Tag Archives | Disney

Google Pays Tribute to Mary Blair

I’ve become jaded about Google Doodle logos–the company celebrates so many things these days that it all feels a little less celebratory than when the Doodles were a once-in-a-while treat. But I’m delighted with the current one, which marks the hundredth birthday of Disney artist Mary Blair. You may or may not know her name, but you’ve seen her work.

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Would You Pay $30 For an At-Home, One-Time Movie?

Bloomberg’s Ronald Grover and Kelly Riddell are reporting that Sony, Warner Bros., and Disney are exploring the idea of letting consumers watch movies at home, shortly after they leave theaters and before they’re available on DVD and from services such as iTunes, Amazon Video on Demand, and CinemaNow. The movies might be available via cable companies and/or on game consoles, and the price the Bloomberg story mentions is “as much as $30.”

That sounds like a boatload of money given that you can rent Avatar for $3.99 or buy it for $14.99 right now. I suppose that the studios hope that folks will compare the $30 price to the cost and effort involved in hauling a family of three, four, or more down to a theater and paying for tickets, popcorn, and drinks.

And…well, $30 still sounds like a lot for a movie you can watch only at home, and only once.  $15 might be more in my personal ballpark.

Your take, please:


Buy Movies Once, Watch Them Anywhere. Unless It's a Disney Movie or You Own Any Apple Devices

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, a consortium of sixty Hollywood content owners, hardware makers, and software companies I wrote about back in January, has given a name to its  theoretically-universal copy protection scheme, which aims to let you pay for a piece of content once and then watch it on an array of gadgets. It’s called UltraViolet. It if works like it’s supposed to work, it could be neat–but it’ll have to overcome the tendency of ambitious copy-protection systems to be confusing, annoying, and/or unreliable. And there’s still one major gotcha standing in the way of its big dreams: Disney and Apple aren’t on board.


Disney World’s Space Mountain Gets Video Games, But I Miss Crazy Larry!

space2SMALLIf you’ve ever been to Disney World or Disneyland, particularly at a young age, chances are you’ll view any news about the theme parks through a lens of nostalgia.

That was my experience at least, reading about how Disney World will add video games to the wait line for Space Mountain. According to Disney Parks’ official blog, at some point in the line you’ll get to play a 90-second game of defend-the-base, cooperating with 85 fellow parkgoers to deflect asteroids away from a runway.

It’s not clear how the game is played. From the photo, it looks like there’s a very simple controller you use, maybe to fire away at the incoming space rocks. There’s a 90-second interval between each game, allowing people to shuffle along once they’re done playing, and the game is supposedly tied into a larger story related to Space Mountain, as if you need narrative when you’re hurling down a steel track at 25 miles per hour.

I could wax nostalgic about all sorts of Disney stuff at this point, but for the sake of staying relevant to Technologizer, I just want to fondly remember Crazy Larry, the spaceship salesman who appeared on “SMTV”  from the mid 1990s until 2005. SMTV was a video, sponsored by FedEx, that played throughout the Space Mountain line, and Crazy Larry (see 1:10 in this video) was clearly a sendup of Crazy Eddie, the electronics retailer that went belly up in 1989.

Even though I couldn’t have been more than 6 years old when Jerry Carroll did his Crazy Eddie bit on TV, I immediately made the connection with Crazy Larry. The Crazy Eddie commercials left that much of an impression on my young mind. Shady business practices aside, the store’s management knew how to pitch electronics.


Disney Does the Hulu

Disney HuluHulu was already by far the most ambitious and interesting purveyor of free video from traditional sources on the Web. Today, it’s taking a great big step towards solidifying its lead: The Walt Disney Company is joining NBC and Fox as a partner in the venture, getting an ownership stake and providing content it owns.

The deal will bring shows such as Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Scrubs, and Jimmy Kimmel Live to Hulu, along with old episodes of Dancing With the Stars and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, plus stuff from other Disney outfits like the ABC Family Channel and SOAPNEt. Movies from the Disney library will also be available.

Me, I’m most interested in the one type of content that first leaps to mind when you think of the word “Disney.” That would be classic animation in short-subject and feature-length form. Oddly enough, that’s just about the only thing that isn’t mentioned specifically in the announcement. Mickey, Minnie, Dumbo, and Bambi, where are you?


5Words for March 4th, 2009

5wordsSan Francisco’s too rainy today:

Apple layoffs? Supposedly not true.

Will Washington prohibit iPhone exclusivity?

Windows 7 for Netbooks: dicey?

Disney might take on iTunes.

Nvidia reaps Mac desktop windfall.

IE: Nukable from Windows 7.

Hackers mock Apple’s Safari browser.

Office 14 beta? Fairly soon.

Obscure, good Microsoft Web services.

Sprint’s Treo Pro: March 15th.

Julius Genachowski tapped for FCC.

California legislator: blur Google Earth!

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