Posts tagged ‘movie’

Disney Movie Secrets

By Kaye Nemec

Disney movies like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Aladdin are popular among kids and adults around the world. Their characters continue to come to life as Halloween costumes and at birthday parties and their hit songs are easily recognized (perhaps unwilling to admit it, most of us could probably sing at least one completely from memory).

Disney_Robin_Hood

But perhaps something that most Disney movie fans don’t know is that several of the movies have hidden secrets scattered throughout. If you do not own a copy of these movies, clips of the secrets can be found on You Tube. Several of the hidden secrets are not G rated and are not appropriate for Disney films and, therefore, not listed here.

The Little Mermaid

  • When King Triton enters the stadium to watch Aerial sing, the camera views him from behind. If you look in the bottom left corner of the screen, in the audience, you will find Goofy, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse.

The Lion King

  • Some people claim that when Simba lays down on the rock ledge at the end of the movie and dust flies out from underneath him the particles form the word “SEX” in the sky. Others claim this is a shout out to the special effects team that worked on the movie and it actually spells SFX.

Beauty and the Beast

  • As Gaston is being thrown from the ledge at the end of the movie skulls replace his pupils.

Hunchback of Notre Dame

  • Belle, Pumbaa and Alladin’s carpet make cameo appearances.

Snow White

  • In the movie, Snow White has brown eyes but in most of the merchandise she has blue eyes.

Monster’s Inc.

  • Jessie from Toy Story 2 appears at the end of the movie when Sulley returns Boo to her room – she picks her up and gives her to Sulley. The “Pizza Planet” truck from Toy Story makes subtle appearances in many Pixar films such as: Cars, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Monster’s Inc and WALL-E.

Lilo and Stitch

  • When Lilo wakes up Nani in her bedroom there is a Mulan movie poster on the wall.

Leave a comment with additional Disney secrets you know.

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Sources: Various YouTube clips (see clips above), Visions Fantastic, Hiddenmickeys.org

April 1, 2011 at 2:00 am 68 comments

Studios Pay to Have Movies Rated

By Chad Upton | Editor

I always find it funny when movies come out on video and they’re advertised as “unrated.”

The “unrated” designation seems to imply that the film is so outrageously sexual, horrific or crude that there’s no rating that could possibly classify how extreme it is. But, that’s not usually true.

While the unrated release may be more sexual, horrific or crude than the rated version, it also may not be. To me, it’s just like doing a math test, not handing it in and calling it “ungraded.” In either case, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the nature of the content — it just means that it didn’t get a stamp from somebody with elbow patches.

The movie rating process varies by country. In some places, such as Australia, movies are rated by the government. In other places, such as the United States, an independent organization handles ratings.

In the US, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) actually has a trademark on the ratings known as: G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17. That means those ratings cannot be used without the permission of the MPAA. That adds credibility to the rating system, but it also adds digits to their bottom line. You see, when a filmmaker or studio submits a film for rating, they pay $2,500 – $25,000 to have their film rated (based on cost of the film and the annual revenue of the studio).

The MPAA also has an agreement with the major studios: that all theatrical films will be submitted for rating. That’s why most movies that you see in the theater have a rating. It’s not a legal requirement, at least not in most places. In fact, it’s a business decision.

Even though it costs a lot of money to have a film rated, it can be well worth it. The rating that a film receives can dramatically impact the film’s success at the box office. For many films, the lower the rating, the wider the audience. But, in the case of movies that are targeted at older teenagers and adults, higher ratings may be more appealing. This is part of the phenomenon that contributes to the status of the “unrated” marker.

The rating a movie gets is so important that studios will often re-cut and resubmit a film for rating multiple times, until it receives the rating that they want. It’s all marketing, they know how they’re going to promote the film and the rating has a lot to do with it. Each time they resubmit a film, it costs $2,500.

The factors that contribute to ratings include: sexual content, violence, profanity, drug use and other material that may offend some audiences. The interesting part is that films released internationally are often re-cut for each country or cultural area. Sexual content in America generally pushes the rating up while the same content in France and Germany is more socially acceptable and does not necessarily increase the rating there. On the other hand, extremely violent films may be re-cut and toned down for those same markets where intense violence is less acceptable to ensure a lower rating.

The ratings board is made up of 9 people (mostly men), ranging in age from 44 to 61. More recently, the board has been accused of “ratings creep” — the idea that movie ratings are becoming more lenient over time. A Clockwork Orange originally received an X rating in 1971, reserved for films that are recommended for adults over the age of 18. But the X rating is not part of the MPAA rating system that we know today. A Clockwork Orange was later given an R rating, which suggests that viewers under the age of 17 by accompanied by an adult. Clearly, it got a much lower rating the second time around.

The marketing of “unrated” films suggests they are similar to old X rated films. If you want to see an unrated film, check out some recent releases: The Hangover, Get Him to the Greek and Hot Tub Time Machine.

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Sources: Filmbug, FilmRatings.com, Wikipedia (MPAA, MPAA rating system)

October 8, 2010 at 4:00 am 3 comments

What is the Thirty Mile Zone?

By Chad Upton | Editor

Thirty Mile Zone or The Studio Zone, these terms refer to the area within 30 miles (48.3 km) of downtown Los Angeles, specifically the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard.

That intersection is significant because it was the home of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which was originally formed to mediate labor disputes between studios and workers.

The Academy is no longer stationed there, but it remains the center point of The Studio Zone. And yes, this is the same Academy that Oscar winners always thank in their acceptance speeches.

The Studio Zone is important to the entertainment industry in Southern California. It was created to establish a reasonable distance that union workers should be expected to travel to and from the production location without additional compensation.

Productions outside of this area require higher wages to union workers and therefore many productions remain in the Studio Zone. Productions outside the zone are often referred to as runaway productions.

The Studio Zone is responsible for a land-rush during the early part of the 20th century when studios acquired ranches and other large parcels of land within the zone. In the 1920s, Westerns movies were popular, and the ranches were great locations for these pictures. Because they were in the zone, “Studio rates” were paid to the workers, which helped keep the costs down. When a picture is shot outside of the zone, the studio may pay “distant location rates” in addition to travel time and mileage, depending on the agreement.

There is one exception, MGM’s Conejo movie ranch. It was a few miles outside of the Thirty Mile Zone, but the Academy considered it part of the zone for labor purposes. Why? It’s hard to say, but it’s probably worth mentioning that the Academy was started by Louis B. Mayer, the second “M” in MGM. The MGM ranch is now a nature preserve and a housing development.

Although Western movies are no longer popular, movie ranches still are. Because many of them are in the zone, they help keep costs low. Productions are bigger than ever, even TV shows use movie ranches for large elaborate sets. Click the embedded image to visit the google maps location of the Wipeout set (under construction at time of picture).

The celebrity news show TMZ stands for “Thirty Mile Zone” — that’s where they capture most of their footage.

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Sources: California Film Commission, Wikipedia (The Studio Zone, AMPAS, Movie Ranch, Wipeout), Shapell Homes,

Photos: ezioman (cc), Film LA, Google – Imagery GeoEye, US Geological Survey, DigitalBloge, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data

August 18, 2010 at 5:00 am 5 comments


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