On a recent trip to Burbank I spent some time at Walt Disney Studios, where I was able to get an early look at some of what will be premiering on Disney+ on November 12.
The Walt Disney Studios’ 51-acre lot contains several sound stages, a backlot, and other production facilities for Walt Disney Studios’ motion picture production. It is the only major film studio in the area that does not offer regular tours of the studio lot to the general public, so it’s always an honor when I’m invited in to get a glimpse of what’s going on and to screen some upcoming films.
So, what I did learn while I was there? I learned that you guys are in for a real Disney treat when Disney+ kicks off! Here’s hoping you’ll have lots of free time starting November 12 because you won’t want to miss any of the great films I was able to screen early. Some – you may even want to watch more than once!
Lady and the Tramp
Disney+’s “Lady and the Tramp,” is a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic. A pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.
My Lady and the Tramp Thoughts:
OMG you guys! I always get just a little goose-bumpy when one of my childhood favorites is re-made. Remember how gushy I was about The Jungle Book! Never mind Cinderella! Lady and the Tramp was no different. Disney is on a roll with live-action remakes, ( The Lion King, Aladdin, Maleficent, Little Mermaid, and upcoming Cruella, and Mulan) which gives us a good indication of just how serious they are about transforming their entire animated catalogue into modern adventures for a new generation.
Honestly I was a little bummed when I learned there was going to be a new version of “The Siamese Cat Song.” The song was re-written and re-invented due to both its modern-day perceived racist connotations and to fit the characters’ depictions in this film. Honestly, I’m still a little bummed about it and found myself singing “we are Siamese if you please – we are Siamese if you don’t please” where it should have been. You be the judge. I personally prefer the 1955 version.
Unlike other recent “live-action” Disney films like The Jungle Book or The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp uses a combination of real animals and computer animation. Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux voice the pampered pet and ownerless scamp, respectively, who are actually played by live-action dogs, except for their CGI-manipulated mouths. One thing we’ve learned from all these live-action remakes, it’s that modern animation can do some truly amazing things with all of our favorite and long loved fictional friends.
The live-action cast members include Kiersey Clemons as Lady’s owner Darling, Thomas Mann as her husband Jim Dear, Yvette Nicole Brown as the villainous Aunt Sarah, Adrian Martinez as Elliot the dog catcher, and Arturo Castro as Marco, a restaurant worker with a soft spot for Tramp.
What a great mix of animation and live action. It is so creative and so technologically amazing I found myself thinking of the two canines as people.
OFFICIAL BOILERPLATE: In Disney+’s “Lady and the Tramp,” a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home. Life is good for Lady, an overachieving American Cocker Spaniel who resides in an upscale suburban neighborhood. Her owners, Jim Dear and Darling, spoil her daily and her neighbors, Jock, an outspoken Scottish Terrier and Trusty, a world-weary Bloodhound, are always within barking distance. But when a baby enters the picture, Lady is no longer the center of attention, and the arrival of cat- loving Aunt Sarah only complicates matters. Lady soon finds herself alone on the streets in an unwelcoming part of town.
Fortunately, Tramp steps in, and the streetwise mongrel is quick to teach her the ways of the world. Before long, the prim and proper pure bred and the fast-talking mutt are partaking in moonlight strolls in the park and romantic spaghetti dinners by candlelight. Tramp savors the independence of a world without leashes or fences alongside his roguish friends Peg and Bull, but Lady misses the comfort and safety of a family, and soon both must decide where – and with whom – they belong. A heartwarming romantic adventure that seamlessly combines live action and photorealistic animation, “Lady and the Tramp” stars: Tessa Thompson as the voice of Lady and Justin Theroux as the voice of Tramp; Kiersey Clemons as Darling; Thomas Mann as Jim Dear; Janelle Monáe as the voice of Peg; Yvette Nicole Brown as Aunt Sarah; and Sam Elliott as the voice of Trusty. The film is directed by Charlie Bean from a screenplay by Andrew Bujalski and Kari Granlund, and is produced by Brigham Taylor with Diane L. Sabatini serving as executive producer.
“Lady and the Tramp” premieres on November 12, 2019, streaming only on Disney+.
In Disney+’s holiday comedy “Noelle,” Kris Kringle’s daughter is full of Christmas spirit and holiday fun, but wishes she could do something “important” like her beloved brother Nick, who will take over for their father this Christmas.
When Nick is about to crumble like a gingerbread cookie from all the pressure, Noelle suggests he take a break and get away. When he doesn’t return, Noelle must him and bring him back in time to save Christmas.
OFFICIAL BOILERPLATE: In Disney+’s holiday comedy “Noelle,” Kris Kringle’s daughter is full of Christmas spirit and holiday fun, but wishes she could do something “important” like her beloved brother Nick, who will take over for their father this Christmas. When Nick is about to crumble like a gingerbread cookie from all the pressure, Noelle suggests he take a break and get away…but when he doesn’t return, Noelle must find her brother and bring him back in time to save Christmas. The sudden disappearance of the new Santa (Bill Hader) leads to chaos in the North Pole, so Mrs. Kringle (Julie Hagerty) must step up to rein in the hi-tech replacement Santa, Cousin Gabe (Billy Eichner). Meanwhile, Noelle and Elf Polly (Shirley MacLaine), the family’s acerbic but good-hearted nanny, are down South on a search-and-recover mission, during which Noelle (Anna Kendrick) comes to realize she has much in common with her father and begins to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Written and directed by Marc Lawrence, “Noelle” stars Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty and Shirley MacLaine. The film is produced by Suzanne Todd with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer.
“Noelle” premieres on November 12, 2019, streaming only on Disney+.
Marvel’s Hero Project
We all know someone who has inspired everyone they meet to do better. A young person who is forging their own path to help the greater good. The first mission of Marvel’s Hero Project was to find those people. The next mission was to give those real-life heroes the recognition and celebration they deserve.
It doesn’t take wearing a suit of iron, carrying a mythical hammer or swinging from spider webs to be a real hero. Sometimes the person who can make a positive difference in the world is the person who simply sees a problem and has the passion to find a creative solution.
In Marvel’s Hero Project, a new series that will begin streaming exclusively on Disney+ on November 12, several extraordinary, inspiring kids got their time in the Super Hero spotlight for the work they’ve done in their communities across the country.
Marvel comic editors have found a way to tell their stories. In each episode, each outstanding kid will be surprised to find out that they’ve been immortalized in a Marvel Comic — which will be available for free in Marvel Unlimited and the Marvel Digital Comics Store! — as a brand new Super Hero, putting them among the ranks of the Marvel heroes they love.
You’ll see a young girl who helps loved ones with Alzheimer’s make connections through puzzles and a boy who grows an urban garden to feed the hungry, despite his own family’s financial hardships. The first non-scripted reality series from Marvel Entertainment takes an up close and personal look at the lives of twenty amazing kids from across the country.
Each week, Marvel surprises young heroes by welcoming them into Marvel’s Hero Project. The hope to inspire viewers of all ages.
Here’s a quick look at Marvel’s Hero Project which will start streaming November 12 on Disney+.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
The 10-episode scripted series, set at the real-life East High, where the original movie was filmed, follows a group of students as they countdown to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.”
With meta references and some docu-style elements, it’s a modern take on the “classic” from 13 years ago. Show-mances blossom; friendships are tested, while new ones are made; rivalries flare; songs are sung; and lives are changed forever as these young people discover the transformative power that only high school theater can provide.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” follows East High juniors Ricky and Nini, who just returned from summer camp with a new-found voice, confidence and ambitious boyfriend, E.J. With the help of his best friend, Ricky launches a plan to win back the heart of his ex-girlfriend Nini by auditioning to stage opposite her in the school’s first-ever theatrical production of “High School Musical.” It is scheduled to debut on ABC, Disney Channel and Freeform on November 8, 2019, ahead of its launch on Disney+ on November 12.
I’m really looking forward to everything coming to Disney+ and I know I’ll be watching it all more than once!