Photo credit: Henry Woide | Airbnb
Disney fans know that the Hundred Acre Wood is essentially where Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends reside, and is a place visited regularly by Christopher Robin. Now a few lucky people will be able to stay at a treehouse in the real Hundred Acre Wood to celebrate the character’s 95th anniversary. That’s right, the treehouse draws inspiration from the original decorations of E.H. Shepard, complete with exposed tree branches wrapped around the house, “Mr. Sanders” painted above the doorway, and lots of ‘hunny’ pots. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Back on May 4th, also known as Star Wars Day, Disney teased a real-life lightsaber, complete with a retractable blade of light extending from the hilt. Today, they give us another glimpse at the energy sword in a new Walt Disney Imagineering Innovation Showcase video. Other creations include an animatronic Groot and an inside look at Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure at Disney California Adventure Park. Read more for the video and a bonus clip about the new Star Wars hotel.
Revealed at Anime Expo Lite this past weekend, the “Star Wars: Visions” anthology is set to be released on September 22nd for Disney+ subscribers. Seven of the top Japanese anime studios collaborated with Lucasfilm for the short films, each expressing their own rendering of “Star Wars” universe with unique animation and storytelling styles. From the very first film, stories told in Star Wars galaxy have counted Japanese mythology and the films of Akira Kurosawa among their many influences. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort
Avengers Campus is set to open this Friday (June 4th) at Disney California Adventure and the grand opening ceremony just took place tonight. This new themed area takes the place previously occupied by A Bug’s Land and will include the following attractions: Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout!, Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Dance Off!, Heroic Encounters, Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, Ancient Sanctum, and Avengers Headquarters attractions. Read more for three videos and additional information.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a themed luxury hotel near Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in the Epcot Resort Area of the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, is set to open in 2022, and to celebrate May 4th, the company released a teaser of what you can find. That’s right, a somewhat functional lightsaber in the sense that it has a retractable blade of light that extends from the hilt. Read more for the short video and additional information.
H/t: Tech Crunch
Disney has been known for their cutting edge animatronics, and Project Kiwi is no exception. Imagineering researchers have spent years working on a miniature Groot robot, and it’s still a work in progress, despite it already being able to walk. The team wanted to create something that could walk on its own and interact with park guests autonomously, without requiring a human operator. Unfortunately, no off-the-shelf platform would work, so they developed their own. Read more for a video and additional information.
Vodafone partnered with Disney to release Neo, a smartwatch designed for kids that will help parents stay connected through calls, chats, familiar characters and emojis. An integrated 5.0-megapixel forward-facing camera lets children capture their daily adventures, while the activity tracker logs activity and sets a goal to encourage them to get on their feet. Parents can check in on them with calls, chat and video messages. Read more for a video and additional information.
Remember that Star Wars hotel announcement that Disney made a while back? Well, the company has just provided new images of the event, which debuts in 2021 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Simply put, this will be a two-day and two-night vacation that aims to provide an all-immersive experience taking guests to a galaxy far, far away, but with some Disney magic. Guests become the heroes of their own Star Wars story, so each stay should be different. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Anyone who has visited a Disney theme park has definitely come across at least one of their animatronics, but get up close, and you’ll notice that something about them seems quite off. These new robots with a lifelike gaze may change that, while also giving you nightmares in their unskinned state. The team focused on the character animation where the fidelity and believability of motion is paramount, thus creating an interaction which demonstrates the illusion of life. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Disney Research
Deepfakes have been quite popular among internet users, as many hobbyists have been face swapping many celebrities in famous movies. Disney Research has developed an algorithm for fully automatic neural face swapping in images and videos. In other words, this is the first method capable of rendering photo-realistic and temporally coherent results at megapixel resolution, making it suitable for the big screen. Read more for a video and additional information.