Disney twenty-three will take readers 4.4 light years away to visit the breathtaking Pandora – The World of Avatar. Opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27, this new land will transport guests into the epic creations first seen in James Cameron’s 2007 blockbuster, Avatar. Readers will set out on a behind-the-scenes look at Pandora with the creative team responsible for this unprecedented project, including Walt Disney Imagineering’s Joe Rohde, Cameron, and Avatar producer Jon Landau. “We didn’t build sets of all this stuff when we made the movie. It was all in a computer,” James Cameron remarked in an exclusive interview with Disney twenty-three. “So, to be able to walk around it in full-scale? It’s unfathomable. We’re literally on Pandora! I’m on Pandora! It was a pinch-me moment to ensure I was really awake and actually in the world we had created.”
In addition to the cover featuring Pandora – The World of Avatar, the summer issue, exclusively for Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, has a second, spine-tingling cover with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Javier Bardem and Kaya Scodelario reveal what it was like to join the Pirates crew, as they set sail on an all-new adventure with Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Orlando Bloom. Cars newcomer Cristela Alonzo talks about joining the high-octane franchise. And Chris Hemsworth shares what it’s like going head-to-head with Hulk in this fall’s Thor: Ragnarok.
Walt Disney Imagineering’s Steven Davison and Kim Irvine give readers a first look at the triumphant return of Fantasmic! and Disneyland’s Rivers of America; enjoy a tour of Duckburg with the creative team behind the upcoming reimaginedDuckTales for Disney XD; and return to the beautiful art of Bambi in honor of its 75th anniversary year, created by Disney Legend Tyrus Wong and other influential Disney artists.
Also included in the summer issue of Disney twenty-three:
- A tour of Golden Oak Ranch, one of Disney’s most storied filming locations
- Popular Disney myths busted
- A celebration of Disney’s most innovative films, attractions, and experiments
- A toy-filled edition of “From the Desk of” as we tour John Lasseter’s office at Pixar Animation Studios
- Regular features including A Walk with Walt, D Society, and Ask Dave
Plus, all D23 Gold Members will receive a Na’vi translator card featuring the Shaman of Songs, the character featured on the attraction Na’vi River Journey. This card is a collectible on its own and, when used with the Na’vi language translator device (available at Pandora this summer), will tell the guest how to say the words in the Na’vi language.
Disney twenty-three, which is delivered directly to fans’ doorsteps, is offered exclusively to D23 Gold and Gold Family Members as a benefit of their membership. The latest issue will begin arriving in mid-May.
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm