Spirited Away Finally Coming To Blu-ray In North America

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 26, 2015 in Anime, Cinema

Spirited Away

Ever since the first Studio Ghibli movie came out on Blu-ray, I’ve been waiting for Spirited Away to come out. It’s only been available on DVD since its US release in 2003, while it’s been available on Blu-ray in Japan since last year. That’s set to change, according to this new listing on Amazon, which official-looking box art. The Cat Returns also has a listing, helping to fill out the Blu-ray releases for their entire catalog. There are no release dates listed yet, but it’s just good to know that Disney, the official US distributor, hasn’t forgotten the second film to win Best Animated Feature. Hopefully it’s out by this summer! Read more…

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Tron 3 Filming In Vancouver This Fall

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 12, 2015 in Cinema

Tron: Legacy

Tron and I have a complicated relationship. The first film is rather dull, but I still love the visual style and creativity. Tron: Legacy is everything you could want in a Tron sequel, but still doesn’t really connect, despite my appreciation for it. But I’m okay with that, and I’m enough of a nerd that I’ve been waiting for Tron 3 since 2011. Disney has finally given the green light to Tron 3, which begins filming in Vancouver on October 5, 2015. So far, only Garrett Hedlund (Sam Flynn) has been confirmed to return, but as long as Daft Punk comes back for another soundtrack, I think I’d be able to roll with anything. Read more…

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Second Tomorrowland Trailer Is A Place You’ll Want To Visit

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 10, 2015 in Cinema


I think I’ve said it before, but I’m burned out by dystopian, real, or gritty sci-fi. There’s nothing wrong with it, but if I can accept a fantasy based on magic, I don’t see why I can’t accept a fantasy based on fake or alternate science; I don’t necessarily need to understand how it works, just what it means for the characters and plot. Disney’s Tomorrowland, inspired by the theme of the Disneyland area, looks like the kind of lighter, more optimistic sci-fi I’ve been craving. And while there’s obviously something wrong that will need to be resolved, Tomorrowland looks like the kind of place I’d love to see, a sort of “city upon a hill” that gives us an ideal to strive toward. Plus, The Incredibles‘ Brad Bird is directing it, so it seems likely the film will be a good watch. Read more…

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Disney Finally Bringing Back Ducktales

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 26, 2015 in Animation, Television


One of the best TV cartoons that Disney ever made was Ducktales, the classic, Emmy-winning spin-off of Donald Duck’s comics. From 1987 to 1990 (plus a movie), it chronicled the adventures of Scrooge McDuck (Donald’s uncle); Huey, Dewey, and Louie (Donald’s nephews); Launchpad McQuack (their pilot); and tons of other characters. Disney has finally come to their senses and is reviving this winning series with a new series for Disney XD. They won’t be ready until 2017, but that sounds like good news to me, as taking that much time could hopefully translate into more lavish, traditional animation. Read more…

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Felicity Jones To Star In First Stand-Alone Star Wars Film

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 4, 2015 in Cinema, Star Wars

Felicity Jones

Fans are still salivating over Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens coming out at the end of the year. But don’t forget, Disney wants Star Wars to become an annual thing, similar to how their subsidiary Marvel is constantly putting out something. There have been at least two stand-alone movies mentioned, the first of which will be directed by Gareth Edwards. Though it still doesn’t have a name, it just got its star: Felicity Jones. The actress is currently Oscar-nominated for Best Actress for playing Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything, so that’s a good pick. Meanwhile, Chris Weitz has taken over writing duties from Gary Whitta, who wrote the first draft. Now we just need to, you know, find out what the movie is about. Read more…

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George Lucas Almost Made Star Wars Episode VII Himself

Posted by Bob Muir on Jan 14, 2015 in Cinema, Star Wars


George Lucas

After watching the Star Wars prequels, I think everyone agrees that the new Star Wars trilogy is safer in any hands but those of George Lucas. And yet, if things had happened differently, we could now be anticipating/dreading Lucas’s version of Star Wars Episode VII (now Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Lucas confirmed he had begun planning the next three Star Wars films, but that he only planned to direct the first one. Episode VII would have been released in May 2015, then he would have sold Lucasfilm, perhaps so he wouldn’t feel tempted to direct. But Lucas realized this trilogy would be another ten-year commitment, which is admittedly a ton of work. Disney entered the picture at the right time, and Lucas realized it would be better for him not to develop the new trilogy at all, leaving it completely to others. Of course, Lucas remains a consultant on the movie, but maybe that’s how it should be: offering some new ideas or reference that the actual creative team can choose to use or ignore as they please. Read more…

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Disney’s Live-Action Cinderella Trailer Actually Looks Alright

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 20, 2014 in Cinema


Disney has been raiding the Disney Vault for classic animated movies that can be remade into live-action features. After Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent, the next up is Cinderella. I’m of the opinion that these effects-driven movies are just cashing in on the original story and are completely unnecessary. But while the last two films just looked awful from the start, Cinderella actually looks alright. There isn’t visual overload and it just seems like a retelling of the classic fairy tale. It’s still completely unnecessary, but maybe this movie has a chance of being a good movie. Despite my distaste for director Kenneth Branagh, his Shakespearean sensibilities seem to be a good fit. And with Helena Bonham Carter cast as a non-crazy person, plus Cate Blanchett, they’ve got some good actors participating. Read more…

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Watch The Official Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Earlier Than Expected

Posted by Bob Muir on Oct 23, 2014 in Cinema, Comic Books

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

There was much rejoicing when Marvel announced that there would be a trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron attached to next week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. But what if you could watch it…now? After some sort of leak (Marvel jokingly blames HYDRA), Marvel has decided to release the official version, and man, does it look exciting. We get to see various forms of Ultron, lots of similar robots, and Iron Man fighting the Hulk with his Hulkbuster armor. Best of all, it’s set to a creepy recording of “I Got No Strings” from Pinocchio, a nice thematic touch that likely wouldn’t have happened if Disney didn’t own Marvel. But enough talk, go watch the trailer over and over again! Read more…

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Disney And Pixar Tease Upcoming Animated Movies

Posted by Bob Muir on Oct 21, 2014 in Animation, Cinema


Disney and Pixar are quite secretive these days about their upcoming films, considering how much a project can change during development. So it’s good to see them teasing some of their upcoming movies. First off, Disney officially announced Moana for release in late 2016. Set in the South Pacific, this movie sees the titular teenage girl set sail to fulfill her ancestors’ quest. The film is directed by Ron Clements and Jon Musker, best known for The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Princess and the Frog. Not to be outdone, Pixar shared a video of director Peter Sohn sketching Arlo, the main character in the upcoming The Good Dinosaur. While Pixar is releasing Inside Out in June 2015, The Good Dinosaur is set for November 2015; it tells the story of a world where dinosaurs continued living and rule the world. Both releases look great! Read more…

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First Look At New Disney Short: Feast

Posted by Ben Huber on Oct 18, 2014 in Animation


A new Disney film means it’s time for another Disney short too! Big Hero 6 debuts on November 7th, and in front of it there’ll be a new short by Paperman‘s head of animation, Patrick Osborne. This is his first time directing a short, and it looks like it’ll utilize a lot of the skills he put to work in Paperman, including the “Meander” process they use to make give the CGI that unique look. Feast follows an adorable puppy snacking on everything in sight, and the preview gives a peak at him growing up around food, living a happy life with a full belly. I’m not sure where the short will be headed though — will it end up being happy or end of a sadder note? No one better die in this! Read more…



Here’s What Disney’s Tomorrowland Film Will Look Like

Posted by Bob Muir on Oct 9, 2014 in Cinema


Remember when Disney adapted their Disneyland ride Pirates of the Caribbean into a movie? While the sequels and fellow ride-turned-movie The Haunted Mansion got mixed reviews, the first Pirates movie was great fun. Brad Bird (The Incredibles) is currently adapting Disneyland’s Tomorrowland section — or at least adapting the name and concept — into a movie starring George Clooney. The story involves a young girl (Britt Robertson) teaming up with a failed inventor (Clooney) to rediscover Tomorrowland, a sort-of separate, better world of science. Ordinary people have difficulty finding this wonderland, much in the way that only wizards can enter Platform 9 ¾ to go to Hogwarts. Obviously, most of the production is shrouded in mystery, but this first image sets the imagination on fire. Tomorrowland seems to be a mix of dreamy nostalgia and retro-futuristic optimism, another sign that escapist stories are continuing to move away from depressing dystopias in favor of dreams of a better tomorrow. Read more…

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This Is What DuckTales Looks Like With Real Ducks

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 9, 2014 in Animation, Fandom


14 years after the last episode, and people still like DuckTales. It’s a shame that Disney hasn’t felt like making the entire series available legally for streaming, considering how low any prospective sales are these days, but there are likely many fans who would gladly watch a few ads to revisit the series. Until then, fans continue showing their appreciation for the classic cartoon with various fanworks. But while not every video is gold, YouTube channel Oh My Disney has redone the opening with real, live ducks. Obviously, coordinating real ducks well enough to perform is difficult, so there’s not a lot of motion. But seeing a real duck with a top hat is still adorable! Read more…

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Rumor: Disney Aiming To Release Un-Edited Original Star Wars Trilogy

Posted by Ben Huber on Aug 18, 2014 in Cinema, Star Wars


More Star Wars news for your week! ComicBook is reporting that they’ve heard from several sources that Disney is working hard on re-releasing the original Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray in their unaltered form. Now, this makes a lot of sense, both because a) it’s free money, and b) it builds goodwill with hardcore Star Wars fans before Episode VII arrives. 20th Century Fox still has distribution rights, though, so a deal would need to occur between them and Disney, but I think that’d be a pretty simple stepping stone at this point. Read more…

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‘Frozen’ Writer/Co-Director To Write ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Screenplay For Disney

Posted by Bob Muir on Aug 6, 2014 in Cinema

A Wrinkle in Time

Not content with the 2003 TV movie version, Disney is planning a big screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, a science fantasy novel that’s the first of the Time Quartet (now the Time Quintet, I suppose). Though a director has not been confirmed, Variety has announced that Frozen co-director Jennifer Lee will write the screenplay. Lee in particular will be well-experienced when it comes to writing strong female leads, having written the screenplay to Frozen as well. While it could be argued that Frozen‘s feminism isn’t necessarily that progressive as it appeared to be, it was still a strong step in the right direction, dismantling many tropes used in earlier Disney princess movies. Tasking Lee to adapt a book whose lead is a female science nerd seems like a safe bet. I have fond memories of reading the book, so I’m looking forward to the adaptation! Read more…

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Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Trailer Highlights HD Improvements

Posted by Bob Muir on Jul 3, 2014 in Videogames

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX

Just how much of a difference does an HD remaster make? Take a look at this video for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, the second of two compilations that collect all but one of the currently-released Kingdom Hearts games. While you won’t see much improvement in textures, everything looks very crisp in a higher, widescreen resolution, with some models having much more “pop.” One of the bigger draws is the additional content in the previous Japan-only “Final Mix” versions of Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Note that Sora is wearing a Tim Burton-esque Santa outfit in The Nightmare Before Christmas‘s Christmas Town, as opposed to continuing to wear his Halloween Town outfit like he did in the original North American release. All in all, looking good, but it’s a shame the game’s not coming out until this fall. Read more…

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Rumors Point To Harrison Ford’s Injury Delaying Star Wars Episode VII

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 24, 2014 in Cinema, Star Wars

Han Solo and Luke Skywalker

It sounds like Harrison Ford’s recent injury may be worse than initially reported. The man who plays Han Solo was injured by a hydraulic door over a week ago while shooting Star Wars Episode VII. While initial reports stated it was a sprained ankle, it turns out that his leg was broken. That’s bad news, considering the actor is rumored to be the main lead in Episode VII, or at least to play a major part. Now rumors are swirling at Pinewood Studios of an emergency meeting to discuss what to do with a film that is due for release on December 18, 2015. Reportedly, the options being considered are rewriting Ford’s scenes, rewriting the whole script to reduce his role, or delaying the film. Read more…

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Latest Guardians Of The Galaxy Trailer Keeps Building Hype

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 18, 2014 in Cinema, Comic Books

Guardians of the Galaxy

What more is there to say about Guardians of the Galaxy at this point? Until the film releases on August 1, we’re stuck rewatching trailers and gleaning any additional bit of information from interviews. Thankfully, those trailers are awesome, including this latest UK trailer. I think the reason why I’m running out of things to say is that “This movie looks really fun” pretty much sums it up. This later trailer features lots of Rocket Raccoon, and thankfully it looks like the actors are fairly comfortable holding a conversation with CG characters inserted after the fact. I’m trying not to hype myself up too much, because there are so many blockbusters these days that build up hype to critical levels and then fail to deliver. But despite being the riskiest film Marvel has released so far, I’d say they’ve got a real chance to knock it out of the park and open up that crazy cosmic side of their comic universe. Until then, let’s hit play on this trailer again! Read more…

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The People Vs. George Lucas Episode II Enters Production

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 17, 2014 in Cinema, Star Wars

The People vs. George Lucas Episode II

If you haven’t seen the 2010 documentary The People vs. George Lucas and are a Star Wars fan, you’re missing out on a great examination of the lack of relationship between George Lucas and his fans. I thought it covered its bases pretty well, but apparently the filmmakers think there’s more to say, so they’ve announced The People vs. George Lucas Episode II and scheduled its release for December 2015, just in time for Star Wars Episode VII. In this documentary, they hope to examine further developments in the relationship between George Lucas and his fans, including the sale of Star Wars and Lucasfilm to Disney, as well as the future of the franchise without George Lucas. Read more…

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Big Hero 6 Teaser Trailer Arrives

Posted by Ben Huber on May 23, 2014 in Animation, Cinema


You’ve seen the teaser images, now see the trailer for Disney’s new animated film, Big Hero 6. This is a Marvel property, but surprisingly, there’s not a single Marvel logo on it anywhere, and they’re instead opting to market it with “from the makers of Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen.” Which is certainly not a bad thing by any means — it’s just an odd choice, given that Marvel is such a strong brand right now. Still, this teaser trailer does its job, and reveals none of the story while telling you exactly what it’ll be: a humorous romp about a kid and his robot. Big Hero 6 arrives November 7th. Read more…

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Puppets Confirmed For Star Wars Episode VII (And A Charity Drive)

Posted by Bob Muir on May 22, 2014 in Cinema, Star Wars

Star Wars: Force for Change

One of the best parts of the original Star Wars trilogy were all the practical effects, mixed with worn elements to give the impression of a realistic, lived-in world. One of the biggest failings of the prequel trilogy was tossing that out the window in favor of clean cities and cartoon aliens, all rendered in fake-tacular CGI. Director J.J. Abrams has previously expressed his plan to use practical effects in Star Wars Episode VII (as well as shoot on film). In a video today, we got our first peak at a new alien — and he’s a puppet! Read more…

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First Images Of Disney’s Big Hero 6

Posted by Bob Muir on May 21, 2014 in Cinema, Comic Books

Big Hero 6

Disney didn’t just buy Marvel so they could rake in the money from The Avengers. The first Disney adaptation of a Marvel IP is coming out November 7, 2014, and it’s a comic that’s rather unknown by the average person. Big Hero 6 is a Japanese superhero team that worked in Japan, at least in the comics. For this movie, Disney changed the setting to the made-up San Fransokyo, a combination of San Francisco and Tokyo. (I’m a bit iffy on that, due to the history of whitewashing in American films, but I’ll go with it.) In these images, you can see 13-year-old genius and main character Hiro Hamada (renamed from Hiro Takachiho in the comics) and his big robot bodyguard Baymax (which can synthmorph into a dragon in the comics). Baymax looks a little pudgy, but otherwise things look good. Now all we need is a trailer. Read more…

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Disney Infinity 2.0 Announces Marvel Characters

Posted by Ben Huber on May 2, 2014 in Videogames


At a recent event, Disney announced an update to their popular Disney Infinity video game, dubbed “2.0.” It’s the exact same concept as Skylanders, but with Disney characters, you know? Still, the action-figures-and-portals business is still big, so Disney is introducing their other properties into Infinity: Marvel! Yes, the entire Avengers crew is in, along with Loki and MODOK. Spider-man and Green Goblin also make an appearance, but perhaps the most unexpected characters to show up were Rocket Raccoon and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. I guess it’s good for cross-promotion, though! I’ve included the announcement trailer below. Read more…

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Cast Announced For Star Wars Episode VII

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 30, 2014 in Cinema, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode VII cast

After much speculation, we now know the stars who will be warring in Star Wars Episode VII. As expected, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) all return. The newcomers are John Boyega (Moses, Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (an unknown), Adam Driver (Adam Sackler, Girls), Oscar Isaac (Llewyn Davis, Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (Gollum, The Lord of the Rings), Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), and Max von Sydow (who’s been in tons of stuff). Read more…

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Pixar Working On Sequel To The Incredibles

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 19, 2014 in Animation, Cinema

The Incredibles

Of all the films that Pixar is made, I was always somewhat disappointed that The Incredibles, one of my personal faves, never got a sequel. Sure, Toy Story put them on the map, and Cars prints money for Disney’s coffers, but I thought The Incredibles had the most sequel potential of any of them. (Not that I need a sequel, mind you; I just wanted one instead of sequels to their other movies). Lo and behold, Disney CEO Bob Iger just confirmed that Pixar is working on a sequel. Speaking at the annual shareholders meeting, Iger shared that Brad Bird, who not only wrote and directed the first film but also voiced Edna Mode, was already working on the story. It hasn’t been confirmed that he will write or direct, but hopefully he does return for at least one of those roles. Until then, all that’s left to do is speculate wildly. I want more team-ups with Samuel L. Jackson’s Frozone! Read more…

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