Rise of the Resistance attraction merchandise is available now. DuckTales is coming to Epcot. Mickey Mouse will have his own theater at Disney World. And more!
This week is a very exciting one for Disney theme-park fans, because it heralds the arrival of Rise of the Resistance, the second E-Ticket attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the W Disney World Resort. All of us Disneyland fans will have to wait until January 17 of 2020 for the attraction to open there. And here’s some good news: unlike the furor surrounding Baby Yoda and a lack of merchandise, have no fear about a dearth darth? of merch for the new attraction. It’s available starting today. Everything from shirts to hats, cups, and pins will be yours for the taking. My preference, from the photos here, is the mini version of your ride vehicle.
With media in Orlando to cover the opening of Rise of the Resistance, there have been a few other pieces of news trickling out of Disney World. One breaking story is also focused on Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but not Star Wars-related. Disney’s just announced the arrival of a Mickey Shorts Theater coming in March of 2020. That theater will tie into the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and looks like a much more comfortable and snazzy way to experience Mickey Mouse short films than at Disneyland, where you have to stand at either Main Street Cinema or Mickey’s House to watch them.
Over in Epcot, there’s a few web-footed friends who will make their arrival soon, at least digitally. I’m talking about the characters from Disney XD’s very charming revival of DuckTales. Woo-oo! Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie, and the rest of the gang can be found soon on the Play Disney Parks mobile app as part of Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure. This is the latest iteration of something that’s been around World Showcase for a while, originally with characters from Kim Possible. Remember Kim Possible? The scavenger hunt will let kids have fun exploring World Showcase, learning about different countries, and virtually hanging out with the McDuck clan.
December is a busy time at the W Disney World Resort, and not just because of the holidays and the opening of Rise of the Resistance. They’re also opening up a new hotel, Disney’s Riviera Resort. Over at the Disney Parks Blog, they’ve shared a first look at a new mosaic mural themed to Tangled, specifically the floating lantern sequence. The mural looks quite beautiful, and is of a piece with the Peter Pan-themed mural that was unveiled recently as well. Hard to believe, but the Riviera Resort opens very soon, on December 16. Certainly looks like it’s all coming together quickly.
By now, it should be clear to a regular reader of Theme Park Bits that I’m fascinated by the history of the Disney theme parks. So that means anytime Jeff Kurtti publishes something at the Disney Parks Blog, I’m happy to dive into the topic du jour. His latest is all about Christmas cards that were designed to celebrate major events in the Disney theme-park timeline, from Christmas 1954, just months before the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, to Christmas 2000, merely weeks before the opening of Disney California Adventure. Read on there to see more about how Disney designers have pushed the limits of paper printing really! to make more and more exciting holiday cards.
It might sound like a backhanded compliment to say that Jesse Eisenberg's antic performance as French mime Marcel Marceau is the best thing about Jonathan Jakubowicz's “Resistance,” but it's not. Well, it's not a backhanded compliment to Eisenberg, anyway. The giddy standout of a bizarre and half-baked Holocaust thriller that's otherwise absent any clear sense of self, the star of “The Social Network” is an inspired — if also logical — choice to play another Jewish icon who changed the world from behind the flat screen of their own neuroses. And for the better, in this case.
If only this film made any real use of history's famous mime. Few people know that Marceau helped thousands of orphaned children escape the Nazis before he ever painted his face white, but Jakubowicz only uses that incredible factoid as the hook for a shoddy and generic war saga about the Jewish Resistance in France Organisation Juive de Combat, or OJC; Marceau plays such an uncertain part in the movie around him that it's easy to forget what he's doing there in the first place. Too broad to work as a biopic, but also tethered to its iconic protagonist in a way that squeezes the entire movie into his shadow, “Resistance” is lost in the muddy water somewhere between a superhero origin story and a heroic portrait of artistic survival.
A Venezuelan director whose most recent feature was the 2016 boxing drama “Hands of Stone,” Jakubowicz opens “Resistance” with the same leaden touch that defined that film. And also, improbably, with a cameo appearance from one of the same actors: It's Kristallnacht, and an Orthodox German Jew played by Édgar Ramírez is trying to soothe his scared young daughter “Game of Thrones” breakout Bella Ramsey. “Why do they hate us?” she asks. “Hitler is just blaming us for the suffering of the working class,” he answers before the Gestapo burst in to kill him. Against all odds, that's not even the clumsiest part of the prologue, as the next scene manages to shoe in Ed Harris as a speechifying General Patton — the first half of a needless framing device that nevertheless anticipates the hoariness to come.
From there, the action skips forward a few years so that the story can refocus on a bright young Strasbourg man Marcel Mangel the 35-year-old Eisenberg is playing someone who was actually 15 at the time, but the character's age never comes up and the actor's naive impertinence helps smooth over the difference. Marcel’s an arrogant butcher's son who walks around town like he's hiding from paparazzi whenever he's not working at the counter of his stern father's shop “The Counterfeiters” star Karl Markovics does the honors as Charles...