Tag: disney

Director Guy Ritchie Reveals First Look At Live-Action Aladdin!

Entertainment Weekly has just released an article granting us what we have been wishing for: more about the new Aladdin movie!


Originally, Aladdin was an animated film from Disney, based on the Arabic folktale of the same name from the Arabic book One Thousand and One Nights (a.k.a Arabian Nights). One Thousand and One Nights is a compilation of several Arabian folktales.


The 1992 Disney adaptation was a huge hit, and director Guy Ritchie is hoping to do the same for the live-action edition! He’s hit a few roadblocks on the way to achieving his wish though.


The Entertainment Weekly article revealed the behind-the-scenes struggles director Guy Ritchie had when putting together parts of the film.


The first being how he’ll handle the role of the fan-favorite Genie.


After the passing of one of the most beloved actors Robin Williams, it was the question on everyone’s mind when the live-action remake was announced.


Image result for robin williams genie

Image via Comicbook.com


Who could possibly replace Robin Williams?!


Personally, I don’t think anyone can “replace” Williams, no matter how amazing they are, but Ritchie’s dilemma is definitely a head scratcher. I’m glad to see that he approached the situation with care.


“The great thing about the role of the Genie is that it’s essentially a hyperbole for who that individual actor is, so it’s a wonderful platform and tapestry for an actor to fill his boots on,” Ritchie says.


In the end, the actor who was given the iconic role was Will Smith, who had this to say about approaching the role himself. He told Entertainment Weekly:


Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifyingThe question is always: Where was there meat left on the bone? Robin didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone with the character.

I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different. Just the flavor of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane, versus trying to compete.


Image result for will smith genie aladdin

Image Via EW


I think that’s fair, make it your own Will! I look forward to seeing it!


According to the interview, “the final version of Will Smith’s Genie in his blue floating lamp form isn’t quite finished” so we still have to wait and see it all. So far this is what we have to look forward to.


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Image via Entertainment Weekly


The second aspect of the film director Ritchie struggled with was choosing the actors to play the main roles of the pure-hearted dreamer Aladdin, and the bold and strong-willed Princess Jasmine.


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Image via ms.fanpop.com


It took Ritchie six months to find the right two people for the roles! After hundreds of auditions, the lucky two chosen are Canadian actor Mena Massoud to play Aladdin, and actress Naomi Scott.


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Image via Twitter


So far Massoud is on his way to learning the choreography and dancing, but he is building a very good brotherly relationship with Smith, which is perfect for playing the roles of Aladdin and Genie together!


Ritchie calls him “quite a funny lad” and says the actor quickly bonded with Smith off screen, as the duo captured the brotherly back-and forth that Aladdin and Genie share. “What was nice about Will was that the more I got to know him and the more I spent time with him, the stronger naturally our relationships became with our characters,” Massoud explains.

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Image via Hollywood Reporter


For Scott, this is a twenty-five-year long dream come true.


[She was] instantly drawn as a child to 1992’s dark-eyed, dark-haired, olive-skinned Jasmine. “Having a Disney princess that looked something like me, I think was really powerful,” says Scott. Stepping into the role more than 25 years later, she says she was excited to spin her own twist on a Disney princess


Naomi Scott as Jasmine

Image via Comic Thrill


So far the three main roles look like they are in great hands!


Here are all three of them on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.


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Image via Entertainment Weekly


Lastly, Guy Ritchie also encountered difficulty “finding” the fictional Kingdom of Agrabah.


Apparently, the team was thinking of filming in Morroco, but after some thought it was decided that it “didn’t just have to be Moroccan,’ production designer Gemma Jackson tells EW. Jackson and her team instead built a set”


Jackson drew inspiration from Moroccan, Persian, and Turkish cultures, Victorian paintings, and Iznik ceramics to conjure the setting. Ritchie was also assisted by “an army of cultural advisers” on set, adding that the film, while steeped in this Arabian world, is what he calls “principally a human challenge rather than an ethnic one.”


Here are a couple of pictures revealing a little of what the Kingdom will look like, and the extras that were brought in to represent the people of Agrabah!


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Image via Entertainment Weekly

Image result for Aladdin

Image via Entertainment Weekly


If you want to see more of Entertainment Weekly‘s first look at the new Aladdin live-action film, read the article! There’s even more juicy details to excite!





Featured Image via Entertainment Weekly

Disney’s Live-Action Remake of ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ Is on Its Way!

Prepare to see Quasimodo In all his live-action glory

I implore those who read this article to arrive at their various places of employment this week and announce, to all, the following news: Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the story of deformed bell ringer Quasimodo, is going to be made into a live-action film. Outcasts all throughout the office, warehouse, factory, wherever will rejoice at the return of Disney’s darkest tale (arguably). Or…you might just get looked at like you’ve lost your mind.


Image Via Giphy.com

The original animation deals with themes such as lust, genocide, and sin— heavy stuff for a children’s film. This grimness stems from the book which inspired the film; The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is a gothic novel written by Victor Hugo in the early nineteenth century. Written mainly to promote Gothic Architecture, the story isn’t as “optimistic” as its Disney counterpart. Quasimodo works for the bad guy and starves to death at the end with Esmeralda’s body, his bones eventually turning to dust. Also, there’s less music.

The Disney version is filled like a jelly donut with musical numbers and ends with Quasimodo being deemed a hero as he is finally accepted by society. One issue with this Disney version: he does not get the girl. Captain Phoebus, Notre Dame’s resident “bro”, ends up with Esmeralda. I believe this to be a pivotal moment in the history of friend zoning, potentially contributing to its rise in pop culture.  That’s right Jorrah Mormont, blame Disney.


mage Via Theinspirationallifestyle.com

The live-action remake will be entitled Hunchback and will use material from both the original animated film and Victor Hugo’s novel. Coincidentally, Idris Elba is starring and directing in an additional faithful adaptation of Hugo’s novel for Netflix. Hopefully, Disney’s version results in a perfect blend of gothic melodrama and Disney-esque song and dance. Rumor has it that Josh Gad (also producing) of Frozen fame will be playing the titular character but nothing official has been announced. The fact that the studio does not plan on being too strict in its faithfulness to the original movie is compelling; Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang is set to pen the script.



Image Via Goodreads.com

Disney is pulling out all the stops these days; live-action versions of Beauty And The BeastThe Jungle Book (Directed by Jon Favreau of Swingers and Iron Man fame), and Cinderella have already been made. In addition to Hunchback, we can look forward to versions of Aladdin (Will Smith as Gennie= thumbs up emoji), The Lion King (Beyoncé as Nala and JFav directing again= thumbs up emoji.), and Dumbo (Time Burton directed= thumbs up emoji) all coming this year. It will be interesting to see how deep Disney dives into their well of classics as they continue down the path of live-action adaptions. Let’s just hope they don’t remake Brother Bear or Tarzan without the musical stylings of Phil Collins… Nah, they could never do that.


Image Via Rollingstone.com





Featured Image Via Slashfilm.com

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Lost Disney Film Discovered 70 Years Later

Seventy years ago, teenager Yasushi Watanabe purchased what he thought was an obscure 16mm cartoon for only $4.40. Here’s where the story of the lost Disney film begins—it wasn’t what he thought. Instead, it was a rare film of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey Mouse’s obscure and historic predecessor.


'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Gif'

Gif Via Tvtropes.org


Watanabe, who grew up to become an anime historian, realized the film’s true contents while reading Disney-employed artist David Bossert‘s Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons. (Even more shockingly, you just realized ‘anime historian’ is a real job.) Though the film bore the label ‘Mickey Manga Speedy,’ Wantanabe recognized it as lost Oswald film Neck ‘n’ Neck. Time and copyright law have hidden Oswald from a modern audience. Debuting in 1927, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit existed for just one short year.


By 1928, intellectual property disputes killed Oswald, with Universal Studios snatching up the rights. Though there were later Oswald cartoons, they were more slapstick and topical, lacking Disney’s intentions to create a cartoon character who could be complex and human. In an incredible (if unintentional) screw-you move, Disney went on to create a new animated protagonist. Maybe you’ve heard of Mickey Mouse.


Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse

Image Via Disney.wikia.com


The lost film features a wild car chase as police officers try to capture Oswald and his girlfriend. (No, we don’t know what Oswald did.) Disney Archives director Becky Cline said of the discovery: “we are absolutely delighted to learn that a copy of the lost film exists.” Of the twenty-six total Oswald films, only nineteen have been properly archived. That means that Neck ‘n’ Neck is one of seven lost films, an incredible rarity. It also means there might be as many as six more. Where might they turn up? Who knows, when anyone could find one—apparently, all you need is $4.40.



Featured Image Via D23.com


Did You Know Disney’s ‘Mulan’ Is Actually a Literary Adaptation?

If you’re fans of Disney movie, you must know Mulan. If you’re fans of Bookstr, you must know that we’ve followed Disney’s upcoming live-action feature movie Mulan since 2017. But do you know Mulan is actually a very famous piece of feminist Chinese literature?


Before we get into the literary part, let’s have something hot: recently, the first official photo of the live-action Mulan was released. Yife Liu, the famous Chinese actress who plays her, wears a traditional red robe and holds a sword, staring toward the camera. This is a brilliant photo which perfectly embodies the feminist spirit of Mulan in the real Chinese history.




Image via IMDb



The story of Mulan is pretty hot as well. It originally comes from The Ballad of Mulan, a poem written in the dynasty of Northern Wei (around AD 386 to 534). The following is the excerpt of the original text and the English translation.






This is the beginning of the poem, explaining that Mulan is the only child in her family and one day her father gets the military letter calling him back to the battlefields. Concerning her elder dad, Mulan steals the letter and makes herself into the avatar of her father, going to the war.






This is the most salient paragraph in Mulan. After conquering the enemies, Mulan goes back home, taking off her armors and turning back to her female identity. At that moment, all of her comrades are shocked and Mulan indeed becomes the first female-male-solder in the Chinese history.



Good to know right? I’ll keep you, Mulan fans now, in the loop regarding any news of the Disney film!



P.S. To see the full text of The Ballad of Mulan here



Featured Image Via konbini.com

hocus pocus

‘Hocus Pocus’ Sequel Features Major LGBT Romance

The beloved Halloween classic Hocus Pocus is continuing its story in a brand new sequel, bringing the Sanderson sisters back to life! While the iconic witch trio will most certainly bewitch fans, a new character will be featured and she is likely to put a spell on you.



As we reported earlier this year, Hocus Pocus was revived via a book sequel published by Freeform, a Disney imprint that publishes YA fiction. The sequel, written by A.W. Jantha, will be set 25 years after the original film and will be depict the escapades of Max and Allison’s 17-year-old daughter, Poppy, as she attempts to save Salem from the recently resurrected Sanderson sisters. 





Image Via Amazon



According to Autostraddle, in the midst of the danger of saving her beloved town, Poppy finds herself falling for popular girl Isabella, her enchanting classmate who shares her interest in saving the town from the spell of the Sanderson sisters.



If the rumor is true (which, accompanied by an excerpt from the book, it certainly looks like), then that is a huge deal for LGBT representation. Hocus Pocus is an iconic Halloween film and the book is likely to garner a wide audience (it currently tops the Amazon chart for YA Gay & Lesbian Fiction). Therefore, the sequel offers a wide platform for exposure to LGBT romance which a huge plus for diverse representation which I’m sure will be much appreciated by many readers.



Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel was released on July 10, 2018 and is available for purchase now!




Feature Image Via Walt Disney Pictures