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November 15, 2017

Celebrate the Holidays with "Olaf's Frozen Adventure"

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"Olaf's Frozen Adventure," one of Disney-Pixar's holiday offerings for this season, is a 21-minute featurette scheduled to play in conjunction with “Coco,” opening on Nov. 22, 2017.

[Non-attributed photos and video are courtesy of Disney.]

Set some six months after the events of "Frozen," the newly reconciled Anna and Elsa eagerly anticipate celebrating the holidays with everyone, only to find their years of isolation have left them solidly out of their citizens' seasonal rituals. To help salvage their spirits, Olaf takes it upon himself to investigate what the holidays mean to people and to bring the best of the Arendelle traditions back to the sisters.

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Along the way, Olaf meets with various upsets that ultimately challenge what defines traditions and family as he learns what the holidays are all about.

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At a recent press day, Producer Roy Conli, Josh Gad “Olaf”, and Directors Stevie Wermers-Skelton & Kevin Deters met to discuss the making of "Olaf's Frozen Adventure."

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--Gad on returning to sing as Olaf: "It's difficult when they write it as high as they keep writing it. Bobby Lopez, who wrote 'Book of Mormon'...he would always write it about an octave higher than I deserved to sing it, and carried that tradition over to 'Frozen.' So when the brilliant songwriters Kate and Elyssa came in and did this, I was like 'oh great, they've been speaking to Bobby and Kristen.'"

--Gad on singing "That Time of Year" at the 2017 D23 Expo: "It's a tongue-twister, and we had to sing it live at D23. So, before I got there, they're like 'we're gonna have a monitor right in front of you and you'll be able to lip-synch to Olaf's animation.' And I get there and I'm like 'that's great because I've never sung this live,' and they're like 'by the way, that monitor that we told you about? That doesn't exist. You're just gonna have to do it. You're going to have to wing it.' And I'm like 'wait...what?!' So we did it...my heart was beating through my chest, but it was surreal, like we actually landed it. Once in a lifetime. I promise you, nine out of ten times that would have been a disaster."

Conli on attaching "Olaf" to "Coco:" "Yeah, I think it's interesting because it's the thematic connection. Both films have to do with tradition and have to do with family. And we actually showed this up at Pixar about a year and a half ago at a summit, a marketing summit, and that's when they said 'this is such a great pair.' So it became a very natural fit, a very easy thing."

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Gad on what he would like kids to take away from the film: "I would love--it's funny because these holidays are so wonderfully rich with memories for me, growing up. Memories I have of these holidays. Holidays in general have become really commercialized, right? There's a lot about holidays now that's driven by we gotta go shopping, we gotta go do this, we gotta go do that...this movie is, I think, I hope, an emotional reminder about the bond of family...that to me is the power of 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure.' It is about traditions, but more than that, it's about family. And I love that. I hope that my girls, when they see this movie, they start to think about the traditions that they want to make with each other."

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After the panel and screening, guests were treated to a variety of Olaf-themed snacks, photo-ops, and activities.

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Finally, as a special treat, songwriters Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson were introduced and performed "When We're Together."

"Olaf's Frozen Adventure" opens with "Coco" in theaters November 22, 2017.

Disney California Adventure Festival of Holidays

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Festival of Holidays 2017

The Festival of Holidays has returned to Disney California Adventure for its second year. Like last year, the Festival celebrates holiday traditions from around the world: Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Navidad, and Diwali. There's entertainment, character greetings, crafts, and of course FOOD!

This year there are twelve different Festive Food Marketplaces as well as special menus at the Paradise Garden Grill and the Sonoma Terrace. The Marketplaces are located along the parade route from Carthay Circle to the Golden Zephyr in Paradise Pier.

Festive Food Marketplace Menus

There are a few returning marketplaces (Making Spirits Bright, Brews & Bites, Winter Sliderland) and some returning food and beverage items, but most of the 60+ selections are new. Food prices range from $3.75-$5.00 for dessert items to $5.00-$7.75 for savory items. I was pleasantly surprised that some of the prices were lower this year, as much as a dollar, though most were $0.25-$.50 decreases. Wine and beer flights also had a modest price decrease. While prices for individual glasses of wine were generally unchanged or slightly up, the price for individual servings of beers was down $0.75 (though I think $9.00 is still high for a less-than-full-size serving of beer).

Annual Passholders can purchase a Sip and Savor Pass for $45. The pass has 8 tabs that can be redeemed for food and most non-alcoholic beverages at the Marketplaces. If used for items priced at $6.00 and higher it can provide a significant savings. Passholders must present their AP to purchase the passport, and most cast members at the order kiosks require you to show your AP when using one of the tabs.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Sip and Savor Pass

When using a tab at the Marketplaces, AP holders receive a small AP button. There are 11 different colors available (no button for Making Spirits Bright, since there are no eligible items there).

Festival of Holidays 2017 small AP marketplace buttons

All guests can pick up a Festival of Holidays Tasting Passport. They should be available at the ordering station of any of the Marketplaces. The passport lists the menus of each Marketplace along with some photos, and there's also a spot for a different sticker that is available at each Marketplace. No purchase necessary for the sticker, and it's helpful if you open it to the correct page before giving it to the cast member at the ordering station. After getting all of the stickers a Stamp of Completion is available at several locations.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Tasting Passport

I tried several food and beverage items on my visit earlier this week. When I first read the list of menu items, the one that most intrigued me was the Frosty Frosé - frozen rosé, blue Curacao & white cranberry juice from the A Twist on Tradition kiosk. $At $13.00 it's expensive, but it was very refreshing.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Frosty Frose

From the same place I also tried the Butternut Squash & Almond Pakora Fritters. $6.00 for these, and the best bite that I had all day. The fritters were soft and warm inside with a good flavor.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Butternut Squash and Almond Fritters

At Blissfully Braised I tried the Braised Pork Belly Adobo with garlic fried rice and sliced green onions. Wow...so tender! The pork belly was a bit too fatty, though. I think the crunchy bits on top were fried pork rinds, but I'm not sure. I thought it was a reasonable portion size for $7.50 - especially since I used one of my tabs and it cost me less than $6. :-)

Festival of Holidays 2017 Pork Belly Adobo

Grilled Chicken Sausage with Red Beans and Rice was my selection from Grandma's Recipes. Whew, that's one spicy grandma, and this dish was too hot for me, especially the beans. I couldn't eat them. Too much chili powder for me. $7.25 for this one.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Chicken Sausage with Red Beans and Rice

From Winter Sliderland I had one of the returning items from last year: Roasted Turkey Slider with Cranberry Sauce ($7.50). It's like Thanksgiving dinner on a bun: dressing on the bottom, then lots of sliced turkey, covered in gravy with a drizzle of cranberry sauce. Yummy, though it's very similar to the Holiday Turkey at Earl of Sandwich, and that one is bigger and cheaper.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Turkey Slider

Last was the Baked Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes from Festive Holiday Extras. $6.50. Good-sized serving, and very cheesy and filling.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
There are special holiday drinks available at the Hollywood Backlot area. I tried the Fireside Cider for $12.00. It's hot apple cider with a shot of cinnamon whiskey. It tasted good on a cool evening.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Fireside Cider

There's also a special menu at Paradise Garden Grill. It's basically the same as last year: burritos, street tacos, chicken mole. I haven't tried any of it yet. The Sonoma Terrace has a new menu for the Festival, offering chicken caesar and portobello mushroom and zucchini grilled "piadina" wraps.

In addition to all of the food and beverage offerings there's a variety of entertainment available during the Festival. I spent much of my time at the Festival just wandering between the entertainment venues - and I still didn't see everything.

The Sound is new to the Festival this year, performing on a stage next to the Pacific Wharf Cafe. They are an a capella group, performing holiday favorites as well as a song about Kwanzaa. I really enjoyed their performance.

Festival of Holidays 2017 The Sound

The Mariachi Divas also perform at the Pacific Wharf stage, but I didn't see them that day.

Mostly Kosher and Blue13 Dance Co. are returning groups, both appearing on the stage at Paradise Pier Park. Mostly Kosher is a klezmer band, though they also perform in several musical styles such as Latin, R&B, jazz, and rock. "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone" was one of their numbers - quite unexpected, but very well done.

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Blue13 Dance Co. celebrates Diwali with traditional folk dances, in addition to a Bollywood-inspired disco party.

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This video contains short clips from performances by The Sound, Mostly Kosher, and Blue13 Dance Co.

The Holiday Toy Drummers, my favorite from last year, have also returned, but to a new location. They are performing at the Paradise Pier Obelisk (I'd never seen that term before - it's the entrance to Paradise Pier next to Ariel's Undersea Adventure). I don't like the new location because the sun is behind them which makes them hard to see/photograph unless you're off to the side. The drummers always look like they are having as much fun as the audience. I've seen them a number of times now, and they still make me smile every time.

New this year is the Holiday Sunset Concert. Each evening at either 6:00 or 6:30 there's a 40+minute show. Phat Cat Swinger performs Friday-Monday, and the Mariachi Divas perform Tuesday-Thursday. I saw Phat Cat Swinger, and they really put on a great show. They are a "Little Big Band" and performed a lot of swinging music in the style of the "Brat Pack" - Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin. Mostly holiday music, but there were a few other songs like "Bella Notte" and "Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which was my favorite of the evening. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert, and hope to see them again this holiday season.

Also returning this year to the Paradise Gardens area are &‌iexcl;Viva Navidad! street party and Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival. Holiday foods and character meet and greets with Princess Elena and other Disney characters are also available there.

Festival of Holidays 2017 Viva Navidad

Other Festival offerings...there's several tables set up in front of Ariel's Undersea Adventure where guests can do some holiday-themed crafts like coloring a Diwali lantern.

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Festival merchandise is available at several kiosks along the parade route. A Festival of Holidays souvenir hot/cold mug is available at many of the Marketplaces.

Festival of Holidays 2017 beverage cup

For Annual Passholders, the AP Corner is located in the Sonoma Terrace this year. Passholders can get a Festival button (only one design this year, rather than a new one every couple of weeks) and purchase AP-exclusive merchandise. There's also a special AP photo op.

Festival of Holidays 2017 AP Corner

Festival of Holidays 2017 AP button

Festival of Holidays 2017 AP merchandise

OK. I think that covers all of the Festival of Holidays activities! There's a lot more holiday fun going on at Disney California Adventure - but that'll be for another blog post.







November 13, 2017

First Look: Holidays at Disneyland Resort

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 10, 2017, for a first look at the holiday offerings around the resort.

I arrived to find a very busy parking structure at the Disneyland Resort. The line of cars to enter the parking structure stretched beyond the Disneyland Drive overpass.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

A couple of video clips giving an overview of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Construction site this afternoon.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

The exterior siding is almost all installed along Disneyland Drive now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

A closer look at the rock work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Buena Vista Street Christmas decorations.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

A long line for Smokejumpers Grill.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

The FastPass return for Soarin was backed up and curved toward Smokejumpers

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

The hot item today appeared to be the Pluto Holiday Popcorn bucket.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

The Country Bears are back this year. They are meeting between Grizzly River Run and the Bay Area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Some new Toy Soldier decorations in the planter near Paradise Pier.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Mostly Kosher performing in Paradise Park

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

A video clip of Mostly Kosher performing.

Festival of Holidays Marketplace Kiosks are all open. Laura will be doing a full posting on the food...so here is just one menu picture to show what the format is.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival has returned to Paradise Gardens this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

The Sound was performing in the Pacific Wharf area when I walked by. They are a new group this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

More Toy Soldiers

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

A Festival of Holidays photo location - Pluto was there as I walked by. Clarabelle Cow also appears there.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Next stop Disneyland. The hub has its Holiday plantings

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Partners Statue and Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Ornament Steins were for sale at various locations in both parks. Here is the offering at the coffee cart in the hub.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Found a spot on Main Street in the hub for A Christmas Fantasy Parade. Before the Parade Taffany's Dance Academy Twinkle Holiday Parade

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

A video clip of the Twinkle Holiday Parade.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade making its way up Main Street USA.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

The Mailroom scene features Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale and Donald again this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

The Winter Wonderland Group is next.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Gingerbread Treats, Clarabelle Cow has been updated this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Santa and his reindeer finale to the parade

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Made my way through the crowd after the parade to Town Square for the nightly Flag Retreat. A good size crowd gathering for the kick off to Veteran's Day weekend.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

it's a small world holiday

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

it's a small world finale room video

Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Moving back to Disney California Adventure...Disney Viva Navidad! is back in Paradise Pier again this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Disney Viva Navidad! Finale Video Clip

Phat Cat Swinger performing at the Holiday Sunset Concert at Paradise Pier

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Phat Cat Swingers - Sleigh Ride Video Clips

Phat Cat Swingers - Belle Notte Video Clip

Phat Cat Swingers - It's Beginning to Look a Like Christmas

Phat Cat Swingers - Run Run Rudolph Video Clip

Stormtrooper sourdough bread being made at the Boudin Bakery.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Luigi is celebrating the holidays with the new "Joy to the Whirl" holiday overlay.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Hollywood Land has minimal decorations again this year. Santa and his reindeer are back.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Buena Vista Street Christmas Tree

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Disneyland Town Square Christmas Tree

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Believe in Holiday Magic Fireworks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Believe in Holiday Magic final and snow fall clip



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Back to California Adventure

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Mater's Jingle Jamboree Video Clip of one the songs

Mater's Jingle Jamboree Video Clip of one the songs plus some jokes he told between cycles.

World of Color - Season of Light

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

World of Color - Season of Light - Goofy Decorating video clip



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 10, 2017

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.









November 8, 2017

First Look at Holiday Decor Around Disneyland Resort

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos and videos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 3, 2017, including a first look at the holiday decorations going up around the resort and a few updates on the Star Wars Galaxy's Edge construction progress.


A couple video clips of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Construction from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure

The Battle Escape Show Building.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Inside the building they are preparing to pour the concrete ground floor.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Toward Critter Country more electrical equipment is installed and beyond it more forms are up.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

The Millennium Falcon show building with the mountains rising above it.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
A closer look at the mountains this week as they continue to install the wire mesh that gives them shape.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

The tram stop billboards are switched over to Christmas, Holidays.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

The Christmas tree is assembled backstage and ready to move to Town Square in the coming days.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Downtown Disney has Holiday banners up.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
The center section of World of Disney features Christmas merchandise. Here is a look around.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Garland up on the train station, but Halloween plantings still. Christmas officially begins Nov 10th at Disneyland.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Main Street USA buildings have garlands.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

The annual snow fall has taken place on Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Small World is behind walls, the holiday version opens next Friday.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

The residents of Toon Town have decorated for the season. Here is a look around.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Pluto was leading a group of kids in a came of musical chairs. He was supplying the beat.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Walking through Frontierland, Christmas decorations are up.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

New Orleans Square is decorated for Christmas too.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Critter Country was preparing for Santa.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Tigger was bouncing around Critter Country.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Over to Disney California Adventure. Buena Vista Street is partially decorated too.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

No menus yet but the Marketplaces for Festival of Holidays are in place.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

A sneak peek of Coco opened today in Bugs Land. They moved some of the signs and props from Paradise Gardens over. Paradise Gardens will feature Festival of Holidays decorations.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

A cart with Coco merchandise.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Ariel has decorated.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

A clip of Dream a Little Dream of Me performed by the Ellis Island Boys... all I could think of was the Muppets though.


Christmas decorations are up on the Pier.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Screamin at sunset.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Pacific Wharf decorations.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Grizzly Recreation Area decorations are up. Rushin' River Outfitters features Christmas merchandise.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Next stop the Grand Californian The gingerbread house is under construction in the lobby.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

A check of Splitsville in Downtown Disney.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Downtown Disney Christmas decorations and plantings.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

A Coco window in the World of Disney
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

With no night time parade the second Soundsational Parade is under the lights. Here is a video clip of the opening group.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Inside the lobby they have the displays that were in Paradise Gardens.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Fantasmic! from a standby location.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 3, 2017

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.









October 31, 2017

"Thor: Ragnarok" Press Junket

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November 3rd, Marvel Studios will continue its slow march towards "Infinity War" with the next tale in the God of Thunder's narrative, "Thor: Ragnarok."

[All non-attributed photos and video courtesy of Disney.]

On hand at a recent press junket to discuss the current state of Thor were Chris Hemsworth / Thor, Tessa Thompson / Valkyrie, Mark Ruffalo / The Hulk, Jeff Goldblum / Grandmaster, Tom Hiddleston / Loki, Taika Waititi / Director / Korg, Karl Urban / Skurge, Rachel House / Topaz, and Kevin Feige / Producer.

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Select moments from the press conference video above:

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Feige on picking Waititi to direct: "We wanted a new sensibility. We wanted to take Thor--and if you look at everything Chris has done as this character, there have been moments of humor--and we wanted to build on that. And if you look at the movie, it’s got the epic action. It’s got Thor arguably more powerful than he’s ever been in any of the films, with his powers going up against the Hulk, but at the same time embracing what Mr. Hemsworth does better than anyone up until now has ever been able to see, which is his acting chops expands to comedy in an amazing way. And Taika gave them the confidence to explore that, and to try things."

Urban on preparing to take on Thor: "The working out schedule was rather intense. In fact, Taika came to me and he said, ‘Listen, you need to tone it down. You can’t be bigger than Chris, okay?’ So I did, you know."

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Feige and Waititi on what happened to Lady Sif:
Waititi: "Kevin."
Feige: "If she had been on Asgard, she might not be alive, so that's one of the advantages."
Waititi: "Lady Sif is an actor in New York, on a TV show at the moment."
Feige: "Oh, that's true."
Waititi: "She was busy."
Feige: "I've been quoting; I've been using 'A Force Awakens' quote today when people ask me that, which is to say 'that's a good question for another time.'"

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Ruffalo on doing a Hulk movie: "I would love to do a Hulk movie, and I think we all would love to do one. But about a year ago, before I even had this part, or were talking about doing this--it was well over a year ago--Kevin had asked me to come over and have a script meeting. And basically he sat me down and he said, ‘What would you like to do if you had a stand-alone Hulk movie?’ And I said, ‘I’d like to do this, this, and this; and this and this--and then this. And then this, and this, and this, and then it would end like this.’ And he’s like, ‘I love that. Let’s do that over the next three movies, starting with Thor 3 and carry it on through Avengers 3 and Avengers 4.’ And so that’s my stand-alone Hulk movie."

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Thompson on playing an originally white character: "You know, the things that I thought about the particulars of Valkyrie had more to do with, like mass and size. For example, I thought, like ‘Oh, I’m short,’ you know. Or like, ‘I’m not buff enough.’ Or how...you know, she’s arguably as strong as Thor. How do I stand, you know, next to a person like Chris Hemsworth and feel, and feel like that’s true, you know. So I didn’t think so much...I mean, satisfying Norse mythology, it’s mystifying, and fantastical, and glorious, and also very confusing and doesn’t make a lot of sense, you know. And I remember someone online saying like, ‘You know, Tessa Thompson playing Valkyrie is white genocide.’ Which is just as mystifying as Norse mythology. I just figured like, you know, this thing that I’m tasked to do with any character that has its own iconography is to capture the spirit of the character, and I think the spirit of all of us, at the risk of sounding, you know, cheesy, has very little to do with what color we are. So I just didn’t really invest in that."

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Goldblum on joining the Marvel Universe: "...you know, Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito, and Victoria Alonso, and Brad Winderbaum--the whole upper tier of creative leaders--do something unique. They know how to make these epic productions, and popular movies, but they want to make good movies. And they somehow uniquely know how to do them, that feels to me like an actorly, workshop-y, character-y, improvisatory, delightful experience...and to make a movie that I think skins the cat like this is just...I’m grateful, overwhelmingly grateful."

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Blanchett on fight with Hemsworth: "I didn't do enough of it. I kept wanting to do more."
Hemsworth: "You wanted to hit me."
Blanchett: "...Look, it was, it was hugely enjoyable for me. And apart from working with these guys, obviously, the chance to finally, in my deep middle age, to get fit and to wear that much lycra was really exciting for me."

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Hiddleston on Loki's ability to change: "...In a way, in this film, it is about, I think--I’m not spoiling anything--but the development of the relationship between Thor and Loki... Thor has evolved, and grown, and matured; and Loki in a way is stuck in his struggles of the past. And that’s, in a way, that’s the challenge for Loki in this, is that he’s got to confront the fact that time is moving on, and people change, and...so I don’t know. I mean, we’ll see, we’ll see. There’s room to grow, and I’m still here. And we’ll see where he goes next."

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Hemsworth on whether he misses his hammer: "It just helped to kind of shed anything too familiar. You know, I feel like, well, holding the hammer, or even the wig in the previous costume, certainly just put me in a place, and set me on a path of what I already knew. And I wanted it to be unfamiliar, and so everything from the hammer, to the costume, the hair...made me, and allowed me to move differently, and (the lack of them) forced me to move differently, and so that was a great thing. And--I don’t really miss it, no. I’ve got one at home."

"Thor: Ragnarok" will open in theaters November 3, 2017.






October 27, 2017

San Diego Comic-Con 2017: Marvel Studios

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To continue with some of the goings-on at San Diego Comic-Con this year, Marvel had it's usual boisterous booth that was constantly jammed full of people trying to purchase limited edition merchandise, get autographs, take photos with the costume/prop displays from their upcoming movies such as "Black Panther" and "Thor: Ragnarok," or just fill their bags with random free swag.

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Over in the infamous Hall H, hordes of conventioneers packed the 6,500-person large room to capacity all day to see the Marvel Studios panel that was conveniently scheduled as the last of the day.

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President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, started off the panel discussing the in-production "Ant-Man and The Wasp."

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--Michelle Pfieffer will play the original Janet Van Dyne.
--Hannah John-Kamen will play a character called "Ghost."
--Walter Goggins will play Sonny Burch.
--Randall Park will play Jimmy Woo.
--Laurence Fishburne will play Dr. Bill Foster.

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Next up was some preliminary information on "Captain Marvel."

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--Samuel Jackson will return as Nick Fury, with both eyes.
--Set in the 1990s, it precedes the events of Iron Man 1.
--The villains will mark the first MCU appearance of the Skrulls.

At this point, Feige was presented with the Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International for his contributions to the worlds of comics and film.

A star-studded panel on "Thor: Ragnarok" was next, with Chris Hemsworth/Thor; Tessa Thompson/Valkyrie; Mark Ruffalo/The Hulk; Jeff Goldblum/Grandmaster; Tom Hiddleston/Loki; Taika Waititi/Director; Karl Urban/Skurge; Rachel House/Topaz; and Cate Blanchett/Hera.

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--Waititi jokes that his involvement with the film was a personal favor to Hemsworth, and that he will always help a friend in need, even if it means directing a major tentpole movie.
--Ragnarok will take place four years after "Thor: Dark World."

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--Thor starts off the movie bereft of his hair and his hammer.
--Hulk has refused to turn back into Banner for two years.
--Goldblum plays The Collector's brother--the oldest living characters in the universe.
--Valkyrie is an ex-elite warrior of Asgard hanging around the gladiator planet Sakaar.

After the Ragnarok trailer, host Chris Hardwick brought out the cast of "Black Panther," including director Ryan Coogler, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Forest Whitaker, Winston Duke, and Andy Serkis.

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--Black Panther is returning to Wakanda from the events of "Civil War," and undergoing a transition period of learning to become a king which is rapidly interrupted.
--Coogler states that the best part of the Black Panther comics for him, was that the hero got his power from the people around him, and from his history.

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--Wright says that her character, T'Challa's sister Shuri, is Wakanda's technological wizard.
--Gurira's character Okoye is driven by her love for the people and the nation of Wakanda and her need to protect them.
--Jordan plays Erik Killmonger who has his own views on Wakanda and how it should be ruled.
--Whitaker describes Zuri as a spiritual leader who was close friends with T'Challa's father, the king, and who has known T'Challa since he was little.
--Kaluuya's W'Kabe is T'Challa's oldest childhood friend and head of Wakanda's security.
--Nyong'o plays Nakia, a spy (war dog) who reports back to Wakanda on the rest of the world's activities.
--"Wakanda needs to know what's going on in the world; the world does not need to know about Wakanda."


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--Serkis was excited to come back to play Klaw because he gets to wear pants in this film and also gets an arm sewn back on.
--Duke says his character, M'Baku is a big, strong, majestic, ferocious, beloved leader of the best tribe in Wakanda.
--The rest of the cast begs to differ.


[Not the same trailer as was shown at SDCC.]

Finally, the Avengers cast members returned with Joe Russo to show the same trailer they had brought to Expo, the week before.

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[Not the convention-exclusive footage]

"Ant-Man and the Wasp" release date: July 6, 2018
"Captain Marvel" release date: March 8, 2019
"Thor: Ragnarok" release date: November 3, 2017
"Black Panther" release date: February 16, 2018
"Avengers: Infinity War" release date: May 4, 2018





October 25, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates from October 20

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, October 20, 2017.

A video overview of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure plus a couple of still images from the Big Thunder Trail included.


A check of the Battle Escape show building, on the side facing Disneyland Drive the wall continues to grow. More steel is being added to the outside, assuming for a fire escape/access steps.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

The mountains above the Millennium Falcon building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

The Millennium Falcon show building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Throughout Downtown Disney Annual Passholder stickers are showing up to indicate discounts in that location. Here is an example.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

A check of Splitsville. Glass has been installed on the second floor now to close it in.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Since my last visit the Disney Dress Shop has opened in the former hat store location. This is a temporary store as this block of stores is slated to become a new dining location next year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

A look around the Dress Shop
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Also new since my last visit the Dream Boutique replaced Anna & Elsa's Boutique

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

First park today, Disneyland. Sleeping Beauty Castle with the Pearly Band performing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Looking back down Main Street USA. Looking busy for 2pm on a Friday.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Tomorrow Landing is welcoming droids today...no sign of Jake though.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

No wait at the Tomorrowland Train Station. The other stations were out in the extended queue.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

New Orleans Square was extremely busy.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Passing the Mark Twain as we traveled along the Rivers of America.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Looking through cracks in the fence at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction from the Big Thunder Trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

A look at the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge from the top deck of the Mark Twain.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

This support structure looks interesting...very different than most of the rest so far.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge from the Treehouse

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

The snow machines in the Small World Mall area have been installed too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Christmas lights are being installed on the Small World Facade.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

The Disneyland Band performing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. This set was not listed in the Times Guide

Headed for Disney California Adventure. A pin trading game along Buena Vista Street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Christmas decorations have started to go up in Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Sunset at Paradise Pier

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Made my way to Cars Land to see the lights come on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

A Mariachi band performing in Paradise Gardens

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Musical Celebration of Coco

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Notice the crowd...the parade route and Route 66 were full of guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Some Buena Vista Street windows feature black and white Halloween inspired Mickey Mouse displays.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

A quick clip of a couple of the Buena Vista Street Halloween Windows in motion.

Flik's Fun Faire has some Christmas decorations up too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

To conclude a look at the Spider Car at Flo's.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 20, 2017

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.









October 18, 2017

RunDisney Cancels All Disneyland Events for 2018

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The rumors have been flying around for months but on Wednesday, October 18, runDisney made it official: all runDisney weekends at Disneyland will be on hiatus beginning in 2018. This includes Star Wars: The Light Side, Tinker Bell, Disneyland Half Marathon, and Super Heroes. This year's Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend will still take place on November 9-12 as scheduled.

Here's the announcement that was posted on the runDisney blog, https://www.rundisney.com/blog/articles/run-disney/:

We have heard from many of you over the past few months regarding registration for runDisney race weekends at Disneyland Resort. We greatly appreciate your loyalty and dedication to our runDisney race events and want to share the following update with you..
Given the level of construction to support the ongoing Disneyland Resort expansion, we have been working hard to determine how we can continue providing our West Coast participants with the best possible runDisney experience, which is designed around the ability to run throughout our resorts while enjoying entertainment offerings and characters..
After careful consideration and weighing all possibilities, we have made the very difficult decision to place all runDisney race weekends at Disneyland Resort on hiatus beginning in 2018. This includes the associated Coast to Coast Race Challenges..
Anyone who has registered for one of these races will be contacted directly by runDisney today by email and will receive a full refund for registration fees and for any commemorative items they may have purchased..
While news of this hiatus is sad to share, we are so thankful for the magic and memories you have helped create at our race weekends through the years. We look forward to hosting the upcoming Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort November 9-12, and we hope to see many of you there..
We encourage runners to continue to visit runDisney.com for other race opportunities. A full schedule of races at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris are currently still being offered, in addition to our virtual race series. Guests with questions can contact rundisney@disneysports.com.

We've known something was up for a long time: first runDisney put registration for Stars Wars: The Light Side Half Marathon Weekend on hold back in March, and then a 2018 date for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend failed to materialize at all. Other dates also came and went - the most recent being submission of Proof of Time for Star Wars was due on October 10. Hard to submit Proof of Time when you can't even register!

So the announcement wasn't a surprise to me at all. Even so, I'm upset and angry, feelings that I know I share with many of you. For me it's largely the timing. It's clear to me that they've known this for a long time, yet they chose to wait until the race date was only three months away to make a definitive announcement.

I've already received an email from runDisney, since Lee and I registered for Star Wars back in January, taking advantage of an early registration opportunity offered to those of us who participated this year. The email contains most of what is quoted above, with this information added:

You will be fully refunded for your registration fees and for any commemorative items you may have purchased with your original form of payment. This will be reflected on your next billing statement. In addition, if you have any questions at all, a Disney Cast Member can assist you at 407-939-iRUN (4786), between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., EDT, seven days a week, or you may email us at runDisney@DisneySports.com.

It will be interesting to see if the race weekends do in fact return in the future. While the 5K and 10K races have sold out quickly, the half marathons have not been selling well in the last couple of years. And with the decision this year to replace race volunteers with paid temporary employees, I think the quality has suffered. Lee and I have cut way back on the number of runDisney events we participate in, and I know a lot of the rest of you have as well.

Maybe runDisney has "run its course" in California. I guess time will tell.

What do you think about runDisney's decision?

N.B. On Thursday morning I received an email from Active.com informing me that my registration fee, including Active.com's $21+ processing fee, has been refunded to my credit card. - Laura






October 15, 2017

"Star Wars Rebels" Fourth and Final Season Premiere

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This week, Monday, October 16th, "Star Wars Rebels" starts its countdown to the end with the one-hour fourth season premier episode "Heroes of Mandalore: Parts One and Two."

[Unattributed photos and video courtesy of Disney]

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For those who may have fallen a few (or more than a few) episodes behind, you can now binge watch all three preceding seasons on the DisneyNow app. For those lacking the time or who just need a quick reminder, Disney has put together a collection of clips to acquaint you with the story so far:

This first episode of the season focuses on Sabine who, on a mission to rescue her father from the Empire, finds a devastating weapon and must decide whether to use or destroy it.

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For a more in-depth look at "Star Wars Rebels," we can take a look back at this year's Star Wars Celebration Orlando at which Rebels was represented in a couple panels. The first was "Dave Filoni: Animated Origins and Unexpected Fates," with Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo.


[The panel begins at 1:25:00]

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--Filoni on George Lucas wanting to bring back Darth Maul: "We would be in a story meeting and he would often say something like 'I've got an idea and you're going to love it' and I was always like 'oooh. That so seldom lines up. But then he said 'we're going to bring Darth Maul back,' and I said 'really...how does that work?' And he goes 'I don't know! You'll figure it out!'"

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--On Maul: "Maul hasn't experienced any personal growth. He hasn't gotten over anything. He hasn't grown, except in his anger and his need for revenge."
--On the Obi-Wan-Darth Maul fight: "I know it's dangerous to not do a big fight, I know a lot of people would want a big fight, and it's just Maul's technique to go really quick, 1-2-3. So it didn't feel like Maul if he didn't get a shot in at all, so that it's block-block, then he goes for that move...that's where I decided to put that move in (the move that took down Qui-Gon.) It also visually tells the story that Obi-Wan paid attention, you know that moment was put into his brain, and that he could defeat it. Again, it shows a progression from master to apprentice that Obi-Wan then could later defeat something that Qui-Gon couldn't."

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--Filoni had originally planned for nine clones to return to Rebels as an homage to Walt Disney's Nine Old Men of animation, but Production cut them down.

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Later on in the course of the weekend, "Star Wars Rebels" had their big Season Four panel with Executive Producer Dave Filoni, Steve Blum, Taylor Gray, Tiya Sircar, Freddie Prinze Jr, and Vanessa Marshall in house.

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[The panel begins at 1:10:00]

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--Prinze Jr.: "Season 4, he's still blind but he sees more than he has ever seen before. He knows what path these rebels need to be on--it takes him some time to figure it out, but once he does, it is a certainty that you have seen in other Jedi before, and you will recognize it as a historical moment in this character's development and growth...Season 4, the stuff that Kanan has to go through is very adult, but Star Wars has always been very adult, even for kids, and it teaches real lessons and the good guys don't always win and sometimes people you loved, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, who's supposed to be there forever...that moment for me, as a kid, is what locked me into Star Wars, because it seemed real...and Obi-Wan got got, and that made me hate Darth Vader for three movies! So when you see a Jedi with clarity, I think you sort of...you get a sense of belonging to that person, 'cause you've seen Kanan struggle for so many years to be a decent Jedi. But I think his mistakes made me fall in love with him, and I hope his faults are what make you guys fall in love with him too."

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--Sircar: "If there are any Mandelorian fans out there, I think you will be happy with some specific episodes in this upcoming season. I think you might be surprised where we end up and...who might show up? There might be some people you know, there might be some people you've never seen before, they might all be Mandelorian...is that good? I will say that I think Sabine is in a new place this season. Over this last Season 3, we saw her sort of step into her own in a way we hadn't seen her before--we always knew she was super capable...the epitome of this Mandelorian warrior who happens to also be this incredibly creative artist--I don't think we've seen that kind of dichotomy before...I think she's gotten beyond those issues with this family and now she's got all these other issues with her other family, and we'll get to explore some of those in Season 4."

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--Marshall: "I think things are coming to a pinpoint there, and I think that she's really impacted by the losses that the group experiences in Season 3. I think she's more focused and committed than ever to get the job done. It's vital, it's essential, and...not that she was kidding earlier, but I think the windows of opportunity and...not the hope, because they always have hope, but I feel they are pressed to the very edges of their ability to handle what's put before them. It's now time to really get it done, and I think you'll see that in Season 4."

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--Blum: "He's actually becoming a more responsible citizen, I think, rather than just being a tough musclehead, so I think we'll be looking forward to him making maybe smarter remarks and better choices. We'll see."

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--Gray: "We've seen him grow up. He's seen the good and the bad...Season 4 is really a thing of deciding what kind of Jedi--and even transcending that--what kind of person he wants to be as he grows up, having seen everything. And he realizes that as he's stepped away from Lothal and joined this family and become dependent on them and learned what he can, it's now time to go back and see what he can do for his people."

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--Filoni: "I firmly believe that each generation has to have their own piece of Star Wars. I feel that this show, for a lot of kids growing up with it, is as much a part of Star Wars as any of the movies, and I really appreciate that love from you guys. And I feel creatively, that I can make this story about these characters the most meaningful that it can be by arcing it to where I need to get to at the end of this season. So I know that's tough, it's tough for me, but believe me, I can say that I know what it's like when I don't get to end a series, and what happens when you don't end a series is you wind up making t-shirts and you have to prolong...it wasn't as fun."

After the big presentation the panel members (minus Prinze Jr.) met for a somewhat smaller press conference.

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--Filoni notes that while the winding down of the series may include somber and tragic events, this is part of the hero's journey that must be experienced to achieve a joyful, inspirational whole.
--He also predicts that Kanan and Ezra in this last season will explore their relationship and commitment to The Force and face the choice of whether to act out of fear and succumb to wickedness, or hold fast to their belief and faith in love and virtue and stay with the Light Side.
--On being asked what about their characters do they wish kids to find inspirational: Marshall picks Hera's ability to hold onto hope; Blum likes Zeb's willingness to be vulnerable; Sircar thinks Sabine demonstrates how people can form new families where they least suspect; and Gray admires Ezra's self-confidence and inner strength.
--Thrawn is the first major villain to return for another season.
--Marshall was elated to hear Hera mentioned in "Rogue One," as "it's like a life insurance policy."

"Star Wars Rebels" returns for its fourth and final season beginning Monday, October 16 with five airings of the one-hour episode "Heroes of Mandalore: Parts One and Two" throughout the day (12:30am, 3:00am, 7:30am, 5:30pm and 9pm EDT/PDT) on Disney XD and the DisneyNow App.





October 12, 2017

Anime Expo 2017

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So a convention that was new to me for this year was Anime Expo--a celebration of Japanese pop culture and the largest North American anime convention.

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Organized by the non-profit Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, it has a variety of events, performances, and panels dealing with anime, manga, video games, and virtually every other form of entertainment, with the addition of cultural demonstrations on subjects like taiko drumming, ikebana, or the wearing of a traditional Japanese kimono and hakama.

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Panels ranged from such diverse topics as voice acting/localization in video games like "Persona 5;" screenings of upcoming anime such as "The Ancient Magus' Bride" and "Lupin the Third--Italian Game;" and live concerts of music from anime soundtracks.

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As a big voice-over fan, I found a lot of the panels featuring Japanese dubbing actors pretty fascinating. Daisuke Hirakawa, who dubs Will Turner in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films and Loki in the "Avengers" series made an appearance...

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...As did Miyu Irino, voice for Haku in "Spirited Away" and Sora in "Kingdom Hearts."

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(I actually don't know if this is a thing particular to Japanese talent, but a lot of the panels with performers present did not allow photos of any kind along with announcing what I thought was somewhat amusing and very Japanese, that the actors would not be giving any "high-fives.")

Out on the exhibitor's floor, Tokyopop was selling a large selection of their Disney Manga collection--officially licensed retellings of some of the classic Disney tales in the distinctive manga style.

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One of their original series is "Kilala Princess," which tells the tale of a young girl pursuing a quest through multiple worlds of different Disney princesses a la "Kingdom Hearts" style.

Of course, like any good convention, there was a ton of cosplay.

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Probably the biggest hurdle to attending this expo was the sheer volume of guests enjoying the weekend there. The first two days I drove to the convention center, it took me around 90 minutes to find a parking lot because the lines to get in through security crossed streets and blocked traffic into some of the lots in the area. While the first day reported wait times of hours just to enter, the expo management seemed to respond pretty quickly in terms of adding more entrance stations and staff to streamline entry for subsequent days. If possible however, I would recommend trying to get their Premier Fan tickets that allow for separate, shorter lines to get into the building and the panel rooms faster.

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On the whole, I found this to be one of the more interesting conventions I attended this year, mostly because the panels and merchandise offerings were so different from what you found at the more generalized cons that seemed to have a lot of overlap. For those unfamiliar with anime or manga, I find a lot of it shares a good deal of the Disney aesthetic in a lot of ways, as is evident in such properties as the Studio Ghibli films. For people interested in exposure to Japanese pop culture, this certainly had an impressive array of opportunities to learn more about it. More information about Anime Expo 2018 (which will be held on July 5-8) can be found at http://www.anime-expo.org/

If you find yourself unable to get to a big convention like Anime Expo, you can still keep your eye out for various pop-up locations that are becoming more prevalent in Los Angeles. This last weekend, Aniplex USA, a production and distribution company for anime in North America, put on a pop-up cafe with special donuts and photo-ops in conjunction with Cafe Dulce in Japan in the Little Tokyo area of LA to promote their new series "Blend-S," currently airing on Crunchyroll.com.

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[While most anime shares the Disney "big-head-big-eyes" standards of cuteness, unlike in the US, Japanese animation is not primarily considered the province for children, and many of them revolve around adult topics and imagery. Viewers of all ages sensitive to such subjects may be forewarned.]






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