The happiest blog on Earth
My lovely Disnerds,
We have a lot to get caught up on! If you're anything like me, you probably keep yourself updated on Disney news daily, but if not I'm going to try to hit the highlights of the past five months. Strap yourself in and let's get going!
Guys so much has happened pertaining to movies that just putting this list together took me an hour of news research as far back as February!
New Live-Action Films
1. The Jungle Book: Information on The Jungle Book has been circulating for a little while, but the official release date has finally been set at October 9th, 2015! This live-action movie, directed by Jon Favreau (of Iron Man fame) employs a cast that shines with star power, incorporating Neel Sethi as Mowgli, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Bill Murray as Baloo, Christopher Walken as King Louie, Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha, and Emjay Anthony as Gray. The new Jungle Book will be going head-to-head with another live-action version of the film (not Disney!), directed by Andy Serkis, called Jungle Book: Origins. Origins will follow closer to Rudyard Kipling's original tale, rather than the Disney-fied version. While you wait for both of these awesome films to come out, check out the new concept art released by Disney Studios:
2. Beauty and the Beast: A few months ago Disney answered the dreams of so many fans when they announced the new Beauty and the Beast film set to release on March 17, 2017. The stellar cast includes Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Josh Gad (of Frozen fame) as LeFou, Audra McDonald as Garderobe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Babette, and Stanley Tucci as a new character named Cadenza, a grand piano. Even though there is a while to wait, Disnerds across the world are still buzzing with excitement for the new film.
3. Mulan: While not much is known about the upcoming live-action Mulan film, reactions have been positive. The release date is still to be determined, as well as any of the casting, but Disney studios bought a script fromand and
Aline Brosh McKenna, who worked on Cinderella (2015) and wrote for The Devil Wears Prada, is rumored to be writing.
5. Winnie the Pooh: There may be a live-action Winnie the Pooh movie in the works, written and directed by Alex Ross Perry, but information on this is scarce. I will update as information is released.
6. Tink: New sources on May 21st, 2015 announced that Disney has another live-action film in the works, called Tink, that centers on Tinkerbell and will showcase Reese Witherspoon as the famed fairy. There is no release date set, or any concrete director on board with the project, so there's a possibility that Tink may fall apart once Disney's obsession with live-action dies out.
*Tomorrowland: While Tomorrowland isn't a live-action remake of a film, it did premiere today, May 22nd, 2015. The movie has been met with mixed reviews so far, some calling it "confusing" and others rejoicing in it's original storyline. Go check it out in your local theater and let me know what you think!
1. Inside Out: The long-awaited Pixar movie, Inside Out, hits theaters on June 19th, 2015. It's only a month away! The movie recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and received awesome reviews, a few of which you can read here:
New York Times
Vanity Fair Hollywood
2. The Good Dinosaur: Set to release on November 25, 2015, The Good Dinosaur is aiming to be Pixar's second hit of the year. The movie will follow an Apatosaurus named Ario who loses a parent and must travel back home assisted by a young boy named Spot. According to sources, other dinosaurs will be featured in the film as well, including a pterodactyl, a velociraptor, and, of course, a T-Rex. Pixar celebrity John Lasseter is excited about the new techniques of animation used in the upcoming film: “The level of believability we’re striving for in this film is going to be breathtaking.”
3. Zootopia: Zootopia, a new film that seems to get pushed under the rug in most Pixar discussions, is set to premiere on March 4, 2016. The plot follows a city full of animals, but no humans, in which a cop (that happens to be a bunny voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) teams up with a fox (Jason Bateman) to solve a mystery not yet known to the public.
4. Finding Dory: June 17th, 2016 is going to be an exciting day for Disney fans across the world, in that the long-awaited sequel to Pixar's 2003 triumph Finding Nemo will finally premiere. The idea of the sequel has been a running joke between Pixar fans ever since the first movie came out, especially commented on by Dory's voice actress Ellen DeGeneres. The film will apparently include "a harrowing giant-squid encounter, kelp forests, and a friendly shark who thinks she’s a whale."
5. Moana: Another highly-anticipated and talked about film is that of Moana, set to premiere on November 23rd, 2016. Moana will follow a Polynesian princess (diversity!) of the same name and her quest to explore the islands she lives on. Variety magazine has reported that "the musical film opens with a number reminiscent of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life.” The only cast announced so far is Dwayne Johnson, who will be portraying a character named Maui.
6. Toy Story 4: As this one is newly announced, the public knows practically nothing about the new Toy Story 4. John Lasseter, the film's director, recently released that the film will be “not as much a continuation of the past films, but a brand new chapter in the Toy Story world.”
7. Incredibles 2: Yes it's true, in the middle of May 2015 Brad Bird confirmed that he will be writing the screenplay (and possible directing?) the sequel to the 2004 Incredibles film, Incredibles 2. The original cast will probably be reprising their roles, and Samuel L Jackson, the voice of iconic superhero Frozone, announced he will likely do just that. In a recent interview, Brad Bird states that the movie will not be a basic superhero movie, explaining "I don't think that kind of idea stays interesting for very long. ... For me, the interesting thing was never the superhero part of it. It was more the family dynamic, and how do superhero things play into that."
1. Tangled: In early April, Disney composing whiz Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater announced that they were working on a new Tangled musical to premiere on Disney's Magic cruise ship to the Bahamas. The writing team also reported that they are composing three new songs for the musical. The show will employ Director Gordon Greenberg, choreographer Connor Gallagher, puppet designer Michael Curry, scenic designer Bradley Kaye, and costume designer Paloma Young.
2. Frozen: According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, a Broadway stage show adapted from the 2013 film Frozen is being developed. In February of 2015 Disney announced that the musical will be directed by Alex Timbers, a two-time Tony nominee, with new songs written by the film's Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The show is set to open on Broadway in 2017.
Inquizitive: In the early months of 2015, Disney released a new phone application titled Inquizitive. The app is a mixture of personality quizzes and trivia, with something for every level of Disney fan! Figure out which Disney Princess you are and test your knowledge of the lyrics to the Disney Villains' songs, and rack up personalities and trivia points. The app keeps track of the personality quiz results and compiles them into six categories, adventurous, charming, funny, mischievous, dependable, or fierce, all of which come together to provide the player with a common trope or identity that they best fit, accompanied by a Disney character of the same personality. The personalized leaderboards keep you challenging your friends to see who is the real Disney whiz. While it has a few bugs, Inquizitive is an overall fun way to the pass the time and test your Disney knowledge.
1. 60th Anniversary of Disneyland and new World of Color Show: To celebrate Disneyland's 60 year anniversary, the World of Color Water and Light Show has gotten a revamp with a celebration theme. The new show incorporates never-before-seen footage of Walt Disney's journey to become an animator and the park's origins, as well as scenes from well-loved Disney movies. The show is hosted by Actor Neil Patrick Harris and, of course, Mickey Mouse, and lasts for 22 minutes, with five sequences. It is projected onto a screen of water, and includes fountains, lasers, fog, mist, and other special effects. For the first time, Mickey's Fun Wheel will be converted into a temporary screen as well. If you can, go visit Disneyland this summer to celebrate the anniversary and check out the touching homage to the park's inception.
Kat Shambaugh: photographer, graphic designer, wannabe Disney princess. Literature, Media, and Communications major at the Georgia Institute of Technology.