Thursday, 25th February 2010

Explore the Art of Disney… only every half hour?

Now, if you’d like to take the tour through the three initial rooms of Art of Disney Animation, you’d better check your Programme times guide. The attraction is now listed alongside the likes of Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular with pre-determined “show times” for the start of each presentation.

This week, you can visit the attraction only at 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00, 17:30 and 18:00.

Art of Disney Animation

Normally, Art of Disney Animation runs continuously right through the day, with guests waiting outside or in the pre-show area for the start of the next show around every 10 minutes, passing from room-to-room between the Disney Classics Theatre and Drawn to Animation theatres for a total show time of around 20 minutes.

These new scheduled times therefore cut the number of chances to tour through the attraction by around two thirds, not to mention leaving the attraction in the dark for the first hour of park opening, until 11am, and for much of the final hour of the day.

That said, Art of Disney Animation is far from bombarded by guests. Not really providing enough interest to most visitors for repeat viewings, the outdoor queue line, now hidden partly behind the Hollywood Boulevard façades, very rarely sees any real use. This new test for low season days could ensure that audience numbers are never embarrassingly low, whilst allowing cost savings with Cast Members potentially doubling-up roles for the first two rooms.

Art of Disney Animation

The continuous start times of each presentation have previously been confusing and unhelpful to visitors. Sometimes you can rush inside just as the doors are closing and end up missing the whole pre-show, other times you appear to be waiting for far too long. Even if it means fewer showings per day, this kind of transparency is probably a good step.

But isn’t it just highlighting a bigger problem with Art of Disney Animation? Looking at the concept of the attraction as a whole, switching to scheduled times means a vast amount of central floorspace in this very small park suddenly becomes useless for long periods of time, cutting capacity and adding yet another complication to visitors planning their day — if the scheduled times of Playhouse Disney, Stitch Live, Animagique, CinéMagique and Moteurs Action! weren’t enough.

Wouldn’t a much better way to present “the art of animation” be to restructure the attraction to work more like the Disney Animation pavilion at Disney’s California Adventure?

Warning, self-indulgent home-Imagineering ahead…

In California, guests enter into a central lobby area and are then free to roam through several different rooms at their own pace. In Paris, the current post-show area would be perfect for this, with a single wall knocked through (by the video screens in the pre-show, the Jungle Book artwork in the post-show) to open up direct access to the pre-show room and theatre. The post show is already accessed directly by a lot of guests, using the exit doors to drop in and out. The pre-show and Classics theatre are, however, completely cut off.

Art of Disney Animation

Drawn to Animation with Mushu also exists as one of those rooms in California, and is really the only part of this attraction concept which needs to be presented as a scheduled show. Its current exit in Paris, behind the Animation Academy drawing boards, could double up as a single entrance, with these new half-hourly showtimes posted outside.

Though emotional and enjoyable, the Disney Classics Theatre in Paris is largely quite pointless, simply playing a series of themed clips from Disney and Pixar animation. The theatre could be better used as a “Cinéma Mickey/Main Street Cinema”-style drop-in space playing classic Disney shorts, or ripped out entirely for other interactive exhibits.

While we’re at it, replace The Disney Animation Gallery boutique with an indoor meet and greet space, for Sorcerer Mickey. The returns on souvenir photo prints would surely be better than current sales at this tiny shop, which has recently had its original remit of animation books, prints and collectibles watered down to a samey array of High School Musical merch anyway.

Open up the current entrance and exits to traffic in both directions et voilà — an open, free-roaming covered walkthrough, exhibit and show space in Walt Disney Studios Park that’s open at all times. An equivalent to Videopolis, Liberty Arcade or the original Adventureland Bazaar. Shelter from the rain, something to fill-in between other show times and a real heart for Toon Studio.

Knocking through a wall or two here might not even be all that outrageous for the park, given all the knocking down and rebuilding that went on at Walt Disney Studios Store last year just to give that shop more light.

Rather than cutting back access to this great, covered, central space, open it up!

Images © Disney, Google Earth.

Wednesday, 24th February 2010

New Generation Festival TV spot in pictures

Launching on 1st March (next Monday) in the UK and around the rest of Europe soon after, the TV commercial opens as the New Generation characters and stars begin falling from the sky (from a Dinoco helicoper!), descending over the classic fairytale worlds of Disneyland Park…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival TV spot

The advert is a mix of live action backgrounds with both computer and hand-drawn animation. Some of the characters have a less than perfect landing — Sulley falls straight through the thatched roof of the dwarves’ cottage…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival TV spot

Giving Snow White and guests, not to mention the monster himself, a sudden surprise…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival TV spot

Lightning McQueen, meanwhile, lands on the parade route, just missing Cinderella’s carriage.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival TV spot

The princess seems to take it all in her stride…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival TV spot

And watches on as Princess Tiana joins her exclusive circle of friends…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival TV spot

And then, what will be the most pored-over image of the whole commercial — a rather “playful” representation of Toy Story Playland. Donald Duck rides a (very oversized!) RC Racer up into the sky with Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop in the background, as Buzz Lightyear flies overhead…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival TV spot

The final shot shows the new and old joining together in a grand parade…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival TV spot

Whilst Goofy is pictured riding atop the opening float from Pixar Play Parade at Disney’s California Adventure (the parade that has been suggested may come to our Studios at some point), there’s little mention of the actual New Generation Festival events mentioned in brochures and press releases, such as Disney Showtime Spectacular on Central Plaza Stage.

There’s a chance that the use of Nemo and Lighting McQueen could make even several year-old attractions like Crush’s Coaster (which wasn’t all that heavily advertised upon opening) seem a part of the “new generation” offerings, for less frequent visitors.

The commercial was produced in California and features original animation of the characters involved. After the uninspiring balloons of Mickey’s Magical Party, the presence of a real narrative here, of the characters landing in the parks amongst classic set pieces, appears to be one of the best-executed campaigns from Disneyland Paris for some time, even in stills.

Keep your eyes peeled on major terrestrial and digital channels in the UK from Monday, with the “heavyweight” campaign running in several time lengths and formats right up to 4th April.

Images © Disney, Disney/Pixar.

Tuesday, 16th February 2010

‘New’ official website celebrates soft opening

Yes, it’s finally goodbye to this…

Disneyland Paris.com

And hello to this…

Disneyland Paris.com

The change is radical in some places — not only are pages finally allowed to “breathe” with a wider format, but the Disneyland Paris resort logo has finally thrown off that curvy corner enclosure it’s been stuck inside-of in so much print and advertising since as far back as 2002. Unfortunately, it retains three unnecessary balloons from the outgoing Mickey’s Magical Party design theme.

Because yes, in other areas it’s not too different — the menu options remain essentially the same, simply listed all on one line and presented using basic HTML rather than animated Flash as before, a big “no no” for accessibility these days. This replacement, though, currently looks somewhat unfinished, with the two-line options not quite fitting in the boxes and the grey text colour being noted by many people as too light.

And that old dependence on Flash-heavy pages? Still there. The entire home page, including the “book” buttons on the left (which aren’t even animated) are rendered using this animation format, including a musical intro which doesn’t remember your “mute” preference. Perhaps just temporary?

The website pages themselves are exactly the same as before, only having a new background added and the top menu replaced (which has also unfortunately taken away the option to mute some animations):

Disneyland Paris.com

So far, so disappointing. But there’s hope for the future — thankfully, we’ve heard that new pages are being developed. Perhaps that main box on the new homepage, stating the New Generation Festival is “landing on this website from February 23rd 2010” gives a clue as to when they’ll launch? Only a week left to wait and see.

Hopefully they’ve been inspired by another website in the resort’s portfolio — the rather nice Casting website which opened exactly one year ago. Featuring wide pages, clear information and good use of colours, it’s a real pleasure to browse in comparison to the current visitor site:

Disneyland Paris.com

This site also crucially handles things like navigation and page URLs (addresses) so much better. When the official Disneyland Paris website relaunched in 2006, it introduced a mind-bending array of different domains and sub-domains as you navigate through the site, so that all the UK pages are on a “.co.uk” website separate to the “.fr” site. Within this, pages such as What’s New are located at “news.disneylandparis.co.uk” whilst park information is at “parks.disneylandparis.co.uk”, adding up to a completely confusing way of setting out the website to the end user.

Though this new menu on Disneyland Paris.com has retained the same sections as before, including “Choose your experience” (Experiences?), “Find your ideal offer” (Booking?) and “Prepare your visit” (Plan?), can we expect more than just just a re-dressing of the old pages, and see things be simplified yet further for the user?

The gold standard for this is the US website for Walt Disney World, which has a wonderfully boiled-down top menu of simply “Discover”, “Plan” and “Book”, not to mention something we’ve never had on the current Disneyland Paris site — a search function.

Disneyland Paris.com

But, all criticism aside, a quick surf around the other Disney resort websites — particularly California and Tokyo, or the abysmal UK version of the Walt Disney World site — reveals we’re actually not doing too badly. Hong Kong relaunched its website last year with a lovely initial design, but within a few pages you find yourself in the same situation as the current Paris website, with the new menu at the top and an older page sitting uncomfortably below.

Hopefully Disneyland Paris won’t spend quite so long in this web design limbo…

Images © Disney.

Friday, 22nd January 2010

Moving walkways to the future – NGF promos arrive

In the great Disney tradition, the overhead boards, posters and billboards all along the route of the moving walkways from the resort’s parking lot to Disney Village are now promoting the next grand theme year at the resort.

New Generation Festival advertisements

New Generation Festival advertisements

These advertisements replace those for Mickey’s Magical Party, which had been in place for almost a full year and were becoming worn-out.

Above the moving walkways, which are unique to Disneyland Paris, the signage originally pointed directions to the two parks and Disney Village. However, since these are all obviously “straight ahead”, in 2007 the boards began to be used for advertising these new and upcoming attractions.

Photos: Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.

Thursday, 7th January 2010

Princess Tiana’s first Disneyland Paris photo shoot

Like the transformation from frog to prince, no more will we have to refer to that terrible photoshopping of her character model onto the Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade float, as the press department have published this new — real — photo just a few minutes ago:

Princess Tiana's first Disneyland Paris photo shoot

And they both look stunning, don’t you think?

Despite the film already showing at cinemas/theaters in several European countries, and due to have finished its release schedule here by mid February, it looks increasingly likely that we really will have to wait right up until 2nd April 2010 — the launch date of the New Generation Festival — for this much-anticipated Disney couple from New Orleans to begin official duties at Disneyland Paris, which will include starring on the Dreams of Romance parade float.

Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee, a live song and dance show on the Mark Twain riverboat, has been incredibly popular at Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World Florida, but was cut from early proposals for the New Generation Festival line up likely due to costs and logistics of such a complicated performance. As the show comes to the end of its initial run in Florida, some reports have suggested the costumes could be headed for Paris, but rumours also point to the contrary — that they’d stay put for the show to continue in Florida — and Disneyland Paris appear to have no plans for the show as yet.

Photo © Disney.

Thursday, 26th November 2009

Mickey, Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas

It was a surprise outing for the couple, more used to the calm beet fields of Marne-la-Vallée, as they stepped out into the bright lights of the city to inaugurate the Christmas celebrations on the Place de la Concorde, at the heart of Paris.

For the first time in years, they appeared as guests of honour at the foot of the Champs Elysées, as children from the French Red Cross helped them launch the illumination of the giant Ferris Wheel at 17:30 and cut the ribbon for the international Christmas markets to officially open.

Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market

Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market

Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market

They also helped reveal a stunning ice sculpture of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant as part of the Ice Magic exhibit.

Every city has a giant wheel and a Christmas market these days, but how many are just a short RER train ride away for a famous Mouse and his girlfriend?

Update 27.11.2009 — More Pictures & Video

Disneyland Paris have released more photos of the event, showing the truly stunning ice sculptures of the Eiffel Tower and Sleeping Beauty Castle:

Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market

Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market

Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market

Mickey and Minnie launch Champs Elysées Christmas market

Not only that, enjoy this fun official video of the event, from our new YouTube Channel:

We launched the DLRP Today channel on YouTube recently to share official footage and video clips from Disneyland Paris to accompany various news updates on the site. Hop over and subscribe now!

Pictures © Disney.

Sunday, 22nd November 2009

New Generation of brochures for Summer 2010

What is it about brochures and Disneyland Paris? No other group of Disney fans gets so excited or worked up about their resort’s promotional materials as us, but here are again, about to pour over every page of New Generation Festival detail. Or rather, the Disney new generation festival, as it now has to be written. But more on that later…

We naturally begin with the cover, where the prophecies were correct — it’s the image of Buzz Lightyear parachuting in behind the festival logo, which is far more prominent than even the Disneyland Paris logo, as the other characters are arranged, fridge magnet-like, behind.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

At the bottom, “Landing from April 2010“, with not only a thin typeface but a mixture of bold and light weights together. It’s all very modern, this.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

But maybe we should be happy. Look back at the advertising styles from 1992 and they were completely fitting for the period, all colourful shapes and crisp white backgrounds. Maybe it’s a great thing that the resort is being contemporary, rather than continuing the dull fantasy-styles we saw earlier this decade.

And so we see the “Programme of events” above, with the various new additions for this theme year thankfully sorted into neat categories so that prospective guests can see what’s worth bothering with (attractions) and what’s more a load of puff (stars). Indeed, we’ve still yet to find out just how the Monsters Inc. Scream Academy can be considered “new”, given that it was added in 2006.

This is also our first encounter with lower case madness. Normally, it’s the done thing to use capital letters in the name of a show or event — like Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop. But as we’ve touched upon in the past, and is now confirmed here, the ‘Disney new generation festival’ won’t be following those boring old rules, oh no! So, very much helping the grammar of our text messaging generation, we’ll be welcoming not ‘Disney Showtime Spectacular’ but Disney showtime spectacular. Not ‘Disney All Stars Express’ but Disney all stars express.

It wouldn’t be noticeable, but this strange stylistic choice is forced into every instance of these names. It’s probably meant to look fresh and hip, but it ends up looking like they forgot to hire a proofreader, we’re sorry to say…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Neurotic grammatical asides complete, the look of this brochure is very pleasing. You’ll see very few actual images of Disneyland Paris in here, but yes it looks very smart — a definite step up from the horribly garish second brochure for Mickey’s Magical Party we’re leaving behind.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Nope, no pictures yet…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Still waiting…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Nice to see the chopped-up image of Tiana and Naveen on the parade float made it through quality control…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Ahaa! Pictures!!

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Yes, we’re spoiled a full three real images from within Disneyland Park (including the Castle background). Surrounding those, a Cinderella picture (from Walt Disney World), a false Space Mountain: Mission 2 promo picture and the doctored Disney all stars express promo image.

You can’t be down about this lack of photography for long though, or worry too much that the brochures continue towards being just catalogues of Disney character stock images, because the next page is rather stunning…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Not only is this (mostly) a real photo — and a beautiful photo at that — no, finally the powers that be have discovered Hollywood Boulevard. The gorgeous little street has been there for two years already and now it’s being utilised and advertised for the first time. Normally, you’d see nothing of the Walt Disney Studios Park exteriors in the brochures, only the insides of attractions.

Add to that some character stock images which almost look to be tailored specifically to this page and we’ve got one of the best brochure pages for years. And it might just be the matching colour palettes, but Woody and Slinky feel quite at home next to that logo there.

Alas, with every up, there’s a down. After that terrible use of a real photo, this is the centrepiece of their Toy Story Playland launch…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

It’s a shame Disneyland Paris don’t appear to want to make concept art public these days, because the ‘TSPL’ artwork is arguably a million times more endearing than this collection of visual junk, inspired by your local crèche.

The second Walt Disney Studios Park page is good enough, with the investment in this park now adding up to a very marketable, colourful set of attractions.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Park seasons appear to get a bigger showing this time, with a full double-page detailing everything from Summer Time (finally branded into a proper season) to the, er, British Festival at Disney Village, where you can see, first-hand… a British Mini! No, really!

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Rearing its head again here, though: the marketeers’ disgust for poor old Sleeping Beauty Castle. Since opening day its been mirrored, warped and chopped up to fit their visions. This must be one of the most drastic yet, covering the entire front window with one of the turrets from the side.

Note here and in the image on page 13, at least, that the Castle is decoration free… or almost decoration-free. When editing the spire tops out of that photo above, Tinkerbell was left in place, along with the piping leading up the main tower. Just the choice of the marketing department, or a sign that this decoration is due to cling on?

Next, Hotels = Aliens.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

The hotel pages have seen the biggest changes in this new brochure, with the usual format of a white background and one large image replaced by this, “immersive”, style…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Colours, designs and furniture from each hotel dress each page fully, attempting to give us a “feel” of the hotels more than accurate pictures. Each page features only two real images — the view of the hotel out the window and a tiny view in a picture frame — but the style is clever.

In any case, these pages are likely only a teaser — anyone really looking into spending vast sums of money on Disney Hotels surely goes online to find more photos anyway, right?

Davy Crockett Ranch is also presented well, with a view of the cabins inside and out…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Whilst the Selected and Associated Hotels seem to be given more prominence than usual, with their more discreet design touches used to create the same effect…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Maybe they should offer real parachuting lessons beyond the parks…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Although lessons may not be necessary, if even an inanimate Starbucks mug can manage it.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Yes, the coffee chain is now very much a feature of Disney Village, whilst Mickey and Friends will continue to cameo in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show for at least 12 months more (and in fact, there’s no reason to see that this isn’t permanent now).

Much as the constant character clip-art is off-putting for people who’d prefer to see the majesty of Thunder Mesa and the intricate detailing of Fantasyland, at least this “new generation” really has ushered in a refreshingly different set of characters to be featured throughout the brochure.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Not only Rémy but Chef Gusteau feature on the restaurants page, whilst little-seen Princess Dot pops up on the leisure and relaxation page, yes really — a character from A Bug’s Life!

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Paris…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

And the new resort map, complete with well-placed Google Earth 3D plug.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Hamm is a fitting choice for the Price Guide…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

Whilst the “5 Steps” page attempts to simplify the booking process…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

…but perhaps the colours make the text a little hard to read.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

The price guide pages themselves are mostly unchanged…

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

And there we go.

Disneyland Paris New Generation Festival Brochure

It’s a definite step up from the last, very disappointing, off-putting brochure, but say it once, say it again — there’s still not enough “Disneyland Paris” in here. Not enough real photos, real information or real feeling for the place between all the thousands of character images.

Perhaps, with the internet, it doesn’t matter. In a few seconds you can find a great site like Photos Magiques. But picking this clip art catalogue up off the shelf, will most people actually bother to go that far?

We all know the place we visit — the amazing lands, the fantastic rides, the beautiful sights and the escapist themeing. What place are they thinking about?

• Download the full PDF Brochure (16.6Mb).

Images © Disney, Disney/Pixar.

Wednesday, 11th November 2009

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey’s Christmas invite list

Press events at Disneyland Paris are usually frequented only by those famous exclusively in France, so it was a surprise to see actual real American Shannen Doherty make an appearance at the Christmas launch events on Saturday.

Judging by the amount of photos released featuring the actress, of Beverley Hills 90210 and more recently just 90210 fame, Mickey and Minnie were pleased to see someone they just about recognised, too…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen was even special guest at the first Tree Lighting Ceremony on Town Square.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

But it wasn’t all about the Charmed actress. Also in attendance were Virginie Ledoyen, Sliimy, Marie Gillain, Bob Sinclar, Hafsia Herzi, Frédérique Bel, Christophe Barratier, Laurence Ferrari, Claire Barsacq, Bruce Toussaint, Alessandra Sublet, Sandrine Quétier, Nikos Aliagas, Frederic Taddei, Fanny Valette and the Chef Thierry Marx.

You know, her…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And him…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And that guy…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And for the Brits reading: Former glamour model Melinda Messenger, who currently presents the frighteningly bad Live from Studio Five.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

We’ll probably never find out what happened during the actual nighttime press party, such is the astonishing lack of publicity these schmooze-fests traditionally generate. However, from these pictures we can at least garner that there was a large mannequin Father Christmas locked inside a giant snowglobe.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

However, costumes and characters from the park’s two parades were used in the following three pictures, which are very pretty indeed:

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Note the clever covering-up of the Mickey’s Magical Party decoration on the Castle. We’re not the only ones who’ve tried to do that this year, then.

Back to the celebrities, French DJ and house music producer David Guetta has been featured amongst the Christmas photos, but apparently actually visited earlier in the week, seen here riding Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast with his wife, Cathy:

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Anyway, from celebs to zelebs, we all know who the real stars are…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Very cute. That’s their Christmas card sorted!

Pictures © Disney.

Sunday, 18th October 2009

Meet the New Generation of brochures

We actually saw the first of these images in September, featuring Sulley peeping out of a trapdoor as Buzz Lightyear, Princess Tiana and a host of other characters parachuted down in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. This new set of images, provided for travel companies to use as their Summer 2010 brochure covers, follow the same template.

The first is a real surprise. RC in the spotlight? A minimal character really only in the first Toy Story, who can’t even talk? Well, it’s a refreshing change from the usual Mickey, and he does have that still as-yet-unannounced attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park coming up next year. (Come on Euro Disney SCA, the game is up!)

Meet the New Generation of brochures

Next up, another star from Toy Story PlaylandSlinky Dog. Underneath him, Buzz peers out of a trapdoor in Main Street (you know, that trapdoor on Main Street), held up by Toy Soldiers, alongside four Little Green Men.

Meet the New Generation of brochures

In the background of this one, spot Emile from Ratatouille, Jessie with a suitably cow-themed parachute and, er, Nemo. In some of the images he’s been shown floating down in a kind of water bubble… not this time. You also have to wonder about the fate of racing car Lightning McQueen as he smashes to earth, but maybe we’re over-thinking the concept.

Sulley and Buzz Lightyer feature most heavily in the next option for those travel companies. This one we’ve already seen:

Meet the New Generation of brochures

Oh, well look at that! Lightning McQueen made it down safely!

Here we also spot a couple of new poses — yes, the folks at Pixar were nice enough to send over several different stock images of their characters — so we see Woody holding his cowboy hat as he parachutes and Buzz folding his arms. All in a day’s work for a toy who can fly!

Meet the New Generation of brochures

One nice feature of the parachutes concept, at least, is that most of them are becoming “themed” to their respective character. So we see Emile with a cheese-patterned parachute, Woody with one to match his shirt, etc. In case you still don’t “get it”, it seems like the “Big Idea!” on the giant boardroom paper pad for 2010 is to show these “new” characters “parachuting” into the parks to visualise their arrival and new-ness. Got it?

Plus, in these images, compared to the main New Generation Festival image (which will probably be the official Summer 2010 brochure cover) the characters floating down in the background have even actually been scaled and faded properly, so the image — however much still constructed like a series of stuck-on fridge magnets — does have a bit of depth.

Finishing up, we’ve got Rémy and Emile from Ratatouille.

Meet the New Generation of brochures

There you go. Expect to see those on a travel company brochure near you in just a few months. Now, if you were sitting in the offices of one of those companies, which would you choose? Strangely, the RC version looks the most appealing from here.

It’s worth repeating the slight moan from the article featuring the first of these images last month: what’s the need to mess with Sleeping Beauty Castle? Does sticking little Mickey silhouettes over its ornate stained-glass windows really achieve anything? If certain people had their way, would it not be a fantastical medieval palace but a monument to Mickey Mouse, with Mickey shapes on every spire and a hideous character decoration stuck on it’s fron… oh, wait.

And here’s one extra criticism not from DLRP Today. Member MagicStar on magicforum was keen-eyed enough to notice the odd situation to the left of the Castle, where one of the famous square trees has been… squashed! Clearly, that pesky castle wall the Imagineers designed was getting in the way of the character clip-art, so it had to be shrunk down… taking the tree with it! Even more oddly, there’s a spot of branch — or something — still there on the right, sticking up into the air. Good to see important images like these are checked thoroughly.

Even better — no, surely worse — something else has now cropped up on the left of these images, which isn’t there on the original one. Take a look just to the bottom-left of Tiana’s dress in the final image. Looks like the castle hill — almost — got the chop, but a dirty trail of Photoshop remnants was left behind.

Disneyland Paris marketing, we know your secrets.

Images © Disney.

Monday, 12th October 2009

Let’s play New Generation spot the difference!

Yes, an odd thing about some of these advertising visuals being posted recently is that they’re sometimes still tinkered-with and altered even after they’ve apparently been finalised and published for travel trade use.

However, this one stands out.

New Generation Festival New Generation Festival
Original / Final Version

Beyond a few finished-up parachutes, someone, somewhere, was obviously worried that Mickey Mouse wasn’t there. “Will Mickey still be in the parks next year?!”, came the imagined cries. “Oh, I hope they don’t get rid of the Mouse!”

How do you solve a problem like Mickey? Pull out a stock image and slap it on there.

Phew, crisis over.

Images © Disney.

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