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Moonlight card                                                           (Credit: Twitter/@theacademy)

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2017 Oscars: 10 Fun Facts You Should Know About The Nominees



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‘La La Land’ (Credit: Lionsgate)

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2 Treats in 2017 for ‘Frozen’ Fans

frozen-cast                                               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.)

frozen-2-elsa-snots                                                 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.

frozen_northern-lights                                               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:


frozen-olaf                           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

frozen-broadway-musical-logo                                                                    (Credit: Disney)

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

For my other pop culture features on movies (eg King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) and TV shows (eg, The Young Pope), click this link:

Obi-Wan Kenobi returns in ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Mid-Season Trailer

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.

TWD’s Glenn Rhee’s Top 5 Lines

glenns-last-wordsThe Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere (SPOILER – STOP NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE…)

I knew he would be the one to get whacked but that still didn’t stop me from crying my heart out after the Season 7 premiere last night, something I haven’t done since Bobbi and Lance sacrificed themselves and had to leave the team in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s Season 2’s “Parting Shot”.

In a way, I’m glad the TWD writers didn’t cop out just because he was a fan favourite ‘cos with death of Glenn Rhee – which was foretold in the graphic novels – various stories arcs can go forth in the TV series.

Still, it’s hard to fathom not seeing the brilliant Steven Yeun on my favourite TV drama series anymore.

Here’s the Top 5 lines from the coolest pizza delivery guy whose company we’d enjoyed since Season one in 2010:

5. “Nice moves there, Clint Eastwood. You the new sheriff come riding in to clean up the town?” – To Rick, after saving the latter from a mob of walkers on the street in Season 1, Episode 2.

4. “God probably got the gist.” – To Maggie after she interrupted him praying for the first time on her front porch in Season 2, Episode 3.

3. “You honor the dead by going on. Even when you’re scared. You live because they don’t get to.” –  To Enid, explaining why she needs to return to Alexandria in Season 6, Episode 7.

2. “I’m supposed to be delivering pizza, man…” – His retort to Alexandria resident Health outside the tractor store in Season 6, Episode 1.

1. “Maggie, I’ll find you…” – His last words directed at Maggie after being whacked on the head by Negan’s Lucille so hard that one of his eyes literally popped out in Season 7, Episode 1.

RIP Glenn. It was really nice knowing you…

(Photo Credit: AMC – The Walking Dead)

Star Wars Rebels 2 – The Dark Side Cometh

SW Rebels_TSOL_POster
Star Wars Rebels Season 2
returns in October and I’m seriously looking forward to it. Must confess that it took me a long while to warm up to the motley crew of the starship Ghost. Granted there was a lot of backgrounding stories that need to be told, yet still there’s something about everyone – bar Hera, the matured, wise-cracking pilot – that irks me and it was very hard-pressed to have warm feelings for any of the key characters.


The animated series, which runs on Disney X D, however eventually got better and much more engaging towards the end of the debut season, especially from the episodes where renegade Jedi Kanan Jarrus finally acceded that he – the last of the Jedis – simply have to teach wayward teen Ezra the ways of the Force properly ‘cos, well, since the Force is indeed “strong” with the lad. The storyline by then was also strengthened by the appearing of Star Wars characters who have more, for want of a better word, “backbone”. First it was Master Yoda, or rather, his voice of reason, when he gently lectured Kanan at the Jedi Temple on Lothal in the episode, “Path of the Jedi”. The other is one of the cool characters from the previous and really good Star Wars animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – fan favourite Ahsoka Tato, the former Jedi Padawan of one Anakin Skywalker…

                                                                                  ***possible spoilers ahead***

SW Rebels_ Darth with stormtroopers

Ahsoka, who appeared in the last episode of season 1 (“Fire Across The Galaxy”), kinda gave a new hope (pardon the pun) that Star Wars Rebels Season 2 is not only going to bring the excitement up a few notches, it will also tie the series closer to classic Star Wars roots. And my oh my, judging by the 1-hr premiere  episode, Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal (which was first telecast in the US in June, premiering in Asia in October) with the mind-blowing appearance of the Father of all Space Villains himself, SWR2 is already off to a great start! I mean, let’s face it, even in animated form, Darth Vader is seriously one intimidating dude. In TSOL, after The Inquisitor’s mission failure, the Sith Lord is assigned by Grand Moff Tarkin, Commander of the Outer Rim Territories, to hunt the rebels down and needless to say, Vader’s not the kind to take any prisoner alive…

Star-Wars-Rebels-Season-Two-Darth n JedisIf Kanan and Ezra thought the Inquisitor was a handful, they ain’t seen nothing yet. One of the most hair-raising sequences in TSOL is when the not fully-trained Jedi and his not-quite-there-either apprentice come face-to-face with the Sith Lord himself on Lothal, after the duo and their team tried to rescue Minister Maketh Tua (of the Imperial Security Bureau) who had sought the rebels’ help to deflect from the Empire. Cue the Lightsabers!

star-wars-rebels-season2_Ahsoka Tano w crew
Also in this episode, the Force seems to be strong in a good many people. But for the ones that matter, namely Kanan and Ezra, they just want to know who the scary dude in black is. This is where Ahsoka comes in… On board the Ghost ship with Hera as they fight alongside the Phoenix Squadron against the Empire, Ahsoka tries to use the Force to identify the Sith Lord who had terrified the lads, only to get chills down her spine when an all-too-familiar voice (albeit with a much deeper tone) senses her presence just as easily…

2015-08-17 18.33.30 (800x427)If you haven’t watched Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal, the hour-long movie will premiere on Disney X D on Sat October 3 at 8am (Singapore time). If you have, it’s worth a second viewing I’m sure you will agree. The rest of Season 2 should follow suit every Saturday thereafter. (And look out for the Star Wars Lego short films, Star Wars Chronicles: Droid Tales on weekends as well – they are brilliant and downright hilarious!)

You can also enact fun adventures with the Star Wars Rebels – and other Star Wars heroes – in the Disney console game, Disney Infinity 3.0 (see https://musingsonthem49.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/star-wars-hyperspeeds-into-disney-infinity-3-0-and-beyond/).

Meanwhile, here’s the trailer for SWR2:

May the Force be with You.


My 1993 SEA Games “Glory” Days…

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After 22 years, the SEA Games (5-16 June) is finally back in Singapore. Don’t know why it took so long but better late than never again, say what.  Last Saturday, watching the opening ceremony full dress rehearsal at the new Singapore Sports Hub certainly brought back lovely memories of the 1993 SEA Games, the last one on home soil. Working at the then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (now MediaCorp), I was fortunate enough to be assigned with the production team covering Athletics at the old iconic National Stadium.

Sea Games 93001 (800x544)Of course, being a football fan, I would rather be covering football but then again, so did dozens of other football-mad colleagues. In the end, the #1 favourite sport in Singapore was left to the station’s experienced sports crew while non-sports production people such as we from Current Affairs were assigned to “safer” coverage where simple mistakes were not easily picked on…Sea Games 93002Working with a veteran German sports producer, a super efficient assistant producer from England, and various local studio and camera crew – sincere apologies as I can’t recall any names 22 years later (I was only 5 then, ahem…) – we were stationed outside the National Stadium in a small broadcasting van (pictured above) for the duration of the two-week Games, covering everything track and field.2015-05-24 17.46.01 (800x800)JAMES THE GOLD DISCUS MAN
Now, back then, Singapore’s athletics sucked big time. especially in the ’80s after some glory days in the ’70s. So we at the National Stadium were simply going through the motions watching the likes of Malaysia and Indonesia sweeping gold after gold. Then cometh the moment, cometh the man…

Up stepped the mighty James Wong, then 24, doing his bit at the Discus. We had hope for this lad who tried so hard to get sponsorship to train and study in the United States, while the Singapore swimmers practically have “study money” given to them on a platter. With a heave and a ho, he struck Athletics Gold for Singapore, the first one in yons. A mere 20-odd supporters cheered him inside the stadium including his mum and his then girlfriend (now his wife) while, unbeknownst to James, a 10-man TV production crew was yelling themselves hoarse at his achievement in a compact van outside the stadium. There weren’t any government officials or sports council folks on hand to congratulate James immediately as most were either at the swimming arena (as swimming was Singapore’s golden goose then) or at the weightlifting venue (yes, those were the days).

Well, James Wong stole our hearts and he continued to do so for the next two decades, winning consecutive SEA Games discus golds from 1993 to 2005, including a discus-hammer double in 1997, and then again in 2009 and 2011, after a brief retirement.
Bless you, James.
2015-05-24 17.31.35 (800x800)2015-05-24 17.32.59 (800x800)
Yup, really loved my SEA Games stint, the only sports assignment in my 10-year television career, so much so that I still have the production vest (above) and in good condition it is too! (The T-shirt is packed somewhere, I’m sure of it..) Next to my specially-minted 1993 SEA Games stamps and matchboxes, it’s among my treasured items of all-time.
2015-05-30 21.17.08 (800x648)Though the 28th SEA Games opening ceremony is on Friday June 5, Singapore has already won two golds through table tennis (some events started early). Unlike 1993, we are likely to do much better this time in a wider selection of sports and most importantly with young homegrown talents. I’m not holding my breath for the Singapore Under-23s in football, but I think we will do remarkably well in shooting, sailing, and of course swimming. (Update: SG just won its first ever golds in synchronised swimming and fencing, woo-hoo!)

Do catch a SEA Games sport or two if you could from now till 16 June – some are ticketed, some are free (check papers or the official website @ www.seagames2015.com for details).  ‘Cos it will take another decade or so before it return to our shores again!

All Photos by Marguerita Tan Photography 2015. No text or images are to be used without permission from the blog author.