Let’s Talk About All of That Disney News

Hi friends. Well, this is all super exciting. In case you somehow missed the flood of movie news last night, Disney had an investors call yesterday evening. You’d expect something like that to be a semi-boring series of numbers and financial notes, but it was actually a super jam packed evening of huge announcements. As a massive Disney fan, I am over the moon ecstatic about them too. I mean… they kind of own all of my favorite franchises and dropped massive news about each one. So, of course, I have some thoughts. And not all of them are OH MY GOSH I’M SO EXCITED. But, you know, most of them are. 

Disney

Let’s start off with the House of Mouse itself. Disney. As in Disney Disney. The one with the castle at the beginning of their movies. Surprisingly, there wasn’t really a massive amount of news coming from their front. A lot of it was already known going in. But, there still were definitely a few things of note.

First of all, they’re going to concentrate a lot of effort on Disney+. We knew that. But, they really showed how seriously they’re taking that effort yesterday. For example, most of those live action remakes they’ve been talking about will go directly to the streamer. Pinocchio starring Tom Hanks, a Peter Pan reboot, Pinocchio, Cruella: all going to Disney+. This is the news that I’m mostly disappointed in. I won’t go in too much depth here, because, honestly, I could write up a whole post about this no problem. But, I am a huge fan of the theatrical experience. In normal times, I’m at the movie theater every weekend. Most of the time, it’s for a double or even triple feature. I just think the experience makes even the crappiest movies better. So, as you can guess, this year has been giving me quite the freight. I’m worried that one of my favorite pastimes is dying right in front of us. And, while the reception isn’t always super strong critically, those live action Disney remakes consistently bring in huge box office revenues, which I hate to see. I’m not so much anti-streamer as I am pro-theater. But, I also feel like the old man yelling at clouds. The world is moving on and I’m just upset about it. 

In other, happier news, there were new movies announced! Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers is getting its own movie. And, honestly, I’m a bit mixed. First of all, yes! I loved that show. I’m happy to see it brought back for a whole new audience. Second, the cast is amazing. John Mulaney and Andy Samberg are two of the funniest comedians around, so I’m sure they’ll crush this. But, also, I’m super worried about the fact that this is a live action/animation hybrid film. We don’t need Chip and Dale looking hyperrealistic. Certain characters shouldn’t exist in any medium other than animated. Chip, Dale, and honestly all of the Mickey crew are prime examples of this. No. Just no. But, still, that cast… I don’t know. Like I said, I’m mixed. I’ll have to wait and see a trailer or some concept art of something before I make a call. 

Also, we got confirmation that Lin Manuel Miranda will be writing the music for Disney’s next animated feature, Encanto. Which, yes please. Hamilton is a perfect musical. Moana has one of the best Disney soundtracks. And Miranda was fantastic in Mary Poppins Returns. Lin is obviously a huge fan of Disney. They’re obviously huge fans of his. And, this seems to be working out swimmingly thus far. Keep this relationship going for as long as you can. I want him to be the next Sherman Brothers or Alan Menken. He’s that good at what he does. Plus, that movie is being directed by the team behind Zootopia, so it was already going to be awesome. Lin’s involvement just made it even better.

Then, lastly, Disney announced a whole new string of shows made by Walt Disney Animation Studios. There’s going to be new shows based on Zootopia, Princess and the Frog, Moana and Big Hero 6. I definitely think all of those are good ideas. I’m not 100% sure what further adventures Tiana and Moana’s stories have to tell, but, if it means spending more time in their worlds, I’m down. The other two are prime for ongoing adventures though. Also, Disney announced an entirely original show called Iwaju, which they will co-produce with an African company. We don’t know much about it other than that it’ll be Africans telling African stories and more diversity in Disney is always a good thing. 

Pixar

The biggest news coming out of the Pixar camp would definitely have to be Lightyear. It’s an all-new feature about the original Buzz Lightyear who the toy was based on. He will be voiced by Chris Evans. Now, this one is divisive and I get it. This doesn’t NEED to exist. We know everything about Buzz that we’ve ever needed to know. But, I kind of want it to. I look at it this way: Buzz is a fictional character, even within the Toy Story universe. We’ve seen the characters watching his tv show. It’s a lot of fun. It’s campy. It’s over the top. But, it’s also good science fiction. To me, in universe, it’s about the same as a Transformers or GI Joe. The cartoon exists. Kids love it. They go and buy the toys. But, you know what happens with franchises like that right? They’re rebooted into huge, live action, semi-serious blockbusters. I think it’d be really, really cool if that’s what this ended up being. Like, this movie exists within the Toy Story universe. We could even do something similar to what the original Buzz Lightyear of Space Command did, have the characters we know and love do opening and closing segments. Then, the movie itself can be a fun, light-hearted parody of modern science fiction. I don’t know. It may not work. But, it sounds like a lot of fun to me. Plus, I have faith in Pixar. If they think it’s a good idea, I’m on board. 

Pixar also announced a new original movie called Turning Red and the plot sounds pretty good. It’s about a 13-year-old girl going through puberty. But, every time she gets excited, she turns into a giant red panda. And, let me tell you something about myself, I am a big red panda fan. They’re one of my favorite animals. I can watch those things for hours. So, mix that with the pains and human emotion of growing up and I think Pixar has a winning formula on their hands. I’m picturing something along the lines of Inside Out mixed with Monsters Inc. I’m definitely eager to see more of this concept. 

And, not to be outdone by their parent company, Pixar announced a handful of new shows too. There’ll be one following the adventures of Dug, who is absolutely one of my favorite Pixar characters, and Lightning McQueen, who I don’t really need to hear more from. Also, there will be a new original show called Win or Lose about a middle school softball team. Honestly, it sounds like a weird topic for Pixar to cover. Doesn’t really feel like their bag, but, again, I trust them. So, I’m definitely gonna check it out. 

Marvel

Now we’re into the real juicy part of yesterday’s conference, as Marvel and Star Wars absolutely dominated the headlines last night. 

Movie wise, Kevin Fiege announced that there is a Fantastic Four movie coming directed by Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Jon Watts. We kinda sorta already knew this was happening, but I’m glad to have it confirmed. Now, we wait to hear who’ll make up the team. In case you were wondering, I want John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, John Cena, and Zac Efron. Just so you know. Other than that, we kind of just got little confirmations or clarifications on already announced Marvel movies. They officially announced Ant-Man 3, now titled Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania. While they’re not my favorite Marvel movies, I do enjoy the Ant-Man franchise and am always down for more Paul Rudd. Also, that title is hilarious. They also confirmed that the upcoming Blade reboot is, in fact, a movie and not a tv show. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is going to work in tandem with Spider-Man 3 and WandaVision, telling a overlapping story, which I’m definitely down for. And, finally, they won’t be recasting Chadwick Boseman’s role as T’Challa. That’s a tough situation, but I think they’re making the right move there. 

Then, as can be expected, we got hit with an avalanche of Disney+ trailers and news. Four new shows were announced. They are Secret Invasion, Ironheart, Armor Wars, and I Am Groot. Secret Invasion will follow up on Nick Fury and the Skrulls. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I’m excited to see this story told. It’s a pretty big one though, so it’s weird to see them limiting it to the small screen. In the comics, Secret Invasion is where some of Marvel’s biggest hitters were revealed to have been replaced by Skrulls. And, for many of them, they had been impersonated for years. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big story filled with universe shaking consequences. It’s weird to see then that it’s being presented away from a huge Endgame level movie. Ironheart should be really good. It’s about a young girl who takes over Iron Man’s suit. I can definitely see that working on TV. Armor Wars should be called War Machine, as it’s going to follow his adventure taking down rival suit manufacturers. I’m cool with the concept though. And, I Am Groot should be adorable. It’s a series of shorts following everyone’s former favorite Disney baby, Groot. Also, they announced a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and I can only hope it’s just as campy and ridiculous as the original Star Wars one was. 

Then, we got new trailers for the stuff we already knew was coming. WandaVision continues to look amazing. For my money, Scarlet Witch is one of the most underrated Marvel characters out there. She’s a mentally unstable mutant with the ability to change reality itself. How can you not think that’s awesome. And, I’m so excited to watch her and Vision make their way through television history, slowly unraveling a deep, dark mystery along the way. And, more than that, I can not wait to see the fabric of the MCU’s reality slowly start to slip away. Things are going to get crazy and I’m here for it. Speaking of crazy, Loki’s back in his own show. I can’t quite make out what’s happening in this trailer. Maybe he’s a secret time traveling agent? I don’t know. I just know that I’m excited to see Hiddleston back in this part. His Loki is a highlight of the MCU and I’ll never tire of seeing him. Then, there was our first look at The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It feels like a good follow-up to the second Captain America movie, so, of course, I’m excited. We got a small peak at Ms. Marvel. I love her comics. She should be a very welcome addition to the universe. And, she’s confirmed to be in Captain Marvel 2, so I’m glad they’re seemingly keeping the fangirl angle. Then, finally, we got a teaser for What If?, which look like good fun. For those that don’t know, What If basically follows different timelines in the Marvel Universe. Different What If scenarios if you will. For example, the trailer showed us moments from What If Peggy Carter got the Super Soldier Serum and What If Yondu took T’Challa instead. I’m very excited to see them play around with these characters in unexpected fresh ways.In fact, that’s kind of what Phase 4 in general seems to be. We know these characters so well at this point. Let’s throw them through a ringer. Let’s try new things. I’m very excited by all of it. The future definitely looks bright for Marvel. 

Oh, and I almost forgot. Tim Roth as Abomination is coming back for She-Hulk. So, The Incredible Hulk matters a little more now. And Fiege hinted that “other lawyers” would show up in the show too, pretty much confirming that Matt Murdock’s going to make an appearance. It’s really refreshing to see some of these smaller, underrated franchises finally starting to intermingle with the big boys. Or in this case, the big girl. The big, green girl. 

Star Wars

If you thought Marvel’s news was big, oh buddy. Within the next couple of years, Disney is basically doubling the size of the Star Wars universe. We’re getting a new movie from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. It’s called Rogue Squadron and she’s claiming that it’ll be one of the greatest Air Force related stories ever told. I’ve gotta say. I’m super excited. She’s a fantastic director and I’m down for anything set in the original trilogy era. I’m already anticipating something on par with Rogue One.

Honestly though, most of the growth is happening on the tv front. The Mandalorian is getting two spinoff shows set during the same time period. Ahsoka is getting her own live action show. Which, oh gosh, I just pooped myself in excitement. She’s one of my favorite Star Wars characters. I loved her in Clone Wars and Rebels. And, Dawson did an absolutely amazing job bringing her to life a few weeks ago. This might just be my most anticipated Star Wars content now. The other is Rangers of the New Republic, which I’m imagining will follow Cara Dune. It’ll be a cool way to kinda bridge/smoothe the gap between Episodes VI and VII I think. And, speaking of spinoffs and smoothing transitions, that’s exactly what the trailer for The Bad Batch looked like it’s setting out to do. Honestly, I wasn’t crazy about their arc on Clone Wars, but I’m down to spend more time in that animated corner of the universe. Plus, it’ll be cool to see how the clones handled being transferred over into stormtroopers. So, I’m definitely excited to give it a watch. 

And, that’s just the beginning. We’ve got a whole slate of new Star Wars shows coming from Disney+. There’s Andor, following the adventures of Cassian pre-Rogue One. I don’t know where that story could go, but I’m excited to see some of those characters back. It felt a little wasteful to throw away such great characters after only one movie. Lando is getting his own show starring Donald Glover, who I’m a massive fan of. He was quite simply the best part of Solo, so I’m happy to see him back. And, like I said for Marvel, it’s cool to see that even the “bombs” aren’t being tossed aside continuity wise. Then, there’s three completely fresh shows that honestly we don’t know a lot about yet. The Acolyte takes place during the High Republic, hundreds of years before Anakin Skywalker was born. I’m definitely intrigued to see that. Star Wars: Visions is an anime, so I’m out. No offense meant to anyone, but I can’t stand the medium. I just can’t get into it. Though, since it’s Star Wars, I’ll probably try. And, finally, there’s A Droid Story. In case you didn’t know, the droids have always been a favorite of mine. I absolutely love each and every droid this universe has thrown at us. So, I already love this show, even though we know next to nothing about it. 

And, of course, there was the news that broke the internet. The one that, at least according to my timelines, was the biggest news of the night. Hayden Christensen is returning to Star Wars. Yes, the long mocked prequel actor is getting his shot at redemption. And, honestly, I’m excited. I think it’ll be really good to tie the whole franchise together. Now, how? Because Anakin is Darth Vader at this point. He’s in the suit. How are we going to see Hayden? Is the suit going to get damaged? Is it a dream sequence? A flashback? Also, I hope it doesn’t weaken the impact of their reunion in A New Hope. Because that original movie made it seem like they hadn’t met up since Mustafar. Also, in no way can Vader know that Obi-Wan was on Tatooine. Maybe Obi-Wan made a trip to some kind of Imperial base before? I’m not sure how they’re going to do it, to be honest. But, I’m excited. I just hope they don’t break continuity in the process. 

Misc.

Hey, they’re making an Alien tv show! It’s from the creator of Fargo and Legion! I’m sure it’s going to be super dark and scary and weird. And, I’m very excited. I love the Alien franchise. More Xenomorophs is always a good thing. Is it weird that this is Disney news? Yes. Very. But, that’s the world we live in now. All hail the house of mouse!

Also, Indiana Jones 5 is going to be the last entry into the franchise. 1. Good. Leave Harrison Ford and this character alone. Neither deserve this. 2. I don’t believe you. 

And, that’s everything that caught my interest during the call. Honestly, it’s a lot. I only wrote up about a sentence or two for each announcement, but I could’ve easily done a page each. But, heck, this post is long enough. Overall, I’m super excited though. Just about everything sounds watchable at the very least. And, as a massive Disney fan, I already feel like I’m getting a fantastic deal out of Disney+. All of this just makes it absolutely essential to me now. There’s no way you can take it from me. Just look at all of this stuff. Isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think Disney+’s collection is complete? (Get it? Nah. It’s fine. I’ll stop now.)  Let me know what you guys are more excited for! Or if you want more analysis on anything listed here! Maybe weekly reviews on some of these shows? Like I said, I can talk about this stuff all day. Ok, I’ve got to go rewatch all of the existing material to prep for these new shows and movies! See ya real soon!

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