Wednesday, February 22, 2023

4K Digital Review: Wakanda Forever


Wakanda Forever had the near impossible task of moving a massive franchise forward after the loss of Chadwick Boseman and does so in the most heartfelt way. The movie begins with the loss of King T'Challa and takes us through where his mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) are at. So much of real life is emulated here and the movie becomes one of dealing with loss. 

With T'Challa gone, Wakanda is in the global spotlight with other countries trying to get their hands on vibranium. As other countries discover that vibranium also exists on the bottom of the ocean, they unknowingly awaken Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and his nation of Talokan. This leads to Shuri having to figure out how to save the young scientist Riri Williams (Dominique Thorn) from Namor and a possible war.

The cast is amazing and the standout here is easily Angela Bassett who gives and Oscar worthy performance. Letitia carries a lot of emotional weight here as well. Tenoch is powerful as Namor and makes you feel his emotion of protecting his people. Just an absolute solid cast and I cannot wait to see where Shuri and Namor go into the future of the MCU. 

Video Quality:

The streaming 4K video is pristine. Every detail from skin tones to the intricate details of the costumes are a sight to be seen. The wide variety of colors are rich and lush. An absolute visual delight that needs to be seen in this format. 

Audio Quality: 

The Dolby Atmos mix here is wonderful. Dialogue is clean and without any issues. The surround is put to good use in both the water and battle sequences. The score rumbles and gets the best bass here. 

Bonus Features:

Gag Reel

·       Take a look at some of the lighthearted moments on the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Audio Commentary

·       Listen to Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole, and Autumn Durald Arkapaw discuss the film.


·       Envisioning Two Worlds – Uncover the making of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever through the lens and leadership of co-writer/director Ryan Coogler, production designer Hannah Beachler, and costume designer Ruth Carter.

·       Passing the Mantle – Follow the evolution of the Black Panther through the films. In tracing Shuri, Ramonda, and Riri’s journeys through the film, this featurette explores what legacy ultimately means in Wakanda and how it will resonate with MCU viewers for years to come.

Deleted Scenes

·       Outside The Scope – Okoye has a shocking standoff with Ayo and the Dora Milaje. Aneka makes a challenging decision.

·       The Upstairs Toilet – Ross infiltrates the NSA in disguise in an attempt to uncover information.

·       Daughter of the Border – After a conversation with her Uncle, Okoye is faced with a daunting choice.

·       Anytime, Anywhere – In Haiti, Shuri and Okoye share a bittersweet moment.


Wakanda Forever pays a fitting tribute to the loss of Chadwick Boseman and propels the franchise forward. A wonderful transfer and audio mix combined with some great bonus features including a must listen to audio commentary makes this a solid addition to your personal library.  

(The review copy was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment and the review is solely my opinion)

Monday, February 20, 2023

Digital Review: Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts


Just in time to celebrate Disney's 100th Anniversary comes Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts. This is the first of several planned releases throughout the year. The digital, Blu-Ray and DVD versions are out now.

The following shorts are included on the disc (1:23:14 total runtime):

  • Steamboat Willie: It's a pleasant time for Mickey Mouse, who is whistling and merrily piloting a steamboat. However, Captain Pete angrily pushes him aside to take the wheel. Things get crazier when Minnie Mouse nearly misses the boat but drops her music. The sheet is eaten by a goat, so the two ingeniously find a way to produce the music, anyway.
  • Brave Little Tailor: Mickey, a simple tailor, boasts about his prowess as a swordsman, supposedly having killed seven giants with one blow. He is called before the king, recounts his tall tale, and is recruited to slay a giant the king wants dead. Of course, Mickey didn't really do the deed -- he killed a few flies instead -- but when he learns that successfully slaying the giant will win him Minnie Mouse, he decides to take on the impossible task in hopes of earning great reward.
  • The Little Whirlwind: Its baking day, and Minnie has prepared some scrumptious-looking cakes. Mickey Mouse wants some cake, too, and he's promised to have some if he will clean up Minnie's cluttered yard. However, a tornado pops up nearby, and it seems to have a mind of its own: a mind to make Mickey's chores a pain!
  • Mickey's Delayed Date: Mickey has a date with Minnie, and he's about to miss it! When she rings to remind him that the time is at hand, he scrambles to get into his tuxedo. Unfortunately, a series of misadventures cause him to lose the tickets and ruin his formal wear. Can anything salvage this date?
  • On Ice: This short follows a trio of on-ice tales: Mickey teaches Minnie how to ice skate, Goofy tries to go fishing using chewing tobacco as a lure, and Donald causes Pluto to go for an unexpected ride on the ice.
  • Hawaiian Holiday: It's time for the crew to go on vacation, and where better than the sun, surf, and satisfaction of a relaxing Hawaiian getaway? Of course, in classic cartoon fashion, "relaxing" isn't the name of the game: antics and shenanigans are! In short: what can go wrong in Hawaii does go wrong in Hawaii, but to satisfying comic effect.
  • Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip: Mickey and Pluto are travelling via train, illicitly. Dogs aren't allowed, so Mickey has smuggled his four-legged best friend in a suitcase. Can the two keep up the ruse, or will the train's conductor, Pete, catch wind of dog and dump the pair from the ride?
  • Figaro and Frankie: Minnie's cat Figaro is trying to catch a cat nap but finding it impossible with the caged Frankie bird tweeting nearby. Fig wants to silence the bird, but Minnie threatens him with a good old-fashioned spanking if he does so. However, his feline instincts get the best of him, much to Minnie' chagrin and possibly Frankie's demise.
  • Bath Day: Figaro needs a bath! Minne makes sure her cat is clean, and smells good, too, but the question is whether Fig can stay clean. Some stray cats will have something to say about that!
  • Thru the Mirror: When Mickey falls asleep reading Through the Looking Glass, he finds himself in a topsy-turvy Lewis Carrol world! Can he navigate the newfound curiosities in this wonderland cartoon?

Unlike previous releases of shorts that feature a playlist where you can select to play each short individually or a "Play-All" option, you get a different approach with this release. Here it plays out more like a package feature with interstitials to play between each short. The idea is that Mickey and Minnie are putting together a scrapbook and looking back upon ten of their favorite memories. 

The ten shorts that appear are all fully restored in high definition and look fantastic. Each short appears to have been restored as any of the full-length animated features of the time have been restored. The audio is a 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo mix, an upgrade from the original mono tracks.

Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts - Volume 1 is a wonderful way to celebrate Disney's rich animation history as part of the 100th Anniversary of the company this year. It is a fun way to showcase some of Mickey and Minnie's most iconic animated shorts and hopefully leads the way to move fun volumes throughout the year. 

(Walt Disney Home Entertainment provided the digital copy for review purposes and my review is strictly my opinion only)

Monday, February 13, 2023



Disney+ is pleased to share photos from multi-hyphenate Jon Favreau’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony where a star in his honor was unveiled today. Guest speakers Robert Downey Jr. and Chef Roy Choi honored Favreau at the event, which celebrated his contributions to television.


Jon Favreau is currently showrunner and executive producer of the acclaimed, Emmy award-winning Star Wars series from Lucasfilm, “The Mandalorian,” which begins its third season exclusively on Disney­+ March 1. For Lucasfilm and Disney+, Favreau also served as executive producer for “The Book of Boba Fett” and is executive producing the upcoming Star Wars series “Ahsoka” and “Skeleton Crew.” 

Sunday, February 12, 2023



BURBANK, Calif. (February 12, 2023) - The TV spot that debuted during today’s big game for Lucasfilm’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” starring Harrison Ford as the legendary hero archaeologist and directed by James Mangold (“Ford v Ferrari,” “Logan”), is available now. The highly anticipated fifth installment of the iconic franchise will open in theaters on June 30, 2023.


Starring along with Ford are Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), John Rhys-Davies (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Shaunette Renee Wilson (“Black Panther”), Thomas Kretschmann (“Das Boot”), Toby Jones (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), Boyd Holbrook (“Logan”), Oliver Richters (“Black Widow”), Ethann Isidore (“Mortel”) and Mads Mikkelsen (“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore”). Directed by James Mangold, the film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel, with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas serving as executive producers. John Williams, who has scored each Indy adventure since the original "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981, is once again composing the score.



Today, during the Big Game, Marvel Studios and James Gunn released a brand-new, action-packed trailer online for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” the final film in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, spearheaded by James Gunn. 


In Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” our beloved band of misfits are settling into life on Knowhere. But it isn’t long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket’s turbulent past. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket’s life—a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.


The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova.


James Gunn is the director and also wrote the screenplay. Kevin Feige produces with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nikolas Korda, Sara Smith, and Simon Hatt serving as executive producers. 


Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” opens in U.S. theaters on May 5.

Sunday, February 5, 2023



Last night, the cast and creative team of “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” celebrated the series’ world premiere at The Walt Disney Studios Lot in Burbank, CA. The highly anticipated series, featuring Marvel’s first African American Teen Girl Super Hero, premieres Feb. 10 on Disney Channel and Feb. 15 on Disney+.


The event was attended by series stars Diamond White; Libe Barer, Fred Tatasciore; Gary Anthony Williams; executive producer and voice of The Beyonder Laurence Fishburne; executive music producer Raphael Saadiq; executive producer Steve Loter; recurring and guest cast Michael Cimino, Ian Alexander and Tajinae Turner. Additional attendees included Marcus Scribner, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ariela Barer, Monique Coleman, Scott Porter, Dania Ramirez, Ever Carradine, Zach McGowan, Saniyya Sidney, Liyou Abere and more.


The event featured a star-studded red carpet, in-world photo moments, NY-inspired food and atmosphere, S.T.E.M. build-a-dino robot station, live performance skaters and more! The screening kicked off with opening remarks from Meredith Roberts (executive vice president, TV Animation, Disney Branded Television) and series executive producers Fishburne and Loter, followed by a screening of the premiere episode “Moon Girl Landing.”

Digital Review: Strange World


Walt Disney Animation Studios' 61st animated feature Strange World tells the tale of the Clade family, a family of adventurers. Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid), the family patriarch, is lost during an expedition to get through an impassable mountain range. A quarter of a century later, his son Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) leads a quiet farming life with his wife Meridian (Gabrielle Union) and his son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White). On the farm they grow Pando, a plant that has revolutionized the world due to its energy giving properties. But Pando is dying and there is a new expedition to find out the cause of the problem with the plants.

The voice cast is wonderful here and each one is solid in their own way. The design of the world is also impressive. There is so much detail to take in and you will watch it again and again to try to see it all. 

Here is a video for the home video release:

Video Quality:

The 1080p video is beautiful and seemingly pushes the HD video to its limits. It is as sharp and clear as any 1080p video I have ever seen. The character faces and clothing are extremely detailed, as are the variety of creatures and the lush landscapes. There is little compression issues here and the blacks are near perfect as are the whites. This will be one of the top reference 1080p videos for the year. 

Audio Quality:

The Dolby 5.1 soundtrack is surprisingly good here. Dialogue is centered and well balanced. The score is rich and engaging, creating a cinematic experience in the home. 

Bonus Features:

  • Anatomy of a Scene: Creating A Strange World  Learn about Walt Disney Animation Studios' creative process through a single, visually stunning scene as the filmmaking team puts all of their imagination – and more – on the screen.
  • Strange Science – Jaboukie Young-White (voice of Ethan Clade) hosts an exploration of how Walt Disney Animation Studios artists were inspired by real science to create Strange World.
  • Creature Feature – Journey into the world beneath Avalonia and meet some of the terrifying, slimy, gassy ­– and sometimes cute – creatures that inhabit this Strange World.
  • The Hidden Secrets of Strange World – Uncover the references and characters from some of your favorite Walt Disney Animation Studios films hidden throughout the film, along with some fun facts and behind–the–scenes stories of how Strange World was made.
  • Outtakes  Go behind the glass as we join the cast of Strange World inside the recording booth for some fun, flubs and outtakes.


Deleted Scenes

  • The Ballad of Jaeger Clade
  • Lightning Lynx
  • Funerals and Promises
  • Ethan and Searcher


Strange World is a good story with a twist and surrounded by great characters. The reference quality video, good audio and a few extras make this a solid recommendation for your collection.

* The movie was given to me by Walt Disney Home Entertainment solely for the purpose of this review. The opinions within the review are purely my own. *

Saturday, February 4, 2023

“ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA – Stars/Director Join Fans at Australian Special Fan Event in Sydney


Director Peyton Reed joined stars Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors on the red carpet two days ago at an Australian Special Fan Event for Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.” Fans came together at HOYTS Entertainment Quarter in Sydney to celebrate the upcoming big-screen debut of the epic, sci-fi adventure. Event images are now available to download and share.


Super Heroes Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and The Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible. Directed by Peyton Reed and produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a. and Stephen Broussard, p.g.a., “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” also stars Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, David Dastmalchian as Veb, Katy O'Brian as Jentorra, William Jackson Harper as Quaz and Bill Murray as Lord Krylar. 



Disney+ and Lucasfilm announced that the second volume of the animated anthology series “Star Wars: Visions” will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on May 4, 2023. Following on the Emmy Award®-nominated success of “Star Wars: Visions,” the newest volume will continue to push the boundaries of "Star Wars" storytelling, with nine new shorts from 9 studios from around the globe. Employing the most captivating animation styles from a variety of countries and cultures, the second volume offers a dynamic new perspective on the storied mythos of Star Wars.


The shorts included in “Star Wars: Visions” Volume 2 were created by the following international animation studios: El Guiri (Spain), Cartoon Saloon (Ireland), Punkrobot (Chile), Aardman (United Kingdom), Studio Mir (South Korea) Studio La Cachette (France), 88 Pictures (India), D'art Shtajio (Japan), and Triggerfish (South Africa). D’Art Shtajio’s short was created in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd. (United States). 


“The reaction to the first volume of ‘Star Wars: Visions’ blew us away. We were delighted that this project inspired and resonated with so many people,” says James Waugh, “Star Wars: Visions” executive producer and Senior Vice President Franchise Content & Strategy at Lucasfilm. “We always saw ‘Star Wars: Visions’ as a framework for celebratory expressions of the franchise from some of the best creators working today. Animation is in a global renaissance, and we’re constantly staggered by the amount of creativity pushing the medium forward. With Volume 1, the imaginative minds of Japan’s anime industry were on full display. With Volume 2, we expanded our canvas to take audiences on a global tour of some of the most talented creators from around the world. We’re so proud to be able to reveal the line-up of studios we’ve assembled. Every short is incredible, full of heart, scope, imagination, and the values that make stories distinctly Star Wars — all while opening up bold new ways of seeing what a ‘Star Wars’ story can be.


Waugh executive produces “Star Wars: Visions” Volume 2 along with Jacqui Lopez and Josh Rimes. 

Details on each short and filmmaker follow:


Title: “Sith” 

Studio: El Guiri

Writer-director: Rodrigo Blaas


Rodrigo Blaas is an Emmy Award®-winning director who has spent more than 20 years in animation. After co-founding Stromboli Animation in 1997, Blaas joined Blue Sky Studios in 2000, working on the feature film “Ice Age,” before transitioning to Pixar Animation Studios. There, he worked on such projects as “Finding Nemo” (2003), “The Incredibles” (2004), “Ratatouille” (2007) and “Wall-E” (2008) and on the Oscar®-nominated short film “La Luna” (2011). More recently, Blaas partnered with Guillermo del Toro to develop the award-winning series “Trollhunters,” served as creative director for Mikros Animation Paris and, in 2021, created El Guiri Studios in Madrid with his partner, Cecile Hokes. He also wrote and directed 2009’s award-winning short film “Alma.”   


Title: “Screecher’s Reach”

Studio: Cartoon Saloon

Director: Paul Young

Paul Young is a co-founder of Cartoon Saloon, an IFTA winner and Oscar®, Emmy® and BAFTA nominee. He produced the animated features “My Father’s Dragon,” “WolfWalkers,” “The Secret of Kells,” “Song of the Sea” and “The Breadwinner” as well as award-winning TV series including “Puffin Rock,” “Dorg Van Dango” and “Viking Skool.”


Title: “In the Stars”

Studio: Punkrobot

Writer-director: Gabriel Osorio


Gabriel Osorio majored in Fine Arts at Universidad de Chile, later specializing in 3D animation. After working in commercials, movies and television series, he founded Punkrobot Studio. Since 2008, he has directed projects for children’s television including “Flipos,” “Muelin y Perlita,” “Soccer Girls” and television spots. In 2016, his short film “Bear Story” became the first Latin American project to win an Oscar® in the animated short category. 


Title: “I Am Your Mother”

Studio: Aardman

Director: Magdalena Osinska


Magdalena Osinska is an award-winning director who has been with Aardman for eight years. She has directed stop-motion, CGI, 2D and live-action commercials including Wallace & Gromit’s “The Great Sofa Caper” and “Share the Orange.” Osinska directed development of the children’s series “Joyets” and has also directed films including “Spirits of the Piano” and “Zbigniev’s Cupboard.” A graduate of the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, UK, as well as the Polish Film School in Lodz and Art College in Warsaw, Osinska is currently developing the feature film “Jasia,” based on her grandmother’s memories of WWII Poland. 

Title: “Journey to the Dark Head”

Studio: Studio Mir

Director: Hyeong Geun Park


Rising star Hyeong Geun Park had already made a name for himself when he entered the Korean animation industry in 2017, thanks to his strong drawing and animation sensibilities. He has directed animation for dozens of cinematic game trailers and has since expanded into animated series, working on projects including “Dota: Dragon’s Blood: Book 3” (2022) and “Lookism” (2022). “Journey to the Dark Head” is the first title he has executive produced from start to finish. 


Title: “The Spy Dancer”

Studio: Studio La Cachette

Writer-director: Julien Chheng


Julien Chheng is CEO of Studio La Cachette, an Emmy Award®-winning French animation studio he co-founded in 2014 with fellow Gobelins school’s alumni Oussama Bouacheria and Ulysse Malassagne. Chheng was trained in visual development at Disney and has worked as a character animator on acclaimed 2D animated features “The Rabbi’s Cat,” “Mune” and the Academy Award®-nominated “Ernest and Celestine.” In 2021, he won an Emmy Award® as animation executive producer of “Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal,” for which he also served as animation supervisor. In 2022, Chheng directed with Jean-Christophe Roger the Cesar-nominated feature “Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia.”


Title: “The Bandits of Golak”

Studio: 88 Pictures

Director: Ishan Shukla

Ishan Shukla started his career as a CG artist in Singapore. For more than a decade, he spearheaded projects ranging from TV commercials to series and music videos. His 2016 animated short, "Schirkoa," was long listed for the Academy Awards® after receiving dozens of awards and playing at 120 international festivals, including SIGGRAPH Asia where it was named Best in Show. He then set up his own animation studio to work on adult-oriented animated feature films including a feature-length version of "Schirkoa," set to hit festivals in summer 2023. 


Title: “The Pit”

Studios: D’art Shtajio and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Writer-director-executive producer: LeAndre Thomas

Co-director: Justin Ridge


LeAndre Thomas is an award-winning writer and director from Oakland, Calif., whose most recent film won Best Director at the Pasadena International Film Festival. In addition to his independent films, Thomas is a part of the franchise studio team at Lucasfilm Ltd. where he has worked for more than 11 years being credited on recent titles such as “Light & Magic,” “The Mandalorian,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” “Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi,” and many more. 


Justin Ridge executive produced the Emmy®-nominated series “Star Wars Resistance.” His credits also include “Star Wars Rebels,” “Storks,” “The Cleveland Show,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”


Title: “Aau’s Song”

Studio: Triggerfish

Writer-directors: Nadia Darries and Daniel Clarke 

Nadia Darries is a director, animator and co-founder of Goon Valley Animation, with an avocation for songwriting. Born in the Cape Flats in South Africa, Darries has worked on high-end animated film and motion design as an animator, project manager, creative director and director since 2015. Her experience includes animating at Triggerfish Animation Studios on the award-winning BBC films “Stick Man,” “Revolting Rhymes” and “Highway Rat.” 


Daniel Clarke is a Cape Town-based director and artist working in animation, film and illustration. He started his career in animation in 2008 at Triggerfish Animation Studios, where he has served as production designer, art director and director on projects such as the feature film “Khumba,” BBC’s “Stick Man” and “The Snail and the Whale.” In 2018, along with James Clarke and Daniel Snaddon, he completed the graphic novel “Kariba.”


Star Wars: Visions" Volume 2 streams exclusively on Disney+ beginning May 4, 2023.