For quite some time now, iconic reality singing competition “American Idol” has had a fruitful partnership with Disney. From 2009 to 2014, Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Disney World ran the American Idol Experience that helped participants get into actual “Idol” season auditions. When the show moved from Fox to ABC in 2018, “Disney Night” became a standard episode song theme.
So it was that on Sunday, April 21, the 17th season of “American Idol” had its own Disney Night episode. The 10 contestants sang songs from Disney movies, alongside two non-competition performances. Even Idol judge Katy Perry dressed up as Ursula from “The Little Mermaid.”
That said, here’s the list of songs performed by the contestants and guests for “American Idol” season 17 Disney Night:
The Lenovo Mirage headset is kind of unique in that rather than being used only for VR, it also does augmented reality (AR). The device saw a boost in sales in 2017 thanks to Disney licensing Lenovo with the development of a “Star Wars” AR game, “Jedi Challenges,” that had users wielding the Mirage remote unit like a lightsaber to parry blaster bolts and enemy sabers seen in their headsets.
If the previous Mirage controller could be used to stand for an AR lightsaber in “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges,” then what would the Marvel version do? In a Disney-Lenovo Marvel AR game, the controller could be manipulated in several ways. These means might be replications of several Marvel heroes’ abilities.
To make an example, a Mirage user playing this hypothetical Marvel AR game could wave the controller up and “swing” to emulate Spider-Man web-swinging across buildings. Or he could mimic “throwing” the controller to similarly throw Captain America’s shield or Thor’s Mjolnir. He could then see the effects in his Lenovo Mirage headset AR display.
Both Disney and Lenovo haven’t deigned to give comments on the FCC filing for now. The application does cover either an alternate controller for existing Mirage headsets, or a full Marvel package, both surely with the Marvel game installed. For now, we must wait for further updates on this development.
As the month of April rolls along, the season of spring north of the equator is beginning to transition into summer. It’s still a ways off, but it never hurts to start promoting early. Just look at Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan. They’ve got some summer events lined up soon.
First up is Donald’s Hot Jungle Summer in Tokyo Disneyland. Its centerpiece will be the “O! Summer Banzai!” spectacle. This marks the first time in six years that Tokyo Disneyland is performing an evening stage show in front of Cinderella Castle. Donald Duck will be joined by Daisy, Mickey and Minnie for a twice-a-night 20-minute bonanza with lots of performers, projection visuals and “fire/water sprays.”
Speaking of sprays, there will be plenty of flying water at Tokyo Disney Sea at the same time. That’s because they’re celebrating Disney Pirates Summer. Their counterpart central event is the “Pirates Summer Battle! Get Wet!” adventure spectacular, with “Pirates of the Caribbean” taking charge.
Captains Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa will lead their pirate crews on a 25-minute presentation with lots of exploding water and similar effects on Disney Sea’s central lagoon, with the Black Pearl on the water shooting its water cannons while Mount Prometheus looms in the background. The show runs three times all day for audiences.
Naturally, these two events aren’t the only things happening on Tokyo Disney Resort. Sharing the spotlight with Donald at Tokyo Disneyland are the main characters of “Zootopia” taking the lead for a four-times-daily daytime stage show, “Judy and Nick’s Jumpin’ Splash,” to the tune of hit theme song “Try Everything.”
Back in Disney Sea, the pirates won’t be content to just dance to their captains’ tunes, and will roam the park for some pirate-y photo ops. Alternatively the guests might prefer to pose on a pirate ship’s wheel set-piece instead. Both events will run July 9 until September 1, and will be commemorated by specialty menu items, merchandise and tickets.
For the past few months, ever since Disney began dropping hints, we’ve been following all significant updates on Disney+. This is the much-promoted exclusive online streaming service that would carry as much of the Disney media library, plus all-new original content. Despite news of what stuff might be put in it, Disney has kept mum on when Disney+ will launch.
That silence was broken by the House of Mouse this Thursday, April 11. At long last Disney+ has been properly introduced by the media giant’s CEO Bob Iger. From live-action Disney films to the Animated Canon, everything will eventually fit in the platform as the practice of putting past media on a figurative “vault” (storing in between official release and re-releases) is gradually phased out.
And let’s not forget the added productions from Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm aka “Star Wars” and even TV documentaries like National Geographic. Some new original series that will debut on Disney+ will tie either with the MCU film franchise, or the “Star Wars” Disney canon.
But what about the subscription service itself? Iger finally gets down to the nitty-gritty on details. A monthly subscription on Disney+ will cost $7. That’s tantamount to “shots fired” against established streaming juggernaut Netflix, which has a $13 monthly plan and a $9 lowest-budget alternative.
The Disney+ service will officially launch on November 12, and will also come in a mobile app version. Disney promises 10 new films and 25 series, all original, within the first year of the streaming platform. It’ll also carry content from Fox, like all seasons of “The Simpsons” just to start. Netflix should start worrying.
There is still no specific date other than that it’ll be launching this year, so anticipation for the Disney+ exclusive streaming platform is high. We’ve already gotten a peek at what the House of Mouse and its partner studios could pack into that service: more live-action adaptations of animation, MCU and “Star Wars” TV series.
Quite recently a second big batch of upcoming programs has been announced for Disney+. As with the content already announced before, it’s unknown when they will arrive, as they’re likely only under development at present. We’ll provide a list of the new Disney+ stuff, plus brief descriptions of each program. Some titles are still temporary:
Marvel’s Hero Project – spotlight on various youth who do positive acts and make great changes in their community, making them real-life young heroes
Marvel’s 616 – documentary anthology exploring the greater Marvel franchise umbrella, from superhero characters to settings and their creators; to be presented by various filmmakers
Be Our Chef – reality cooking competition where contestant family groups strive to create a winning dish that would actually be added somewhere in the Walt Disney World menu
Earthkeepers – documentary showcase on conservationists and the endangered species they’re observing
Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies – behind-the-scenes look on production costumes and props from some of the most famous Disney movies
(Re)Connect – reality series wherein families whose members have grown apart are taken to unique experiences in the hope of restoring and strengthening their bonds
Encore! – reality comedy series with Kristen Bell as executive producer, that follows the now-adult production members of a high school musical, who are challenged to do their production all over again
Rogue Trip – travelogue hosted by father-son tandem Bob and Mack Woodruff; their itinerary is described as the “overlooked” corners of the world
Shop Class – reality competition with student teams working to create new gadgets through the three-stage process of design, assembly and testing
Walt Disney Imagineering Documentary Series – an exploration of Disney theme parks focusing on the work of the Imagineering division, in celebration of their over 60 years of incredible work
About one month and a half ago, we saw what had been the recent teasers for Disney’s remake of the 1994 animated classic “The Lion King.” Thus far all previews of the CGI-laden live-action movie centered on the original opening sequence. For those who tire of hearing “Circle of Life,” this new trailer’s for you.
We finally get to see more of the lush and vibrant African wilderness setting that “The Lion King” is known for. This time the focus is on the antagonist, the lean and hungry Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his plot to remove his brother Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and nephew Simba (JD McCrary) to become King.
But to make things concise, we’ll talk about everything in this new trailer for “The Lion King,” in list form:
First scene is Simba and Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph) as cubs, exploring the Elephant Graveyard. Scar is heard in voiceover, with a paraphrasing of his speech to the hyenas.
First shot of Scar; he is slim but with an almost similar mane color to Mufasa.
Hyenas appear to confront Simba and Nala, intercut with a probable later scene where they appear at Scar’s side.
Redone scene of Mufasa talking to Simba atop Pride Rock, where this time he goes into further detail about how the Circle of Life works. Cut to Simba exploring the animals of the Pridelands and meeting Zazu (John Oliver, see above).
Comparative scenes are shown, of Scar and the Hyenas (possible “Be Prepared” sequence), and of Mufasa continuing his discourse while Simba measures his paw in his father’s pawprint.
Redone scene shows the wildebeest stampede, plus the aftermath with Scar “banishing” Simba who is chased by the hyenas.
The exiled Simba hangs with his new friends Timon and Pumbaa (Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen) in the “Hakuna Matata” time-skip sequence.
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” sequence involves adult Simba (Donald Glover) and Nala (Beyoncé).
Rafiki (John Kani) adding a mane marking to the symbol of Simba on his tree.
Last scene shows Timon and Pumba wandering the forest while singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
Who can say no to Disney-themed apparel? For fans of the House of Mouse, the Disney logo on clothing can be as valuable as big-name fashion brands. And there’s a new series of apparel that’s now available on the commercial districts of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Their theme: Disney in a vintage look.
Designing brand-new clothes to look like they’ve been around for years or decades isn’t an original concept. But when applied to Disney apparel, it sells the idea that the brand has been a part of many lives and generations not only in America, but worldwide.
Here’s a list of these Vintage Disney clothing line available:
Following the completed acquisition of 20th Century Fox and other related media assets last month, it was only a matter of time before Disney begins showing them off alongside its other subsidiaries. That time came with the 2019 Cinema-Con film industry trade show, running Monday to Thursday this week at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
Off the bat, Disney chairman Alan Horn spoke of the sheer cinematic firepower that is “Disney and Fox combined” in future. He says during his opening address, “We are truly excited because we believe that together we will be more than the sum of our parts. It’s just an unbelievable collection…coming from bold visionary filmmakers…”
This was followed by exclusive footage from upcoming Disney – and Fox – films for this year. Here’s a list of the choice preview highlights from them:
Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) is fairly confident she can beat Thanos (Josh Brolin) and rubs all the surviving Avengers the wrong way.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) tests Marvel/Carol by summoning Stormbreaker close to her head (like in the trailer).
Nebula (Karen Gillian) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) volunteer locations where Thanos may be; the former knows where he might be resting while the latter discovers another world that had its life population halved (ie. Thanos).
X-Men: Dark Phoenix – This is the final installment of Fox’s “X-Men” reboot (from “First Class”) before MCU possibly integrates the characters.
Prof. Xavier (James McAvoy) volunteers the X-Men to rescue NASA astronauts in a space crisis.
The rescue mission ends with Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) left behind and possessed by the Phoenix.
Her return to the Xavier School triggers gossip and uneasiness, especially as Jean feels herself losing control, and liking it.
Magneto apparently attacks the school, only for Phoenix Jean to “shut him down.”
Disney has long held in consideration that there are guests who would like to avoid the usual crowds. For them they developed the “After Hours” program, offering tickets allowing guests into Magic Kingdom in Disney World after 7 PM. Not only does it cut down on waiting lines, Disney After Hours also offers special events on nights when they’re held.
One such special occasion has been announced for Magic Kingdom. It’ll fall on selected After Hours evenings between June 6 and August 8. “Villains Unite the Night” will see several famous antagonists from Disney animated films performing a grand stage show on the chosen nights.
Hades from “Hercules” (with Meg)
Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” (dragon form will also roam the theme park)
Evil Queen from “Snow White”
Jafar from “Aladdin” (celebrating the live-action film premiere no doubt)
Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog”
Aside from the baddie-dominated stage show, which will be held near Cinderella Castle, some attractions will also be “villainized” for the duration of these villain-centered After Hours evenings. Prominent examples are the fabled (for long lines) Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean as well.
Lastly, villain-themed food and beverages, plus merchandising will be brought out at all stalls and shops during these nights. About the only thing Villains Unite the Night won’t certainly have are meet and greet moments with the Disney bad guys.
Here’s a list of dates where the Disney After Hours will be designated Villain Nights:
June – 6, 13, 20, 27
July – 1, 11, 18, 26
August – 1, 8
Magic Kingdom tickets for Disney After Hours Villain Nights will be $139 if booked ahead of the date, $144 when bought on the day itself, and discounted to $109 for AP/DVC members.
For years, the system of having two Disney theme parks on opposite coasts of the country meant that there are certain attractions that one had first, before the other got them. This meant that solid Disney fans with spending money would have to visit both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World to any exclusive attractions both may have to offer.
But eventually, what one had before the other might eventually be featured in both. That’s the rationale behind a WDW Magic Kingdom attraction soon coming west to Disneyland, particularly the Disney California Adventure theme park.
This new addition to DCA will be housed in the Sunset Showcase Theatre. At the same time, the “Toy Story”-themed Pixar Pier area will add a new ride based on the show-within-the-film “Woody’s Roundup” as seen in “Toy Story 2.” Both of these attractions will become officially open before the month of April is out.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic – first featured on the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, Disneyland will get its own counterpart over at Disney California Adventure. It’s a 3D audiovisual experience featuring famous Disney Animated Canon songs, as well as Donald Duck taking a prominent role in the presentation.
Jessie’s Critter Carousel – opening soon in DCA’s Pixar Pier, it’s a merry-go-round ride with the ridden animals based on “Woody’s Roundup” from the second “Toy Story” film, with Jessie as the central character. Even before the official launch, DCA is allowing the Critter Carousel to be taken on test rides.
These attractions ought to tide over Disneyland guests and maintain interest before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the long-awaited theme park expansion area, opens at last in Disneyland, then Disney World.