Oh, disposable income, how I miss thee...
As the countdown to Mickey Mouse's 90th Anniversary on November 18th continues, The Walt Disney Company has unveiled a host of new products to mark the occasion, along with some special celebrations set to take place at Disney Parks. Following the announcement of Mickey: The True Original Exhibition, new Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Product Launches hitting the scene this week and beyond include collaborations with fashion and footwear brands like Forever 21 and Vault by Vans (pictured top), luxury candy boutique Sugarfina, Brooklyn-based ice cream company Ample Hills Creamery, along with new capsule collections available exclusively at Disney stores and shopDisney.com, commemorative titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, a line of plush and toys by Just Play and a new Mickey Mouse Brickheadz figure from LEGO.
The celebration to honor of the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse is about to kick into high gear! Disney today announced that Mickey: The True Original Exhibition, an interactive art exhibit, will open in New York this November. To begin the 90-day countdown, new brand and product collaborations spanning fashion, food, consumer electronics, toys, accessories and more are now available worldwide - many of which I previewed behind closed doors back in February at the 115th North American International Toy Fair (see those in another article). Check out a video preview of the exhibit below, along with all the details on what to expect!
With Disney's Christopher Robin (reviewed here) delighting audiences with a tale of what happened when the most famous boy of The Hundred Acre Wood grew up, I recently had the chance to catch up with Director Marc Forster to discuss the production. While the entire genesis is fascinating - largely prompted a plane ride with his daughter in which she mentioned doing a Winnie the Pooh movie, what I was most interested in was the lived-in and much-loved look of the characters. Seeing Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo, Owl and Rabbit realized in "live-action" thanks to the magic of CGI aided by real-world puppetry was wondrous, but I was curious how they arrived at what we see on screen... characters that looked to be a combination of the "Classic Pooh" from the books by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard along with flourishes taken from the famous Disney animated versions...
Kids should be allowed to be kids and enjoy the freedom of unstructured imaginative play. That's a message that I've spoken of often, and it's one that's placed firmly at the heart of Disney's Christopher Robin. In that film, Christopher (Ewan McGregor) has grown up, and as a father himself, he's forgotten about the importance and magic of play. For his daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), childhood is headed in a bleaker direction until some familiar characters from The Hundred Acre Wood arrive, reminding Christopher of what once was and what still could be. In Los Angeles last week, I had a chance to meet with the 11-year-old actress inhabiting the role of Madeline to discuss the experience of joining Winnie the Pooh and friends for their first live-action adventure. Already a professional actor with a bright career ahead of her, how does Bronte play?
When I last met up with actress Hayley Atwell, it was December of 2015. I was Los Angeles for the Global Media Event for the theatrical launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but in the midst of things my group made a detour. After rolling onto the Universal Studios lot on Burbank, California, we soon found ourselves at the Los Angeles Office for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). An incredible, 360° set located just a quick walk from where The Voice was taping, the 1940's-era West Coast home base for the precursor to S.H.I.E.L.D. was a sight to behold, and sadly, the work that went into creating it was seen in just one season of Marvel's Agent Carter. Just a few months later, that series would come to an end, but like many actors that find themselves welcomed into the Disney family, Atwell would soon find herself embarking on another adventure... this time into The Hundred Acre Wood. With Disney's Christopher Robin (reviewed here) now playing in theaters everywhere, Hayley sat down with a crew of the usual suspects (myself included) to talk about her role as Evelyn Robin in the film that would see Winnie the Pooh and friends brought to the big screen in live-action for the very first time.
Going into the World Premiere of Disney's Christopher Robin on The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank Monday night, I was in the unique position that I'd actually already done something that much of the cast and crew had not - I'd seen the film in a private screening with my group the night before. Now, writing this review a day prior to its theatrical release, I'm eager to see it again with my family - a prospect that I was already looking forward to before seeing it, and am even more excited about having seen it twice already. Christopher Robin isn't necessarily the film that you might think that it is. Indeed, young Christopher isn't really that young anymore, and yes - the residents of The Hundred Acre Wood do set out to help him (as seen in the trailers), but that's not the point. Christopher Robin is a film about family - specifically about being present and aware of all that is good around us. As I tweeted upon exiting the theater, Christopher Robin is a film that will make you rethink your life, and it's also about something that's very dear to me... the importance of play.