Star Wars Rebels- Mind Games

Surprising Revelation Leads to Confrontation

 

If you were looking for an episode that rivaled some of the Clone Wars best episodes I think you found it tonights with Rise of the Old Masters. The remarkable thing is that it took the Clone Wars a couple of years to produces something like this while Rebels has done it in no less than three episodes. But before we jump straight into the fray with the episode I want to discuss a very exciting addition to the Spark of the Rebellion episode that aired on Sunday night on ABC. For those of you that missed it, audiences were treated to an expanded opening scene that featured Darth Vader himself, in fine form.  This nugget of a scene was voiced by original Darth Vader James Earl Jones and we saw the same life-choking ambition that we grew so fond of in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. He was powerful, short and distinct, and all he wanted to do was end our heroes. Wonderful!!

Turning our attention back to the episode we find Ezra and Kanan embarking on some early Jedi training that is not going well. The dynamic of teacher and master is slowly being explored and both are struggling with their new found roles.  The bantering between the two highlights this struggle but also illustrates the relationships evolution. Questioning Yoda’s “Do, or do not. There is no try” teachings brings a highpoint to this discussion and also show the series isn't afraid to make fun of itself.  One of the drivers in their relationship is the fact that Ezra is near the same age that Kanan was when the Jedi were terminated at the hands of the Emperor.  At this time, everything Kanan had known was suddenly gone and the only thing that was left was doubt and fear.  It took Kanan over a decade to come to terms with this seeing this fear in someone in a similar position has been overwhelming and often times frustrating. The roller coaster of emotion only gets worse as an intercepted transmission reveals startling information that Jedi Master Luminara was still alive, and being held in one of the Empires Strongholds.  An obviously shaken Kanan leads the gang on an immediate trip to rescue her despite the overwhelming odds. One thing that catches Ezra off-guard is Kanan mentioning the fact that if they can rescue her, she would be an ideal Master to continue his training.  

Finally arriving to the planet we get out first look at the Phantom, the mini-shuttle that is attached to Hera’s ship “The Ghost”.  (These little items really make fans excited, sorry). Once dropped on the side of the fortress the team goes to some make-shift strategies to get into the compound. We begin to see Kanan's Jedi powers used a lot on this trip making us wonder how extensive his training may have been.  He and Ezra finally find the cell the Luminara was being held only to be dumfounded with what they find (and very sad). From here the Inquisitor enters the cell with a demeanor that is as intimidating as his look. Although he is not a sith, we find him very effective with his lightsaber, so much that he makes battling Kanan look simple, and answers our questions about his training. His spinning blade steals the show and makes both Ezra and Zeb ask “Does yours do that?” Adding some perfectly timed comedy within the heat of the battle. As our heroes escape the viewers can’t help notice the amazing nostalgic visuals that the series bring. The inside of the Compound has a very strong resemblance to the Death Star and the blast doors bring back the visions of Han and Luke trying to escape.

In the end of the episode we find a quiet moment with Ezra and Kanan coming to the realization that they both have some maturing to do in their roles of apprentice and student. The bleak past they once shared is that, of the past, and they must now work together to succeed.

Overall this episode was captivating from beginning to end. The Jedi plot twist made the story especially strong and getting a first look at The Inquisitor was thrilling. I also appreciated the humorous interludes that infuse the dynamics of the characters. As they continue to build out a solid story arc I have a strong feeling we will see more past, current and future (Episode IV) characters to keep us highly entertained!! What did you think of the Episode??

Previous Review- Star Wars Rebels: The Lighter Side

In Case You Missed It- October 25, 2014

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT IS A RECAP OF THE TOP DISNEY NEWS STORIES FROM THE LAST WEEK 

 

- Avengers, Avengers, Avengers!! The Universe literally shut down as the Avengers 2 teaser trailer hit the internet. Marvel really wanted to premiere it during next weeks SHIELD episode but leakers beat them to it. In a quick move they decided to release it Monday night and completely “WOW” the masses. Be sure to check out SHIELD to see it on again in all its glory. As for the trailer itself….Amazing!! James Spaders voiceover is spectacular and the dark use of Pinocchio’s I’ve Got No Strings chills to the core. Makes you wonder what Captain America, Ironman and Thor have in store for us. 

***BREAKING NEWS*** Agents of SHIELD will be treated to an Avengers 2 clip on Tuesday night!! ABC announced on Friday that the first clip of the film will premier during the episode. Can’t wait!!

- Disney Animation Studios announces the 2016 release of Moana! This story charts the plight of a young girl from ancient Oceania in the South Pacific and a wild journey in search of a fabled island. Not much more details have been given accept she travels the seas with the Demi-god Maui. Looks like a good mix of Lilo and Stich meets Indiana Jones. Looks like the Animation studio has found its groove and Lasseter can now get back to the Good Dinosaur and Inside Out.

 

  • Into the Woods gets not only new stills but also a small featurette. This movie is packed will talent and could be a huge hit or a massive miss. Broadway has had issues crossing over to the big screen but hopefully Disney can score up a winner here. The original teaser trailer looked amazing but for these types of movies need continued hype. It will be interesting to see what Johnny Depp does with the Big Bad Wolf character. This along with Pirates of the Caribbean 4 will keep him busy for a while. 

- Along with the massive crowds Disneyland Resort will see this holiday season, it will also be adding some cool additions the second week of December. Thanks to our friends at Micechat.com, we have learned that the Hollywood Backlot at California Adventure will be turned into a Frozen, winter wonderland. This means the entire Mad Hatter area, along with Muppets Vision will be transformed into a Frozen themed area. Something else that caught out eye was also that it looks like Luigi’s Flying Tires in Cars Land will come to an end in January. Although it was a good nostalgic idea, it just didn't turn into a very popular ride. None of the building decor will be changed according to micechat.com, but we will see a newly themed ride that will feature Luigi’s Fiat family using trackless technology in the same space of the current ride. Stay tuned……

-Early reviews for Big Hero 6 have been stellar. Team Lasseter has done something that we haven't seen since the late 80’s with Disney animation… consistency. If reviews are any indication of what the movie will do in theaters we may be on our way to a boys movie series that has never been seen before by Disney Animation. Name the last non-Pixar Disney movie that has had a strong boy following?? Thank you Mr. Lasseter for the passion and the care you have shown not only Disney Animation but the Disneyland Resort.

-Not much news on the Star Wars front but it looks like filming with rap in the next week or so. JJ has done quite a job to keep this one under wraps and as the rumors, leaked photos and story lines run ramped we still don’t have any solid plot details. I found it amusing that we did see some blurry photos of Stormtroopers running through some rubble this week that turned into an internet sensation! Keep it up JJ! We want to be surprised. On another note, the cast did have a big birthday celebration for the one and only Princess Lea, aka Carrie Fisher. How much fun would it have been to be at that party?? On Friday it was also announced that Greig Fraser (Snow White and the Huntsman, Foxcatcher) will be the Cinematographer for the Star Wars spin off that Gareth Edwards will be directing.  Disney again showing that it is serious with how it is handling the Lucasfilm property.

 

This Weeks Featured Collectible: 1955-57 Disneyland Santa Fe Railroad Complete & Unused Ticket Strip (Yellow). This 11” First Class Passage allowed guests a trip around the Magic Kingdom via the Santa Fe Railroad! Each ticket included stubs for each land, including Holidayland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Adventureland. Read More>

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT- OCTOBER 18, 2014

In Case You Missed it- October 18, 2014

  • A Civil War is coming to Marvel!!! After weeks of speculation of what Robert Downey Jr.’s next Marvel move would be he has surprised us all with taking a huge roll in Captain America 3. Reports claim that fans will finally get what they are hoping for with an all out battle between super heroes who will be forced to choose sides in an old fashioned civil rights storyline. Captain America would advocate against Government tracking while Tony Stark would lead a massive initiative to register all individuals with unique powers… Choose your side!!  The most interesting part of this story is that weeks ago Spiderman rumors were swirling in regards to the web-slinger joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This would only make sense due to the fact the he was such and intreclel part of this storyline. This rumor also comes days after Marvel released a new comic book cover depicting this exact thing. If Marvel could swing Spidey (ha ha) and have a massive shake-up of characters through a devastating Cap 3 war, you never know where Avengers 3 would take us….
  • Wicket is joining Star Wars Episode 7!! Or should I say Willow, or Wald?? Anyways….Warwick Davis released a highly entertaining youtube video announcing his invitation to appear in the Star Wars movie. Now he doesn't go into any detail about the role but its great to see JJ Abrams continuing to ramp up our expectations with this incredible cast. One of the most intriguing things about the returning cast members is the excitement they have to join the project. The pride they have for this universe is special and fans are rewarded by it. Check out the video, it is hilarious.
  • Disneyland announces that it is kicking of its Christmas Holiday season November 14! Get ready for snow and hot chocolate in the Happiest Place on Earth. For us on the west coast who are begging for some cooler weather, fake snow on on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle will have to do. I keep hearing rumors we may see the star on the Matterhorn again, fingers crossed. And it looks like the the Jingle Cruise was a one and done…..
  • One of the most exciting, yet least talked about items this week, was that Javier Bardem is in negotiations to play the villain in Pirates of the Caribbean Part 5: Dead Men Tell No TalesOne of the creepiest villains of the last decade can only build on the already popular film franchise. It was also rumored that Orlando Bloom may be back…….what abut Ms. Swan?? I  just hope that they don’t feel the need to make the story so complex it looses its charm (remember 2 & 3?).
  • As a surprise to no one, especially after strong reviews, DisneyXD’s premiere episode of Star Wars Rebels had the highest rated opening in the channels history. The episode didn't disappoint and continued to show us how well this production team is put together. The amazing way they are able to balance old and new content along with making these new characters likable is remarkable. To see our review click here
  • Marvel released the first images of Michael Douglas in Ant-Man. You have to love the fact that he still looks so cool after all these years, and no, it’s not just the car. It’s also well know that the folks who attended a small session with Marvel at New York Comic Con not only received a sneak peak of The Avengers 2, but also were the first to view the Ant-Man teaser trailer!! Brief descriptions hit the web but I refused to read them… I wan to see it!!
  • The Toy Story gang is back!! Pixar just released the following commercial for Toy Story Time Forgot. This Christmas special will air on ABC December 2nd, and based on the hilarious trailer there are no shortcuts in animation, voice talent or story. I appreciate the fact they are telling these Pixar stories on multiple platforms. Similar to the Marvel and Star Wars models. 

 

 

This Weeks Featured Collectible: 1968 Walt Disney Studio Winnie the Pooh & the Blustery Day Annotated Dialogue Recording Script. This 13-page dialogue recording script was produced and used in the making of the beloved animated feature. Read More>

 

 

In Case You Missed It- October 11, 2014

 

Star Wars Rebels: Two for Two

Nostalgic Tone Makes Fledgling Series Shine

DisneyXD premiered its first regular episode of Star Wars Rebels tonight and it took us on a journey that was filled with past references that would make any Star Wars fan excited. We have long come to appreciate the way Dave Filoni's and team have interwoven story lines but tonight gave us a glimpse of the depth these stories will go. I for one was the kid in 1990 visiting Disneyland who rode Star Tours 32 times in a row and had my trusted video camera taping every second of it. So when the Rebels gang begins their mission on a StarSpeeder piloted by a Captain Rex (or a similar model) nostalgia set in. I never thought I’d see my childhood buddy again (accept of corse for in the packaged box in the queue of Star Tours). With this incredible addition, the audience was immediately connected to the episode. On top of this, we are reunited with out favorite two droids R2-D2 and C-3PO. In this world they didn't skip a beat,  the 2 droids, as usual, are a part of an undercover mission that Threepio hasn't a clue and fight every step of the way. This leads to an exciting ploy by the team to steal weapons from an Imperial Commander that hits a few bumps on the way.  When all is about to go horribly wrong Ezra taps into an unknown resource and saves the day. 

This episode, like the Spark of the Rebellion movie, has a basic premise but it is filled with nuggets of important information about the characters and story. We get an opportunity to dig deep into Zebs past and learn about his species downfall at the hands of the Empire. His history alone links his alliance with the Rebel cause. The core of this emotion nearly gets him killed at the hands of Agent Kallus who shows his superior fighting skills and reason for being so feared. He will be a handful for the Rebels as they spread the spark throughout the galaxy. But alas, in another stellar ending, we see a familiar face, along with one of our favorite vessels get their first air time. Senator Organa makes his debut and steals the show with a few pivotal revelations. If you haven't seen it you really need to. Where the story goes from here is anyones guess but the links to the original trilogy are strong and gives me reason to pull out those old VHS tapes again and go with Rex on his first flight again, and again, and again.

What did you think? Was this ending as good as the Spark of the Rebellion ending? Let us know.

Tomorrowland Teaser

Brad Bird's Brave New World Ready for Primetime

Disney studios is an exciting place to be and it reached a fever pitch today a New York Comic Con with the debut of the teaser trailer of the highly anticipated Tomorrowland. Brad Bird’s (The Incredibles) adventure into the great unknown starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie. Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly released the first images and story details giving fans fragments of what the feel and look of the story may be. Before this we really didn't have anything besides some pictures of a suitcase, and again, this same suitcase appearing at D23 with a highly entertaining Brad Bird doing his best to give the broadest hints imaginable. 

This film has largely flown under the radar with the major 2015 blockbusters lined up for Disney but its safe to say that hardcore Disney fans are eagerly anticipating this one as much, if not more, than the Marvel and Lucasfilm offerings. It also perks Disney diehards interest because Walt himself, and is ideas are an integral part of the story. We know filming occurred earlier this year at Disneyland Park where the 1960’s where replicated on the It’s a Small World attraction. What this means to the story I have no idea but I broadly speculate it could be a flashback of George Clooney’s character as a child. This also being said, I have a strong feeling that if it does well at the box office Disneyland may have it’s blueprints for the much needed Tomorrowland makeover. Look at the similarities to past Tomorrowland models and some of these images….very interesting. Could you imagine a D23 announcement about this?? Just saying… Tell us your thoughts on the trailer and if you would like to see a Tomorrowland in Disneyland like the one depicted here. 

Rebels Off and Running- Episode 1

Animated Star Wars Linch-Pin Fails to Disappoint

Breath your sigh of relief Star Wars fans, the formula from Clone Wars is still intact. Take some time to salute Pixar and Marvel for paving such lucrative paths for Disney to trust in this first Star Wars installment. The freedom Lucasfilm had to utilize Dave Filoni and bring-in Simon Kinberg to maintain the beloved trend Clone Wars started seemed to have worked..so far. The result has brought us an exciting kick-off to the season premier of Star Wars Rebels, and with that, comes new stories and characters that will attempt to mesh within the Star Wars universe. 

I find it interesting, and encouraging, that not too much was crammed into this first episode. The mere fact that a simple search and rescue mission wove so well into the overall story is a good sign of things to come. In doing this, the audience could get to know the characters, and tag along with no serious obligation. Much like we did when Luke gazed into the dual suns of Tatooine, we were living within the episode. And despite the enormity of this particular mission, no one acknowledged what may be in store until two of our hero’s, Kanan and Hera, stumbled upon something special in the young Ezra.

The Galactic Navy also had a strong showing. The complete dominance of the galaxy is in full bloom and you have to appreciate how the Empire goes about its business. Seeing Star Destroyers and Tie Fighters within the atmosphere of a planet is quite exhilarating and something we have never seen before. Throw in the callous, Agent Callus, and we see what we have to look forward to. His battle helmet alone creates a must-have for Halloween. 

But it’s the final 2 minutes of the episode completely captivates the audience. We witness the never before seen transmission sent out at the end of Episode III by Obi-Wan Kenobi that brings the episode to a stirring conclusion. His message not only puts a cap on the episode but ultimately connects the entire Star Wars universe. His words are poignant, strong and defiant and can only be described as moving. But before we could get too nostalgic, we are sent back to the Star Destroyer to catch a glimpse of our new villain who may eventually end the run of our new heroes…..

Now don't get me wrong, there is a long way to go and there is a lot to prove until fans will be fully vested. But for now, let the doubt escape your mind and enjoy the ride. 

Let me know what you thought of the first episode. Was it what you expected?

Rare: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN Disneyland Attraction 94-Piece Coin Prop Lot

Prop from the above pile of treasure

Prop from the above pile of treasure

Mortown Magic is proud to currently offer on Ebay a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a real Pirate’s treasure! Up for auction through Sunday, October 5, is an extremely rare 94-piece lot of authentic jewels, coins and beads from Disneyland’s Pirate of the Caribbean attraction. This uniquely large prop lot had been part of the Treasure Room scene in Disney’s New Orleans Square classic prior to its renovation some years back.

Typically, only single coins or jewel props are offered for sale at a time. This opportunity own a true pile of treasure from the last attraction Walt himself supervised development and construction for, is a true rare occasion.

Several pieces still have glue residue and others are still glued together. Coins and jewels are made of plastic, as are the beads.

Bid with confidence, as this items includes a letter of authenticity from Theme Park Connection, the nation’s largest seller of Disney props.

…and remember, dead men tell no tales.

View now>

In Case You Missed It- September 27, 2014

In Case You Missed It is a weekly recap of the top 3 news items determined by MorTown Magic. Let us know if we got it right Disney fans!

September 27, 2014

  1. Danny Elfman reads The Nightmare Before Christmas in front of Disneylands The Haunted Mansion. What could be more awesome than this?? 
  2. Star Wars Episode VII Crome Trooper leaks continue to hit the internet. Is this a reality, or another one of JJ's ruses? UPDATED With Second Image! INDIE REVOLVER EXCLUSIVE: First Look at Star Wars: Episode VII’s Chrome Trooper
  3. The Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D premier on Monday. The gang got off to a good start to season 2. Hopefully the story continues to build and characters keep developing as we weave our way through the Marvel Universe.

Honorable Mention: Star Wars Rebels premieres on the DisneyXD app. Can’t say much until our official review but I will leave you with two words: Dave Filoni

Honorable Mention 2: Big Hero 6 released its second full trailer. The concept of this movie could make for a very interesting story. Looking how Disney recovers from the Frozen whirlwind.

Marc Davis Tribute

Walt Disney Family Museum Honors the "Renaissance Man"

From the MorTown Magic Archive

From the MorTown Magic Archive

Today, the Walt Disney Family Museum presented to a sold out “Marc Davis: Walt’s Renaissance Man” – a talk with master animators Andreas Deja and Bob Kurtz. This unique opportunity to explore and appreciate Davis’ pioneering animation techniques, particularly for Disney’s main female villains and characters, coincides with “Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis” – an exhibition of his work found at the Family Museum. For those who have not yet attended the DFM (first, shame on you), it’s a must-see while in the San Francisco Bay Area. The history, relics, stories and rich presentations are exquisitely captured for both children and adults. This weekend’s exhibition showcases Marc Davis and his contributions and creations.

One of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men, Davis was truly a creative genius and one of the most influential animators and Imagineers – leaving an indelible mark on Disney history both in theaters and on attractions. His most notable work included his work on Bambi, Song of the South, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Tinker Bell. During the development of Disneyland itself and later attractions, Davis’ fingerprints can be seen to this day on the most popular sites in the park, including the Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, the Enchanted Tiki Room and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Whether a hardcore Disney fanatic or someone with only a passing interest, it’s nearly impossible not to recognize Davis’ self-taught ability to infuse humor, humanity and pure evil into characters, be it Maleficent, Cruella de Ville or audio-animatronic pirates.

In 1989, he was named a Disney Legend. He was also the recipient of the much coveted “Mousecar.” Davis passed away in January 2000, the same month that the Marc Fraser Davis Scholarship Fund formally was established at the California Institute of the Arts.