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March 31, 2005
ESPN's Great Outdoor Games Coming To Disney
This year's ESPN Great Outdoor Games will be held at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex July 7-10, the companies announced. The four-day tournament will be broadcast on July 13-17 on ESPN, ESPN2 and by ABC Sports. The outdoor games are a compilation of outdoor sports events and include target sports, timber events and sporting dogs. Fishing is not part of the tournament, as it was last year, but an ATV skills competition is being introduced this year.
A Los Angeles County judge Monday scaled back a request by Walt Disney Co. to force its adversaries in the long-running Winnie the Pooh royalties case to pay the Burbank entertainment giant more than $1 million in court-related costs.In a tentative ruling, Superior Court Judge Carolyn B. Kuhl declined to grant the entire amount ($1,083,057) that Disney was seeking from the heirs of Stephen Slesinger, who acquired the lucrative Pooh merchandising rights from author A.A. Milne in 1930.Disney, however, did not walk away from the hearing empty-handed. The Slesinger heirs will have to pay Disney at least $250,000.
The Walt Disney Co. said Sunday its president, Robert Iger, will succeed Michael Eisner as chief executive after another top contender for the job dropped out of the running. The company said Iger was unanimously elected by the board and will take charge Sept. 30. Eisner will step down on that day, a year earlier than he had previously announced, the company said.
DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, continued its "Season of Compassion" with its annual delivery of DisneyHand Compassion Kits to every children's hospital and pediatric wing in the country. This year, however, DisneyHand was able to touch the lives of more children than ever before with help from ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "The Tony Danza Show."
The Hong Kong Disneyland theme park set to open in September has already booked 10,000 room reservations for its hotel since it opened a customer call center three weeks ago, officials said Wednesday."It really took us by surprise, the volume of calls coming in," said Bill Ernest, managing director of operations at Hong Kong Disneyland. Ernest said Hong Kong residents have made most of the 10,000 reservations at the park's 1,000-room hotel, though the park expects that about 40 percent of the visitors will eventually come from mainland China.
Vance Gerry, a veteran Disney animation storyman, layout artist, and visual development artist since 1955, passed away on Saturday, March 5th at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California, of complications from cancer. He was 75 years old. Regarded as one of the most talented and creative story artists in the animation industry, Gerry contributed to such classic Disney animated features as "101 Dalmatians," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," "Robin Hood," "The Rescuers," "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," "The Great Mouse Detective," "Oliver & Company," "Pocahontas," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Hercules," "Tarzan," "Fantasia/2000," and "Home on the Range." Up until his death, Gerry continued to work closely with 96-year-old Disney legend Joe Grant (who co-wrote "Dumbo," and designed the Queen/Witch character for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"), and Burny Mattinson (a 50-year veteran himself whose credits include animating, directing and storyman), adapting books and developing original story ideas. The trio comically referred to their group as the "Geriatricals."
Mickey Mouse is coming back to life courtesy of the Disney Channel, the cable network said Tuesday. Its morning block for preschoolers, "Playhouse Disney," will get a new series, "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," early next year. "Clubhouse" is the third revival of Mickey, following 2001's "Disney's House of Mouse" and 1999's "Disney's Mickey Mouseworks."