Disney’s New ‘Mickey Mouse Mixed Up Adventures’ Premieres in Oct.

Disney Junior’s Mickey and the Roadster Racers featuring Disney’s #1 star, Mickey Mouse, and his pals, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy and Pluto, will premiere its third season with the new title, Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures and an updated version of “Hot Dog!” song, on Monday, Oct. 14 on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and DisneyNOW. That same day, a new series of shorts titled Hot Diggity-Dog Tales” starring Mickey and Pluto will also debut on the three Disney outlets.

Mickey has been the cornerstone of Disney Junior programming throughout the years. Since January 2017, both Mickey and the Roadster Racers and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse have consistently ranked among the Top 5 reaching cable series for Kids 2-5 and together have garnered over 680 million views on YouTube. The original “Hot Dog!” song alone has garnered more than 47 million views on YouTube.

The new season takes Mickey and the gang along with friends Chip & Dale on zany adventures all around Hot Dog Hills in fun locales including Mickey’s new gadget-filled house, the Mixed-Up Motor Lab at Mickey’s Garage and Minnie, Daisy and Cuckoo Loca’s Happy Helpers office. Designed to impart lessons about friendship, teamwork and community, each episode features two 11-minute stories and mid-episode dance break in which Mickey and the gang invite viewers to dance along to the new “Hot Dog!” song.

Season three guest stars include Maulik Pancholy as pet store clerk Jasper; Ana Gasteyer as royal courtier Wilhelmina; Madison Pettis as Olivia, a young beagle tour guide; and Nazneen Contractor as Bollywood film director Davaan Dutt. Returning this season are Jay Leno as Billy Beagle, Camilla Belle as Almanda, Patton Oswalt as Mr. McSnorter, Kate Micucci as Emmy Lou and McKenna Grace as Bitsy Beagleberg.

Rob LaDuca is executive producer, Mark Seidenberg is co-executive producer/supervising story editor and Thomas Hart is story editor. The series is a production of Disney Television Animation.

You can check out the new Hot Dog music video here.

Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures

Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures

Animation Magazine

Watch: A Legendary Hero Returns in Disney’s ‘Mulan’ in March

Disney has unveiled a new teaser trailer and poster for its upcoming live-action take on Mulan — the incredible story of a fearless young woman whose love for her family and her country sets her on a path to become one of China’s greatest warriors. In theaters March 27, 2020.

Directed by Niki Caro (Whalerider, The Zookeeper’s Wife) from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek, Mulan stars Yifei Liu as Mulan, Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan, and Yoson An as Cheng Honghui, with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is based on the narrative poem The Ballad of Mulan.

Synopsis: When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation… and a proud father.

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Mulan

Animation Magazine

Watch: ‘This Is Us’ Star Chris Sullivan Hops to Disney’s ‘Amphibia’

In an upcoming episode of Disney Channel’s new magical animated comedy Amphibiaalready renewed for a second season — star of This Is Us Chris Sullivan pays a visit to the strange swampy land to voice Gunther, a southern tusked frog who lives on the outskirts of Wartwood. In the episode, Sprig’s rare and precious Blue Moon Shell is stolen, so he and Anne investigate to find the thief.

Amphibia chronicles the adventures of teen girl Anne Boonchuy (voiced by Disney Channel alumna Brenda Song) after she is magically transported to a rural marshland full of frog people and meets the excitable young frog Sprig Plantar and his family.

Sullivan’s guest-star episode, “Croak and Punishment,” premieres Monday, July 8 at 10 a.m. on Disney Channel.

Animation Magazine

Halle Bailey Cast as Ariel in Disney’s Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’

Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action reimagining of The Little Mermaid. The film is directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film will feature beloved songs from the animated classic by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken (music) and Miranda (lyrics).

“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” said Marshall.

Bailey, a 19-year-old Atlanta native, plays Sky in Freeform’s Grown-ish, and got her start at a young age playing Tina in Queen Latifah feature Last Holiday. She is also a composer, songwriter and half of the act Chloe x Halle (with her sister). The R&B duo wrote and performed “Warrior” for the A Wrinkle in Time soundtrack, opened for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s U.S. On the Run II Tour last year, and sang at Super Bowl LIII earlier this year.

Production is anticipated to begin in early 2020. Additional announcements regarding The Little Mermaid are expected in the coming weeks.

Released in 1989, Disney’s 2D animated adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, and starred Disney Legend Jodi Benson as the red-headed heroine. Marking the start of the “Disney Renaissance,” the film was the most expensive and technically and artistically ambitious project for the studio in decades.

The Little Mermaid took in $ 233 million in lifetime worldwide box office and was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning the Oscar for Original Score and Original Song (“Under the Sea”); it also won these categories at the Golden Globes and was nominated for Best Picture.

Animation Magazine

Disney’s July Lineup Declares Independence from Summer Doldrums

Fresh animated content is hopping on Disney TV next month, with brand-new episodes of recently debuts kids’ comedy-adventure Amphibia continuing Anne’s incredible discoveries with Sprig and the other froggy folk of his enchanting world. Other toon highlights include episode premieres for recent preschool delivery T.O.T.S., new track challenges for Mickey and the Roadster Racers and monstrous fun with Vampirina.

Disney TV animation debuts for July:

Monday, July 1
10:00-10:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Amphibia “Lily Pad Thai/Plantar’s Last Stand” Anne gets a job at Stumpy’s diner and transforms the humble frog eatery into a flashy Thai fusion restaurant. Kevin McDonald (Lilo & Stitch) and John DiMaggio (Ben 10) guest star as Mr. Duckweed and Stumpy, respectively. | When rent on the Plantar’s food stand skyrockets, Anne has to show Hop Pop the key to being a great salesman. Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) guest stars as Toadie and James Patrick Stuart (General Hospital) returns as One-Eyed Wally.

Tuesday, July 2
10:00-10:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Amphibia “Toad Tax/Prison Break” Anne befriends toad soldiers to gain respect in Wartwood. |Toad Tower finds itself under attack by a pair of horrifying herons. Matt Jones and Kristen Johnston (both from Mom) guest star as Percy and Braddock, respectively.

Friday, July 5
8:00-8:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Mickey and the Roadster Racers “Goof Quest/Llama Drama” Goofy and Donald team up with Uncle Goof for a treasure hunt in Peru. Legendary musician Alice Cooper guest stars as Alistair Coop De Ville. | The Happy Helpers discover the only way to deliver a package is to travel up a mountain by llama.

9:00-9:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) T.O.T.S. “The Purrfect Little Helper/The Colorful Chameleon” When Pip and Freddy are tasked to deliver a kitten, they think it’s a mistake as there are no cats at T.O.T.S. | Pip and Freddy must deliver a baby chameleon that keeps disappearing.

Monday, July 8
10:00-10:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Amphibia “Croak and Punishment/Trip to the Archives” When Sprig’s rare and precious Blue Moon Shell is stolen, he and Anne investigate to find the thief. Chris Sullivan (This Is Us) guest stars as Gunther and John DiMaggio (Ben 10) returns as Stumpy. | To prepare for Anne’s quest, the Plantars visit the town archives and accidentally get trapped.

Wednesday, July 10
10:00-10:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Amphibia “A Night at the Inn/Wally and Anne” The Plantars stay at a bed and breakfast for the night, but Polly discovers

the caretakers aren’t what they seem. Chris Sullivan (This Is Us) and Kari Wahlgren (DC Super Hero Girls) guest star as Teddy and Martha, respectively. |

Everyone calls Anne crazy when she claims to have seen the mythical Moss Man.

Thursday, July 11
10:00-10:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Amphibia “Family Fishing Trip/Bizarre Bazaar” Sprig wants to spend time with Hop Pop on their family fishing trip, but

Hop Pop’s friend Sylvia gets in the way. | Anne’s music box goes missing at the mysterious and exclusive Bizarre Bazaar.

Friday, July 12
9:00-9:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) T.O.T.S. “Stripe Out/A Splashy Delivery” Pip and Freddy try to find out what mysterious striped animal they are delivering. | While delivering a baby octopus, Pip and Freddy accidentally unplug the crate.

9:30-10:00 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Vampirina “The Boo Boys Are Back/Pixie Problem” The Ghoul Girls and Poltergeist Pat perform at the Paranormal Pop Festival. Donald Faison (Scrubs) and Adam DeVine (Pitch Perfect) return as Dragos and Poltergeist Pat, respectively. | Vee practices a new shrinking spell when a pixie family visits the Scare B&B.

Monday, July 15
10:00-10:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Amphibia “Cursed!/Fiddle Me This” After Anne helps Sprig break up with Maddie, strange things start happening to them. | When a popular talent competition comes to Wartwood, Hop Pop goes overboard in training Sprig to win. Olympic figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir guest star as celebrity talent show Judges.

Thursday, July 18
10:00-10:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Amphibia “Reunion” During a banquet hosted by the toads, Anne is reunited with a friend from home.

Friday, July 19
9:00-9:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) T.O.T.S. “Night Flight/Slippery When Wet” Freddy must face his fear of the dark when he and Pip are assigned a nighttime delivery. | Pip hopes to speed through the next delivery, but they are tasked to deliver a baby sloth.

Friday, July 26
9:00-9:30 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) T.O.T.S. “The Great Robot Race/Hiccup Hazard” Pip and Freddy have to prove that delivery birds are better than a stork drone. | Pip’s hiccups threaten their delivery, so he asks Freddy to scare them out of him.

9:30-10:00 A.M. EDT (Disney Channel) Vampirina “Face the Music/Fright at the Museum” Poppy writes a song for the Ghoul Girls to perform in the school talent show. | Vee and her friends are invited to a sleepover at the museum hosted

by King Pepi. Tony Award nominee Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon) reprises his role as King Pepi.

Animation Magazine

Disney’s Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ Flies with Thursday Night Auds

This Friday marks the release of Tim Burton’s live-action version of Disney’s much-loved 1941 animated classic Dumbo. The film did very well in Thursday night previews in the U.S., scoring an impressive $ 2.6 million. The studio is anticipating a $ 50 plus million debut while other sources are suggesting a debut in the $ 60-65 million range.

Despite showcasing the usual stunning Burtonesque visuals, the new version of the flying-elephant tale is getting slammed by critics for its bloated storyline, over-the-top, cartoonish acting (courtesy of Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton), and hard-to-take scenes of animals, and the film’s new young characters going through a lot of horrible pain and misery for a few moments of happiness at the end of the movie. The two-hour movie does feature such stunning visual effects courtesy of vfx supervisor Richard Stammers and production vfx supervisor Hal Couzens, and the teams at MPC (Moving Picture Company), Framestore, RISE, Rising Sun Pictures and Rodeo FX.

The film currently has a low score of 52% on Rottentomatoes.com, which raises the question, ‘Do we really need these live-action versions of beloved animated Disney classics?” (Aladdin, The Lion King, Malificent 2, Mulan, Snow White, Pinocchio, Lady and the Tramp, The Sword in the Stone, Cruella, Prince Charming are in the pipeline.)

Here is a quick sampler of what the major critics had to say about the new Dumbo:

“I was psyched for the teaming of Keaton and Burton, but the chemistry, sad to say, produces no magical brew. Something else nags at this movie: We no longer conceive of old-fashioned circuses and the schooling for animals to be props and comic attractions as harmless fun…Whether you view such projects as a flourish of digital legerdemain, or as a dead weight and an insult to Uncle Walt, is no consequence. What matters is that they rub the lamp and rack up the gold!”
– Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“It’s astounding that Tim Burton and his colleagues could have created such a downer from a long-beloved source of delight.”
-Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“I was expecting a surplus of cute close-ups, but Burton does surprisingly little to win us over. He’s never been big on treacle, but a bit more warmth in this chilly movie, which barely follows the outline of the 1941 original, would have gone a long way.”
-Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

“That the plot involves having DeVito’s modest family-run circus being swallowed up by a mogul with his own theme park is almost too obvious a metaphor for the back half of Burton’s 35-year career.”
-Chris Klimek, NPR

“It has some undeniably magical moments, but how many of these there are depends on the eyes and age of the beholder.”
-Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“This live-action re-imagining of Disney’s 1941 animated classic may be the sweetest film Tim Burton has ever made. It’s also the safest.”
-Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“The character of Dumbo is still touching, but the tale of entrapment and rescue that surrounds him is not. It’s arduous and forgettable, done in busy italicized strokes.”
-Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Burton has merrily turned what could have been another remake into something genuinely different and surprising. What exactly it is will partly depend on your view toward Disney. So it’s worth noting that for all the tumult and fury, this can also feel a bit like a bittersweet origin story: 1919 was the same year that the teenage Walt returned from war and was hired by a commercial art shop where he met Ub Iwerks who helped create Mickey Mouse.”
-Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Here is the trailer for the movie:

Animation Magazine

Trailer: Disney’s Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ Is Out of the Lamp

Disney has released a brand-new full trailer and illuminating poster for the live-action adaptation of its classic animated feature, Aladdin. The new spot shows off the spunky street urchin’s Douglas Fairbanks-style stunts in the streets of Agrabah, Genie’s magic-meets-comedy act, and the promise of many stunning CG-enhanced scenes, digital creatures and soaring musical numbers.

Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, Aladdin is due in theaters nationwide May 24.

Synopsis: Aladdin is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin (Mena Massoud), the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) and the Genie (Will Smith) who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, Aladdin is written by John August and Ritchie based on Disney’s Aladdin(1992). The film also stars Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Navid Negahban as the Sultan, Nasim Pedrad as Dalia and Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders.

Aladdin is produced by Dan Lin, p.g.a., and Jonathan Eirich, p.g.a., with Kevin De La Noy and Marc Platt serving as executive producers. Eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Oscar-winning lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and includes two new songs written by Menken and lyrics by Oscar and Tony Award-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Aladdin

Aladdin

Animation Magazine

Final Season of Disney’s ‘Star vs. The Forces of Evil’ Premieres March 10

The fourth and final season of Daron Nefcy’s Emmy Award-nominated animated series Star vs. The Forces of Evil will debut with two back-to-back episodes on Sunday, March 10 (8-9 a.m. EST/PST) on Disney Channel and Disney XD, with same-day availability on DisneyNOW. New episodes will roll out every Sunday throughout the spring on Disney Channel.

“We put our heart and soul into this final season, and can’t wait to celebrate the exciting conclusion of the series with our fans who have remained so loyal throughout this journey,” said creator and exec producer Nefcy.

In this ultimate series of adventures, teen princess from another dimension Star Butterfly and her best friend Marco Diaz will face unusual surprises brought about by Mewni’s new ruler, Queen Eclipsa. Some of those surprises revolve around new characters voiced by celebrity guest stars, including Jaime Camil (Jane the Virgin), Tony Hale (Arrested Development), Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones), Daniel “Desus Nice” Baker and Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez (Desus & Mero) and Danielle Fishel (Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World).

A Disney Television Animation production, Star vs. The Forces of Evil stars Eden Sher (ABC’s The Middle) as Star Butterfly, Adam McArthur (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Marco Diaz, Alan Tudyk (Frozen) as King Butterfly, Esmé Bianco (Game of Thrones) as Eclipsa, Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) as Mrs. Diaz, Rider Strong (ABC’s Boy Meets World) as Tom and Jenny Slate (Disney Junior’s Muppet Babies) as Pony Head.

Animation Magazine

Wonderful World of Animation Show Opens May 1 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney World has announced that the new nighttime show Wonderful World of Animation will be lighting up the skies over Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting May 1. The spectacle will play out above the soon to be opened new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction.

First announced by Parks Chairman Bob Chapek during D23’s Destination D: Celebrating Mickey Mouse in November, Wonderful World of Animation will be a cinematic nighttime experience featuring state-of-the-art projection technology that will “take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation.”

The premiere will be extra celebratory, as May 1 marks the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be the first ride-through attraction themed on the iconic mouse couple, styled after Disney Channel’s Emmy-winning Mickey Mouse shorts. The ride will feature a new, original story and theme song as it transports guests inside the wacky world of the cartoons.

This year will see the opening of a number of other exciting attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will let fans meet the racing legend from Cars and learn all about the art of the track from his own experience. Party with Pixar Pals kicks off January 18, a dance party hosted by The Incredibles (and special guest Edna Mode) at Pixar Avenue. Monsters, Inc. stars Mike and Sulley will be greeting guests at Walt Disney Presents.

And of course, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will take the park to another star system with a new land packed with thrills, including Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

[Source: Inside the Magic]

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Animation Magazine

Hanks in Talks to Play Geppetto in Disney’s ‘Pinocchio’

If you’re going to cast an actor to play Pinocchio’s kind-hearted dad Geppetto, you might as well call Tom Hanks’ agent first! According to Collider, the popular Oscar-winning actor is in early talks to play the famous puppet-maker in Disney’s live-action version of Pinocchio, which will be directed by Paul King (Paddington). (That’s right, it seems that Disney IS doing a live-action version of EVERY possible animated movie in its vaults!)

The new feature will be produced by Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz, based on a script by King, Weitz and Simon Farnaby. The acclaimed 1940 animated version of the tale was directed by Hamilton Luske and won two Oscars for best original score and the song “When You Wish Upon a Star.” Christian Rub voiced Geppetto in the Disney classic.

Pinocchio is based on the book by Italian author Carlo Collodi, about a wooden toy who dreams of being a real boy. After the Blue Fairy offers him a chance to realize his dream, he is separated from his good friend and conscience Jiminy Cricket, thanks to the evil plans of Honest John the Fox and Gideon the Cat. Throughout the years, many actors have played the Italian toymaker in film and TV projects, including Nino Manfredi, Danny Kaye, Martin Landau, Drew Carrey and Bob Hoskins.

Animation Magazine

Disney’s ‘Gravity Falls’ Gets First Full Series Release thru Shout!

Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls

This summer, you can fill your days with on-screen adventures with Dipper and Mabel in the upcoming Gravity Falls: The Complete Series, out July 24 from Shout! Factory. Featuring all 40 episodes of the Emmy Award-winning Disney toon, this Blu-ray and DVD release marks the first time the show has been available in a complete series box set.

Gravity Falls: The Complete Series will be offered in both standard retail edition (six discs) and Collector’s Edition — a seven-disc box set including an entire disc of bonus features, with brand-new content created especially. Bonus features will be announced in the coming months, but pre-orders are open now through ShoutFactory.com. Direct website orders include a free rolled lithograph while supplies last!

Created by Alex Hirsch and inspired by his real-life adventures with his twin sister, Gravity Falls follows twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel Pines on an adventure of a lifetime when they spend the summer with their great uncle, Grunkle Stan, in the town of Gravity Falls, Oregon — a place full of strange occurrences and weird creatures. When Dipper stumbles upon a mysterious book, he discovers it is the answer to uncovering the town’s odd goings-on. Soon, Dipper and Mabel realize they must rely on each other to navigate this unfamiliar place. Meanwhile, Grunkle Stan guards a secret of his own — one that just might hold the key to unlocking the deeper mystery that is Gravity Falls.

The series stars Hirsch, Jason Ritter (Kevin (Probably) Saves the World), Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers, The Last Man on Earth) and Linda Cardellini (Bloodline, Freaks and Geeks), along with a plethora of celebrity guest stars, including Mark Hamill, J.K Simmons, Will Forte, Nick Offerman, Chelsea Peretti, and Nathan Fillion.

Gravity Falls: The Complete Series

Gravity Falls: The Complete Series

Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls

Animation Magazine

Producer Don Hahn Delves into ‘Disney’s Magical Mid-Century’

Don Hahn

There’s no telling what amazing, creative project Oscar-nominated producer (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Maleficent), author and documentary filmmaker Don Hahn will come up with next. We thought it was a great time to catch up with the talented Renaissance man now that his new book Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney’s Magical Mid-Century (Disney Editions, $ 33.24) is available for sale:

What prompted you to write the book?
I grew up in Southern California, which is a place like no other. People have always come here to reinvent themselves in a land of sunshine, beaches and optimism. The first freeway was built here, modern architecture and design sprang from here, NASA explored space from here, the first theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm, Santa’s Village and of course Disneyland came from the imagination of Californians. Walt Disney didn’t go to New York or Chicago. He came to Los Angeles to make it as a film director and it’s this town that supported and encouraged the arts and artists to build his ideas into reality. That perfect storm of people and events in the middle of the 20th century has always fascinated me and that’s why I wanted to write this book and tell this story.

What is the most surprising thing you learned while you were researching the subject?
The most surprising revelation was how Disneyland was conceived, built and financed. Walt himself set up a separate company, WED Enterprises, to design and build the park. He used set designers, not architects, to visualize the themed lands. ABC Television financed it as part of a television deal to supply programming for the network that was originally called Disneyland. It was an explosion of clever deals, impossible deadlines and brilliant civic planning that went into the construction of the park and the story of Disneyland alone was worth writing the book.

Why do you think we are still drawn to the mid-century period’s art, lifestyle and design principles?
So much of the mid-century aesthetic was the shedding of detail and ornamentation in favor of simple statements in architecture and art. The world had suffered through two World Wars, a Great Depression, and before that a century of Victorian life that must have have been constraining at best. Then Matisse and Picasso start to shed old formal styles and paint with simple shapes. Animators like Oskar Fischinger picked up on the abstraction in his work, as did Disney in some of his prewar films like Fantasia. But after the war it was films like Sleeping Beauty, Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians that started to show the modernist ambition of the artist and the audience ate it up, myself included. Mid-century meant simple, elegant, modern, space age and optimistic, and that never goes out of style.

Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming documentary The Gamble House?
I’ve been interested in architecture all my life, particularly in modern architecture. Few people know the work of Charles and Henry Greene, who were simply the masters of Arts and Crafts architecture and brought a modern sensibility to their houses. One of those houses was designed and built for David and Mary Gamble, heirs to the Procter & Gamble fortune. They commissioned the Greenes to design and build not only the house but the furniture, carpets and light fixtures throughout the home. Because of this approach to design, the Gamble House is truly “Architecture as Art” and at this point in my career I only want to tell stories about the artistic heroes in our world. The Greenes only designed and built for a short time at the beginning of the century but their work is incredibly brilliant and you can visit the Gamble House today and see the effect of their artistic vision. Plus, it’s Doc Brown’s house from Back to the Future.

What was the best part of exec producing this year’s live-action Beauty and the Beast?
Beauty was a pleasure because so much of the story work and heavy lifting had been done by our crew back in 1991 when the original film came out. Bill Condon, the director of this year’s live version of the film, was able to capture the spirit of the original, but also flesh out the story in a way that added more dimension to the story. Most of all, we were lucky to attract a brilliant cast who took the work of our animators and ran with it. Emma [Watson] and Dan [Stevens] as Belle and the Beast were able to do the impossible and make us fall in love with them as characters as they themselves fell in love … not an easy task considering that Beast is virtually an animated character.

What do you tell naysayers who complain about live-action adaptations of Disney’s classic toons?
Stories are meant to be told and in the case of these new films, they are meant to be retold. It’s been 25 years since we made these movies and to have other filmmakers retell them with today’s technology is exactly what the movie business is:  telling and retelling the greatest stories on Earth. Not everyone will like every detail, and that’s to be expected even of original movies. But to bring these stories to a new generation doesn’t negate the original film, and yet offers a new movie-going experience to audiences who never tire of hearing these stories told over the past thousand years or so.

What was the toon that changed your life?
I loved Jay Ward cartoons when I was growing up. They still stand as the funniest and best.

What was best gift you ever received?
Aside from my daughter, Gary Trousdale, the director of Beauty and the Beast, once gave me a plate of fake waffles complete with syrup and butter. They are incredibly realistic, like the kind a restaurant would use in their front window display. That’s been 20 years ago and people still want to touch them and take them every time they come into my studio. The magic of fake waffles is the gift that keeps on giving!

What’s the best advice to give people who want to succeed in the animation business?
Persist. Nobody gets hired on the first resume or the first portfolio. Get your work out there and seen, get it on the web, and make sure it’s always up to date, then stay in touch with the recruiters who hire for their studios. Don’t rule out small studios.  Some of the best work is being done in smaller, more experimental studios where you will likely be called on to do a little bit of everything.  Finally, be open to change. You might leave college wanting to be a rigger at Pixar, but as you mature as an artist, keep your eyes open to other jobs, to growth and learning and to how your tastes are changing.

What is the secret of leading a happy creative life?
Stay busy. Make other people happy. Travel. Be open to new ideas. Be curious. Study other artists, animators, painters, storytellers. Read biographies. Exercise. Travel some more. Keep your overhead low so that you can save money for rainy days. Love your work, and if you don’t, move on to new work. Plan in short spurts — you don’t always have to know what you are going to do for the rest of your life. Travel again. Find a life mate that you can share your struggles and victories with. Live in a place that you love and make a home that is a safe haven for you. Always be a teacher and a learner. Respect others, especially those with less power than you. Draw more. Laugh more. Eat more pie. And finally, travel.

Yesterday's Tomorrow, by Don Hahn

Yesterday’s Tomorrow, by Don Hahn

Don Hahn

Don Hahn

The Jungle Book concept art

The Jungle Book concept art

Sleeping Beauty art by Eyvind Earl

Sleeping Beauty art by Eyvind Earl

101 Dalmations

101 Dalmations

Animation Magazine

Disney’s California Adventure Pier Getting Pixar Makeover

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

2018 is going to be a big year for Pixar fans — and not just with the return of The Incredibles to theaters! Disney Parks has revealed plans to transform the “Paradise Pier” area of Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim into “Pixar Pier,” with rebranded attractions, eateries and merchandise throughout. Of course, this comes with a price: a number of classic rides and locations will permanently shut down in January to begin the makeover.

Pixar Pier will be open to visitors during the previously announced Pixar Fest celebrations, which kick off April 13.

The revamped land on the shore of Paradise Bay will be comprised of four “neighborhoods,” according to the official Disney Parks Blog.

On The Incredibles turf, fans of Brad Bird’s superhero family can get their kicks on the Incredicoaster, created out of the existing California Screamin’. The transformed attraction will feature new vehicles, character moments and a mid-century-modern-style loading area that would make Edna Mode proud. (No word on whether capes are allowed.) California Screamin’ will close January 8, with Incredicoaster set to open in the summer.

Another big change will be visible on the iconic Mickey’s Fun Wheel, which will pin a neighborhood celebrating a variety of Pixar stories. Mickey’s mug will remain on the center of the wheel facing Paradise Bay, but each of the 24 gondolas will feature a different Pixar character. The boardwalk will bring in new midway games inspired by these films (to join the Bullseye Stallion Stampede game). Games of the Boardwalk and Sideshow Shirts will close Jan. 8 in preparation.

The Toy Story-inspired neighborhood will be anchored by the popular 4-D playthrough ride Toy Story Mania!. On the western end of the boardwalk, the park will introduce an Inside Out-themed family-friendly attraction to be announced.

Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and Cove Bar will also be made over into a new lounge and grill looking out on the pier and bay, and will close Jan. 8. Cove Bar will reopen briefly in April before undergoing its makeover.

The remaining area which includes Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will be rezoned as “Paradise Park.”

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

Animation Magazine

Disney’s ‘Sofia the First’ Season 4 Debuts April 28

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Season four of the hit animated series Sofia the First will premiere Friday, April 28 at 11:30 a.m. ET on Disney Channel. Featuring a fresh raft of special voice guests, the new season will see Sofia take on a larger role as protector of her kingdom and send her on a journey to an enchanted world called The Mystic Isles.

A great success for Disney Junior, Sofia holds the record for the top two cable TV telecasts ever among Kids 2-5, and top three cable TV telecasts ever among Girls 2-5. The show recently received a Humanitas Prize, which recognizes movies and series that inspire compassion, hope and understanding.

The season four guest star line-up includes Andrew Rannells (Girls) as an enthusiastic unicorn named Skye; Megan Hilty (Smash) as a Crystalmaster named Prisma; Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan (both from The Lord of the Rings franchise) as two gnomes named Malachite and Fig; Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as a magical human/hawk character named Vega; Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Underground) as a crystal fairy named Christa; and Kimiko Glenn (Orange Is the New Black) and Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) as dragons named Cinder and Sizzle.

Sofia the First tells the story of an ordinary girl who becomes a princess, and follows her journey at she learns the positive qualities that make someone truly royal. The series stars Ariel Winter as Sofia; Sara Ramirez as Queen Miranda; Wayne Brady as Clover; Tim Gunn as Baileywick; Darcy Rose Byrnes as Amber; Nicolas Cantu as James; Travis Willingham as King Roland II; and Jess Harnell as Cedric. Recurring guest stars include Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Anna Camp, Kiernan Shipka, Hugh Bonneville and Bonnie Hunt.

Jamie Mitchell and Craig Gerber serve as executive producers, with Mitchell directing. Emmy winners John Kavanaugh (Elena of Avalor) and Kevin Kliesch (Tangled: The Series) are songwriter/music director and composer, respectively. Sofia is produced by Disney Television Animation.

Sofia the First

Sofia the First

Animation Magazine

Disney’s ‘Moana’ Charts Course to Disc and Digital

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Disney’s Oscar-contending seafaring tale Moana will be sailing home in the next couple months, arriving on Digital HD/3D and Disney Movies Anywhere on February 21, followed by a Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On-Demand release on March 7.

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog) and co-directed by Chris Williams & Don Hall (Big Hero 6), the film follows a determined teen named Moana (voiced by newcomer Auli’i Cravalho) who teams up with the egoistic demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) on an epic quest to become an open-ocean navigator and discover her own identity. The voice cast also features Temuera Morrison, Rachel House, Nicole Scherzinger, Jemaine Clement and Alan Tudyk.

Read more about Moana in Tom McLean’s feature story for Animation Magazine’s January 2017 issue.

The DVD release includes the short Inner Workings, music video for “How Far I’ll Go” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and audio commentary. BD 3D, BD & Digital special features include:

Inner Workings – Theatrical short film by Leo Matsuda, with introduction by the filmmakers.

Maui Mini-Movie: “Gone Fishing” – When Maui decides it’s time to take charge of the ocean and catch his next meal, Moana must show him the error of his ways … with a little help from her friends!

Voice of the Islands – How Pacific Island people and cultures inspired the filmmakers.

Things You Didn’t Know About…  – Q&A with Dwayne Johnson, Auli‘i Cravalho, and directors Ron and John; and musical team Q&A with Opetaia Foa‘i, Mark Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Island Fashion – With costume designer Neysa Bové.

They Know the Way: Making the Music of Moana – With musicians Opetaia Foa‘I, Marc Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Fishing for Easter Eggs

The Elements of …

– “Mini Maui” (animated by Eric Goldberg)  – Explore how the 2D world collides with CG animation to bring the demigod’s tattoos to life.

– “Water” – How the ocean as a character is given a personality, along with the technical feats of creating a believable waterscape.

– “Lava” – The challenges of making lava creature Te K?, an animated creature of massive scale brought to fiery life by character, technical and effects animators.

– “Hair” – One of the greatest technical achievements of the film was the animation of the beautiful, curly hair on Moana and Maui. Take a look at the hair-raising detail that goes into animating each strand.

Deleted Song: “Warrior Face” – With intro by songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Deleted Scenes – Ron and John introduce “Race the Wind/Ties that Bind;” “Discussing Moana’s Future;” “Under the Sea;” “Grandmother’s Warning/Legend of Maui;” “Education of Moana;” “Father, Daughter, Boat;” and “Canoe Race.”

Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go” – Performed by Alessia Cara.

“How Far I’ll Go Around the World” – Multi-language reel of the song “How Far I’ll Go.”

Audio Commentary – With directors Ron and John.

Moana

Moana

Moana

Moana

Animation Magazine