On Nov. 26, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) announced a strategic relationship with two divisions of the Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney World Resort and The Walt Disney Studios. As part of their efforts TCM will sponsor a theme-park attraction, and in turn the Studios will supply the TCM with materials its launch of a recurring program devoted to Disney.
As part of the corporate partnership, TCM and Walt Disney World Resort will refresh The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The ride, which celebrates the classic movies and iconic moments of the silver screen, will receive a new TCM-curated pre-show and an updated movie montage with new classic movie moments. The refreshed version of The Great Movie Ride will open by spring 2015.
Turner will also work with Walt Disney Studios to launch “Treasures from the Disney Vault” on TCM. The recurring programming will feature Disney classic materials: movies, cartoons, documentaries, and episodes of TV series such “Disneyland” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.”
Disney’s refresh of The Great Movie Ride will highlight TCM’s sponsorship. The attraction’s marquee will acknowledge the ride is “presented by” TCM, and Turner’s presence also will show up on banners, posters and display windows outside the attraction. The attraction’s queue will be updated with new digital movie posters.. The ride also will feature a photo op that ties in with the classic movie theme.
TCM host Robert Osborne will have a role in the new pre-ride video. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Osborne will also provide audio for the ride.
News of the strategic partnership between TCM and Disney follows on the October announcement that Walt Disney World’s announcement earlier this fall that it will remove the Sorcerer Mickey Hat that sits in front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ full-scale reproduction of Grauman’s Chinese Theater (now the TCL Chinese Theater). That structure houses The Great Movie Ride.
Charlie Tabesh, senior vice president for programming and production of TCM block, told the New York Times that “Treasures from the Disney Vault” will be offered “roughly four to five times a year.
“Treasures” is scheduled to premiere on TCM Sunday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. The opening night will include the holiday and winter animated shorts “Santa’s Workshop,” “On Ice” and “Chip An’ Dale,” followed by “The Disneyland Story.” The night will also include 1941’s “The Reluctant Dragon,” which combines a live-action tour of the Walt Disney Studios facility with animated shorts; “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier” (1955), a compilation of the first three episodes of the iconic series starring Fess Parker; the documentary “The Vanishing Prairie “(1954), one of Disney’s True-Life Adventure series; the “Third Man on the Mountain” (1959), an Alpine tale starring Michael Rennie and James MacArthur and “Perilous Assignment” (1959), a documentary about that film.
Among the other offerings Disney will supply for “Treasures” are such live-action features as “Treasure Island” (1950), “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” (1959) and “Pollyanna (1960); animated shorts, such as 1932’s Oscar-winning “Flowers and Trees” and full-length features films like “The Three Caballeros” (1944) and “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad” (1949); nature documentaries, including “The Living Desert” (1953) and “The African Lion” (1955); and special episodes from “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.” Disney will also make other material available, such as the recent documentaries about the studio, “Walt & El Grupo” (2009) and “Waking Sleeping Beauty” (2010).
“At TCM, it’s our mission to share and celebrate the greatest films of all time,” said Jennifer Dorian, general manager of TCM in a prepared media statement. “Disney provides the perfect relationship through which we can share the magic of the movies with every generation, not only through an amazing new showcase on TCM, but also through newly refreshed components of The Great Movie Ride Attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.”
This partnership between Disney and TCM is an expansion of their current relationship. Turner has offered two of its four TCM Classic Cruises aboard the Disney Cruise Line, the second taking place this October on the Disney Magic. TCM also has a history of collaboration with Buena Vista Home Entertainment, and has showcased Disney in its 2012 and 2014 TCM Classic Film Festivals.