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Till Frozen 2 comes along… (Credit: Disney)
Since its launch in 2013, Disney’s Frozen has become the highest-grossing animated feature of all-time, grossing more than $1.27 billion in box office sales worldwide. Yet, its much-anticipated sequel is seemingly still on ice (pun intended).
But a #Frozen2 there will be, as #Disney has officially confirmed it in early 2015, just that we are unlikely to see it before *gulp* 2019, as it was not included in the House of Mouse’s theatrical schedules for 2017 and 2018.
Of course, there was the 2015 short film, Frozen Fever, but let’s face it: That was just an appetizer (plus we were rather distracted by Queen Elsa’s bad cold and her mischievous snots, cute as they may be.)
Elsa’s snots in ‘Frozen Fever’ (Credit: Disney)
There was also the LEGO Frozen Northern Lights series of shorts on the Disney Channel, which featured building block versions of key characters Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven on a quest to restore the Northern Lights before they disappear from the kingdom of Arendelle’s sight. It’s a cute (and extremely corny) series, meant for very young kids, but it’s not quite like the real thing.
LEGO Frozen Northern Lights (Credit: Disney)
Till the eagerly-awaited sequel comes along, here are two things Frozen fans can look forward to in 2017:
1. OLAF’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Olaf the adorable snowman gets his own special (Credit: Disney)
This Christmas, a Frozen TV special, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, is set to air on the ABC network in the US of A. Focus will be on the lovable snowman, with Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Sven also set to return, including the original voice cast of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad. New songs can be expected too, woo-hoo!
2. ‘Frozen’ Goes to Broadway
There’s already Disney on Ice Presents Frozen, now meet Frozen — The Broadway Musical. The stage musical adaptation of the hit movie will take its bow at the St. James Theater in New York in Spring 2018. Prior to that, a two-month test run will take place at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in August 2017.
Much is expected from the musical, as it is written by the same Oscar-winning team behind the 2013 film — book by Jennifer Lee, screenwriter and director (with Chris Buck), and music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, responsible for the film’s brilliant songs including the stirring “Let It Go.”
The cast has yet to be confirmed, but just for the fun of it, which current pop star do you think is best to play either Elsa or Anna? For instance, Dove Cameron, who was impressive playing Amber in Hairspray Live!, could make a nice Elsa. Let me know in a comment below!
For what we can expect to see in Frozen 2, check out my original article, “7 Things Frozen Fans can look forward to in 2017 and Beyond” at this link: https://creators.co/@margueritatan/4180312
Fans of #StarWarsRebels were already elated when no less than 4 Easter Eggs that made references to the #Disney animated series appeared in the blockbuster, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
And now, with the release of Season 3’s mid-season trailer, more joy is in store as it is officially certain that Master Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi will be (re)appearing in the series to take on his adversary from Star Wars Episode 1: the Phantom Menace (1999), Darth Maul (or just Maul, as the ex-Sith is known on Rebels).
Watch the trailer here:
Cool, aint it? Complete with Obi-wan’s trademark opening strike stance at that (pictured below). Till now, Anakin Skywalker’s mentor was mainly seen as a hologram on a holocron, sounding a warning to any member of the Rebellion who would listen.
Obi-wan Kenobi is ready for Maul (Credit: Disney)
Other than the fact that it is arguably the most exciting trailer for an animated series to come along for some time, here are 5 other exciting tidbits – just to name a few – of what we can expect from the rest of Season 3:
1. Loads of #RogueOne connections such as Death Troopers
Grand Admiral Thrawn flanked by Death Troopers (Credit: Disney)
2. Rebellion leader Mon Mothma’s first appearance on Rebels – and could that be Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna in Rogue One) sitting behind on her right?
3. Sabine meeting her Mandalorian warrior mother with the darksaber (previously owned by one Darth Maul) in hand
Sabine with the darksaber (Credit: Disney)
4. Grand Admiral Thrawn exhibiting some serious kung-fu moves. Not as stoic and rigid as we thought he was…
5. Freedom fighter Saw Gerrera (played by Forest Whitaker in Rogue One) making his much-anticipated appearance. The character previously appeared in The Clone Wars.
Saw Gerrera will be voiced by Forest Whitaker in ‘Star Wars Rebels’ (Credit: Disney)
For every Rebels fan, these are great stuff to look forward to. Especially it is a clear indication that Rebels will soon be leading into Rogue One territory, tying up loose ends hopefully, which would only make the Star Wars Extended Universe that much more enjoyable.
See also my other Star Wars-related articles below:
* Princess Leia’s 10 Most Iconic Quotes from Star Wars
* 4 Star Wars Rebels Easter Eggs in Rogue One
* 7 Great and Not-So-Great Surprises from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
* Star Wars Rebels 3: Bring On The Empire
Star Wars Rebels Season 3 returns on Disney X D on January 7.
One of the highlights of the annual San Diego Comic-Com International is the debut of the trailers of possibly every expected blockbuster movie premiering in the next 15 months. Here’s my Top 5 favourites…
1. Wonder Woman (Summer 2017)
The best thing in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to rule the superhero universe comes 2017 and we can’t wait. Having Chris Pine as eye candy doesn’t hurt either…
2. Suicide Squad (August 2016)
Actually there has been a lot of trailers already for this much-anticipated film about a group of super villainous misfits being rounded up for a do-or-die secret mission, but this one has “previously unseen footage” and a rather good haunting rendition The Bee Gees’ “I Started A Joke”.
3. The LEGO Batman Movie (February 2017)
Truth be told, I’m looking forward more to this angsty Batman than the one in Justice League! :p The scene-stealer in The Lego Movie gets his own movie and is still funny and wonderfully voiced by Will Arnett. Life doesn’t give you seat-belts, so hold on tight!
4. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (April 2017)
The Lord of the Rings meets The Real RockNRolla and from what we saw in the trailer, the long-awaited Guy Ritchie helmer looks mighty good. Jude Law especially looks dastardly handsome as the dastardly king who will do all he can to prevent Charlie Hunnam’s streetwise Arthur from taking back his birthright to the throne. In case you are wondering, the song you hear is The Wild Wild Berry, a British traditional as sung by English folk singer Sam Lee.
5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 2016)
The magical world of J K Rowling continues in this Harry Potter-less movie version of her book about a magizoologist (played by the ever lovable Eddie Redmayne) who has to track down a number of magical creatures in 1926 New York City. Trailer looks fun and Redmayne can’t seem to be do anything wrong these days.
Kong: Skull Island (March 2017)
Seriously, I’m tired of seeing Samuel L Jackson in every blockbuster movie there is but then again, Kong appears to give a new take to the age old giant gorilla story and also it has Tom Hiddleston in it. Can’t be all bad…
THE EXECUTIONER’S APPRENTICE
The entertainment and production quality of Singapore films have been improving by leaps and bounds in recent times. Last year’s SG50 film, 7 Letters, was a delightful and thought-provoking piece that highlighted works from seven of our best homegrown directors. This year, one of the seven – Boo Junfeng of 2010’s Sandcastle fame, arguably just delivered the best local film of the year (thus far) with Apprentice, a fascinating, heartfelt and well-directed dramatisation of the uniformed personnel who work behind the walls – and gallows – of a fictitious prison in Singapore.
Here’s my newspaper article, “Hangman’s Tales”, which features the Apprentice director and cast’s thoughts on the bright side of working on a dark film:
SINGAPORE — In Singapore, if a person murders another person, he or she could face the death penalty. Within the prison system, however, there is a person whose duty is to take a life. And it was this desire to understand the psyche of a prison executioner that drove Boo Junfeng to make his latest film Apprentice.
“In many societies where the death penalty is practised, we often forget that there is a person, a human being, who is empowered to kill,” the writer-director explained. “I was curious to see how he sees himself in the moral and ethical equation. To me, that is what was interesting — the human story behind the job, more than the (death penalty) issue itself.”
The 32-year-old took four years to research his sophomore film, including interviewing former executioners and people who have had family members executed. “The conversations I have had with these people can be made into a lot of other films. But I had to distil all of them out to make the film I wanted.”
What resulted was Apprentice, which focuses on soft-spoken correctional officer Aiman, who finds himself taken under the wing of the prison’s charismatic chief executioner Rahim, and the man who pulled the lever on Aiman’s father, who was on death row.
Masterfully played by Malaysian actor Wan Hanafi Su, Rahim is a person who takes no delight in his job, but who handles it as professionally as he can. Aiman, played by Singapore actor Fir Rahman, wears his uniform with equal pride, but being a casualty of the death penalty, he is constantly grappling with authority and morality.
Filmed primarily in Singapore and partly in Australia, the film is an earnest dramatisation that offers a chilling and fascinating look at the human stories of the people working behind the walls, and especially in the gallows, of a fictitious local prison.
Mild-mannered Boo is to be credited for coaxing fine performances out of his leads, who have nothing but praise for the director.
“He may be soft-spoken and sentimental, but he was very firm on set,” said Wan. Apprentice is the first overseas film the Malaysian veteran has starred in.
Singapore actress Mastura Ahmad, who plays Aiman’s older sister, concurred. “The film has many layers for each character yet Junfeng will make time to come to you, telling you exactly what he wants. He gets things done not by yelling or shouting, but with much patience,” she said.
Fir recalled what it was like filming the prison yard scene in a defunct prison near Sydney, Australia, during winter. “Junfeng was telling us to ‘imagine you are in Singapore …’ to which we cried, ‘But Singapore isn’t this cold what!’” the actor-cum-physical trainer said with a laugh, confessing they had to pile on heavy blankets the moment filming stopped. “I also have to make sure I have the right haircut and that I don’t put on weight. I have to look the same as I did, like, two weeks ago!”
In May, Apprentice held its world premiere at the 69th Cannes Film Festival. It was one of two Singaporean films at the prestigious event this year, the other being K Rajagopal’s A Yellow Bird, which premiered at International Critics’ Week. Fir felt “very honoured” to hit the festival in his first lead role and first feature film, while Mastura was overwhelmed by “the amazing response from the public and media”. And Wan not only held the distinction of being the first Malaysian actor to grace the red carpet at Cannes, he was also widely recognisable because of his signature long white hair and was “treated like a superstar”.
Apprentice did not win its Un Certain Regard category, but Boo is not losing any sleep over it. “If we start defining how good a film is purely by awards, I think we will miss a lot of good films. If you understand how competitions work, it is quite often decided by a jury and is entirely subjective,” he reasoned.
What was most important to him is having the right platform to show his film.
“The reviews have been very positive and very encouraging,” he said. “In the four years making Apprentice, I learnt a lot personally — not only as a film-maker but also as a person. I’ve grown to understand things that I never understood, seen facets of humanity that I haven’t seen before.”
Apprentice opens in Singapore cinemas on June 30.
(Other cities worldwide – UK, Poland, France, Turkey, Hong Kong, etc – please check your local arthouse listings.)
This article was originally published in TODAY newspaper on June 28, 2016.
(Image by Marguerita Tan)
Easter Present to Meself from Melbourne – A Minion Ceramic Mug with Australian-made Milk Chocolate Egg…
Happy Easter Everyone!