May 16, 2013 | 3:58 p.m.
Two classic Studio Ghibli films are getting the Blu-ray treatment. Disney is releasing Hayao Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Howl’s Moving Castle” on May 21. This year marks the 25th anniversary for “My Neighbor Totoro,” which follows sisters Satsuki and Mei (voiced by Dakota and Elle Fanning, respectively, in the Blu-ray’s 2005 Disney dubbing) as they move to the countryside and discover their new neighbor, a furry forest spirit named Totoro. Only children can see the strange animal ghost — “a seven-foot forest spirit who looks like an outsized cross between a bunny rabbit and a fuzzy throw pillow,” critic and historian Charles Solomon wrote in his 1993 Times review of the film. “Guided by their supernatural friend, the sisters share a series of adventures, soaring over the landscape while Totoro’s roars make the winds blow,” Solomon wrote. “But the story […]
May 09, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
Walt Disney Animation Studios is announcing its first movie inspired by a Marvel comic Thursday, an adaptation of a lesser known crime fighter series called “Big Hero 6.” Directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and due in 2014, the CG-animated movie will center on a robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot companion BayMax, who join a team of superheroes in a high-tech city called San Fransokyo. (For a closer look at the city of San Fransokyo, see the video above). Even die-hard comic book fans may have trouble recalling the Marvel series, which was created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau in 1998 and is something of a whimsical love letter to Japanese culture. Characters in the original comic include a samurai, an agent who invented a nanotechnology-based Power Purse and a monster born from a […]
May 08, 2013 | 3:51 p.m.
Let’s hope that Richard Madden has an easier time wearing a crown in “Cinderella” than he does in “Game of Thrones.” Madden, who plays King in the North Robb Stark in the hit HBO series, has been cast as the glass slipper gal’s prince in Disney’s upcoming live-action “Cinderella” film, the studio announced Wednesday. “Cinderella,” slated for a 2014 release, is set to star “Downton Abbey” actress Lily James as the rags-to-riches heroine and Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, her evil stepmother. Kenneth Branagh is directing, and the screenplay was penned by Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada”). Simon Kinberg, who was recently recruited to write a stand-alone “Star Wars” spinoff film, is a producer on “Cinderella.” Kinberg and McKenna (the two are friends) hatched the plan for a live-action update of the classic fairy tale. PHOTOS: ‘Game of […]
May 03, 2013 | 4:24 p.m.
Iron Man is back in the multiplex in a big way this weekend with “Iron Man 3,” but the character also features prominently in “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” a new animated series set to premiere July 7 on the Marvel Universe block on Disney XD, with a special one-hour sneak preview on May 26. Hero Complex is bringing you a new look at the team. The heroic lineup, which also includes Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow, is the same as the Avengers who assembled for Joss Whedon’s 2012 blockbuster, with the notable inclusion of one of Captain America’s oldest friends and partners, the Falcon. A previous series, “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” offered glimpses of numerous Marvel characters, but “Avengers Assemble” marks the first time this lineup has appeared on a television show. The series stars Adrian Pasdar […]
April 17, 2013 | 2:38 p.m.
The Force is strong with Alan Horn. At CinemaCon on Wednesday, the Walt Disney Studios chairman said the company plans to release three “Star Wars” films by the end of the decade — one in 2015, 2017 and 2019. In between those movies, “we expect to have pictures derived from that universe,” Horn said, indicating that spinoff movies should be expected in 2016 and 2018 as well. The news comes six months after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in a surprise deal for $4.05 billion. At the time of that deal in October, the company said it planned to release a seventh live-action “Star Wars” movie in 2015. It has since been announced that J.J. Abrams will direct that film, while Oscar winner Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3″) has been tapped to write the screenplay. PHOTOS: J.J. Abrams career […]
April 15, 2013 | 6:14 p.m.
Revenge is more of a driving force on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” than romance but Marvel Entertainment, having joined with the Disney-ABC Television Group, is releasing a graphic novel that tells more of the story of how the Evil Queen took the Huntsman’s heart — literally — and used it to control him. Marvel and Disney on Monday released the cover (drawn by Nimit Malavia) for the graphic novel “Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen,” which shows the Evil Queen flaunting her hold on a reluctant Huntsman, flanked by images of Red Riding Hood and Snow White. The story picks up after the events of the Season 1 episode “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter,” in which the Huntsman lets Snow White go after tracking her, and centers around another of Regina’s plots to capture her stepdaughter. She […]
March 07, 2013 | 9:53 a.m.
Robert Downey Jr. — er, make that Tony Stark — appears battle-worn and beleaguered as he clutches his lady love close in the new “Iron Man 3″ poster. Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Pepper in Marvel’s blockbuster franchise, strike that classic superhero pose as black metal iron men rise around them into skies marked by smoke and missiles. The poster — here’s the full image — is the latest in a Tony Stark drumbeat that shows no signs of slowing between now and the film’s May 3 release. James Bond jilted: Sam Mendes says ‘no’ to follow-up And it appears that’s just the way fans like it. Just this week alone, we’ve learned choice details from the third installment in the franchise, including this chilling line: “I’m going to offer you a choice. Do you want an empty life […]
Feb. 13, 2013 | 10:15 a.m.
Albert Brooks took the bait. After lengthy discussions — and, a nice paycheck? — Brooks has reportedly agreed to join the cast of Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Nemo 2.” It would have been difficult (but not impossible) to imagine a sequel that did not include Brooks. Despite the title of the Oscar-winning movie, it’s Brooks’ character, Marlin — the overprotective orange-and-white striped clownfish who must overcome his own fears to save his son — who provides the animated film’s most recognizable character. Are you glad to hear there will be a “Finding Nemo 2″? Or do you wish Hollywood would just leave a good thing alone? Valentine’s Day gift ideas: ‘Star Wars’ and more The deal was first reported by Deadline.com. A representative at Disney said Pixar would not discuss its production. A representative for Brooks did not return a phone call […]
Feb. 12, 2013 | 12:25 p.m.
Vivienne Jolie-Pitt’s role in 2014′s hotly anticipated “Maleficent” makes her one of Hollywood’s newest — and youngest — starlets as she follows in the footsteps of her famous parents: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. So why are the media going gaga over the fact that Vivienne will be paid to do so? Maybe it’s because her pay day is $3,000 a week, quite a tidy sum for a 4-year-old. Directed by Robert Stromberg, “Maleficent” is a live-action fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Disney has billed it as the untold story of the villain from the Oscar-winning 1959 Disney classic, “Sleeping Beauty.” In a delicious bit of casting, Angelina Jolie plays the role of the evil fairy Maleficent, who casts a spell on a beautiful young princess that causes her to fall into a 100-year-sleep, a curse that can only be broken […]
Feb. 05, 2013 | 12:03 p.m.
Faced with rumors that Yoda is at the front of the line for the first “Star Wars” spinoff, there’s just one thing to do. Go straight to the Yoda-Speak Generator! Question: “Does Yoda deserve his own “Star Wars” spinoff?” Answer: “What a stupid question. Of course he does!” PHOTOS: How does Beyonce size up alongside Wonder Woman? Actually, the real answer spit out by the Yoda-Speak Generator was: “His own ‘Star Wars’ spinoff does Yoda deserve, hmm?” But, really, when you look out into the “Star Wars” universe, isn’t Yoda feature-film material? Give that guy a bio-pic. Empire Online even put Yoda in the No. 25 spot on its list of the 100 greatest movie characters of all time. Begin to trace the Yoda rumor to its source — and we have to stress this is a rumor, a tantalizing albeit […]