Dick Cook’s Studio Showcase

The studios had a showcase today to highlight their upcoming slate.  Here are some highlights:
  • Oprah Winfrey will be the voice of Eudora in "The Princess and the Frog"
  • Cars 2 will now be released in 2011, a year earlier than expected.  To keep the franchise hot Disney will release "Cars Toons" shorts
  • Disney is developing National Treasure 3
  • Johnny Depp will be the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland
  • Johnny Depp will perform Tonto in Disney's The Lone Ranger
  • Johnny Depp has agreed to reprise Jack Sparrow in Pirates 4

With all this Johnny Depp….is it just a matter of time before he is named a Disney Legend?  I love how the studio's has these showcases to spotlight their upcoming slate.  I wish the Parks and Resorts segment would stop announcing their projects piece by piece and would gain some excitment by making a big Disney Decade type annoucment.  If Dick Cook knows anything, it is how to market.  If only he had domain over Disney Park's marketing as well. 

Quick Takes:

Parks and Resorts: Speaking of Disney Parks.  Walt Disney World did have a press briefing today where they discussed the new celebration as well as the Disney Fairies that are coming to the Magic Kingdom.  But the biggest announcment was the unveiling of Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex's new name…..     It is….. ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex.   Now we knew that the complex was being branded for quite some time, and we figured they were waiting to come up with the perfect name.  Now while I like the new name, did it really need to take this long to just change the brand from Disney to ESPN?  Seems kind of obvious to me.

Media Networks: My favorite Disney Channel series, "Phineas and Ferb" will celebrate Halloween with two new episodes.  "One Good Scare Ought to Do It!" will premiere Friday, October 3 at 8:30 and "The Monster of Phineas-n-Ferbenstein" will premiere Friday, October 17 at 8:30.  I can't wait!

Consumer Products: Disney ranked 9th in Business Week's annual 100 Best Global Brand List.  The magazine notes that franchises like High School Musical bring in the tween girls and now Disney is hoping the Disney XD will bring in girls.  Only time will tell.   

Disney Interactive Media:  This article from Wired discusses how Disney has been more conservative when it comes to sharing its digitial content.  But Disney is able to monetize its video better than its competitors.  Their is a concern in Hollywood that they are trading in the big bucks they get from television advertisers for smaller internet revenues.  Disney, so far, has been able to keep that gap small.   

What to Watch: Premiere Week, or National Stay at Home Week as ABC calls it, continues with the season premiere of Ugly Betty at 8.  While I normally don't watch this show, but it is premiere week.

Video of the Day: Here is the trailer for Disney's Bedtime Stories coming Christmas Day to a theater near you.  The film that stars Adam Sandler looks…different….  but how can you dislike a trailer that features Disco Inferno?     

News from Around the Web:

ABC News:  Good Morning America has an interview with the first couple that got kicked off Dancing with the Stars.  Comedian Jeffrey Ross discusses his dancing and how his eye got injured.  But I do have good news for the show, Ted McGinley got kicked off so perhaps the show has not yet jumped the shark.   

NY Times: The New York Times reports on the tax credits that allow shows, such as Ugly Betty, to be filmed in New York City.  I don't care where Ugly Betty is filmed, I still don't want to watch it.    

USA Today: USA Today reviews tonight's two-hour season premiere of Grey's Anatomy.  The glowing review says that the episode helps get the show back on track.  While I have watched the show I can't pretend to be a die-hard fan.  But I am happy whenever a Disney product gets a good review. 

LA Times: The LA Times has an interview with Spike Lee who directed Touchstone Picture's Miracle at St. Anna.  He discusses his work as well as politics.  I am not sure how Disney ended up with this film as they try to focus on Disney branded films with broad appeal.  In any case, I hope it is good and successful. 

Orlando Sentinel: I find this story fascinating.  The Reedy Creek Improvment District is in a labor dispute with its firefighters over pay raises.  Reedy Creek, which governs Disney property, gets its funds from Disney paying property taxes to the district.  Now unlike most municipalities, the "creek" has not lowered property taxes as instructed to do by Governer Charlie Crist.  So Reedy Creek does not have decreased revenues, but since Disney's growth has slowed the growth of the district has slowed as well which Reedy Creek says is preventing them from being able to grant pay raises.  Now Disney announced the Four Seasons property as well as Flamingo Crossings so the RCID should be growing again soon.  In any case, I hope both sides reach a fair agreement soon.   

Variety: Variety reports that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has picked Bill Condon and Laurence Mark will produce the Oscars telecast.  The Academy Awards will air on ABC February 22nd, right after television stations will stop their analog broadcasts.  ABC is concerned that viewiers will find out their televisions wont work and will not be able to watch one of ABC's most viewed program.  But all of this is trivial.  What everyone really cares about is finding out who will host.