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The battle between Disney and Universal is at the forefront of this edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming to Disneyland.
  • A new hint has surfaced at the closing of Captain EO.
  • Last week marked the 27th anniversary of Star Tours.
  • The CEO of Comcast, which owns Universal, says they’re really pushing theme parks.
  • Photos from the Diagon Alley expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well as multiple upgrades at Universal Hollywood.
  • A new hotel is opening at Universal Studios Orlando.
  • Maleficent gets a new float in a Walt Disney World parade.

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Maleficent

In the original Sleeping Beauty, there’s little debate that Maleficent is one nasty fairy. She curses a child to death; she kidnaps a prince; she refers to herself as “the Mistress of All Evil,” for crying out loud.

But Disney’s upcoming Maleficent aims to muddy that perception a bit. In this live-action retelling, Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) starts out as a perfectly sweet gal before tragedy hardens her heart. The first trailer for this dazzling fantasy has just hit the web, and you can watch it after the jump.

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Over a half-century since Disney released their animated classic Sleeping Beauty, the Mouse House is finally ready to hear out the bad guy’s side of the story. Directed by Robert Stromberg, Maleficent stars Angelina Jolie as the titular villainess — one of the most iconic in the Disney canon.

The first trailer hits tomorrow at 9 AM EST, but until then we have a brand-new poster to feast our eyes on. Check it out after the jump.

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Saving Mr. Banks helmer John Lee Hancock is going to help rescue another iconic Disney character. Hancock has been brought in to assist first-time director Robert Stromberg in shooting new scenes for Maleficent, intended to strengthen the opening of the film.

While it’s not uncommon for big-budget studio productions like this one to go in for reshoots, it is a bit unusual for a studio to bring in another director to help film new material. Hit the jump for the latest updates on the project.

Update: The header image is now the new logo for Malificent which was found via a Spanish blog.

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THE GOOD DINOSAUR

There will be no new Pixar movie in 2014. The highly decorated computer animation company, which is owned by Disney, has pushed the release of The Good Dinosaur from June 2014 to November 25, 2015. But wait, wasn’t Finding Dory scheduled for that date? It was, but now the underwater sequel will open June 17, 2016.

Disney also moved the Angelina Jolie film Maleficent up from July 2, 2014 to May 30, 2014, the space vacated by The Good Dinosaur. Read More »

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Saturday at the D23 Expo, Disney held a huge panel presenting information and footage from the company’s next few years of live-action film projects. You can read about most of the news breaks elsewhere on the site. After the presentation, I got together with Germain Lussier to record a video blog giving our reactions to the main footage presentations: scenes from the Marvel Sequels Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World, as well as first looks from Maleficent, Tomorrowland, Saving Mr. Banks. Watch that video blog embedded after the jump.

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D23 Expo

At Saturday’s live-action film presentation at D23 Expo, Walt Disney Pictures revealed the official logos for a handful of their upcoming films: Maleficent, Muppets Most Wanted, Into The Woods, Cinderella, Tomorrowland AND MORE. Check them out now after the jump.

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Maleficent

The basic premise of Disney’s Maleficent has been clear from the get-go: It is, as Disney’s fond of saying, the “untold story” of the famous Sleeping Beauty villain. But thanks to D23, we now have a clearer idea of what exactly that entails.

New plot details were disclosed at the event, along with the very first bit of footage from the fairy tale film. Hit the jump to find out what we learned.

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