Disney today revealed a sneak peek at some of the new collections and limited-edition sets attendees can get their hands on during D23 Expo 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center from Aug 23–25. During the show, fans can scoop up never- before-seen collections across the three Disney-operated retail shops on the Expo floor: shopDisney.com | Disney store, The Dream Store, and Mickey’s of Glendale.
D23 Expo 2019 attendees will be introduced to new collections that celebrate milestone anniversaries and fan-favorite characters across Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel along with must-have official D23 Expo 2019 gear and accessories, nostalgic Disney Parks-inspired items, and limited-edition collectibles celebrating Walt Disney Imagineering’s heritage.
Below are highlights of some of the exciting merchandise fans will be able to purchase at the show. To purchase tickets to the Expo, visit D23Expo.com.
ShopDisney.com | Disney store – Home to the widest assortment of Disney merchandise for everyone in the family, D23 Expo 2019 merchandise will give fans a wide variety of specially curated collections and limited-edition (LE) series with a behind-the-scenes twist. Honoring some of Disney’s biggest legacies, here is a snapshot of what fans will see:
- Disney Designer Collection: Midnight Masquerade Series – The fan-favorite series returns with a new twist and features doll sets of Tiana and Naveen, Giselle and Edward, and Aurora and Phillip. Rapunzel, Belle, Meg, Cinderella, and Esmeralda will also be included. In addition to dolls, fans can pick up pin sets, stationery, mug and plate sets, and more
- Legacy Collection – This LE collection will celebrate anniversaries and milestones for some of the most beloved Disney characters and films including:
- Donald Duck 85th – Plush, collectible pins, a retro T-shirt, varsity jacket, hat, and more
- Silly Symphony 90th – Spirit Jersey shirt, retro T-shirt, pins, and more
- The Lion King 25th – Celebrate the wonder that is The Lion King with LE collectibles, plush, litho set, and more
- The Little Mermaid 30th – Celebrate 30 years of The Little Mermaid with journals, ornament sets, pins, apparel, dolls, and more
- Take home a LE “Talking Woody,” “Talking Jessie,” and “Talking Bullseye,” along with a LE plush set of Ellie and Carl in their “Adventure Book” and much more
- Backstage Collection – Go “Backstage” for a behind-the-scenes look into DisneyPixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Walt Disney Animation Studios to celebrate the artistry, legends, and rich heritage of The Walt Disney Company.
- Disney Backstage Collection Subscription Box – D23 Expo guests will be among the first to see and order the new Disney Backstage Collection subscription box, which celebrates the artistry of Disney through limited-release T-shirts, pins, and more, delivered to your doorstep—all in a custom-designed
- Walt Disney Animation Studios “Under the Hat” – LE Wreck-It Ralph Shadow Box, mug, and sketchbook
- Disney•Pixar “Under the Lamp” – Pixar campus hat, fleece, tiki crew mug, and more
- Lucasfilm “Behind the Force” – All-new crew jacket and hat along with a LE “Java the Hutt” T-shirt, mug, and more
- Marvel “Behind the Hero” – A LE Black Panther Shadow Box, hat, and more
- Mickey Mouse Shufflerz – Fans can extend their “Mickey Mouse Memories” collections with the new Mickey Mouse Shufflerz that highlight Mickey through the years—pressing the top of the figures 10 times causes them to “shuffle” along their way! Pick up the LE 13-pack or single
The Dream Store – Jam-packed with D23 Expo 2019-themed official merchandise and other specialty items from Disney Theme Park Merchandise, The Dream Store returns with something magical for Disney fans of all ages. This year, guests will discover whimsical assortments inspired by the Dapper Dan’s, Main Street, U.S.A., and iconic Mickey balloons on a variety of items including apparel, art and collectibles, accessories, pins, and more! The Dream Store is a Disney enthusiast’s dream come true. Highlights include:
- Dapper Dan’s – This collection features a “Dapper Dress” from Her Universe along with adult T-shirts, a Spirit Jersey shirt, pins, plush, Funko POP figures, and much more
- Mickey Balloons – Evoking the feeling you get as you stroll down Main Street, U.S.A., the Mickey Balloons lend their iconic look to an assortment that includes adult apparel, a Spirit Jersey shirt, skirt from Her Universe, hats, mugs, accessories, and more
- Official D23 Expo 2019 Gear – Swing by to grab official 2019 D23 Expo gear and apparel including T-shirts, a Lounge Fly mini-backpack, hat, pins, and more!
Mickey’s of Glendale – Mickey’s of Glendale, the Walt Disney Imagineering store, returns with two stores for three days only for D23 Expo attendees at the Anaheim Convention Center:
- Mickey’s of Glendale Main Store – Mickey’s of Glendale will feature exclusive merchandise designed by Imagineers, including hats, T-shirts, accessories, and more. Additionally, Guests will have the opportunity to shop limited-edition collectibles celebrating Walt Disney Imagineering’s
- Attraction Quote T-Shirt Collection – An assortment of T-shirts that let fans celebrate the most iconic quotes from their favorite attractions through bold graphics.
- Mickey’s of Glendale Pin Store – Disney pin enthusiasts will want to stop by the Mickey’s of Glendale Pin Store, which will feature a large assortment of limited-edition
Attendees can also head to “Uptown Disney” for an interactive shopping and photo experience, featuring merchandise available through shopDisney.com. In this booth on the showroom floor, fans can shop, snap photos with friends, and discover hidden surprises around every corner and magic in every step. Featured product includes the “Black Leather Collection” from Disney store China along with Marvel’s Iron Man MK50 Robot by UBTech, “The Lion King” Mighty Roar Simba from furReal, The Little Mermaid apparel and accessories, Toy Story 4 apparel from Fifth Sun, new Star Wars items, Mickey Mouse LEGO® Ideas Steamboat Willie set and the relaunch of the Minnie Mouse Dose of Colors collection.
Single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday of D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children 3–9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $77 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Single-day Saturday tickets and three-day passes are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit D23Expo.com.
Dune Part Two: The Lisan Al Gaib comes for you!
Welcome back to our struggle for control of the known universe already in progress, the continuation of the journey of Paul Atreides from exile to Emperor, Dune Part Two!
So when we last left our intrepid if dubious heroes, House Atreides had been betrayed and virtually destroyed, by a combination of House Harkonnens surprise attacks and the added treachery of Emperor Shaddam and his Sardaukar. Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), the last surviving heir (so far) of House Atreides and his mother Jessica, have taken refuge on the desert planet of Arrakis amongst the indigenous Fremen, and as far as most are aware, the other remnants of House Atreides are dead as well. And here is where we catch up with everyone, as the struggle for Atreides emergence and dominance begins in earnest!
The Emperor’s daughter Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh) is known for her many skills, but her copious note-taking and writings on the large events shaping her world come to the forefront as she takes counsel with her father amidst games of chance on their homeworld. Her life is one of luxury and privilege but alas, Irulan is a trained Bene Gesserit and is well aware that in all likelihood, she will be used as a pawn in the marriage games empires have to go through. Bet she never imagined it could be to a House everyone swore had been utterly destroyed.
Meanwhile, on Arrakis, Paul is trying to integrate himself into the Fremen way of life, which is admittedly far different from the life he led back on the Atreides homeworld of Caladan. (If nothing else, Caladan has vast oceans.) The Fremen are fiercely independent, gloriously strong fighters, survivors who dare to ride and revere the giant sandworms that inhabit their planet that they call Shai-Hulud, and rightfully distrustful of outsiders. After all, the previous stewardship of Arrakis belonged to House Harkonnen, known for their cruelty and glee at hunting Fremen and torturing their victims, sometimes for weeks at a time. But Paul won his and Jessicas way into the Fremen by fair combat against Jamis, and if nothing else, the Fremen are firm in their beliefs of the old ways.
Or rather, the elder Fremen are, most particularly the famed Fedaykin fighter and Naib (leader) of Sietch Tabr Stilgar (Javier Bardem) is adamant in his unshakable belief that Paul is the foretold Lisan Al Gaib, the Voice from the Outer World, that will lead the Fremen to peace and paradise. Stilgar’s steadfast belief in Paul’s potential only grows, and he manages with just that to convince a great many of the other Fremen elders. The younger generation of Fremen however, of which Paul’s beloved Chani (Zendaya) is a part, generally scoff at the legends of otherworldly prophets and Arrakis as a fabled green, wet heaven. In the beginning, Paul himself swears he doesn’t want to be the Messiah, only a Fremen fighter amongst the rest of them, hundreds of years of the Missionaria Protectiva, the Bene Gesserit practice of spreading useful religious propaganda as seeds on various planets, is working double-time against him. It doesn’t help that Paul’s mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) is expounding on that myth as much as she possibly can.
And why would she do that? Survival yes, but also, Jessica is a thoroughly trained Bene Gesserit and knows of plans within plans within plans. Jessica also has many secrets of her own, and one very important one happens to be that she’s pregnant with Paul’s sister. The Bene Gesserit bodily control may be something out of legend, but even Jessica, possibly Reverend Mother Mohiam’s best and most fractious student, will have trouble with the trial the Fremen are insisting she go through to become truly one of them. The Reverend Mother equivalent of Sietch Tabr, known as their Sayyadina, is old and dying, and the Fremen have to have a Reverend Mother. Jessica tells Paul this much and explains that each culture is different in their trial to become a Reverend Mother, so she honestly doesn’t know what to expect. The reality happens to be worse than she could’ve imagined – Jessica must drink the Water of Life, a deadly poison that comes from Shai-Hulud (sort of), and come out the other side of it. And Jessica manages to do it, barely, with almost all of the consequences going to the poor fetus in her womb, the girl that will grow to become Alia Atreides, an insane legend in her own right. But for now, the unnamed fetus is awake and aware and full of the memories of generations of Bene Gesserit women that came before her – before she was even born.
Paul participates in razzia raids amongst the Fremen as they work to take out the spice mining operations of the Harkonnens, immerses himself in the vastly different desert culture of his chosen people, and perhaps most importantly, his romance with his beloved Chani only grows stronger. After declaring his desire to join the fierce fighter elites amongst the Fremen known as Fedaykin, Paul is told by Stilgar that he must summon and ride one of the giant sandworms, the embodiment of Shai-Hulud where the Fremen get their terrible tooth Crysknives from. And after much sendup, in a glorious scene of blinding sand and huge monstrous killer worm-riding, Paul is triumphant and riding atop the sacred creature, his Maker hooks set properly to control the great beast, waving at great distance to his fellow Fremen as Chani looks on in bemusement.
But that’s all external, and inside Paul is beginning to become divided on what he wants to do. As Jessica pushes the Protectiva hard amongst the women and priestesses of the Fremen, she is also pushing her son to become much larger than he ever wanted to be, if nothing else a conqueror can take revenge for the destruction of House Atreides and the death of her beloved Duke Leto. Paul may have earned his place amongst the Fremen and been given new names – Usul, meaning the strength of the base of the pillar, as his private name within the Sietch; and Muad’Dib, from the small mouse survivor of the desert, well versed in desert ways, called ‘Instructor-of-Boys’ in Fremen legend, as his open-use name – but now everyone wants Paul to be something greater, and potentially more destructive, than what he currently is. It only gets worse when Paul begins to suffer prophetic dreams, and visions when he’s awake, prodding him further to his destiny as an epic conqueror of worlds. Nothing can be done for it, Paul convinces himself that he must take the Water of Life himself, to awaken the sleeping prophet inside himself, and allow him to hopefully See a path through the future.
The problem with that plan, is that Bene Gesserit are almost exclusively all women, and only they are supposed to know how to transmute poisons internally, along with all sorts of other “witchcraft”. But Jessica has been training Paul in forbidden Bene Gesserit ways all his life, and as much as Paul might rail and even quail against it, there is no denying his incoming destiny, crushing any resistance he may have with all the force of a giant sandworm hunting a spice blow. And even when Paul has finally given in and taken the cursed substance almost mockingly called the Water of Life, it falls to another strong and prophetic in her right female in his life, his beloved Chani, to save him from himself. But even Chani can’t stop Paul’s destructive destiny as the conqueror of the known worlds, guilty of slaying millions upon millions of people in his quest for vengeance, thinly disguised as peace.
Over on the Harkonnen homeworld of Geidi Prime, “Beast” Rabban (Dave Bautista) is disgusted and enraged at the continuing Fremen raids against the Harkonnens on Arrakis, and terrified of what his uncle the notoriously cruel Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), will do to him in response. The Baron’s nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler), heir apparent or na-Baron to House Harkonnen, demonstrates his blood-inborn savagery in a slaughter of the remnants of House Atreides gladiator-style, as his birthday celebration. Pleased with the spectacle, the Baron commands Feyd-Rautha to take control of the fight against this Fremen rebel known as Muad’dib, as Rabban is proving himself more and more useless. And any tool or toy that the Baron finds broken or unusable, is destroyed before being discarded.
As the legend of Muad’dib grows off Arrakis and circulates among the Imperial worlds, the Emperor grinds his teeth in frustration and the Bene Gesserit, led by Reverend Mother Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) as the Emperor’s Truthsayer, begin pushing forward their plots and machinations. Lady Margot Fenring (Lea Seydoux), a criminally underused character in this respect, demonstrates her willingness to be a pawn in Bene Gesserit machinations, but never forget, strong Bene Gesserit women have been breaking their own rules for generations. Just look at what Jessica did.
As the raids and rebellion on Arrakis continue, both the Emperor and the Baron become more and more desperate, sending in mercenaries and smugglers in the hopes they might have more luck. And aboard one of those smuggler’s vessels happens to be an old hand at being a smuggler himself, the warrior troubadour with the scarred face given him by “Beast” Rabban himself, Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin). Reunited with his beloved Duke’s only son, Gurney finds himself swept up in the legend of Muad’dib in the making along with everyone else, though at least from Gurney’s point of view, Paul is using the messianic angle to take revenge for House Atreides.
Finally, in an act of what could be considered the ultimate in arrogance, Emperor Shaddam Corrino himself comes to Arrakis, along with Princess Irulan and many others of his Court, the Baron, and Feyd-Rautha in tow as well, to crush this upstart Muad’dib and his Fremen warriors. Sadly for all that the powerhouse actor Christopher Walken plays him, Emperor Shaddam Corrino is shown as a doddering old man, cowed in the face of Muad’dib’s overwhelming vitality and growing-ever-stronger legend. And there is where we will end the review, for the final confrontation between all key players in the Known Universe is full of spoilers and derivations from the original opus of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune.
For those of you who stuck around long enough to get to the end, after all, Dune Part Two is almost three hours long itself, if you are fans of the original novel and the zany Lynchian masterpiece that was the first Dune film, you may be disappointed or even angered at the changes made to the story for the climactic end scenes. Director Villenuve has an eye for making grand epic scenes like Paul’s sandworm ride but can be a bit scattered when it comes to piecing the story together with all the key players needing to be involved in a way that can be understood by any layman. Dune in any form is a rich, vast universe of storytelling, and even an almost three-hour-long sequel simply can’t cover every last bit that’s in the novels. But if nothing else, the film is an overwhelming feast for the eyes and should bring a whole new legion of fans to the many worlds contained within Dune.
If you want to dive further into the Dune-iverse, do yourself a favor and read the Dune prequel books written by Herbert Jr. and Kevin J. Anderson. Until then, dive into the sands of Arrakis along with Shai-Hulud and scream vengeance to the skies with Paul Muad’dib Atreides in Dune Part Two, in theaters now!
Thatsmye Interviews: Les Weiler on Henchin’: the Series
The 8 Episode Series Tries To Encompass A Lot Leaving Fans In A Cliffhanger.
The 2010 “Avatar: The Last Airbender” movie by M. Night Shyamalan faced criticism for its deviations from the beloved animated series. The film struggled with pacing, casting, and a lackluster script, disappointing fans who cherished the source material. In contrast, the 2024 Netflix series has generated positive buzz for its commitment to diverse casting, adherence to the original storyline, and improved character development. The series seems poised to capture the essence of the animated show, offering a fresh and faithful adaptation that resonates with both new and existing fans.
Even though the Netflix series comes closer to the core ideals of the animated series, I feel it lacks heart. Many scenes barely scratch the surface of the relationships between the characters and the push-and-pull relationship between Aang and Zuko. I will admit the CG versions of Momo and Appa are just so gosh darn cute.
The 8 episode series tries to encompass a lot leaving fans in a cliffhanger. It’s worth a watch and I am hanging on for the next season to be announced.