Points of Discussion for Latest “Avengers: Endgame Trailer”

The Disney umbrella is busting out cinematic trailers like nobody’s business this week. Mere days after Disney Pictures itself sort of “redeemed” scary blue-skinned Will Smith by releasing a longer trailer for “Aladdin,” now we have another for their next Marvel Studios blockbuster, “Avengers: Endgame.”

While the previous teasers have focused on the current events of the MCU following “Avengers: Infinity War,” this trailer decides to dip in the past. In doing so it reminds viewers that “Endgame” is going to resolve myth elements of the first ten years of the saga, and the 21 films that came before. Let’s go list some trailer stuff that makes for good discussion.

  1. Reminders of the past: Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in his last recording to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) talks of his origin story. Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) recalls his “Winter Soldier” conversation with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Thor (Chris Hemsworth) remembers his father Odin and his home Asgard.
  2. How did Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) go from secret agent archer to samurai-like vigilante? A seeming flashback with his daughter from “Age of Ultron” seems to be a hint; said daughter even visually resembles the second/female Hawkeye (named Kate Bishop) from the source comic books. And vigilante-Clint has a Mohawk.
  3. Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) does get out of the Quantum Realm (from “Ant-Man and the Wasp”) as seen in one of the previous teasers. He’s seeing a lot of missing posters in his neighborhood. Did something happen to his family?
  4. Steve’s recently meme-worthy line: “I keep telling everybody they should move on. Some do; but not us.” To this, Natasha Romanov/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) adds the following, “Even if there’s a small chance, we owe this to anyone who’s not in this room to try.”
  5. The surviving Avengers and other heroes prepare for their rematch against Thanos (Josh Brolin) in their own way; at least the ones on Earth are.
  6. Eventually, Tony’s own group of stranded space survivors makes it to Earth. And they go off to find Thanos wearing identical uniform spacesuits. These were spoiled in official LEGO sets.
  7. Post-titles, Thor tests Carol Danvers/Captan Marvel (Brie Larson) by summoning his Stormbreaker axe close to her head. She doesn’t react; he approves of her nerve.

“Avengers: Endgame” premieres April 26.

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Points of Interest in New “Aladdin” Remake Trailer

Of the three big Disney live-action remakes of their Animated Canon coming out this year (two if you discount the photorealistic CGI of “The Lion King”), “Aladdin” seems to come across as the weakest link. Its first teaser was minimalistic, and a later follow-up sort of “scarred” viewers who criticized the SFX work for Will Smith as the blue-hued Genie.

While “Dumbo” and “The Lion King” worked interest consistently with their previews, “Aladdin” was considered to be flubbing its own promotion. But when Disney finally released a full trailer for the movie on Tuesday, a vocal part of the criticism shut up; it was beautiful.

Let’s list some talking points:

  1. Aladdin (Mena Massoud) evading the palace guards (surely leading to the “One Jump Ahead” number) was pretty frenetic, with parkour choreography that would recall videogames like “Prince of Persia” (also adapted by Disney) or “Assassin’s Creed”
  2. Jafar’s (Marwan Kenzari) recruitment of Aladdin for the Cave of Wonders; rather than disguising himself thoroughly he appears to play himself in pitching the lamp-fetching to our hero; he still sounds kind of squeaky, but he doesn’t look overly sinister, which might explain why he’s trusted in Agrabah
  3. The first appearance of Genie (Will Smith) sees him act like the classic Arabian Night archetype rather than Robin Williams’ manic standup comedian…at first, then he gets to the funny dazzle
  4. “A Friend Like Me,” nuff said
  5. Aladdin discussing his Prince wish to Genie has the latter point out the vagaries of it – between “Make ME a Prince” and “MAKE me a PRINCE” – by conjuring a Prince that talks like he came from Bel-Air
  6. Genie giving “Prince Ali” wooing advice for Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) calls to mind Smith’s role in 2005’s “Hitch,” but with magic powers
  7. “A Whole New World” would like to point out to viewers that Scott is a singer
  8. Short snippets like a(n apparently authentic) Middle Eastern dance with Ali and Jasmine, and Ali being tossed into the sea while bound to a chair, show that this movie will not carbon-copy scenes from the 1993 original animation
  9. More action sequences like Aladdin doing parkour on an icy chasm, plus being chased by an apparently enlarged Iago the parrot help add an epic live-action scale to the narrative
  10. On an aside that’s not included on the trailer, Iago in this film will be voiced by Alan Tudyk rather than Gilbert Gottfried; whether he’s fitting or not remains to be heard

Disney’s “Aladdin” arrives in theaters this May 24.

New Character List for Disney Channel’s “Descendants 3”

Two years after their last TV movie-length grand adventure, the Villain Kids and their friends at Auradon High are ready for another round of Good – and Bad – versus Evil in Disney Channel’s “Descendants 3.” Having somehow proven twice over that the children of fairy-tale baddies need not follow in their parents’ footsteps, Mal and her fellow VK’s are ready to invite new students to Auradon.

But Evil never rests and never forgets. While Ursula’s daughter Uma may have been thwarted back in “Descendants 2,” she’s been bitterly biding her time to resume the invasion of Auradon. And this time she’s got some heavy grown-villain backup in Dr. Facilier and Hades.

In between helping a new batch of VK’s to fit in with life at Auradon High, and the looming threat of another villain attack, Mal, Carlos, Evie and Jay will be facing perhaps their most epic battle for goodness yet.

Here’s a list of the new cast additions for “Descendants 3” on the Disney Channel, directed as usual by D-Channel Original Movie master Kenny Ortega:

  • New Villain Kids
  1. Celia – daughter of Dr. Facilier, played by Jadah Marie; if the “Wicked World” animated miniseries holds, then she’s also the sister of Freddie
  2. Squeaky – one of the twin sons of Mr. Smee, bosun to Captain Hook; he’s played by Christian Convrey
  3. Squirmy – the other twin son of Smee; he’s played by Luke Roessler
  • New Villain Parents
  1. Dr. Facilier – witch doctor antagonist of “The Princess and the Frog”; also father to Freddie (in “Wicked World”) and Celia in this film; he’s played by Jamal Sims
  2. Hades – Greek God of the Underworld and big bad to “Hercules;” he’s played by Cheyenne Jackson
  • Others
  1. Queen Leah – mother to Queen Aurora and grandmother to Princess Audrey; she’s played by Judith Maxie

“Descendants 3” brings back Dove Cameron as Mal, Cameron Boyce, as Carlos, Sofia Carson as Evie, Booboo Stewart as Jay, Mitchell Hope as Prince Ben, China Ann McCain as Uma, and much more from the previous two installments. It will premiere mid-year on Disney Channel.

“Frozen II” Trailer: List of Points to Discuss

When Disney’s 2013 animated film “Frozen” became an avalanche of an international blockbuster and fountain of memes, talk immediately turned to making a sequel for it; and not just any home-video follow-up like of old but a true theatrical-release continuation. True, there have been two shorts during the interim, but fans are really looking forward to “Frozen 2” which Disney pegged for 2019.

After a disappointingly hilarious “teaser” after the end credits of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” last year, “Frozen” followers can finally bask in the glory of the first official preview for the second film, released Wednesday, February 13.

In just about a minute and a half, the “Frozen II” sticker may have just cured some fans who may still have franchise fatigue from the original film and its subsequent shorts, plus intrigued bandwagon detractors by its more action-packed sequences and foreboding visuals. Let’s list the trailer’s important scene points and talk about them.

  1. Elsa’s new getup – from the prim and restrained royal gown to her ice dress with thigh-high slit, Elsa in “Frozen” evolved from a paranoid fidgety lady to a sassy woman reveling in freedom; her reconciliation with her sister Anna aside, Elsa maintained her snowflake-pattern dress fashion with only minimum seasonal modifications; for the sequel the Queen of Arendelle finally goes significantly different with what appears to be an ice pantsuit with leggings, for greater mobility
  2. Elsa’s sea run training – the escape across from the coronation was one of the many stunning visual sequences from the first film, done by a scared witless Elsa across a relatively calm fjord; having already worked past her issues Elsa looks more confident in testing the potential of her ice powers further by trying to navigate a stormy sea; but why her intense physical exercise?
  3. The strange ice diamonds – as Anna is witness, Arendelle palace seems to have been suddenly surrounded by numerous snowflake-like diamonds; perhaps they have something to do with her sister; but where did they come from?
  4. Kristoff’s reindeer army – yes, Kristoff is never too far from his trusty reindeer mount Sven; but now it seems they have to answer a situation that needs lots of hoofed reinforcements; what do you think?
  5. Anna’s “Cliffhanger” act – famously remembered for initially failing at rock climbing in “Frozen,” Anna certain seems to match Elsa for picking up some action girl physical skills; is there a motivation for their peak form?
  6. The unquenchable fire – there has never been a physical flame that Elsa’s ice cannot quench, until now; and if she can’t put out these strangely-colored fires, Olaf might pay the price
  7. The girl and the figure – we see a new brown-haired girl walking along an autumnal forest until she’s startled by a figure bursting through the leaves, as if yanked up; could the first one be the “girlfriend” desired by LGBT Elsa-fans for their queen?
  8. Where are they going? – Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Sven seem to be taking leave of Arendelle in order to go into a new land that is in autumn; what could be waiting for them ahead?
  9. The ambush – great danger instincts, reflexes and swordplay on Anna’s part; but who or what was that which tried to ambush their adventuring party at the end of the teaser?

“Frozen II” premieres this November.

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List of Musical Cues Used in First Trailer for Live-Action “Aladdin”

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:

  1. Arabian Nights – desert, Agrabah, Cave of Wonders entrance
  2. 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.

Episode List for “Marvel Rising: Initiation” Web-Series on Disney XD

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.

  1. Ghost Hunter – starring Ghost-Spider (Gwen Stacy)
  2. Floor Toms and Spider Webs
  3. BFHF (Best Friend Heroes…Forever) – starring Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) and Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green)
  4. Two on One
  5. The Stories They Tell – featuring Patriot (Rayshaun Lucas) and Quake (Daisy Johnson)
  6. The Secrets We Keep

List of “Ducktales: Webby Reacts” Online Short Video Episodes

During the run of the first season of the Ducktales remake on Disney XD, and then after moving to the Disney Channel, there were a series of online shorts that were uploaded to further promote the animated series as well as various Disney original programming. One of these short web-series is Webby Reacts, starring Webby (Kate Micucci) reacting to various Disney Channel programming. Hilarity ensues.

Each episode runs only about a minute or so, with Webby giving her snarky two cents on a variety of Disney Channel content. Here’s a short list of her episodes.

  1. “Webby Reacts To: Andi Mack” – “Bex’s Secret” – May 8, 2018
  2. “Webby Reacts To: Andi Mack” – “Ummm” – May 10, 2018
  3. “Webby Reacts To: ZOMBIES” –May 12, 2018
  4. “Webby Reacts To: Stuck in the Middle” – May 16, 2018
  5. “Webby Reacts To: Raven’s Home” – May 18, 2018
  6. “Webby Reacts To: Descendants 2” – May 24, 2018
  7. “Webby Reacts To: Descendants 3” – May 26, 2018

And to make things short, Disney Channel was kind enough to upload a compilation of all episodes in a single video for viewing.

Ducktales will start its second season – plus a special Christmas episode – on October 20 only on the Disney Channel.

Marvel Entertainment Presents New 10-Year MCU Commemorative Video, Focused on the Fans

Between April and May is the great milestone for Marvel Studios, the in-house filmmaking arm of Marvel Entertainment which conceived the mammoth Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man hit cinemas on May 2, 2008 following an earlier Sydney premiere on April 14. Fast-forward to 2018, and the MCU, one decade old.

Now, they’ve already made some videos to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the MCU, but thus far it’s been about the studio that makes the films and its stars. This time around, a new special video from Marvel Entertainment flips the perspective around, celebrating the MCU’s greatest strength: the fandom.

The one-minute video features scenes from across the 18 installments of the MCU thus far then shifts to scenes of fan crowds at theater showings, cons (SDCC Hall H!), autograph signings, you name it. The sheer enthusiasm and fanaticism of Marvel followers at these events is evident and simply overwhelming.

Meanwhile, various actors and actresses who have starred in the MCU films, led by Robert “Tony Stark/Iron man” Downey Jr. himself, step up to the mike to thank the fans that have flocked to their films and event appearances, making the franchise the successful juggernaut that it has grown into.

All this leads into the reminder that the latest chapter of the MCU, Avengers: Infinity War, is due out two weeks from now on April 27. Note that it’s been hyped as an ending for the storyline of the franchise as laid in three “phases”, so it’s definitely a must-watch.