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Disney In Depth: Destination D: An Evening with Alan Menken, The Music of Disney
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Brett Nachman   |  @   |  
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For many attendees of the Destination D experience, the last event was perhaps the most special, in that “An Evening with Alan Menken” touched the hearts and souls of everyone who has ever wanted to hear the master of his craft live.

Alan Menken, the composer behind the films and songs we know by heart, presented the most extraordinary two hours of music I have ever heard – and seen – in my life. Now that’s quite a statement. Some may call that a bit exaggerated, but as a devoted Disney fan, like almost all of my fellow audience members, we knew the gift we were being presented. Menken rarely performs publicly, so to hear his legendary stories and songs in person made this even more winning.

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Disney In Depth: The Future Of Disney Animation (Frozen, Paperman & Wreck-It Ralph) – A Recap Of D23’s Destination D Event
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Brett Nachman   |  @   |  
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At the bi-annual Destination D event at Anaheim’s Disneyland Hotel last week, the Disney D23 Official Disney Fan Club hosted a series of events that focused on the legendary history of Disney animated features. Hundreds of Disney fans gathered inside the resort’s convention center to obtain exclusive access to lectures, concerts and footage. Over the coming weeks inside Disney In Depth, I will cover some of those topics featured in the fascinating presentations held at Destination D. As for now, this edition will focus on the exciting future of the division we know as Disney animation.

Walt Disney Animation Studios appears like it is entering that third renaissance we have all been waiting for. With the beautiful The Princess and the Frog and delightful Tangled leading the way, the studio that suffered from creative missteps like Home on the Range is now producing hit films that resonate with audiences and appeal to critics to boot. During “Inside Walt Disney Animation Studios Today,” animator Darrin Butters hosted an appealing round-up of the studio’s newest projects.

Warning: This edition contains some spoilers of details mentioned at the event.

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Disney In Depth: 5 Funny Disney-Themed Spoofs and Parodies On YouTube
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Brett Nachman   |  @   |  
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One man’s dabbling in filmmaking is another man’s treasure. We live in such a privileged age, where we can exchange information almost as quickly as we can create ideas in our head. Could you imagine a world without YouTube? It is hard to believe that nearly a decade ago that this was far from reality. Luckily for us, we can surf the web for funny videos, everything from piano-playing cats to giggling babies. Many can agree on one common search as entirely entertaining: the ever-popular Disney spoof or parody. Whether the creators are teenagers or professionals, almost everyone offers an ounce of creativity in poking fun at the fantastic world of the Mouse.

In this edition of Disney In Depth, a new recurring feature on the column, check out some of the latest and funniest Disney-themed web videos.

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Disney In Depth: The State of the Disney Animated Short Film
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Brett Nachman   |  @   |  
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For decades the Disney animated short films, starring the classic gang of Mickey and friends, dominated the screens with innocence and cheer. But that era is not one forgotten. Merely it exists in the past tense, just like the blockbuster musicals that made Disney, Disney. Nevertheless, Walt Disney Animation Studios is experiencing a period of re-growth, what some would argue could be the “third renaissance.” Tangled and the forthcoming Wreck-It Ralph are believed to represent that new beginning. In any case, the art of the short film within the studio is also undergoing a fantastic period of re-interest and ingenuity.

For much of the last decade, when Disney animation was arguably struggling in producing quality features, both in their theatrical and direct-to-video releases, developing short films was placed on the back-burner. Perhaps not intentionally, but they were relegated to little-seen pictures, film festivals, and bonus features on DVDs. The Annie Award-winning short Lorenzo, a charming little tale about a cat’s tail that takes over its life, is utterly creative. But where was this long-delayed piece played to audiences? Try the 2004 Kate Hudson romantic comedy Raising Helen, which underwhelmed at the box office. How was it decided that a short like this be paired with a PG-13 comedy starring Goldie Hawn’s daughter? Though each of these films is adorable in its own right, one must wonder why these were paired together.

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19 Days of Video Game Deals – Day 1: Disney
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Epic Mickey

Amazon has just launched their 19 Days of Deals for video games, kicking off this sales events with Disney Day, where you can save up to 50% select Disney video games and up to 70% on select Disney digital video game downloads.

Here’s just a few of the items included in this sale:

Disney Epic Mickey Nintendo Wii – $19.99
Toy Story 3: The Video Game Download – $10.50
TRON: Evolution Download – $14.00
Toy Story Mania! Nintendo Wii – $9.99

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