The two Tokyo theme parks have been closed since last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami (they were used as shelters for park-goers stranded following the quake), and now the Burbank-based company is temporarily suspending operations in the city’s stores and administrative offices. “Our top priority is the well-being of our employees and their families during this challenging time and we will continue to closely monitor the situation as it develops,” Disney said in a statement. The decision comes as the U.S. Embassy today offered citizens safe transport out of the country, joining other nations in advising nationals to stay at least 50 miles from the unstable Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, which lies about 130 miles to the north of Tokyo.
Two months after the big tsunami episode of CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, the show is facing a real one. Hawaii, where the series is shot, has been under a tsunami warning after the massive 8.9 earthquake in Japan but, according to a rep for CBS TV Studios, which produces the series, Hawaii is shooting today as scheduled as production is not near the water and there has been minimal impact from the disaster in Honolulu. “Back at work, bleary eyed & heartsick, but very grateful,” co-star Daniel Dae Kim tweeted this morning. “As far as I know, everyone is safe.”
UPDATE: Japan Quake-Tsunami Puts ‘Tangled’ And ‘Megamind’ Openings In Limbo; Also Halts Sony Biz Production
UPDATE: Two 3D animation movies were supposed to open big in Japan this weekend for the March school holidays. But Disney’s Tangled and DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind are now in limbo. That scary 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan also looks to have a major impact on the technology industry and in turn entertainment. Sony stopped production in six of its northeastern factories, which produce Blu-ray discs, magnetic heads for hard drives, and batteries. That could affect games, movies, and computers (some of Apple’s components are made in Japan, but there’s been no word whether the quake will affect the launch of the company’s iPad2 that is set for this weekend).
In fact, the entire sector may feel the pain by the halted production and any long-term issues which could have a ripple effect throughout Japan, Hawaii, and of course California. The national touring company of Spamalot packed up and left Ventura because of the tsunami warnings.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Island beach area in British Columbia where Taylor Lautner and Kristin Stewart and others are filming the finale of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, were evacuated. Needless to say, Internet chatter made a big deal of this.
In the meantime, Hollywood actors, pop stars and rockers have gone online to express sympathy for victims of the tragedy.