Along the western edge of Disneyland, rises a craggy peak of mossy cliffs, tangled tree roots, and thorny briar patches. This attraction — part animatronic carnival, part kid-friendly log flume — is known as Splash Mountain, and thanks to the technical wizards at Walt Disney Imagineering, it really looks like an authentic summit. But of course, it’s not; it was built in the late 1980s at a reported cost of some $75 million. It’s a very fun ride — and possibly the strangest in the entire Disney empire, since it’s essentially a giant $75 million monument to a movie that Disney has kept out of circulation for more than 30 years.
Disney - Page 4
Deadpool demolished box office records, quickly becoming the biggest X-Men franchise film of all time and the highest-grossing R-rated film. It certainly wasn’t the first successful R-rated action comedy, but in terms of superhero films, Deadpool made a pretty major splash — which has fans wondering if we’ll see more comic book adaptations take the restricted rating route. While Warner Bros. appears to be open to the possibilities, there’s one studio that definitely won’t be taking a similar tack anytime soon…or ever.
In the beginning of Disney’s ‘Zootopia,’ Judy Hopper, a young determined bunny with big aspirations, is told by her parents that complacency is better than chasing your dreams. “You know why your mom and I ended up so happy?” her small town carrot farmer dad asks. “We gave up on our dreams and settled!” At first ‘Zootopia’ might seem like Disney once again banging their follow-your-dreams and never-give-up drum, but it quickly overcomes that outdated adage. Instead, Judy’s story of perseverance becomes the entry point for a larger movie about the tough realizations that come with leaving a bubble of blind comfort, and one that uses he animal kingdom to comment on prejudice, race relations and police brutality.
As the story goes, corrupt government officials intentionally introduced a dangerous drug into marginalized minority communities resulting in increased power for politicians and law enforcement through the manipulated fear of the middle class. This narrative has been the subject of a number of popular conspiracy theories over the years concerning the CIA’s alleged involvement in the crack cocaine epidemic among the African American community in the mid-80s. It’s also the plot of the 55th Disney animated movie starring a group of cute, talking animals.
Well-received though Disney’s Marvel-ous Big Hero 6 was back in 2014 (it won the freakin’ Oscar), there hasn’t been very much followup by way of a sequel. Now, Disney XD promises to continue the adventures of Hiro, Baymax and the team in a new 2017 TV series, but what might it mean on the movie end?
Darth Vader may continue to menace Star Wars Rebels for as long as continuity dictates, but it stands to reason that the show’s third year might look to a baddie with more creative license. Enter a new rumor, that Star Wars Rebels Season 3 will revive a bit of expanded universe canon cast off by The Force Awakens, returning one of its most famous villains.
On February 21, ABC will broadcast a new special titled The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60, a commemoration of the Anaheim amusement park’s sixtieth anniversary and Star Wars devotees just got a reason to tune in that can’t be ignored.
With two more Star Wars episodes and at least three spinoff / anthology films on the way, it’s hard to think too much about the future of the franchise beyond that, though we have been curious about Disney and Lucasfilm’s plans for the future of the series after Episode IX hits theaters in 2019. Will there be more sequels? A new trilogy? More spinoffs? According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, Star Wars will continue on after Episode IX, and the studio has no plans to end that other major franchise anytime soon, either.
If any rumor runs longer than word of a new Star Wars trilogy, it might be the promise of a live-action TV series set in the same galaxy far, far away, one which has been through multiple iterations over the last decade. Now, Lucasfilm bosses and other insiders officially shoot down hopes for a Star Wars tie-in on TV, not wanting the follow the Marvel path.
Apart from teasing some incredible action to the back half of Season 2, Star Wars Rebels got tongues wagging with a new trailer that seemingly promised ties to The Force Awakens. There was Kylo Ren’s lightsaber and a masked figure sounding suspiciously like Supreme Leader Snoke, and now supervising director Dave Filoni answers if Rebels will really introduce a major movie tie-in.