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Don't Worry. Be Happy
LaughingPlace.com readers try to urge Jim Hill to only write about the positive aspects of the Walt Disney Company. (This ain't gonna be pretty.)
In response to this week's "Time for a Toon Up" column, some readers have writting giving suggestions for some positive things I could write about including Atlantis, California Soarin' or Downtown Disney.
Gee, they really don't want me to write another story for LaughingPlace.com unless I can find something positive to say about the Walt Disney Company?
Well, I was looking for an excuse to take the rest of the summer off.
Because -- to be honest -- I don't believe that there's going to be very much good news to spread about the Walt Disney Company 'til later this year. September, to be exact. That's when Tokyo DisneySea throws open its gates and sets the new gold standard for theme parks worldwide.
After that ... Well, I guess I can lie low 'til the first week of October. That's when Walt Disney World will be unveiling all the new parades and shows that the resort will be featuring in its 15-month-long "100 Years of Magic" promotion.
Then maybe I could remain mum 'til the first week of November -- when Disney releases Pixar Animation Studios' "Monsters, Inc." A week or so after, that I could talk up the great two hour documentary that ABC will be presenting on Walt Disney's life.
After that ... Jeese, it looks like I'll be off the air 'til at least next February, when "Peter Pan II: Return to Neverland" rolls into theaters. (Don't let this film's direct-to-video origins throw you. Folks who have seen the work-in-progress version of this sequel to Disney's 1953 animated classic are said to be startled at how good this film looks. Of course, now that "Tarzan" director Kevin Lima is riding herd on the project, the prospects for "Peter Pan II" can only improve.)
Then -- next June -- I guess I can talk up "Lilo & Stitch" (Which many WDFA insiders are suggesting could be this generation's answer to "Dumbo." A sweet little animated film that's long on laughs, tears & heart). After that, I could perhaps do a behind-the-scenes story on "Reign of Fire" -- a big action adventure picture that Disney & Spyglass Entertainment are producing in Ireland right now which should be hitting theaters this time next year. (What's "Reign of Fire" about? It's a special effects filled thriller set in the not-so-distant future, when fire breathing dragons are laying waste to the earth. Yep. You heard right, folks. Fire breathing dragons. So you'd better stock up on those marshmallows now.)
There there's Disney's surprisingly good live action movie based on the "Country Bears Jamboree" theme park attraction. Followed next Thanksgiving by the studio's next feature length cartoon, "Treasure Planet." Then -- come 2003 -- I could maybe talk up Epcot's new "Mission: Space" attraction, as well as Pixar Animation's next release for Disney Studios, "Finding Nemo." After that ... I guess I'd eventually get around to writing nice things about "Brother Bear" and "Sweating Bullets."
That brings me up to 2004. With only 14 potentially positive stories that would mean that I'd only be allowed to post a new piece on LaughingPlace.com (on average) every 2 1/2 months.
Sorry, but I don't think that Doobie & Rebekah would really approve if I cut back my output to their site that severely.
When it comes to the Mouse -- I find that I just can't bring myself to do what Eisner & Co. expect me to do. Which is -- whenever I'm confronted with a new film/TV show/video/DVD/theme park/book/collectible that the Walt Disney Company has burped out -- that I'm supposed to smile blandly and automatically say "It's from the Mouse. So it MUST be good" as I reach for my wallet.
I think it was the great comic George Carlin (Whose wildly funny, best selling books -- "Brain Droppings" and "Napalm & Silly Putty" -- were both published by Disney owned Hyperion Press) who put it best:
Have you noticed that I don't feel the way I'm instructed to feel? That's because there's this moron thing that I do. It's called "Thinking." I'm not a good American because I form my own opinions. I don't roll over when I'm told.
So I guess that's why I'm not a good Disney dweeb, at least in some people's eyes, because I don't automatically give a blanket positive endorsement to everything the Walt Disney Company does. Just because I dare to pick & choose what I'm enthusiastic about. Just because I (God Forbid!) choose to publicly disapprove of some of the things the Mouse has been doing wrong lately.