Category Archives: Disney

Disney Junior Orders Third Season of ‘Mickey And The Roadster Racers’

Disney Junior has ordered a third season of the animated “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” Disney Channel’s #1 series among Kids 2-5. Production will continue as season two of the hit series – with a remarkable guest cast throughout – debuts FRIDAY, APRIL 13 (9:30 a.m., EDT/PDT) on Disney Channel.  New episodes will also be available on the DisneyNOW app and Disney Junior VOD that day.

The guest voice cast for season two includes: Academy Award®-winning director and writer Guillermo del Toro as Mr. Talbot, business partner to Goofy’s world-adventuring Uncle Goof; rock legend Alice Cooper as treasure hunter Alistair Coop De Ville; racing icon Mario Andretti as Mickey’s racing teammate Mario Mousedretti; actor and comedian Stephen Fry as English gentleman Dr. Crutchley; recording artist Sabrina Carpenter as pop star Nina; Camilla Belle (“Diablo”) as Daisy’s Brazilian cousin, Almanda; Broadway’s Andrea Martin as Mrs. Bigby, a stylish pink poodle; and Indycar drivers Bia Figueiredo, Takuma Sato and Pippa Mann as international race car drivers. Returning this season are Jay Leno as Billy Beagle; Patton Oswalt as Mr. McSnorter; Jane Leeves as the Queen of England; Danica Patrick as race car driver Danni Sue; Jeff Gordon as race car driver Gordon Gear; and Kate Micucci as Emmy Lou.

Since its Jan. 2017 premiere, “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” has reached over 157 million viewers worldwide and is available in 158 countries in 32 languages. The series takes Mickey and the gang, along with their unique transforming vehicles, on humorous high-spirited races around the globe, as well as hometown capers in Hot Dog Hills. Off the racetrack, Minnie and Daisy also run their own successful business as Happy Helpers solving problems for anyone in need of a helping hand. The stories are designed to impart social and emotional lessons about friendship, teamwork, optimism and good sportsmanship.  Season two finds the gang enjoying upgrades to their personalized race cars, making them glow-in-the-dark and speedier.

“Mickey and the Roadster Racers” is featured in the “Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour” live concert experience, which launched March 14, and the popular “Disney Junior Dance Party!” attraction at Disney California Adventure. Additional brand extensions for the series include toys, storybooks, apparel, plush and home décor from Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, with new products debuting this fall.

The Emmy®-nominated creative talent behind Disney Junior’s hit series, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” comprise the production team: Rob LaDuca is executive producer, Mark Seidenberg is co-executive producer/supervising story editor, and Thomas Hart is story editor. The series is a production of Disney Television Animation.

The Walt Disney Company Announces Strategic Reorganization

To capitalize on today’s rapidly changing media landscape and more closely align with the Company’s priorities for future growth–including creating high-quality content, technological innovation, global expansion and direct-to-consumer distribution–The Walt Disney Company today announced a strategic reorganization of its businesses into four segments: the newly-formed Direct-to-Consumer and International; the combined Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products; Media Networks; and Studio Entertainment. The reorganization is effective immediately.

“We are strategically positioning our businesses for the future, creating a more effective, global framework to serve consumers worldwide, increase growth, and maximize shareholder value,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “With our unparalleled Studio and Media Networks serving as content engines for the Company, we are combining the management of our direct-to-consumer distribution platforms, technology and international operations to deliver the entertainment and sports content consumers around the world want most, with more choice, personalization and convenience than ever before.”

Kevin Mayer, who has served as Disney’s Chief Strategy Officer since 2015, has been named Chairman of the new Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment. “Kevin is a proven leader who has played a critical role in bringing together the collection of creative and technological assets that will allow Disney to offer unparalleled entertainment experiences in a direct-to-consumer future,” Mr. Iger said. Mr. Mayer will continue to report directly to Mr. Iger.

“In addition, we are merging our Consumer Products and Parks operations under one segment, combining strategy and resources to produce even more compelling products and experiences that bring our stories and characters to life for consumers,” Mr. Iger said.

Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will assume additional responsibility for all of Disney’s consumer products operations globally, including licensing and Disney stores, as Chairman of the new Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products business segment. “Bob comes to this new role with an impressive record of success at both Parks and Resorts and Consumer Products, and he is the perfect leader to run these combined teams,” Mr. Iger said. Mr. Chapek will continue to report directly to Mr. Iger.



The newly created Direct-to-Consumer and International segment will serve as a global, multiplatform media, technology and distribution organization for world-class content created by Disney’s Studio Entertainment and Media Networks groups. The new segment will be comprised of Disney’s international media businesses and the Company’s direct-to-consumer businesses globally–including the upcoming Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service, the Company’s ownership stake in Hulu, and its soon-to-be-launched ESPN+ streaming service, programmed in partnership with ESPN.

The Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service, which will launch in late 2019 and has yet to be named, will be the exclusive home for subscription video-on-demand viewing of the newest live-action and animated movies in the Pay TV window from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. It will also feature an impressive array of original and exclusive series and movie programming, along with thousands of titles from the Disney film and television libraries. Senior Vice President Agnes Chu will move to the Direct-to-Consumer and International segment and will continue to oversee programming for the upcoming Disney-branded streaming service.

BAMTECH, which is headed by Michael Paull, is developing both the Disney-branded and ESPN+ streaming platforms and will now house all consumer-facing digital technology and products across the Company as part of the Direct-to-Consumer and International segment. This center of excellence for technology and data platforms within the Direct-to-Consumer and International segment will provide the Company not only with increased quality and efficiencies, but also greater consumer insights that will allow for more personalization and substantially improved user experiences.

Management of global advertising sales for Disney’s media properties–including ESPN, ABC, Freeform and the Disney Channels–will move from Media Networks to the new Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, giving advertisers a one-stop-shop for reaching audiences across all of Disney’s media properties, including its online and direct-to-consumer platforms. Rita Ferro, President, Advertising Sales, Disney|ABC Television Group, and Edward Erhardt, President, Global Sales & Marketing, ESPN, will now report directly to Mr. Mayer. Advertising technology operations across the Company’s media properties will also be managed under the new segment.

In addition, to more closely align with the Company’s direct-to-consumer initiatives, the Company’s program-sales operations headed by Janice Marinelli—including global distribution of film and television content to the Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service, Hulu and other third-party platforms and channels, as well as Movies Anywhere–will be integrated into the Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment. Ms. Marinelli will report directly to Mr. Mayer.

The Company’s International Channels—including the international Disney Channels—will also be consolidated into the new business segment. Disney’s International Channels are renowned for providing incomparable branded entertainment programming that is both universally appealing and locally relevant, and the production of localized content will continue to grow under the new structure.

The new Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment will also be responsible for the distribution of all direct-to-consumer services globally.

The Walt Disney International team of regional managers across EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa), Asia and Latin America will now report to Mr. Mayer.

During Mr. Mayer’s tenure at Disney, he has overseen the Company’s key strategic acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and most recently, its pending deal for 21st Century Fox. Prior to becoming Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Mr. Mayer served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development.

“I want to thank Bob for giving me the opportunity to lead the talented teams who, through the power of new technology and innovation, are creating the future of entertainment viewing,” Mr. Mayer said. “Delivering our great stories and characters directly to consumers on all high-quality devices around the world will provide the Company with meaningful new revenue streams and opportunities for growth.”



The new Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products segment will become the hub where Disney’s stories, characters and franchises come to life. Disney’s worldwide consumer products business will be merged with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts under Mr. Chapek. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, and digital games and apps; the world’s largest children’s publisher; Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform. By uniting Disney’s consumer products business and Disney Parks’ robust retail and e-commerce operations, the Company will be able to share resources and best practices to provide consumers with incomparable branded products and retail experiences that only Disney can create.

Mr. Chapek has served as Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, since 2015, overseeing the Company’s iconic travel and leisure businesses, which include six resort destinations in the U.S., Europe and Asia; Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club; and Adventures by Disney. Prior to that, he was President of Disney Consumer Products, where he refocused the business on a brand- and franchise-driven strategy while launching new products and retail experiences that combine technological innovation and creativity.

“Having worked with the exceptional teams at both Parks and Resorts and Consumer Products, I know this combination of incredible skills and resources will lead to a whole host of new creative ideas for high-quality products and experiences to delight our guests,” Mr. Chapek said.


The Disney Media Networks business segment is co-chaired by Ben Sherwood, President, Disney|ABC Television Group, and James Pitaro, who was recently named President of ESPN and previously served as Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. The Media Networks segment will remain virtually the same, with the exception of the international Disney Channel operations that are moving to the Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment along with management of global advertising sales/technology.


The Studio Entertainment business segment is led by Alan F. Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, and remains virtually the same, with the exception of the management of program sales moving to the Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment. The Studio Entertainment segment includes Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Live Action, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, as well as Disney Theatrical Group and Disney Music Group.

The Company expects to transition to financial reporting under the new structure by the beginning of fiscal 2019.

Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther’ Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office on March 10, its 26th day of release. With $561.8 million domestically and $518.2 million internationally through March 11 for a combined $1.08 billion, the film is now the seventh highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S. and ranks at No. 21 globally, just a month into its release.

Black Panther is the 16th release from The Walt Disney Studios to reach the $1 billion milestone and the fifth to do so in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, joining The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Civil War.

The film continues to break records domestically and now stands as the No. 2 Super-Hero release of all time behind only The Avengers. Having kicked off its run over President’s Day weekend with $202 million in its first three days and $242.1 million over its first four, Black Panther is also the No. 1 February debut and February release of all time. It amassed the highest Monday of all time ($40.1 million on February 19), and the second-highest Sunday of all time ($60 million on February 18) in its opening week.

Boasting a rare A+ CinemaScore from audiences and an exceptional 97-percent Certified Fresh aggregate critics score on RottenTomatoes, the film’s record-setting opening weekend was followed by the No. 2 second weekend of all time, earning $111.6 million and becoming one of only four films to surpass the $100 million mark in its second weekend. The film’s phenomenal momentum also drove Black Panther to the highest non-holiday third weekend ever, with $66.3 million domestic. It has held the No. 1 spot at the box office for four consecutive weekends.

Black Panther crossed the $500 million mark internationally this weekend, bolstered by an impressive estimated $66.5 million debut in its final market, China, where it opened March 9.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Available Digitally Today

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now available digitally in HD, 4K Ultra HD, and Movies Anywhere.

In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past. The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman. J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray disc on March 27.

Production Has Begun on Disney’s ‘Artemis Fowl’

It’s official!  Production has begun on Disney’s live-action adaptation of Artemis Fowl, directed by Kenneth Branagh.

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The film is an adaptation of  Eoin Colfer’s best-selling series.  Principal photography is already underway and will film in England, Northern Ireland, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Here’s the cast so far:

  • Artemis will be played by newcomer Ferdia Shaw.
  • Lara McDonnell will play Captain Holly Short, a feisty elf who Artemis kidnaps for a ransom of fairy gold.
  • Academy Award-winner Dame Judi Dench plays Commander Root, the leader of the reconnaissance division of the fairy police force called LEPrecon.
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  • Josh Gad plays Mulch Diggums, a kleptomaniac dwarf who tries to help in the rescue of Holly.
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  • Nonso Anozie (from Cinderella) plays Butler, the Fowl family bodyguard.
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  • Tamara Smart plays Butler’s niece Juliet.
  • Miranda Raison plays Artemis’ mother Angeline.
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Other members of the cast include Josh McGuire, Hong Chau, Nikesh Patel, Michael Abubakar, Jake Davies, Rachel Denning, Matt Jessup, Sally Messham, Adrian Scarborough, and Simone Kirby (from Alice Through the Looking Glass, shown below):

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The creative team consists of Director of Photography Haris Zambarloukos, Production Designer Jim Clay, Composer Patrick Doyle, and Hair and Makeup Designer Carol Hemming. Costume Designer Sammy Sheldon Differ, and Editor Martin Walsh round off this brilliant team!