Disney News, TV

Meet Chopper From Star Wars Rebels and More in News Briefs for January 28

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Meet Chopper Introduced for Star Wars Rebels
In Star Wars, droids are always eager to help out their human masters, drop whatever it is they’re doing when called upon, and sometimes even sacrifice themselves to save others. Right? Not quite. Introducing Chopper, a lazy, cranky (if ultimately goodhearted) astromech droid, and the latest character revealed from the highly anticipated Star Wars Rebels animated series. “If Artoo is the family dog,” said Dave Filoni, executive producer of the show, “Chopper is the cat.” Chopper is an essential crew member of the Ghost, tasked with keeping the starship running and operable for its band of heroes. In reality, thanks to his many “unique” upgrades and customizations, no other alien, human, or droid could handle the job. The design of Chopper, a.k.a. C1-10P, takes cues from early Ralph McQuarrie concept art for R2-D2, especially the expressive arms that fold out of his head. As Star Wars Rebels takes place four years prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Chopper’s retro look creates an aesthetic continuity with droids of the original trilogy. Star Wars Rebels is scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.

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Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Arrives at Magic Kingdom
As the new Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade moves closer to its debut in March, the team behind the parade recently celebrated a milestone. After months of design, development, and construction, the brand new floats for the parade – including the impressive, 53-foot long Maleficent Dragon – finally arrived at Magic Kingdom Park under cover of darkness.

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New Maleficent Trailer Features New Song by Lana Del Rey
A never-before-heard Lana Del Rey rendition of “Once Upon a Dream” was unveiled as part of a 90-second sneak peek of Disney’s Maleficent  during the 56th Annual Grammy Awards last night. The unique reimagining of the renowned fairy-tale tune from Disney’s classic animated film Sleeping Beauty, will feature in the end credits of the upcoming Disney film. The song was made available as a free download and will be available exclusively on Google Play through Monday, February 3,2014. The film explores the untold story of one of Disney’s most iconic villains and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. It appears in theaters May 30, 2014.

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Ant-Man Date Change and Casting News
Marvel’s Ant-Man will march into theaters July 17, 2015, two weeks earlier than previously announced. Michael Douglas has joined the picture as Hank Pym, legendary scientist and Marvel hero. The Academy Award-winning actor will be paired on-screen with Paul Rudd as Scott Lang.

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Disney Magical World for Nintendo 3DS Launches April 11
The new Nintendo 3DS game Disney Magical World will hit the Nintendo eShop and retail stores in North America in Spring 2014. In Disney Magical World, players pick from a selection of characters and can customize with Disney-themed outfits and accessories. The personalized character explores the world by managing a café, planting crops, and collecting Disney character cards in a new magical world. Favorite Disney characters also join in the fun to find missing items and solve problems. Disney Magical World launches on April 11.

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Frozen Sing-Along Announced
In response to the overwhelming popularity of F” and its chart-topping soundtrack, audiences are invited to join the act as more than 1,000 theaters nationwide, including Disney’s El Capitan, introduce an all-new sing-along version beginning January 31, 2014. With $810.3 million worldwide, the Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning big-screen adventure Frozen is Disney Animation’s highest grossing film of all time (in original release) and the 10th Walt Disney Studios release ever to reach the $800M threshold. The film passed The Lion King this weekend to become the second highest grossing non-sequel animated release of all-time (in original release), behind only our own Finding Nemo, and also the 7th highest grossing global animated release of all-time to date.The soundtrack held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts for two weeks, and the studio recently released a compilation video featuring the Oscar-nominated song “Let It Go” in 25 different languages.

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Meet Disney’s Latest Mermaid, Serafina of the Mediterranean Sea
Disney Publishing announces an epic new series set in the depths of the ocean where six mermaids seek to save their world, written by award-winning, New York Times best-selling novelist Jennifer Donnelly. Part of a new series called the Waterfire Saga and debuting on May 6, 2014, Deep Blue opens with Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakening from a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil.

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Radio Disney Music Awards to Air April 27
The 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards (RDMA), the prime awards show for kids and families’ favorite music, will take place Saturday, April 26 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE. The music awards show will be presented as a one-hour TV special “Disney Channel Presents the Radio Disney Music Awards” on Sunday, April 27 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT).

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