It was a rough news week for Disney. The one bright spot was a story about how Disney and 21st Century Fox have been in on-again, off-again talks for its studio division. That news was largely positive. The rest of the week – not so much. Thor: Ragnarok became the 14th Marvel movie to pass $500 million at the global box office, but that news was overshadowed by Disney’s incredibly misguided blackout of the LA Times. And let’s not even get started on Disney’s disappointing 4th quarter results. That said, let’s start with the good news. Disney In Talks To Buy 21st Century Fox Studio Division 21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co., excluding the news, sports and national network channel. According to people familiar with the situation, the talks have taken place over the last […]

Disney In Talks To Buy Fox

It was an interesting news week for Disney. There were highs, including the release of the cast for The Lion King, and lows, like barring The Los Angeles Times from screenings for Thor: Ragnarok. Still, it’s always a positive week when a service you haven’t even launched yet gets valued at $25 Billion. Anyway, here is the news. Disney Releases Cast List for The Lion King Disney released the cast list for the new Lion King movie that hits theaters in 2019. Donald Glover will voice the character of Simba and Beyoncé will voice Nala. James Earl Jones, who was in the original 1994 film, will return to lend his voice as Simba’s father, Mufasa, once more. A trio of comedians, John Oliver, Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner, will play Zazu, Pumbaa and Timon, respectively. You can see the full list below. Beyonce wouldn’t be my […]

Beyonce is Nala and Disney is The Empire

Fans have more power than ever before to kill a movie. Between Rotten Tomatoes, Facebook, and blogs, a movie’s fan base can literally swing the box office by millions of dollars. What you may not know is that even fan speculation can change the course of a movie. In a recent interview with The Wrap, Marvel head Kevin Feige talks about how they changed the ending of Avengers: Age of Ultron simply because fans were speculating that Marvel would do a Planet Hulk movie. Originally, Director Joss Whedon planned to have Hulk fly into space, until the executives read a story that placed fan speculation on Planet Hulk before Ultron even wrapped production. (At the time, Marvel had no plans to make a Planet Hulk movie). “We said, ‘Joss, we can’t do that because he’s not going into space and people are […]

How Fans Change Disney Movies

This week Lucasfilm released the full trailer for The Last Jedi and our hopes are high! Disney partnered with the other studios to launch a new App and will end Disney Movies Anywhere. ESPN suspended host Jemele Hill after she told people to Boycott advertisers for the Dallas Cowboys. And, it is raining Cats and Dogs at Disney world. For the week of October 16, 2017, this is episode 153 of The Disney Movie Review. How Good Will Star Wars: The Last Jedi Be? I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but this trailer is amazing. Based on this trailer, I think this might be the best Star Wars film ever. I’m just throwing it out there. Disney Partners With Other Studios Movies Anywhere launched in the U.S. this week with an unprecedented five Hollywood studios and four major digital retailers on board. […]

Jedis, Free Speech, and Dogs

I do my best to keep the “outside world” separate from this podcast. But I couldn’t act like everything was normal this week. Nothing was normal about the what happened in Las Vegas. And I kept hearing the same thing over and over: “Nothing is going to change.” The reason behind that statement was that Congress won’t do anything to change the laws. The right won’t talk to the left, and the left won’t talk to the right. But to me, the problem is bigger than that. We, as Americans, won’t even talk to one another. We demonize people who don’t agree with our beliefs. Anyone who is for gun control is a “leftist liberal hippy,” while anyone who opposes it is a “conservative gun clinger.” We, as Americans, won’t even talk to one another. We demonize people who don’t […]

EP152: Guns, Race and Politics

Movie Theater chain AMC has invested $10 million into a Los Angeles-based virtual reality (VR) startup that is headed by a former Chief Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering. In addition to the initial investment, AMC will invest an additional $10 million to finance VR content productions with the startup. Dreamscape Immersive is headed by CEO Bruce Vaughn, who spent nine years as Chief Creative Executive for Disney Imagineering. Now Vaughn is pushing Dreamscape into the world of location-based VR. AMC and Dreamscape plan to open six VR centers across the US and UK. One thing that makes Dreamscape unique is that their version of VR is completely untethered. Participants wear VR headsets powered by a computer carried around in a custom backpack, which allows them to walk through a stage that combines real physical cues with virtual worlds.  One […]

Former Disney Imagineer Works To Revolutionize Theaters

DisneyNow changes everything. Yesterday the Disney stock was underperforming because it underestimated how much streaming and cord cutting would impact its business. Today, DisneyNow has launched and Disney has shown how powerful a single streaming app can be. DisneyNow allows users to stream content from the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior and Radio Disney. In addition, Disney is leaving behind the paywall and filling the app with a mixture of free and paid content. Users who want the full content will need to authenticate using their pay TV credentials from a supported cable, satellite or digital programming distributor. Previously Disney had limited its streaming to traditional cable customers, but not this time. DisneyNow works with your YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and Hulu credentials. Disney’s willingness to include cord cutters shows that they are finally beginning to embrace the streaming […]

New App Shows Disney Is Getting Streaming Right

Disney is being sued over a visual effects technology it used to create the live-action Beauty and the Beast, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The company Rearden is suing Disney alleging copyright, patent and trademark infringement. At issue here is Disney’s use of a facial-capture technology called MOVA Contour. Hear more about this in this week’s podcast below. Disney used MOVA to make Dan Stevens into the Beast and change Josh Brolin into Thanos. Disney Licensed the software from Digital Domain, another visual effects company. Since 2015, Rearden has been involved in legal battles against Digital Domain and its affiliates over MOVA, claiming that a former employee, Greg LaSalle stole the technology and unlawfully sold it to Digital Domain. In addition to financial damages, Rearden is asking a judge to stop Disney from selling or showing […]

Disney Sued Over Visual Effects – Episode 150