Disney

April 17, 2014 | 5:52 p.m.

‘Star Wars’: Disney takes on original trilogy in new kids’ book series

"The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight," by Tony DiTerlizzi and Ralph McQuarrie. (Disney-Lucasfilm Press)
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.

‘Muppets:’ Kermit the Frog ready for super-hero duty as Amphibian-Man

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.

‘Maleficent’ trailer: Angelina Jolie takes wing, dragon makes debut

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.

‘Maleficent’: Angelina Jolie spreads her wings in new clip, poster

Angelina Jolie in the new poster for "Maleficent." (Disney)
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.

Enhanced Big Thunder Mountain ride adds thrills to Disneyland favorite

Guests ride the train cars on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain ride. (Disney)
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 […]
March 10, 2014 | 11:04 a.m.

‘Maleficent’: Angelina Jolie showcases her wicked side in new poster

Maleficent (featured image)
Angelina Jolie and her amazingly wicked cheekbones dazzle in a new poster released for the upcoming film “Maleficent.” Due in theaters May 30, the Disney film stars Jolie in the title role as the villain from the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty.” The upcoming movie retells the fairy tale from the perspective of the sorceress who curses the infant princess Aurora at her christening and purports to focus on the events that led the character toward a path of evil. Maleficent stands as one of the best-remembered Disney villains, and for Jolie, donning the cape and horns of the character, a childhood favorite, marked a significant career milestone. “Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite,” Jolie said at an appearance at the studio’s D23 convention in Anaheim last year. “I was terrified of her, but I […]
Jan. 26, 2014 | 9:22 p.m.

‘Maleficent’: Lana Del Rey croons ‘Once Upon a Dream’ in Grammys spot

Songstress Lana Del Rey croons a haunting rendition of the classic Disney track “Once Upon a Dream” in a new TV spot for “Maleficent” that debuted during the Grammy Awards telecast Sunday. The song, taken from the 1959 animated telling of “Sleeping Beauty,” lends an eerie vibe to some new scenes from the film, which retells the fairy tale from the perspective of the sorceress Maleficent and purports to focus on the events that led the character to the path of evil. In this version, it’s revenge and a desire to protect her kingdom that prompt Maleficent to curse the infant princess. Due in theaters May 30, the film stars Jolie in the title role and sees the actress don the cape and horns of the character, a childhood favorite. “Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my […]
Jan. 20, 2014 | 11:51 a.m.

Angelina Jolie conjures dark magic in new ‘Maleficent’ teaser

Angelina Jolie is the model of cool vengeance in the new teaser for “Maleficent,” the live-action retelling of Disney’s animated classic “Sleeping Beauty” from the point of view of the striking sorceress. Due in theaters May 30, the film stars Jolie in the title role and sees the actress don the cape and horns of the character, a childhood favorite. “Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite,” Jolie said at an appearance at the studio’s D23 convention in Anaheim last year. “I was terrified of her, but I was also drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her. She had this elegance and grace, yet she was wonderfully, deliciously cruel.” The promotional spot for the film — which debuted over the weekend on the Disney Channel — plays up the connection to the 1959 […]
Jan. 03, 2014 | 11:21 a.m.

‘Star Wars’ comics leaving Dark Horse, returning to Marvel in 2015

"Star Wars" No. 6 (featured image)
Marvel will publish new “Star Wars” comic books beginning in 2015, the company announced Friday. The agreement between Lucasfilm and Marvel, both owned by the Walt Disney Co., kicks off the same year Disney will release a new “Star Wars” film, J. J. Abrams’ highly anticipated “Episode VII.” “The perennial brand of ‘Star Wars’ is one of the most iconic in entertainment history,” said Marvel Worldwide’s publisher and President Dan Buckley in a news release. “We are honored to have the opportunity to bring our creative talent pool to continue, and expand ‘Star Wars’ into galaxies far, far away.” The deal marks the franchise’s homecoming after more than 20 years away from Marvel, which published the first “Star Wars” comics beginning in 1977 with the official movie adaptation by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin, followed by some off-kilter stories that introduced […]
Nov. 28, 2013 | 11:01 a.m.

Disneyland’s holiday tweaks twinkle with seasonal magic

A woman sports Christmas-colored Mickey Mouse ears as she awaits "A Christmas Fantasy Parade" on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
The scattered nature of Southern California’s expansive urban grid is never more noticeable than during the winter holidays. While lights festoon certain streets and artistically ambitious homeowners create over-the-top front-lawn tableaux, Los Angeles still lacks the central pedestrian thoroughfares that make Christmas so enchanting in cities like New York and Chicago, London and Paris. This means that, as with so many other things, we have to drive to Christmas. Or at least Anaheim. The new trend in open-plaza shopping may offer more local town-square seasonal activities — the Grove and the Americana have tree-lighting ceremonies and nightly “snow” fall, while Pershing Square and Nokia Plaza host skating rinks. But none of them beats the faux Main Street that started it all. At the resort the mouse built, Walt Disney’s nostalgic imagining of Americana has become more crazy festive with each […]
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