Star Wars Secrets of the Empire

We know that the future of Star Wars storytelling is going to be told using virtual reality, and now Lucasfilm has taken another step toward crafting a completely immersive experience that transports the user into a galaxy far, far away. They’ve teamed up with ILMxLAB and a company called The Void and have announced Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, a new multi-sensory, hyper-reality experience that’s set to open later this year at the Disney resorts. This sounds like it could be pretty incredible.
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wonder woman spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.)

It’s astounding that in this day and age, when superheroes are either disillusioned or self-deprecating, that we can have a hero like Wonder Woman. In the bleak DC Cinematic Universe, where nihilism reigns supreme, here we have a hero who champions the ideas of hope, compassion, and goodness.

Diana (Gal Gadot) is not dissimilar from the Disney princesses, who have long been heroes of overwhelming empathy. They are aspirational figures who exist in an elevated reality — fairy tales themselves are metaphorical by nature, and rarely depict anything other than a black and white reality. This is Diana at the beginning of the film, the embodiment of the ultimate Disney princess, for all the gifts and faults that they have — though thankfully without the frequently troublesome depiction of an “evil” mother or stepmother figure commonly seen in fairy tales.

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Beauty and the Beast box office

Beauty and the Beast has officially become the highest grossing PG film of all time.

Bill Condon‘s live-action adaptation starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens broke the record this weekend, passing Pixar’s Finding Dory, which previously held the record at $486.3 million domestically and $1.029 billion worldwide.

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Rocketeer header

Today is the opening day of Never Grow Up: A Disney Art Show from Mondo and Cyclops Print Works at the Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas. We’ve featured a number of pieces from the show on the site already, but now that all of its artwork has been unveiled, I thought it’d be fun to list some of the pieces from the show that stood out to me. So dust off your identity disks, grab your magic lamps, and count down my ten personal favorite pieces of Mondo Disney art below.
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Johnny Depp Disneyland Pirates Jack Sparrow

In 2006, when Disney parks began adding characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean films into the theme park attraction that inspired the successful film series, fans were impressed with the level of realism the Imagineers achieved. But even the coolest animatronics pale in comparison to the real thing, and attendees at Disneyland in Anaheim, California yesterday were surprised to discover actual Pirates star Johnny Depp incorporated into the ride in full Captain Jack Sparrow costume. Watch the Johnny Depp Disneyland videos below.
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Ewan McGregor Christopher Robin

As Disney continues its reign of box office domination, one of the most effective tools in the studio’s arsenal has been the live-action adaptation of a classic animated property. Beauty and the Beast is the latest example, pulling in over a billion dollars worldwide (and counting), but there are plenty more where that came from.

One of the many in development is Christopher Robin, a live-action Winnie the Pooh sequel that follows an adult version of Pooh’s best friend. A new report states that Beauty and the Beast star Ewan McGregor is set to play the title character…does that bode well for a Star Wars spinoff centered on Obi-Wan Kenobi? Read on for the Ewan McGregor Christopher Robin news.
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baby moana

One of the most magical parts of Moana is the very first scene, in which an infant Moana waddles up to the shore and discovers that the Ocean is actually alive. Wordlessly, she coos and plays with the waves, and the waves playfully toss her about as well, leading her observing grandmother to realize that Moana is the Chosen One.

But that gorgeously rendered and enchanting scene almost didn’t make it into the movie. In fact, it was never meant to be in the final film at all, according to directors Ron Clements and John Musker. The scene was originally created as test footage, to see if they had the technology to render a sentient, alive Ocean. But test audiences loved the footage so much that the filmmakers had to find a way to put it in the movie.

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Zootopia - Nick Wilde

We know Walt Disney Animation is fond of dropping easter eggs into their own films as a way to give shout-outs to other projects in the company’s past or ones currently in development. Even though these references are often hidden in the background, most eagle-eyed fans can pick them out if they look hard enough. But I just learned about a Zootopia easter egg in Big Hero 6 that is so obscure, I’m convinced even the world’s biggest Disney fans probably have no idea what it is.
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Mulan remakeWith Beauty and the Beast currently dominating at the box office, we’re looking ahead to one of Disney’s next live-action remakes of their animated classics: Mulan. We found out yesterday that it won’t be a musical, but the new film’s director just revealed what her version of the movie will be, and her description just might make up for the fact that we won’t be hearing “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” this time around.  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

disney buying netflix

I don’t know about you, but when the governments of the world collapse and civilization dissolves into chaos, and we’re reduced to living in a world where the biggest corporations battle for control of the surviving population, I’ll probably end up joining Team Disney. Because if I’m going to die for the glory of a corporate entity, it might as well be for Marvel and Star Wars. I’ll lie there, bleeding out on the battlefield, and look at the Mickey Mouse patch on my uniform and think “Well, at least I didn’t die for AT&T/Time Warner. Screw those guys!”

Anyway, Disney’s next step in becoming the domineering force of the dystopian future involves them possibly acquiring Netflix, a move that would be nothing short of huge for both companies.

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