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The 2017 D23 Expo was absolutely massive, and while I live-tweeted the festivities direct from the show floor, I'm still trying to collect my thoughts on everything that I've seen and heard, even now that I've been back in Illinois for a full day. At the live-action film presentation, Alan Horn, Chairman, Walt Disney Studios, introduced Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production to give an overview of what moviegoers can expect to see across Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm over the next few years. For a few projects, development is still fairly early on, but ALADDIN was confirmed to be directed by Guy Ritchie, with Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie, with original music by Alan Menken with Pasek & Paul (La La Land) handling lyrics. MULAN will be helmed by Niki Caro (McFarland, USA, Whale Rider), and JUNGLE CRUISE marks the latest Disneyland ride to get a big screen nod, with Dwayne Johnson set to star. Those announcements simply scratch the surface, as the lineup is huge, and I've got all the details below...

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As the 2017 edition of the D23 Expo draws to a close, closing the book on another installment of "The Ultimate Disney Fan Event," the news is really just getting started. I'm still here in Anaheim, getting ready to head back to Chicago on the red eye - and much of what I've seen has yet to be revealed. I did get a rare look backstage in the growing "Hall D23," and alongside all the technical magic, much of the talent involved with the next few years of entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm was on-hand to drop the curtain on a few surprises. So what did all of these actors and filmmakers do while hanging out in the pipe-and-drape "green rooms?" They had fun, and made some videos - many of which are now on Instagram. From Jon Favreau representing THE LION KING, to the voices of the Disney Princesses, the cast of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, MARY POPPINS and a host of AVENGERS and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, take a look at some of what happened backstage...

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Nothing at all against Emily Blunt (she's lovely and married to Jim Halpert John Krasinski), but I thought I had Mary Poppins cast perfectly back in December of 2015. My choice: Star Wars' Daisy Ridley.  Alas, my choice was overruled by the powers that be, and Mary Poppins Returns has come to life under the direction of Rob Marshall with Blunt in the title role, alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. Today we've got the first photo of Ms. Blunt as Ms. Poppins. Take a look!

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Over at Yahoo!, there's a feature called "The Weekly Flickr," in which they highlight a fantastic photographer for creating standout content. This week's episode focuses on Angela Bosner, a San Diego Mom who definitely rocks. While she certainly has taken some beautiful photos, its the subject matter that really stands out. Her main focus is her youngest daughter, and their trips to Disneyland. What makes these trips special is that on each one, young Haylie is wearing a custom-made, hand-sewn costume, each crafted by her Mom. The results are stellar. Check out the video below...

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Monday, March 17 2014 00:13

Review: SAVING MR. BANKS (Blu-ray)

The gestation of a film from paper to screen is often an interesting one, and in the case of any work that's "Based on a True Story," the parallels between reality and creative liberty can become the subject of scrutiny. In the case of a film like SAVING MR. BANKS, things are even more open to discussion and dissection, as the source material is the result of research and point-of-view from several angles, made even more challenging by the fact that many of the subjects are no longer around to offer their input. The result is a delightful and fascinating (if not entirely accurate) film that focuses on one period within the legendary career of Walt Disney - the end of his twenty-year pursuit of author P.L. Travers in hopes of bringing her character, MARY POPPINS, to the big screen. Out this week on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD, the folks at Walt Disney Studios sent a copy here for review, and now I'm throwing down some virtual ink on it.

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