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In this edition of Theme Park Bits:Take a look at Disneyland’s new parade. See the site plan for a How to Train Your Dragon-themed area at Universal Studios. And more!
2020 will bring with it lots of new attractions and entertainment at the Disney theme parks. Of course, Disneyland has already welcomed a brand-new E-ticket attraction in the form of Rise of the Resistance. But next month, they’re also welcoming into Anaheim a new parade, titled “Magic Happens”. Recently, the Disney Parks Blog unveiled a few new images, including the one above, of floats that will show up in the parade from films as wide and varied as Cinderella and The Sword in the Stone. That one doesn’t show up as often in parades, which makes it an interesting deep cut. The parade opens on February 28, so now is the time to get excited.
Before that date arrives, though, you might want to spend some time at Walt Disney World, specifically Epcot. Over there, the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts is going on right now, through February 24. This sprawling event has entertainment options, sure, but it also has unique food options and some of them look downright delectable. Take, for example, the lobster chips pictured above that you can find at the Canada pavilion in World Showcase. They look truly delicious, so if you’re in Epcot, get some while they’re hot and available. And check out the rest of that Foodie Guide to get your appetite going.
Speaking of Epcot, and speaking of getting prepared for new entertainment, they’ll also have a new show in 2020. This one, titled “Harmonious”, is taking the place of the dearly departed and beloved nighttime show IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Harmonious is going to have its work cut out for it, since IllumiNations was so wonderful, but as we can see at the Disney Parks Blog, preparations for the new show are in full swing. Many of the show’s floating platforms have arrived on site in the World Showcase Lagoon as construction continues apace. For now, though, you can watch the Epcot Forever nighttime show, but only for so long - Harmonious is coming soon.
Ambitious parade-related plans aren’t unique to the continental Disney theme parks, though. At a recent event, Disneyland Paris executive Bruno Chastain announced the arrival of two new parades: the upcoming Christmas parade for 2020 yes, someone out there is already thinking about Christmas, as well as a new daytime parade that will debut for the 30th anniversary of Disneyland Paris in 2022, and will have a five-year run. If nothing else, it’s truly impressive to see that Disney’s theme-park team is already thinking so far in advance. And also, it’s hard to believe that Disneyland Paris is about to turn 30....
The door slams shut today on applications for one of the biggest jobs in global broadcasting: running the BBC. Resumes have been dusted off and the BBC’s headhunters have been courting interest as the corporation seeks to replace Tony Hall as director general after he announced his departure in January.
It’s not been the most electrifying of races to date, with a number of industry insiders observing that the recruitment process has been quiet. There have been no shock candidates, no big pitches for the job. But that could all change in an instant as the BBC chairman Sir David Clementi edges closer to a decision.
Hall’s successor faces a gargantuan task. The to-do list includes, but is not limited to: Grappling with a government that seems determined to undermine the BBC’s funding, slashing costs, securing the success of commercial arm BBC Studios, cleaning up a rumbling equal pay dispute, closing the diversity gap, and bringing a new generation of young audiences to the BBC’s output. All of this, while there are unprecedented threats from U.S. media giants like Netflix, Amazon and Apple.
Below is a run-down of how things are shaping up in the battle to become the BBC’s next director general. It is by no means an exhaustive list of candidates as there may be other names yet to emerge. We will keep this post updated as things develop, so check back for updates.
POTENTIALLY IN PLAY
Tim Davie: Sources have told Deadline that the BBC Studios CEO is sweet on the idea of succeeding Tony Hall having done the job on an interim basis in 2012. He has so far declined to comment on the process. Bizarrely, he would probably have to take a salary cut to step up: His total pay was £642,000 $826,000 last year, while Hall took home £450,000.
Charlotte Moore: The BBC’s director of content remains a much-fancied internal candidate, but according to BBC insiders, she is keeping her cards close to her chest about whether she is gunning for the top job. Many have pointed to her content credentials, but others have questioned whether she has the political and strategic nous to handle a hostile government.
Jay Hunt: Apple’s creative director of worldwide video has a healthy level of support from certain BBC insiders, with her ability to make tough decisions seen as an advantage. Sources have suggested that she will only commit to the recruitment process if asked. Hunt declined to comment when approached by Deadline.
Alex Mahon: Channel 4’s CEO has joined a long line of predecessors in being linked with a move to the BBC. A source said she is “fully committed” to Channel 4, but did not gone as far as ruling her out of the running.
Jane Turton: All3Media’s chief executive has been contacted by headhunters for the BBC....
DreamWorks Animation's latest short, “To: Gerard,” a love letter to Manhattan and magic, directed by storyboard artist Taylor Meacham “Trolls”, will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18. It's about a mailman named Gerard who dreams of becoming a magician with the help of a young girl, a legendary master named The Great Vivonti, and a very special coin.
“New York has such a historical wealth of great filmmakers that have deeply inspired me while growing up, and Manhattan is where I first got my foot in the door within the film industry,” said Meacham, who was also inspired by his father and how he helped unify his love of animation and the art of illusion.“Because of my relation to this city, it feels like such a gift to be able to come back to New York and the Tribeca Film Festival to share a part of myself with the world that was such a strong backdrop to my interests and ambitions in telling stories.”
“To: Gerard” marks the latest release in DreamWorks' shorts program spearheaded by producer Jeff Hermann, with character design by Nico Marlet “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Kung Fu Panda” trilogies and music by Layla Minoui “Vampirina”. The previous shorts include “Marooned,” “Bird Karma,” and “Bilby.” What unifies all of the shorts is the theme of friendship and how one act of kindness can change lives. In this case, Gerard discovers his gift for magic while mentoring an inquisitive young girl named Jules.
Added Hermann, “When we first started 'To: Gerard,' there was no guarantee that we would be able to complete the short, let alone have it released. To premiere the short as part of the Tribeca Film Festival is an incredible honor, one that is beyond our wildest dreams.”
Meanwhile, DreamWorks has two feature releases this year: “Trolls: World Tour” April 10, the sequel to the popular musical, with Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake returning as Poppy and Branch to save the various musical Trolls tribes from a destructive hard rock diva Rachel Bloom, and “The Croods 2” December 23 about the further adventures of the pre-historic clan starring Ryan Reynolds, Nicholas Cage, and Emma Stone.
The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival will run April 15 to 26 across New York City and even, for the first time ever, New Jersey. The festival has today also released the rest of its shorts lineup, which you can see below, with all synopses provided by the festival.
Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G
Imaginative storytelling and captivating craft. Suggested for those 14 and older.
“Grandad Was A Romantic,”...
EXCLUSIVE: Jill Culton, who recently directed and wrote Dreamworks Animation-Pearl Studio's Abominable, has signed with Verve.DreanWorks Animation
The CalArts alum is the first female in animation history to both direct and write a feature original story. Abominable made its world premiere at TIFF and went on to gross $190M WW, earning four Annie Awards and a Best Animated Feature nomination at the Critics Choice Awards.
Abominable follows teenager Yi Chloe Bennet of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai. She and her mischievous friends, Jin Tenzing Norgay Trainor and Peng Albert Tsai, name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. But the trio of friends will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish Eddie Izzard, a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara Sarah Paulson to help Everest get home. The pic earned an 81% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a solid ‘A’ CinemaScore.
Culton began her career at Pixar, where she worked in the story department on films such as Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life and the Oscar-winning Monsters Inc, for which she received Original Story by credits.
Culton made her feature directorial debut with Sony Animation debut feature Open Season, which she also directed, and grossed over $201M WW. She also served as an executive producer on Open Season 2.