LOS ANGELES Times.com
As consumers display increased interest in owning movies digitally – a habit considered crucial to Hollywood’s future -- Walt Disney Studios unveiled a service on Tuesday that is intented to make collecting its films easier.
Once fully deployed, the free service, called Disney Movies Anywhere, will allow consumers to buy a Disney, Marvel or Pixar movie once and watch it anywhere: on a TV, mobile device or computer. Users will be able to immediately link their Apple iTunes accounts with the Disney Movies Anywhere website and app.
Apple’s involvement is an important component. A competing digital movie storage and management system called UltraViolet has partnerships with major digital movie retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. But UltraViolet lacks a direct tie to iTunes, which controls roughly 60 percent of digital movie purchases.
Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, notably sits on Apple’s board.
In a statement, Alan Bergman, president of Walt Disney Studios, promoted Disney Movies Anywhere as an “exceptional consumer experience.” Jamie Voris, the studio’s chief technology officer, added that “the intuitive layout of the website and app creates an easy and enjoyable browsing environment.”
The arrival of Disney Movies Anywhere has been long delayed. UltraViolet, which counts every major film studio except Disney as a member, was introduced two years ago. Disney opted not to participate in UltraViolet for a variety of reasons, including concern that the name was confusing and worries that families – Disney’s core consumer -- were not yet ready to embrace cloud storage technology.
There are signs they are ready now. Spending on digital purchases of movies and TV shows (as opposed to digital rentals) surged 47 percent last year, to $1.19 billion, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, an industry consortium. Digital copies of movies typically sell for $15.
Hollywood urgently wants consumers to form digital movie libraries, the modern-day equivalent of rec room shelves lined with DVDs. The reason: Selling a digital movie is three times more profitable for studios than renting one. Studios see ownership as a way to return their home entertainment divisions, battered by the decline of DVD sales, to growth.
To stoke sales, studios have started to routinely make new movies available for digital purchase two weeks before selling them on DVD and Blu-ray discs. The arrival of Disney Movies Anywhere may help strengthen the market even more.
“Once you start to get the family business going, you have mom involved,” Mike Dunn, president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, told Variety last month as part of report on UltraViolet. “That’s historically been the critical gatekeeper and driver of major purchases for libraries.”
The arrival of Disney Movies Anywhere coincides with the digital release of “Frozen,” which has taken in more than $980 million at the global box office. For a limited time, Disney will give a digital copy of “The Incredibles” to people who activate Disney Movies Anywhere and link to their iTunes account.
To begin using the service, consumers download an app or visit the Disney Movies Anywhere website. Users can then import Disney, Pixar and Marvel films from their iTunes accounts; people who have purchased select Disney, Pixar and Marvel DVDs can type in a code provided on the packaging to claim digital rights to those films.
Disney did not say when the service would be compatible with Android-based mobile devices, although a spokesman said the company was in “active negotiations” with other technology partners. Lucasfilm, a Disney unit, is likely to join the Disney Movies Anywhere fold next year, with the release of a new “Star Wars” movie.
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Hands on with Series 3 Disney Infinity Power discs reveals Wall-E, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, 101 Dalmatians, Tangled and Fantasia characters.
The novelty of Disney Infinity reflects the wider attraction of the House of Mouse: that long list of franchises. While we still wait to hear firm news on Star Wars (Rebels?) or Marvel (Guardians of the Galaxy surely?) characters for Avalanche Software’s ever expanding video-game the new set of Power discs bring us other Disney favorites.
At Toy Fair last week I asked John Vignocchi, Executive Producer for Disney Infinity, talk through the Series 3 discs both in terms of their related franchises but also benefits in the game itself. Of particular interest to my kids were some of the combinations Vignocchi suggested to maximize the benefits from their disc collection.Series 3 Circular Power Discs
Series 3 Hexagonal Item Power Discs
- Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat
- Violet’s Force Field
- Rapunzel’s Healing
- Chernabogs Power
Series 3 Hexagonal Customisation Power Discs
- Wall-E’s Fire Extinguisher (Rare)
- Toy Story Mania Blaster
- Dragon Firework Cannon
- Calico Helicopter
- Cruella De Vil’s Car
Series 3 Hexagonal Rare Power Discs
- Wall-E’s Collection
- Buy N Large Atmosphere
- Disney Parks Parking Lot Tram
As you can see this pulls in a wider range of franchises than there are figures for. Wall-E, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, 101 Dalmatians, Tangled and even Fantasia with the Chernabogs power disc.
While I’m still weighing up the benefit of these nice swappable tokens with the pain of having to buy them in blind packs, its certainly a really nice way to pull in more characters and extend the Toy Box experience.
In this light it is interesting that more sought after franchises (like Star Wars and Marvel) have not appeared in Power Disc form. This suggest, to my mind, that there are play sets and figures in the pipeline for these films.
Also at Toy Fair was the first full hands on with Phineas and Ferb franchise figures
| |BY: ANDY ROBERTSON @GEEKDADGAMER
Phineas & Ferb, Twitch Plays Pokemon, Xbox One Cut, Angry Birds Stella
Disney Infinity: Andy went to the New York Toy Fair last week, and one particularly cool thing he got to play with was a new Toy Box Pack for Disney Infinity. The Phineas and Ferb pack doesn't actually include Ferb, but consists of Phineas and Agent P, which fans will know is the codename of popular character Perry the Platypus.
Also coming to Disney Infinity are some new power discs -- Series 3 -- which Andy got to have a see at the New York Toy Fair. They include a Rapunzel disc that boosts your character's health, a fireworks cannon from Mulan, and a rare fire extinguisher jetpack-style disc from Wall-E.
There was no announcement of a new Disney Infinity game, but there were a few new films and toys on show, some of which may well appear in the next Disney Infinity game.
Skylanders: Activision wasn't ready to talk about the next Skylanders game at the New York Toy Fair as they have in previous games, but they have confirmed that a new game is coming and that they'll properly announce it later on this year. Andy did, however, get hands-on time with some new figurines including the Wave 4 figurines Trap Shadow and Freeze Blade, and Springtime Trigger Happy.
Retailer Mega Bloks had merchandise at the New York Toy Fair that could be something to do with the unannounced next Skylanders game, since retailers showcase unreleased products at the fair, but Activision wouldn't comment on the speculation. Details on Skylanders Addicts blog here: http://skylanderaddictsblog.com/2014/02/20/mega-bloks-toy-fair-2014-images-released-sneak-peak-at-skylanders-4/
The figurines looked like a golden lion, a robot-like figurine, an orange figurine with a horned helmet, and a blue figurine with a dragon-like head. All figurines were holding some kind of crystalline weapons or shields, suggesting those may play an important role in the next game. Could they be swappable?
Minecraft: In a recent blog post, Daniel Kaplan has said that the Minecraft: Pocket Edition team is working on changing the code of the game to allow "significantly bigger worlds" in future, as well as updating the AI, inventory, and more. From the screenshot in the blog post, it looks like we'll also be getting dogs. Unfortunately, while all this work goes on the Pocket Realms beta will be shut down on the 1st of March, to be reopened later this year. NEWS Microsoft has lowered the retail price of the Xbox One in the UK. If you were thinking of buying one, wait a few days until the 28th of February and you'll be able to get it for £399 instead of £429. Worldwide, Microsoft is also introducing a Titanfall bundle -- you get the Xbox One, a digital copy of the multiplayer shooter, and a free month of Xbox Live Gold all for the same price as the console alone. Rovio has announced a new Angry Birds brand called Angry Birds Stella, which focuses on the pink, female bird Stella. There'll be games, cartoons, books, toys, and more to tell stories about Stella and her friends (and, apparently, "(fr)enemie"s). The tagline? "Best friends forever... most of the time". Andy got to see figurines of some of the new characters at the New York Toy Fair.
Nintendo recently broadcast one of its Nintendo Direct presentations. Among some release dates, we also learned that Mario Kart 8 will let you race as each of Bowser's seven Koopaling minions, and that we'll be getting a new Pokemon puzzle game for 3DS called Pokemon Link Battle.
One Twitch user has created some code that lets thousands of players try to play the same game of Pokemon Red at the same time. Players can see a video that shows the emulation of the game, and type commands into the chat at the side. The code finds appropriate commands, which are those that correspond to buttons on a Game Boy like left, right, a, b, start, etc., and inputs them into the game. As you might predict, with thousands of people playing the game is not going smoothly, but the players have managed to beat a few gym leaders. http://www.twitch.tv/twitchplayspokemon
3+ FIFA 14, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, NFL 25
7+ The Lego Movie Videogame, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Rayman Legends
12+ Earth Defence Force 2025
16+ Call of Duty: Ghosts. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, WWE 2K14
18+ Battlefield 4, Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
NEW RELEASES February 28:
7+ Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare (Xbox One, 360)
12+ Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (PS3)
16+ Thief (PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360)
18+ Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PC, PS3, 360)
By: Andy Robertson Twitter @GeekDadGamer
Disney Vacation Club recently renewed its multi-year affiliation agreement with RCI
, the global leader in vacation exchange with nearly 4,500 affiliated resorts in more than 100 countries. Through this renewed affiliation, Disney Vacation Club offers its member families access to thousands of RCI affiliated vacation ownership properties across the globe while RCI's approximately 3.7 million subscribing members gain access to the 12 Disney Vacation Club resorts.
"We are proud to renew our affiliation with Disney Vacation Club, one of the best-loved hospitality brands in the world," said Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI. "The high-quality properties that are a part of this internationally recognized vacation-ownership program carry the signature Disney experience that has perpetually captured the hearts of visitors. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the brand, as we both work to bring new and innovative services to the industry." Disney Vacation Club
offers vacation ownership options at 12 resorts located in Florida, California, Hawaii and South Carolina, which are part of RCI's exchange network of affiliated resorts around the world. These include Disney's Old Key West Resort and Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas in Florida; Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii; and Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina.
Disney Vacation Club recently announced that its next planned resort will be built at Disney's Polynesian Resort, located on Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort, near its newest property to open, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
. When Disney's Polynesian Resort project is completed, Disney Vacation Club will have destinations at all three resorts on the monorail system, including Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney's Polynesian Resort, allowing easy access to Magic Kingdom Park.
"Our renewed affiliation with RCI provides our Members with more choice, expanded access and improved flexibility," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club. "We want our Members to enjoy vacations when they want, how they want and where they want. The exchange options available through RCI are an important part of this commitment, giving families even more opportunities to have fun together, see the world and make lifelong magical memories." About Disney Vacation Club
Disney Vacation Club debuted in 1991 and today is approaching 200,000 member families from all 50 states and approximately 100 countries.
Disney Vacation Club is a flexible vacation-ownership program that can help families enjoy both the magic of Disney and savings on Disney vacations for decades to come. By purchasing a real estate interest in a Disney Vacation Club resort, families can choose from among a variety of vacation destinations, including a stay at any of the 12 Disney Vacation Club resorts or at an expanded list of more than 4,000 other popular Member Getaways vacation destinations around the globe. When purchasing directly from Disney, members can also take trips on any of the Disney Cruise Line ships or guided vacations with Adventures by Disney. Vacations at a Disney Vacation Club resort can last anywhere from one night to several weeks, depending on availability.
Recently, several prestigious awards have been won by resorts with Disney Vacation Club accommodations, including Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, which was named one of AAA's prestigious four-diamond hotels, as well as one of the World's "Best Hotels for Families" by Travel + Leisure magazine. Travel + Leisure magazine also named five other resorts with Disney Vacation Club accommodations "Best Hotels for Families." Also of note, Fodor's Travel named Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, which also has Disney Vacation Club accommodation, "Best for Families" in their Top Ten Hawaiian Resorts for 2013. About RCI
RCI is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange with nearly 4,500 affiliated resorts in more than 100 countries. RCI pioneered the concept of vacation exchange in 1974, offering members increased flexibility and versatility with their vacation ownership experience. Today, through RCI® Weeks, the traditional week-for-week exchange system, and RCI Points®, the industry's first global points-based exchange system, RCI provides flexible vacation options to its approximately 3.7 million RCI subscribing members each year. RCI's luxury exchange program, The Registry Collection
®, is the world's largest program of its kind with more than 200 affiliated properties either accessible for exchange or under development on six continents. RCI is part of Wyndham Exchange & Rentals and the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN). For additional information visit our media center
, rciaffiliates.com or The RCI Blog
. RCI also can be found on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. For more information, visit RCI.com or RCIAffiliates.com.
LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Company on Monday said that it planned to increase the number of hotel rooms at Hong Kong Disneyland by 75 percent following gains in attendance and profit at the eight-year-old resort.
The new 750-room hotel, featuring the theme of exotic locations around the world, will open by early 2017 and cost about $550 million, Disney said. The Hong Kong city government, which owns 52 percent of the resort, will shoulder part of the cost.
Attendance at Hong Kong Disneyland totaled 7.4 million people last year, an increase of 10 percent from the year before. The theme park, the smallest in Disney’s worldwide fleet, has now delivered double-digit increases in attendance since 2009. In an important signal of traction, more guests are coming from mainland China.
Profit is still very slight. Hong Kong Disneyland generated about $31.2 million in net income last year, an increase from $14 million the year before, Disney said. But making any money at all is a major achievement for the park, which struggled with losses for its first six years, in part because attendance was lower than expected.
The improved results follow the addition of expensive new rides and themed areas over the last two years. And more are coming: In October Disney announced that it would open a major Iron Man thrill ride by 2016 in the park’s Tomorrowland area. The attraction will be the company’s first Marvel-based ride anywhere in the world; analysts estimated the cost at roughly $100 million.
Its that time of year again, as TheBestMagic.net gets together and tours WDW! This year I thought it would be fun for us to tweet out pics on twitter thru-out the whole trip. Make sure to follow us at @TheBestMagic on twitter. I will be tweeting out pics of where we are at, things we eat and see. I will also be giving out a $50 Disney Gift Card during one of those days! Keep checking back to see.
So come alone and join us as we tour WDW, TheBestMagic way!
During Hollywood's golden age, Walt Disney
Co. DIS +1.19%
owned the animated short category at the Academy Awards. Ten of the first 11 Oscars presented, including eight in a row beginning in 1932, went to the company that built its now massive brand around an animated mouse.
But after three more wins—in 1953, '68 and '69—Disney went missing for 33 years, during which the prize went primarily to foreign and independent films, including three from an upstart called Pixar.
Last year, the dry spell broke as Disney won with the romantic and elegant "Paperman," which ran in front of its feature "Wreck-It Ralph." Now, the Mouse House would like to get back to its habit of winning multiple animated short Oscars in a row, while at the same time tt
aking home its first for a movie starring Mickey.
"Get a Horse!" has had the good fortune of being seen by millions, because it plays in front of "Frozen," but also has the problem of getting little individual attention—because it's paired with a blockbuster hit that is itself a favorite for the animated feature Oscar.
The return of Mickey Mouse to the big screen comes after 18 years—"Runaway Brain" of 1995 was nominated but didn't win an Oscar. In "Get a Horse!," director Lauren MacMullan wanted to return to the original 1920s-era Mickey Mouse—not just in simple black-and-white, but in spirit. Here, he's a rascal who doesn't mind pitchforking an antagonist in the rear end and has stopped acting as if the responsibilities of a $100 billion-plus corporation are on his shoulders.
The plot is a simple and typical: Mickey meets Minnie, the loudmouthed and lascivious Peg-Leg Pete kidnaps Minnie, and Mickey gets her back. The context is an era when wealthy city dwellers like Pete would cruise the country roads in autos and harass horse-drawn carts like the one that Mickey and his friends ride. "It was going to be a lost short," explained Ms. MacMullan, a television veteran making her big-screen directing debut and working with a team of 14 animators. She envisioned "Get a Horse!" as Disney's fifth short of 1928, after the pioneering "Steamboat Willie" and before "The Barn Dance."
That presented another problem: "How do we prove to people that we did it?" Her solution: After 95 seconds looking like a 1928 short, the film switches gears and Mickey and his horse explode out of the screen, complete in color and computer-animated 3-D.
The artists of "Get a Horse!" not only had to put computer-generated imagery and hand-drawn work on-screen simultaneously, but also had to draw in an archaic style. "To get it right, we had to unlearn a lot of things we knew about making animation fluid and beautiful," said Eric Goldberg, the head of 2-D animation and something of a legend in the field: He drew Robin Williams's "genie" character in "Aladdin."
Among the unusual goals for Mr. Goldberg's team was recapturing a "rubber hose" style of the 1920s in which characters' appendages are seemingly weightless and change shape at will: Mickey's arm becomes a set of stairs and his mouth a bugle.
Perhaps the most special touch of all, and one likely to get the attention of the Academy's many older voters, is the film's use of original voice recordings by Walt Disney himself for every line of dialogue by Mickey Mouse. An assistant editor was charged with gathering "everything Walt ever said," explained Ms. McMullan. When they couldn't find an instance of him saying "red," the editor strung together separate instances of the company founder saying "rrr," "eh" and "duh."
The result: Walt Disney's first on-screen credit as voice talent since 1948.
The Disney hit “Frozen,” considered a near-lock to win the best animation Oscar, was not always
the story of two feuding but loving sisters.
A major turning point came when Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the husband-and-wife songwriting team who composed the musical numbers, delivered the anthem “Let It Go.” Performed by Idina Menzel, who voices the older sister Elsa, as a moment of self-acceptance, it’s now being YouTube-parodied
by fans everywhere, and is also an Oscar front-runner.
But the movie was actually a years-long series of small turning points, as the Lopezes, who live and work in Brooklyn, described in an interview this week.
When they were first approached to work on the film, after having worked on “Winnie the Pooh” for Disney, they were enticed by the storyboards. “We saw this pictures of two sisters, and one of the sisters was throwing snow up in the air, and the other was delighted by it, and something about that really resonated with us,” Ms. Anderson-Lopez said.
But a director, Chris Buck, told them that “the rest of the story was in flux,” she recalled. “And we understood, after we saw a table read, why this was true. Most of the characters were really unlikable. It was an adventure – ‘Romancing the Stone,’ ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ kind of feel.’”
They wrote some songs, but it quickly became apparent that the movie, as drafted, wasn’t meant to be a musical. Disney reshuffled the people on the project, bringing in Jennifer Lee, who had been working on “Wreck-It Ralph,” as a writer. Ms. Lee eventually wrote the script and co-directed “Frozen” with Mr. Buck. A week after she joined, Ms. Anderson-Lopez said, they had a story retreat at a hotel in California. “That’s when we really had to go into the DNA in the story and say, ‘What kind of story sings?’” she said. “That involves a big change in your main character. Your main character has to have some optimism, and she has to feel things so deeply that she will burst into song.”
That character became Anna, the feisty younger sister, voiced by Kristen Bell. “At the time Anna was this perfect, perfect princess,” Ms. Anderson-Lopez said. “And Elsa was really just jealous.”
To reconfigure Elsa from her villain role, they wrote “Let It Go.” “When we first penciled it in,” Mr. Lopez said, they called it something which, to our chagrin, we cannot print here. “Elsa’s song of empowerment,” Mr. Lopez suggested as a replacement. “Elsa’s fierce song,” his wife added. Mr. Lopez: “Elsa’s kick-butt song.”
(Especially accurate since the script at the time called for Elsa to come down from her mountain hideaway and attack her village, Mr. Lopez said, “with her army of snowmen.”)
But the Lopezes saw the sisters – a Disney first, in terms of lead heroines – in a different way.
“I said, ‘You have a chance to make the first really funny Disney princess,’” Ms. Anderson-Lopez said. “I’m so exited about the potential that Anna has to sort of bring in the world of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, the goofy self-deprecating female heroines that are in our culture” now.
For inspiration, they to music that wasn’t Disney either. “We listened to a lot of Adele, and Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne,” Ms. Anderson-Lopez said. “And we listened to singer-songwriters – Aimee Mann, Tori Amos – the more tortured singer-songwriter who talk about keeping secrets and having things that they’re fearful and they’re ashamed of.”
And then they took that fateful walk
in Prospect Park, where they came up with the song. Ms. Anderson-Lopez had already pitched ‘let it go’ as a hook to Disney – “it was about letting your past go and also letting your power go,” she said – and as they strolled, they thought about a character whose goals of perfection limited her.
Ms. Anderson-Lopez said said she was thinking about what it was like to be a female artist “and how you often have to stop worrying about what people think of you and wanting to be liked, in order to do your best work. We started walking and riffing on things, and thinking from an emo kind of place.”
Emo is not a quality Disney is known for. But then, sweeping, sweet Disney numbers are not what Mr. Lopez – a Tony winner for the biting musicals “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon” – is known for, either.
“As soon as we started writing, I knew it would be a stretch for me, because I usually write songs that make fun of these kind of songs,” he said. “But when you do a Disney movie, you’re going to write emotion — that’s sort of the cue. Part of the reason I was attracted to the movie was because I knew it would stretch me emotionally. I wanted to write a ballad. But this really totally trumped all my romantic ballads. This is so cool to have written a song of empowerment, for girls like my daughters.”
They were 6½ and two½ when their parents started working on “Frozen,” and were the first to sing “Let It Go” incessantly around the house.
Ms. Anderson-Lopez, whose theatrical credits include the Off-Broadway a cappella musical “In Transit
,” set in the New York subway, also saw her mission as a message to her daughters. “I was really excited to write an anthem that said, ‘Screw fear and shame, be yourself, be powerful,’” she said. “I wanted to give them the same message that I’m always saying at bedtime: ‘it’s O.K., you don’t have to be like everybody else.’”
As Oscar hopefuls, the Lopezes are occupying rarified territory – particularly Mr. Lopez, who has already collected an Emmy and a Grammy along with his Tonys, making him on track to be a young EGOT
He won his first Tony, for “Avenue Q,” at 29. “I never thought we’d equal that experience – wining that Tony was bizarre and off-the-charts weird,” he said. “I’d been telling myself to never expect anything to live up to that experience. And then ‘Book of Mormon’ came along, and then I lowered my expectations for the rest of my life. And then ‘Frozen’ trumped that experience. And now I’m telling myself that nothing will ever be as good as this.”
But the couple has not deviated much from their Park Slope life. “In the middle of all this, we adopted rescue cats that have really bad parasites,” Ms. Anderson-Lopez said. “That’s been keeping us real: cleaning the cat vomit off the wall.”
Disney Enterprises has been taken to Texas federal court by a trademark owner who objects to the "Lots-O'-Huggin'" stuffed bear character in Toy Story 3
As a refresher, in the 2010 film, this character -- aka "Lotso" -- has psychological problems stemming from being abandoned by his owner. The bear now resides at the Sunnyside Day Care Center, which he treats as his personal fiefdom. In Toy Story 3
, "Lotso" and his gang attempt to stop Woody and other toys from escaping. The film's principal antagonist has now set off a trademark lawsuit.
The plaintiff is Diece-Lisa Industries, a New Jersey company that created the "Lots of Hugs" stuffed toy bears. DLI asserts that it has been licensing its "Lots of Hugs" since 1995, including for use as a promotional Olympic Panda Bear for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Not only does DLI have trademarks, but the company has a registered patent as well. According to the complaint (read here
), DLI licensed its "hugging technology" to a company affiliated with Disney for its sale ofJim Henson
's "Bear in the Big Blue House" huggable stuffed bear product. In other words, the plaintiff implies Disney knew about DLI's intellectual property.Toy Story 3
was a smash Pixar sequel with more than $1 billion in worldwide box office. Not unlike last weekend's big hit, The Lego Movie
, Disney's own movie featured animations of well-known toys includingBatman
and Wonder Woman
In the new lawsuit, DLI says that "Disney has aggressively enforced its various intellectual property rights" and points to past legal action taken jointly by Disney and DC Comics to protect Toy Story
and Toy Story 2
movie characters. In other words, the plaintiff implies that Disney respects the rights of Batman's owner.
DLI now claims that it has been experiencing harm from the film. In 2011, the company's affiliate entered into a license agreement with Interactive Group for a bear product.
According to the lawsuit, "IG was fearful to use the 'Lots of Hugs' mark for the DLI licensed bear products in view of the worldwide success of the Toy Story 3
movie -- fearing Disney and consumer confusion with Defendant [Disney's] 'Lots-O'-Huggin'' bear a/k/a 'Lotso' bear character if IG should market and sell 'Lots of Hugs' bears. Subsequently, IG required that the licensed bear be marked 'hugalots' instead of 'Lots of Hugs.' "
DLI is now suing for unfair competition and trademark infringement and demanding profits attributable to the alleged bad actions, trebled damages and an injunction on future use of the "Lotso" character.
Disney hasn't responded to a request for comment.
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A local teen is getting some help towards his dream job and he did not have to wish on a star to make it happen. He just applied.
High school junior Darin McMahon has a single passion.
"I definitely love to draw cartoons, cartoons are my favorite passion," he said. "I love watching them. Just to draw them, to figure out how they move and basically how they look like has really interested me."
Interested him enough that he's created his own cartoon characters, draws all of the time and wants someday to do it for a living.
"That's my dream, to be basically a director and a producer of my own animation show," said Darin.
And he just learned he's a step closer to that dream, one of five Houston high schoolers, and one of only100 nationwide to be chosen for Disney's Dreamers Academy.
"He's always been a kid that is just kind and he's all about fulfilling his goal and his dream of being an artist," said Darin's mother, Darice McMahon.
During spring break Darin and his grandfather will travel all expenses paid for a week long learning adventure at DisneyWorld in Orlando. Students explore the stage and behind the scenes of the parks. Comedian Steve Harvey started the program with Disney and Essence Magazine in 2008 to encourage young people to reach for their dreams.
"We've had so many from our Disney Dreamers Academy go on to become successful college students, successful men, and successful women," said Harvey. "That's a great thing and we're constantly producing more fantastic young people."
"We just couldn't be more thrilled to help host this event and help make their dreams come true," said Meg Crofton with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Darin will have a chance to meet celebrities and entrepreneurs. He'll network with other dreamers and get a chance to talk animation with the best of them.
Darin, by the way, was chosen based on an essay he wrote. In this case his words apparently were worth a thousand pictures.