Tag Archives: Animation

“The Year Disney Started to Take Diversity Seriously”

“Mira Nair didn’t know it, but for years, she lived just 15 minutes away from the subject of her next film—chess champion Phiona Mutesi, a prodigy from the slums of Kampala, Uganda. It took the attention of one particularly dedicated Disney executive, Tendo Nagenda, to introduce Mutesi and Nair, then shepherd through the studio a film: Queen of Katwe, a movie that looked almost nothing like anything else from the company that brings you Avengers, jedis, and pirates.

“I’ve never had a guardian angel in any film in a studio,” Nair tellsVanity Fair. “[Tendo] is truly one because he made it happen.”

Katwe is a film about a young African girl, with essentially no speaking roles for white characters, directed by an Indian woman. It’s an anomaly even in an industry that prides itself on having an imagination. But it’s also one of many examples of how Disney is diversifying its array of upcoming films, presenting more inclusive visions of everything from classic musicals to a galaxy far, far away.

In the near future, we’ll have a Christmas movie starring Kevin Hart as Santa Claus, an adaptation of The Nutcracker starring Misty Copeland and Morgan Freeman, and a surprising reimagining of The Rocketeer starring a young black girl. Ice Cube is working on a hip-hop version of Oliver Twist. Moana, Disney’s first Polynesian princess movie, is set for a Thanksgiving-week release. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s latest go-to music man, who also penned songs for Moana) will co-star in a Mary Poppins sequel.

The upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story presents an intergalactic rebellion from the likes ofForest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, and Donnie Yen—and all led by a woman, Felicity Jones. Between 2016 and 2018, about 24 percent of the studio’s live-action releases will feature ethnic minority leads, Disney says…”

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/11/disney-films-inclusive

“Everything You Need to Know About X-23, and Why Her Appearance in Logan Is So Important”

“The first trailer for Logan dropped [recently], giving us confirmation of the long-standing rumor that comic book hero Laura Kinney—a.k.a. X-23—will be in the movie. If that name doesn’t ring a bell for you, we’re here to help: it’s because little Laura could end up being the key to the future of Wolverine on the big screen.

To put it simply, Laura is a female clone of Wolverine, first introduced in the comics in early 2004. She was actually first created for two episodes of the animated series X-Men: Evolution’s third season by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, before Marvel decided to bring the character over to their comics. Her first comics series, NYX, showcased the teen X-23 in action with no details on her mysterious past, which wouldn’t be fully unveiled until she got her own self-titled miniseries in 2006 and 2011, X-23: Target X and X-23: Innocence Lost.

In the comics, ever since Wolverine escaped the Weapon X project, there were attempts to recreate the successes that lead to his adamantium-encased bone, but they all failed. Martin Sutter, the head of the original Weapon X program, recruited a mutant geneticist named Sarah Kinney to lead a new version of the project—one that, instead of simply trying to bond adamantium to a live test subject, would instead simply clone Weapon X’s biggest successes.

Kinney faced a problem, though. The project’s last sample of Logan’s DNA was heavily damaged, and attempts to make a male clone failed 22 times. Kinney suggested to Sutter that a female clone be created out of what was left of Wolverine’s material—eventually he agreed, leading to the birth of X-23. (Long story short, when Sutter refused at first, Kinney defied him and made a female clone anyway, which led Sutter’s sadistic protege Zander Rice to force Kinney to be impregnated with the clone as “punishment” for defying Sutter…).”

http://io9.gizmodo.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-x-23-and-why-her-app-1788023907

“All About Auli’i Cravalho, the Amazing 16-Year-Old Voice of Disney’s Moana”

“Before you get to know Auli’i Cravalho, the amazing 16-year-old voice of Disney’s new heroine Moana, it’s probably best you learn how to pronounce her name.

“It’s ‘ow,’ like you stubbed your toe. ‘Lee,’ like Bruce Lee. Then, you add an ‘e.’ Auli’i Cravalho,” she explains (with bonus pantomimes) to PEOPLE in the above video.

 The Hawaiian native, who turned 16 on Tuesday (the day before her new movie premieres!), was born on the Big Island and now lives in Mililani on the island of Oahu with her mom, Puanani. The rising star was discovered almost by accident, when Disney talent scouts saw her sing in a YouTube video.

Cravalho, a member of her school’s glee club, gives props to her mom for her strong pipes. “I credit my singing to my mom because she didn’t give me a binky when I was a baby. I cried and screamed for the first six months — my mom would say four years of my life — and I developed wonderful lungs,” she says.

For the first-time actress, performing in the privacy of a sound booth was a welcome introduction to the big screen. “I really like it because when I’m in the studio, I kind of just close my eyes. I don’t have to worry about what I look like too much, and I don’t have to worry about perhaps not moving my eyebrows in the right direction to look sad or something,” she explains.

Plus, when it comes to acting with her voice, Cravalho is a natural. “I’m kind of an animated person,” she adds. “I was given this really big blessing that my voice just kind of carries the emotion.”

In the film, Cravalho plays Moana Waialiki, the high-spirited daughter of the chief of a mystical Polynesian island, who sets sail to an island with a demigod named Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) to help save her family from disaster. The story is full of Disney fantasy, but Cravalho says her character’s journey toward self-discovery — and the fact that she makes that journey alone — is relatable to everyone…”

http://people.com/movies/all-about-aulii-cravalho-the-amazing-16-year-old-voice-behind-moana/

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“X-23: 5 Essential Stories To Read Before Seeing Logan”

“X-23 is a character with an interesting history. She belongs to the special club of comic book characters that debuted in other media, in X-23’s case the X-Men: Evolution animated television series.

X-23, a.k.a Laura Kinney then made her comic book debut in NYX #3 in 2004. Since then she’s become an integral part of the X-Men family, trained under the wing of her mentor and “father” Wolverine, joined the violent hit squad X-Force, and even spent some time hanging out with the Avengers.

Now she’s taken up the mantle of Wolverine and soon Laura will be making her big screen debut in Logan, the final Wolverine movie to star Hugh Jackman in the titular role.

This article is here to help fans looking to get to know Laura a little better. It covers Laura’s journey from birth all the way up to her earning the Wolverine name. Read these stories and you won’t be able to wait to see X-23 in Logan.

Logan opens in theaters March 3, 2017.

Innocence Lost

X-23: Innocence Lost was X-23’s first time headlining a comic book. The six-issue limited series is written by X-23’s creators Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost and illustrated by Billy Tan and reveals X-23’s origin story.

X-23’s story begins at The Facility and offshoot of the Weapon Plus program that created Wolverine. The Facility wants to create a new Wolverine and attempt to accomplish the goal by cloning him. A brilliant scientist is brought on board to figure out how and decides to alter the sample to be a female. The catch is that she has to carry the clone to term herself.

She gives birth to X-23. Despite The Facility renting the child out as an assassin, Sarah manages to imbue Laura with humanity and a conscience, which leads to conflict with Sarah’s employers…”

http://comicbook.com/marvel/2016/11/23/x-23-5-essential-stories/

“15 Characters We Want To See In Young Justice Season 3”

“Though the details are still scarce, fans of the Cartoon Network series Young Justice are rejoicing after news broke that Warner Bros. Animation will be reviving the show for a third season. Despite a dedicated fan base during its initial run, the show was cancelled in 2013 after just two seasons. Premiering in 2010 and loosely based on the comic title of the same name, the show was praised for its mature content, character growth, and overarching storylines. Since then, the fans have been vocal about wanting the show to return. The voice actors and creators of the series have also spent the intervening years hinting that a revival, perhaps on a site like Netflix, was possible.

While we don’t yet know whether the new season will be back on Cartoon Network or will instead be produced by Netflix, it’s clear that fans’ enthusiasm and the fact that the show is regularly trending on the streaming platform had an impact on the company’s decision. The series showcased many DC characters over its 46 episodes, but there’s still a number of prominent comic book heroes who have yet to appear. With that in mind, here are 15 Characters We Want To See In Young Justice Season 3.

15. CYBORG

For a show that featured the Justice League and a variation on the Teen Titans, one of the most notable absences over the series’ two seasons was the hero Cyborg. While his prominence in the League during the New 52 reboot and his status in the now-burgeoning DCEU weren’t yet established when Young Justice premiered, his absence was still quite notable. Given his main role in the popular Teen Titans and subsequent Teen Titans Go! series, it does seem odd that some version of the cybernetic former athlete known as Vic Stone was never added to the Team’s roster…”

http://screenrant.com/young-justice-netflix-season-3-characters/

“Young Justice Season 3 Is Finally Happening, Here’s What We Know’

“The first time somebody said “Ask, and you shall receive,” the subject at hand wasn’t a third season of a fan favorite animated series, but it definitely applies in the case of the no longer short-lived superhero offering Young Justice. After three and a half years of waiting, fans can finally rejoice now that Young Justice Season 3 is finally happening, and there is no longer a need to keep petitioning and campaigning. (Maybe change “Season 3” to “Season 4” on the picket signs instead of throwing them away, though, to be safe.)

Warner Bros. Animation dropped the rather shocking announcement today thatYoung Justice Season 3 is currently beginning production. At this early point, a premiere date hasn’t been carved out yet, and more interestingly, there still isn’t a network attached. Young Justice spent its first two highly acclaimed and well-rated seasons on Cartoon Network, where it aired its last episode in March 2013, but it apparently won’t be headed back to that cable outlet for further adventures. Both seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix, a company known for embracing TV series’ surprise comebacks; perhaps a bigger relationship will blossom between the show and streaming service.

But while Young Justice‘s home may be changing, some things are staying the same, and the new season will see the return of creators and producers Brandon Vietti, who has since directed the fun feature LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League, and Greg Weisman, who is currently a writer/producer on Star Wars Rebels. So hopefully we don’t need expect any big shifts as far as story and tone are concerned.

Unfortunately, such early news necessarily means that not a lot of narrative details are floating around for Young Justice Season 3. The announcement only promised “new twists, turns and dangerous new threats,” but we could have already guessed that. It’s unclear just how The Team will change, if it will, from Season 2 to Season 3, but I have to assume that Vietti and Weisman have been thinking about future Young Justice stories since Season 2 was in production, so this could easily be the best season yet…”

http://www.cinemablend.com/television/1582400/young-justice-season-3-is-finally-happening-heres-what-we-know

“‘Mulan’ Gets 3D, Live Action Treatment From Disney For 2018”

“Disney is putting a live-action 3D Mulan film on the fast track for November 2018, building upon a tried and true strategy of taking already branded and beloved animated films and giving them new life for  the big screen. This one also has a female protagonist, not unlike their box office hits Cinderella and Maleficent. The studio plans a worldwide casting search for the lead Chinese actress for the role. This is not the first time that the movie has been made into a live-action film. One was mounted by Chinese filmmakers in 2009 — Mulan: Rise of a Warrior.

The move is interesting, given the strength of the Chinese in the entertainment industry right now and the fact that the company just opened a major theme park in Shanghai so we expect a Mulan-themed adventure ride in the future there. Jackie Chan, the beloved Chinese actor, dubbed the animated musical Mulan for Disney in 1998 when the film was released in China.

The story follows the rise of Mulan during the Han Dynasty when this daughter of a legendary warrior impersonates a man to fight against a Hun invasion. The new live-action film is combining the story of the ballad of the legendary Hua Mulan with the highly popular 1998 animated film, which carried the same name and made a whopping $304M worldwide at the box office.

The spec, written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, was purchased by the studio last  year and the project has been on the fast track ever since as they brought aboard Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Jurassic World, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, and the upcoming Avatar sequel) to get it into shooting shape…”

http://deadline.com/2016/10/mulan-live-action-3d-disney-november-2018-1201830651/