Tales from the Rumor Mill: Is Slave Leia disappearing for good?

Princess Leia in her seldom- marketed Hoth style.

Princess Leia in her seldom- marketed Hoth style.

Rumors abound that Disney is doing away with merchandise depicting the most popular Star Wars heroine in the outfit she wore when forced into slavery to Jabba the Hutt.

In the wake of Carrie Fisher telling newcomer Daisy Ridley to “keep fighting against that slave outfit,” the rumor that all further Star Wars merchandise will not feature the iconic metal bikini has caused quite the furor online.

Noted Marvel cover artist J. Scott Campbell posted the following on Facebook, which is the primary evidence anyone has for the ban:

JScottCampbellFacebook I don’t think an outright ban is the way to go on this one, but I completely agree it should not be the main outfit we see Princess Leia in.  Additionally, banning the outfit will only add value to existing Slave Leia collectibles, which is probably not the intended outcome.  I’m not that sorry that Leia can’t be drawn in a sexy pose or in the bikini on the comic book covers.  We have so, so, so much art with her in a sexy pose or in the bikini that it might be nice to force artists to be a bit more creative in their depictions of her.   I wonder if the Marvel ban comes from too much of the art for Leia being submitted being too sexy, creating the need for a ban to produce different results? I need to point out that the constant depictions of her in that outfit are seldom when she’s actually killing Jabba, which is a pretty awesome character moment for her.

I think the best solution is to simply not prioritize this outfit over everything else she’s worn.  The merchandising has admittedly over-emphasized this particular outfit of Leia’s, which is probably why annoyance and outrage abound.  Scaling back for a little while would probably be more productive than an outright ban, and much less attractive for clickbait and headlines.  For the first 2-3 years, the only female figure in the 6-inch  Black Series of prestige action figures was Slave Leia (this changed sometime in late 2014 or early 2015, when Leia’s Boushh outfit debuted. Rey has since been added, with Captain Phasma announced.) For a woman as strong, intelligent, and courageous as Leia, why emphasize the only outfit that is skin-baring and something she wore while enslaved?

What do you think?  Is it Disney/ Marvel’s corporate pandering taking things too far, or a saving throw for Leia’s character to finally get a fair depiction in the merchandise?

Edit: A reader found the question I asked unclear.  There has been backlash against Slave Leia toys in the past year, but on a very small level (I can only find one parent who complained.)  I have edited the question at the end of this post to read: “Disney/Marvel’s corporate pandering” instead of “social justice warriors.” I apologize for the confusion.

Have a Pretty Nerdy Halloween: Last Minute Costumes for You and Yours

Patterns from zombiepumpkins.com Rexy carved by me, Freddy carved by +2 Comedy's Noah.

Patterns from zombiepumpkins.com Rexy carved by me, Freddy carved by +2 Comedy’s Noah.

It’s Halloween!  Tomorrow, anyway, which means you’ve lost your chance to have anything shipped to your house.  The Halloween stores are a den of picked-over sadness, and you have a party to go to.  What are some quick-and-nerdy ideas you can throw together without budget busting?



  • Steven, Steven Universe: Red T-shirt with a little yellow fabric paint.  Red flip flops.  A ukelele if you can borrow one.  However, be prepared for possible Tumblr fallout should you go in this direction.
  • Chanel Oberlin, Scream Queens: To be Chanel, you can’t be too over-the top.  Raid a Forever 21 for pretend couture, or just get a ridiculous skirt and make a KKT t-shirt.
  • The Penguin, Gotham. Get a nice dark suit (skirt suit is fine!) an umbrella, and a cane.  Lots and lots of hair gel.  Be sure to practice that limp.
  • Waldo:  Striped shirt, glasses, hat.
  • Catwoman: All black (catsuit optional) with a black mask and cat ears.
  • Doc Brown- crazy hair, white lab coat, best Christopher Lloyd impression you can do.
  • Marty McFly- denim or chambray shirt matched with a red puffer vest.
  • Wrestler of your choice- if you have the shirt, the rest is usually closet couture.  John Cena gear is particularly easy to come by.


I’m just going to link my Valentine’s Day cosplay article here.


  • Disney Princesses as (X) Sailor Scouts, Star Wars characters, pinup girls, high school students, superheroes, anything you can think of- just color code things you and your friends already own!  Look at the eighteen million Buzzfeed articles on the subject.
  • That being said, My Little Ponies as anything.  Again, color coding is everything.  You might need to brave the Halloween store for a wig for everyone except Applejack, but that’s a risk you’ve gotta be willing to take.
  • The Kappas, Scream Queens.  See entry for Chanel Oberlin under “singles” and repeat as many times as needed.  #3 MUST have earmuffs.
  • The Scooby Gang: either one, from the original cartoon series OR Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Retro Nick Characters- an old plaid shirt and  sweatshirt will make you a fine Arnold, and white short-shorts, a sky blue tee, and a screwdriver will make you Tommy Pickles faster than you can say “wait, that show debuted WHAT YEAR?!”
  • Peanuts (but for the love of everything holy don’t be like the Today Show)
Is Matt Lauer Lucy? What? What is even happening here?

Is Matt Lauer Lucy? What? What is even happening here?


Variant Covers: Part One: DC/ Monsters


After the success of the movie-inspired covers, DC Comics hopes to again entice comics readers to buy single issues with variant covers aplenty.  In October, the second (annual?) Monsters collection will launch.  25 variants will launch in all,  but I’m going to pick best 5 and worst 5.  I’m not into horror art for horror art’s sake, so my opinions aren’t objective.

Overall, 2014 offered a better group as far as strong, scary, iconic images.

(Editorial Note: Yes, some of these images are watermarked as belonging to other sites.  DC utilized these sites to announce these covers, and some of the sites watermarked the images.  I’d prefer to leave them whole with the watermark than pretend I have any right to them.)




Action Comics #45
This is a beauty that brings to mind an old pulp fiction book or B-movie, and its artistic style really, really sets it apart from the pack.  This is also the most plausible of the lot, if Superman was not seen as entirely “good.”


Flash #45
Strong, weird art style that sets it apart from the gory quasi-realistic thing most of the covers go for.  It’s very weird, but I really like it.


Harley Quinn #21
The Mummy is an interesting choice for Harley, and a fun one.  Points for the mallet/ pistol sarcophagus and the mummified pigtails.


Starfire #5
Again, a weird choice of monster, but strong, eye-catching art that highlights a lesser-known heroine in a great way.  The white background will also set it apart from the largely darker covers.  I’m also a big fan of the fact that this isn’t sexualized in any way, and is really just a cool battle cover for her.  This would be my favorite, except the next one is just so good.


Superman/ Wonder Woman #22
Come on.  This one is just so damn cool.  Wonder Woman is a harpy, and Superman as a Minotaur- classical monsters for classical heroes.  It’s a strong, iconic cover that really cements these two as the heroes through the ages, while there are clearly a lot of nods to Greek mythology all over Wonder Woman’s mythos and history.  Strong, beautiful cover that will certainly make you look twice.




Black Canary #5
You guys, I am so over zombies.  This brings nothing to the table.  It’s a pretty girl zombie!  Eating a brain!  We should have really gone Siren for this one, since her sonic scream is her trademark.  The style is nothing to write home about, either, which is a shame.


Green Lantern #45
No, really guys.  SO OVER zombies.  I like the use of white space and the lantern logo in blood, but the art itself is just not attractive.  It’s also just unimaginative.  “What should we do with Green Lantern?”  “Oh, I don’t know.  Make him a zombie.  People still like zombies, right?”


Grayson #13
On the other hand, this is too attractive.  If I didn’t know this were a monster variant series, I wouldn’t have realized it.  It’s not a strong enough image, and it’s not visually interesting.  No effort in this at all.  He looks like Prince Eric wearing a wetsuit.


Justice League of America #5
Actually, most of this cover is pretty cool, drawing inspiration from the Universal Monsters of Yore.  However, why is Cyborg a horse?  There is no reason at all, when either Frankenstein’s monster or the Phantom of the Opera would have been logical choices (the Phantom’s half mask could be evocative of Cyborg’s, well, cyborg-ness.)  Good cover felled by one very weird artistic choice.


Aquaman #45
I couldn’t figure out that this was Aquaman initially.  This cover feels incoherent and weird, with a complete lack of menace or humor.  A monster cover should have at least one of those things.   The concept of Aquaman-as-sea-monster is good and the art style could have worked, but the botched execution killed this one.  I would have preferred something comparing Aquaman to Nessie.





This feels like a joke that got passed around some artists got submitted for a cover.  It’s really doesn’t fit into the theme, unlike Mephistopheles-Sinestro from 2014.  However, it’s a good execution of a Grumpy Cat Sinestro.  Maybe DC will do a meme variant series next year.


See all of the covers here!

D23: What We Learned, Part Four: Everything Else


Okay, so this is the catch-all, kids.  What doesn’t fall into the movies or theme parks comes here, to this humble final installment.  This will be presented in the order in which I care:



  • This was it for me.  I’ve always liked the idea of Kingdom Hearts more than the Gameplay, but if you toss Rapunzel and Baymax in, I’m buying.
  • Baymax appeared all in black, with the idea being that this was the original Baymax who sacrificed himself to save Hiro in the film.

Rey and Finn. Finn is holding a blaster, not a lightsaber. Hmmmmm.

Disney Infinity 3.0

  • Confirmed new characters: Peter Pan, Spot (but not Arlo- The Good Dinosaur) Finn and Rey (The Force Awakens) Judy and Nick (Zootopia) and Hulkbuster and Ultron (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
  • Confirmed new playsets: Marvel Battleground and The Force Awakens
  • Four player will be enabled for the Marvel playset
  • Disney MagicBands will unlock the famous Partners statue from the Magic Kingdom.


Magic Kingdoms

  • Mobile app that lets you build your own theme park
  • Will have plot elements- Maleficent and company decide to wreck your theme park, because that’s what they do now.


Star Wars Battlepods/ Battlefront

  • These were showcased as an immersive video game experience.
  • These are already out in the wild, incidentally.  I’ve seen one in person in Ocean City.
  • They’re a little claustrophobic, and one player called them “like a movie I sort of interacted with.”
  • There’s going to be a Darth Vader skinned PS4 released with Star Wars: Battlefront

John Lasseter Studio Collection

  • Lasster’s ridiculous Hawaiian shirt collection was on display, and they’re actually pretty neat to look at.




D23: What We Learned, Part Three: Theme Parks


With pretty much the entirety of Hollywood Studios having closed in the last year and a half,  people were expecting some pretty big things from D23.

The Mouse delivered.  Instead of release dates, we’re just going to list by project, since several of these cover multiple parks, and most of them don’t have any kind of release date anyhow.


Picture from Disney Parks Blog

Picture from Disney Parks Blog

Jungle Cruise Skipper Canteen, Magic Kingdom (late 2015)

  • Full Name will be Jungle Navigation Company Limited Skipper Canteen, and no one will ever call it that.
  • Was under construction for months before it was announced
  • Supposedly going to have more international flavors in its cuisine (Asian, African, and/ or South American)
  • Will be staffed by Jungle Cruise skippers, so expect lots of terrible puns.
  • Like Be Our Guest, it will have multiple themed rooms, such as a crew mess hall and a secret meeting room.
  • Unknown yet if it will be table service or counter service.


Toy Story Land, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Will expand on existing Pixar Place area
  • In this land, you are a toy, shrunk down to play in Andy’s backyard
  • Two new rides have been announced: a space shuttle mission with the Little Green Men, and a Slinky Dog coaster I may already be in line for.
  • How did this take 20 years for them to do?


Star Wars Lands, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland (no one knows)

  • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues will be updated to include prequel characters and situations, but they are not deleting any of the old tracks.  The ride will still be randomized.  Guess I will have to ride it thirty times.
  • The prequels and the Disney XD cartoon Rebels will be incorporated into the Jedi Training Academy storylines at both parks
  • We’re getting a Millennium Falcon ride!
  • We’re also getting a Space Battle ride.
  • We know very little about this, and it will take a really, really long time to build.
  • We’re getting the Cantina we’ve been begging them to turn Backlot Express into.

Concept Art, obviously, but wouldn’t that be rad.


Rivers of Light and Sunset Safaris, Animal Kingdom (Spring 2016)

  • In an effort to keep Animal Kingdom from being dismissed as a partial-day park, Disney is trying to up their game by adding more nighttime activities
  • Rivers of Light will be a mixed media show of, well, water and light, as well as dancers and fire.
  • Hyenas and African wild dogs are being added to the safari, which will add some nocturnal flair to the usually daytime event.
  • I really am hesitant about both the ethics and logistics about bothering the animals for nighttime.


Pandora: The World of Avatar (formerly known as Avatarland) Animal Kingdom (2017)

  • Instead of re-enacting the movie, the aim of this seems to be to bring people onto Pandora and let them have their own adventure, like Star Tours vs. Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Announced rides include the Flight of Passage, where you ride the back of a banshee and look over Pandora.
  • Currently under construction


Season of the Force, Disneyland (late 2015/ early 2016)

  • Hyperspace Mountain is an overlay that will appear during the upcoming “Season of the Force” event, which I can only hope ties in the Star Wars holiday special, and is at the moment only announced for Disneyland
  • Please still be there when I go to Cali.
  • Both parks will feature the Star Wars Launch Bay, a walkthrough exhibit and playground featuring art, props, characters, and of course merchandise.  This is set to take over the Animation Courtyard of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Tomorrowland in Disneyland.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will showcase a new fireworks show set to the soundtracks of the iconic films.


Instead of a poorly edited picture, here's Patrick Warburton instead.

Instead of a poorly edited picture, here’s Patrick Warburton instead.

Soarin’ Around the World, EPCOT and California Adventure (2016)

  • This incredibly popular attraction is getting an update to become a worldwide adventure, instead of just California.
  • Expected to arrive 2016 (probably to coincide with the long-awaited third theater for the EPCOT ride in hopes to cut down wait times.)
  • Every web site has a poorly Photoshopped picture of the ride vehicle over a landmark

D23: What We Learned, Part Two: Live Action Movies!


If we’re being honest, it’s still Monday while I’m writing Tuesday’s post.  Further to be honest, the live-action presentation gave tiny little morsels of information, but a lot of scraps.  Same deal as yesterday.  Going by release date, some pictures, some run-down.  Let’s move.

Disney's 2015-2017 release slate.  Golly, they seem busy.

Disney’s 2015-2017 release slate. Golly, they seem busy.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 15, 2015)

All hail Drew Struzan.

All hail Drew Struzan.

  • Honestly, the biggest reveal here was the gorgeous Drew Struzan poster.
  • John Boyega’s Finn will wield a lightsaber (I thought/ hoped it would be Daisy Ridley’s Rey)
  • Most of the big Star Wars news will show up later.
  • Honestly, the Fall Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly had more information.

Finest Hours (January 29, 2016)

  • This is the “you don’t even go here” presentation.
  • Finest Hours is the only non-franchise release here, and it’s a man vs. nature story with Chris Pine.
  • I can’t make it clearer how little I care about this movie.
  • The January release date shows Disney doesn’t really care about it, either.
Very, very pretty and evocative.  Outside of the Marvel Photoshopped messes, their poster game is on point.

Very, very pretty and evocative. Outside of the Marvel Photoshopped messes, their poster game is on point.

The Jungle Book (April 15, 2016)

  • The voice cast for this film is stunning.  Bill Murray is Baloo, Scarlett Johanssen is Kaa, Idris Elba is Shere Khan, Christopher Walken is King Louie, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha the wolf, and Ben Kingsley is Bagheera…did they let the internet cast this movie?
  • Jon Favreau is directing
  • The trailer was INCREDIBLY well-received.
  • Ben Kingsley dropped this incredible line: “I worked with a child and I played an animal and I would say, anytime. You have my number.”
  • This might be the surprise gem of the group.  A lot of people rolled their eyes (me included) when this was announced.


A really nifty graphic of D23 thanking the fans for Marvel Phase 2's completion.

A really nifty graphic of D23 thanking the fans for Marvel Phase 2’s completion.

Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2015)

  • We got some footage, but nothing substantial, outside of the introduction of Expendable Marvel villain #285 Crossbones.
  • There’s an extension of the Ant-Man stinger that’s absolutely heartbreaking, with Cap trying to get Bucky to remember him.
  • We get to see Ant-Man meet the rest of the team, with predictable charming Paul Rudd result.
  • The main conflict is set up (and was set up in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot in Ant-Man) of heroes needing to be regulated and controlled.  Ant-Man had a newspaper with “Who’s to blame for Sokovia?” as a headline.
  • Disney is really, really, really good at keeping pirates out.  Jesus.  I can’t find this footage anywhere
  • Beware- there are a lot of fake trailers online.
  • Entertainment weekly has the best rundown of all of this footage


Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27, 2016)

  • Everyone’s back, and Sacha Baron Cohen is joining the cast as Time, who might be a villain.
  • Alice has to go back in time to save Mad Hatter…from…going darker…I guess?
  • From the picture gallery, this presentation looked hilariously lazy.  Most of the art consisted of promotional art from the previous film.  This had to have started filming for a May release, right
  • Right?
  • The posters at least equally show Alice and Hatter this time, though I’m sure that will change by the time full promotional materials are out.
  • James Bobin is directing, not Tim Burton.

The BFG (July 1, 2016)

  • Why do we know next to nothing about a movie that is being directed by Steven Spielberg?!  With the screenwriter of E.T.?
  • Again, this puppy must have started filming by now
  • Is it because it’s a dual financing project with Dreamworks?
  • The IMDB page knows more about this movie than this presentation did.  Effffff.
  • If you Google Image search, you can find really bad blurry images of a banner, and that’s about it.
The cast.  No one in the credits is named Elliott.  So is Karl Urban the dragon?

The cast. No one in the credits is named Elliott. So is Karl Urban the dragon?

Pete’s Dragon

  • So, this movie is happening.
  • The plot seems to diverge strongly from the original, with Pete being a child who lives in the forest instead of a small town, protected by a dragon that we obviously never see.
  • Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford are playing Grace and her father, respectively, who I assume are an update of Nora and the drunken lighthouse keeper Lampie.
  • The trailer footage ends with a child’s hand petting something big and furry.  You know.  Big furry dragons.



Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016)

  • Some casting news: Tilda Swinton is playing the Ancient One, while Chiwetel Ejiofor is Mordo.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch turned up in a pre-recorded presentation to make the following promise in regard to the film: “Girls, cars, explosions, astral projection into multiple realms. The usual.”
  • No footage was revealed, because there isn’t any yet (Strange doesn’t shoot til November of this year.)
  • The origin story remains intact: “a wounded surgeon seeking alternate ways to heal his destroyed hands finds his way to a mystical Eastern sanctuary that leads him to an order that holds the keys to another dimension.” (Entertainment Weekly)


You win.  I'm excited about this.

You win. I’m excited about this.

Star Wars: Rogue One (December 16, 2016)

  • Star Wars: Rogue One is a midquel featuring The Theory of Everything’s Felicity Jones as the leader of a Rebel squadron attempting to steal plans for the Original Death Star, setting up the events of A New Hope.
  • Midquel means it’s the Lion King 1 1/2 of the galaxy.
  • The movie started shooting in early August, gifting us with the above full-cast photo
  • Though Jones is the only woman of the announced cast, it’s not a cast full of scruffy, rugged white guys!  Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, and Riz Ahmed, and surprise Hannibal alum Mads Mikkelsen (because I guess he’s not busy nowadays.)  Alan Tudyk tags along as a motion capture character.


Beauty and the Beast (March 17, 2017)

  • We’re getting two new songs from Alan Menken and Tim Rice (the team behind Aladdin.)
  • It’s definitely a musical
  • They’re still filming, so no cast members appeared.
  • I want this movie to be good really really badly, since this was my favorite movie growing up.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Star Wars Episode VIII:

  • Hey, these extensions of franchises you love?  Not even mentioned.  Womp womp.
  • Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow’s third movie ever is going to be Star Wars Episode IX. Movin’ on up.

D23 EXPO 2015 - D23 EXPO, the ultimate Disney fan event, brings together all the past, present and future of Disney entertainment under one roof. Taking place August 14-16, this year marks the fourth D23 EXPO at the Anaheim Convention Center and promises to be the biggest and most spectacular yet. (Disney/Image Group LA) JOHNNY DEPP

Pirates of the Caribbean V: Dead Men Tell No Tales (July 7, 2017)

  • Orlando Bloom is coming back as Will Turner, because he’s out of Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies.
  • Geoffrey Rush is returning as friend/rival/apple enthusiast Hector Barbossa, also known as the only really good villain in the franchise.
  • Javier Bardem is joining as Captain Salazar.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a good strong villain in this one?
  • No word on Keira Knightley returning- maybe this takes place before the stinger at the end of At World’s End in the ten years at sea?
  • Johnny Depp trotted out in full Jack Sparrow costume, because he lives in it anyway.


D23 EXPO 2015 - D23 EXPO, the ultimate Disney fan event, brings together all the past, present and future of Disney entertainment under one roof. Taking place August 14-16, this year marks the fourth D23 EXPO at the Anaheim Convention Center and promises to be the biggest and most spectacular yet. (Disney/Image Group LA) LUPITA NYONG'O, SEAN BAILEY

Queen of Katwe (no idea, and IMDB doesn’t know either)

  • We got a full presentation on this, despite the fact that there is no release date.
  • Probably because Lupita Nyong’o was already there for Star Wars and Jungle Book.
  • This is the story of a real-life Ugandan chess prodigy named Phiona Mutesi.  Nyong’o plays her mother, while Selma’s David Oyelowo plays her coach.
  • Phiona herself seems to be uncast, which makes this look pretty unlikely for a 2016 release, unless we get very close to the end of the year.


Thus mercifully concludes today’s coverage, in which you learn almost nothing about anything, but promised you’d cover it.  Jungle Book does look pretty rad, though.

D23: What We Learned, Part One: The Animated Movies


This weekend, D23 took over Anaheim.  The premiere convention for Disney freaks, Disney has been utilizing this convention over other venues such as San Diego to announce new projects and update us on the ones still in the pipeline.  This is almost all we’re doing this week, folks Let’s get started.  I’m going to try to work by release date here.

You came here for dinosaurs.

You came here for dinosaurs.

The Good Dinosaur (November 16, 2015)

  • The Good Dinosaur had a long haul to release, and was supposed to be released before Inside Out.
  • Pretty much all voice actors were recast.
  • Arlo, the titular dino, will be swept down river from his home, and he and feral human child Spot must find their way home.
  • Arlo has become much younger than the originial drafts, creating a “boy and his dog” feeling between the dinosaur and Spot.
  • Has been described as a “Road Trip movie”
  • Nature is as much a character in this movie as anyone, and the contrast between the cartoonish characters and the frankly gorgeous landscapes will be integral to conveying that.
Travel posters for the districts in Zootopia.

Travel posters for the districts in Zootopia.

Zootopia (March 2016)

  • We found out a little more about the plot of this movie.  It seems Jason Bateman’s fox, Nick Wilde (the most on-the-nose last name ever for an animal movie) has been framed for a crime, police officer and bunny Judy Hopps (okay, maybe that’s the most on-the-nose last name ever) is after him, and then something happens and they’re best friends.
  • The setting sounds super interesting- Zootopia is a city divided into districts based on climate for animals to live comfortably.
  • This film is very much a comedy, more than most of the films on this list.
  • Shakira will be performing a song (as a pop star/ Gazelle)
D23 EXPO 2015 - D23 EXPO, the ultimate Disney fan event, brings together all the past, present and future of Disney entertainment under one roof. Taking place August 14-16, this year marks the fourth D23 EXPO at the Anaheim Convention Center and promises to be the biggest and most spectacular yet. (Disney/Image Group LA) LINDSEY COLLINS, ANGUS MACLANE, ANDREW STANTON, ED O'NEILL, TY BURRELL, KAITLIN OLSON, ELLEN DEGENERES


Finding Dory (June 17, 2016)

  • This movie was pushed back from this year when Good Dinosaur was pushed back, but without the troubled production
  • This movie seeks to answer the question: where is Dory’s family?  Why was she alone when she met Marlin and Nemo?
  • Lots of new characters are being introduced: Ed O’Neill as a grumpy octopus, Ty Burrell as a hypochodriac beluga(?) whale, and Kaitlyn Olson as a well-meaning whale shark (seen above with the new voice cast members.)


Moana (November 2016)

  • Dwayne Johnson announced his involvement back in the springtime via Instagram, but his character has been confirmed as Maui, a legendary demi-god who teams up with the title character on her voyage
  • Moana will be the daughter of navigators and chiefs, and is going to set out to look for a legendary island.
  • Moana will officially be a member of the Disney Princess line (probably in 2017-2018, as Elsa and Anna still haven’t been officially added)
  • Moana will be a musical, with Tony-winning Lin Manuel Miranda
  • Moana is pronounced Mo-WAN-a.
  • You can watch a video of the performance below



Toy Story 4 (June 16, 2017)

  • Toy Story 4 will be a romantic comedy between Woody and Bo Peep.  I do not have words for how happy this makes me.
  • Rashida Jones and Will McCormick of Celeste and Jesse Forever will be writing, because John Lasseter wanted a strong female voice
  • We know VERY little else, including whether Woody and Bo have been reunited after the Events of Toy Story 3, or whether this takes place before the toys left Andy.  The news sources I have seen implu the former, while the poster’s iconic wallpaper seems to imply the latter, which looks to me like we’re all going on a feels trip and I will be broken for an entire summer.


D23 EXPO 2015 - D23 EXPO, the ultimate Disney fan event, brings together all the past, present and future of Disney entertainment under one roof. Taking place August 14-16, this year marks the fourth D23 EXPO at the Anaheim Convention Center and promises to be the biggest and most spectacular yet. (Disney/Image Group LA) DOROTHY MCKIM, NATHAN GRENO

Image Credit: Disney 

Gigantic (2018)

  • It’s Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack is a grown man, and the giant who catches him is 11-year old Imma
  • Kristen Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez will be writing the music for this movie, and performed a song called “My Little Man.”
  • Disney is freakishly good at not letting any of these things get pirated.  My God.  I tried to find this video for you, I really did.


Coco (2018)

  • This is Pixar’s Dia de los Muertos movie.
  • the main character will be a little boy named Miguel who unravels a generations-old mystery.  So, like, if ParaNorman and Book of Life had a baby that actually made some money.
  • I learned Disney owns Grim Fandango today, and I’m really just mad this isn’t a Grim Fandango movie.

Tune in the rest of this week to see what we learned about Live-Action films and Disney Theme Parks!

Breaking: Star Wars and Cover Girl team up this September


(Disclaimer:  No one is paying me to write this, but if anyone wants to send me free makeup, I’ll totally take it.)


On September 4th (a full three months and change ahead of the new film,) Cover Girl will launch six lipsticks, three nail polishes, and two mascaras based on the evergreen merchandising opportunity that is Star Wars.

The lipsticks are named simply:  Gold, Red, Violet, Nude, Lilac, and Silver.  The nail polishes are Speed of Light (which is a fairly greige color) Nemesis (a dark plummy red) and Red Revenge…which is red.

The mascaras are much plainer:  Dark side is regular, and Light Side is waterproof.  But each one has a quote on the side: collect all 10!


covergirl-star-wars-limited-edition-mascara-iconic-quotes-VAs a geek who likes makeup and has a shameful addiction to ridiculous movie product tie-ins, I’m essentially the target audience for this, but I can’t help but feel like this is a little lazy.  Like, seriously?  The lipstick colors  could have been named way more creatively.  For a collection launching in three weeks, I haven’t seen a thing about them.  They stuck a logo on the packaging and expected us to collect ten mascaras because they all have a different quote on them.

Where’s the cute eyeshadow palette?  The nifty eyeliners that look like lightsabers?  A blush stick shaped like my beloved R2-D2?  Come on, guys.  I’m barely even trying and I’ve come up with three solid ideas.

That being said, I’m going to buy a lipstick or two.

It’s still not as bad as the Capitol Makeup collection they launched three years ago for The Hunger Games.

(Source: allure.com)

Defending Claire: Jurassic World Review



In a post Mad Max: Fury Road world, we’re coming to an interesting crossroads.  The almost universally adored portrayal of Imperator Furiosa has given feminist movie fans their biggest heroine since Mako Mori climbed into a Jaeger.   However, the interesting side effect is that female characters who have presented more of a three-dimensional personality than past popcorn movies are being dismissed as sexist.  Think about the rampant criticism of Widow in Age of Ultron.  Go back and read this if you forgot.

I’ve taken about a week to think long and hard about Claire Dearing, and I had to look up her last name.  The villain (Hoskins) is straight-up evil.  The owner of the park (Simon Masrani)  is idealistic. The kids (Gray and Zach) are generic (one’s young, perceptive, and precocious!  one’s girl-crazy and always on his phone!) The parents (Karen and Scott) are concerned. Owen (Grady) is a really, really long audition tape for Chris Pratt to play Indiana Jones.  I don’t know Plucky Comic Relief Tech’s name (it’s Lowery,) nor do I know  Female Control Room Computer Assistant (Vivian) . The point I’m making is: Claire aside, none of the characters in this movie are fleshed out very well.

Let’s address the major complaints against Claire:  Spoilers, obviously

Her clothes

Claire wears a striking white outfit to work, on a day where she has an important meeting with Verizon Wireless to sponsor the Indominous Rex.  She wears a white skirt suit and heels.  This is an appropriate outfit for a business meeting where one looks to seem polished and professional.  Is this an appropriate outfit for outrunning dinosaurs?  No.  Did Claire come to work expecting to outrun a dinosaur?  Obviously not.  If she had Grady’s job, then yes, her outfit would be really stupid.  Her tying up her shirt and pulling up her sleeves is played for laughs, but how is it any different than the owner of the park deciding to play hero by poorly piloting a helicopter?  Like him, Claire did not wake up that day planning to be an action hero.  It’s simply the role she’s got to take on that day, and unlike Masrani, she nails it.

For some reason, Ellie Satler is being contrasted sharply against Claire, especially in her wardrobe choices.  Ellie is a paleobotanist.  She went to a dinosaur park planning to walk around and explore and be outdoors.  Her clothing reflects that.  Claire’s reflects her plans for her day, too.  Ellie’s handful of feminist one-liners are being touted while Claire literally facing down a T-Rex is dismissed.

Her ability to run in heels is actually focused on- the camera makes sure to tell us she’s still wearing them when she outruns Rexy late in the film.  Owen tells her she’s not going to make it in those shoes, but she does.  A man tells Claire she can’t, but she does. Bryce Dallas Howard was the one who insisted Claire keep her shoes, explaining that she felt they symbolized Claire’s femininity.  Howard did not feel Claire should eschew her femininity as she grew into her role as hero.  As for the practicality? Claire is probably running on pure adrenaline at this point- somehow, I feel like the next day she’s not up to any running in heels, instead huddling with her family.

The Kiss and Ensuing Relationship

After fighting off a dinosaur that is attempting to kill Owen, Claire receives a kiss.  Again, adrenaline.  Owen is obviously attracted to Claire, as he establishes in the first scene they share.  She is uncomfortable around him because he has decided her very personality is a flaw. They are forced to team up because that’s what happens in movies.  As for the kiss,  Ms Magazine derides this moment as the reduction of Claire to sex object, but I disagree.  In a more traditional film, the leading lady kisses the hero after he saves her life.  This flips the script. Owen doesn’t know how to thank Claire, so he kisses her.  She does not spend any time during the rest of the film mooning over Owen, and is always more concerned with the safety of her sister’s sons.  When the boys gawk at Claire and Owen, she crisply informs them that he is her coworker.  When one of them remarks that “her boyfriend” is a badass, all she does is smirk to herself.  Again, we go back to Black Widow.  A female character can have a romantic interest and still be feminist.   A female character can have romantic interest and still be feministWe don’t really see what happens with Claire and Owen after the events of the day- they seem to be starting a romantic relationship, but again, Owen comes in to look for Claire- she is spending time with her family.  Claire asks where they go from here, and Owen states they should “stick together for survival.”  Who’s to say he doesn’t need Claire for survival, since she saved him from dinosaurs a couple of times?  Who says she doesn’t ask him where they stand because she’s trying to gauge whether their moment of attraction is  adrenaline-fueled or real?

The Transition From Cold Businesswoman to Nuturing Human

The best example I can find of this transition outside of this film is male- Claire’s journey seems to mirror Jurassic Park’s Dr. Alan Grant more than anyone else.  She is caring for children she has no interest in whose parents are divorcing and have shipped them off.  Just like Grant.  She is forced to become protective of two children only once she can’t toss them off to someone else.  Just like Grant.  She grows to care for the children.  Just. Like. Grant. Again, I have the concern that when a female character shows any sort of emotion, we are starting to deride her as non-feminist.  I am not going to call any woman who realizes they like kids after all non-feminist.  Because liking kids is not a feminine OR masculine trait.  Neither is hating kids.  Claire has been handed her sister’s kids with who-knows-how-much-notice, clearly expected by their mother (who we also see at work, standing outside a meeting) to drop everything and take care of them.  On a day where operations are normal, Claire figures a VIP guided tour around a spectacular theme park is entertainment enough for Day 1 of their visit.  Claire and her sister have different priorities.  Claire’s sister bothers me as a character far more than Claire herself does.

Claire’s sister corrects her “if I have kids” to “When you have kids.” This does not speak to Claire, and rather serves to highlight the difference between the sisters.  One is a mother, and the other does not at that time feel like she is at that part of her life, but still hasn’t ruled out having kids.

Though The Daily Beast says that Claire is tamed into being a wife and mother at the end of the story, I think we need a citation there.  Yes, her nephews are front and center of her concerns now.  I don’t see Owen proposing, and Claire doesn’t suddenly tell her sister “oh my goodness I cannot wait to have children now you were so right!”  Also, the Daily Beast’s article has so many factual errors it’s barely credible anyway.  Does Claire become a more considerate person?  Yes.  Just because of children?  No.

One of the establishing moments of Claire’s growth is when she comes across the dead brontosaurus field.  While one dies in her arms, she begins to cry.  For the first time, she is realizing what John Hammond realized three films ago- the science experiments are alive, with minds of their own, and humans have not done right by them.

Falling down

This article compares Claire to Fay Wray, a helpless damsel lying on the ground during the climax.  JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN IN THE FILM.  Owen does not save the day, either.  Blue and Rexy are the heroes who take down the I-Rex.  Oh, and by the way?  Blue and Rexy are female.

The Lack of Female Characters

This is the problem Jurassic World does have, and I again defer to the delightful Mark Ruffalo.  When you only have one female principal character, we drag her actions under the microscope as though she represents all women.

Claire’s assistant is distressing- her drawn-out, violent death is unnecessary, with none of Jurassic Park’s flair of letting the viewer imagine.  Zara’s death is memorable only because it’s so over-the-top.  Muldoon’s is memorable because it isn’t seen.  Vivian (the computer tech in the control room) is just following orders for 90% of the movie (she reminds me of every female character in Godzilla) and does not end up with her male counterpart (who admittedly got all the good lines.)  Let’s not even talk about how thoroughly the talented Judy Greer was wasted here as Karen, a woman who dumps her kids on her sister so she can surprise them with a divorce, but still feels the need to lecture aforementioned sister on her life choices.  Karen is probably the most problematic character in the franchise.


Is Claire Furiosa?  Of course she isn’t.  Is Claire Ellie Satler?  Is she Black Widow?  No.   Really, I would go closest to Ellen Ripley in Alien- a woman who decidedly did not sign up for the adventure and terror thrust upon her.  In a world where male heroes can be varied, so can women.  Furiosa is brave, a badass from the start, and not afraid to get her hands dirty.  Claire is a very young woman to be so high up in the theme park operations- her competence is clear.   She never hesitates when it comes to park operations.  Claire knows what she’s doing.  And when the game changes, so does Claire.  There are a few articles that side with me, saying that Claire isn’t the gender problem in Jurassic World– everyone else is.

If you still want to think about this more after reading 1500 words on it, Bustle does a great job.


Special Report: Game of Thrones


As anyone even close to reading this probably knows, Sansa Stark’s rape closed the May 17 episode of Game of Thrones.  I was immediately and viscerally furious at this development.  I didn’t get to watch the episode first run, and had found out about that sequence before I was able to see it.  The episode aired Sunday, and I’m not posting about it until late Tuesday afternoon.  I wanted time to hear multiple sides of the dialogue and really think about what this means.  Sansa is my favorite character, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t having a visceral “BUT SHE’S MY FAVORITE” reaction.  Now that I’ve had time to (unfortunately) re-watch the scene and get as many answers as I can.

One of the big problems I (and many others) have with what has happened here is that Sansa Stark has essentially been shoved in the fridge to catalyze Theon’s journey.  The focus on Theon’s haunted face as Sansa’s little cries become pained, horrifed screams tells us everything we need to know- we’re supposed to be watching Theon break (or become unbroken) instead of thinking about what is happening to Sansa. The reaction by feminist geek blog The Mary Sue comments “What does this do for her story? Nothing. Sansa is already a survivor. You’ve put her through another trauma for the sake of another character.” The Mary Sue has chosen to stop promoting Game of Thrones as an immediate result of this scene.

IndieWire also poked an enormous hole in the argument that the fantasy violence stood on equal footing with the rape: “The violence that occurs on Game of Thrones is never going to happen to you. You’re not going to have your eyes crushed by a giant because you agreed to act as someone’s champion in a tournament to the death. You’re not going to be beheaded because you refused to take orders, even if you are in the armed forces. You’re not going to be castrated because you were born into a certain class. You could certainly die in a war, but it’s more likely to be by a bullet than by a sword. The violence of Game of Thrones is long removed from the experiences of most of the viewers of the series. Of course, there are places in the world where young people are forced into armies, and where atrocities as violent as the ones on Game of Thrones occur. But, on average, a person is incredibly unlikely to experience such things. The likelihood that a woman will be raped is shockingly and disturbingly high. (One in five women, is the current understanding.)”

Entertainment Weekly ran interviews with both the writer of the episode and Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa.  Turner has two quotes that stand out: ” I love the way Ramsay had Theon watching. It was all so messed up. It’s also so daunting for me to do it. I’ve been making [producer Bryan Cogman] feel so bad for writing that scene: “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me!” But I secretly loved it.”  and ” I kind of like the fact she doesn’t really know what a psycho he is until that night. She has a sense, but she’s more scared of his father. ”

To contrast, Cogman says “This isn’t a timid little girl walking into a wedding night with Joffrey. This is a hardened woman making a choice and she sees this as the way to get back her homeland. Sansa has a wedding night in the sense she never thought she would with one of the monsters of the show. It’s pretty intense and awful and the character will have to deal with it.”  As soon as the interview went live, Cogman had to tweet:   “The ‘choice’ I was referring to was Sansa’s choice to marry Ramsay and walk into that room. She feels marrying him is a vital step in reclaiming her homeland. Not trying to change anyone’s opinion of the scene (negative or otherwise) but that it what I was … Ok, LAST last word. In NO WAY… NO WAY was that comment an attempt to ‘blame the victim.’ If it seemed that way I’m deeply sorry.”

We have an actor saying Sansa has no idea what she’s walking into and a writer claiming she makes a choice to marry this man, though not victim blaming because Twitter told him it was wrong.  I also cannot help but think that their support of the scene and George R R Martin’s refusal to really comment on the scene is influenced by those artists wanting to continue being paid by HBO.  I’m a little cynical.

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken was not a good episode by anyone’s book.  It feels like the brutal assault on Sansa was to make something noteworthy happen in the episode.  Sansa Stark was raped for shock value. What’s disturbing is that Game of Thrones has done this before.  Jaime and Cersei’s scene in the sept after Joffrey’s death was never totally pleasant (it’s still incest in front of a corpse) but in the book, it was at least consensual.  This scene doesn’t even make sense.  Jaime has long since morphed into a sympathetic character, and the story doesn’t want us to sympathize with Cersei.  The consequences are never dealt with.  Ros wasn’t in the books, and her death (tied to a bed and shot with a crossbow) has a decided sexual tone. Even Drogo and Daenerys’s wedding night is far less consensual than the books depict.  The horrifying murder of Talisa and her unborn child is not in the books- Jeyne Westerling is not at the Red Wedding and is left alive and not pregnant.  The creators of the television show have a history of creating more sexual ans sexualized violence then is clearly depicted.

Now, the books did talk about Ramsay (and Theon’s) assault of Jeyne Poole.  What happens to Jeyne is actually even more gruesome than what happens to Sansa.  Why are we less upset about that? Well, for starters, Martin didn’t need to derail several characters just to have that scene.  Chessmaster Baelish somehow doesn’t do the research and hands his greatest asset and protege off to a psycho?  Once betrothed and once married, Sansa suddenly comes out of hiding and allows herself to be rushed into a wedding TO THE PEOPLE WHO KILLED HER FAMILY?  D&D had to mess around a lot to shoehorn this in.

Additionally, while what happens to Jeyne is awful, we’re seeing it through Reek/Theon then as well, since he is a POV character and Jeyne is not.  We cannot hear her cries nor see her face.  Book vs television has a way of dulling every kind of horror, since it’s a less immediate medium.  We are presented with Theon’s thoughts and reactions only.  We also, truth be told, don’t know Jeyne the way we know Sansa.  Things are always more affecting when it’s someone you know.  None of these are truly satisfying explanations to me, but they’re how I feel.

As for me, I think I’m going to take a break from Game of Thrones, at least for a little while.  I would love to continue a (civilized) dialogue about this if anyone is interested.