For Descendants 3, Ortega wants Disney Channel Royalty

(Disney Channel/Image Group LA)

Directing and Choreography extraordinaire Kenny Ortega was recently interviewed by People’s Choice where he expressed interest in getting some Disney Channel veterans to return for the third Descendants film.

He would love to make a Descendants 3 if the fans express interest (um…we do.) As far as the talent involved, he threw out some heavyweights in the Disney realm.

“I would like Miley to come back and I would like Vanessa to come back,” Kenny said. “How about the Jonas Brothers could all come back and be our Lost Boys? I’m a big fan of so many of the artists that have come out of the channel and have gone on to have great careers, those that I’ve had an opportunity to work with and those that I haven’t had an opportunity to work with.”

I think I can speak for us all by saying “YES!” and at the same time “THEY WOULD NEVER!”

Wishful thinking is sometimes best thinking. However if any of them try to go for my Hades’ son part, I will kick them out of the way so fast and so hard…IT IS MINE. *breathes*

Would you like to see these veterans return to Disney Channel? What other veterans would you like to see return? (Monique Coleman in ALL THE THINGS, please.) Share your ideas below!

Everything Changes: The Fandom and its Freak-Outs

July 15th, 2017. A day that will live in infamy…for the Disney fandom. The Parks & Resorts panel, for the first time ever, actually exceeded expectations. Known for a whole lotta nothing, this year the team at the Parks division of the company finally delivered.

The above is a comprehensive list of every announcement made at the panel. It was a LOT. I was actually at the Magic Kingdom during the panel and went on Peoplemover just so I could have a relaxing time while constantly refreshing my Twitter feed. With every refresh came a new announcement, it was insane.

The changes announced received a lot of trepidation throughout the community. Now, this isn’t a new thing. However, fans usually pick and choose. Disney fans are a contradictory bunch by nature and I firmly own up to it.

One of the biggest arguments coming out of the Expo was the characterization of Epcot. By that, the original vision of Epcot was more adult, more edutainment based, and with a lack of characters. However, looking towards the future of the park sees characters popping up all over the place.

My own contradictory nature came into play with the Epcot announcements as I adore the old school mentality of the park, but I am fine with characters. The reveal that Ratatouille would be coming to France was a double-win, as it seems that we are also keeping Impressions De France. Score! We get to keep the beauty of the Epcot films plus a new fun family attractions based on Ratatouille. I am here for it. Yet, on the flip side, the reveal of Ellen’s Energy Adventure closing to make way for a Guardians of the Galaxy ride was a double blow. I adore Ellen’s Energy Adventure and I hate Guardians, so it was a multi-layered bad news item.

I was mad at Tower of Terror leaving at DCA for Guardians. I’m confused at the choice of Mickey design for the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. I’m bummed about The Great Movie Ride leaving, but I get it. I’m excited for Tron. I’m absolutely stoked for the new theater on Main Street.

Every Disney fan is going to have their own opinions about the future of the theme parks. That is a known fact. That being said and known, I am tired of how the fandom treats those who don’t agree with them.

The amount I saw this weekend with people viscerally angry at those excited for Ratatouille or those not looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy was crazy. It defeats the whole purpose of Disney itself.

I know I’m going to get flak for going full cheese, but it’s true. This community is one that is filled with joy because of their belief in the power of dreams and magic. So, when people within the community yell at each other for their own warranted opinions is ridiculous.

We all appreciate different things about Disney and their theme parks. Let’s coexist within the community and understand everyone’s opinions. So, while I can be mourning the loss of Ellen’s Energy Adventure, I understand if you are excited for the future. Come on, Disney Fandom. In the words of Hayley Mills, Let’s Get Together!

 

Magic Kingdom OOTD: Brer Rabbit DisneyBound

I had a super fun day at the Kingdom recently and decided to try my hand out at DisneyBounding the Splash Mountain hare. I’m really trying to up my DisneyBound game, especially since men have less options to work with as far as accessories and such.

This time around, I looked at what I had available and tried to work out a DB based on what I already had. It’s harder to do, as you don’t have a specific character in mind to start, but thought this was a perfect Magic Kingdom choice. However, I did feel out of place outside of Frontierland!

I had a plain J.Crew Pink V-Neck T-shirt lying around, along with a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch Royal Blue shorts. Now, just the color blocking needed something else to help scream “Brer Rabbit,” so I went on Amazon for some inspiration. I ended up finding this Red and White Polka Dot Headband on Amazon, which reminded me of his sack he carries around with him. I decided to wear it on my wrist instead, since putting on my head made me look like a straight up idiot. Well, more than normal.

It was a very quick bound, but fun nonetheless. I’m hoping to find more outfits already in my closet, ’cause I am on a BUD*claps*GET.

Let’s Discuss “Descendants 2″…

We were all treated to another trip to Auradon and the Isle of the Lost this past Friday with the premiere of Descendants 2 and it was a time. While you can find my proper review over on LaughingPlace.com, I had many a spoiler-filled thought during the film that I thought we’d break down as a collective unit. Let me know in the comments if you had and of the same reactions I did.

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

  • Opening with a dream sequence is a…choice. It does work though, thanks to a super fun song (teaching kids across the world how to spell wicked, just like “Did I Mention?” taught them how to spell ridiculous. Is the Descendants franchise actually an English class? Discuss.) and prime Kenny Ortega choreography. Those apple moves tho. Related image
  • Love. Blonde. Mal.
  • I need a GIF of Mal going “She multitasks” and flipping her hair more than I need the ability to breathe. I will use it for all occasions.
  • Why is everyone all about the magic wand? I mean, I’m here for that being the symbol of all power, especially since it’s owner is a delightful middle aged woman, but you would expect something a little more over-the-top.
  • Chad is a tool. Chad is a caricature of every and all fraternity brothers across this country and I’m obsessed. He’s misogynistic, full of himself, and I’m over him. Honestly, have you ever met a decent Chad?
  • Lonnie has quickly become my favorite character. Her mom is Mulan, so that’s a win, but that line where she’s all “If my mother thought like that, she wouldn’t have won the war” had me slayed into a new dimension.
  • “What’s My Name” is a jam and if you don’t agree, you are free to leave.
  • The greatest part about this movie is either Harry Hook or Harry Hook’s arms. I’m having the hardest time deciding. Image result for harry hook gif
  • Dizzy is flipping adorable, Lady Tremaine’s Curl Up and Dye is a fabulous pun, and I’m obsessed with this entire scene. Dizzy’s “Great. More sweeping.” was a masterclass of sarcastic acting. She must’ve learned from the Raven-Symone School for Sarcasm.

  • Lonnie’s presence is making this rap battle less bizarre. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but it was a tonal shift, to say the least. Also, that Harry Hook evil laugh is my new ringtone.
  • We all going to ignore Dude talking? Yeah. K, great.
  • Carlos asking Jane (finally!) is adorable and sweet and if that doesn’t work out, honestly, I’m available.
  • Truly, I would wear anything Carlos wears out on the town. His wardrobe is sick. Also, Lonnie’s pant number for cotillion is my new aesthetic.
  • This final twist is cray (Uma is one slippery villain), but this final “battle” is a little…odd. Uma just swims away? She must have something up her sleeve for a third movie, ’cause I don’t trust anyone who works at a Fish N’ Chips place.
  • “You And Me” may be the greatest finale song for a DCOM ever don’t @ me. Also, choreography in two inches of water is the Kenny Ortega work we deserve.
  • Dizzy is going to Auradon! I’ve never been so happy for a fictional character! Also, can she cut my bangs a little shorter?
  • Uma’s “What, you thought this story was over?” was ominous and exciting. Give me Descendants 3, like, yesterday. Still waiting on the call to be Hades’ son.

You can rewatch Descendants 2 on WatchDisneyChannel.com.

“Raven’s Home” Review/Freak-Out

July 21st at 10pm will stand as the greatest moment of my life. My heart was racing, I was a little shaky from excitement, it was a moment. It sounds over-the-top and cheesy, but it’s hard to describe (even though I’ve attempted to this week on the site) my absolute obsession with this show. Imagine your favorite thing of all-time leaving for a decade, then making a triumphant return. All the emotions.

So, the show began with a “Raven’s Home was filmed in front of a live studio audience.” voice over you don’t normally expect from Disney Channel, but was exciting. The laughter never felt recorded at any point, always felt organic.

Now, the actually 30 minutes flew by and were exactly what I wanted. My biggest worry was even though Raven’s name is in the title and the first billing in the opening credits, she wouldn’t get much to do. However, my worries were laid to rest mighty quickly. Raven gets equal time with her children, which is great. The first “crazy situation” was the perfect way to start the show off and to introduce kids who didn’t grow up on TSR to the concept.

The most interesting take-away is the family secrets brewing. I would never have expected Raven to hide her visions from her kids, but brings fun dynamic to the show. On top of that, Booker begins to get visions in the pilot episode and decides to not tell his mother. Psychic Drama Alert! It will interesting to see how long those secrets last and if their visions ever overlap (like the episode of TSR where two psychics, unknown to each other, save a girl from being hit by a school door.)

Booker and Nia, Raven’s children, are both great and I’m excited to see where the show takes them over the course of the first season. Chelsea’s kid, Levi, is exactly what you’d expect Chelsea to raise and he really holds his own against his mother, who is a comedic heavyweight in my eyes. Tess, the neighbor across the hallway, is also a fun comedic character who I’m excited to see get into more shenanigans,

Their Chicago apartment is wonderfully designed. Since Raven and Chelsea are both on a budget, the space is cramped. However, all the decorations look like a Pinterest user’s dream come true. Lots of DIY details really make the space great. Also, have we ever seen thee couch on a sitcom be a pull-out sofa?! Groundbreaking.

The writing was killing it all episode, making me laugh uncomfortably loud a few times. “Son of a Chelsea” is not only a genius line, but what Raven adds to it with her energy and inflection (“Boy, we gonna have to put a bell on you…”) made my laughing spree grow. Chelsea had some great moments as well, with “Raven, you can’t go to the gym! You’re wearing wedges they have no traction!”

I am so relieved and excited and overwhelmed at how good the pilot was and how strong the set-up is for the season to come. I’m thrilled to be back into the Baxter/Daniels fray and I cannot wait for more. Now, to figure out how to get a role on the show…

Cheetah Girls 2: Celebrating 10 Fierce Years

This week is Raven Week on disneyBOP! We’ll bring you a new post leading up to the premiere of Raven’s Home this Friday. This article originally appeared on LaughingPlace.com in April of 2016.

August 25th, 2006 was the date. I had just started the fifth grade at a new school. I was rezoned to an elementary school that was needed, but wasn’t built, so the campus was made up entirely of portables. Instead of the kids I had grown up with, it was a smattering of students from the area. Those first weeks of school were rough for all of us. We had a new campus to get accustomed to, along with new friends, new teachers, a new curriculum, etc. There was one thing that connected many of us, however, and that was the all-important DCOM Cheetah Girls 2.

That night the film premiered, followed by the world premiere Vanessa Hudgens’ first music video “Baby Come Back,” and I went bananas. I called my friend Victoria during every commercial to gab about what was happening. The Monday we returned, most of us in my AGP class had memorized lyrics and choreography already. We then proceeded to recreate scenes from the movie at recess.

For those unfamiliar, the movie followed four girls who had a music group to a singing competition in Barcelona. Tensions were high and sabotage from other performers was present as they set out to bring their act around the world and to make their success go global. It starred the Queen Emeritus of Disney Channel (and if I have anything to say about it, Disney Legend inductee?), Miss Raven-Symone.

Now, let’s talk very quickly about Raven because she ruled Disney Channel during this time. That’s So Raven continues to be the best Disney Channel original series of all-time. Cheetah Girls 2 is the best musical DCOM they’ve ever released. She also had multiple singles and albums (most of which I sing to myself in my room on a daily basis) with music videos that played all the time, “Some Call It Magic” being my fave. She was everywhere, and for good reason, since her talent is incredible. I love CG2, but I LOVE Raven Symone.

I made lifelong friends from the Cheetah Girls 2 obsession (HEY LAUREN HEY! FABULOUS SNAPS FOR DAYS!). However, it not only changed my fifth-grade experience, it changed Disney Channel.

On August 25th, 2006, Disney Channel solidified itself as the Queen of Musicals. Cheetah Girls, the original, did well. HSM did extremely well. Those two could have been flukes, but the ratings success of CG2 (actually beating HSM as the most watched DCOM of 2006) made it known that the movie musical was back to stay. Not only was it back to stay, but Disney Channel was the only one that could make the ratings successes happen. With that, we received Cheetah Girls 3Camp Rock 1 and 2, High School Musical 2 (the third being released in theaters), Teen Beach Movie 1 and 2, and now Descendants. Nickelodeon tried to compete, but theirs were nowhere close to the television blockbusters Disney produced. Do you remember Nickelodeon’s Rags? Exactly.

While #HSM10 was a huge deal and I still miss the days of singing “We’re All In This Together” at lunch with friends (Wildcat Claw, Wildcat Claw, Punch Right, Punch Left…), Cheetah Girls 2‘s 10th anniversary is the one we should be celebrating — it changed the face of Disney Channel.

 

Raven-Symonè: My Idol

This week is Raven Week on disneyBOP! We’ll bring you a new post leading up to the premiere of Raven’s Home this Friday. This article originally appeared on LaughingPlace.com in December.

For those unfamiliar with my blog and writing, you may not know that I am 20 years old. (If this is the first article you’ve read by me, sorry for my abrasive tendencies, love of capitalization for emphasis, and my constant mentions of Bunheads.) Being a millennial and a child of the early 2000s, I grew up during the Disney Channel Golden Age. This, being a self given term, was when every sitcom was firing on all cylinders, every DCOM was an event, and when the stars of the channel were the biggest names in showbiz.

I grew up with a vast knowledge of Hannah Montana’s discography (It’s still there, too. “I Got Nerve” is her best track and I will fight you on it.) I grew up knowing Taran Killam before SNL (Looking at you, Stuck in the Suburbs). I grew up counting the hidden Z’s in Zenon: Z3 to unlock the bonus content online.

There was one person, however, that I grew up with that truly shaped me into the person I am today, and her name is Raven-Symonè.

That’s So Raven was the pinnacle of television comedy for me, and frankly still continues to be. The chemistry between Raven and her costars (I love you Anneliese Van Der Pol!) was the best Disney Channel has ever seen. They never seemed scripted. Their comedic timing was top notch, especially for a sitcom made for a demographic that doesn’t scream for impeccable line reading.

On the show, Raven showcased ability to be fantastic at verbal or physical comedy. It stills holds up, as well. Yes, she always has a vision and yes, she always gets it wrong. However, the variety of storylines they produced always kept the central idea fresh. The show was so successful, that Disney Channel allowed it to become the first sitcom on their network to reach 100 episodes. That is saying something.

On top of the successful series, she had The Cheetah Girls franchise, the Zenon franchise, a role in my favorite film of all-time (Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement) and many an album and single released.

When you hear comedians discuss who their idols growing up were, you always hear the same names. Carlin, Ball, Van Dyke, Pryor, etc. Raven is that for me. Some don’t understand how someone so young can still be an idol, but I truly believe Raven-Symonè single-handedly gave me my love of comedy.

Not only was her work on her own sitcom inspiring, but how she held herself even more so. She always is appreciative of her fame and doesn’t want to slack off. It is her job to perform and she does an incredible job at it. As someone who wants to get into the industry through comedy, it is a great message to carry around as I work towards achieving my goals.

On top of all that, we need to take a moment to talk about her music, because I am actually obsessed. I have a friend who will always play multiple Raven tracks in a row as we drive into Disney World now to get me excited for the day at the parks. Her covers are brilliant (“Superstition?” Great. “Grazin’ in the Grass?” Legendary. I sang that so much that my 2nd grade teacher probably still loathes me to this day. “Double Dutch Bus?” Don’t start playing it in the car, ’cause there isn’t enough room for me to flail from excitement.) and her originals are even better (“Backflip” is my all-time, go to jam. “Some Call It Magic” is the only song I ever requested on Radio Disney…and 2 years after it was released. #SorryNotSorry). Heck, I could write a 20-age dissertation on how the Disney Channel Stars’ covers would have failed without her riffing. (COME THROUGH, CIRCLE OF LIFE) She created an entire brand out of incredible comedy, fantastic music, and a genuineness and understanding of the business that led to my obsession and fascination with entertainment as a whole.

Why am I writing this now? Well, a few weeks ago, it was announced that That’s So Ravenwould be receiving a reboot. I was watching The View when she made the announcement and it was a lot for me to handle. She said the words “That’s So Raven 2” (or “Too”…maybe she was just citing the second soundtrack to her sitcom?) and I began to cry. This isn’t me exaggerating. I actually began to cry over the announcement.

I do hope that they allow Raven to shine on the sequel, even if the show will prominently feature her kids. While I adore Girl Meets World, Cory and Topanga are not a focal point. Raven deserves to continue to be the star, as her brand of comedy has been sorely lacking on the network and TV at large. I NEED her to get into her own shenanigans on the new show.

The show means everything to me. It’s a fantastic comedy, but also as the thing that kickstarted my love for the medium and genre. Here’s hoping I can work my way up to being on the show in the ultimate full-circle moment.

Thank you, Raven-Symonè. For teaching me how to be funny. For showing me true talent. For being an inspiration for decades. Thanks. For everything.

The Importance of That’s So Raven’s “True Colors” Episode

This week is Raven Week on disneyBOP! We’ll bring you a new post leading up to the premiere of Raven’s Home this Friday.

During my rewatch of That’s So Raven to prepare for Raven’s Home, I had the opportunity to view the “True Colors” episode. Airing in February of 2005, the episode focused on the past and present of Black History Month and the black experience in America.

The Cory plotline has him trying to write a school report on Black History Month. During an extended dream sequence, Cory meets the black icons and trailblazers of the past. It is a quick segment in the grand scheme of things, but a really important one for me as a kid. It was one of the first times I heard names like Bessie Coleman and Madame CJ Walker. In the normal elementary curriculum we are accustomed to hits the same highlights every year. Martin Luther King Jr. George Washington Carver. That’s about it. They invite around 10 different black figures who have changed the face of the globe into the Baxter house during Cory’s dream sequence.

The main purpose of the episode is to highlight racial discrimination in the workplace and how it still exists in a post-Civil Right society. Yes, you read that right. A Disney Channel sitcom tackled workplace racism and prejudice.

When Raven goes to apply for a job at the mall, Chelsea joins in. Raven aces the interview. Chelsea…completes it. When Chelsea gets the job, shockingly, and Raven doesn’t, questions arise.

A vision comes in and it shows the shop manager saying “I don’t hire black people,” and the air drops out of the room. From there, the show straight up tackles racism. It’s an important episode and one that opened up an important dialogue for kids across the country.

When the episode was released, I was in the 3rd grade. Up to that point, all discussions of Black History Month were in the past. Modern black icons were never discussed, nor was anything talked about post-desegregation. All events and people after that were ignored in school. So, even though I knew it existed, seeing a television show mention it in such a direct way was important and incredibly educational.

That was one of the first moments where my eyes were opened to the prejudices of people in the world and how racism still exists. It began an important conversation for a generation that wasn’t receiving it in school, all while still bringing the laughs. However, did we expect anything less from the show that tackled body shaming and culture-based bullying?! NO MA’AM.

 

Anneliese Van Der Pol: Underrated Icon

This week is Raven Week on disneyBOP! We’ll bring you a new post leading up to the premiere of Raven’s Home this Friday. 

That’s So Raven made Raven, and understandably so, the center of attention. Her timing was spot-on and she brought all viewers along this crazy supernatural comedic ride. However, Miss Chelsea Daniels, played effortlessly by Anneliese Van Der Pol.

Chelsea is beloved, don’t get me wrong. I mean, she’s a key part of Raven’s Home. However, Anneliese deserves more credit for anything and everything she does.

Anneliese spent 4 seasons as Chelsea Daniels. I’m currently rewatching the whole series and Chelsea really has a big personality change across the run of the show. She started off as a confident best friend character at the beginning, but slowly turned into someone who is three clicks behind everyone else. She built onto the character with ease and consistently stole scenes she was in. I don’t plan on getting a tattoo, but if I did, it would just be “Do You Carry A Lunchbox?”

During her stint on the show, she wasn’t given the similar trajectory of other Disney Channel stars, which is a bummer. I still wish she had the opportunity to star in a DCOM of her own. However, we did get some incredible singles. She stole the show on two different Disneymania tracks sung by the Disney Channel Stars. “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” and “Circle of Life” are Anneliese’s. Sorry ’bout it.

She did get to flex her solo chops on a gorgeous cover of “Candle on the Water” from Pete’s Dragon that is on my Top 5 song list. She also sings “Over It” from the DCOM Stuck in the Suburbs. Girl can belt. BELT. It’s an underrated track that deserves more credit.

Anneliese then went on to become the theatre star she was always meant to become. Beauty and the Beast closed on Broadway with Anneliese as the final Belle. Let me repeat: Girl can BELT. I wish the entire production was recorded with her in it, but at least we have this performance.

After that, she went on to star in the off-broadway musical Vanities. The show was destined for Broadway, but the recession hit and the show rode off into the sunset. The album is fantastic and her performance on “Cute Boys with Short Hair Cuts” is mindblowingly good. I hope she goes back to Broadway again in the near future, as she deserves all the acclaim and all the Tonys.

After a guest appearance on Shake It Up, she’s back on Disney Channel and I am ready for it. My beloved Anneliese is back to kill the comedy game once again. Anneliese Van Der Pol deserves the title of Disney Channel Legend.

“A Wrinkle In Time” Has Us Shook Into Another Dimension

We received the first teaser trailer for the upcoming film A Wrinkle In Time, being released March 9th, 2018. I have come back from the grave to write this post, as this trailer left me dead. The stunning imagery (Ava DuVernay’s visual style is clearly seen in the first clips and it is SO appreciated. Look for the shot of the three witches in the tall grass, as it made me yell “OH MY…”), the gorgeous cover of “Sweet Dreams,” and the Oprah narration all mix together to create one of the great teaser trailer’s I’ve ever seen.  Check out the trailer below.

The trailer was announced following the cast coming out on stage at the D23 Expo Live-Action panel. I really loved seeing them quickly talk about the film and the true excitement on all of their faces. Watch for Ava being thrilled to be there, stay for Oprah giving everyone posters.