Thursday, July 31, 2014

First Look at 'Into the Woods'

We've got a first look at Disney's Into the Woods, the film adaptation of the award-winning Broadway musical. The film is directed by Rob Marshall and stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski and Johnny Depp.

The Baker (James Corden) and the Baker's Wife (Emily Blunt)
exchange words with the Witch (Meryl Streep).

Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) polishes the silver.

One cannot have Cinderella without the appropriate Evil Stepmother (Christine Baranski)
and Evil Stepsisters (Lucy Punch and Tammy Blanchard).

Mackenzie Mauzy is an ethereal (at least in this picture) Rapunzel.

Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince on his trusty steed

Somewhere in there is Johnny Depp as the Wolf.

In the woods with Corden and Streep.

Still in the woods with Blunt and Corden.

Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and his mum (Tracey Ullman) take their
Milky White cow for a stroll.

Excuse me, miss. Would you happen to have a red cape I could borrow?
The Baker (Corden) with Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford).

Red (Crawford) traipses into the woods.

Meryl Streep as the Witch.
A new trailer was also released today:

This re-imagining of Grimm's Fairy Tales was originally written for the stage by James Lapine with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Lapine penned the screenplay as well.

Into the Woods opens in U.S. theaters on December 25, 2014.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Inside The Mouse Castle 07-29-2014 - Comic-Con, 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron,' 'Once Upon a Time' and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Comic-Con has come and gone and Tim and Anthony have all the news from San Diego, plus plenty of other cool stuff from the world of Disney:
  • Marvel didn't offer any new hints on their unnamed movie release dates that span through 2019, but they did provide a heaping helping of Avengers fun. Most of the gang was there, including producer Kevin Feige, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Colby Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, and Chris Evans. Newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe were also part of the Hall H panel: Aaron Taylor Johnson (Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and James Spader (Ultron).
  • The new Frozen story line in the upcoming season of ABC's Once Upon a Time continues to have fans buzzing. This week, it was announced Tyler Jacob Moore will join the cast as Hans, the good/bad prince from the Southern Isles. John Rhys-Davies will also provide the voice of Pabbie the Troll King because trolls are a thing in Norway (see also: Maelstrom, World Showcase). To our knowledge, there will be no boats floating backwards in Once Upon a Time.
  • In a touch of strange casting, Joaquin Phoenix is said to be in negotiations with Marvel to play the title character in Doctor Strange. The film is slated for release in July 2016.
  • We still think a movie reboot of The Jungle Book is questionable at best, but that still doesn't mean we aren't intrigued by the casting. Oscar-winner Christopher Walken will voice King Louie and Giancarlo Esposito will voice alpha wolf Akela. The head-scratcher remains Scarlett Johansson providing the voice of Kaa. No, really.
  • Happy Birthday to the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. The excellent indoor coaster is holding up well after 15 years. So is Steven Tyler, who hasn't aged a day in the attraction since it opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Backstage passes for everyone!
  • Disney twenty-three, D23's quarterly magazine, will release it's 23rd issue next month. The issue will have an international feel with stories about the new Ratatouille attraction at Disneyland Paris, the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit touring Japan, and the Asian influences that will bring San Fransokyo to life in the upcoming Big Hero 6. What we like best about the issue, though, is the terrific vintage cover featuring Walt Disney, Roy Disney and Margie Gay, one of the star of Disney's early Alice Comedies.



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Monday, July 28, 2014

The Mouse Castle Lounge 07-28-2014 - Disney Imagineer Alan Coats Part Two

Alan Coats' first job at WED (Walt Disney Imagineering) was to destroy attraction and character models that were no longer used or needed. Fortunately, his future projects at Disney actually allowed him to create things.

Alan Coats did lighting design for
Cinderella Castle and it's a small world.
With Yale Gracey, Alan did lighting design at Walt Disney World, often working late hours to get exterior lighting correct for Magic Kingdom structures like Cinderella Castle -- just in time for the October 1971 grand opening. He worked on the interiors of many other attractions, including it's a small world, and later partnered with his father, Claude Coats, to design the Eastern Airlines travelogue ride If You Had Wings. Alan would then move on to various projects at Epcot's World Showcase.

In part two of Alan's visit to The Mouse Castle Lounge, he shares more of his experiences as a self-described "Disney brat" and recalls his father's legacy as an artist and Imagineer.

Two generations of Disney creative artists are yours in this edition of The Mouse Castle Lounge. Enjoy!


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Related: Imagineer Alan Coats in the MCL

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Inside The Mouse Castle 07-25-2014 - Comic-Con, Marvel, 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' and Disney Infinity

In this edition of Inside the Mouse Castle, Anthony and I do a lot of whining about not being in San Diego for Comic-Con. We talk about a few other things too:
  • Marvel has marked release dates for 11 films through May of 2019. Most of them we don't even know the titles of yet, but there's a lot of speculation about an Avengers meets Guardians of the Galaxy crossover being one of them. We expect to find out more Saturday when Marvel has its panel at Comic-Con.
  • Disney will release a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie with Johnny Depp (we assume) returning as Captain Jack Sparrow. It's set to hit theaters on July 7, 2017. Remember when a new Pirates film was something to be excited about? After On Stranger Tides, this is not one of those times.
  • Steve Carell will produce and star in Brooklyn Family Robinson for Disney, a family-friendly comedy about a family that relocates from the big city to a tropical island. People seem to be more excited about this film than we expected. Are we missing something?
  • Toy Story will return to TV with a new holiday special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, on December 2nd. We're just glad that Tim Allen is still finding employment.
  • Disney Infinity is exceeding all expectations as Disney's biggest video game title ever. Just wait until September 23rd when Disney Infinity 2.0 comes out with a slew of Marvel characters.
  • Walt Disney World is giving Downtown Disney a face lift as it expands to become Disney Springs. Looks like they finally figured out what to do with all those old Pleasure Island buildings.
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum will celebrate its fifth anniversary (already?) on October 1st. Many special events are planned for the month including a members-only Tinker Bell Tea with author Mindy Johnson (Tinker Bell: An Evolution). Mindy will also do a book signing that's open to everyone.

Listen and subscribe to Inside The Mouse Castle on iTunesStitcher and SoundCloud.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Inside The Mouse Castle 07-22-2014 - Disneyland, Club 33, Pirates of the Caribbean and 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Tim and Anthony talk about their recent visits to Disneyland and review the reopening of Club 33. They also discuss the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' premiere in Hollywood and guest injuries aboard Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Listen and subscribe to Inside The Mouse Castle on iTunesStitcher and SoundCloud.

Imagineer Alan Coats in the MCL

Alan Coats considers himself pretty lucky. His father, Claude, was a talented Disney artist who worked on almost every feature-length film from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Lady and the Tramp. Claude would eventually shift his talents to Disneyland, designing the Fantasyland dark rides for grand opening before taking on the "impossible" task of creating the Mine Train's Rainbow Caverns. Claude was named a Disney Legend in 1991.

Disney Imagineer Alan Coats
Alan's mother, Evelyn, was a department head at the studio's Ink and Paint Department. She and Claude got married during the hectic production of Snow White, took a three-day honeymoon in Ensenada, then went right back to work.

Alan grew up among all the great names at the studio. He met Walt and Roy Disney. He marched in a Disneyland parade alongside Annette Funicello. He knew all of the Nine Old Men. Artist and Imagineer Yale Gracey took Alan's baby pictures.

Add to that a decades-long career at Disney with stints at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and WED (later Walt Disney Imagineering) and you see before you a very lucky man indeed. Being a talented artist and designer probably didn't hurt either. Nor, for that matter, did being Claude's kid. Alan readily owns up to that one.

Alan is my guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge. In part one of our two-part conversation, he talks about his father's career as well as his own early days working at Disneyland. Enjoy!


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Related: The Mouse Castle Lounge 07-28-2014 - Disney Imagineer Alan Coats Part Two

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's Launch Time! The Premiere of 'Inside the Mouse Castle'

The wait is over. It's time to launch Inside the Mouse Castle.

ITMC is the brand new, highly anticipated, hugely entertaining and unquestionably humble new podcast that keeps you up to date with the latest news and information from the world of Disney. Tim Callaway (that's me) and Anthony Reynolds (that's him) are your hosts of this twice weekly extravaganza of information and silliness.

Today we celebrate Disneyland's 59th birthday, take a look at what might be wrong with the Club 33 refurbishment, and talk with Robbie Sherman, the son of Disney songwriting legend Robert Sherman. Robbie paid us a surprise visit in honor of our epic new show. That's our story and we're sticking to it.

A big thank you to our awesome friends at the Anabella Hotel, across the street from the Disneyland Resort, for their excellent hospitality and for letting us record our first show poolside. Also, thanks to our fake producer Scott Linder for taking photos, but especially for bringing donuts. You're hired.

Oh, and for fans of The Mouse Castle Lounge, it returns this weekend with former Disney Imagineer Alan Coats as our guest. Mouse Castle podcasts are back, baby!

Welcome Inside the Mouse Castle. Please, step all the way in to make room for everybody. There's no turning back now.

(l. to r.) Anthony, Robbie Sherman and Tim

Listen and subscribe to Inside The Mouse Castle on iTunesStitcher and SoundCloud.

Monday, July 14, 2014

'Big Hero 6' Cast and Characters Revealed

Today, Walt Disney Animation Studios revealed the main characters and voice cast for Big Hero 6. Directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt), it's Disney's first animated feature based on a Marvel comics series.

Character descriptions provided by Disney.

Voiced by Ryan Potter (Supah Ninjas, Senior Project), robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada has the mind of a genius—and the heart of a 14-year-old: his state-of-the-art battle-bots dominate the underground bot fights held in the dark corners of San Fransokyo. Fortunately, big brother Tadashi redirects Hiro’s brilliance, inspiring him to put his brain to the test in a quest to gain admission to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. When a tragic event changes everything, Hiro turns to a robot named Baymax, and they form an unbreakable bond—and two-sixths of a band of high-tech heroes on a very important mission.

Scott Adsit (30 Rock, St. Vincent) provides the voice of the world’s most compassionate robot. Baymax cares. That’s what he was designed to do. The plus-sized inflatable robot’s job title is technically Healthcare Companion: With a simple scan, Baymax can detect vital stats, and given a patient’s level of pain, can treat nearly any ailment. Conceived and built by Tadashi Hamada, Baymax just might revolutionize the healthcare industry. But to the inventor’s kid brother Hiro, the nurturing, guileless bot turns out to be more than what he was built for—he’s a hero, and quite possibly Hiro’s closest friend. And after some deft reprogramming that includes a rocket fist, super strength and rocket thrusters that allow him to fly, Baymax becomes one of the Big Hero 6.

Voiced by T.J. Miller (HBO’s Silicon Valley, Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2), fanboy Fred comes off like a laid-back dude with no direction. But this sign-twirling, monster-loving, comic-book aficionado is sure to go places—when he’s good and ready. For example, Fred doesn’t hesitate to join Big Hero 6, and he has a lot of ideas for his super-hero skillset, too. His ferocious, fire-breathing alter ego comes complete with claws, integrated communications and a super bounce. But his sign-spinning may still come in handy.

Jamie Chung (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Once Upon A Time, The Hangover Part II & Part III) steps up as the voice of the aptly named Go Go Tomago, who knows what it takes to be fast. She’s tough, athletic and loyal to the bone, but not much of a conversationalist. Popping bubble gum and delivering well-placed sarcasm are totally her speed. The daredevil adrenaline junkie is at her best on wheels, and when Go Go joins forces with Big Hero 6, she rolls like never before, using maglev discs as wheels, shields and throwing weapons.

Damon Wayans, Jr. (Let’s Be Cops, Happy Endings) provides the voice of Wasabi, who’s committed to precision. He’s super smart and just a touch neurotic, but the big and burly neatnik can’t help but join the cause when Hiro needs him most. As part of Big Hero 6, Wasabi amplifies his martial arts skills with jaw-dropping plasma blade weaponry. Sharp doesn’t even begin to describe this guy.

Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk and Run All Night) was called on to help bring Honey Lemon to life. It’s elemental when it comes to chemistry whiz Honey Lemon. Don’t let her glasses and funky fashion fool you: Honey may be as sweet as her namesake, but she has a fire in her belly and a can-do attitude that make her pretty much unstoppable. Her knowledge of alchemy proves powerful, too, when the effusive brainiac becomes part of the Big Hero 6 and creates clever concoctions that when thrown, can get her team out of nearly any jam.

Also in the voice cast are Daniel Henney as Hiro's big brother Tadashi, Saturday Night Live's Maya Rudolph as Hiro and Tadashi's guardian Aunt Cass, James Cromwell as Tadashi's professor and mentor Robert Callaghan, and Alan Tudyk as tech guru Alistair Krei.

Big Hero 6 opens in U.S. theaters on November 7th.

New Teaser Trailer for 'Big Hero 6'
'Feast' to Open 'Big Hero 6' in November