The Playlist

Disney Reveals Official Synopsis For Brad Bird's 'Tomorrowland,' Plus What We Learned About The Film At D23

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 26, 2013 2:25 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Disney has finally revealed a little something about "Tomorrowland," their big budget, beyond top-secret sci-fi project being directed by Brad Bird (from a script by Bird and "Prometheus" lightning rod Damon Lindelof) and starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie. While announcing the official start of production (up in Vancouver), the studio hinted at the film's plot, while keeping most of the movie's specifics still in some kind of lead-lined vault, accessible only by key members of the production and the guy who plays Gaston in the Magic Kingdom. The officially sanctioned synopsis also made us think back to the movie's big presence at this year's D23 Expo, where Lindelof and Bird were on hand to cryptically tease what the movie might have in store for us.

What D23 Says About The State Of Disney Feature Animation

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 23, 2013 2:15 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The big news out of last weekend's D23 Expo in Anaheim, a kind of Comic-Con for Disney, was the lack of news relating to the studio's highly anticipated "Star Wars: Episode VII." There wasn't any kind of announcement—no release date or subtitle or confirmation of actors who are scheduled to return (and those who will be sitting this one out). In fact, the silence around 'Star Wars' was so deafening that many lost sight of just how much the studio divulged about its upcoming slate of animated features. Not only did they map out the movies that the studio will be delivering through 2016, but they also showcased what will be the pattern for Disney animated features for years and years to come. Only nobody noticed because they were too busy looking for that Death Star.

D23 Reviews: 'Monsters' Short 'Party Central' & Rediscovered Mickey Mouse Cartoon 'Get A Horse!'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 9, 2013 10:48 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Party Central, Monsters University
As part of the lavish, seemingly endless presentation today on Walt Disney Animation at D23, we were treated to two brand new short film screenings: the North American premiere of the rediscovered, almost lost Mickey Mouse classic "Get A Horse!" (which had its lavish world premiere recently at Annecy) and what ended up being the world premiere of a "Monsters University" spin-off short called "Party Central." They were both very special short films that reiterated that Pixar and Walt Disney Feature Animation are two very different studios with two very different approaches that still fall comfortably under the larger umbrella of Disney animation.

Thanks To $190 Million Loss On 'The Lone Ranger,' Disney May Remove Jerry Bruckheimer's Final Cut On 'Pirates 5'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 7, 2013 6:19 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Pirates Of The Caribbean 4, Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp
We can't imagine that the mood around the conference table with Disney execs, star Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer is all that cheery. With the studio revealing this week that they're getting ready to take a $190 million hit on "The Lone Ranger," it seems to have resulted in the stars of the film lashing out at the press, with both Depp and Armie Hammer accusing critics of having their knives out for the movie before it even opened. As silly as that suggestion is, at the end of the day, money talks and right now Disney isn't ready to risk a couple hundred million more on what could be a costly mess from Depp and Bruckheimer.

Watch: Darker Alternate Opening Of Disney Classic 'Sword In The Stone'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 2, 2013 12:19 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Anyone familiar with “The Sword in the Stone,” the 1963 Walt Disney animated feature (the last one released before Walt’s untimely death) based on the T.H. Stone novel, knows that it begins with a storybook opening, accompanied by a wonderful Sherman Brothers song recounting the turbulent recent history of very old England, and the legend of the miraculous sword in the stone (“Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise king born of England,” ya dig). We are then introduced to Merlin (Karl Swenson), who is more annoyed by the Dark Ages than anything else. But originally, there was a very different opening to the animated classic, one that is finally being revealed thanks to the new Blu-ray release.

Pete Docter Talks About His "Challenging" New Pixar Film 'Inside Out'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 23, 2013 11:24 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Pete Docter, Inside Out
Yesterday, while at the computer graphics convention Siggraph, where early Pixar short films dazzled attendees ("Andre and Wally B" premiered at the convention way back in 1987), the Hollywood Reporter stopped and asked Pixar titan Pete Docter about his next feature for the studio—2015's "Inside Out." He offered minor—but still tantalizing—details about a film that has been described to us as "wildly ambitious," even by Pixar standards. Docter told THR that it was "one of the most challenging stories I've ever had to put together."

Exclusive: Andrew Kevin Walker Rewriting ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Sequel; David Fincher's ‘20,000 Leagues’ Is Dead

  • By Edward Davis
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  • July 17, 2013 10:26 AM
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  • 17 Comments
With two major blockbuster flops in two years (“John Carter,” “The Lone Ranger”), the conventional wisdom follows that Disney is probably not green-lighting any major, untested would-be franchises anytime soon (even the the trio behind “The Pirates of The Caribbean” films, Bruckheimer, Depp and Verbinski proved nothing’s a sure thing). And so eyes immediately turned to David Fincher’s ambitious $200 million-plus, 3D tentpole adaptation of “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.” Given the recent announcement that Fincher would be directing the thriller “Gone Girl” with Ben Affleck this fall, we assumed the Jules Verne project had been scrapped, for the simple reason that Disney is not going to bankroll a potentially risky project.

It's Just The Franchise Necessities: Disney Prepping Live Action Reboot Of 'The Jungle Book'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 9, 2013 3:14 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Guys listen, don't get so outraged, because from a purely clinical business approach this makes total sense. Disney tried -- they really did -- to relaunch older/new franchises but they botched it and audiences didn't respond. "John Carter" and "The Lone Ranger" will go down as expensive, money-losing flops and one could argue that "Tron: Legacy" barely did what the studio wanted (it's hardly shocking that talk around that sequel has quieted down -- "Star Wars" will fill the sci-fi niche and then some is our guess...) And with studio going live-action with "Cinderella," starting production later this year, why not use another proven title which everyone already knows back to front?

From 'Avengers' To Shakespeare: If Joss Whedon Can Do It All, 5 Film Projects We'd Love To See Him Tackle

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 4, 2013 1:44 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Infamously, writer/director Joss Whedon, who had recently been saddled with the task of bringing the Marvel Universe's crown jewel "The Avengers" to cinematic life, took a two-week vacation from editing that monstrous movie and spent it cheaply shooting an adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing," filmed entirely in his Los Angeles home with a bunch of his showbiz friends. What's so shocking, is that for a no-budget black-and-white movie that nobody even knew existed until it was finished, "Much Ado About Nothing" is just as entertaining as "The Avengers" was in a completely different way. Both feel very much like Whedon applying his specific skill set to a preexisting property and coming away with something that's identifiably Whedon-esque but also true to the original material. It got us thinking about other things we'd like to see Whedon tackle.

Watch: First Footage From Disney Animation's Marvel Movie 'Big Hero 6,' Set For 2014 Release

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 9, 2013 12:21 PM
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  • 1 Comment
If you're wondering what a geek-gasm looks like, you should probably hit your social media networks right now. Marvel, having already conquered the multiplex and set to unleash their power on the small screen with "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.," are now seeing what the animated world can do for them. First announced at Comic-Con last year, Disney Animation is tackling "Big Hero 6," another Marvel superteam of heroes, though not as well known as The Avengers. But that will likely not matter one iota if this footage is anything go by.

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