The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: January 2017
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pinocchio available on Blu-ray™ and DVD today!

I always will remember Pinocchio because it was the first Disney movie I saw. I am not even sure how old I was. Maybe 4, maybe 5. I remember we would go to the movies on special occasions. Mainly, we would go see Cantiflas, a Mexican Charlie Chaplin, movies. But every so often, Disney movies were on the agenda.

I remember this one because way back then, they used to have Double Features. You could go for a day of movies. The first time we went to see Disney movies featured Pinocchio, a Pecos Bill short and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I remember we would dress up and head to the movie theater. It was such a treat because it was really the only time we got sodas and popcorn. If we were extra good, we would get a sweet treat as well. It was heaven.

I loved Pinocchio. I loved all Disney movies but this one hold s a special place in my heart. If you don't know the story of Pinocchio here is the run down. A woodcarver, Geppetto, makes a puppet who he wishes was a real boy. When the Blue Fairy comes to give Pinocchio life, he has to prove himself before he can actually become a real boy.

The fairy appoints Jiminy Cricket as Pinocchio's conscience. When Pinocchio goes to school, things go wrong. Pinocchio is tested. He gets conned and then gets kidnapped. He also lies and smokes and becomes a bad boy. When the fairy gives him another chance Pinocchio is tested and he has to show bravery, loyalty and honesty. I won't give away much more because you should watch the movie!

But I have to say that watching this movie over 40 years later made me feel like a kid again. There were parts of the story I had forgotten. But it is still such a wonderful story and a beautifully animated movie. It was more special because I traveled to the the Walt Disney Family Museum and was able to experience the Pinocchio exhibit.

There are scary parts. There are joyful parts and there is always a lesson about love and courage. I love this movie. Pinocchio is available on Blu-ray™ and DVD on Jan. 31.

Bonus Features:

• Walt’s Story Meetings: Pleasure Island – The Pleasure Island scene in “Pinocchio” had much more development than what is seen in the film. Join Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney historian and author J.B. Kaufman as they explore artwork recently discovered in Disney’s animation research library revealing some of the attractions, gags and games, which Disney animators created for this iconic location of the film, that never made it on screen.

• In Walt’s Words – “Pinocchio” – Hear Walt himself discuss the making of “Pinocchio” through archival recordings and interviews.

• The Pinocchio Project: “When You Wish Upon a Star” – Music influencers Alex G, Tanner Patrick and JR Aquino from Disney’s Maker Studios, a global leader in short-form videos, gather in a creative workspace to create their rendition of the film’s signature song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and produce a fresh new music video.

• Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in “Poor Papa” – This recently restored and scored 1927 short features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who gets multiple visits from the stork and is forced to attempt various methods to help stop the onslaught of baby deliveries.

• Classic Bonus Features – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include hours of bonus material, such as the making of “Pinocchio,” deleted scenes, sing-alongs, storyboards and theatrical trailers.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Disney's Queen of Katwe available on Digitial HD & Blu-ray January 31!

Home audiences will cheer for Disney’s Queen of Katwe, which has earned widespread critical acclaim. Based on the vibrant true story of a young girl (Madina Nalwanga) from the streets of Uganda whose world changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. It is a remarkable story of perseverance against all odds that will leave viewers feeling humbled and inspired. According to director Mira Nair, “The triumph of the human spirit is not to weep for what we don’t have but to focus on what we do have and allow that to take us to a place we never imagined possible.” Disney’s heartwarming and triumphant tale arrives home on Digital HD on Jan. 10 and Blu-ray™ on Jan. 31.

I wish that I had learned to play Chess. When I was younger, I never understood this stuffy game. As I got older, I realized I should have tried to learn.

Queen of Katwe is based on a true story and it is a beautifully inspiring movie. The story revolves around Phiona who lives in Uganda and lives in poverty. Her life seems to be determined from the start. Her father has left. Her mother, played by the incredible Lupita Nyong’o, works to keep a humble roof over their heads. Phiona and her siblings have to work to bring in money.

When her brother, played by Martin Kabanza, ends up in a makeshift kids program run by Robert Katende, played by the ever amazing David Oyelowo, where he teaches the kids chess to improve their minds and also help them get off the street, Phiona is also compelled to join.

When the coach realizes her ability, he urges Phiona to get better. Unfortunately, her family ends up homeless and he mother is not interested in letting Phiona continue playing. The story goes along with some ups and downs. I won't tell you what happens but I will say In the end, she finds that chess is her way out of her current life.

This is a beautifully told story. The acting is first rate. Madina Nalwanga, who plays Phiona, holds her own against the acting powerhouses. She is wonderful. In fact, all the acting is first rate. The movie is a little predictable but in the end, it satisfies. Have your tissues handy though.

Queen of Katwe is available on Digital HD and available on Blu-ray January 31. Check out the extra features you get:

Bonus features include*:
Queen Of Katwe: Their Story – Discover the stories behind the people who came together to bring the film to life, and how they reflect the vibrant community, culture and spirit it celebrates.
A Fork, A Spoon & A Knight – Director Mira Nair’s short film about Robert Katende, a boy who grows up to transform a Ugandan city into a globally renowned chess sanctuary.
In The Studio With Alicia Keys – Go behind-the-scenes with Alicia Keys for an inspiring look at the song’s recording.
Alicia Keys “Back To Life” Lyric Video – Sing along with on-screen lyrics.
Young Cardamom & HAB “#1 Spice” Music Video – The Ugandan hip-hop duo bring the flavor in a music video directed by Mira Nair.
Audio Commentary – With Director Mira Nair.
Deleted Scenes (8) – With Introductions by Director Mira Nair.
Graduation – Robert is alone at his graduation.
Job Application - Robert checks in on the status of his job application.
Dancing and Rent - Phiona joins in dancing with local girls before the landlady pulls her away.
Entering the Hospital - Harriet tries to look presentable as they rush Brian to the hospital.
Escape from the Hospital – The family sneaks out of the hospital.
They Can’t Go to Budo – Robert second-guesses taking the kids to the competition at King’s College Budo.
Flood (Extended Scene) – A nearly 7-minute scene before, during and after the house is flooded.
Phiona’s Chess Club - Phiona comes full circle as she teaches a little boy the same lessons Robert taught her in chess club.
Audio Commentary
Alicia Keys “Back to Life” Lyric Video
Young Cardamom & HAB “#1 Spice” Music Video

*Bonus features may vary by retailer

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LIght Between Oceans available Today on Digital HD, and Blu-ray™!

DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Light Between Oceans,” a lush, classical romance, starring two-time Academy Award® nominee Michael Fassbender (Best Actor, Steve Jobs), Oscar® winner Alicia Vikander (Best Supporting Actress, The Danish Girl), and Oscar and Golden Globe® winner Rachel Weisz (Best Supporting Actress, The Constant Gardener), arrives home on Digital HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand. The mesmerizingly beautiful film is based on the 2012 best-selling novel by M.L. Stedman, which swept readers away with its transporting story of fate, love, moral dilemmas and the lengths one couple will go to see their hard-fought dreams realized.

Light Between Oceans is such a beautiful film. It is visually stunning. The cinematography is amazing and if you are a film buff, you will appreciate. The couple played by Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander meet and fall in love. Tom, is a war veteran who comes to Janus Rock to a be lighthouse keeper. They meet marry and then try to have a family. After miscarriages, it seems they might not be able to have their own children. But fate steps in and a baby is washed onshore. Isabel convinces Tom to keep the child. When the child's mother, played by Rachel Weisz, appears the film becomes full of pain, loss and heartache. It is heart wrenching so have your Kleenex ready.

The movie is slow at times but overall it was really good. The acting is first rate. Rachel Weisz is always solid in her performances. Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender's chemistry is amazing. The direction by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) takes you a journey that takes you inside the pain and loss of people caught up in unusual circumstances.

Bonus features include*:

Bringing The Light to Life – For weeks, the cast and crew of “The Light Between Oceans” lived in trailers on Cape Campbell, an isolated region of New Zealand, to film the movie adaptation of the best-selling novel. This documentary chronicles the unique approach and shooting style of director Derek Cianfrance and the production journey that inspired Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz to fully embody their characters and explore the power and depths of love.
Audio Commentary – View the film accompanied by an in-depth and thoughtful conversation between director Derek Cianfrance and his film studies professor Phil Solomon.
Lighthouse Keeper – The filmmakers, cast and Cape Campbell Lighthouse inspector/maintainer Rob Sword share the history of the lighthouse and explain the typical duties a lighthouse keeper like Tom Sherbourne would have during an assignment on Janus Island.

Audio Commentary

Be Swept Away by DreamWorks Pictures’ Romantic Love Story Arriving on Digital HD, and Blu-ray™ today, Jan. 24.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Celebrate the New Year with Wonderful Halos + Giveaway!

As you may know, Wonderful Halos are in season November through May. I do love Halos. Not only are they sweet, seedless and delicious but they are a healthy snack choice. This year, I have vowed to get healthier. I am not sure I will lose weight but I am making better choices.

With Halos, I can throw a few into my purse and take them to work. I leave them on my desk and when I get hungry, I grab one and eat it. I love them because they are in their own little self contained package. They are easy to peel and they satisfies my hunger.

Plus, Wonderful Halos mandarins deliver vitamin C and have about 50 calories each. I can have 2 or 3 and it makes a really healthy low calorie snack. Three Halos will definitely fill you up! And Halos are wonderful to cook with as well.

I love using them in salads and drinks. One of my friends actually made mandarin meringue and it was delicious. I also love using Halos in marinades and salad dressings. They are so versatile!!

So this New Year make a healthy choice and try Wonderful Halos!! I received this great Wonderful Halos New Year’s Gift Box and have an extra one for one lucky reader. The box includes crafting supplies, a 2017 magnetic calendar, a beautiful bowl and free coupons!!

If you want to win, enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Fun Facts about MICKEY AND THE ROADSTER RACERS premiering on Disney Junior January 15! #MickeyRacersEvent

Premiering this month on Disney Junior is Mickey and the Roadster Racers. Mickey and the Roadster Racers is an upcoming car-racing adventure show for preschoolers (and kids of any age) featuring Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy.

The show takes place in Hot Dog Hills where Mickey and the gang have a garage. In their free time, they race their personalized vehicles everywhere! They have fun adventures and teach kids about sportsmanship, friendship and teamwork!

Photo credit: Disney Junior

When on the Rogue One press event, we had the opportunity to interview Producers Rob LaDuca & Mark Seidenberg. We also saw an episode of Mickey and the Roadster Racers. It was an amazing show. Perfect for kids and even adults.

💥Rob and Mark met while producing Gummi Bears. later they worked on Tutenstein, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

💥Mickey Mouse Clubhouse dealt with curriculum. Math to be specific. As their work on Jake and the Never Land Pirates evolved they focused more on stories. Stories soon led to social issues friendship, trust, sportsmanship and teamwork.

Photo credit: Disney Junior

💥Rob and Mark say an episode can take up to a year to finish. "That's from writing to designing to color to animating, building the CG world, and then doing post-production." There is also sound effects and music..

💥Every character in Mickey's and the Roadster Racers has their own special car. Mickey has a normal car that transforms into a classic American Roadster. Goofy has a car turns into bathtub. Minnie's car turns into a Bow because of her fashion sense. Daisy's car turns into a snapdragon. And Donald's car turns into a cabin cruiser that goes in and out of the water.

Photo credit: Disney Junior

💥Inspiration for the cars in Mickey and the Roadster Racers comes from Rob and Mark visiting Jay Leno's car collection. They say they took a tour of his car collection. After the tour, Rob and Mark asked Jay to be the Rae Announcer, Billy Beagle. Interesting fact: Jay comes to the recordings in a different car every time.

💥Besides Jay Leno, other celebrities in the sow are Tim Gunn as a travel critic. Gordon Ramsey as a chef who rescues the hot dog diner. Hoda Kotb plays Mrs. Sweetums who runs a candy factory. Jane Leeves is Queen Elizabeth. Hector Elizondo as Grandpa Beagle and Patton Oswalt plays Mr. McSnorter. Fred Willard plays Mr. Doozie a hotel manager. Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon make appearances. And Danica Patrick plays Danni Sue!

Photo credit: Disney Junior

💥Bill Farmer who has been doing Goofy for over 30 years. Russi Taylor who does Minnie and Tress MacNeille who has been doing Daisy for 30 years.

💥Rob and Mark wanted to treat every character equally. Daisy is a mechanic and Minnie paints cars. All the characters are equal and all do work in the garage and all run races.

Photo credit: Disney Junior

💥Minnie and Daisy run a business called Happy Helpers as well!

💥Minnie's car is called Pink Thunder and Goofy's is called Turbo Tubster!

I loved the show. It was fun and funny.The show tries to teach kids important and valuable lessons while also making it fun! Rob and Mark were great to talk with a lot of fun. They are so talented and I am sure the kids will love Mickey and the Roadster Racers!

Get more information on Mickey and the Roadster Racers premiering January 15 on Disney Junior .
Mickey and the Roadster Racers will make its television debut in a simulcast SUNDAY, JANUARY 15 (9:00 and 9:25 a.m. EST), on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Two more episodes will premiere MONDAY, JANUARY 16 (9:00 and 9:25 a.m. EST), on Disney Channel. Episodes will also be available on the Disney Junior app and Disney Junior VOD beginning Sunday, January 15, and on iTunes beginning Monday, January 16.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

“Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio” exhibition at the Walt Disney Family Museum! #pinocchiobluray #rogueoneevent #disney

When I was little my one of the first Disney movies I ever saw was Pinocchio. There used to be a movie theater where we would go. The showed 2 full feature movies and a Disney short. I remember because this was always a treat for us. I remember watching Pinocchio and loving it. It also was a little scary. But overall, I loved it. I have loved that movie ever since.

I was fortunate to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum  on my Rogue One press trip last month. During this time, the museum had a special exhibit called "Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio" that was amazing.

We had a guided tour and were able to see and learn about how Pinocchio was made. The exhibition was created so visitors could discover the artistic process and step behind-the-scenes to explore how one of the most influential animated films in history was produced: Walt Disney’s 1940 feature-length masterpiece Pinocchio.

Disney Studio Artist, Pinocchio visual development, pencil on paper; collection of The Walt Disney Family Foundation, gift of Ron and Diane Miller, © Disney

The exhibition was Guest-curated by John Canemaker—an Academy Award®, Emmy Award, and Peabody Award-winning independent animator, animation historian, teacher, and author—this immersive exhibition invites the visitor to experience the production processes of the pre-digital era, providing a glimpse into how legendary animators worked and thought. Pinocchio inspired advances in character development and three-dimensional design, and the exhibition allows guests to enjoy the art created by the animators and designers of The Walt Disney Studios to create the stunning work featured in the film.

Gustaf Tenggren, Pinocchio concept art; collection of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, © Disney

The exhibition featured original artwork, memorabilia and photography. It was really a special treat to see how the movie was made. There were models and renderings that showed the progression of how the characters and story were made into the film. There were some interactive portions to the exhinition. I loved the artwork. To see the original artwork and the models used to map out the story was amazing.

Photograph of Vladimir Tytla; collection of the Walt Disney Family Foundation, © Disney

If you are ever in San Francisco, you need to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum. It is pretty amazing. As a Disney fan, you will be in heaven. You can see original artwork, early Mickey cartoons and memorabilia. There is storyboards and photos and concept art. The history is laid out beautifully. One of my favorite parts of he museum was the mini model of Disneyland. It was beautiful.

But there was so much more. The clips of early cartoons and artifacts are amazing. You can visit the Walt Disney Family Museum online at

If you haven't seen Pinocchio, it will be available on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere today and on Blu-ray/DVD on January 31.

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Walt Disney Studios Slate of Movies!!

Every year I post the slate of Disney movies that are coming up!! This year, it is another amazing slate! From Thor to Star Wars. There are live action films and animated films. There are SO many good movies coming that I can't even wrap my head around it. I can't choose one favorite but I am certainly super excited about Star Wars since I am such a fan! Thor, hello! But Beauty & the Beast, Pirates and Guardians of the Galaxy 2!! How much can a person take? Take a look at all the goodies that are coming up!!

March 17, 2017 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Walt Disney Studios)

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a. with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers. Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated film, provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.



April 21, 2017 – BORN IN CHINA (Disneynature)

Narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”), Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together. Opening in U.S. theaters on Earth Day 2017, “Born in China” is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman.  


May 5, 2017 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (Marvel Studios)

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Jonathan Schwartz, Victoria Alonso, Nik Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by James Gunn. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5, 2017.



Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs,  Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” drops anchor in U.S. theaters on May 26, 2017.          


June 16, 2017 – CARS 3 (Disney / Pixar)

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” cruises into theaters on June 16, 2017.


November 3, 2017 – THOR: RAGNAROK (Marvel Studios)

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!

“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

Kevin Feige is producing with Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. The story is byCraig Kyle & Christopher Yost and Stephany Folsom, and the screenplay is by Eric Pearson. “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.


November 22, 2017 – COCO (Disney / Pixar)

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.


December 15, 2017 -  STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII (Lucasfilm)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Star Wars Rebels' Rebel Producer- an interview with Dave Filoni!

Disclosure: I attended the #Rogueoneevent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were be covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are always 100% mine.

This is the second time I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Filoni. Dave is the Executive Producer of Star Wars Rebels an animated show that airs on Disney XD.

I interviewed a few years ago when the show first came out. What struck me about Dave is that he is really cool. He is also very passionate about Star Wars Rebels. If you haven't seen Star Wars Rebels, you should. I know you are thinking that it's a show for kids. But it's not. It's a show for everyone. The best part is that it is all part of the Star Wars World.

On our press junket, we were able to watch a few episodes of Star Wars Rebels again. The reason is that Saw Gererra, a character in Rogue One, is also in Star Wars Rebels. Like I said Star Wars Rebels is part of the Star Wars Universe and all the movies and shows are interconnected.

In our interview, Dave talks about that and how he deals with being part of the universe and his place in it. He also spoke about his relationship with George Lucas! It is a great interview!!

Dave Filoni: Thanks for having me here, I appreciate it – thanks for watching the episode. And I know with all these big movies coming out, we still have our TV series. But it’s neat when we can have things kind of coexist, which is really fun. It continues the adventure for kids once they leave the theater.

Q: How does that process work to make sure you're staying the same?

Dave: It’s not that difficult, it’s just all one big story. And you’d never really think in terms of this piece is a movie, And this piece is a book, And this piece is a TV series… Because you just know these characters. I know Saw, because I helped introduced the character of Saw.

My office is right next to Kiri Hart of the Story Group. And we talk all the time, and ask questions. It’s really just like any good storytelling.

It’s a bunch of people having discussions and talking about the things they like, things they don’t like. Getting different opinions, and then, I always feel strongly about them going off and making their choices. I did Saw for the part that I had to do him. And CLONE WARS set him up and, but I was excited that anybody could see where that went. If anything, you're more involved and that has huge pluses because you get to see it. But at the same time it’s like you've seen it and you've read it.

And then you work on it. You keep trying to find, as a fan, little pockets of STARS WARS that you don’t know. Which are almost treasured for me at this point. I would be lying if I told you it’s not really fun, even 12 years later.

Q: Do you take more joy into kind of creating your own storyline? Or do you really look forward to those points and those parts when you can kind of tie into the existing storyline?

Dave: I never really have a huge feeling about tying in. A good story didn’t need me, they hunt me. The STARS WARS universe was great before I got there, it’ll be great long after I’m gone. And that's just how I feel about this, it’s not my story. I’m privileged to be in a position where I get to add to it. I’m very grateful for that. But when I look at the work we’ve done in animation especially, and the characters that we’ve added with Captain Rex, we had Chopper and Ezra, Sabine and Kanan and Hera, is, adding those characters can give us dimension in ways that the franchise didn’t have before. Especially when you get to female characters. The interest has always been there.
I think it’s telling the stories that’s been long overdue. And so we’ve been telling the stories and adding dimension to these characters. That’s the great part. And it’s fun when you have a tie-in but I like it when it’s more of a wink. It’s not something that was ever missing, if it was important, they would have done it. I’ve always kinda looked at it that way. I learned a lot of that from my years of working with George [Lucas]. It’s fun to do, but you have to be careful that don't overdo it, that your fandom doesn't get in the way of telling a good story.

Q : Talk a little bit about bringing Forest Whitaker on.

Dave: It was a huge benefit to us. Anytime that you have an attitude about the characters. If the person that originates the role, especially on screen, we want as much continuity for the audience as possible.

Q: And you know exactly who it is [Saw Gerrera].

Dave: Thank you so much. He [Forest Whitaker]is a very big STAR WARS fan and a lot of these actors do as much because of the opportunity, because they love it.

And when they say the character’s going to continue, they absolutely would like to continue being the character. They don’t really care what form it’s in. It’s always exciting when we have people come and maintain their character. You have great continuity. They're always incredibly gracious and super fun to work with. It might not be the last one you see in that regard, on REBELS, afraid of a spoiler. But I can say that. Don’t want to get in trouble.

[Forest] was fantastic, it’s one of the secrets to, when you're a very good director, you just have a really great actor. He doesn’t need a lot of advice. I just [have to] put him into place and tell him what’s going on. And he’s just fantastic.

It was great to work with him and it’s added to a long list of incredibly wonderful performances that we’ve had in STARS WARS across the board. Not just on REBELS. But across the board. I just love that they want to do it, is my favorite thing.

Q: You did a great job of creating parent and kid-friendly animated features. How hard is it to balance that?

Dave: It is a goal of mine. Because I feel very strongly. When I talked to George he would always say he created STAR WARS for kids. That was the big thing. When I was a kid it was a great thing because my parents liked it. It’s not that they didn’t like everything else but they were very big into opera, very big into the symphony, very big into those types of stories. There is a great relationship between those stories and what STARS WARS presented. It wasn’t talking down [to us].

And there were a lot of things to talk about, as a family. And characters that we could relate to. I think especially in the beginning, a lot of fans would say “Dave, why are you making REBELS for kids?” Because that’s such a perplexing question to me. I would say to them well, when did you first watch STAR WARS? When I was six, and it was the greatest experience I ever had. And I’m like, okay. My whole goal is never to take that experience away from kids. [It] is to involve everybody in it, to make it a place where the best compliment we can give for the series is that it's something that the family watches together.

I’ve had that, parents tell me they watch it with their kids. There are some challenging things we get too, especially when you deal with the Jedi. Things get dark at times. But you always have to monitor that. It’s like fairy tales have frightening moments in them. Otherwise when you shine bright and things are good all the time, it doesn’t shine as well. I was raised reading Tolkien, THE HOBBIT and things of that nature. C.S. Lewis and there are scary parts in those books.

You want kids to be afraid of the bad guys, because they're evil. And they recognize that. I always think of those stories I had as a kid and those relationships I had. I try to make something that’s not as much for myself but for my younger self. But my older self will still watch it and be like, that’s cool. It’s a delicate balance. Because I see honestly, in today’s world, I see like a danger in a lot of the fans that have grown up. You kind of have a generation of filmmakers now, they're all fans. More than you ever had before.

And they're very vocal about being fans. Which is great. It’s great because they have the understanding of why the material is important. But there’s a danger of trying to take the material and accidentally change it into being for them now. Their 40-year-old self. And you see that kind of in a lot of different franchises out there, that things get darker. And you [think] that’s not what I remember I liked as a kid. But there’s that impulse to say but now I would do this. And wouldn't that be cool?

But you just always have to remember, STAR WARS is [about] a boy and a girl in a galaxy. Which is the big opening of the door, and a wonderful thing. And a magic thing. And the adventure. I just try to maintain that.

Q: I just want to know what it was like to work with George. It must have been cool.

Dave: It’s fantastic. It’s the greatest education I could have asked for, in what I do. It was like going to film school on a daily basis with George Lucas. He is incredibly knowledgeable, he’s incredibly patient. I had to earn that relationship, I had to earn the things I got to do. The challenge in CLONE WARS was to learn how to do this his way. Show him that we could do it as a group.
And then he would let go of it more and more, which he absolutely did as we went on with the series. But it was very challenging, he absolutely knows what he’s doing. If I left the tiniest shot a couple frames long, he would watch it, and I’d be, I see. You must have the experience. You’ll never notice as many mistakes as you have made until you are sitting next to the person you need to show it to. We’d edit an episode all over and over and over again. He’d come and sit down with my editor and [I would say} why didn’t we fix that?

It was a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Everything that he taught me I recall, I wrote down. I keep teaching that to people today, no matter who it is, that I come across in the story of STAR WARS saga. I’ve added my own ingredients to what I do. But I always try to approach it from that perspective that I have. And that’s why I’m not trying to make my version of STAR WARS. Though as the years go on, I suppose that’s inevitable. But I’m trying to remain true to the point of view that he had, that he wanted for these characters he thinks because it’s not mine. Like I’ve said before, I’m just a part of it. But I have a job to maintain the integrity of this thing, to keep it special. As special as it was for me growing up. That’s the way I see the goal. And hopefully we have achieved that. I’m so far very pleased with REBELS and how it’s evolved. And I think that by the end, it’ll be something that fits nicely in the STAR WARS galaxy.

Q: What is one of the big things that George taught you.

Dave: There are so many things. Mainly it was editorial, how to look at the story, how to cut the story, how to move things. I torment everybody with it. And the script in that sense is just a beginning point. It’s not ever per word. So, the scripts that will always go the easiest for me are the ones that I write ahead of time because I know how I’m going to shoot it the whole time. There’s how you write something, and there is how it needs to be shot.
And those things can conflict and then you see the lines need to change and you don’t have all these sets [etc.]. He just taught me to be incredibly flexible with the opportunities that are on hand. And when you see something, to go for it. And it's better to attempt to do something great than to just stay safe. He will push. We would look at some stuff we were doing, and he would say, “You know, we’re right on the edge at this time, this is either really gonna work, or people are gonna hate it. But we’re gonna go for making this great.”

He used to say, “Dare to be great.” Which is something I always say to my team, and it seems simple, right? Of course, everybody thinks that when they start out. But it’s amazing how many times you pull yourself up or you hold back or you get afraid. And in STAR WARS as with everything, fear is the root of everything that is failure and jealousy and greed and evil. My real education, is in The Force. That was the biggest education.

Q: How far out do you work?

Dave: I’m so far ahead now, frighteningly far ahead. It’s not as far ahead as when we worked on CLONE WARS. CLONE WARS, we would practically work at three seasons simultaneously. I had a season that was being aired and color corrected. I’d had a season that was still in animation. And I had a story, meaning shooting it. And then I had a season that was development. This is a little more like two. One is usually coming to an end and another one is well on its way.

Q: What comes first, the actual animation part or the voices?

Dave: We do a funny thing. We do a story reel that’s a shot proxy, the little limited shapes and objects of the characters but it’s very clear what’s going on. We record that with the temp actors right here on our floor of Lucasfilm. It’s horrible temp voices. And that fact goes all the way back to CLONE WARS. Because we developed that technique because George and I would change what was happening in story and the dialogue so much, there was no point in bringing in the actors to record them. Because you’d have to re-record them.

And I want them to react, so we develop it with all those kind of templates but if it works with these people it will work great with real actors. I can’t even tell you. People fall in love with the temp, and I go, don’t fall in love with the temp. It’s all temp. And then we’ll record the voice actors. And what’s great about that is that pretty much by the time I see them I’ve shot the whole thing. I know how it all fits together and I have a really tight script by that point. We’ll do a final revision of all the lines, not all but the ones that need work.

Then when I sit with them, I’ll be able to explain everything, the physicality, the depth, everything that’s going on. Because we have to get some very emotional places. I try to suspend the actors so that they're only ever in the moment that’s happening. They don’t know really what’s going to happen. Unless it’s something that’s really intense and then like I’ll take them aside and I’ll say, okay, you need to prepare for the next three weeks. We’re going to do this story. I’m going to give you the broad generalization of it. I want them to be able to prepare their mind for getting to an emotional place. Tiya [Sicar] had to do some very intense things that revolved around Sabine’s family. I wanted to talk with her well in advance of what that was because she didn’t know that she had all this information. When we nailed down the story, it was like okay, so this is who your parents are and this is what’s going on and this is why you're not with them. She had to get a download of all that, and this is how you feel about it. Then we would discuss it in case she had thoughts about it. This is a very important relationship between the director and the actor. It’s a tremendous amount of trust in that relationship. And you have a responsibility to them to keep them and to let them realize where they are in the story.

There were some things we were doing just this week that only one of them could know about. Because the others weren’t present. I want them to kind of react to that as they hear it. It’s really fun, they are a fantastic cast. I couldn’t ask for better. We did a killer job getting them. I’m really pleased with them.

Q: Will we see Klick Klack again?

Dave: Boy, if you want me to be honest, highly unlikely. The bug is so creepy. And then he wins you over, right?

GROUP: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!

Dave: Well, I will tell you a couple different things that I had jokes, when we were doing the sound. Because the sound design of these episodes, I thought was a very, just really fantastic. The sound is dynamic, the whole new level, the music added a whole level to the story. But one of the things I joke about is [when] Klick Klack lifts up that rock.

I wanted to hear like there is some kind of bug rave going and there’s colors, lights. We had discussed at different points whether or not there would be other Geonosians in that shot. We decided to leave it more open. Honestly, we tell so many stories now. If you're responsive to anything like the Geonosians I’m sure there’ll be like a comic book or a novel. About Klick Klack.

So I’ll be sitting at a meeting somewhere and they'll be, what happened to him. My wife loved the Zillo Beast from CLONE WARS. She loved that thing. And she’s like, what happened to him? I’m like, Annie, I don't know. He died. It just really hasn’t come up. So, but that’s good to know. I mean, it’s good to know you liked him. The actors hated saying Klick Klack. It is a rough thing to say. Klick Klack.