Archive for the ‘Finding Nemo’ Category

Channel Flippin’ – No ‘Wonderful World’ This Year?

June 6, 2009

Image © Disney.
Disney might not formally be airing ‘Wonderful World of Disney’ this summer.

By Blake

Originally posted June 6, 2009.

The Wonderful World of Disney has been an ongoing, continuous television series since it debuted in 1954, back when it was hosted by Walt Disney himself. It’s taken on many different formats, has been aired on several different networks, and has had a few name changes (it was initially called Disneyland).

Over the years, the show transitioned from an episodic format with a host showcasing classic clips as well as sneak previews for current projects to the current format of simply airing a movie with Disney promos during commercial breaks. And really, that’s just fine. I still look forward to watching the show almost every time it airs.

Since 2005, it has seemed that The Wonderful World of Disney has aired strictly during the Christmas season and again during the early summer, around June – early July. This year during the summer, however, there seems to be no sign of the show airing at all.

The show’s website from last year, www.disney.com/wonderfulworld, currently redirects to the “My Page” homepage, which is questionable. Additionally, ABC.com usually has a list of what movies will be aired on the show about this time every year, but there’s no trace of those, either.

However, even if Disney isn’t planning on airing The Wonderful World of Disney formally under that same title this summer, they still have some exciting television projects coming up.

Tonight (Saturday, June 6), ABC Family is having a special night of Pixar fun. They’re airing Finding Nemo, as well as the fairly new Cars Toons shorts featuring Mater and other characters from Cars. These include the first three Cars Toons that premiered on TV last October, as well as Tokyo Mater, which debut in theaters alongside Bolt a few weeks after the film was released. If Disney had wanted to, they could have simply labeled tonight’s ABC Family lineup under The Wonderful World of Disney banner and it would have fit right in.

Finding Nemo will air tonight, June 6, on ABC Family, as will several Cars Toons shorts. Image © Disney/Pixar.

Similarly, next Saturday (June 13), ABC is airing The Haunted Mansion, the 2003 film featuring Eddie Murphy. Again, it’s not labeled as The Wonderful World of Disney, which I find sort of odd.

The Haunted Mansion will air Saturday, June 13, on ABC. Image © Disney.

However, even though The Wonderful World of Disney may not be debuting anything this summer, both Disney Channel and the new channel Disney XD (a re-marketed Toon Disney) are both premiering several new projects. Disney XD’s first original series, Aaron Stone, debuted in February and is about a video game coming to life in the real world. Disney XD’s next original series, Zeke & Luther, will debut later this month and is about two boys wanting to become skateboarders.

Disney Channel is also in the process of premiering new summer attractions. On June 26, a new original movie will debut called Princess Protection Program, and will feature Demi Lovato (from Camp Rock and Sonny With a Chance) and Selena Gomez (from Wizards of Waverly Place). Disney Channel is also continuing to air new episodes of Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Phineas and Ferb, The Suite Life on Deck, Sonny With a Chance, and their newest series, Jonas.

Princess Protection Program premieres Friday, June 26, on Disney Channel and be released on DVD on Tuesday, June 30. Image © Disney.

So both Disney XD and Disney Channel are continuing to crank out new productions. But why is Disney choosing to air movies on ABC and ABC Family on Saturday nights without The Wonderful World of Disney’s label? It’s really not that big of a deal and the quality of the movie’s presentations won’t be much different (other than not including Disney promos during commercial breaks), but it just seems a bit peculiar.

By Blake; posted June 6, 2009. All images © Disney. Finding Nemo image © Disney/Pixar.

Theme Park Headlines – Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Opens

June 23, 2007

Walt Disney Imagineering Combines Forces with Pixar to Create the Next Disneyland ‘E-Ticket’ Excursion, Based on the Hit Film ‘Finding Nemo’.

By Blake

Originally posted June 23, 2007.

Disneyland’s newest attraction, ‘Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage’, opened June 11, 2007 in the former spot of the classic ride ‘Submarine Voyage’ based on Disney’s film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This timeless ride opened in 1959 four years after the release of the film that inspired the ride. During its 39-year run, the subs voyaged countless guests on an expedition to the depths of the ocean to endure new and exciting discoveries. The classic attraction abruptly closed on September 9, 1998, much to fans’ disappointment.

Now, let’s backtrack to look at the history of Walt Disney World’s attraction ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage’. Due to construction issues, the ride opened October 14, 1971, two weeks after the park initially debuted. It was basically a duplicate of the Disneyland attraction, save a few minor details, and was just as popular as its predecessor version. However, on September 5, 1995, Walt Disney World “temporarily” closed the attraction, assuring fans that it would reopen in the near future. Unfortunately, that never happened, therefore September 4, 1995 was the last day the attraction would ever take guests on its exciting journey. For the next 8 years, the large space the lagoon occupied in the park’s Fantasyland area was wasted. The abandoned subs’ queue line was, for quite some time, known as the ‘Fantasyland Character Festival’ and offered character appearances several times a day with random Disney characters. Meanwhile, the lagoon was left untouched, water still occupying its space.

Around 2003 the Imagineers had wound up throwing away two dearly beloved classic Disney ‘E-Ticket’ attractions that had been adored for years by countless guests. Instead they had two submarine lagoons wasting huge chunks of space in their two most popular theme parks. Then, as if on cue, on May 30, 2003 Walt Disney Pictures released the Pixar film ‘Finding Nemo’ across theater screens worldwide. The film received immense success and went on to become the #1 animated film of all time (replacing the record previously held by Disney’s 1994 classic ‘The Lion King’) and the #1 best-selling DVD in history. The #1 animated film spot was yet again replaced by ‘Shrek 2’ in 2004.


Usually this kind of success for a Disney film calls for multiple direct-to-DVD sequels—but not in Nemo’s case. To their advantage, the Imagineers could use the popularity of ‘Nemo’ to create both small and gigantic theme park attractions. They started with a small experiment called ‘Turtle Talk with Crush.” It was, at the time, a small and overlooked attraction used to test out a new technology involving Living Character Initiative (LCI), a new technique to bring Disney characters alive and make them seem more real. In this case, guests would have the ability to talk to Crush, the sea turtle from ‘Nemo’ through the glass of his aquarium home at Epcot’s Living Seas pavilion. This was such a huge success that it later followed with a duplicate attraction at Disneyland. Since then, Imagineers have worked Nemo and friends into a Broadway-style musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a roller coaster at Disneyland Paris, and several other attractions. But those weren’t the only ways Nemo was implemented into the Disney parks.

This brings us back to the subs. The Imagineers desperately needed to come up with a new way to use the subs or abandon them altogether and create a new ride to take its spot. Obviously, the former prevailed, and in July 2005 at Disneyland, construction walls were hoisted around the sub lagoon advertising an all-new attraction that was to debut Summer 2007—Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

Soon, the entire sub lagoon was drained, demolished, rebuilt, enhanced, filled with water, drained, filled again, and added a new show building and a new fleet of submarines that guests would travel in. On June 10, 2007 a heap of celebrities walked a blue carpet through the California park to preview the new attraction. The very next day, a crowd gathered to view the official grand opening ceremony of the ride and at 12:00pm, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage officially opened to the general public—with a line stretching its way through the park.

So, what happened to the Walt Disney World subs, you ask?

Well, about two years before Disneyland demolished their lagoon, Walt Disney World (in Florida) drained and demolished its sub lagoon. But instead of rebuilding a new and improved waterway, Imagineers instead opened ‘Pooh’s Playful Spot’ on September 1, 2005. When it comes down to it, it’s a playground.

But, before we leave this article . . . I’d like to mention one last bit of trivia to you. The Imagineers didn’t completely abandon the subs while building ‘Pooh’s Playful Spot’ at WDW’s Magic Kingdom. If a small child were paying detailed attention to the play sets he was journeying through (which he probably wouldn’t), he’d notice a small carving above the entrance of the door to Pooh’s tree. What is the carving’s shape?

A submarine.

By Blake; originally posted June 23, 2007. All images (C) Disney/Pixar.

Theme Park Headlines – Nemo: The Musical Update

November 17, 2006

By Blake

Originally posted November 17, 2006.

After much speculation about the premiere of the upcoming Walt Disney World stage production Finding Nemo – The Musical, some dates have been confirmed. Although the Disney website states that the show will officially premiere in November, it also states that previews will begin in December. How can there be previews for a show that’s already open?
Turns out, the show does not officially premiere until a little bit later, around January. Dress rehearsals for Nemo began November 5, 2006 and will continue through the 18th, though the show times were not announced or posted anywhere by Disney (you just had to show up at the right time). WDW Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members will be able to preview performances December 1-10, 2006 and then the show will finally make its “official” debut sometime in late January.
Finding Nemo – The Musical will debut as part of Disney’s new Year of a Million Dreams promotion.
By Blake; originally posted November 17, 2006. All images (C) Disney.