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Entries in Disney (128)


Schuyler Sister, Disney Princess?

With Hamilton fever not relenting any time soon, we're starting to get excited for Lin-Manuel Miranda's next projects, including the resucitated In the Heights movie adaptation and Mary Poppins sequel with Emily Blunt. But we won't have to wait years for his next musical feat: he's partnered with Disney for the music on November's animated Moana.

But he's taking some Hamilton family with him: castmate and Schuyler Sister Phillipa Soo has joined the vocal cast which also includes Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and newcomer Auli'i Cravalho.

The casting doesn't come with details on her character beyond "villager", with much of the South Pacific-set animated film still under wraps, but surely you're thinking what I'm thinking. Could Soo be following the likes of Idina Menzel and Jodi Benson from Broadway leading lady to Disney princess? Besides, aren't Schuyler Sisters already the girl power heroes we always hope new Disney princesses will be?

Call it a stretch with as little as we know about the film (and she's not the title character - *shrug* details), but considering the composer connection, we can at least expect some gorgeous music to come from the actress. She faces stiff competition for Lead Actress in a Musical at the Tonys this Sunday, but might we even see her performing at the Oscars come 2017? Miranda shares scoring duties with Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancini, and could already be safe bets for Original Song nominees thanks to Disney and Hamilton's combined cache. If Soo got one of the film's key songs, it would be quite a thrilling (and fast) reunion.

Moana Opens this Thanksgiving! What other Hamilton cast member would you like to see join the Disney ranks?


Nothing Compares 2 Link

MNPP picks 5 favorites from Roger Deakins great filmography - love the write up
i09 Netflix is going to be the exclusive home for Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar movies when it comes to streaming
The Guardian looks back at the career of Burt Kwouk (RIP) who played Cato in The Pink Panther franchise
Variety looks at the top Emmy races. Where are we guaranteed movement in the often stagnant fields?

• Hypable Disney's gay erasure problem (not the pop band) and why the hashtags #GiveElsaAGirlfriend and #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend are so popular. (Captain America already has a boyfriend, of course, but why did Disney include that Sharon Carter kiss?)
Flickering Myth Chris Nolan's Dunkirk shoot has begun (photos from the set). Since he's sick of not being Oscar nominated for directing he's making a World War II picture instead of sticking with sci-fi, magicians, or Batpeople
• Playbill the 61st annual Obie Awards, a prestigious off Broadway prize, have been announced. Winners include Red Speedo (which we briefly wrote about), the musical Dear Evan Hansen, and two shows that have transferred to Broadway and are now up for Tonys: The Humans and Eclipsed
Boy Culture on the Madonna Prince tribute at the BBMAs and subsequent fallout - there's always fallout. Haters gonna hate
MTV Teo Bugbee on the new "tasteful?" nudity in Game of Thrones. I feel bullied by the internet in regards to this show (i don't watch it and don't like it whenever I casually see part of an episode) but this piece is great

In Nostalgia We Trust
Have you seen the new Star Trek Beyond poster? It's pretty but wouldn't this tactic have made more sense for the initial reboot than for a third sequel?  Also just how long until we reach peak nostalgia as a culture? Everything is just old things repackaged.

Yes, we've always had remakes and franchises all the way back to the early talkies but it seems much more dominant now, the whole pie rather than two pieces. 




YNMS: Beauty and the Beast

For better or worse, the Disney live action adaptations are here to stay. We bemoan the risk of bastardizing our classics, but it is easy to forget that some of these stories have a long history of screen iterations from their fairy tale roots. Beauty and the Beast has been seen as legendary Cocteau classic and 80s TV cheese before Disney musicalized the legend into its most popular version. Naturally, Disney has another one on deck.

While the quality of these reboot/rehashes has ranged from the unexpected delights (Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella) to the outright nightmares (Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland), the predictably high box office returns of each guarantees that your personal favorite will eventually get the live action treatment if it hasn't already. The just released teaser for Bill Condon's hints at a very literal take on the musical, but is that a good thing or bad? 

Click to read more ...


Box Office

Black Panther coming for your ticket moneyWhile Captain America v. Iron Man didn't prove to be that much hotter a ringside ticket than Batman v. Superman did in its opening weekend (there's just a 15 million difference or so), the gap will surely widen. The movie's general quality will help it outlive and outperform that earlier embarrassment. One thing the two films do have in common is that the audience excitement appears to be primarily wrapped up in the new characters (Wonder Woman then & Spider-Man/Black Panther now) as opposed to the familiar faces. In related news, Bunny v Fox aka Zootopia overtook Batman v Superman this weekend to become the second highest grossing film of the year thus far.

But real question: who on earth was going to Batman v Superman THIS weekend of all weekends (it earned another million) with Iron Man vs. Captain America available to them? 

01 Captain America: Civil War $181.7 NEW Review
02 The Jungle Book $21.8 (cum. $285.9) Articles
03 Mother's Day $9 (cum. $20.7)
04 The Huntsman Winters War $3.5 (cum. $40.3)  Review
05 Keanu $3 (cum. $15.1) 
06 Barbershop: The Next Cut $2.7 (cum. $48.7)
07 Zootopia $2.6 (cum. $327.6)  Reviewish
08 The Boss $1.7 (cum. $59.1)  Review
09 Ratchet & Clank $1.4 (cum. $7) 
10 Batman v. Superman $1 (cum. $327.2) Review 

Sing Street is benefitting from great word of mouth as it expands

Other movies steered clear of opening against the third Avengers film but for Luca Guadagino's I Am Love follow up A Bigger Splash which began its platform release. Now there's an annual franchise option we could get behind. Imagine a world where each Gaudagino & Swinton release is as buzzed about and dissected as any new "Underoos!" moment from Marvel. We're here for that world, whenever it collides with this one.

01 Sing Street $422K on 153 screens (cum. $1.1) Review
02 Green Room $343K on 470 screens (cum. $2)

03 The Meddler $294K on 53 screens (cum. $.6)  Review
04 The Man Who Knew Infinity $220K on 40 screens (cum. $.3)

05 Papa Hemingway in Cuba $181K on 208 Screens (cum. $.8)

06 Compadres $170K on 212 screens (cum. $2.7)
07 Miles Ahead $131K on 141 screens (cum. $2.2) Review
08 Everybody Wants Some $110K on 131 screens (cum. $3.2) Review Con, Review Pro, Podcast
09 A Bigger Splash $110K on 5 screens NEW Articles
10 The Family Fang $104K on 52 screens Review

What did you catch this week in theaters? 


Curio: Eyvinde Earle's Centennial

Today marks the 100th birthday of famed illustrator Eyvinde Earle (1916-2000) who has a special connection to the cinema having logged time with Walt Disney Studios, most famously helping to shape the aesthetic of the studio's greatest looking traditional classic, Sleeping Beauty (1959). The artist passed away sixteen years ago but his work lives on. Take a look...

Click to read more ...


April Foolish Predix: Best Animated Features

It's past time to begin our annual tradition of predicting the future Oscar nominees way before anyone should (yes, I'm aware that nowadays every clickbait site does it the day after the Oscars but we're not into that. Jesus, ppl, let each film year settle!). Let's start with the easiest category in that it's its own world entirely, The Animated Feature. Last year was a relatively thin year for the medium, in that the number of eligible films just barely triggered a 5 wide field. We shouldn't expect a similar dearth this year.

After all 2016's already delivered a possible frontrunner (the delightful Zootopia), a hit that people have already forgotten about (Kung Fu Panda 3... currently #4 of 2016 but have you ever heard anyone talk about it?), trailers to roughly a billion would be cartoon blockbusters scheduled for 2016, and the very tantalizing prospects of an original Disney musical (Moana) and a new Laika feature (Kubo and the Two Strings).

So who do we think will win the nominations this year? I'm not falling into the trap of assuming Pixar is locked up each year (we saw The Good Dinosaur go nowhere, really, in terms of critics and awards enthusiasm) so my big no guts no glory call is that Finding Dory will miss a nomination. Yes, everyone loves Dory and Finding Nemo (2003) but I'm suspicious of a mere fanservice treading of water outing, pun intended, while we wait for a cool original again a la Inside Out. It's a strange reversal that Disney has suddenly taken up the "original" baton and Pixar is wasting its time with sequelitis.

What's below the US radar? Generally speaking online punditry seems to forget that the Academy's animation branch rightly takes foreign cartoons seriously when they're making their calls so something smallish and non American always shows up in the final shortlist. This early -- again, way too early -- I'm guessing that's The Red Turtle. It's due in September from Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli and given those two companies it will surely be beautiful. Plus it's wordless which should be interesting. The other film I'd ink in if I was sure it would be released in time is Loving Vincent, an entirely oil painted (!!!) animated biopic of Vincent Van Gogh. 

There's a lot to consider out there: martial artist pandas, red turtles, amnesian fish, little princes, secretive pets, pissed off birds, delicious trolls, singing pigs, genius artists, island girls and demigods, police bunnies and more. Check out the chart and do speak up in the comments. 



A "Zootopia" Top Ten

We've never even discussed Zootopia! What's wrong with us? (Don't answer) What follows is an off the cuff top ten. But consider this intro a number eleven plus: the joy of the movie is that it's not frontloaded at all continuing to offer delights all the way up to its concert finale in its fleet 108 minutes. So don't let this list feel complete: share your favorite things about it in the comments.

(This is assuming you loved it because everyone seems to)


10 Size Matters (in Comedy)
Lt. Judy Hopps, our heroine, would argue that it doesn't but it does. The animators and writers and filmmakers spin multiple jokes from the disparity in size of so many of the characters. And they've really worked the scale out. Few images in the movie radiated more comic bliss then watching a parade of conformist lemmings lining up for hundreds of miniature sweets made from one elephant sized dessert scoop.

09 Bunny Jokes
That throwaway line "your 275 brothers and sisters" and Judy's sly math joke later on "we're good at multiplying!"

8 more after the jump...

Click to read more ...