Tag: “Frozen”

Ava DuVernay to Direct “A Wrinkle in Time” Movie Adaptation at Disney

Ava DuVernay Wrinkle in Time

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

“Selma” director Ava DuVernay has come on board to direct Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time movie adaptation.

Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed “Frozen” with Chris Buck, is penning the adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s book for Disney. The story follows children as they travel through time and visit strange worlds in order to find their missing scientist father.

Variety reported in 2014 that Lee was attached to “Wrinkle in Time,” which was one of her favorite novels as a child. She impressed Disney executives with her take on the project, which emphasizes a strong female-driven narrative and creatively approaches the science fiction and world-building elements of the book.

“A Wrinkle in Time” is the first book in L’Engle’s “Time Quartet” series that also includes “A Wind in the Door,” “Many Waters” and “A Swiftly Tilting Planet.”

 To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/ava-duvernay-wrinkle-in-time-movie-1201712895/

OPINION: Racebent “Frozen” Fan Art Reminds Us That Representation Matters


One Tumblr artist struck a nerve when she re-imagined the main characters from “Frozen” as Black girls. Here’s why haters need to find their chill.

Earlier this week, I saw some “Frozen” fan art from Brazilian artist Juliajm15 that gave me all of the warm fuzzies. It depicted the sisters Queen Elsa and Princess Anna as young Black women in remixed scenes. Julia didn’t just dip the original characters in chocolate, either! She gave her recreations afro-centric features and gloriously curly hair. Not only that, but that art style was so close to Disney’s traditional animation that it looked like concept art for film. It. Was. Everything!

When Buzzfeed posted the pieces online, it pointed to the “absolutely stunning” pics as an example of racebending. For those unfamiliar with the word “racebending,” it’s a term born of the egregious white‑washing in M.Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender.” It was based on Nickelodeon’s hit cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” and the main characters that were obviously meant to be Brown and Asian were played by Caucasian actors. Shocker: all of the villains were Brown people. It’s not that M.Night couldn’t cast Asian actors that would better resemble the characters on the TV show, though, because he had plenty of them running through the background.

tumblr_njkzgpXhj81rqsahko2_500Anyway, many from the digital community have put the idea of racebending on its head by creating ethnic versions of their favorite characters from books, film and TV. It’s a fairly common practice among online artists. Julia, in particular, has gone on a run of re-doing Disney heroines with an Indian version of Rapunzel and a Latina incarnation of Merida from “Brave.” Her work is flaw-free. Go check it out. You will live for her human version of Nala.

It’s all for fun, but some Disnephiles are not feeling her vision. There are grown people having full-on conniptions over someone drawing the characters as Black. The problem for them, supposedly, is that her art is not accurate to the fable’s Scandanavian origins. There will be privilege-laced arguments–nasty little flame wars–all to defend the idea that the characters should remain as originally created…which is White. To that, I say, “Girl, bye.” God forbid anyone should use their creativity to imagine the beloved characters as an under-represented segment of society.

Julia’s not suggesting that Disney should re-do the movies to include Black people. She’s creating a reflection of herself (and many little girls that love Disney movies) that is missing from the cultural landscape in a fun little project. People want to see a piece of themselves in the art that they enjoy. In an odd way, it’s a form of validation that people who look like you matter, and that you can be an important part of a larger narrative. And in the case of Disney films, there has not been a great track record of having Black characters in their feature animation films. It took Disney 72 yeas to put a Black princess on screen. When we finally did get one with “The Princess And The Frog,” they turned her into an animal for a majority of the film. I love the movie, but WTF! That’s only after having two movies set in Africa with not one Black character in them (“The Lion King” and “Tarzan”).

However, this is not just a problem limited to Disney. It is still a huge surprise when people of color (whether Black, Asian or Latino) are present in the main cast of anything. Whenever a new project is announced, I find myself looking to see if there are any Black characters in the cast. Not that the lack of having a Black person on the cast will keep me from seeing the project, but there is still a twinge of disappointment when I do watch.

Continue reading “OPINION: Racebent “Frozen” Fan Art Reminds Us That Representation Matters”

Pharrell Williams to Perform Oscar-Nominated Song “Happy” at Academy Awards

Pharrell Williams

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday that Pharrell Williams will perform his Oscar-nominated song “Happy” at the 2014 Oscars.

“Happy,” which Williams wrote and produced for the animated film Despicable Me 2, is nominated for the original song category alongside “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, “Let it Go” from Frozen and “The Moon Song” from Her.

“I wanted to send a reminder: There are lots of reasons to smile,” the 40-year-old told the Los Angeles Times in an interview in December on his nominated song. “You can be resilient with your smile. Why is it so cool to be mad all the time? Some songs, everybody’s so upset.”

The song “Happy” has a “lyric version” — a video featuring the film’s minions making mischief around the song’s words in bold fonts. It also has a website launched for the song, 24hoursofhappy.com, where the song is played on repeat for 24 hours straight.

“Each take starting every hour is me,” he told The Times. “So I did 24 four-minute takes of ‘Happy.’ From 1:00-1:04, I perform ‘Happy.’ Then at 1:04, the next person does it. We picked all kinds of people, all types. Every hour is 15 takes.”

Williams, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, was named Billboard’s producer of the decade in 2010. Most recently, he collaborated on two of 2013’s top Billboard hits: Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines,” which he co-wrote and produced, and Daft Punk‘s “Get Lucky,” which he co-wrote and also sang.

The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will be held March 2 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and broadcast live on ABC.


Kevin Hart/Ice Cube Comedy “Ride Along” Scores Rare 3rd Straight Top Box Office Finish With $12.3 Million

Ride Along Movie

Continuing its high-flying ride at the domestic box office, Universal’s stalwart holdover Ride Along posted its third straight weekend victory, estimating $12.3 million for a Stateside cume of $93 million and counting.  The Super Bowl weekend’s only two wide releases — Focus Features’ That Awkward Moment and Paramount’s Labor Day, both of which are targeted squarely at female audiences — underperformed, grossing $9 million and $5.3 million, respectively.

Internationally, Disney had another standout weekend with its toon all-star Frozen, which grossed an estimated $24 million from 45 territories, representing approximately 90% of the overseas market place.  So far, the film has collected north of $504 million internationally, with $360 million Stateside (pic’s sing-along re-release contributed $2.2 million out of a total estimated $9.3 million this weekend), making Frozen the second-highest grossing original toon of all time globally, behind Finding Nemo.  Domestic totals managed to stay in line roughly with this time last year, down just 2%, though first-quarter 2013 box office was especially mopey.

As the clear highlight so far this year, Ride Along’s third-straight win at the domestic box office matches what only three films total managed last year — The Butler, Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smug — none of which bowed during the first quarter.

Speaking of Gravity, Warner Bros.’ large-screen re-release of the Oscar-nominated 3D epic earned more than half of its $2 million three-day gross in Imax. Gravity has cumed nearly $264 million domestically in over four months.  Among the other Academy Award contenders, both American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street became milestone box office achievements for their respective directors: Hustle now stands as David O. Russell’s highest-grossing film, with $133.6 million, while Martin Scorsese’s Wolf is the director’s third-highest, at $104.1 million, surpassing The Aviator.

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Ride Along (3): $12.3; 2,867; $4,295; $93.0; -42%
  2. Frozen (11): $9.3; 2,754; $3,381; $360.0; +2%
  3. That Awkward Moment (1): $9.0; 2,809; $3,208; $9.0; –
  4. The Nut Job (3): $7.6; 3,472; $2,193; $50.2; -37%
  5. Lone Survivor (6): $7.2; 3,285; $2,180; $104.9; -44%
  6. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (3): $5.4; 2,907; $1,858; $39.0; -41%
  7. Labor Day (1): $5.3; 2,584; $2,051; $5.3; –
  8. American Hustle (8): $4.3; 2,216; $1,940; $133.6; -39%
  9. The Wolf of Wall Street (6): $3.6; 1,607; $2,209; $104.1; -35%
  10. I, Frankenstein (2): $3.5; 2,753; $1,279; $14.5; -59%

article by Andrew Stewart via Variety.com