In its original life as Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, the Studios’ current parade event certainly wasn’t free from chopping and changing its guest list, with additions such as Monsters Inc., Lilo & Stitch and, er, the Power Rangers during its time in Florida.
We couldn’t have more worthy first additions to the parade, for this Parisian park, than Rémy and Emile. The concept art and making of videos looked promising — and now, just look at the finished car!
With a table setting of hot ratatouille and a fizzing glass on its hood, Rémy and Emile’s brand new car comes decorated with the vintage Parisian posters created by Pixar to promote the film. Behind the pair — dressed in chef’s hats — lies the aftermath of their cooking: a huge pile of pots, pans and kitchen utensils that wobbles, sways and hisses with smoke as the car drives along.
Here’s the official video footage from our new Stars ‘n’ Cars addition:
But first, a nice compilation from behind-the-scenes at yesterday’s press events, as a Disneyland Paris video camera follows the press around the new shows and events to give a feeling of these busy press days in the parks:
Now that’s got you warmed up, onto the main show!
Titled “The New Gen Show”, the opening ceremony and dedication of the New Generation Festival has all the usual ingredients of these one-off Disney grand opening spectaculars — a ridiculously large cast, jazzy projections and an “interesting” mélange of music.
On the one hand we have Buzz Lightyear reliving his French disco days, on the other Nemo coaxing Dory (right?) into the arena in something out of an arty theatrical show. All wrapped up with music from… Pixar Play Parade at Disney’s California Adventure.
Yes, it’s an eclectic, enormous and show-stopping opening ceremony for the year ahead. Might they have actually outdone all past efforts? Perhaps — in numbers and scale — even the opening of the resort itself!
It’s a shame, of course, that these kind of lavish events are reserved only for “VIPs” who probably couldn’t give a hoot about seeing a show like this. We have to wonder how much of the footage and how many of the images shot this weekend will really make an impact, or be featured in the media. It’s a tradition now that Disneyland Paris puts on one show for the visitors and one superficial blow-out to look good for the cameras. It’s something for the archives, for them to pull out and say “remember 2010?”.
Although given that they used the stunt arena this year, which has 3000 seats, this would have been a good chance to say, give away a few extra tickets in a prize draw to Annual Passport Dream holders… if only to see the show, to spread word of mouth, and not to enjoy the free food.
British girl pop group The Saturdays were also at the resort today.
• Disney Showtime Spectacular premieres (2:50am)
We mentioned that today’s weather hadn’t been too kind to the first performance of Disney Showtime Spectacular. It’s the Disneyland Paris press event curse — blow all your money on a big show, invite thousands of questionably important people… and then that thick Marne-la-Vallée cloud rolls over.
Here are photos from the press performance earlier today:
Luckily it remained dry, if not providing the best weather for this new show to shine.
• The New Gen Show – first official photos! (3:02am)
And here we go, this is what we’ve been waiting for. Details have been sketchy about what to expect from tonight’s events, but with the stage set as the Moteurs… Action! stunt arena over at Walt Disney Studios Park — and not Central Plaza as the past two launches (15th and MMP), it promised something quite different and certainly very grand, given the arena floorspace…
And of course, they didn’t disappoint. An enormous cast, a laser and projections show and the Disney All Stars Express park-hopping to join the cars of Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars:
The full wide shot at show-level:
Stars jump for joy as resort icons are projected onto the Mediterranean sets of Moteurs Action:
Artsy arrivals by illuminated balloons? Why not:
A full-on smooch between Tiana and Naveen? Ooo err:
And that final wide angle from the top of the Stunt Arena seating again:
At least, with 3000 stadium seats, the VIPs wouldn’t have had to crane their necks for once.
• The Saturdays, New Generation Props & Suitcases (29/03 16:07pm)
Tiana meets British pop group The Saturdays — or is it the other way around? — in this picture captured by Photos Magiques on yes, Saturday:
They also stumbled upon some clever oversized toy props in the hotel lobbies where press event invitees were staying, such as this ViewMaster toy:
And the suitcases of New Generation characters who were also checking in:
See more of these, plus loads more news from the past week, at their full update here.
Though the advertising would suggest you won’t see a moment of the New Gen attractions until 2nd April, as with recent years that’s not quite the case. In fact, from Princess Tiana to Remy, the Showtime Spectacular to this here All Stars Express, the events have been performing in the parks for up to a week now, ready for the press launch today, and will almost seem like old news come next weekend.
Just a couple of weeks after Minnie’s Party Train departed the parade route, the Disney All Stars Express suddenly steamed in, transformed (almost) from top to bottom with the multi-coloured design seen in its concept art and carrying characters such as Remy, Emile and Mr Incredible, previously reserved exclusively for appearances at Walt Disney Studios Park.
Those nasty spots have finally cleared up to give the old Casey Jr. a clean complexion of white, red, yellow and green, though several elements of the old Mickey’s Magical Party design remain — such as the Mickey emblems on the top of each carriage.
A collection of flags on the first carriage feature designs and logos from the featured Pixar films, and the “All Stars Express” banner across the front of the train even uses the animation studio’s logo typeface, Charlemagne Bold, with its recognisable not-quite-Serif “X”.
And then, of course, there’s WALL-E!
The most anticipated aspect of the redecorated character train since his reveal last month, this marks the first time the character has ever appeared in any Disney parade or event. He’s hardly all-singing, all-dancing: he remains static and silent throughout, but the production quality is top-notch.
Despite all this Pixar celebration, Disneyland Paris is still keen to emphasise the “Disney” in this New Generation (which is why they insist the event be titled “Disney new generation festival” in all official texts). And so, the final two carriages aren’t all that new at all — the second even keeps its old Minnie Mouse theme! Here you’ll often find more classic characters, such as Pinocchio or Chip and Dale, with the likes of The Incredibles and Ratatouille kept on the first, fully-redecorated carriage.
To see it in motion, check out these first clips to appear on YouTube:
As you might notice, another aspect of Disney All Stars Express (there’s that “Disney” again) that’s only half-new is the soundtrack. Fans of the now-infamous “Tous en Train” will be glad to hear that the song is still used, albeit in a remixed form, now fading into versions of “It’s a Small World” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” to continue the friendship theme we’re seeing.
Ireland’s local Disney resort has made it an annual tradition to celebrate this annual tradition every 17th March, beginning a few years ago alongside the St David’s Day events.
Almost as much of a tradition, the “programme” notice board becomes ever more impossible to read…
We can, however, decipher that the Lee-Byrne Academy Dancers have returned to the park for another year, now one of the few entertainment spectacles you can enjoy on Royal Castle Stage:
This event is also unique in its inclusion of Disney characters — namely Chip and Dale — who rarely join visiting groups, for example during the Disney Magic Music Days events at Fantasy Festival Stage.
The Pride of Murray Pipe Band were this year given free reign of Main Street, U.S.A., parading the length of the street with traditional Celtic bagpipes and drums.
At 8.30pm, they even helped to close the day with a final, nighttime performance on Central Plaza, leading right into the St Patrick’s Day fireworks at 9pm.
Elsewhere, the Main Street Fire Truck rolled out again with shamrocks replacing its earlier Welsh daffodils and leeks for the pre-parade and Mickey and Minnie donned their green and yellow outfits to meet guests at Town Square and Casey’s Corner.
And now let’s take a closer look. It begins with Disney Showtime Spectacular, the new Central Plaza show which thankfully appears to be defying its generic name by possessing some interesting ideas.
Of course, this is possibly the first time at Disneyland Paris we’ve seen characters from the likes of Toy Story or The Incredibles taking part in a stage show, and the classic Disney characters are going to welcome them in style. As you can see from the concepts captured below, Mickey and Minnie (and possibly the other VIPs) will have a costume to match each scene of the show, transforming — somehow — from chef outfits for Ratatouille to green army gear for Toy Story, bright Hawaiian colours for Lilo & Stitch and black superhero masks for The Incredibles:
Insider Poppy the Monkey on magicforum has revealed that the soundtrack of the show is around 70% new to Disneyland Paris, though the entire It’s Party Time score from Mickey’s Magical Party has been thrown out. The It opens with a new song, “We’re the best of friends”, and ends with the catchy “Goin’ down the Bayou” from The Princess and the Frog.
The show is “non-stop, very fast, very fun” and contrary to earlier plans and press releases, won’t just be “an end to the day” with a single performance, but happening 3 or 4 times each day. And some good news for those who disliked the Mickey’s Magical Party event — this time, the large cast of dancers back up the characters, rather than almost stealing the show themselves.
The characters appear in groups, with Sully joined not only by Mike Wazowski (who hasn’t been seen live in Paris for years) for the Monsters Inc segment, but a monster-disguised Boo, who has never made it over here before. Stitch, meanwhile, will be joined by his much less well-known partner: Angel (experiment 624).
Public previews/dress rehearsals are due to begin from next Tuesday, 23rd March, if all goes to plan. These aren’t “official” performances and so cannot be fully confirmed, but if you’re visiting the park in the two weeks leading up to the New Gen launch, you may well get an exclusive preview.
Next up, the new Ratatouille car for Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars. After the reveal a couple of weeks ago, the video gives a better look at the some of its features:
Here are the official fun facts about the car:
• Adding Ratatouille to the parade involves an additional 1 minute and 40 seconds of music. The Ratatouille car will be accompanied by a medley from Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne.
• The car includes props, costumes, chef hats and even aprons for the driver-dancers!
• It travelled for 19 days by boat to reach the port of Le Havre, before it was shipped by freight container to Marne la Vallée.
• The car was originally a 1950 Studebaker and it has been fully customised at Disneyland Paris to include special effects and animated kitchen props from the world of Remy and Emile.
• It is powered by electric battery and can drive for 90 minutes on a single charge!
• Take a close look at the tyres as the parade rolls by, as they are not real… they are specially-constructed rubber-covered foam rings, which will never get a puncture!
• The car boasts the film’s famous Ratatouille on its bonnet and a moving pile of pots and pans that gives the impression they are all going to come crashing down!
Though these fun facts for the press wouldn’t have you know it, the car is of course the old Star Wars automobile from the original Florida parade.
The moving pots and pans will be built on top of the circular metal mechanism you can see being tested in the video. The new angles on the concept art reveal the hood (bonnet) of the car will be decorated like a check table cloth with the plate, of course, holding a large helping of ratatouille.
Bringing Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen to Disneyland Park doesn’t just mean shipping over the same costumes as the couple wear in their American park appearances, oh no. Since they’re taking “pride of place” in Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, that means a special crystal, gold-laced gown and suit to match those given to the other royal couples back when the parade launched in 2007:
Official fun facts of Tiana’s dress:
• It takes more than 80 hours to make one dress .
• 20 m of crystal fabric are used.
• 80 m of golden thread are woven through the dress, involving more than 100 hours of embroidery work.
• More than 200 m of iridescent thread shimmer in the 20 m of brocade used.
• For that extra sparkle, there are 80 glistening rhinestones on each dress.
• More than 100 beads and rhinestones adorn Tiana’s magical tiara.
He won’t be “animatronic” of course, the cost would be enough to buy 10 new Disney All Star Express trains and rival the RER, but judging by his pose could give a wave of his faux-robotic arm as the train rolls along, in that classic Disney parade style.
What’s been occuring at Disneyland Paris this weekend? The St David’s Welsh Festival, a now-annual event spread over three days, this year from 5th to 7th March, to celebrate the feast day of the patron saint of Wales (which is actually held on 1st March) — and no doubt tempt a few proud compatriots over to Disneyland Paris in the process.
As the schedule reveals, this is a rare chance to see Merlin calling up guests to pull Fantasyland’s sword from its stone, a location now used more frequently for the Sleeping Beauty “happening”.
It’s also the only time in any Disney park in the world you can see Mickey and Minnie dressed in traditional Welsh costume, be it at their special meet ‘n’ greets or riding the Main Street fire truck as a special pre-parade. Where the upcoming St Patrick’s Day has shamrocks all over, St David’s is all daffodils and leeks…
What was that about spoiling pictures? Oh yes, the decorations. Though (if you can believe it) not as bad as they could have been, this was certainly a year to point your camera… elsewhere. Try a new angle rather than that generic castle shot.
But, for one last bang before the year is locked away in the pages of Euro Souvenirland, our Mickey Moused medieval castle celebrated St David’s with the traditional fireworks display…
How do you say “what a relief”, “good riddance” in Welsh?
We get to see the car being drawn up in 3D computer design:
And then in the first stages of construction:
This isn’t a brand new vehicle, though — as expected, it bears more than a slight resemblance to one of the cars of Florida’s original Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade which didn’t make it into the Parisian studios park. Even with its rear jet engines removed, the car is recognisable as the old Star Wars car, with its unique front radiator grill.
Gone is the cream and maroon colour scheme, too, in favour of a bright red. After the cars of Mulan and Monsters, Inc. this is the parade’s third red car, a little lacking in variety — but perhaps they wanted to give a nod to something like the classic French Citroen 2CV?
The decoration of the car is very different to that seen in the preliminary advertising visual; far more outlandish and overstated. Piled up behind the two rats will be a giant stack of pots and pans, kitchen knives, a spatula, a funnel and a ladle. Not forgetting the all-important bottle of wine.
The video shows the pieces of this tower being constructed in workshops, and tested out for size on the car itself. The bonnet of the vehicle appears to show the fruits of all that hard work and pile of washing up behind — a finished table setting with plate and giant rat-sized glass.
Here’s the full 3D model, note that the entire thing is scattered with those beautiful vintage posters for “Le Ratatouille” and “Gusteau’s”, created by Pixar to advertise the film and in some cases currently used in the park already at Restaurant des Stars. The sign for “Le Ratatouille”, the restaurant owned by Linguini at the end of the film, acts as a flag atop the cavalcade:
But a new car in the line-up isn’t the only kick Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars is getting in its second year. Show director Emmanuel Lenormand also mentions in the video a new and very Parisian can-can-style routine starring Rémy and Emile that will presumably be incorporated into the musical production number that takes place on the Place des Stars Stage when all the motor cars park up.
Since that small show currently focuses mostly on characters such as Aladdin and Snow White, it’d be good to also see some of the characters left out — notably ‘New Gen’ heavyweights Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. — joining in this year, if that doesn’t produce too much overlap with Disney Showtime Spectacular over on Central Plaza.
Meanwhile, let’s hope this is just an appetiser for Remy, and that the main course is yet to come…
For many of us, in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, this is the week. In just a few short days, we get to see a brand new, traditionally-animated Disney musical on the big screen. At one time, that would have been unthinkable. It’s almost too much to bear.
And, for those lucky enough to follow that up with a trip to Disneyland Paris from April onwards, they’ll also get to see the film’s modern-thinking heroine in person. To tease us for that event, another new photo has been released of the star peering from the Castle balcony, just as she does in the film…
In this fascinating insight — which, don’t worry, is spoiler-free — Mark talks about the challenge of animating Disney’s first princess to progress on-screen from a little girl to a grown up adult… not to mention a small green frog. He also discusses the very modern personality flaws of both Tiana and Naveen, how Lady and Tramp served as inspiration for the film’s “look” and what role he’s already preparing to take for Disney’s next traditionally-animated feature, Winnie the Pooh.
This is the perfect lead-in for the film — Enjoy! ›
First, an easy one — a new promotional image. Get used to these characters, they’re leading the band this year:
It’s quite a brave move for Disneyland Paris to effectively put Mickey in the shadows for a year (at least in terms of advertising), since they’re often so over-reliant on the mouse, but it has to be applauded. The only additions to the line-up here are Mr and Mrs Incredible, who aren’t being used for any other ‘NGF’ promotions but will hopefully be much more visible in the park than recently.
Negatives? No ‘Up’ characters — which means no Dug, who’d be a sure-fire hit. Stitch could really have been given a year off… And let’s not get into the issues of the Castle being that tall from 7 Km away. Or teaching kids to hitch-hike. Moving on…!
The Spring/Summer 2010 brochures featuring the year have been landing on doormats across the UK last week, and most have been very pleasantly surprised to discover a nice foil cover on both the front and back, the first time Disneyland Paris have stretched to such extravagance:
It might not show you anything about the resort and parks are actually like (read our thoughts here), but it really does look top notch design-wise. With the internet providing all the information and pictures you could need; if all these brochures now serve to be are shiny things to attract the attention of the public… they’ve got a hit.
The magazine again features some of the main characters of the year:
And looks over the main events (nothing particularly new revealed here):
Before having a quick chat with DLP Entertainment’s familiar artistic director Kat de Blois:
The interview reads:
How much time have you spent working on this event?
We started the New Generation project in March 2009. So that represents more than a year of work. But for us — and hopefully our guests — it’s a great pleasure.
According to what we’ve heard, this project will be a world-exclusive?
Ah yes, Made In France! You know here, we have a real freedom to do some really unique things. Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, for example, doesn’t exist anywhere else but here. And to celebrate the arrival of this new generation, we’re inviting our new Princess Tiana to join in with the other familiar royalty.
Exclusively for Disneyland Paris, we have revisited the grand cavalcade of Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars, originally from Florida, and added the Ratatouille car and its cancan music, which promises a deliciously comic moment.
What are you most proud of on this project?
Probably Disney Showtime Spectacular. Once a day, this show will reunite Mickey and the new generation characters on a 360-degree stage. The audience can therefore move round the way around it. There will be plenty of surprises, which I can’t reveal to you yet…
If you had to summarise the New Generation Festival in three words, what would they be?
“Family, Fun and Friends.” Sharing — with everyone around you and all their differences — is truly at the centre of this brand new experience, which will please the youngest just as much as the oldest.
A final scoop for our readers?
We are already working on your must-anticipated surprises for our 20th Anniversary. But that stays between us, of course… (Smiles)
Steady on! You’ve still got 2011 to figure out yet…
Aaaand finally — those new Monsters and Dixieland details we led with.
Though the texts here and seen previously have all been the usual, wonderfully vague Disney PR puff, there are more detailed press releases still being prepared and held back until just before the festival launches. One such press release posted by Disney and More gives some long-awaited details about two of the new character events being pushed for 2010.
First: Princess Tiana. Though it’s widely publicised that she’ll be joining the crowd on the Dreams of Romance float (with her Prince Naveen), many are asking if she’ll be featured anywhere else, available for meet and greet, autographs… Your answer:
The highlight of each day in Disneyland Park is a grand welcome to Princess Tiana, the newest star to join the Disney Princess family from Walt Disney Pictures’ latest animated movie, The Princess and the Frog. Each day, Princess Tiana and her Prince Naveen will meet ‘n’ greet guests and pose for photographs at Town Square Gazebo, with lively music by the Dixieland Band inspired by the music from the film.
Perfect! It’s not quite Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee but a bit of live music is never a bad thing — especially when it’s apparently scheduled in for “every day”. The band will presumably be made up of familiar faces from the resort’s orchestras, usually playing medleys of Disney songs and often quite rarely seen outside of high season.
Everyone gets permission to be as loud as they want, and screams of delight are filling the air several times daily at “Monsters Inc. Scream Academy” at Walt Disney Studios Park. “Top scarer” Sulley from Monsters, Inc. looks for new recruits with his friend named Patty. Guests of all ages get in the action as they test the monster boogie, monster roar and monster scare – with as many laughs as screams. All are invited to participate in this family-friendly, high energy character interaction. Try your hand at being a Monster!
If not a “show”, this at least seems to be shaping up as some kind of new character interaction or event, likely comparable to the Sword in the Stone Ceremony in Fantasyland.
Will Patty be a monster or a human? And will they be joined by any other Monsters — since several others from the film do feature at other Disney parks, notably in DCA’s Pixar Play Parade — or in fact little girl Boo, who has been rumoured on our own comments?
Will the static Mike Wazowski figure stay there throughout the event or be removed? And how will guests actually see anything, since the corner is surely far too small for a proper event, visible only from one side and surrounded by planters? Ahh, an answer just opens up many more questions.
Basing an event around screaming doesn’t seem like the best idea, but you never know — it might be good fun. With High School Musical not due for a return, CinéFolies (the Hollywood street acts) still criminally cancelled and Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars not quite up to scratch on either its parade or show aspects (again, hard to see unless you arrive very early), the Studios will be needing all the live entertainment help it can get this year.
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