, at the graduate level) here in the U.S. and you wish to intern for experience only, your options may be considerably different than if you were hoping for an employee sponsorship for an HB-1 visa.
The best of luck in your pursuits, and for life after college!
Hi Sinead. Lani gave you some good advice. It couldn't hurt to call Press and Publicity and see if anything is openif anything they will direct you to the casting officebut you won't know until you try. Often times with professional positions, it is a matter of seeing if a position in available (unlike in the parks where they are constantly hiring). You also might want to check out www.disneycareers.com, which is where Disneyland posts its openings and tells you what experience is needed for the job. Shana
Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.
Marcus W. from Wichita Falls, Texas writes:
Hi Marcus That is so great! We'll all keep our fingers crossed and are glad we were able to help. Please keep us posted when you hear something and let us know where you will be working our readers love saying hi.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Shoshana here.
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