Here is my list of the Most Notable Disney Blogs of 2006. The volume of blogs and Disney related sites grew exponentially in the months bookending the Pixar acquisition. There has also been a small flurry of new blogs that opened this fall. Plus we have the older blogs (those from 2005) that are still cranking out the good stuff. It was hard to choose just ten (too hard as it turns out). But I’ve done my best and think that you’ll find Disney fandom alive and well represented by these very wonderful blogs.
To get started, this was the year for Disneyland Photoblogs. These blogs usually feature vintage photos from acquired collections. What makes these blogs so great is not just the rare photos but the wonderful research that accompanies the classic pics. I’ve learned so much wonderful detail about the early years of Disneyland in the last 12 month, I’m looking forward to what goodies they have in store for 2007. It was very hard to choose just one here, so I present a trio: Gorilla’s Don’t Blog, The Pickle Barrel, and Stuff From The Park. Where do they find all those marvelous pictures?
Jeff Pepper’s 2719 Hyperion and Didier Ghez’s Disney History blogs look at the history of the Walt Disney Company from nearly every angle. Each day features another photo, tidbit, or revelation about the man who was Walt Disney and his creations. I’d gladly pay for this kind of writing, but Jeff and Didier are making it all available for free. (Of course, Didier would appreciate it if you buy his books).
If you’re a student of animation or an artist looking to refine your skills (and who isn’t) then you should be reading Jenny Lerew’s animation blog The Blackwing Diaries. Jenny is a story artist at Dreamworks. Her insight on the art of story boarding and animation is worthy of a master class all on its own. Plus her grasp on animation history, particularly some of the Disney masters, is considerable.
Pixar may be a part of the Disney conglomerate now, but erstwhile Pixar bloggers Upcoming Pixar and Pixar Animation (Luxo jr) continue their winning reportage. Since Cars was released, things have been kind of slow, but as we gear up for Ratatouille I am looking forward to more and more excellent posts from those two sources.
They’ve talked Roy Disney off the railing, Bob Iger is now helming the ship, and Michael Eisner has been set adrift in his dingy, but that doesn’t mean the need to keep a careful eye on the direction of the company is gone. Two blogs that are doing an excellent job on the theme park front are Epcot Central and Imagineering Re-Birth. Both show great knowledge of the product, an eye for good show, and an understanding of what sets the Disney product apart from the average. Alas, both have been too quite lately for my tastes. Hopefully they’ll return soon with more great coverage.
For news on the Muppets, the Jim Henson Company, and related subjects go no further than The Muppet Newsflash. Don’t miss the release calendar which is full of good news on future projects. It’s clear there is a passion for the subject here, a passion that makes this one of the best Muppet news sites on the web.
Although I am not a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, I do enjoy reading Grey’s Anatomy Insider. These people are clearly obsessed (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) with every aspect of the show and its stars. If Grey’s Anatomy time-slot is marked in your calendar, then this is the blog for you.
There was one last minor event in the world of Disney this year. A little film called ‘Pirates Of The Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest’ grossed over $1 billion world wide. Keep To The Code is the only blog/site designated an official fan site for the movie series. As such they’re usually a day or two ahead on the breaking news and they often have wide coverage on all Disney Pirates related news. That’s important if you’re trying to get a jump on your fellow movie fans.
Finally, a big thanks to all who write or run a blog that covers the Disney universe or a portion thereof. It was a lonely corner of the blogosphere back in 2004 when I started The Disney Blog, but it’s grown in leaps and bounds since then. It really is a lot more interesting and fun with all of you around.