Walt Disney’s Africa Showcase: A busy year ahead

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On 22 July, I was fortunate enough to attend Disney’s Africa Content Showcase with the Kervmister at the Southern Sun Hotel in Cape Town. Upon arrival we were greeted by Deidre King who is Head of Marketing for Disney Africa, and she assured us we were in for a treat, which indeed we were!

Each year Disney puts on an Annual Press Showcase that features all the projects they are working on. Now to most that would mean movies and perhaps some rodent related toys but it is in fact much much more. For this piece I will focus mainly on the theatrical releases they presented but know that they also included fashion, their range of channels on DSTV, DVD releases, live events (like the “Disney On Ice” show which I highly recommend and can be booked via Computicket) and games like “Disney Infinity” and new series like Star Wars Rebels  (which Kervyn spoke about yesterday).

But let’s first look at some of the movies we got to see.

First up was a movie that Kervyn and myself saw last night:  yes, the much anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy. I fear you may have to wait another day or two for the review while the doctors work on Kervyn’s central nervous system, as he went into a catatonic state when the credits started rolling and is still foaming at the mouth. All I will say is that it is absolutely brilliant and in my opinion, Marvel’s best movie to date.

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) Ph: Jay Maidment ©Marvel 2014

Okay, I had to get that out the way as I cannot stop thinking about Guardians of the Galaxy, damn you James Gunn! (PS: he Favorited my tweet. I am NOT worthy!) The coolest NEW thing we got to see though was some footage from Ant-Man and damn it looks brilliant! Honey I shrunk the Kids can sit down, thanks. Ant-Man is going to have a lot of people very happy going by the gasps and chatter from the room, and even though I know zip about the comics I am eager to see this.

Marvel's Ant-Man Conceptual Film Test Stills/Artwork ©Marvel 2015

Before you bust something and need medical attention, no, we didn’t get to see any actual footage from The Avengers: Age of Ultron. We did get to see some behind the scenes bits which had me bouncing around like a ping pong ball. Of course, the fact that one of these battles was shot in our very own Johannesburg was drummed home by the presenter and we got to see a SAPS van thrown about by an invisible force that will later probably be the Hulk or a pissed off local. Other bits included some new footage of siblings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Conceptual Artwork ©Marvel 2015

Next up was a movie I actually hadn’t heard of and at first thought might tell the tale of Rob Stark’s arm, though I’m not sure which one. Entitled Million Dollar Arm the film follows the story of two young Indian boys brought over to America in the hopes that their great bowling in cricket will work on the baseball field. It stars Jon Hamm (Mad Men) as a sports agent  that tracks down the aspiring baseball stars Dinesh (Madhur Mittal from Slumdog Millionaire) and Rinku (Suraj Sharma from Life of Pi) and promises to offer warm fuzzy feelings all round.

MILLION DOLLAR ARM

Moving from million dollar arms to, I assume, million dollar robots, Big Hero 6 was well received by all present. I know Darryn (oops, apparently not, James perhaps? Kervyn?) said he wasn’t convinced but the trailer I saw had everyone crying with laughter! Looks like a lot of fun. I mean, when the robot’s battery is drained he comes across as drunk, drunk robots, WIN! Big Hero 6 is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who’s catapulted into the midst of a dangerous plot and must transform his closest companion—a balloon-like robot named Baymax—and a diverse group of friends into a band of high-tech heroes.

BH6_BattleBulgeForward_B1

And there was plenty more for the children. Cinderella, a new live action treatment, is due out in 2015 and follows the age old tale but in a slightly more contemporary way and is directed by Kenneth Branagh (Thor, Hamlet).

CINDERELLA

But for me the biggest surprise came in the appearance of a new CGI comedy called Inside Out. Think Meet Dave, then forget it immediately. From Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up) comes this new comedy all about emotions; Anger, Fear, Disgust Sadness and Joy to be precise. Running their operations from within our head(quarters) they deal with Riley’s day to day activities in a new city and all the new stresses that includes. The short clip that involved seeing the emotions in Riley’s mother’s head vs the almost army-like emotions in her father’s was hysterical so keep an eye out for this!

JL_approved_insideOutLogo_fin

Lastly for today we were presented with a long trailer for Planes 2, which is more of the same but still looks fun. Disney went out of their way to show off their range of shows for the kiddies and to be honest if I was a child I’d be thrilled with what is coming out over the next year or two. From some great looking shows to games like Skylanders things have certainly come a long way from when I was a kid and that makes me both sad and glad!

PS. Sadly my questions at the end led to my immediate death by lightsaber.

Couldn't use the force...

Last Updated: July 24, 2014

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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