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:
We’re now in the home stretch of waiting. After the world premiere this Monday, for the rest of the week “Avengers: Endgame” will start generally premiering around the world. We get our resolution to the threat of Thanos, and with it an ending to the first decade of storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
In yet another celebratory gesture for this obvious upcoming blockbuster, Marvel has collaborated with graphic artist Truck Torrence aka 100% Soft. Those who know Torrence’s stomping grounds will realize what this means: new Twitter emojis.
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.
True, the trailer for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” was the crowning glory of all media previews during Star Wars Celebration. But let’s not forget that there were other reveals that were made for new shows and games in the franchise. Some of these series would be among the first to stream on Disney+.
One of them is the never-expected but now-anticipated seventh season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” We already had a taste of what’s to come thanks to an initial teaser, months ago. This time the trailer, shown during Star Wars Celebration, has more story substance.
The trailer airs during the first few seconds of this Star Wars Celebration video stream. Here’re some things we observed:
Montage of the (un-helmeted) Clone Troopers doing drills while the discussion between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda in “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” is heard.
Yoda’s refuting Obi-Wan’s praise of the Clones and remarking “Begun the Clone War has” rings as the Jedi hold funerals for the Knights and Padawans they have lost fighting the Separatists.
Foreshadowing of Anakin Skywalker’s fall when a vision of Darth Vader’s helmet forms behind him.
Darth Sidious dual wields lightsabers. Is this a reworking of the scene from “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith?”
Flashbacks are seen by Yoda to the Anakin-Ahsoka Tahno duo of Knight and Padawan.
Obi-Wan speaks to Qui-Gon Jin’s Force ghost about Anakin’s training.
A new character dual wields twin lightsabers (four blades).
Anakin duels Count Dooku/Darth Sidious and nearly finishes him? Another “Revenge of the Sith” reworking?
Space battle sees Ahsoka in action.
There’s a ritual involving what appear to be other people from Asajj Ventress’ race.
Anakin is dogfighting in the skies over Naboo. Sequences also show him in combat alongside Obi-Wan, then Ahsoka, and finally all alone.
Plenty of action set pieces are previewed as Anakin looks visibly separated from his fellow Jedi.
Yoda faces a vision of a burning giant. Or is it an actual fire creature.
“Ready, Skywalker is, to teach an apprentice,” Yoda says. “To let go of his pupil, a greater challenge it would be.” It seems Anakin is looking to the constant presence of a fellow Jedi at his side to guide him when he is lost. When even his Padawan leaves, he becomes open to darkness.
“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” season 7 from Lucasfilm Animation will premiere on Disney+ streaming.
When it premiered in 2017 on Disney Channel, viewers weren’t sure what to think about “Tangled: The Series.” The story of Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) and Flynn/Eugene (Zachary Levi) seemed done in the “Tangled Ever After” short after all. But building on its TV movie pilot “Before Ever After,” the show proved popular enough with viewers.
It’s no wonder then that the series received a second season, retitled as “Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure.” Here Rapunzel decides to actively investigate the black rocks that gave back her long golden (and indestructible) hair. Accompanied by Flynn, Cassandra (Eden Espinosa) and their friends, the long journey will test their determination and trust in one another.
Ultimately things come to a head with season 2’s double-episode finale which aired Sunday, April 14. Flynn discovers his true family legacy, and Rapunzel suffers a most unexpected betrayal. What’s worse, we won’t even know what happens next until the series’ season 3, confirmed but not yet announced for airing.
That all said, here’s a list of all episodes aired for “Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure,” or “Tangled: The Series” season 2:
Beyond the Corona Walls (first half) – June 24, 2018
Beyond the Corona Walls (second half) – double length season premiere
The Return of Quaid – July 1, 2018
Goodbye and Goodwill – July 8, 2018
Forest of No Return – July 15, 2018
Freebird – July 22, 2018
Vigor the Visionary – July 29, 2018
Keeper of the Spire – August 5, 2018
King Pascal – August 12, 2018
There’s Something About Hook Foot – August 19, 2018
Happiness is… – August 26, 2018
Max and Eugene in Peril on the High Seas – March 3, 2019
Curses! – March 10, 2019
The Eye of Pincosta – March 10, 2019 (start of two-episode airings per week)
Rapunzel and the Great Tree (first half) – March 17, 2019
Rapunzel and the Great Tree (second half) – double length episode
The Brothers Hook – March 24, 2019
Rapunzel: Day One
Mirror, Mirror – March 31, 2019
You’re Kidding Me!
Rapunzeltopia – April 7, 2019
Lost and Found
Destinies Collide (first half) – April 14, 2019
Destinies Collide (second half) – double length season finale (and WHAM! episode)
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.
As the 2019 Star Wars Celebration in Chicago rolled over into the weekend, some heavily awaited-for previews were finally revealed. The most important of them obviously is the first teaser for “Star Wars: Episode IX.” Not only did fans finally see the anticipated visuals, we now know its official subtitle.
“The Rise of Skywalker” at first blush sounds somewhat clunky. But after seeing the scenes from the trailer one might think it appropriate. It seems to imply new meaning to the name “Skywalker.” Anakin was born of a Tatooine slave. Rey was born of seemingly similarly unremarkable parents. He was a Skywalker; is Rey too?
Why don’t we find out by going over the teaser?
Rey (Daisy Ridley) is now dressed like a Jedi. She also apparently has repaired Anakin’s lightsaber from its ruin back in “The Last Jedi.”
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) seems to talk to Rey in narration, talking about how she now has the knowledge of “a thousand generations.”
“Every Generation Has a Legend.”
It seems Rey is in a desert planet (Tatooine) facing down a low-flying First Order TIE Fighter. Is Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) at the controls?
Rey shows how much more Jedi she is now by fearlessly jumping on the TIE with lightsaber lit.
A starship arrives in another world at night.
Kylo Ren doing a berserker charge against Resistance ground troops. He also is apparently repairing his helmet, similarly destroyed during “The Last Jedi.”
BB-8 has its own droid companion now.
With Han Solo dead, Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) returns to pilot the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo).
“The Saga Comes to an End.” To be specific, it’s probably the saga of a family central to the “Star Wars” narrative. The franchise itself will never be allowed to end.
A chase is on the desert planet with Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) aboard a sand skiff a la “Return of the Jedi.”
General Leia (Carrie Fisher) hugs Rey. This is some of deleted footage from the first two Sequel Trilogy films, edited to provide a role for Leia after the passing of her actress years ago.
As Luke tells Rey that “they will always be with her and no one’s ever truly gone,” she and her friends appear to be on the forest moon of Endor, looking at fallen fragments of the Galactic Empire’s second Death Star.
We hear a familiar, sinister “old guy” laugh.
Back in Star Wars Celebration itself, any ambiguousness of the voice was made certain by the appearance of the actor in question, onstage. Director J.J. Abrams also confirmed that Ian McDiarmid is back as Sheev Palpatine / Darth Sidious / Emperor.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” premieres this December 20.
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.”