There’s no doubt that Disney hit a massive jackpot with their 2013 animated film “Frozen.” From its awesome casting, endearing characters and unforgettable (borderline annoying) soundtrack, this adaptation of the “Snow Queen” story just hit all the right notes. No wonder that Disney developed two animated shorts, included the leads in a “crossover” with another animated movie, and produced a sequel coming out this November.
And let’s not forget that “Frozen” got adapted into a musical as well. With the main creative minds of the film (Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus Jennifer Lee) working on music, lyrics and book, the theatrical version has begun crossing the US and started appearing in overseas productions as well.
What we have here is a list of major productions that have either staged or will be staging the “Frozen” musical since its 2017 debut:
Pre-Broadway (2017) – Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado
Broadway (2018) – St. James Theatre
US National Tour: first stop (November 2019) – Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, New York
Australian Production (July 2020) – Capitol Theatre in Sydney, New South Wales
When Disney and Pixar released “Toy Story 3” in 2010, critics and audiences felt it concluded an awesome animated trilogy. The departure of a key character after entrusting the rest of the cast to another seemed a definitive end to the story. Nobody expected a “Toy Story 4,” but here it is coming this year.
Any doubts regarding a fourth “Toy Story” disappeared November last year with the first teaser. A follow-up preview showcased two new toy characters. But it was a full trailer released this week that finally shed light to the cast and the plot. Here’s a quick rundown of what we learned:
Woody (Tom Hanks) true to form has become a leadership figure among his friends and the toys of their new person, Bonnie. He specializes himself in helping toys be the best children’s companions they can be.
Bonnie turns a spork into a doll she calls Forky (Tony Hale) for a class project. Bringing her home, she becomes her favorite toy. But the act of turning a non-toy into a toy is traumatizing for Forky, who doesn’t like his new “alive” state and wants nothing to do with being a toy despite Woody’s encouragement.
In his obsession to escape his toy-hood, Forky escapes from the Anderson Family’s camper while Bonnie and her parents are on a road trip. Woody follows him without hesitation to bring him back.
Forced to go on foot, Woody and Forky arrive at the town of Grand Basin, where in an antique shop they run afoul of an old talking doll named Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and her army of non-talking “Benson” ventriloquist dummies.
Woody and Forky are rescued by a figure from Woody’s past: Bo Peep (Annie Potts), former “toy” of Andy’s sister Molly that was sold in a yard sale before “Toy Story 3.” Having spent years passing hands without real owners has made her an independent spirit who thinks toys can exist outside of being children’s playthings, a notion that Woody is conflicted with.
Bo tries to sway Woody from returning to Bonnie with Forky by showing him her current hangout: the Grand Basin fairgrounds. Woody seems affected, to Forky’s concern.
With Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the rest of the toys wondering what to do about the missing Woody and Bonnie, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) decides to copy his old buddy and jump from the camper, finding his way to the fair (where he gets picked up as a stall prize)
Bonnie wasn’t going to not notice her toys disappearing. Her emotional hurt is something everybody with a favored toy – past and present – feels.
Bo Peep introduces Woody to the fairground toys (including a cameo from Pixar’s “Tin Toy” from 1988). She tries to argue that children frequently lose toys anyway, to further dissuade Woody from going back “home.”
During his time as a carnival prize, Buzz antagonizes fellow prizes Ducky and Bunny (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele).
“On the road of life, there are old friends, new friends and stories that change you.”
Woody starts feeling an existential crisis towards the end when he muses, amid memories of Andy and Bonnie, “I was made to help a child. I don’t remember it being this hard.”
Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” premieres on June 21.
Last Sunday, the inaugural season of “Star Wars Resistance” had its finale on Disney Channel and Disney XD. It was certainly an action-packed temporary farewell to the Aces team of the Colossus Platform as they finally openly stand against the First Order. It was also an ending to some important relationships as characters cement their alignments on two opposing factions.
Here’s a list of discussion points regarding the two-part “Resistance” season finale “No Escape.” The first part of the episode aired back in March 10:
Major plot tie-in to the 2015 sequel film “The Force Awakens,” as First Order General Hux denounces the New Republic by having Starkiller Base destroy the Republic capital on the Hosnian System. Among the numerous lives lost is the family of Resistance spy Kaz Xiono.
Following the imprisonment of most of Team Fireball, the Aces and Commander Doza, Kaz leads his remaining allies to find a way to escape from Colossus. The solution: the platform itself, revealed to be a giant spaceship long concealed underwater.
That realization plays into how the Colossus people begin to systematically remove First Order Stormtroopers from the place. Through quick decoy play they trick the troopers into sections that can be flooded, flushing them out into the ocean where the monster fishes eat their fill.
First Order Agent Tierney has completely brought over Fireball mechanic Tam Ryvora, who willingly joins them and becomes hostile to her former friends. Since her only reference to the First Order’s predecessor the Empire, is her very kind factory worker grandfather, Tam supports their successors.
After most of the season being spent in starfighter races, the Aces finally get into all-out combat with First Order TIE Fighters. Even ex-Imperial Griff Halloran seems genuinely invested in protecting Colossus from them. More aerial combat ensues and Kaz saves Jarek Yeagar by shooting down Vonreg in a dogfight.
Space pirates have been the initial antagonists for the Colossus’ Aces before the First Order arrived. This time around they return to help their erstwhile victims against the TIEs. Granted, they have their own beef against the First Order, but a new alliance forms here.
The appearance of a Star Destroyer forces the Colossus crew to fall back and escape into hyperspace. Their planned destination is the planet D’Qar, headquarters of the Resistance. Unfortunately the entered coordinates were incomplete, ensuring the Colossus will reappear somewhere else in the Galaxy. And in any case, the Resistance would ultimately abandon D’Qar as of “The Last Jedi” anyway.
“Star Wars Resistance” season two premieres this fall on Disney Channel and XD. It’ll be close to the cinematic arrival of “Star Wars: Episode IX.”
Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is already on the verge of being done, now that “captain Marvel” has premiered and “Avengers: Endgame” follows next month. The following “Phase 4” also has its start well in hand, as “Spider-Man: Far from Home” premieres July.
What isn’t set fully in stone yet are what other films will come out for MCU Phase 4. No less than seven specific movies have been mentioned to be in early development and only two of them (“Black Widow” and “The Eternals”) have start of filming dates mentioned. A third, “Shang-Chi,” might soon approach that level of prep now that Marvel Studios found a director.
The Hollywood Reporter has it that Destin Daniel Cretton has been picked by Marvel Studios to be at the helm for the production of “Shang-Chi.” This in-development MCU installment could become the first movie of the franchise to have an Asian main character (and lead).
Marvel Studios actually had a pool of potential directors for the film. Other directorial names that were considered before the final choice of Cretton are:
Justin Tipping (“Dear White People”)
Alan Yang (“Tigertail”)
Deborah Chow (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” on Netflix and “Star Wars: The Mandalorian” on Disney+)
Incidentally, Destin Daniel Cretton has worked with two MCU cast members. His current film project “Just Mercy” actually has him directing Michael B. Jordan (from “Black Panther”) and Brie “Captain Marvel” Larson herself.
The Marvel character “Shang-Chi” is a highly skilled Kung-Fu master if un-powered ordinary human, with a(n immortal) Chinese father and Caucasian mother. He has been a member of several Marvel Comics teams including the Avengers.
An interesting fact about his character history is that Shang-Chi originated from licensed properties. His first comic title came about after Marvel failed to get a license to adapt the 1970s TV series “Kung Fu.” Furthermore, his father is the stock Chinese villain Fu Manchu. A later Marvel storyline ret-cons this person into an original immortal character who only used “Fu Manchu” as an alias.
Marvel’s “Shang-Chi” already has a screenwriter with Dave Callahan (“Wonder Woman 1984”) while Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Jonathan Schwartz are executive producers. Perhaps the next step is to cast a (preferably Asian-background) lead actor.
Meanwhile, the current MCU installment “Captain Marvel” is still showing.
At the start of this month we ran a little feature and list of what sorts of shops to expect when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens this year on two Disney theme parks. We’ve already established that the expansion theme area will be immersive, genuine playing its setting as the smuggling town of Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu.
But aside from that, and of course the heavily-anticipated rides and attractions (one of which will actually open later than the rest), Galaxy’s Edge will also offer a unique experience for its guests who have come to their corner of the Galaxy far, far away: alien dining and exotic cuisine.
If you could recall the cantina scenes from the original trilogy, or the dining room of Anakin’s house on Tatooine during the prequels, or even Luke milking green muck from an Ahch-to alien in the sequels, then you somewhat know what to expect from the dining facilities of Galaxy’s Edge.
But really, it’s thematic keyfabe. The new area’s going to dazzle diners with artfully-plated extraterrestrial food that (thankfully) should taste approximately to yummy Earth stuff. Here’s a short list of the three primary dining locations for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:
Black Spire Outpost Market – alfresco dining with plenty of “alien patrons” and droids milling about
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo – the outpost’s cargo depot, also the gathering spot for “travelling food shuttles” aka food trucks
Olga’s Cantina – a sendup to similar cantinas in the Outer Rim; features ex-pilot droid DJ R-3X mixing music while the staff mixes galactic drinks (both alcoholic and not, to cater to everyone)
But just what kind of alien food is in store when tourists to Black Spire Outpost decide to chow down. Here’s a sample list of menu items across all the places mentioned above. Let’s see if you enjoy the selection:
Blue and Green Milk – Blue Milk was from the first “Star Wars” film ever, and Green was already mentioned
Braised Shaak Roast – beef pot
Felucian Garden Spread – veggie meatballs
Fried Endorian Tip Yip – fried poultry
Ithorian Garden Loaf – veggie meatloaf
Meiloorun Juice, Turkey Jerky & Ronto Wrap Set – Batuu’s take on a Mexican snack set
Moogan Tea, Blue Bantha, Bloody Rancor, Black Spire Brew, Carbon Freeze, Oga’s Obsession Provision & Cliff Dweller – the non-alcoholic menu for Olga’s Cantina
Outpost Mix – popcorn
Oven-Roasted Burra Fish – obvious from the name
Oven-Roasted Tip Yip – if you want chicken roasted, not fried
Phattro and Moof Juice – neither milk nor alcohol
Raspberry Creme Puff with Passion Fruit Mousse, & Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Mousse and Coffee Custard – self explanatory
Smoked Kaadu Ribs – pork ribs
The Outer Rim, Bespin Fizz, Yub Nub and Fuzzy Tauntaun – Olga’s alcoholic cocktails
Yobshrimp Noodle Salad – finally, here’s their oriental cuisine approximation
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in Disneyland on May 31 and on Disney World’s Hollywood Studios on August 29. A third location has begun work on Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, opening 2021-2025.
While it’s already gotten the green light for a follow-up second season on Disney XD, “Star Wars Resistance” is now busy getting its two-part season finale underway, with the first segment of “No Escape” premiering this past Sunday. At that point the series has caught up to the events of “The Force Awakens” and deals the main character Kaz (Sean Christopher) a devastating, personal blow.
As fans of “Resistance” wait with bated breath for the conclusion of the show’s first season next week, let’s wrap up our own series of lists regarding its predecessor “Star Wars Rebels.” Tuesday last week marked the first anniversary of the end of “Rebels” after four seasons, something fans of the animated series greatly celebrated.
That said we’ll enumerate theepisodes for the last two seasons of “Star Wars Rebels” here, ahead of what we hope to be a seasonal wrap-up of “Resistance” next week. As Ezra Bridger said when we last saw him, “The Force will be with you, always.” Obi-Wan Kenobi surely approves:
Steps into Shadow: Part 1
Steps into Shadow: Part 2 – September 24, 2016 (2-part season premiere)
The Holocrons of Fate – October 1, 2016
The Antilles Extraction – October 8, 2016
Hera’s Heroes – October 15, 2016
The Last Battle – October 22, 2016
Imperial Supercommandos – November 5, 2016
Iron Squadron – November 19, 2016
The Wynkahthu Job – November 26, 2016
An Inside Man – December 3, 2016
Visions and Voices – December 10, 2016
Ghosts of Geonosis: Part 1
Ghosts of Geonosis: Part 2 – January 7, 2017 (2-part midseason premiere)
Warhead – January 14, 2017
Trials of the Darksaber – January 21, 2017
Legacy of Mandalore – February 18, 2017
Through Imperial Eyes – February 25, 2017
Secret Cargo – March 4, 2017
Double Agent Droid – March 11, 2017
Twin Suns – March 18, 2017
Zero Hour: Part 1
Zero Hour: Part 2 – March 25, 2017 (2-part season finale)
The third season is particularly popular for bringing over a character from the old “Star Wars: Expanded Universe” book series into the new Disney-Lucasfilm continuity: Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen). It also sees a good focus on the Mandalorian culture, from which Sabine Wren hails (and which were actually appropriated by Jango Fett and his clone-son Boba Fett).
Heroes of Mandalore: Part 1
Heroes of Mandalore: Part 2 – October 16, 2017 (2-part season premiere)
In the Name of the Rebellion: Part 1
In the Name of the Rebellion: Part 2 – October 23, 2017 (first 2-part episode that is neither a season premiere nor finale)
The Occupation – October 30, 2017
Flight of the Defender – October 30, 2017 (first 2-episode air date in the series, of which there will be more)
Kindred – November 6, 2017
Crawler Commanders – November 6, 2017
Rebel Assault – November 13, 2017
Jedi Night – February 19, 2018 (mid-season premiere, famous as the episode that depicted the death of popular character and Jedi purge survivor Kanan Jarrus)
Wolves and a Door – February 26, 2018
A World between Worlds – February 26, 2018
A Fool’s Hope
Farewell – March 5, 2018 (3-episode air date, with the latter two being a 2-episode finale for both the season and the series)
The fourth season is the culmination of the struggle to liberate the planet Lothal from the Empire by the Rebel Alliance cell centered on the spaceship Ghost. The costs would be ultimately heavy especially towards the end, but will provide “Star Wars Rebels” with incredible storytelling across its plot arcs. This complete package would endear the show to “Star Wars” fans and set another high bar for the successor animated series, “Star Wars Resistance.”
Continuing on from the one-year anniversary of the conclusion of “Star Wars Rebels” last year on Disney XD, here is the episode list for the second season of the show:
The Siege of Lothal: Part 1 – June 20, 2015
The Siege of Lothal: Part 2 – June 20, 2015 (two-part early season premiere)
The Lost Commanders – October 14, 2015
Relics of the Old Republic – October21, 2015
Always Two There Are – October 28, 2015
Brothers of the Broken Horn – November 4, 2015
Wings of the Master – November 11, 2015
Blood Sisters – November 18, 2015
Stealth Strike – November 25, 2015
The Future of the Force – December 2, 2015
Legacy – December 9, 2015
A Princess on Lothal – January 20, 2016
The Protector of Concord Dawn – January 27, 2016
Legends of the Lasat – February 3, 2016
The Call – February 10, 2016
Homecoming – February 17, 2016
The Honorable Ones – February 24, 2016
Shroud of Darkness – March 2, 2016
The Forgotten Droid – March 16, 2016
The Mystery of Chopper Base – March 23, 2016
Twilight of the Apprentice: Part 1 – March 30, 2016
Twilight of the Apprentice: Part 2 – March 30, 2016 (two-part season finale)
Season 2 of “Star Wars Rebels” sees the return of popular characters from the previous animated series “The Clone Wars,” such as the Clone Troopers and Ahsoka Tano. It also started bringing in classic icons from the original film trilogy such as Princess Leia and Darth Vader.
The latter has a climactic reunion with Ahsoka in one of the most celebrated episodes and season finales of “Rebels,” cementing its reputation as a strong “Star Wars” story, and a reason why it’s fondly remembered a year after it ended.
If fans of Disney and its connected film studios are paying attention, they’d realize that this 2019 is turning out to be one of the most release-heavy years for the media giant in terms of movies. It’s easily shaping up to be one of their most packed schedules yet devised.
For instance, Disney has three remakes of their classic Animated Canon (two in live action, one live-action-looking). Their second-busiest filmmaking arm (Marvel Studios) matches that output. And let’s not forget new animated pictures, and “Star Wars.” If you think that’s bloated already, then apparently Disney thinks one more won’t hurt.
According to Vanity Fair, Disney’s sequel to “Maleficent,” the 2014 live-action remake (more like retelling) of “Sleeping Beauty,” has been moved earlier from its original May 2020 premiere to this coming October. Now it’s like almost every month there will be a Disney production debut.
To better illustrate this weighty schedule, here’s a list of all Disney and related-studio films coming this 2019. Fox isn’t included for now, because as of this writing the acquisition deal isn’t even finalized yet. Only major cinematic releases count:
Dumbo (March 29) – live-action remake
Aladdin (May 24) – live-action remake
The Lion King (July 19) – “live-action” CGI remake
Jungle Cruise (July 24) – new “based on Disney theme park attraction” live-action movie
Artemis Fowl (August 9) – live-action based on children’s urban fantasy adventure book series by Eoin Colfer
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (October 18) – sequel to “Maleficent” (2014)
Disney Animation Studios
Frozen II (November 22) – sequel to “Frozen” (2013)
Toy Story 4 (June 21) – fourth installment, following end of “trilogy” in 2010
Captain Marvel (March 8) – prequel set in the 1990s
Avengers: Endgame (April 26) – last part of MCU Phase 3, and “end” of overarching storyline from Phase 1
Spider-Man: Far from Home (July 5) – first part of MCU Phase 4
Star Wars: Episode IX (December 20) – last part of Sequel Trilogy and conclusion of Skywalker family story
That’s 12 movies in all. Starting from March, at least one will be premiering every month except for September. That’s just incredible. Disney really dominates in 2019.
When you’re dealing with a brand company as big and long-lived as Disney, you’d know that there are many parts of its storied history where something could have happened, but never did. We once covered the subject of Disney theme parks that never got off the planning stage. Here we something else, focused on one of their subsidiaries: Marvel Studios.
Marvel Studios of course had been the filmmaking arm of Marvel Entertainment prior to acquisition by the House of Mouse. It was then spun off into an entity of its own, all the while adapting characters and stories from Marvel Comics to create the MCU.
They too have their share of “what could have been” instances. Usually that involves some Hollywood stars and celebrities that have been considered for various roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, only for the canon castings to be chosen instead.
TIMEmade a list of some of the more prominent actors and actress who nearly became MCU regulars. Our format goes: name, most iconic or recent film/TV show, and character they almost got to portray:
Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”) – auditioned to be Agent Romanov/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in “Iron Man 2;” also considered for Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in “Captain America: The First Avenger”
John Krasinski (“A Quiet Place”) – Emily Blunt’s husband almost landed the role of Steve Rogers/”Captain America” (Chris Evans)
Sam Rockwell (“Vice”) – well, he played Justin Hammer in “Iron Man 2;” but back when the first “Iron Man” was still in development, Rockwell was called to audition for Tony Stark by director Jon Favreau; Robert Downey Jr. got in before he did though
David Duchovny (“X-Files”) – was close to being picked as the second actor to portray Bruce Banner/the Hulk after Eric Bana in the pre-MCU 2003 movie; Edward Norton was cast instead for “The Incredible Hulk” (2008)
Joseph Gordon Levitt (“The Dark Knight Rises”) – was offered the role of Peter Quill/Star-Lord for “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014); he instead picked the lead role in “Sin City: A Dame to Die For” and Chris Pratt was cast as Star-Lord
Jason Momoa (“Aquaman”) – yes, AQUAMAN (or his actor at least) was almost part of the MCU, twice; one time he auditioned with Chris Pratt for “Guardians;” the second time was when he was invited to talks with MCU directors the Russo brothers (probably around the time of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) for an unspecified villainous role
Joaquin Phoenix (“Gladiator”) – had been in talks to play the titular “Doctor Strange” before the role was awarded to Benedict Cumberbatch
Timothée Chalamet (Showtime’s “Homeland”) – the young Oscar-nominated French-American actor had just the right teenage looks to be considered to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man starting from “Captain America: Civil War;” needless to say we know Tom Holland got that honor
Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”) – a fellow Brit like Tom Holland, and also got called in for the Peter Parker audition; Butterfield actually had an advantage over Holland due to being born and growing up in New York City itself; ultimately he thinks Marvel chose well with Holland
Rumor also has it that Tom Cruise was approached for Tony Stark, but the actor himself has debunked that story.
This past Tuesday, March 5, marked a one-year anniversary. This was the date that the two-hour season 5 and series finale of “Star Wars Rebels” aired on Disney XD. Fans of animated “Star Wars” who initially compared “Rebels” poorly to its predecessor “The Clone Wars” were eventually caught up in the series and blown away by its splendid story progression.
In celebration of this milestone for a “Star Wars” animated series that won the hearts of fans to establish itself in franchise canon, we’ll provide this list of episode titles for the show, starting with season 1 in this portion:
Spark of Rebellion (Part 1) – October 3, 2014
Spark of Rebellion (Part 2) – October 3, 2014 (two-part series premiere)