By Tim Callaway
|(l. to r.) Kenneth Branagh, Cate Blanchett, Holliday Grainger,|
Lily James, Sophie McShera and Richard Madden.
Anthony and I take you on the red carpet in Hollywood for the premiere of the new live-action version of Disney's Cinderella. This updated fairy tale stars Lily James as the titled scullery maid turned princess, Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother and Richard Madden as her Prince Charming. Kenneth Branagh directs the film, which is scheduled to open in the U.S. on March 13th. On Inside The Mouse Castle, Branagh talks about the challenge of staying true to the animated Cinderella while updating the story for modern audiences. James also shares why her character is not the stay-at-home-and-wait-for-her-prince kind of princess.
Also roaming the red carpet was Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in Frozen. He's back with the whole gang in the new short film Frozen Fever, which opens for Cinderella. The film looks like it might be cute (even if it is Frozen), but we're really concerned where all those baby snowmen in the trailer come from.
Also in this edition of Inside The Mouse Castle:
- Robert Downey, Jr. and Omaze are teaming up to give you a chance to attend the world premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron. I'm really excited at the prospect--and it's totally for a good cause--but Anthony has reservations about it. Or maybe he's just jaded and bitter.
- A fire at it's a small world caused more of an uproar on the Internet than it did at Disneyland Saturday night. The blaze, presumably caused by fireworks, did minor damage and there were no reported injuries. Reactionary people online, however--as is their custom--collectively lost their minds.
- Bob Chapek is the new chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts. He takes over for Tom Staggs, who was recently promoted to chief operating officer. Chapek has put in 22 years with Disney and was formerly president of Disney Consumer Products.
- Next to Shanghai Disney Resort, Bob's biggest new project is the completion of "Avatar-land" at Disney's Animal Kingdom, or as Anthony calls it, The Wizarding World of James Cameron. Is anyone outside of Disney actually excited about this? Because we're really skeptical. Sure, Avatar is the all-time movie box office champ, but six years after its release, is it even relevant anymore? And two years from now when it's scheduled to open, will anyone care?
- Walt Disney World has announced the dates for this year's special event holiday parties at the Magic Kingdom. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held on select dates from September 15th to November 1st. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party will begin a week later on select dates between November 8th and December 18th. Tickets go on sale in April. For a complete list of dates, visit disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2015/02/dates-for-magic-kingdom-special-events-tickets-on-sale-in-april.
- We're hearing that Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World will close for a major--and much needed--refurbishment this summer. It's always been the ugly sister to POTC at Disneyland. Will it finally get the update it deserves?
|This Pirates of the Caribbean audio-animatronic|
sold for $129,800 over the weekend.
- Van Eaton Galleries in Southern California concluded an epic auction of Disneyland collectibles and memorabilia over the weekend. The Story of Disneyland collection was expected to take in about $1 million. It blew right through that estimate and finished with a take of $1.7 million. Did you bid? Did you get the items you wanted?
- DuckTales is returning to Disney XD in 2017...woo-ooo!!!
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales is slated to air on Disney XD before the end of the year. The series of half-hour episodes will tell the saga of both Star Wars trilogies through the eyes of C3PO and R2-D2. The awkward part is the story will be told in chronological order. Any true Star Wars fan knows the only way to tell the tale is by starting at the beginning of Episode IV.