January 11, 2007
TELEVISION 1.NBC NFL Playoff Game 2, NBC 2.CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS 3.NBC NFL Pre-Kick2, NBC 4.Desperate Housewives, ABC 5.Fox NFC Wildcard Post Game, Fox FILMS 1.Night at the Museum, 20th Century Fox 2.The Pursuit of Happyness, Sony 3.Children of Men, Universal 4.Freedom Writers, Paramount 5.Dreamgirls, Paramount SINGLES 1.Irreplaceable, Beyonce 2.Fergalicious, Fergie 3.Smack That, Akon featuring Eminem 4.I Wanna Love You,...
December 24, 2006
This month marks the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney's death from lung cancer, a long time by most measures and an eternity for figures in the popular culture, who usually evaporate quickly from our memories. To a surprising degree, however, he has managed to survive in the national consciousness, not just as a corporate logo but as a kind of cultural barometer. Ask just about anyone how he or she feels about Disney, and you are likely to get either a beaming tribute from those who recall him fondly and enjoy his animations and theme parks, or a scowling denunciation from those who see him as the great Satan of modern mass culture.
October 15, 2006
Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination Neal Gabler Alfred A. Knopf / 858 pages / $35 Why would I want to be president?" Walt Disney once asked. "I'm king of Disneyland." During his 40-year reign, Disney left an indelible imprint on American culture. According to one of his many biographers, Disney was a "sentimental populist," determined to reduce reality to smaller, simpler and more comprehensible terms. In the "Magic Kingdom," hard work, decency, loyalty and self-restraint were rewarded.
September 10, 2006
Imagine being grand marshal in a Walt Disney World parade. Or getting the royal treatment at Walt Disney World, including staying overnight in a royal bedchamber in Cinderella's Castle. It's no childish reverie. Starting Oct. 1, Disney will make a lot of dreams come true with its "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration. Altogether, a million dreams - some small, some large - will be awarded during the year to randomly chosen guests. A few will be experiences that money can't buy, such as the stay in Cinderella's Castle or a trip around the world to lead a parade in every Disney resort.
July 16, 2006
WALT DISNEY WORLD, Fla. You would think that Celine Dion would have gotten the best seat in the restaurant that night. But no, there the pop diva was -- our gossipy waiter had pointed her out -- filing in from the open-air observation deck with the rest of the crowd. Meanwhile, I sat regally at a table by a vast window and, between courses, enjoyed an unobstructed view of the very same fireworks that poor little Celine had schlepped out to see. I didn't have special tickets or celebrity status or Disney connections or even press privileges to pave my way. As a greenhorn to Walt Disney World, I didn't even have a prior visit for a frame of reference.