2017 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Slate!

2017 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Slate!!

It’s that exciting time of year when Walt Disney releases their yearly movie schedule and you won’t want to miss the 2017 releases for this year! It’s going to be a great year to go to the movies! Every year I look forward to finding out what the schedule is so I can plan accordingly and not miss any of the magic. I cannot wait to learn more and share about all the films.  Which ones do you want to see this year?

It’s going to be an amazing year at the movies!  Be sure to stay up to date on all the upcoming 2017 movies from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures here!

Here’s the 2017 Walt Disney Studios movies lineup, so you can keep track of their release dates:

March 17, 2017 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Walt Disney Studios)

#BeautyAndTheBeast #BeOurGuest

THIS one has to be my most favorite Disney movie EVER that I am looking forward to seeing this year. A childhood favorite of mine (“Beauty and the Beast” and “Be Our Guest” were my first two ring tones I bought for my first cell phone I had when I was in high school along with anything else Beauty and the Beast related)  In the LIVE version of this old favorite, the story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within.

The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast.” Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated film, provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

April 21, 2017 – BORN IN CHINA (Disneynature)

#BornInChina

Narrated by John Krasinski, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film.

A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet.

Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together. Opening in U.S. theaters on Earth Day 2017, “Born in China” is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman.

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Meeting Moana #Moana

Meeting Moana

By Erin

*I attended an early press day as a guest of Disney for purposes of this post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.*
MOANA village costume designs. Artist: Neysa Bové, Visual Development Artist.

MOANA village costume designs. Artist: Neysa Bové, Visual Development Artist.

The other month we learned all about the creative process of creating the characters for Moana. We met the  members of the team who brought Disney’s adventurous heroine to life, from the initial sketches to costume design to animation – and how both research and the actress bringing Moana to life helped inspire the artists creating her character. Bill Schwab (Art Director, Characters), Amy Smeed (Head of Animation),  Malcon Pierce (Animation Supervisor, Moana) and Neysa Bové (Vis Dev Artist) shared us the story of how Moana was brought to life. The magical characters were all inspired by the people they encountered during their travels to the islands of the Pacific, filmmakers populated their story with a host of dynamic characters. A top-notch voice cast helps bring the characters of Moana to life. I wanted to share a little bit about each of the characters you will meet on this special journey we get to experience with Moana.

MOANA village costume design. Artist: Neysa Bové, Visual Development Artist.

MOANA village costume design. Artist: Neysa Bové, Visual Development Artist.

Walt Disney Animation Studios has another masterpiece in the making, Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. Moana is a vibrant, tenacious and compassionate 16-year-old who is struggling to find her true self. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder.

Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. So come get ready to sail away on this magnificent journey and meet Moana, her family, friends, and other creatures she meets along the way.

MOANA

MOANA is an adventurous, tenacious and compassionate 16-year-old who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. Along the way, she discovers the one thing she's always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”) and featuring newcomer Auli'I Cravalho as the voice of Moana, Walt Disney Animation Studios' “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana” ©2016 Disney.

Moana is an adventurous, curious, tenacious and compassionate 16-year-old who is on a journey to find her true self. While her father, Chief Tui, pressures her to follow in his footsteps and lead their island one day, Moana is drawn to the sea. We get to witness firsthand her love for the sea, and it is magical.  The people of her village are forbidden to go beyond the safety of the reef, yet the open ocean seems to beckon Moana. “It doesn’t seem possible for her to fulfill her heart’s desire and still be true to her people and her culture,” says director Ron Clements. “She descended from navigators, but she doesn’t know it.”

Her island is threatened by a terrible darkness, which causes Moana to break the rules and sets sail on an epic adventure to save her people and find the answers she’s been searching for her whole life. Says director John Musker, “She is inspired to solve the problem of this world that has been haunting them and has made voyaging impossible. If she can face this problem that’s plagued them for a thousand years, perhaps voyaging could resume.”

Moana is a strong hero who sets out to retrieve what her people lost a long time ago. Moana wants to save the world. She’s a powerful role model for today’s audiences, perfect for young girls to look up to.

The perfect voice was found to bring Moana to life. Auli‘i Cravalho was called on to provide the voice of the tenacious teenager. “She has the spirit of Moana,” says Shurer. “We tease her and she teases us right back. There’s a fearlessness, but at the same time genuine warmth. She is a natural talent and a professional—but still a kid at heart.”

MAUI

DWAYNE JOHNSON (HBO’s “Ballers,” “Central Intelligence”) voices MAUI—half god, half mortal, all awesome. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Dwayne Johnson (HBO’s “Ballers,” “Central Intelligence”) voices MAUI. ©2016 Disney.

Maui is a demigod—half god, half mortal, all awesome. Charismatic and funny, he wields a magical fishhook that allows him to shapeshift into all kinds of animals and pull up islands from the sea. Maui was once considered the greatest hero in Oceania. Watch for Maui’s tattoos. His body is covered with tattoos of his extraordinary feats, including a mini-version of himself that acts as Maui’s conscience. The tattoos are animated and really help to tell the story and adds some comedy that is fun to watch. “Maui is responsible for the trouble that threatens Moana’s people,” says Musker. “He’s paying a price for his actions and is somewhat of a lost hero—a shadow of his former self. Moana needs him to right his wrongs and restore what’s been lost.”

Alongside Moana, Maui brings his super strength—as well as his super-sized issues. “He has an all-encompassing drive to succeed that gets him into trouble,” says Clements.

Dwayne Johnson voices Maui. “He’s very connected to his Samoan roots,” says Clements. “Maui is a charismatic character and Dwayne is nothing if not charismatic. He has great comedic timing, nails the action scenes and is so likable. And he can sing.”

Gramma Tala

RACHEL HOUSE (“Whale Rider,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) voices GRAMMA TALA, Moana’s confidante and best friend, who shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Rachel House (“Whale Rider,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) voices Gramma Tala, Moana’s confidante and best friend. ©2016 Disney.

Gramma Tala, Moana’s confidante and best friend, shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean. Although her son, Chief Tui, is a no-nonsense leader, Gramma Tala most definitely dances to the beat of her own drum. She feels in her soul that the ocean has big plans for Moana, but she won’t reveal the legendary secrets of their wayfinding ancestors till the time is right.

“Gramma Tala is the keeper of the ancient stories,” says screenwriter Jared Bush. “She knows the history of their people and understands how important it is that Moana holds onto her dreams. But she never gives her the answers. She lets Moana find her way.”

Rachel House is the voice of Gramma Tala.

Chief Tui & Sina

TEMUERA MORRISON (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Once Were Warriors,” “Six Days, Seven Nights”) voices Moana’s father, CHIEF TUI, the gregarious and well-respected leader of the people of Motunui Island. NICOLE SCHERZINGER (Grammy®-nominated singer, West End's "Cats") voices Moana’s mother, SINA, who always has her daughter’s back. Playful, sharp and strong-willed, Sina appreciates Moana’s longing to be on the water, but also wants to protect her daughter from the fabled dangers beyond the reef. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Chief Tui & Sina ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

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Disney’s Pete’s Dragon Flies into Theaters! #PetesDragon

Pete’s Dragon

By Jonelle

PetesDragon575f03319ec3f

Friendly Dragons? Is There Such A Thing?

On the heels of the releases of The Jungle Book and Finding Dory earlier this year, Disney Studios is working its magic once again with a reimagining of the 1977 classic film, Pete’s Dragon. Other than the name of the movie and the main characters Pete and Elliot, nothing else is similar between these two films. Fans of the 1977 version will instantly fall in love with and appreciate the beauty of this version too.

PetesDragon5797caada5cd4

Pete’s Dragon tells the story of a young boy, orphaned by a tragic accident. Lost and alone in the local woods, he runs into a legendary Millhaven dragon, which he names Elliot. Pete and Elliot come to rely on each other, not only for safety, but for friendship and love. Elliot acts more of a family pet, a protector for Pete, than an evil beast hell bent on scaring local hunters.  When threatened, instead of fighting back, Elliot uses his magic to disappear.  You can’t help but hope for Pete and Elliot to find a home of their very own, they already are family. The way Pete and Elliot love each other is so heartwarming.  It goes beyond legend, beyond lore and beyond “species.”

Oakes Fegley is Pete in Disney's PETE'S DRAGON, the story of a boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon.

As a child, park ranger Grace Meacham grew up hearing tall tales from her father Meachem, played by the legendary actor Robert Redford, about the fierce dragon he encountered in the woods years before.

He shares his story with the local town children, who love to listen to legend and lore. Much to the chagrin of Grace, who knows the forest like “she knows the back of her hand” and has never, herself, discovered the mysterious being. 

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