The resounding excitement at this year’s Disney press conference 2015/2016 was the return of a much-beloved cast and legendary franchise Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Not that Disney isn’t producing more material than ever in the upcoming months, but most of the anticipation lies in Chewie and Hans Solo’s return home…
The much awaited Marvel Ant-Man film (review here) came out in cinemas this past weekend. Paul Rudd plays the lesser known hero in this new addition the world of Marvel. Michael Douglas joins the cast as Dr. Hank Pym, the mastermind behind the Ant-Man suit technology.
Disney has teamed up with local talent by supporting Leo Shuster’s new film Schuks! Pay Back the Money! which will be airing in local cinemas the 28th of August 2015. After losing rugby’s holy grail, The Currie Cup, Schuks (Leon Schuster) sets off on a hilarious journey to pay for what he has done. In lieu of a one million rand fine, the Sports Minister (Desmond Dube) offers Schuks a lifeline to create a documentary film that shows South Africa in a positive light.
Disney’s line of new films includes:
• The Good Dinosaur – 1 Jan. The friendship between a boy and a dinosaur is much like a boy and a dog, but the dinosaur is the “boy” and the boy is like a dog.
• The Finest Hours – 5 Feb. In 1952, four Coast Guard members brave a powerful winter storm to rescue more than 30 stranded sailors from a rapidly sinking oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod. Starring Casey Affleck and Chris Pine, based on true events.
• Zootroplis – 4 March. The next feature to be released by Walt Disney Animation Studios. What would happen if humans didn’t exist and animals ran the world?
• The Jungle Book – 15 April. Live-action version of the classic Disney tale, with the voice talents of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, and Scarlett Johansson.
• Captain America: Civil War – 29 April. Another big Marvel movie. It’s Captain America verse Iron Man in the quest for justice.
• Alice Through the Looking Glass – 27 May. Alice is back to help the Mad Hatter (reprised by Johnny Depp) find his insanity after he’s become normal.
• Finding Dory – 17 June. Dory is back and so is Ellen DeGeneres.
If you have kids or secretly love binge watching the lives of tweens and animation then this is what’s coming up in Disney Channel, Disney Jnr. and Disney XD:
• I Love Violetta – Disney has hit SA shores and is looking for young locals to star as the presenter for this show based all around Violetta. Stay tuned to see who the proudly South African face of this new exciting show is going to be.
• Best Friends Whenever – This new show is about two best friends who have the superpower to time travel, but only together. Time travel is harder than they think!
• Bunk’d – This new show follows 3 of the kids from Jessie as they try and survive a summer camp. No more luxury penthouse!
• Girl Meets World is back for season 2, and Violette is returning for season 3.
Disney is also launching an original movie called The Descendants which follows the lives of some of Disney’s favourite evil characters’ CHILDREN. These kids have to face the decision of whether they want to follow in their parents footsteps or choose to become good.
Some of the cast includes:
– Mal, Maleficent’s daughter (Dove Cameron)
– Evie, daughter of Evil Queen (Sofia Carson)
– Jay, son of Jafar (Booboo Stewart)
– Carlos, son of Cruelle de Vil (Cameron Boyce)
• KC Undercover – Zendaya becomes a young spy, after discovering her “ordinary” parents were actually spies
• Star vs. The Forces of Evil – This new animation follows Star Butterfly, a teen from another dimension who is sent to earth to fight evil with her all-magical wand.
• Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything – A live-action comedy series about a teen professional video-game-playing phenomenon known as “KidFury”, whose thumb injury forces him out of a high-flying gamer career and into public school.
• Guardians of the Galaxy Animated Series – This new show follows the massive success of Marvels Guardians and follows the backstory of each character and their fight against evil.
• Returning shows: Kirby Buckets Season 2, and Mighty Med Season 3.
• Goldie and the Bear – This new show sees the relationship between Goldie and the youngest bear, which is set in the fairytale world with many beloved fairytale characters.
• Miles from Tomorrow – A boy from outer space. Enough said.
• The Lion Guard – Debuting in 2016, we will finally see the young cub from the Lion King world and his many adventures.
• Jake and the Neverland Pirates is receiving a promotion and becoming Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
• Returning shows: Sofia the First season 3 and Doc McStuffins season 3
Other exciting news with regards to the Disney conglomerate:
– Disney will be supporting the local Triggerfish Animation Studios with their upcoming project The Triggerfish Story Lab. Triggerfish will be investing up to R44m over the next three years in The Story Lab, which aims to give Africa’s most talented storytellers and filmmakers the opportunity to develop their ideas alongside Triggerfish’s international network of mentors.
– Disney has collaborated with Discovery Vitality and launched a helpful website for all expecting parents, Disney Healthy Living. Visit www.disneyhealthyliving.co.za for more information.