Nov. 19, 2014 | 11:11 a.m.
The first trailer for Disney’s live-action take on Cinderella is out, and from the looks of it, the film adheres closely to the animated classic, right down to the cartoon-y mice. “Cinderella,” directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay penned by Aline Brosh McKenna and Chris Weitz, sees “Downton Abbey” actress Lily James wearing the Disney princess’ iconic glass slippers. “Game of Thrones” alumnus Richard Madden portrays her prince, Helena Bonham Carter plays her fairy godmother, and Cinderella’s trio of tormentors include Cate Blanchett as the stepmother and Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera as the wicked stepsisters. The trailer, released Wednesday, is narrated by Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter”), who plays Cinderella’s mother — a character who does not appear in Disney’s animated rendition of the fairy tale. “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all […]
Nov. 13, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.
For many fans, J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” looms on the 2015 release date calendar like a most eagerly anticipated holiday gift that can’t be unwrapped quickly enough. Organizers of Star Wars Celebration, the traveling confab that celebrates all things connected to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, are hoping to capitalize on that enthusiasm, looking to build attendance for the 2015 gathering, which rolls into the Anaheim Convention Center April 16-19. (Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive first look at the poster for the 2015 event above.) “It’s going to be really interesting, because we are way ahead with ticket sales from where we usually are this far out,” said Mary Franklin, senior events and fan relations lead for Lucasfilm. “I feel safe saying this is going to be the biggest one yet.” The Celebrations date […]
Nov. 11, 2014 | 10:36 a.m.
“Strange Magic,” a musical animated feature film inspired by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” is coming to theaters in January, Disney announced Tuesday. The news comes after much speculation that the film would be a sequel to Disney’s record-breaking blockbuster “Frozen.” The rumor mill appears to have gotten it wrong, with nary a snowman in sight. Instead, the project — from Lucasfilm and Touchstone Pictures — is inspired by Shakespeare’s magical comedy and based on a story by “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas, and will feature modern-day pop songs (Electric Light Orchestra, anyone?). Here’s the official description from Disney: “Strange Magic” is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked […]
Oct. 25, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
THE PLAYER Walt Disney’s 1940 film “Fantasia” opens with a series of bold, inventive proclamations. Audiences are welcomed to a “new form of entertainment,” one in which the animation isn’t afraid to veer toward the abstract and the music isn’t concerned with what’s on the charts. But as the British narrator early in the new “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” says, “Let’s see how you handle something a little more contemporary.” Words that sent a shiver down the spine of this stubborn “Fantasia” loyalist. Indeed, the first voice we hear in “Fantasia: Music Evolved,” a just-released interactive interpretation of the experimental but venerable brand, is that of Lady Gaga. This is dangerous territory. Beethoven is timeless, but “Applause” is already dated, its glittery melodic tendrils firmly gripping 2013. Of course, those who own the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One are […]
Oct. 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.
Before the directors of the new Walt Disney Animation movie “Big Hero 6″ settled on their story, they created the world in which it’s set: a jammed, vibrant place called San Fransokyo. A mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo set in the not-too-distant future, San Fransokyo is a dense, hilly city with cable cars and cherry blossoms, Victorian row houses and glittering neon billboards. The filmmakers’ idea — never stated in the film — is that in a parallel universe after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the city split off and an influx of Japanese immigrants helped rebuild it. San Fransokyo is a quintessential example of the craft of world building, the process of constructing a wholly imaginary universe for films, television, video games and other media, that involves creating the look of everything from buildings, vegetation and vehicles to […]
Oct. 20, 2014 | 10:57 a.m.
Walt Disney Animation Studios has revealed a first look at “Moana,” an animated feature slated to hit theaters in late 2016. Billed as an “epic comedy-adventure,” the CG-animated movie will transport Disney fans to the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, where spirited teenager Moana sets sail in search of a fabled island. “Moana” is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the filmmaking duo behind “The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog” and “Aladdin.” The tale follows Moana, a born navigator, and her hero, the legendary demigod Maui, as they set off on an impossible mission to fulfill Moana’s ancestors’ quest. Along the way, they encounter enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore, according to Disney. “Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said in a press statement. […]
Oct. 14, 2014 | 2:15 p.m.
Angelina Jolie says that when thinking about playing a live-action incarnation of Maleficent, the wicked sorceress from Disney’s animated classic, “Sleeping Beauty,” it was chiefly important to preserve at least one facet of the grand villain. “I wanted to make sure we didn’t lose her sense of wicked fun,” the actress says in a new behind-the-scenes featurette included in the Blu-ray and DVD editions of “Maleficent,” due for release Nov. 4. Hero Complex readers can check out an exclusive clip from the special features in the video below. Disney’s lavish retelling of the “Sleeping Beauty” story from the point of view of the dark sorceress became one of the breakout hits of the summer — earning upwards of $69 million in its opening weekend and going on to bring in more than $240 domestically. (Its worldwide total stands at $757 […]
Oct. 09, 2014 | 3:08 p.m.
“You wanna go?” George Clooney asks in a new teaser for “Tomorrowland,” Brad Bird’s upcoming live-action feature based on a Disney theme-park attraction. After the teaser played at a New York Comic Con panel on Thursday, Clooney then did some going himself — right on to the stage as a surprise guest. “It’s not lost on me that I’m spending my honeymoon at Comic Con,” Clooney said to laughter as he joined Bird, writer Damon Lindelof and cast members including Hugh Laurie and Britt Robertson, who were already seated on the panel. Clooney then quipped to the crowd,”If you want to know about the plot, just ask me.” Story details have indeed been a closely guarded secret for the futurist adventure, which Disney is scheduled to release May 22. Based on comments made and footage shown during the panel, the […]
Oct. 09, 2014 | 1:00 p.m.
The first trailer for “Tomorrowland” has arrived, preserving much of the sense of mystery surrounding Disney’s 2015 release. George Clooney leads the cast of the new film, which Brad Bird directed and co-wrote with Damon Lindelof, who, of course, is well known for his fondness for elaborate puzzles, given his history on ABC’s “Lost.” Clooney appears near the end of the new clip, but the teaser opens with a young woman, played by “Under the Dome” actress Britt Robertson, being released from jail. Among the belongings being returned to her by a clerk is a pin, which she claims isn’t hers. Touching the item appears to transport a person to another plane, but little else is specified in terms of the overall story or plot. Some fleeting visuals, however, suggest that the film will have a significant scope and sense […]
Oct. 09, 2014 | 11:23 a.m.
“Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion,” the one-hour animated film that launched the new Disney XD series, is coming to ABC — with a special appearance from a certain well-known Dark Lord of the Sith. Iconic villain Darth Vader, once again voiced by actor James Earl Jones, will make a cameo in the extended version of the movie, which is set to air Oct. 26 on ABC. “Spark of Rebellion” premiered Oct. 3 on Disney Channel, though “Star Wars Rebels” is set for a regular run on Disney XD. “We wanted to do something special for the ABC broadcast,” “Rebels” executive producer Dave Filoni said in a statement. “We’ve added a scene which gives audiences insight into [the show's villain] the Inquisitor and includes a cameo by Darth Vader.” Set in the time period just before the original 1977 “Star […]