Since its first iteration came out on The Disney Channel in 2006, High School Musical has ballooned into one of the entertainment giant’s surprise hit franchises, with strong recognition even after a long absence of new media. That’s about to change with a High School Musical series set for the Disney streaming service starting next year, but it’s weirdly different.
Entitled High School Musical: The Musical, the 10-episode series is set in the “real world” where the Disney franchise is just a Disney franchise, but it involves an East High School where students work to realize a production of the official High School Musical stage version. The problem is, there’s as much drama in real life as in the story.
With show-runner Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars) co-executively producing with Tim Federle (Blue Sky and Fox Animation’s Ferdinand), High School Musical: The Musical will center on these new principal characters.
Ricky – mediocre class clown and boyfriend to Nini; when she breaks off with him to focus on their school production of High School Musical, he joins audition to win her back; to be portrayed by Joshua Bassett (Stuck in the Middle), see above; first role cast
Nini – formerly a music choir member, she became a newly confident soloist after a stint in summer camp; but with that comes a new attitude that estranges her from Ricky; she also made a new boyfriend from summer camp; raised by two moms; the driving force (performer-wise) of the musical
E.J. – Nini’s new boyfriend from summer camp, from a family of successful lawyers and a young entrepreneur in his own right; very entitled to Nini and anything concerning her, like the High School Musical production
Ashlyn – E.J.’s cousin; is looking for purpose and direction, but hides it under an abrasive facade; avid horoscope reader
Big Red – Ricky’s best friend; surprisingly affected by the Ricky-Nini breakup; finds a job backstage for the school presentation; aspiring wannabe garage band founder but never gets around to doing it
Gina – Nini’s rival for the top spot in their High School Musical presentation; her ambition to hog the spotlight is born from a lifetime of acting and a stage mother to match
Vikram – East High color guard captain and assigned student choreographer for their production of High School Musical; notable for treating the drama teacher like a colleague in the same age group; has an ear for professionalism but a hidden phobia of messing up
Miss Jenn – if Miss Darbus existed in real life, she might be Miss Jenn; fled from a theatre career in NYC but keeps mum about why; sees musicals as the be-all and end-all of existence; a slave-driver like Darbus, but can be compassionate
Ask any Disney animated movie fan what their favorite decade of films is and most likely they’ll respond with the 1990s. That time after all was dominated by the “Disney Renaissance” period that saw fantastic stories and new animation techniques that would later become standard in other productions to come.
Let’s not forget the music too. There’s a lot of fine and memorable songs that came out of 90s Disney animated films. And as shopDisney seems to be on a nostalgia trip for that decade, they’re released a series of 90s Disney Classic film soundtracks; and not just any soundtrack, but printed on vinyl LPs.
That’s some mad retro nostalgia that the House of Mouse’s merchandising arm is going for. Yes, these are real vinyl records, fully painted with the main characters of their respective films. The movie soundtracks are:
Yeah, the last one bypassed Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame; shop Disney isn’t telling why. But the featured LP soundtracks are still sweet, costing $24.95 each. That’s a tad steep compared to CDs, but they’re a prize catch for 90s Disney fans who still have record players at home.
The magical part of hearing songs being sung a cappella is the wonder, bordering on disbelief, that those melodic musical backing for the lyrical singer is actually vocalization, following a rhythm matching the words sung. There’s plenty enough of a cappella renditions of famous songs online to demonstrate its creativity.
Even Disney songs have been done in a cappella; no surprise considering the sheer number of memorable numbers from their musical animated films. Now, an a cappella singing group called DCappella is about to go on tour to promote their self-titled a cappella album of famous Disney movie songs both classic and contemporary. Just listen!
Pretty cool, huh? They were even kind enough to give their song list for their upcoming album, an official Disney music release for November 16.
“Tune Up” (Original Song)
“The World Es Mi Familia” from Coco
“Friend Like Me” from Aladdin
“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
“Let It Go/Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Frozen
“I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)” from The Jungle Book
“You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan
“When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2
“Trashin’ the Camp” from Tarzan
“Part of Your World/A Whole New World” from The Little Mermaid and Aladdin
“Step in Time” from Mary Poppins
“Immortals” from Big Hero 6
“Remember Me” from Coco
DCappella will start of their first big tour in January of next year, though tickets will be available for their various concert stops here. Check out their tour dates and locations on the official DCappella website here.
With the first teaser for the live-action Disney adaptation of their 1993 animated classic Aladdin now available to the public, it seems rather appropriate that we pick up our long pause on covering the song lists for Disney’s home media series Sing Along Songs, with the volume concerning it.
Indeed, this volume which was released in the year Aladdin originally premiered had its introductory spotlight focused on a particular song from the film, the leitmotif of which was prominent in the new live-action trailer. It’s of course, “Friend Like Me” as sung by Robin Williams in character as the Genie.
Even the Disney Sing Along Songs intro was altered slightly by having the end of “A Friend Like Me” overwrite the intro sequence’s ending bars. This was the first time it happened in the home video series, and it won’t be the last. With that said, here’s the song list:
Friend Like Me (from 1993’s Aladdin)
Best of Friends (from 1981’s The Fox and the Hound)
Something There (from 1991’s Beauty and the Beast)
How Do You Do? (from 1946’s Song of the South)
Friendship (performed by Mickey, Donald and Goofy)
In Harmony (from The Little Mermaid TV Series 1992-94)
Let’s Get Together (from 1961’s The Parent Trap)
That’s What Friends Are For (from 1967’s The Jungle Book)
After occasional teases all throughout this year and the last, Disney is at last ready to reveal the first visual look on another of the latest upcoming live-action adaptations, Aladdin. Due to come out by March next year, the movie has gotten out an initial teaser trailer for our consideration.
The cinematography is rather similar to the first teaser for 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, which was first unveiled the year before that. Sweeping desert vistas with a distant view of Agrabah is then followed by the magical spectacle of the Cave of Wonders, both outside and in, and a closer look at Mena Massoud in character as Aladdin ready to claim the magic lamp.
What’s also attention-grabbing with the Aladdin trailer is the magnificent presence of music cues throughout, sweet orchestrations of the various musical numbers from the 1993 original animated film. They are:
Arabian Nights – desert, Agrabah, Cave of Wonders entrance
A Friend Like Me – Cave of Wonders interior, title, Aladdin before the lamp
Aladdin premieres on May 2019, after the live-action remake of Dumbo in March.
The next chapter in the really long Phase 3 of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is due to arrive in cinemas on March of next year, just before the climactic conclusion waiting in Avengers 4 months later. This is Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson as alien-abducted and empowered former Air Force pilot Carol Danvers, in a prequel taking place before at least Iron Man.
Plot snippets thus far tell how Carol (Larson), her DNA fused in an accident with a humanoid extraterrestrial from the Kree, eventually goes to the alien homeworld and serves a time as part of a Kree special ops team called Starforce. Her duties on this unit eventually bring her back to Earth, with the threat of a hostile alien invasion and conflict on her heels.
Carol is joined on Starforce by several Kree operatives, many of whom are indeed characters from that alien race as introduced in Marvel Comics. Let’s list down all of them.
Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) – member of Starforce, stands apart from the rest due to her being only “half-Kree”, eventually becomes the hero called “Captain Marvel”
Korath (Djimoun Honsou) – a mercenary operative of Starforce; aligned somewhat with the Kree Accuser Ronan (Lee Pace), both having appeared in Phase 2 MCU movie Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) – Starforce designated sniper; formerly the “star” of the unit until Carol joined, and is feeling increasingly insecure due to a half-Kree potentially being more skilled than her; her comic version is more of a scientist than warrior
Att-Lass (Algenis Pérez Soto) – Starforce member; his comic version has a similar power set to Carol
Bron-Char (Rune Temte) – Starforce member; his comic version was a Kree terrorist attacking Earth at Cape Canaveral, only to be beaten by Captain America
Mar-Vell/Jude Lawson (Jude Law) – Starforce commander and Carol’s mentor figure; in the original Marvel Comics he was actually the first Captain Marvel, with Carol being his initial human ally until she gained Kree powers herself
Captain Marvel premieres on March 8, 2019 with Avengers 4 following it on May 3.
The concept of a Disney theme park having its own outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment hub located just outside the park gates was pioneered by the opening, in 1975, of the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village in Walt Disney World. Following some name changes over the years, we now know it better as Disney Springs.
To this day Disney Springs is going strong in continuing to provide a specialized location for Walt Disney World guests to unwind, eat and drink, watch a movie and shop once they walk out of the Magic Kingdom and other theme parks in the complex.
And like any commercial hub, the lineup of its establishments changes every so often. Starting this month, there will be three new specialty shops making their home in Disney Springs. Here’s a list of them:
Disney Tails – opening at the Disney Springs Marketplace Co-op on October 12; will sell Disney a variety of character costumes for dogs and other canine accessories like leashes and collars
Lovepop – will open later in October also at the Marketplace Co-op; will feature hand-assembled 3D-sculptured cards; the firm already has a number of major media licensing partnerships such as for the Beatles and Jurassic World
The Art of Disney Presents Greg McCullough – replacing Little Miss Matched; this is a limited-time shop offering original prints and pieces from the celebrated artist that opens from November 3 to January 1, 2019; McCullough can be seen by shoppers at work in the store every day except Mondays from early afternoon to early evening
Finally, though not a new shop, the Basin store’s renovation is almost done, and it will reopen sometime this fall.
Marvel Rising is a new franchise being pushed by Disney and Marvel Animation to bring the characters and stories of Marvel Comics to a new generation of fans. Its initial big offering, the TV film subtitled Secret Warriors, premiered on both The Disney Channel and Disney XD last September 30.
But prior to the release of Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, Marvel Animation also produced a web-series for the franchise, with the subtitle Initiation. In six episodes it shines the spotlight on the primary characters of Marvel Rising prior to the events of Secret Warriors that assembled them into a team.
Here’s a list of episodes for Marvel Rising: Initiation, which premiered in its entirety on August 13 at Disney XD.
It still feels a long way off before Disney can begin boasting more substantially about its very own digital streaming service. But in the meantime they can drum up more interest from stream watchers by dropping teases on the various original content they have in store, from films to series.
One of their movie projects set to be a launch exclusive on the Disney streaming channel is a live-action remake of the 1955 Disney Animated Canon classic Lady and the Tramp. This is one of several Disney cartoon film remakes in live-action that’s been earmarked for streaming instead of cinemas.
With Charlie Bean (LEGO Ninjago Movie) directing a screenplay by Andrew Bujalski, the Lady and the Tramp reimagining has already gone through an initial round of casting for its characters. Here’s who have been cast.
Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok and Creed) – Lady the Cocker Spaniel
Justin Theroux (Iron Man 2) – Tramp the mutt
Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty) – Jackie the Scottish terrier (and gender-bend of original Jock)
Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) – Bull the Bulldog
Sam Elliott (Ghost Rider) – Trusty the Bloodhound
Janelle Monáe – Peg the Pekingese
Kiersey Clemons – Darling, Lady’s mistress
Thomas Mann – Jim Dear, Darling’s husband
Yvette Nicole Brown – Aunt Sarah
Adrian Martinez – Elliot the dog-catcher
Arturo Castro – Marco
The Disney streaming service is due to start its operations by year 2019.
Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with repetition, more so if you can at least do minor tweaks to make it individual enough from its original and be good at presenting it. Take for instance this volume from the second series of Disney Sing-Along Songs, featuring another trip through a Disney park.
Yes, we covered it not long ago in the song list for volume “Disneyland Fun”. This time however, the volume takes its presenters (and the viewers) to the then-recently opened Euro Disney, now called Disneyland Paris. Like its predecessor, this features some songs already found in past volumes, but this time with visuals of various Disney characters (mascots and costumes) having fun in Disneyland Paris.
Well, here comes the list:
Whistle While You Work (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
Step in Time (from Mary Poppins)
I’m Walkin’ Right Down the Middle of Main Street U.S.A. (music from Walt Disney World and Disneyland)
Following the Leader (from Peter Pan; Donald Duck in “Disneyland Fun” version replaced by Peter Pan)
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (from Song of the South; fast-paced pop version)
How D’Ye Do and Shake Hands (from Alice in Wonderland)
The Unbirthday Song (from Alice in Wonderland)
Rumbly in My Tumbly (from Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree)
Pecos Bill (from Melody Time)
It’s a Small World (music from Walt Disney World and Disneyland)
Grim Grinning Ghosts (music from The Haunted Mansion; Captain Hook in “Disneyland Fun” version replaced by Jafar and Iago)
The Character Parade (from Walt Disney World and Disneyland)