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Morning Roundup – July 5th

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July. The video of the WDW Naturalization ceremony was moving at times and wet at others. A Big thanks to the Walt Disney World Resort for webcasting that. I humbly request more webcasts please.

  • City Officials in Buena Park California are buying up some of the seedier motel properties located near Knott’s Berry Farm in hopes of cleaning up some of the crime in the area. Back in the 80s on one of our family trips to Disneyland we stayed at a cheap hotel near Knott’s and came back to a room filled with smoke from with the A/C unit on fire. A few minutes later and the hotel would have burned down. Nice.
  • The Special Effects and Fireworks castmembers at Disneyland have joined the union. No one does fireworks and in park special effects better than Disney, let’s hope this enables them to maintain their high standards.
  • You may have missed this slide show on the secrets of Brad Bird at Slate. If so, do yourself a favor and check it out. Signing Brad Bird was a great accomplishment for Pixar, and a little controversial at the time, since he wasn’t a home grown talent.
  • In "Blame Your Success On The Pirates" looks at how Ratatouille might have benefited from it’s early distribution both legit (in theater previews) and illegit (downloaded copies on the internet) and wonders if those same techniques might help independent filmmakers distribute their films.
  • Via the Hollywood Reporter we learn that Keith David will voice the villain, Dr. Facilier, in "The Princess and the Frog." This film marks the return of directing duo John Musker and Ron Clements and of animated musicals to the Mouse House and is expected to hit theatres during the holiday season of 2009.
  • Slate magazine looks at the role Disney Imagineers (current and former) had in the development of the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. I’ve heard this is an absolutely wonderful museum very much up to the standards of Disney.
  • Dan Patrick is rumored to be leaving ESPN. Sad news if true.