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Television

ESPN Acquires The RIghts To The NBA In Africa

Multiyear-year deal brings NBA to fans across Africa on ESPN and ESPN 2

The Walt Disney Company Africa is pleased to announce that it has acquired the multiyear rights to broadcast the National Basketball League (NBA) across the continent, starting 14 February 2020, exclusively on paid TV in English on ESPN and ESPN 2.

Considered the top basketball league in the world and featuring the world’s most talented players, the NBA is the latest to be added to ESPN’s already iconic and popular league and sporting event lineup from the United States and across the globe.

Viewers can look forward to regular-season games, the NBA Playoffs and the Conference Finals, as well as the peak of the basketball calendar, The Finals, the NBA’s annual championship series. For the remainder of the season, fans will be able to watch live games per week on Fridays and Sundays, including Friday ESPN double-headers and the NBA Sunday games.

Tipping things off will be the NBA All-Star 2020 from 14-16 February 2020. Consisting of a variety of special events and performances, including NBA Rising Stars and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, the weekend culminates with the 69th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday 16 February 2020*, the annual exhibition game featuring Team LeBron and Team Giannis. The teams will be playing for a chance to donate U.S. $500,000 to charity.

Additional programing will include the broadcast of the NBA Draft in June, where each NBA team can select eligible players from across the U.S. and the globe to play in the league. With more games, specials and events being lined up – including exciting programming created especially for fans in Africa – viewers have one destination to watch all the NBA action.

“By securing these rights for Africa, ESPN is able to further its commitment to bringing premier content to audiences and growing the diversity of programming on the channels,” says Evert van der Veer, Vice President of Media Networks for The Walt Disney Company Africa. “We are thrilled to share in the passion and excitement of this league with fans across the continent.”

Viewers will be able to follow the action on ESPN and ESPN 2 from 14 February 2020, as well as follow the NBA on africa.espn.com, and @espnafrica on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Film

Onward From Disney And Pixar – Special Advance Screening

SPECIAL ADVANCE SCREENINGS – FEBRUARY 29

On Leap Day (February 29, 2020), the all-new film hits cinemas nationwide for one day only in special advance screenings. In the movie, teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get a magical opportunity to spend 24 hours with their late father. In honour of 2020’s extra 24 hours on Leap Day, Disney and Pixar are inviting moviegoers to get a first look at the new movie before its official opening.

Tickets for Advance Screenings are now open where tickets are sold.

GROWTH SPELL – When Ian and Barley run out of gas during their epic quest in “Onward,” Ian attempts a growth spell to magically create more fuel. But things don’t exactly go as planned. Featuring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020. © 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Cinema Release Date: March 6, 2020

Voice Cast: Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong.

Director: Dan Scanlon

Producer: Kori Rae

When teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, they embark on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” opens in cinemas on March 6, 2020.

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Film

Disney’s The Lion King Is The Highest Grossing Film Of All Time In South Africa

In its seventh week of release (30 August – September 2019), Disney’s The Lion King became the all-time top-grossing film in South Africa, with a haul of over R107.6 million since it’s 19 July 2019 release across the continent.

The all-new film from Disney crossed 2018’s Marvel Studios’ Black Panther to claim the record, with both films followed closely by two other Marvel Studios films, namely Avengers: Endgame and Infinity War respectively. This means that Walt Disney Studios releases account for 4 of the top 5 films of all time at the South African box office.

“We continue to celebrate this incredible film with fans across the continent and are thrilled that audiences at home have embraced the iconic storytelling, characters and breath-taking music that can only be delivered by The Lion King.” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa.

Directed by Jon Favreau, and utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, Disney’s The Lion King boasts an all-star cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon and South Africa’s own Dr. John Kani as Rafiki. Local music legend Lebo M features on the breath-taking soundtrack as does Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Tim Rice and the cast.

In addition, over 10 000 high school learners from under-served communities saw the film this past August as The Walt Disney Company Africa, in collaboration with Hyundai Santa Fe, FNB and Attacq Foundation ran The Lion King Screening Programme at Ster-Kinekor Theatres. The sessions included an educational conservation talk by The Endangered Wildlife Trust, with snack packs donated by Makro.

Disney’s The Lion King is currently in cinemas.

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Film

The Lion King Roars Past R100m At South African Box Office

This past weekend (23-25 August 2019), after 6 weeks at the top of the South African Box Office and over 1.2 million attendances, Disney’s The Lion King passed R100 million, becoming the third film in history to do so.

With over R101m in local box office takings, the all-new film joins the R100m club that already features last year’s Black Panther and this year’s Avengers: Endgame, both from Marvel Studios. Together with 2018’s Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War, Walt Disney Studios releases now account for the top 4 films of all time at the South African Box Office.

Directed by Jon Favreau, and utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, Disney’s The Lion King boasts an all-star cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon and South Africa’s own Dr. John Kani as Rafiki. Local music legend Lebo M features on the breath-taking soundtrack as does Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Tim Rice and the cast.

“We are thrilled at the overwhelming response that South African audiences have shown The Lion King, a story grounded on the continent that celebrates so much of the creativity and beauty of what Africa has to offer,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “We are equally delighted that the stories from our studios, whether they be Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios or 20th Century Fox, continue to resonate with local audiences to this extent – we look forward to sharing more upcoming releases in 2019, including Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in October as well as Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this festive season.”

This past weekend also saw the culmination of The Lion King Screening Programme whereby The Walt Disney Company Africa, in collaboration with Hyundai Santa Fe, FNB and Attacq Foundation saw up to 10 000 high school learners from under-served communities across the country experiencing the ground-breaking new film at Ster-Kinekor Theatres.

Disney’s The Lion King is currently in cinemas.

Read the SAMDB review of The Lion King.

About the Film:

Disney’s The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savannah where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

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Television

Sydney To The Max Comes To Disney Channel

‘Sydney to the Max,’ A Daughter/Father sitcom – with Grandma Too – Premieres in August on Disney Channel

“Sydney to the Max,” a sitcom introducing 13-year-old actress/musical artist Ruth Righi (Broadway’s “School of Rock The Musical”) in her first leading role, premieres on Monday, 19 August 2019 on Disney Channel, DStv Channel 303 at 17:40. Created by Mark Reisman (“Frasier,” “Wings,” “The Exes”), the series is geared for kids ages 6-14 and families. It also stars Ian Reed Kesler (“Suits”), Caroline Rhea (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Phineas and Ferb”), Jackson Dollinger (“Puppy Dog Pals”), Ava Kolker (“Girl Meets World”) and Christian J. Simon (“The Amazing World of Gumball”).

Set in the present day with flashbacks to the 1990s, the comedy revolves around outgoing middle schooler Sydney Reynolds who lives with her single dad Max in the house he grew up in, along with her progressive grandmother Judy—three generations under one roof. As Sydney’s preteen pursuits begin to expand with unexpected and funny twists, Max tries to get a better sense of the guidance, perspective and support she needs. Grandma, full of both parental wisdom and wisecracks, has a razor-sharp memory that proves Max’s own teenage antics parallel Sydney’s. Flashback scenes to a young Max and his best friend Leo juxtapose the funny predicaments invented by Sydney and her vivacious friend Olive.

Caroline Rhea plays Judy in both eras. Ian Reed Kesler is adult Max, Jackson Dollinger is young Max, Ava Kolker is Olive and Christian J. Simon is Leo.

In the premiere episode, “Can’t Dye This,” Sydney wants to radically change up her hairstyle for the first day of 7th grade. Her dad Max is resistant, but with Olive’s help, Sydney takes matters into her own hands.

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Television

Comedic Action-Adventure Movie ‘Kim Possible’ Premieres Friday 3 May 2019

“Kim Possible,” a Disney Channel Original Movie based on the beloved animated series, will premiere Friday, 3 May 2019 at 16:00 on Disney Channel, DStv channel 303 on Disney Channel.
In this comedic action-adventure, a live-action transformation of the original series, newcomer Sadie Stanley stars as the iconic teen hero Kim Possible along with Sean Giambrone (ABC’s “The Goldbergs”) as her best friend and sidekick, Ron Stoppable.

Emmy and Annie Award-winning voice actress Nancy Cartwright (“The Simpsons”) will reprise her role as the voice of fan-favorite Rufus the Naked mole-rat. The veteran actress voiced the role in Disney Channel’s “Kim Possible” animated series (2002-07). Cartwright has played the iconic Bart Simpson on the animated series “The Simpsons” for over 30 years. Alyson Hannigan (“How I Met Your Mother”) is brain surgeon Dr. Ann Possible (aka Mom Possible) and Connie Ray (“The Big C”) is grandmother Nana Possible.

The animated comedy-adventure series centered on a strong teenager who uses her brain, heart and expertise to save the day. Throughout 87 episodes, Kim Possible traversed the social hierarchy of high school and, with her loyal sidekick Ron Stoppable and his naked mole-rat Rufus by her side, thwarted power-hungry villains Drakken and Shego, among others. It inspired two popular animated original movies, “Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama” in 2005, which was the first animated title in the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise, and “Kim Possible: A Stitch in Time” in 2003.

The new live-action follows everyday teen hero Kim Possible and best friend and sidekick Ron Stoppable as they embark on their freshman year of high school, all while saving the world from evil villains. By their side every step of the way is teen tech-genius Wade and new friend Athena, who also happens to be a Kim Possible super fan and is eager to join Team Possible. While Kim and Ron have always been one step ahead of their opponents, navigating the social hierarchy of high school is more challenging than the action-hero ever imagined. With Drakken and Shego lurking in the wings, Kim must rely on her family and friends more than ever. Now it’s up to Team Possible—Kim, Ron, tech-genius Wade, new friend Athena and Rufus, a Naked mole-rat that Ron meets along the way—to stop these super villains.

Viewers’ connection to “Kim Possible” also led to an off-TV franchise, including Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable characters at Disney Parks & Resorts and a line of “Kim Possible” branded consumer products at mass retail, soundtracks, books and games.

Be sure to catch the premier of Kim Possible on Disney Channel, DStv channel 303 on Friday, 3 May at 16:00 with repeats on Saturday, 4 May at 06:55 & 10:40, Sunday, 5 May at 14:00 and Friday, 24 May at 16:00.

KIM POSSIBLE – Disney Channel’s “Kim Possible” stars Sean Giambrone as Ron Stoppable and Sadie Stanley as Kim Possible. (Disney Channel/Ed Herrera)

About “Kim Possible”

“Kim Possible” begins as Kim and her best friend and sidekick, Ron Stoppable, start Middleton High School where Kim must navigate an intimidating new social hierarchy. She is ready to tackle the challenge head-on, just as she has with everything else in life, but her confidence is shaken when she faces roadblocks at every turn—getting lost in the confusing hallways, being late to class and facing rejection during soccer tryouts from her frenemy, Bonnie. Kim’s day starts to turn around when she and Ron meet and befriend Athena, a new classmate and Kim Possible superfan who is having an even worse day than Kim. With Kim’s guidance and friendship, Athena transforms into the newest member of Team Possible. Soon, Athena starts to eclipse Kim just as the nefarious Drakken and Shego resurface in Middleton with a master plan to finally stop Kim. Now it’s up to Team Possible—Kim, Ron, tech-genius Wade, new friend Athena and Rufus, a Naked mole-rat that Ron meets along the way—to stop these super villains.

“Kim Possible” also stars Todd Stashwick (“12 Monkeys”) and Taylor Ortega (“Succession”) as fan-favorite evil villain duo Drakken and Shego, respectively; Ciara Wilson (“OMG!”) as new student Athena;Issac Ryan Brown (Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home”) as tech-genius Wade and Erika Tham (“Make It Pop”) as Kim’s childhood frenemy, Bonnie Rockwaller.

The live-action comedy-adventure also features cameos by multitalented actress/singer Christy Carlson Romano (Disney Channel’s “Even Stevens”) and Emmy®and GRAMMY®Award-winning actor/comedian Patton Oswalt (“Veep”). Romano voiced the iconic title character in the animated series, for which she was nominated for an Emmy, and Oswalt reprises his role as Professor Dementor.

“Kim Possible” was written by Josh Cagan (“The Duff”) and Bob Schooley & Mark McCorkle (Disney Channel’s “Big Hero 6: The Series,” “The Penguins of Madagascar”). McCorkle, Schooley and Zanne Devine (“I, Tonya,” “Easy A”) serve as executive producers. The movie was co-directed and co-produced by Adam B. Stein and Zach Lipovsky (Disney XD’s “MECH X-4”). The movie is produced by Middleton Productions, a subsidiary of Omnifilm Entertainment, and carries a TV-G parental guideline.

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dvd / blu-ray Review

Incredibles 2 (3D Blu-Ray) : Review

Film

It has been some time since the events of the The Incredibles, and superheroes are now listed as illegal. Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson – Gold) very much wants to get back into the game, but is left looking after the kids, Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), when Helen / Elastigirl (Holly Hunter – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Jackie) is offered a chance to make the superhero name great again.

It is clear that animation has come a long way in the fourteen years since The Incredibles, but with Incredibles 2 this is not just a technical improvement. The story and characters feel more rounded, and fleshed out. The story is enjoyable and engrossing, with more than enough for both young and old viewers, which is sure to keep most riveted.

One would expect nothing less than a top film from Disney / Pixar, and they do not disappoint with this one. Certainly one to own, and most definitely one to see.

Rewatch Value

The rewatch value of Incredibles 2 is likely a little higher for the younger viewer, owing to the barrage of little idiosyncrasies that come out in the main characters, and of course the many funny antics and situations. For an older audience, it would be the laughter and overall story. Either way, this is one film that can be watched over and over.

Disc

The disc is of a good technical quality, with a fun main feature. It is evident that those involved put thought into creating an impressive disc.

There is both a 2D and 3D version of the film included, each on it’s own disc. The 2D disc contains all of the bonus features, while the 3D one has only one of the short films included.

Incredibles 2 is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on-screen. Colours are vibrant, with no visible colour bleed. Details in darker or faster paced scenes are good too.

Viewers with the necessary hardware or software could scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in a DTS-HD 7.1, DTS-HD 5.1, and Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, with a descriptive audio track for those requiring that option. The two short films in the bonus features also include this selection of audio soundtracks.

Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with great use made of the surround channels, especially in 7.1 mode. The audio soundscape is large, expanding the on-screen world, and drawing the viewer into the action. The sound design of the film is superb, bringing the world to life.

With so many well mixed audio options, the only thing missing would be an Atmos soundtrack.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The disc has a motion background with drawings depicting the film’s characters. There is also accompanying music. Navigation is via a menu bar across the bottom of the screen, with options to play the main feature, bonus features, scene selection, set up, and sneak peeks.

The bonus features pop-up menu has a text listing of the various additional material included on the disc.

The scene selection pop-menu comprises of a series of medium sized, still, colour thumbnails, three on-screen at a time that allow the viewer to select a scene of their choosing. These are both numbered, and labelled. There is also a moving timeline below these, showing relative position in the overall film, as well as a time counter. This should all make things as easy as possible to find a particular chapter, from the total of thirty. The only way to navigate more precise, would be to use the bookmark function of one’s own hardware or software player.

The set up pop-up menu has three further text options, namely languages, subtitles, and Maximizer. The languages option branches to a list of audio languages (including English 7.1, 5.1, 2.0, and a descriptive audio track), as does the subtitles option. The Maximizer option gives the viewer a series of still screens with instructions on how to set up both screen and speakers, with test patterns and explanations, as well as audio tests. This is always something good to run when getting new home cinema gear, or any new hardware or software (including software drivers), to ensure one enjoys the film the best way possible on the given hardware.

The sneak peeks option plays a trailer for the upcoming Disney release of Mary Poppins Returns, and an advert for Disneyland Paris 25th anniversary.

Bonus Features

There are only a few bonus features on the disc. These few are all of a really top quality. It’s a pity there are so few, but these are fun additions. The included 3D disc only contains Bao, while the 2D disc contains all of the below.

Bao – A short film about a Chinese-Canadian woman suffering from empty nest syndrome. She gets a second shot at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings comes alive, and we get to follow her daily routine encountering some of the typical issues one has at every stage of having a child. Top quality, with a few laughs.

Auntie Edna – A funny short film showing the time Jack-Jack spent at Edna’s, something we do not get to see in the film, but now all is revealed. This is not just some extra insight to the main story, but a fun and amusing film. Sure to be enjoyed by viewers both young and old.

Strong Coffee: A Lesson In Animation With Brad Bird – The viewer is taken behind the scenes and gets a look at the whole animation creative process, with a peek at several stages of the workflow. Interviews with many of the filmmakers and animators provides lots of interesting insight for viewers and budding filmmakers alike. We also get to learn how Brad Bird got the label of Strong Coffee.

Feature Commentary – One of the audio soundtracks provides a commentary with writer / director Brad Bird (Tomorrowland: A World Beyond), supervising animator Dave Mullins (Cars 3, Inside Out), supervising animator Alan Barillaro (Monsters University), additional story artist / character designer Tony Fucile, and animation second unit & crowds supervisor Bret Parker.

The team give an in depth talk on each of their respective jobs, how the team worked together, and a lot of insight on the whole process of animation, and making an animated film. A great addition for any viewer, or budding animator or filmmaker.

Info – Not really a bonus feature, but the usual text disclaimer about interviews and peoples opinions, etc. Not really something we would want to constantly access, but it’s there for the lawyer types.

Packaging

Packaging is standard, with a poster on the front of the case. The back has a short synopsis, some stills from the film and bonus features, as well as the usual technical info and logos.

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Uncategorized

Disney Africa & Art Eye Unveil Mickey The True Original Art Collaboration

10 SA Artists lend their unique take on the global icon
#Mickey90Africa

Today Disney Africa, in association with Art Eye Gallery, launched the Mickey the True Original Art Collaboration where ten six-foot Mickey Statues where unveiled, each brought to life by ten highly talented South African artists.

Each statue has been designed, painted and crafted to show each artist’s unique take on Mickey Mouse, who is celebrating his 90th anniversary this year. From vivid colour palettes, spray paint graffiti stylings, to pantsula outfits and shweshwe prints, each interpretation is a celebration of the global icon in a truly proud South African way.

The ten artists include Cassius Khumalo, Colbert Mashile, Dominic Tshabangu, Lee Scott Hempson, Louis van den Heever, Nika Mtwana, Phumzile Buthelezi, Toni Bico, Trevor Coleman and Welcome Danca.

“For nine decades, Mickey Mouse has bound generations together more than any other animated character. His iconic status and global appeal has also inspired countless artists over the decades,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “The Mickey the True Original Art Collaboration continues this inspiration, but with a truly South African interpretation of Mickey’s charm and universal appeal.”

“No matter what age, every person has a connection with Mickey Mouse and, when Disney approached Art Eye to collaborate on this venture, we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Damien Hirst, Diego Rivera and so many more who were inspired by this character,” comments Ty Selmon, Director of Art Eye Gallery. “To give this unique local take on Mickey allows us to give him an honorary South African status, bringing to life the unique and eye catching interpretation, sights and imagery that only this country can produce.”

Fans will be able to see the statues in real life as they travel the country as part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

  • Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October
  • Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November
  • Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

The Mickey The True Original campaign includes a series of global festivities honouring nine decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.  In South Africa, a number of initiatives are underway to join these celebrations including the exhibition, a two-hour star-studded special to air on M-Net 101 later in the year, amazing retail activations and more.

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their own Mickey Mouse moments, inspirations and more on social media using the hashtag #Mickey90Africa.

 

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Uncategorized

Disney Launches Mickey the True Original Campaign

“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that is was all started by a mouse” – Walt Disney

DISNEY HONOURS 90 YEARS OF MICKEY MOUSE WITH LOCAL FESTIVITIES

South Africa joins global celebrations of Mickey the True Original
#Mickey90Africa

Today Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:
    • Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October
    • Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November
    • Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November
  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag #Mickey90Africa.

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Film

Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt (“A Quiet Place,” “The Girl on the Train“) stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn an ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana“) plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.

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“Mary Poppins Returns” is directed by Rob Marshall (“Into the Woods,” “Chicago”). The screenplay is by David Magee (“Life of Pi”) and the screen story is by Magee & Marshall & John DeLuca (“Into the Woods“) based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a. (“La La Land”) with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer and the music is by Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray”) with songs by Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”) and Shaiman. The film also stars Ben Whishaw (“Spectre”) as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer (“Hugo”) as Jane Banks; Julie Walters (“Harry Potter” films) as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.

PL Travers first introduced the world to the no-nonsense nanny in her 1934 children’s book “Mary Poppins.” However, the subsequent adventures of Mary Poppins remained only on the pages of the seven other PL Travers’ books…until now. “Mary Poppins Returns” is drawn from the wealth of material in these additional books. The film takes place in 1930s Depression-era London 24 years after the first film was set. Michael Banks works for the same financial institution that employed his father and still lives at 17 Cherry Tree Lane with his three children, Annabel, John and Georgie and their housekeeper Ellen. Carrying on in her mother’s tradition, Jane Banks campaigns for workers’ rights and provides a helping hand to Michael’s family. When the family suffers a personal loss, Mary Poppins magically re-enters their lives and with Jack’s help, brings joy and wonder back into their home.

“Mary Poppins Returns” will be released in S.A. theaters on December 28, 2018.