July 05, 2014 | 8:09 a.m.
Outside of certain circles, Tom Ruegger may not be a name that is synonymous with animation. But throw out the titles on which he was executive producer and helped create — “Animaniacs,” “Tiny Toon Adventures” and “Pinky and the Brain” — and images of really smart and fun cartoons come to mind. The multiple Emmy Award-winning Ruegger is heading up a new cartoon that launches on Disney XD on Monday called “The 7D” that hopes to capture the fun spirit of some of Ruegger’s other shows. “The 7D” is, as its name might suggest, about the tales of the Seven Dwarfs — 30 years or so before their fateful run-in with Snow White. Living in the Enchanted Forest in the kingdom of Jollywood under the rule of Queen Delightful, the dwarfs are the area’s “most trusted” heroes, righting the wrongs […]
May 21, 2014 | 5:55 p.m.
Want to appear as a Wookiee in “Star Wars: Episode VII”? Today, “Star Wars: Episode VII” director J.J. Abrams announced that a walk-on role for a member of the general public has been created and will be raffled off to benefit the charity UNICEF. Maybe you won’t be Chewbacca’s distant cousin, but you’ll be on camera, guaranteed (mostly… more on that in a moment). In a video shot on the film’s set in Abu Dhabi, Abrams explains how the guest turn will work: “You get to come to London, where we’re shooting the movie mostly at Pinewood Studios… You’ll get to meet the cast, go behind the scenes, and see the whole movie-making process. But more than that, we’ll put you in hair, makeup and wardrobe, and you’ll actually get to be in the movie.” Unless your part ends up on the cutting […]
May 21, 2014 | 4:28 p.m.
Two new clips from Disney’s “Maleficent” have been released — and they deepen the story of Angelina Jolie’s fairy-gone-bad. Due in theaters May 30, the Disney film retells the story of the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty” from the perspective of Maleficent, a wicked sorceress who was once a fairy with wings that were stolen from her. That theft appears to have set Maleficent on the path to evil. In the new clip, we see how much fun Maleficent used to have. She soars through the air with her beautiful feathered span, gliding close to the water before soaring into the clouds and basking in the sun. The classic tale that “Maleficent” is based on starts with the fallen fairy famously cursing the infant Princess Aurora (played by Elle Fanning) at her christening. In another newly released scene, Aurora, now an inquisitive girl, is seen […]
May 15, 2014 | 5:44 p.m.
“Star Wars Rebels” isn’t Disney’s only upcoming animated adventure set in a galaxy far, far away. This July, the characters of the popular Disney Channel animated series “Phineas and Ferb” will be transported to the universe created by George Lucas in a one-off “Star Wars” special that runs parallel to the original 1977 film, “A New Hope.” Hero Complex readers can exclusively check out the poster for the one-hour special, which highlights Phineas, Ferb, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, Candace and Agent P in their “Star Wars” incarnations. The poster reveal comes the day before the special,”Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars,” is unveiled for the first time at Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. In the special, Phineas and Ferb are hanging out during a lazy summer on Tatooine. They live on the farm […]
May 14, 2014 | 4:14 p.m.
A new clip from “Maleficent” has arrived, showcasing the climactic moment when Princess Aurora (played by Elle Fanning) pricks her finger and falls into a “sleep-like death,” the culmination of the curse the dark fairy placed on the girl at her christening. Angelina Jolie, wearing the cape and horns of the title character, is seen galloping across an expansive landscape at sunset, goading her horse to go faster — which poses an interesting question: Is she attempting to save the girl from such a fate? Due in theaters May 30, the Disney film retells the story of the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty” from the perspective of Maleficent, a wicked sorceress who once had wings but they were stolen from her. That theft appears to set Maleficent on the path to evil. Jolie said in a new featurette for the […]
April 17, 2014 | 5:52 p.m.
Disney is releasing a new series of children’s books based on the original “Star Wars” trilogy, starting with a collaboration between bestselling children’s author Tony DiTerlizzi and the late iconic concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. The “Star Wars Saga” series will hit stores beginning with DiTerlizzi and McQuarrie’s picture book “The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight” in October, Disney Publishing Worldwide announced Thursday. Three subsequent books will follow, leading up to the highly anticipated December 2015 movie release of “Star Wars: Episode VII.” The additional titles include retellings of “A New Hope” by R.J. Palacio (“Wonder”), “The Empire Strikes Back” by Adam Gidwitz (“A Tale Dark and Grimm”) and “Return of the Jedi” by Tom Angleberger (“Origami Yoda” series). The books will be illustrated by “Star Wars” concept artist Iain McCaig and published under the Disney-Lucasfilm Press imprint. DiTerlizzi, best known […]
March 22, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
Kermit the Frog is a good guy by any measure, but the amphibian A-lister whose latest film, “Muppets Most Wanted,” arrives in theaters this weekend, opened up recently about his bigger ambitions — his desire to possibly tackle more action-oriented movie roles, or even star as a full-fledged superhero. Just who exactly? Well, Amphibian-Man, of course. “Why not? I could breathe underwater, swim faster than a speeding bullet, stuff like that. Sure,” Kermit told Hero Complex. “I do have a Marvel connection.” Disney, of course, owns both the superhero powerhouse studio — whose latest adventure, “Captain America: The Winter Solider” opens April 4 — and the beloved menagerie of talking animals and strange zoological creations born of Jim Henson’s remarkable imagination. In “Muppets Most Wanted,” the troupe falls into the clutches of the world’s No. 1 criminal, Constantine, who, with […]
March 18, 2014 | 11:55 a.m.
The new trailer for “Maleficent” has arrived — and it seems to finally reveal a glimpse of the creature “Sleeping Beauty” fans had been hoping to see — a massive fire-breathing dragon that could be the sorceress transformed. Due in theaters May 30, the Disney film retells the story of the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty” from the perspective of the character who famously curses the infant Princess Aurora at her christening, Maleficent, played by Angelina Jolie. The new trailer begins with the film’s take on that integral scene from the animated movie (interestingly, in this version, she makes a point of saying that Aurora will fall into a death-like sleep — in the earlier movie, of course, Maleficent says the infant girl will die after she pricks her finger on the spindle of the spinning wheel). The clip features […]
March 17, 2014 | 11:36 a.m.
Angelina Jolie is ready to take flight in a new poster released for the upcoming film “Maleficent.” The image showcases Jolie all in black with the trademark horns of the sorceress — or dark fairy — and wide wings stretching out from her back. The story of those wings is explored further in a short new clip from the movie, with Maleficent explaining to Elle Fanning’s inquisitive Aurora that her wings were stolen from her. In flashback, though, Maleficent is seen soaring and diving through the air, before landing and striking a regal pose. Due in theaters May 30, the Disney film retells the story of the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty” from the perspective of the character who famously curses the infant Princess Aurora at her christening. The new film purports to focus on the events that led Maleficent toward […]
March 16, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
PERSPECTIVE My youngest son’s first roller coaster was Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He had just turned four, proudly towered an inch or so over the 40-inch minimum, and jumped on with a wide smile. He loved it – as much for the excitement of the ride itself as for the realization that he had now passed an initiation of sorts, from toddler-hood to full-blown boyhood. While he may have been among its younger passengers at the time, his joyful experience was hardly unique for the beloved Frontierland ride, which after a lengthy refurbishment officially reopens St. Patrick’s Day. A cheers (with green beer) indeed! Actually it will be green tea for my son who is now 12 and whose roller coaster palette has broadened quite a bit since he first boarded the Disney train. Much to the horror of Disney […]