Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Big Hero 6” End Credits

Big Hero 6!

We’re gonna go save the world just as soon as this kitty is sufficiently petted.

When The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009, fans on all sides wondered what sort of corporate synergy we’d see between the two in future projects. For the most part the companies have kept their logos in separate spaces, but Big Hero 6 represents the first truly co-op experience: a Disney animated film based on a Marvel property, albeit very loosely (whose creators, Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau, later became part of the think tank responsible for Ben 10). Sharing between Disney and Marvel came easily to them this time, most likely because the characters had become instantly obscure and tossed in the back of the Marvel IP closet, upsetting maybe five or ten fans at most. If a reboot went wrong, they had nothing to lose.

Someone somewhere spotted them on a list, figured they were practically a blank slate, dusted them off, shined them up, upgraded them for a younger audience, deleted all the X-Men connections that got them published in the first place, and now here we are with the next Walt Disney Animated Classic — the all-new, all-different Big Hero 6.

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Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Muppets Most Wanted” End Credits

Muppets Most Wanted

Once again Ricky Gervais works at upsetting a crowd of stars more beloved than he is.

Muppets Most Wanted knows it’s a sequel and its chances are impaired. The first of its many musical numbers is all about what it means to be a sequel and whether or not that has to be a fate worse than death. Instead of succumbing to the easy temptation of making a “normal” Muppets film, director James Bobin returns us to the exact moment and state of mind where the reboot left off, with America’s favorite variety-show veterans reunited, recharged, ready to put on the big show…but left asking each other: now what do we do?

(Courtesy mild spoiler alert: This entry covers both the contents of the end credits and all the cameos I could catch. If you like to be surprised by the cameos, an integral part of every Muppets film, you might want to slide right past that section without skimming.)

It’s time to get things started! Again!

Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Frozen” End Credits

Queen Elsa, Idina Menzel, Frozen

Disney Princesses beware: here comes Elsa, Disney Queen.

Last week animation writer Paul Dini gave a candid podcast interview in which he divulged numerous depressing details about his recent experiences with Cartoon Network executives who expressed in no ambiguous terms their current disinterest in courting a female audience for their action-adventure cartoons because boys buy more action figures.

I wish I were kidding. Part of this illuminating interview has been helpfully transcribed for the podcast-reluctant. Nothing short of jaw-dropping.

Such a shame, then, to see Walt Disney Pictures fly in the face of Cartoon Network programming logic and gamble on a theatrical release like the action-heavy Frozen, in which the humor isn’t locker-room crude, the animation sets new standards, and the main characters are two sisters who pass the Bechdel Test cum laude. Sure, it’s quality entertainment, but if the girl power in a cartoon overwhelms the manpower, why even bother? This cartoon chick flick will be lucky to make more than twenty bucks at the box office. And you can forget about merchandising sales.

…oh, wait. As of its fourth weekend, the movie’s cleared $160 million domestic so far, and it’s still in the #2 box office spot and barely slowing down. How’d that happen? Conspiracy, maybe?

Nope – it’s genuinely impressive…

Notes for a “Cinderella” Reboot Nobody Needs

Walt Disney's CinderellaThis weekend I revisited Walt Disney’s twelfth animated classic Cinderella for the first time since the late 1990s. Of all the numerous Disney films our family has owned in multiple formats, this is one of several that rarely saw repeat viewings even when my son was a toddler who insisted on watching every animated movie over and over again until I hated it.

As with many older Disney films, parts of it have aged better than others. I’ll admit I had trouble staying conscious all the way through. Even if I’m alone in this struggle, the film is now over sixty years old and therefore in need of a gratuitous overhaul on shallow principle. In the spirit of today’s remake-happy medium that thrives on second-hand ideas, the following notes are my suggestions to downconvert this one-time children’s favorite for the modern, unsophisticated audience that Hollywood executives so dearly crave:

1. We need to believe that Cinderella’s dad would have good reasons to want to marry the wicked stepmother. As drawn and acted, she’s a horse-faced harpy. Was she, once upon a time, a gregarious looker? Were they married for so long that her looks and demeanor have simply deteriorated over time? Was the marriage that hard on her? What does that say about dearly departed Dad? Cinderella’s trauma at his loss means he wasn’t an unlovable tyrant, so the only other sensible option is that he was a spineless doormat forced into marriage by this conniving harridan. Clearly we need copious non-linear flashbacks to Dad and Stepmom’s deceptively happy wedding day before it all went wrong, when he turned into Walter Mitty and she became Miss Hannigan from Annie.

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Disney Acquires Lucasfilm, Announces “Star Wars: Episode VII”, Steals Headlines from Horrible Hurricane Whatsitsname

Disney + Lucasfilm = $$$$$$$The Internet cracked in half Tuesday afternoon when the Walt Disney Company announced it would be spending $4.05 billion on the acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. lock, stock, and blaster barrel. Compared to the $4.24 billion that Disney paid for Marvel Entertainment in 2009, Lucasfilm was quite the sweetheart deal. Though many legal approvals and compliance processes are still underway, Disney sweetened the deal by announcing plans to have Star Wars Episode VII in theaters by 2015, just in case government officials needed more incentive to permit the existence of a Disney/Marvel/Pixar/Lucasfilm supercorporation.

The Internet has already spent hours brainstorming the potential ramifications of this creative business arrangement. The usual social networks instantly lost interest in the upcoming election and any major death-related news events. Any long-dormant Star Wars message boards just received a massive defibrillator shock they never saw coming. Within a month or so, expect the mainstream media to hop on the bandwagon and regurgitate all our online blurbs.

Alas, without further elaboration from the parties involved, all we have as of today is unfounded speculation and a long list of questions. So many random thoughts, so little confirmation of what to expect:

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