Disney Empowers Young Filmmakers To Create Global Dream Big Princess Video Series Celebrating Female Trailblazers

Disney has announced a new global project giving 21 talented young women from different corners of the world the chance to make digital shorts movies telling the stories of inspiring female role models. The program is called The #DreamBigPrincess series which will be shared across Disney’s global media platforms as part of a campaign to unlock up to a $1 million donation to Girl Up, an initiative of the UN Foundation.

Each aspiring young filmmaker will be paired with an inspirational interview subject spanning a diverse range of professions. Each of them will capture the stories of these amazing individuals, along with their advice for achieving success.

Plans for the series were unveiled at the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington D.C., where the 21 participants took part in a unique workshop to give them the tools they can use to make their digital shorts. Each video will be shot on iPhone X and will be edited using Final Cut Pro X running on MacBook Pro. The aspiring filmmakers will also participate in a unique workshop including hands-on training from Apple technical experts, mentoring sessions with female-led production company Summerjax and creative inspiration from Disney storytelling veterans.

Following the workshop, the young women will embark on their own creative journeys back in their home countries with ongoing mentorship from Disney, Apple, and Summerjax, before their videos debut across certain social media in October, helping drive an up to $1 million donation from Disney Worldwide Services to Girl Up.

In addition to supporting young aspiring filmmakers and sharing inspiring stories around the world, the #DreamBigPrincess campaign aims to make a tangible difference for girls who face challenges in achieving their dreams. Through Disney’s collaboration with Girl Up, for each like or share of a video or photo with #DreamBigPrincess on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Disney Worldwide Services will donate US $1 to Girl Up, in support of girls’ leadership and empowerment (minimum donation: $500,000/maximum donation: $1 million).

This charitable activation will kick off on October 10 and run until November 20, 2018. The collaboration exemplifies Disney’s efforts to provide inspiration and opportunity to kids around the world.

Check out the video below.

REVIEW – Ant-Man And The Wasp

Marvel Studios has delivered another amazing film with Ant-Man And The Wasp. In its first weekend alone the movie has made $161 million worldwide and $76 million domestically. Some would say that isn’t a great number but this is the 9th first place Marvel Studios has seen. So I will be the first to say this movie will have legs with moviegoers for the next month. Please note I will write spoilers below. You’ve been warned.

Overview;

The story goes that in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices. He struggles to re-balance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted once again by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with an urgent mission they need his help with. Scott again puts on the suit to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past to save Dr.Pym’s wife Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) the original Wasp.

What I Liked About It;

After the crazy that was Avengers: Infinity War, MCU fans and moviegoers alike need a movie to cleanse the palette from the intensity of Thanos. So it was nice to see that Director Peyton Reed, who directed the first Ant-Man, was able to deliver with Ant-Man And The Wasp.

Right off the back the movie explains what happen with both the original story and what happen in the first movie. But Reed did it in such a way that it flowed quickly and to the point that it fits right into the movie. So if you haven’t seen the original Ant-Man or any of the Marvel movies you could catch on to what was happening pretty quick.

Once again actor Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang/Ant-Man with a lovable personality that you just want to always root for the character. If you really break it down he’s just a normal guy trying to fix his past mistakes and is thrown into a world that is much larger than him. Really both Scott Lang and Ant-Man are the same person when it comes to the personalities and what I mean is that he’s not a Captain America type or have an Iron Man ego. He’s just a guy, who has empathy and witty humor who want’s to do right by his daughter and the ones he loves. Who just happens to be a superhero. Rudd’s portrayal of that is flawless in every scene.

Also in the movie is both Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer who play the original Ant-Man and Wasp. These seasoned actors bring their A games to their respective roles. While Pfeiffer is not in the whole movie, her scenes are very memorable. It’s been a while since moviegoers have seen Pfeiffer in a superhero movie. The last one we saw her in was Batman Returns in 1992.

The breakout star of the movie is Hannah John-Kamen who plays villain/anti-hero Ghost. Best known for role in the SyFy tv show Killjoys and her supporting role in Ready Player One. This movie is going to put her on Hollywood’s radar. Marvel has a huge opportunity with her in that role as Ghost can go in so many directions by the end of the movie, superhero or villain, time will tell. Personally, I am happy they gender-swapped the character as the original was a male and his overall story arc was pretty corny. So kudos to Marvel for doing it right by the character.

As far as the supporting cast, once again Michael Pena, T.I., and David Dastmalchian bring brilliant their humor helps round out the movie. While the roles are somewhat small they are important and needed. They are like the sprinkles to a birthday cake. They just make it that much better. Also in the supporting cast was Laurence Fishburne who plays Dr. Bill Foster who at one time worked at S.H.I.E.L.D. and worked on important projects that have affected the MCU apparently. I will be interested to see if he pop back up in the MCU in some other movie.

For me, Evangeline Lilly absolutely steals the movie as The Wasp. Her ability to personify a strong female lead was refreshing. Everything from compassion to all out kicking ass and taking names, it’s almost a shame that Marvel didn’t introduce her in Captain America: Civil War. Marvel was very smart in knowing what they have with Lilly as she basically a co-lead of this film. Because as much as Paul Rudd is technically the lead, she really does show her ability to steal a scene throughout the entire movie. Plus she did more of her own stunts than Rudd. I look forward to her interacting with the rest of the heroes in the next untitled Avengers movies next year.

What I think Didn’t Work;

I really can’t nit-pick at anything in this movie. There is a good reason why it got an A- from CinemaScore and an 86% from Rotten Tomatoes.

Overall;

Hands down this movie made it into my top five favorite Marvel movies of all time. It’s full of great acting from brilliant actors, amazing action scenes, and a story that sets the standard for a fun summer movie. Definitely check this movie out in theaters if you get the chance.

Check out the trailer below.

Weekend Box Office: July 6-8, 2018

Once again Disney has taken the top spot this year with Marvel’s Ant-Man And The Wasp with $76 million domestically and $161 worldwide. This is the 9th time that Marvel Studios has claimed the top spot this year. This sequel has outperformed the 2015 movie by nearly $20 million. I expect it will take first place next week as well since there are no big movies coming out next weekend. Plus the movie received an A- from CinemaScore and a 86% at RottenTomatoes. This one of those movies that will do both well theatrically and when it’s released on DVD and Redbox.

In second place and still going strong is everyone’s favorite superhero family Incredibles 2 with $29 million. The movie in total has made over $772 million worldwide. What’s more interesting that domestically it has made over $504 million which makes it the first animated movie to ever top $500 million, which makes it the highest grossing animated title ever. It’s now just shy of topping Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to become the 11th highest grossing domestic release of all-time. This family-friendly movie still has plenty of steam and won’t be leaving the top ten any time soon.

In third place is Jurrasic World: Fallen Kingdom with $28.6 million. So far the movie has made over $1 billion worldwide and $333 million domestically. Though with movies like Equalizer 2 and Mission Impossible: Fallout coming out at the end of the month, I expect that this dino frenzy movie to start dying down pretty quick. I mean this weekend along saw a -53% drop off from the previous weekend.

In fourth place from Universal and Blumhouse was The First Purge in its opening weekend with $17.3 million. This is the fourth film in the Purge franchise, which all have done well domestically on very little budgets. For example, the 2016’s The Purge: Election Year was the highest grossing of the franchise, just shy of $80 million. I don’t expect to see this movie to do that well with so many options out there and for what is to come.

Rounding out the top five is Sony’s Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which dropped -61.6% in its second weekend, delivering a total of $7.3 million for a domestic total that now stands at $35.3 million.

U.S. Department of Justice Clears Disney Acquisition of 21st Century Fox

Good news for the people watching the Disney/21st Century Fox merger. The Walt Disney Company announced today that the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice has cleared the pending acquisition by Disney of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. Which is a great step in the process for Disney to buy Fox.

The DOJ has entered into a consent decree with Disney and 21st Century Fox that allows the acquisition to proceed while requiring the sale of the Fox Sports Regional Networks. Under the consent decree, Disney will have at least 90 days from the date of closing the transaction to complete this sale, with the possibility that the DOJ can grant extensions of time up to another 90 days. The decree is subject to the normal court approval process.

Personally, I can’t wait for this sale to be final. There are so many franchises in the Fox sandbox for Disney to play with and to really do some amazing stuff with each of them.

So say it with me. One step closer to the X-Men jumping into the MCU with The Avengers!

Disneyland Resort Kicks off Summer with the Opening of Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure Park

Well, it looks like it’s time to make a trip to Southern California. The Disneyland Resort is kicking off summer with the opening of Pixar Pier opening at Disney California Adventure Park. Pixar stories and characters come to life in this newly reimagined land that features the thrilling Incredicoaster and Pixar Pal-A-Round attractions, imaginative neighborhoods, Pixar-inspired food, the Lamplight Lounge, plus exciting entertainment and more. Guests will experience the wonderful worlds of Pixar in incredible new ways on this seaside waterfront at the Disneyland Resort.

The year 2018 marks the “Year of Pixar” at Disney Parks, where guests are celebrating two decades of Pixar stories and characters. In addition to the opening of Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure park, Disneyland Resort is celebrating with the limited-time Pixar Fest, a celebration of friendship and beyond, through Sept. 3, 2018. Shanghai Disney Resort recently opened Disney•Pixar Toy Story Land, and Walt Disney World opens Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on June 30, 2018.

Disney Signs Amended Acquisition Agreement to Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., for $71.3 Billion

The news all geeky fans have been waiting for! Disney has bought Fox for $71 billion. Disney today announced that it has signed an amended acquisition agreement with Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21st Century Fox”) (NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX), for $38 per share in cash and stock. Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox immediately following the spin-off of the businesses comprising “New Fox” as previously announced.

The more interesting news out of all that is that the businesses to be acquired by Disney include 21st Century Fox’s film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000 Pictures; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Sports Regional Networks; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, and Tata Sky.

The acquisition will occur immediately after the spin-off by 21st Century Fox of the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company referred to as New Fox. If 21st Century Fox completes its acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own prior to the closing of the Disney acquisition, Disney would assume full ownership of Sky, including the assumption of its outstanding debt, upon closing.

The acquisition will significantly increase Disney’s international footprint and expand the content and distribution for its direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings, which include ESPN+ for sports fans; a Disney-branded streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019 that will feature Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films along with a host of exclusive original content and library titles; and its ownership stake in Hulu. As a result of the acquisition, Disney will hold a controlling stake in Hulu.

Say it with me, The X-Men v.s. The Avengers.

James Cameron to Bring ‘AVATAR’ to Life at Disney Parks

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life at Disney parks. Through an exclusive agreement announced this week by Disney, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, and Fox, Disney will partner with Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand.

Disney plans to build the first AVATAR-themed land at Walt Disney World, within the Animal Kingdom park. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.

The agreement announced this week gives The Walt Disney Company exclusive global theme park rights to the AVATAR franchise and provides for additional AVATAR themed lands at other Disney parks.

The other locations will be determined by Disney and its international theme park partners. James Cameron, Jon Landau, and their Lightstorm Entertainment group will serve as creative consultants on the projects and will partner with Walt Disney Imagineering in the design and development of the AVATAR themed lands.