Mike Bastoli

Mike Bastoli has been blogging at The Disney Blog since 2009. Until 2011, he covered Pixar Animation Studios on his own website, The Pixar Blog, which became one of the most popular on the Web dedicated to Pixar news, the New York Times calling it the “definitive unofficial chronicler of the animation powerhouse". In 2011, Mike expanded his coverage to the entire world of feature animation, renaming his site Big Screen Animation. He retired Big Screen Animation in 2014 and is considering future writing opportunities. Besides Disney, Mike is an avid fan of Apple and The Beatles. He resides near Toronto.

Will Iron Man 3 Beat Avengers Opening Weekend?

The Walt Disney Studios is in for a huge box office weekend with Marvel’s Iron Man 3 opening in upwards of 4000 theatres across the United States and Canada tonight and tomorrow. The film has already brought in $242.1 million internationally. It opened last weekend in… Read More »Will Iron Man 3 Beat Avengers Opening Weekend?

Disney No. 9 on Fortune’s List of Earth’s Most Admired Companies

The Walt Disney Company has once again made Fortune magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, coming in at No. 9 out of 50 and No. 1 in entertainment for the umpteenth year. (Apple again ranked first overall.) This is Disney’s first entry into the… Read More »Disney No. 9 on Fortune’s List of Earth’s Most Admired Companies

Gervais and Pepe Converse on Set of Muppets Sequel

It must be so much fun to work on a Muppets movie. Just watch this behind the scenes video of Ricky Gervais and Pepe the King Prawn on the set of The Muppets… Again! Disney’s sequel to 2011’s The Muppets is currently shooting in London and… Read More »Gervais and Pepe Converse on Set of Muppets Sequel

With Lucasfilm Acquisition, Disney Moves Closer to Angry Birds Creators [Update]

An interesting side effect of The Walt Disney Company’s $4.05 billion buyout of George Lucas’ Lucasfilm empire, announced on Tuesday, is that the deal brings Disney closer to Rovio Entertainment, creators of the massively popular Angry Birds franchise. In one of its last moves as an independent company,… Read More »With Lucasfilm Acquisition, Disney Moves Closer to Angry Birds Creators [Update]

Disneynature ‘Bears’ in Production for 2014

The Walt Disney Studios has announced production on Bears, the latest documentary from Disneynature, slated for release in Spring 2014 (likely around Earth Day). Bears will follow the “day-to-day lives” of the brown ursines who call ‘Alaska’s coastal mountains and shores home’. The film is currently shooting… Read More »Disneynature ‘Bears’ in Production for 2014

Why Disney Should Build Its Next Park in Toronto

For decades it’s been accepted wisdom that North America can only support two Disney theme park resorts—Disneyland and Walt Disney World— one on each side of the continent.

I say it’s time for Disney to build a third, and there’s only one place to do it: Toronto.

Considering my whereabouts, it’s an audaciously self-serving suggestion. But there are some solid reasons for Disney to choose Toronto, besides making me one very happy guy.

To give everyone a geography primer, the actual city of Toronto is surrounded by several large municipalities, each with hundreds of thousands of residents. All told, well over eight million Canadians live within a driving distance of a couple of hours or so.

A little research into population data reveals that, counting only the major metro hubs, about 108 million Americans live within nine hours of Toronto—35 per cent of the U.S. population. That number is expected to grow to 141 million by 2050.

When I started writing this article, the U.S. Northeast was going to be my pick. Disney could easily build the park in New Jersey or Upstate New York and have it be quite successful. But Toronto’s location outside of the U.S. is actually a big, counterintuitive plus.

Read More »Why Disney Should Build Its Next Park in Toronto

Disneynature Chimpanzee Blu-ray Review

Disneynature’s best documentary yet, Chimpanzee, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD one week from today, on August 21. As much as I appreciated it on the big screen, the Blu-ray has only added to the experience. Not only is the HD presentation of the film as flawless… Read More »Disneynature Chimpanzee Blu-ray Review

First Look at Daniel Day-Lewis in ‘Lincoln’

The Walt Disney Studios released this incredible first still of Daniel Day-Lewis in character as president Abraham Lincoln, from Steven Spielberg’s upcoming biopic Lincoln. Like Spielberg’s War Horse, Lincoln is a DreamWorks Studios production and will be distributed in North America by Disney through the Touchtone… Read More »First Look at Daniel Day-Lewis in ‘Lincoln’