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Entertainment

How Movies Receive Their Ratings

Many Americans use the MPAA’s formalized rating system as a guide for which films to see. The Onion provides a step-by-step view into how these ratings are chosen:

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

50 Years Of ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

‘Rugrats’ Turns 25

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon about intrepid baby Tommy Pickles and his group of toddler friends. Here are some milestones from the show’s nine-season run

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 9, 2016

ARIES: Your life’s story will soon play out in front of movie theater audiences across the country, though it’ll only last about 30 seconds and advertise free soft drink refills in the main lobby.

Director Has Clear Vision Of How Studio Will Destroy Movie

LOS ANGELES—Saying he can already picture exactly what the finished cut will look like on the big screen, Hollywood film director Paul Stanton told reporters Wednesday he has a clear vision of how studio executives will totally destroy his upcoming movie.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 14, 2016

ARIES: Once the laughter dies down, the party favors are put away, and the monkeys led back inside their cages, you’ll finally be given a chance to explain your side of the story.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history
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Entertainment

New Disney Ride Simulates Disney–ABC Merger

ORLANDO, FL—Visitors to the Walt Disney World theme park stood in line for hours Monday waiting to get on the Whirly Merge, a new thrill ride that promises all the excitement of the 1996 merger between the Walt Disney Company and Capital Cities/ABC, Disney officials said Wednesday.

An animatronic Michael Eisner greets visitors outside the entrance to the Whirly Merge.

"This ride has been 12 years in the making," Disney CEO Bob Iger said. "Now you can experience for yourself the heart-stopping suspense when [former Disney chief] Michael Eisner tries to convince the board of directors to diversify its holdings and become the world's largest entertainment conglomerate."

Described in a Disney press release as "It's A Small World and Space Mountain meets Barbarians At The Gate," the Whirly Merge transports its riders, who are strapped in plush leather chairs to "boardroom tables," through a series of fast-paced and intricate business meetings, all leading to the climactic acquisition stage.

Riders are led by Roy Disney, nephew of Walt Disney and a longtime Disney executive and major shareholder, whose disembodied voice guides them through the experience via a speakerphone in the middle of the table. The voice recounts how in the early 1990s, "a time of legend and magic," the company was flush with profits from its animated film successes The Lion King and Beauty And The Beast. As holographic accountants dance in giant piles of cash, Michael Eisner conceives a plan to invest the money rather than pay exorbitant taxes on the new windfall.

<p>"I felt a little sick during the arbitrage part, but I still want to go again!" <BR> <b>Tyler James, 10</b></p>

The boardroom table then takes a plunge into Herb Allen's media conference, where Eisner has put feelers out to see if either ABC or CBS is in a vulnerable position that Disney can leverage for a buyout. Figures like investor Warren Buffett and former Disney president Michael Ovitz lunge forward unexpectedly, but before riders can gather their bearings, the boardroom table plummets in an 80-foot "Due Diligence Drop."

Riders are also treated to a dizzying laser-light e-mail exchange and a lightning-speed courier chase as they spin down the seemingly endless "Paper Trail."

"The Imagineers really outdid themselves this time," Iger said. "With so much attention to vivid detail, the Whirly Merge gives riders something new every time, from the subtle pink dots on the lawyers' power ties to the Dolby Digital Surround Sound–generated whoosh of legal-pad pages in your ear."

"And was that me in the background of the shareholder announcement?" Iger added. "You'll just have to ride again to find out."

Park-goers clamored to get their pictures taken with the distinctive Whirly Merge characters, who roam the grounds in their trademark business suits and oversized heads. Meanwhile, Disney Stores nationwide reported that they have already sold out their stock of suit-patterned Whirly Merge T-shirts and Iger-themed stuffed plush toys.

The ride is getting a thumbs-up from perhaps the toughest critics of all: young children.

"I loved the part where they were integrating the databases," 9-year-old Pattie Dahm said. "And just when you thought it was all worked out, there was that system crash that lost tons of important corporate information and employee e-mail. It was so cool."

"The [boardroom] shake-up was really scary," Tyler James, 10, said. "I felt a little sick during the arbitrage part, but I still want to go again!"

The attraction has already proven popular enough to start production on a major motion picture, as well as a straight-to-DVD release, Walt & Son, a lighthearted animated reworking of the relationship between brash and spunky ABC and its parent company Disney. A sequel ride which details the ouster of Michael Eisner as CEO is rumored to be opening in 2009.

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