As always, this year’s Disney’s annual content showcase brought about many surprises and things to look forward to. We were invited to explore their vast world of entertainment that includes television, cinema, toys, games, and clothing. If you’re a fan of Old Mouse Ears, then you’ll be in awe for what’s to come.
Happy Birthday Disney Channel! Barely a teen, Disney Africa is changing the rules. From 5 Sept to 10 Oct, the Disney Channel (303) will be available on DSTV – Premium, Compact, and Extra! Now a larger audience can enjoy the top rated shows and catch new ones like Elena of Avalor, Backstage, and Bizaardvark.
Fans of Disney XD also have new shows, like Counterfeit Cat and Future Worm, to look forward to. Both shows look hilarious and gave us a proper chuckling. Counterfeit Cat is about a tiny blue alien dressed in a purple catsuit named Gark, who befriends a real cat, Max. Just seeing one episode, titled Dibbs, had me sold.
Future Worm is more on the kooky side. It is a sci-fi comedy about Danny, a 12-year-old boy who turns his lunch box into a time machine, and a bearded worm from the future. Together they travel through time, embracing new adventures with a cringing swagger. It looks hilarious!
On a more serious note, the eight-part miniseries about the struggles and rise of the LGBTQ community in the U.S. looks promising. With a big star cast under the Oscar-winning direction of Gus Van Sant, penned by fellow Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, this documentary is worth marking on your calendar. When We Rise debuts in 2017.
Continuing to expand the Star Wars universe, the little ones can enjoy Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventure, a new LEGO styled animated series on XD. Star Wars Rebels returns with another season and Star Wars episode 8 is in cinemas December 2017. Star Wars Reads Day (back for a fifth year this October), encourages children to dress up for fun giveaways, honing an appreciation for literature and artwork from the Star Wars universe. This will be held at Exclusive Book and Bargain Books at the main cities. Have a look on their website for more info and list of fun-filled activities lined up.
Not surprisingly, four of this year’s highest grossing films were from Disney – Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book, Zootropolis, and Finding Dory and, of course, 2017 had a lot more to showcase.
We were shown a short scene from Beauty and the Beast (due release 17 April 2017) and I could barely hide the massive grin of excitement on my face. It is visually stunning!
Then I had to fight back the tears when the trailer of Queen of Katwe (release date Oct 2016) was shown. Shot in Johannesburg and Uganda, it tells the true tale of an impoverished 10-year-old girl, Phiona played by Madina Nalwanga, who discovers that she can dream and reach great heights through the game of chess. I’m a sucker for underdog stories.
Pirates of the Caribbean is back and there is a new villain. Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) escapes the Devil’s Triangle and he is hell-bent on killing every pirate. We were shown what he would look like after CGI was applied, and this is not a face you’d want to wake up to. In Dead Men Tell No Tales, the lead cast seek the Trident of Poseidon for personal gain. Captain Salazar wants it to rule the seas, newcomer Henry, son of Will Turner, hopes it will free his father from The Flying Dutchman, and Carina hopes to prove she’s not a witch and discover her true identity. Included in the mix, the beloved Jack Sparrow needs to save himself from another ill-fated predicament. In this film, we also have a bit of a Jack Sparrow origin story. Set to release in May 2017, I hope it will be an improvement from On Stranger Tides (although I’m of the opinion they should’ve stopped after At World’s End).
Up next, we were shown behind-the-scenes concept art of our favourite galaxy mixtape misfits! Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 will continue that cheeky style with very detailed and colourful landscapes. The crew will travel the cosmos in search for Star Lord’s biological father, played by Kurt Russell. This time around, we have the most adorable baby Groot to warm our hearts with those bug eyes and rhythmic bark, while Rocket and many on board offer deeper insight to their character motivations. There is no doubt this will be another big hit at the box office, but we have to wait till August 2017 to jam out down nostalgia lane again.
After the presentation, we were invited across the road to go look at the conceptual designs not yet available for retail. I barely got through the door and everything in me screamed “shut-up-and-take-my-money!” Below you’ll see everything from designer bags, skateboards, gym gear and even lightsaber braai tongs! Geek Chic at it’s best!
There’s so much from the Disney’s annual content showcase I wish I could show you, but Disney will decide when you are ready for it. For now, at least there is much to look forward to, as Disney always delivers content worth the wait.