Category Archives: Disney

ABC to Air ‘American Idol: A New Journey Begins’ Special on Oscar Sunday

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ABC is rolling out the red carpet, showcasing a 30-minute promotional special “American Idol: A New Journey Begins” on Oscar Sunday, FEB. 24, ahead of the highly anticipated award show. In the special, host Ryan Seacrest sits down with judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie to discuss the return of the iconic series and share a preview of this year’s crop of new talent. Additionally, the panel will answer fan questions and share behind-the-scenes secrets. The special will join the previously announced “Whiskey Cavalier” sneak preview in rounding out a star-studded Oscar Sunday.

Below is the full Oscar Sunday schedule:

SUNDAY, FEB. 24

EASTERN STANDARD TIME
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. – “Oscars Countdown: The Red Carpet LIVE!”
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. – “American Idol: A New Journey Begins”
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. – “Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live From the Red Carpet”
8:00 – 11:00 p.m. – “The Oscars”
11:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m. – “Whiskey Cavalier” – “Pilot: Sneak Peek”

PACIFIC STANDARD TIME
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – “Oscars Countdown: The Red Carpet LIVE!”
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. – “American Idol: A New Journey Begins”
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. – “Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live From the Red Carpet”
5:00 – 8:00 p.m. – “The Oscars”
10:00 – 11:00 p.m. – “Whiskey Cavalier” – “Pilot: Sneak Peek”

In addition to a behind-the-scenes look at “American Idol,” viewers at home will also be treated to a momentous musical performance featuring auditionees from the upcoming premiere episode. Set in one of the most iconic locations – the heart of Hollywood – this rooftop musical production will be shown during the live broadcast of the 91st Oscars and will include a special appearance by Ryan Seacrest.

‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Home Release Dates Announced

Disney has announced the home release dates for Mary Poppins Returns. The film will be available on Digital 4K Ultra HDTM and Movies Anywhere on March 12 and on 4K Ultra HD,  Blu-rayTM, and DVD on March 19, 2019, featuring a sing-along version and never-before-seen bonus material.

In Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, an all-new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.

Mary Poppins Returns is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a., with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer. The music score is by Marc Shaiman and the film features all new original songs with music by Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books, and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.

Bonus Features included with Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD are:

  • Deleted Song – “The Anthropomorphic Zoo”– In this early song sequence, Mary Poppins and the children visit a very special zoo where the humans and animals trade places.
  • The Practically Perfect Making of “Mary Poppins Returns”– Join filmmakers and cast on an amazing journey to embrace the legacy of the original film while making a fresh modern sequel.
    • Introduction– Filmmakers and cast remember the first Mary Poppins movie and share the thrill of working on “Mary Poppins Returns.”
    • “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky”– Discover how the team mined PL Travers’ books for a fresh perspective on a much-loved character. Plus, meet the Banks children!
    • “Can You Imagine That?”– Be on location for Mary’s iconic entrance from the sky, and explore the movie’s original songs, inspired by the Sherman Brothers.
    • “Nowhere to Go but Up”– Experience being on set with the legendary Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury, and celebrate the joy of choosing the right balloon!
  • Seeing Things From a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of “Mary Poppins Returns”– Go behind the scenes and experience the film’s production numbers from a new angle.
    • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”– Led by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the cast performs the film’s biggest production number, with dancing lamplighters, bicyclists and more!
    • “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” / “A Cover Is Not the Book”– Find out what it takes to create two musical extravaganzas inside an animated world, highlighted by dancing animated penguins!
    • “Turning Turtle”– Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy Turvy, played by Meryl Streep, has an unusual house that turns this musical number upside-down.
    • “Can You Imagine That?”– Dive under the bubbles with the cast and crew to see how this exuberant number was created.
  • Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns– Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. in the first film, returns after 54 years to Cherry Tree Lane as Mr. Dawes Jr.
  • Practically Perfect Bloopers– There’s nowhere to go but up with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of flubs, goofs and prop fails!
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Leaving Topsy’s– After their visit to Cousin Topsy, Mary, Jack and the children pause to take a look back.
    • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”– The leeries light up the screen in this extended clip from the movie’s biggest musical production.
  • Play Movie in Sing-Along Mode– Sing along with all your favorite songs as you watch the movie.

Digital Exclusive:

  • Play Movie with Audio Commentary– Watch the film with commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

You can watch the official trailer for Mary Poppins Returns below:

The Network Premiere of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Airs Tonight on ABC

Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” airing on The ABC Television Network, SUNDAY, FEB. 17 (8:00 – 11:00 p.m. EST).

Thirty years after the defeat of the Empire, Luke Skywalker has vanished and a new threat has risen: The First Order, led by the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke and his dark side enforcer, Kylo Ren. General Leia Organa’s military force, the Resistance – and unlikely heroes brought together by fate – are the galaxy’s only hope at thwarting a new reign of evil.

The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producers with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”was released in U.S. theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

Disney Announces Global Launch For Star Wars and Frozen 2-Inspired Products on October 4

Fans of two of the most anticipated films of 2019 – Star Wars: Episode IX and Disney’s Frozen 2 – can begin counting down to October 4when new products inspired by these two major entertainment events will begin hitting shelves around the world. Marking Disney’s first-ever, global simultaneous rollout for two entertainment juggernauts, retailers around the world will create unique celebrations for each of the franchises to honor their individual legacies.

“This is truly an epic moment for fans, families and retailers as products for two of the biggest-ever entertainment franchises hit shelves simultaneously,” says Ken Potrock, President, Consumer Products Commercialization. “We’ll be working with our partners to create suitably spectacular celebrations for each, in line with the excitement and anticipation of the legions of Star Wars and Frozen fans around the globe.”

TRIPLE FORCE FRIDAY

Triple Force Friday will celebrate the launch of a whole range of brand-new products from a trio of original Star Wars entertainment events, including products inspired by:

  • The highly anticipated, final installment of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: Episode IX
  • The first-ever Star Wars live-action series, The Mandalorian, set to debut exclusively on the upcoming streaming service, Disney+.
  • The latest title from EA and Respawn – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – a brand-new action adventure game releasing Holiday 2019

As Star Wars fans have come to anticipate, products spanning categories from toys to collectibles, housewares, books, apparel and more will go on sale beginning at 12:01 a.m.on October 4, 2019. Stores around the world will join the festivities with in-store events and midnight openings.

Commemorating merchandise introduced in advance of the episodic films, Triple Force Friday is an anticipated event for Star Wars fans around the world. Past iterations, including a live unboxing event that rolled through 15 cities worldwide in 2015 and a global in-store digital scavenger hunt using augmented reality technology in 2017, brought out millions of people who shared their experiences.

“With Disney’s Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX both launching in the same year, it will be a notable time for the toy industry,” says Juli Lennett, Vice President, IndustryAdvisor for The NPD Group’s U.S. toys division. “If history is any indication of future success, both Frozen and Star Wars will be among the top-selling properties of 2019, just as they were in 2014 and 2015/2016, respectively.”

Details of how Triple Force Friday will unfold will be revealed closer to the event, but fans can expect its legacy of unique experiences to continue, and for the new products to be kept under wraps until October 4, with additional new products continuing to roll out leading up to the theatrical release and beyond.

For more details on Triple Force Friday, those interested can visit StarWars.com and follow the conversation on social using #ForceFriday.

Frozen Fan Fest

Disney’s Frozen 2, the highly anticipated animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios, will make its big screen debut on November 22, 2019. In celebration of the new film and fan’s excitement for the sequel, Disney and retailers around the world will kick off Frozen Fan Fest on October 4, 2019, when new product rolls out worldwide. Frozen Fan Fest will include product reveals, musical moments, in-store events and much more, introducing an unprecedented assortment of Frozen 2 product and offering fans the opportunity to join the Frozen characters as they set out on a new and epic journey beyond Arendelle. These special fan experiences will continue until the premiere date, with products continuing to roll out after the film’s release. The Frozen 2 product assortment spans categories including toys, apparel, fashion accessories, housewares, books and much, much more!

In November 2013, Walt Disney Animation Studios released Frozen, which quickly ascended to unparalleled success, delivering over $1.25 billion in global box office sales and becoming the number one global animated release of all time. With its fresh take on the classic fairytale, featuring strong, empowered heroines, powerful songs, and a lovable ensemble of characters that captured the hearts of fans of all ages, the Academy Award®-winning animated feature created a cultural phenomenon.

The frenzy for all things Frozen continued to grow in 2014 and beyond, solidifying its place in the zeitgeist and translating into massive sales at retail. Frozen products flurried across toy industry and holiday wish lists with the National Retail Federation naming toys from the franchise property as some of the top toys for 2014. Anna and Elsa costumes sold over three million units that year and became the top costumes at Disney Stores around the world.

Frozen has since been propelled by new content including animated shorts and specials, a Broadway show that will begin touring this year, Parks attractions, character appearances, and retail category expansion across home goods, food, health and fashion.

Additional details on Frozen Fan Fest will be revealed later this year…stay tuned on social using #FrozenFanFest.

Production Begins & Cast Announced For Disney+ Original Series ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’

Production is underway in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the highly anticipated, innovative and re-invented “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” for Disney+, The Walt Disney Company’s upcoming streaming service. The series is developed and executive produced by Tim Federle (“Ferdinand”), alongside showrunner and executive producer Oliver Goldstick (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Ugly Betty”). Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush (the original “High School Musical” trilogy) are also executive producers. Sundance Film Festival-nominated film, television and music video director Tamra Davis (“Empire,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) is directing the first three episodes. The choreographer is Zach Woodlee (“Glee,” “Dumplin’”).

The 10-episode series picks up nearly 15 years after the original movie aired at the real-life location where it all began: East High. It follows a group of students as they countdown to the opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.” Showmances blossom; friendships are tested while new ones are made; rivalries flare and lives are changed forever as these young people discover the transformative power that only a high school drama club can provide.

Brand-new songs and acoustic “rehearsal room” reinterpretations of songs from the original “High School Musical” provide the soundtrack for an unlikely group of theater kids who learn “we’re all in this together” when it comes to pulling off an against-all-odds opening night.

“The challenge we handed the creative team was Herculean. How do you recapture the joy and the magic of the original ‘High School Musical’ movie … and simultaneously reimagine it completely?” said Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. “That’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. And Tim and Oliver—and this amazingly talented and diverse cast and crew—have done exactly that!”

“We are truly excited about this extremely talented cast and the fresh and contemporary take on this globally-beloved franchise,” said Agnes Chu, senior vice president of content, Disney+. “From the music and dance to the characters and hilarious meta references, there is something here for fans of the originals, as well as people who are new to East High. It’s going to be an unforgettable viewing experience for Disney+ subscribers.”

Joining Joshua Bassett (previously announced), the multitalented cast includes Olivia Rodrigo (“Bizaardvark”), Kate Reinders (“Modern Family,” Broadway’s “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”), Sofia Wylie (“Andi Mack”), Matt Cornett (“Bella and the Bulldogs”), Dara Reneé (“Freaky Friday”), Julia Lester (“Mom”), Frankie Rodriguez (“Modern Family”), Larry Saperstein (“Fan Girl”), and Mark St. Cyr (“Doomsday”).

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” cast includes the following:

Joshua Bassett (Ricky)– Basset is an 18-year-old actor and songwriter from Oceanside, California. He had a recurring role on Disney Channel’s “Stuck in the Middle,” recently guest starred on “Dirty John” and can currently be seen in a recurring role on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Bassett plays Ricky, a sarcastic yet charismatic skate rat and high school junior who launches a bold plan to prove himself to his ex-girlfriend Nini—by auditioning to star opposite her in the school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical: the Musical.”

Olivia Rodrigo (Nini) – Born and raised in Temecula, California, Rodrigo has been singing, playing music and acting since she was age six. She most recently starred in Disney Channel’s comedy “Bizaardvark.” In “High School Musical: The Musical,” Rodrigo plays Nini, just returned from summer theater camp where she found her voice, her confidence—and her new boyfriend. Fiercely loyal to her two moms, Nini is a star … if she can just believe in herself long enough to stay put in the spotlight.

Kate Reinders (Miss Jenn) – A stage, film and television actress, Reinders was a series regular on ABC’s “Work It” and Lifetime’s “Sherri.” She guest starred on ABC’s “Modern Family” and “Ugly Betty.” Her theatre roles include Broadway productions of “Meteor Shower,” “Something Rotten!,” “Wicked,” Sam Mendes’ revival of “Gypsy” and “Beautiful, the Carole King Musical.” Her “High School Musical: The Musical” character, Miss Jenn, is the school’s new high-energy, low-reality drama teacher, who believes musicals can save lives. She may suffer from serious imposter syndrome, but she would do anything for her students, even if it means fudging a few credits on her C.V.

Sofia Wylie (Gina) – Born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Wylie has a starring role in Disney Channel’s critically acclaimed series “Andi Mack,” and most recently made her musical debut with “Side by Side,” part of the “Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts” special. She is recording her debut single, which should be out in late 2019. Wylie is also the voice of Riri Williams in the “Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron” animation series and just made her big screen debut with a leading title in Marvista’s “Back of the Net.” Her character, Gina, is a recent transfer student and a diehard theater kid with as many skeletons in the closet as she has credits on her résumé. She is both ambitious and entitled, and dead set on showing Miss Jenn that she made a huge mistake in casting her as the understudy.

Matt Cornett (E.J.) – Born in Rogers, Arkansas, Cornett had a recurring role on “Bella and The Bulldogs” and guest starred on ABC’s “The Middle,” “Southland” and “Criminal Minds,” among others. He will play E.J., Nini’s new love interest and the supremely confident son of two corporate lawyers, who secretly battle the pressures of living up to his picture-perfect Instagram account. Co-captain of the water polo team, senior class treasurer, and trust fund baby … it’s not a good idea to cross E.J. if you get something he wants—like the lead in the musical.

Dara Reneé (Kourtney) – Los Angeles-born and Baltimore-raised, Reneé has entertainment in her genes. Since the age of 11, Reneé has studied at her and her mom’s performing arts studio, “Encouraging Youth to Dream.” She recently starred as Savannah in Disney Channel’s Original Movie “Freaky Friday,” has guest starred on ABC’s “The Kids Are Alright” and recently landed the recurring role of Stunts on the hit ABC show “black-ish.” Reneé plays the role of Kourtney, Nini’s ride-or-die best friend who’s obsessed with makeup tutorials and feminism in equal measure. Kourtney works on the costume crew of “High School Musical,” pulling together runway-ready fashion on a high school budget.

Julia Lester (Ashlyn) – Los Angeles native Julia Lester has been working professionally since the age of five. Some of her television credits include recurring roles on the comedies “Mom,” “Prince of Peoria” and “Mr. Student Body President.” She has performed in dozens of local and regional musical productions including “Carrie: The Musical” and “Next to Normal.” Lester plays E.J.’s cousin Ashlyn, an “old soul” who worships Sara Bareilles and is an aspiring songwriter on the sly.

Frankie A. Rodriguez (Carlos) – Rodriguez has worked in television and film for the last four years and can be seen in the guest-starring role of Eduardo on ABC’s “Modern Family.” In “High School Musical: The Musical,” Rodriguez plays Carlos, captain of the color guard and the student choreographer for the show. Carlos thinks of Miss Jenn as a peer. He eats lunch in her office, has been drinking espresso since the 3rd grade and already has his Tony Awards® speech memorized.

Larry Saperstein (Big Red) – Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Saperstein acted opposite Kiernan Shipka in the film “Fan Girl” and will guest star in an upcoming episode of BET’s “The First Wives Club.” A skater boy through and through, Big Red is the spiritual cousin of both Bill and Ted—always fuzzy and he’s been sleep-deprived since preschool. Big Red is weirdly devastated by Ricky and Nini’s breakup. His surest role is as their wisecracking third wheel.

Mark St. Cyr (Mr. Mazzara) – A Louisiana native and an alumna of the ABC Diversity Showcase, St. Cyr’s credits include the film “Marshall,” opposite Chadwick Boseman and Jussie Smollett, and the critically acclaimed “Doomsday.” He also guest starred on “Chicago P.D.” and “After After Party.” In “High School Musical: The Musical,” St. Cyr plays Mr. Mazzara, East High’s somewhat robotic S.T.E.M. teacher. His belief in preparing students for the future often leads him to butt heads with Miss Jenn, who would rather sing about life than live in the real world.