Disney+ Announces Its Season’s Streaming Specials in Time for the Holidays

If you’re thinking of catching up with your watchlist over at Disney’s highly popular streaming platform, then you may want to include a sizeable amount of time to your holiday streaming pleasure. Officially launching its Season’s Streaming Specials, Disney+ has revealed its collection of new series to watch out for in the coming weeks.

Check out these new series and other holiday specials that you don’t want to miss. Let us know what you think about these new holiday streaming content and which one are you most excited about.

Save Our Squad with David Beckham – November 9, 2022

It’s cool to get picked last… David Beckham was.

Zootopia+ (Shorts) – November 9, 2022

In honor of Filipino American History Month, host Jenny Lorenzo talks with Zootopia+ director Josie Trinidad about representation, her journey, and what audiences can expect from the new series of shorts streaming November 9.”

The Santa Clauses – November 16, 2022

Scott Calvin is back! After being Santa Claus for nearly thirty years, he’s as jolly as ever. But as Christmas declines in popularity, so does his Santa magic. Scott struggles to keep up with the demands of the job, as well as being there for his family. Upon discovering there is a way to retire from his post, Scott considers stepping down as Santa Claus and finding a worthy successor so that he can become a better father and husband.

Limitless with Chris Hemsworth – November 16, 2022

What if you could combat aging and discover the full potential of the human body? Global movie star Chris Hemsworth explores this revolutionary idea in the new National Geographic original series, “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth,” created by Darren Aronofsky and hailing from his production company Protozoa Pictures and Jane Root’s Nutopia. Entertaining, immersive and life-changing, “Limitless” rewrites the rulebook on living better for longer. Coming to Disney+ November 16.

Disenchanted – November 18, 2022

Discover a fairy tale with a wicked twist. Disenchanted, an Original movie, starts streaming November 18 on Disney+. It has been more than ten years since Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) wed, but Giselle has grown disillusioned with life in the city, so they move their growing family to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search of a more fairy tale life. Unfortunately, it isn’t the quick fix she had hoped for. Suburbia has a whole new set of rules and a local queen bee, Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph), who makes Giselle feel more out of place than ever. Frustrated that her happily ever after hasn’t been so easy to find, she turns to the magic of Andalasia for help, accidentally transforming the entire town into a real-life fairy tale and placing her family’s future happiness in jeopardy. Now, Giselle is in a race against time to reverse the spell and determine what happily ever after truly means to her and her family.

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse – November 18, 2022

“Once upon a time, there was a mouse. Mickey: The Story of a Mouse is streaming November 18, only on Disney+.”

Best in Snow – November 18, 2022

“We’ve assembled the finest snow carvers, but who will win this ice-cold competition? ❄️ Best in Snow, an original special, is streaming November 18, only on Disney+.”

Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium – November 20, 2022

“Exclusively streamed live on Disney+ on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium” is a once-in-a-lifetime live, global original concert event that offers fans from around the world a front-row seat to witness the groundbreaking magic of the Rocket Man back at Dodger Stadium.

The historic three-hour livestream, from Disney Branded Television and produced by Fulwell 73 Productions and Rocket Entertainment, will showcase Elton John as audiences have never seen him before, paying tribute to the icon and the seminal moment in 1975 that cemented his global success. The concert will begin with “Countdown to Elton Live” from Dodger Stadium, beginning at 7:30 PST / 10:30 EST.”

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – November 25, 2022

“This holiday season is going to be out of this world.”

The Hip Hop Nutcracker – November 25, 2022

“Reimagined, reinvented, remixed. The Hip Hop Nutcracker, an Original special, is streaming November 25 on Disney+.”

Willow – November 30, 2022

“The story began when an aspiring sorcerer, played by Warwick Davis, is whisked away on a journey to protect an infant empress Elora Danan and vanquish the evil Queen Bavmorda from their world of Andowyne. Now, the story continues with Davis reprising his titular role, as he leads an unlikely crew of heroes on a quest to protect Andowyne from an even larger foe than they had imagined possible. “Willow” also stars Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori, Amar Chadha-Patel, Dempsey Bryk, and Joanne Whalley. Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Jonathan Kasdan, Tommy Harper, Wendy Mericle, Roopesh Parekh, Ron Howard, and Samie Kim Falvey serve as executive producers. Writers are John Bickerstaff, Hannah Friedman, and Jonathan Kasdan. The producers are Stephen Woolfenden, Julia Cooperman, Hameed Shaukat, and Max Taylor.”

Pentatonix: Around the World for the Holidays – December 2, 2022

“‘Tis the season to sing along with Pentatonix. 🎄🎶 PTX Around The World for the Holidays is streaming December 2 on Disney+!”

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules – December 2, 2022

“⚠️Break the rules⚠️ Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, an all-new Original movie is streaming this December 2 exclusively on @DisneyPlus. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” is an all-new animated movie based on the second book in Jeff Kinney’s wildly popular book series. The original song from the film, “Can You Smell Us Now,” written and produced by Jon Levine, with lyrics by Jeff Kinney, and performed by Jimmy Tatro, is also available. Be sure to check everything out, and don’t forget to watch “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” on December 2, 2022, when it premieres on Disney+. The riotous antics of angst-ridden, disaster-prone middle school student Greg Heffley continue in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” focusing this time around on his complicated relationship with older brother Rodrick. A spikey-haired high school student, Rodrick is lazy and undisciplined and spends way too much time practicing with his rock band, Löded Diper. While he loves to torment Greg, he ultimately has a deep affection for his younger brother. Directed by Luke Cormican (“Teen Titans Go!) and written and produced by Jeff Kinney, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” features the voices of Brady Noon (“The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers”), Ethan William Childress (“mixed-ish”), Edward Asner (“Up”), Chris Diamantopoulos (“Silicon Valley”), Erica Cerra (“Power Rangers”), and Hunter Dillon (“Deadpool 2”). “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” features the original song, “Can You Smell Us Now,” written and produced by Jon Levine, with lyrics by Jeff Kinney, and performed by Jimmy Tatro.”

Idina Menzel: Which Way to the Stage? – December 9, 2022

Idina Menzel, who lent her voice to one of Disney’s most beloved princesses of the past decade with Frozen‘s Elsa, is getting the biodoc treatment via Disney Branded Television and Disney+.

Idina Menzel: Which Way to the Stage? is a feature documentary that will focus on the life and career of the Tony winner and culminate in her headlining a concert at Madison Square Garden in her hometown of New York City after a nationwide tour.

Which Way to the Stage? will premiere on the streaming service Dec. 9.

Credits: The Hollywood Reporter

Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again – December 9, 2022

“In “Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again,” Nick Daley is following in his father’s footsteps as night watchman at the American Museum of Natural History, so he knows what happens when the sun goes down. But when the maniacal ruler Kahmunrah escapes, it is up to Nick to save the museum once and for all.”

Credits: Collider

National Treasure: Edge of History – December 14, 2022

Jess Valenzuela, a 20-year-old Dreamer, sets off on an exploration to discover the mystery of her family history, and, with the help of her friends, seeks to recover historical lost treasure.

Le Pupille – December 16, 2022

“The Pupils (the Italian title is “Le Pupille”) is a coming-of-age fable centered around innocence, greed and fantasy that follows rebellious little girls at a Catholic boarding school in the run-up to Christmas during an imaginary wartime. It’s a film about desires, pure and selfish; about freedom and devotion, about the anarchy that is capable of flowering in the minds of the girls within the confines of the strict boarding school. Though the obedient girls can’t move, their pupils can dance the unrestrained dance of freedom.”

Credits: Variety

Encanto at The Hollywood Bowl – December 28, 2022

“Celebrate the holiday season with the Madrigal family as the storied Hollywood Bowl transforms into the magical Casita from “Encanto” in a show-stopping concert event, “Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl,” with a special introduction by Lin-Manuel Miranda. From Disney Branded Television and produced by Fulwell 73 Productions (“Among the Stars,” Emmy Award®-winning “Adele: One Night Only,” “GRAMMYS®”), the all-new original special will be available to stream on Wednesday, Dec. 28, only on Disney+.”

ICYMI: Lucasfilm Releases Latest Willow Trailer and Poster

We’re just counting the weeks before we see the return of the titular 80s magical hero that we all know and love. And after more than 30 years, Lucasfilms follows the saga of Willow Ufgood as he embarks on another quest to save his world and foil the plans of an even greater foe. Slated to stream over at Disney+, this latest offering is a sequel to the original, self-titled 1988 film.

In case you missed it, here’s the latest trailer of this much-awaited series. 

The series will pick up the story of the sorcerer Willow (played by Warwick Davis) after he successfully protected Elora against the evil forces of Queen Bavmorda. And after more than three decades, it seems that there is another looming threat that hangs over the peaceful world of Andowyne.

There is a lot to unpack in these trailers, and one thing is for sure: there are even larger enemies and evils that are conspiring to destroy everything that Andowyne stands for.

Without giving too many details, the second trailer foreshadows the magnitude of the threat that they face. But our hero will not be alone: Willow will be joined by old and new allies that will aid him in vanquishing this new treacherous evil. But I guess we just have to wait and see until the first episode in the series arrives on the streaming platform on November 30, 2022.  

Other than Warwick, the cast of “Willow” also includes Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori, Amar Chadha-Patel, Dempsey Bryk, along with Joanne Whalley, who reprises her role of Sorsha from the original 80s film.

Check out this latest promotional poster as well. I love the artwork featured in this poster as it underscores the typical Lucasfilm art that the production company has been known for. 

So what do you think of the new Willow series? Will you add this to your must-watch series over at Disney+? Drop your comments below to jumpstart the conversation. 

Marvel Studios Drops the First Official Trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

The internet is set ablaze again with Disney and Marvel Studio dropping the first official trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Kicking off MCU’s Phase Five of the Multiverse Saga, we finally get to see what is probably the most conniving and evil version of Kang the Conqueror. Watch the reveal below.

Thanks to this trailer, we finally have a closer look at the inner workings of the Quantum Realm including some of its mysterious residents. In contrast to the idea that was left in the minds of fans after seeing the return of Janet Van Dyne (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) from the quantum world, it now seems that this dimension is not entirely uninhabitable.

Owing to the scientific genius of Scott’s daughter Cassie, the family is now thrown back to the Quantum Realm to face the ultimate nemesis of the multiverse saga. This version of Kang is entirely different from his variant from the Loki Disney+ series, and is hinted to be the most brutally calculating of them all. And with the apparent secrecy of Janet Van Dyne with regards to her knowledge of this dimension, the MCU as we know it, will never be the same again.

The Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania stars Jonathan Majors, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeifer and Paul Rudd, and will land in cinemas on February 17, 2023.

Henry Cavill Will Return as Superman

Though this post may not necessarily be connected with any Disney franchise, it is certainly worth mentioning. After leaks of the recent post-credit scene of Warner Bros’ Black Adam went viral online, I guess the cat’s out of the bag already. I will not say that much with regards to the heavily spoiled Black Adam post-credit scene but will let the Man of Steel himself do the talking. Because as of today, Superman star Henry Cavill has finally confirmed that the legendary Kryptonian will be back in the big screen.

The unofficial reveal came by the way of Cavill’s Instagram post that confirms his return in the DCEU. After the exasperating leak, fans speculated that Henry Cavill’s appearance might only be a sort of one-shot cameo. However, The Witcher star’s Instagramable post has now put all of these speculations at rest. Watch this.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill)

And yes, we heard you loud and clear Henry. With an image that highlights the Man of Steel as we saw him in Black Adam, Cavill confirms that “the image you see in this post and what you saw at the end of Black Adam are just a very small taste of what’s to come”. Understandably, he kept mum about this reveal until such time that the latest DCEU anti-hero film has made its rounds in cinemas. There is no definite date yet on when the next Superman film will come out, but fans will agree that its already a bit overdue considering that it was way back in 2017 that we last saw the Kryptonian in action in Justice League.

Although it may have come as a stunner to some to see him back in the role of Superman, it’s not entirely surprising. Rumors about his return have been spreading lately despite the obvious delays and apparent difficulty of WB’s management to keep it as a secret. This is partly due to the fact that Cavill has now become a household name that is synonymous with the Man of Steel himself, and that replacing him at this point is close to impossible without receiving some serious backlash from fans. He has reprised the role in Batman v. Superman and Justice League, he is well-suited to the character, and has become the definitive Superman for a new generation. Love them or hate them, these modern iterations of Superman has now solidified Cavill’s role in the DCEU franchise, and is now like the steering wheel of the entire DC cinematic universe.

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to catch Black Adam in your local cinema starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Aldis Hodge, and Pierce Brosnan.

2019 Class of Disney Legends Include Alumni and Stars from MCU, “Star Wars”

Ever since its establishment in 1987 the Disney Legend Awards honored people whose works have been integral to the success of the House of Mouse. Whether they were animators, theme park designers, musicians, film/TV production personnel, and artists, many have been named Disney Legends. Now, the 2019 awardees are revealed.

Disney announced the ten names that make up this year’s class of Disney Legends on May 16. Two are from the company’s theme park arm, two are from ABC News. The rest made their marks in Disney films and television. Some of them however, are from the MCU film franchise.

It’s perhaps appropriate that following the decade-one culmination of the MCU storyline, some of its stars will be honored. Some of them will continue with the franchise’s future installments and shows. One however, may have taken his final bow for the MCU. Becoming a Disney Legend makes a proper sendoff.

Here’s a list of the honorees for Disney Legends 2019:

  1. Robert Downey Jr. – Tony Stark/Iron Man, Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-2019)
  2. Jon Favreau – Happy Hogan, MCU; also film director for “Iron Man” 1-2, “Jungle Book” and “Lion King” remakes (2016, 2019)
  3. Ming-Na Wen – voice of “Mulan” (1998); also Melinda May in ABC-MCU series “Agents of SHIELD”
  4. Hans Zimmer – composer for “Lion King” (animation and remake) and the first four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films
  5. James Earl Jones – voices of Darth Vader (“Star Wars”) and Mufasa (“Lion King”)
  6. Kenny Ortega – film director; currently famous for Disney Channel originals (“High School Musical” and “Descendants”)
  7. Bette Midler – film star for Disney (“Hocus Pocus” and Touchstone label
  8. Robin Roberts – ABC journalist
  9. Diane Sawyer – ABC journalist
  10. Barnette Ricci – Walt Disney Studios President/Show Director
  11. Wing Chao – Disney Parks and Resorts Asia Pacific VP (Development); Disney Imagineering Executive VP

“Avengers: Endgame” Co-Writer Explains Drastically Small Screen-time of Brie Larson/Captain Marvel

Enough time has passed, perhaps, for the hype of “Avengers: Endgame” to subside. The MCU film has broken box office records and is gunning to become all-time highest-grosser by beating James Cameron’s “Avatar.” And it had all the superhero-vs.-super-villain action sequences audiences worldwide could ever want or need for years.

But blockbuster as “Endgame” may be, it’s not perfect. One qualm viewers had with it – especially if they liked “Captain Marvel” – was that the character’s screen-time was short. It may have been to hold back the powerful Captain (Brie Larson) until the critical moment in the Thanos fight. But audiences also noted her colder personality compared to her earlier solo.

“Avengers: Endgame” co-screenwriter Steve McFeely explains why that is. Owing to the “assembly-line” method of making films at Marvel Studios, the “Endgame” scenes with Larson/Carol Danvers were actually shot before work on her “Captain Marvel” film even began. Feeling confused?

“We shot [Brie Larson] before she shot her movie,” notes McFeely. Since filming for “Endgame” and its predecessor “Infinity Wars” was rather close, that meant Captain Marvel was being shot on camera before her origin story (set in the 1980s-90s) was even finalized on script.

Brie Larson could act a bit more in “Captain Marvel” (despite detractors claiming otherwise) because the script was centered on her character’s development. Her jaunt in “Avengers: Endgame,” while happening later story-wise, was produced earlier behind the scenes. That Larson had to act as if her character development was complete instead made her wooden and necessarily absent most the time.

“Endgame” is still running in theaters, but “Spider-Man: Far from Home” is coming in July.

Disney Has full Hulu Control After Comcast Arranges for Sale of 33% Share by 2024

Disney may have had done a media masterstroke with its exclusive content streaming platform, Disney+. Offering their massive media library (within reason) is an attractive proposition for binge-watchers. But Disney films and series are under the blanket impression of being family-friendly. What about any content that doesn’t fit the mold?

For that, Disney has Hulu, the subscription video-on-demand service they established as a joint venture with fellow media giants. But that was 2007. In recent months Disney increased its 30% stake by acquiring Fox media assets (and their 30%), then AT&T/Time Warner’s 10%. Only Comcast retained 33%, but it’s moot.

That’s because Comcast announced Tuesday, May 14, that they’ve reached a deal with Disney for eventually selling their stake. Their 33% can be purchased by Disney come the year 2024. While everyone waits, the conglomerate that owns NBC and Universal Pictures is giving up its operational control of Hulu now.

So while their stake remains 70% until years from now, Disney already has full control over the whole Hulu platform. It’s being touted by Disney boss Bob Iger as the third leg of their over-the-top options including Disney+ and ESPN+. This will also be the platform of choice for their non-Disney-“compliant” content films and shows.

Iger has proposed the bundling of ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu. Consumers can then choose to avail of any or all of them as they want. While not as impressive as Netflix’s regular users, Hulu still has 27 million subscribers, a solid foundation to build on.

Analyzing the First Trailer for Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”

In 2014, Disney fans were caught by surprise when “Maleficent” premiered. This alternate telling of the “Sleeping Beauty” story, but with the titular witch as the protagonist was a hit. The fact that Angelina Jolie owned and mastered her role as Maleficent was a bonus. Now the “evil” fairy returns.

Joachim Rønning takes over from Robert Stromberg in directing “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” due later this year. It follows up sometime after the first film. Maleficent and Queen Aurora (Elle Fanning) are unofficial co-leaders of the combined kingdom of men and fairy creatures. When diplomacy with a neighboring realm threatens the inhabitants of the Moors, fairy and queen might yet see themselves on opposite sides.

Walt Disney Pictures has already brought out the first trailer. Let’s look over the scenes:

  1. Voiceover by Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) telling the story between Maleficent and Aurora. Only this time, it’s the traditional “Sleeping Beauty” narrative instead of what actually happened in-film.
  2. Some human hunters find their way into the Moors. Then they run into Maleficent. Guess what happens.
  3. Prince Philip (now played by Harris Dickinson) seems to have proposed to Aurora.
  4. Aurora, Philip and Maleficent engage in diplomacy with Queen Ingrith and King John (Robert Lindsay). A heated exchange between Ingrith and Maleficent leads to trouble.
  5. Maleficent attacks Ingrith’s soldiers and flees, leaving Aurora aghast. Why did she do that?
  6. A giant flock of birds fly towards Ingrith’s castle.
  7. Cue magical red explosions and Maleficent in the midst of them.
  8. This time, Maleficent laughs as the titles rolls.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” premieres in cinemas on October 18.

Music Video for New Pop Version of “A Whole New World” of “Aladdin Remake” Out Now

There are only two weeks left before Disney releases its live-action remake for their 1992 animated classic “Aladdin.” By now most of the sticking issues for fans have been resolved. The Genie has gone past its bad blue CGI. Its actor Will Smith has also made the role his own.

Aside from “improvements” in past trailers and TV spots, it’s also time for Disney to intensify the promotion for “Aladdin.” What bigger way to drum up more interest and support than to unveil the theme song? The pop version of “A Whole New World” is now up for viewing online.

One of the things fans didn’t like about the “Beauty and the Beast” promotion in 2017 was its pop theme. Performed by Ariana Grande and John Legend, audiences thought the sweeping percussion-filled version in the trailer was it. Hearing the actual, more poppy song number came across as a letdown.

Disney doesn’t appear to have made that mistake for “Aladdin.” Only the in-movie version of “A Whole New World” by stars Mena Massoud and Naomi Scot is heard in the trailers. The pop version is all its own. Former One Direction member and Pakistani-British singer ZAYN (Malik) sounds awesome alongside Zhavia Ward in this number.

ZAYN and Zhavia’s duet synergy is also helped by the instrumentation for this version of “A Whole New World.” Middle Eastern acoustics introduce and end the song. Disney’s sure going for as much cultural accuracy as they could. Comments on YouTube have praised the music video, alongside some light-hearted grousing that ZAYN should’ve been cast as Aladdin instead of Massoud.

“Aladdin” premieres on May 24.

Marvel Studios to Reveal Definitive List of Post-Phase 3 MCU Films this Summer – Bob Iger

It was expected, but still it was a heavy feeling. The ending of “Avengers: Endgame” really did feel like the closing of 10 years of MCU storyline. And there’s still “Spider-Man: Far from Home” serving as an epilogue. But that’s not stopping Marvel Studios from further adapting other comic stories.

We’ve once offered a potential list of these upcoming MCU films late last year. They were all speculation at the time (and “Far from Home” was actually the last of Phase 3). But pretty soon we might get a good – official – picture of upcoming movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Just this Wednesday, May 8, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that Marvel Studios will be making a public announcement of their future MCU lineup. He offered no specific details other than that hints of what the franchise setting will be like after “Endgame” were show all throughout the film’s runtime.

The most certified of these probable MCU installments are “The Eternals,” which has already cast Angelina Jolie and (possibly) Richard “Robb Stark” Madden. The same case could be made for the martial arts hero “Shang-Chi.”

Marvel Studios once held a memorable press event where they outlined the first few movies of MCU Phase 3. Memorable highlights then included the introduction of Chadwick Boseman as “Black Panther,” and the trick reveal of 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.” When the film was initially shown, it was subtitled “Serpent Society” after a super-villain team that Cap repeated fought in the comic books.

Avengers: Endgame” is still in cinemas.