Our George Kozera had the pleasure of attending Walt Disney Studios Canada’s 2022 Holiday Preview, highlighting some of the Studio’s exciting upcoming theatrical and theatrical releases. Here’s a little sneak peek what we can expect after some first looks were offered at the event.
After a two-year absence due to COVID restrictions, it was pure joy to attend the Walt Disney Studios Canada press event for a light breakfast, previews of 2023 releases and a screening of STRANGE WORLD. Disney will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2023 and from what we saw, it will be a banner year for the studio and its audience, either theatrically or streaming on Disney+. Some of the preview highlights had us salivating in anticipation.
The Cinematography in the upcoming live action version of THE LITTLE MERMAID is astonishing and it will be spectacular viewing on the big screen. The same can be said for the Animated Feature ELEMENTAL, its vibrancy and colour palette is hypnotic. ANT MAN & THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA appears darker in tone and execution from the previous two movies, but any film with Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonathan Majors, Evangeline Lilly and Bill Murray will have me first in line! Snippets of season three of THE MANDALORIAN has inspired me to binge-watch the first two seasons and WILLOW looks very interesting. But what really yanked my crank was SECRET INVASION, the Marvel mini-series starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn and award-winning magnet, Olivia Colman.
STRANGE WORLD is Disney’s first foray into the Animated Science-Fiction genre and it is a rollicking success. Jaeger Clade and his young son Searcher go on an expedition to cross the mountains to see what’s on the other side. Searcher comes across a mysterious plant, stays behind to extradite and harvest it back home and Jaeger continues on the journey solo. Fast-forward 25 years…Searcher is now the town’s most successful farmer as this plant has miraculous components and alongside his wife Meridian, his 16-year-old son Ethan and their three-legged dog, their life is blissful. Until they are told by Callisto that the roots source of this plant is being ambushed and they all need to explore the treacherous landscapes of Avalonia inhabited by surreal lifeforms to save it.
There is a myriad of reasons why I fell in love with STRANGE WORLD. The voice work from Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu and, especially, Jaboukie Young-White as Ethan is exceptional. The animated world of Avalonia is visually intoxicating and I genuinely appreciated that innumerable creatures there were not given annoyingly cute human characteristics. They don’t periodically break into song; they enhance the story and illicit smiles or dreaded anticipation. However, first and foremost, with a standing ovation and bouquets of flowers thrown onto the stage, Disney tackles diversity with gusto, class and bravado. From a “blink and you might miss it” scene of a background character in a wheelchair, to the fact that Searcher and Meridian are a biracial married couple, impressed me to the hilt. Most importantly, taking into account the controversy Disney experienced when it was alleged that one of the characters in its monster hit FROZEN may have been gay, Ethan has a schoolboy crush and it is a another boy. Kudos to Disney for not sensationalizing this and giving space to tell a story that can only be a learning opportunity to some young audience members struggling internally.
Excluding Animated Features from Pixar, STRANGE WORLD is my favourite Disney movie since BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Whereas I tend to abhor cinematic sequels, I would relish another opportunity to spend more time with the Clade family.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release STRANGE WORLDNovember 23, 2022.
2021 couldn’t come soon enough and Walt Disney Studios Canada has announced their upcoming slate of releases! While dates are subject to change this is what the year ahead is looking like, with a mix of theatrical and Disney+ releases.
WANDAVISION – Debuts on Disney+ on 1/15/2021
POPCORN – Debuts on Disney+ on 1/22/2021
FLORA & ULYSSES – Debuts on Disney+ on 2/19/2021
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON – March 5, 2021 Theatrical & Disney+ with Premier Access
THE KING’S MAN – U.S. Release Date: 3/12/2021
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER – Debuts on Disney+ on 3/19/2021
THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE – U.S. Release Date: 4/09/2021
RON’S GONE WRONG – U.S. Release Date: 4/23/2021
BLACK WIDOW – U.S. Release Date: 5/7/2021
FREE GUY – U.S. Release Date: 5/21/2021
CRUELLA – U.S. Release Date: 5/28/2021
LUCA – U.S. Release Date: 6/18/2021
SHANG CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS – U.S. Release Date: 7/9/2021
JUNGLE CRUISE – U.S. Release Date: 7/30/2021
THE BEATLES: GET BACK – U.S. Release Date: 8/27/2021
DEATH ON THE NILE – U.S. Release Date: 9/17/2021
THE LAST DUEL – U.S. Release Date: 10/15/2021
ETERNALS – U.S. Release Date: 11/5/2021
ENCANTO – U.S. Release Date: 11/24/2021
WEST SIDE STORY – U.S. Release Date: 12/10/2021
MORE TO COME ON THESE:
EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE – U.S. Release Date: 2021
HAWKEYE – Debuts on Disney+ Late 2021
LOKI – Debuts on Disney+ May 2021
MS MARVEL – Debuts on Disney+ Late 2021
STAR WARS – THE BAD BATCH – Debuts on Disney+ 2021
STAR WARS – THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT – Debuts on Disney+ 12/2021
Disney+ present their brand-new Docu-Series INSIDE PIXAR, a must-watch for Disney Pixar fans, as it traces the process how the magic is made by the animation giant!
The series consists of four collections with five short stories in each collection, centered around a central theme. The first collection releasing on Friday is “Inspired,” exploring what sparks inspiration and the journey from idea to execution.
Produced by Pixar Animation Studios, “Inside Pixar” is directed by Erica Milsom and Tony Kaplan, the series offers insights into the personal and cinematic stories that provide an inside look into the people, artistry, and culture of Pixar Animation Studios.
See the Trailer:
INSIDE PIXAR arrives on Disney+ Friday, November 13, 2020.
This is your first look at THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MICKEY MOUSE, a Series of seven-minute shorts coming soon to Disney+! Did you know Mickey‘s birthday is November 18th?
In “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse,” it’s nothing but fun and excitement for Mickey and his best pals – Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto – as they embark on their greatest adventures yet, navigating the curveballs of a wild and zany world where the magic of Disney makes the impossible possible. Each seven-minute short is filled with laugh-out-loud comedy, modern settings, timeless stories, new music and the unmistakable classic art style of the “Mickey Mouse” shorts. The series will include stories inspired by various lands at Disney parks and cameos by classic Disney heritage characters.
See the Trailer:
WONDERFUL WORLD OF MICKEY MOUSE arrives on Disney+ Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
This is a must-watch for any Marvel lover! Anthology Docu-Series MARVEL’S 616 is coming soon to Disney+!
“Marvel’s 616” explores Marvel’s rich legacy of pioneering characters, creators and storytelling to reflect the world outside your window. Each documentary, helmed by a unique filmmaker, showcases the intersections of storytelling, pop culture, and fandom within the Marvel Universe. Episodes in this anthology series will cover topics including Marvel’s world-spanning artists, the trailblazing women of Marvel Comics, discovering the “forgotten” characters of Marvel, and much more.
See the Trailer:
MARVEL’S 616 arrives on Disney+Friday, November 20, 2020.
EARTH TO NED arrives soon on Disney+. This new take on the Late Night Talk Show from The Jim Henson Company is spawned from alien commander Ned and his lieutenant Cornelius, after they call off the invasion of Earth after falling in love with human culture including Comedy, Sports, Social Media and Fashion, interviewing celebrity guests about things they find fascinating.
Celebrity guests this season include Joshua Bassett (“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”), Rachel Bilson (“The O.C.”), Michael Ian Black (“Wet Hot American Summer”), Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Gina Carano (“The Mandalorian”), RuPaul (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), Taye Diggs (“Rent”), Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out”), Bindi and Robert Irwin (Crikey! It’s the Irwins”), Gillian Jacobs (“Love”), NeNe Leakes (“The Real Housewives of Atlanta”), Thomas Lennon (“Reno 911!”), Joel McHale (“Community”), Andy Richter (“Conan”), Olivia Rodrigo (“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”), Eli Roth (“Hostel”), Kristen Schaal (“Gravity Falls”), Paul Scheer (“The League”), Jenny Slate (“Zootopia”), Raven Symoné (“Raven’s Home”), Reggie Watts (“The Late Late Show with James Corden”), and Billy Dee Williams (“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”).
See the Trailer:
EARTH TO NED arrives on Disney+ Friday, September 4, 2020.
It’s been nine years since we’ve visited the Phineas and Ferb universe cinematically and right in time to lift our spirits through this Pandemic, is a new standalone sequel film coming to Disney+. This time around, Phineas and Ferb‘s older sister Candace (Ashley Tisdale) gets her own movie. We see her find her own utopia, far away from her pesky little brothers, after being abducted by aliens. Her brothers venture across the galaxy to rescue her.
We were thrilled to have a Zoom chat with the Cast and Creators of the Film, including:
Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (Major Monogram/Co-Writer)
Dan Povenmire (Doofenschmirtz/Co-Writer)
Ashley Tisdale (Candace)
Vincent Martella (Phineas)
Alyson Stoner (Isabella)
Dee Baker (Perry)
Maulik Pancholy (Baljeet)
Martella recalls his time in the Franchise in the lead role of Phineas, first joining the Animated Series pilot. “I was 13 when I did the pilot and I’m now 27. I never got taller and my voice never got lower!”, he jokes. One thing he revealed to us was the inspiration in crafting Phineas‘ voice which came as a shock to his castmates. “My parents played a lot of Bob Dylan music while I was warming up my voice. I was singing a lot of Folk music as Phineas as a teenager!”.
Tisdale expresses her excitement to her about her Candace getting to be front and center this time around. “It’s crazy to be a star of your own movie. I obviously love it and she’s excited to have her name out there”, she admits. “The experience of being abducted by aliens is scary, but then she feels very special and I think it’s a win for Candace. At this point, she’s so frustrated she never gets them busted, so she needs a little separation from them, but then she realized she might take them for granted. She has learning experiences in space.
Stoner who plays Isabella, tells us that coincidentally where she’s staying right now is actually close to a rumoured UFO Farm. “Apparently it’s where the UFOs land to get repaired. I passed by and this was part of the property I’m staying on …I’ve got photos!”. On reprising her character, she says “Isabella has always been so aspirational. She’s capable of finding, being the solution or executing solution. I loved revisiting the complexity and paradox of Isabella.”. “She’s on a nonsensical mission, but tripped-up in emotional swells when managing her crush on Phineas. To be able to be masculine and feminine, with leadership and nurturing skills is really fun.”. On her time in the Franchise, she feels, “This entire series has been indication that anything is possible, removing limitations. Explore and play and see what comes out of it. Even if you say something not scripted and it’s true, we often wind-up keeping it. Many fans think that’s their favourite aspect of the character”.
Marsh and Povenmire tell us about the idea to take this Film and set it in space. Marsh says, “Our writing started with weeks of throwing around story ideas, so there were other ideas we explored before we hit on this. My greatest hero is Neil Armstrong, so any time you get to go to space is really cool.”. Povenmire adds, “If we’re going to do a big Feature – the last one was in another dimension and this is in another planet which allows us to make it up and look however we want. We wanted it to be a big, sweeping epic kind of story. We did over 230 episodes of lampooning and Sci-Fi and had to find new things to do.”.
The Pandemic inspired their creativity, writing the song heard in the End Credits over Facetime even! They also talk to some of the new characters we see in PHINEAS AND FERB THE MOVIE: CANDACE AGAINST THE UNIVERSE. Povenmire says, “Ali Wong plays an Alien Queen who’s name is Super Super Big Doctor. The name came from somebody who used that phrase when talking about a doctor. That then became a phrase and we named a character after it! She knocked it out of the park. We have Diedrich Bader as one of the aliens Borthos, with a voice that made us laugh. His role got bigger the more we heard him talk in character. Thomas Middledich is in one of our favourite Improv things, Middleditch and Schwartz. It’s so exciting to have people come and do great stuff for us!”.
One some of the things that make this Film so magical, Baker who plays Perry describes it in two words, “Melodious Optimism. It contains melody and smart humour. These two things in a package are irresistible.”.
Pancholy, who plays Baljeet says, “You fall in love with every single one of characters. You can play cartoons over and over. This world is so fun and full of friendship, love, family and sticking-up for each other. Dan can write snarky jokes which are full of love!”.
PHINEAS AND FERB THE MOVIE: CANDACE AGAINST THE UNIVERSE has something for the kids big and small and never underestimates the intelligence of a child. It arrives on Disney+Friday, August 28, 2020.
A new Trailer has surfaced for BLACK IS KING, coming soon to Disney+. Check-out this new Trailer including models Aweng Ade-Chuol and Adut Akech, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Tina Knowles-Lawson, author and Academy Award®-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o, singer Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams and JAY-Z, among others.
The new film based on the music of “The Lion King: The Gift,” will premiere two weeks after the one-year anniversary of the theatrical release of Disney’s global phenomenon, “The Lion King.” The film reimagines the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.
See the Trailer:
BLACK IS KING arrives on Disney+Friday, July 31, 2020.
How cute is this? Check-out this adorable new press release for MUPPETS NOW, coming soon to Disney+ with statements from some of our favourites!
See their Video Call:
“The Muppets are thrilled to be doing our first-ever unscripted show! It’s going to be extremely spontaneous and very surprising; almost as surprising as the fact that we ever actually used a script in the past.”
Kermit the Frog
“This is moi unfiltered, unexpurgated, and more unbelievably fabulous than ever. If you watch only one show on Disney+ ,you really should tune in more often. But whenever you watch, make it moi on Muppets Now.”
“For the first time ever, I’m working without a joke book, folks. It’s a new kind of totally improvised comedy I call ‘bare bear’! See what I did there? Ahh! Wocka! Wocka!”
“I knew Muppets Now was coming to Disney+ but I did NOT know they wanted Muppets Now NOW, as in right away, as in “doesn’t anybody give a warning around here’!? Gotta go upload those episodes pronto! Wish me luck; I’ll need it.”
This season’s celebrity guests include entertainers, comedians, chefs, and more. Fans won’t want to miss all-new improvised comedy segments from their favourite Muppets including Miss Piggy, Beaker, Camilla, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Kermit the Frog, Pepe the King Prawn, The Swedish Chef, Scooter, Uncle Deadly, among others.
MUPPETS NOW arrives on Disney+ Friday, July 31, 2020.