Congratulations to Alan Menken—EGOT… and LEGOT!

By Beth Deitchman

Yesterday, Disney Legend Alan Menken joined not one but two very elite clubs: He is now an “EGOT”—a winner of an Emmy®, Grammy®, Oscar®, and Tony®—and he is also a “LEGOT,” having also received the Disney Legends Award in 2001. Only 16 people have achieved EGOT status over the years, but the LEGOT is even rarer: Menken is just the third person to claim that honor, alongside Disney Legends Whoopi Goldberg and Sir Tim Rice. He reached LEGOT and EGOT status thanks to his Daytime Emmy® win for a song composed by Menken with lyricist Glenn Slater for Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, “Waiting in the Wings,” which was honored as Outstanding Original Song in a Children’s Young Adult or Animated Program.

“Really proud of everyone who contributed to the Tangled series,” the Disney Legend said today in a tweet. “As far as me finally reaching my official EGOT status (Howard Ashman and I did actually get an honorary Emmy back in the ’80s), what can I say? I’m honored, thrilled, and humbled.”

With his longtime collaborator and fellow Disney Legend, the late Howard Ashman, Menken first began working with Disney on the 1989 animated classic The Little Mermaid, for which he received his first two Oscars for Best Song, “Under the Sea,” and Best Music, Original Score. Three years later, his contributions to Beauty and the Beast earned him two more Academy Awards® for the film’s title song, as well as Best Music, Original Score. After Ashman’s passing, Menken went on to receive Oscars for “A Whole New World” from Aladdin (with lyricist Tim Rice) and for Pocahontas in the categories of Best Music, Song (“Colors of the Wind”) and Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score.

On Broadway, Menken’s original score for Newsies earned him the Tony for Best Original Score in 2012, and he has taken home 11 Grammys throughout his illustrious career. His first Grammy win came in 1990 for The Little Mermaid, which was honored as Best Recording For Children as well as Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television (“Under the Sea”).

Menken previously received an honorary Primetime Emmy in 1990 for his work with Ashman on the Television Academy’s anti-drug special Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, which featured their song “Wonderful Ways to Say No.”

Whoopi Goldberg became the first “LEGOT” when she was inducted as a Disney Legend during D23 Expo 2017. Sir Tim Rice achieved “LEGOT” status the following year upon his Emmy win for NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

Visit ABCNews.com to watch Goldberg and her fellow co-hosts from The View as they discussed this remarkable achievement in July 2017, just after Goldberg returned from a magical D23 Expo weekend.

5 Fantastic Things to Watch This Week

By Zach Johnson

This week has everything: killer sharks, wonky magic… and Queen Bey! National Geographic’s Sharkfest will continue with Shark vs. Whale on Tuesday, and two days later, ABC will broadcast a brand-new episode of the hit game show Don’t. And Friday is stacked with premieres, with Black Is King and Muppets Now on Disney+ and Upside-Down Magic on Disney Channel. Here’s a closer look at five fantastic things we plan to watch this week:

shark vs whale

Shark vs. Whale—Tuesday, July 28, at 10 p.m. ET on National Geographic
Sharkfest continues! A routine drone survey will turn deadly when Ryan Johnson, a marine biologist based in South Africa, films a humpback whale being attacked and strategically drowned by a great white shark. The never-before-seen behavior will shift his perception of the creature he’s spent his life studying. To make sense of the event, Johnson will follow humpback whales on their migration, mapping places that may make them vulnerable, and take a new look at great white sharks to discover how and why they become whale killers.

don't

Don’t—Thursday, July 30, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC
Take it from host Adam Scott and executive producer Ryan Reynolds: you “don’t” want to miss this week’s episode! In “Don’t Meet Your Heroes,” the Long family from Washington will attempt to conquer the challenges “Don’t Miss,” “Don’t Embarrass Yourself,” “Don’t Beat Yourself Up,” “Don’t Blink,” and “Don’t Get Tired” in the hopes of winning $100,000.

black is king

Black Is King—Friday, July 31, on Disney+
The visual album—written, directed, and executive produced by Beyoncé—reimagines the lessons of The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns. Based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift, and featuring appearances from celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell, and Jay-Z, Black Is King is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience. Set to songs including “My Power,” “Mood 4 Eva,” “Brown Skin Girl,” and others, Black Is King is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. The voyages of Black families, throughout time, will be honored in this tale of a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love, and self-identity. His ancestors will help to guide him toward his destiny—and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he will earn the virtues required to reclaim his home and throne.

muppets now

Muppets Now—Friday, July 31, on Disney+
In the six-episode season—the Muppets Studio’s first unscripted series and first original series for Disney+—Scooter will rush to make his delivery deadlines and upload the brand-new Muppet series for streaming. Unfortunately, they are due now, so he’ll need to overcome whatever obstacles, distractions, and complications the rest of the Muppet gang throws at him. Teeming with spontaneous insanity, surprising guest stars and more frogs, pigs, bears (and whatevers) than legally allowed, the Muppets will cut loose with the kind of unfiltered silliness and chaotic fun that made them famous. From zany experiments with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker to lifestyle tips from Miss Piggy, each episode will include hilarious segments that showcase the Muppets doing what the Muppets do best.

upside down magic

Upside-Down Magic—Friday, July 31, at 8 p.m. ET on Disney Channel
Based on the New York Times bestselling children’s book of the same name, this Disney Channel Original Movie follows two best friends, Nory Boxwood Horace (Izabela Rose) and Reina Carvajal (Siena Agudong), after they enroll at the Sage Academy for Magical Studies. While Reina’s ability to harness the power of fire puts her at the top of the class of Flares, Nory’s unpredictable magic and proclivity for turning into herself into a “Dritten”—a half-kitten, half-dragon—lands her in a class for those with “upside-down magic,” or UDM, led by the wisecracking groundskeeper and “professor” Budd Skriff (Kyle Howard). While stern Headmaster Knightslinger (Vicki Lewis) believes the UDM’s unconventional powers leave them vulnerable to dangerous and evil “shadow magic,” a turn of events will prompt Nory and her fellow classmates to set out to prove that upside-down magic beats right-side up.

Disney Legend Regis Philbin Passes Away at 88

By Jeffrey Epstein

Disney Legend Regis Philbin passed away from natural causes on Friday, July 24, his family shared. The Emmy® Award-winning morning show host, who was also beloved for hosting ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, was just one month shy of his 89th birthday.

“Regis was a very special part of our Disney family for over a half century and we will miss him deeply,” said Disney CEO Bob Chapek. “He was an amazing person, consummate entertainer, TV icon, and a true Disney Legend. Our heartfelt condolences to Joy and the entire Philbin family.”

“We are heartbroken to hear that a longtime colleague and friend, Regis Philbin, passed away at the age of 88,” said Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger. “Regis graced us with warmth, humor, and self-deprecating wit, always bringing happiness to us all. Our hearts go out to Joy and to his family. Rest in Peace, Regis.”

“Our hearts are broken to learn the news about Regis’ passing,” The “Live” Family said in a statement. “Regis originated “Live” as a local New York broadcast back in 1983, and for more than 27 years he poured his heart and soul into the show. Many of the members of our staff began their careers at “Live” with Regis and were lucky enough to learn from a master broadcaster. Our hearts go out to Joy and his family.”

regis philbin

“Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend, and a tremendous amount of fun,” Jimmy Kimmel said in a post on Twitter. “He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched. Regis, I hope our friend [Don] Rickles met you at the pearly gates with open arms and a slew of the insults you loved so much.”

Born on August 25, 1931, Regis, a native New Yorker, graduated from University of Notre Dame in 1953 with a degree in sociology. After serving in the Navy, he began a standard apprenticeship in television: page, stagehand, sports newswriter, and substitute anchor. Regis first tasted fame on ABC’s The Joey Bishop Show from 1967 to 1969 and would go on to co-host the KABC-TV’s local morning talk show A.M. Los Angeles before moving back east to take over WABC-TV’s The Morning Show. There, he eventually paired up with Kathie Lee Gifford, and in 1988, Buena Vista Television picked the show up for national syndication and re-titled it Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, a name that lasted until Gifford departed in 2000. In 2001, Regis won a Daytime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host, and Kelly Ripa joined him at the morning show. The pair spent a decade together until Regis departed the show in 2011.

Regis honed his off-the-cuff interviewing skills on ABC’s 1975 game show Almost Anything Goes, an uninhibited outdoor free-for-all on the field as contestants competed in stunts like carrying a loaf of bread while sliding across a greased pole suspended over a pool of water. And in 1999 Regis almost singlehandedly popularized catch phrases like “Is that your final answer?” on ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, for which also took home the Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host in 2001.

For Disney’s Hyperion publishing arm, he wrote Who Wants to Be Me? and co-authored two cookbooks with Kathie Lee Gifford.

Regis hosted the Disney Christmas Parade specials more than a dozen times and appeared in several guest appearances on Kelly Ripa’s ABC series Hope & Faith, as car salesman Handsome Hal Halverson. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003, and in 2008 received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys.

regis philbin

In 2011 Regis was inducted as a Disney Legend at D23 Expo.

Regis is survived by daughters J.J. Philbin and Joanna Philbin, whom he shared with his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin, as well as daughter Amy Philbin, from his first marriage, and grandchildren.

Read Regis’ complete Disney Legends bio here.

Everything You Need To Know About Disney at Comic-Con@Home

By Jim Frye

Get ready for four days of exciting panels and events as Disney joins Comic-Con@Home, the online version of the annual San Diego Comic-Con, from Thursday, July 23, through Sunday, July 26. A safe way to experience the convention without leaving your sofa, Comic-Con@Home includes more than 350 panels covering everything from movies, TV series, and comic books to animation, celebrities, and more! You’ll hear from the writers, actors, directors, and creators who bring your favorite projects to life. The entire event is free and available on the official Comic-Con YouTube page. Here are all the exciting Disney panels you can enjoy throughout the weekend, from Disney+, Disney Television Studios, ABC, Hulu, Marvel, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Century Fox Television, Freeform, Lucasfilm Publishing, and more. You’ll find a YouTube link under each listing for that particular panel. In addition, there’s a special online event from FX, called FX Unlocked, that will also take place during the weekend. Most panels will be available for viewing after the weekend has ended.

THURSDAY, JULY 23

Marvel’s Storyboards (Marvel)
11 a.m.–12 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Marvel Executive VP, Creative Director Joe Quesada shares an inside look at his new docuseries, Marvel’s Storyboards. In conversation with Marvel VP of Content Stephen Wacker, Joe highlights how the personal and the professional intersect in his own life, and in those of the show’s guests: an A-list mix of storytellers across comics, theatre, film, and more.

solar opposites

Solar Opposites (Hulu)
11 a.m.–12 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Your favorite Shlorpians are getting together for Comic-Con@Home! As Hulu’s most-watched original comedy premiere to date, Solar Opposites centers around a team of four aliens who escape their exploding home world only to crash land into a move-in ready home in suburban America. They are evenly split on whether Earth is awful or awesome, while protecting the Pupa, a living super computer that will one day evolve into its true form, consume them and terraform the Earth… Join Justin Roiland (“Korvo”), Thomas Middleditch (“Terry”), Sean Giambrone (“Yumyulack”), Mary Mack(“Jesse”), and executive producers Mike McMahan and Josh Bycel for all things Solar Opposites including an exclusive clip from the upcoming second season!

marvel 616

Marvel’s 616 (Disney+)
1–2 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Join directors Gillian Jacobs and Paul Scheer, and executive producers Sarah Amos and Jason Sterman as they discuss how this documentary series explores the way Marvel’s rich legacy of stories, characters, and creators exist within the “world outside your window.”

new mutants

The New Mutants (Twentieth Century Studios and Marvel Entertainment)
2–2:30 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Writer/Director Josh Boone and the cast of Twentieth Century Studios and Marvel Entertainment’s The New Mutants, including Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga discuss the upcoming original horror-thriller in a panel moderated by Ira Madison III.

Marvel HQ (Marvel Entertainment)
4–5 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Marvel HQ will have a comics read-along, an epic LEGO battle, and a behind-the-scenes look at the animated series, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Maximum Venom.

FRIDAY, JULY 24

Marvel Comics: Next Big Thing (Marvel Entertainment)
11 a.m.–12 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski gathers some of Marvel’s most epic creators! Tom Brevoort, Al Ewing, and Dan Slott discuss the book Empyre! Jordan White, Tini Howard, and Gerry Duggan discuss the latest X-Men crossover event, X of SwordsNick Lowe, Nick Spencer, and Mark Bagley spotlight Amazing Spider-Man #850 ushering in the return of the Green Goblin! And Nick Lowe talks about the classic Marvel character, Werewolf by Night, with creators Taboo and Ben Jackendoff!

Star Wars Audiobooks: Doctor Aphra (Lucasfilm Publishing)
11 a.m.–12 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Listen in as narrators Marc Thompson and Emily Woo Zeller, author Sarah Kuhn, and Del Rey editor Elizabeth Schaefer talk about Star Wars Audiobook Original Doctor Aphra with producer Nick Martorelli.

empire 40th

Hot Wheels: Designing Fans’ Exclusives
11 a.m.–12 p.m. PT
Watch Here
The team behind the No. 1-selling toy in world is back to bring you the latest & greatest in Hot Wheels vehicle design for this year’s Comic-Con@Home virtual event! Moderated by Mattel’s Molly Hampton (global marketing manager), this panel will feature three key Hot Wheels designers—Bryan Benedict (senior manager, vehicles product design), Chris Colangelo (manager, vehicles product design), and Sam Kok (key lead designer, vehicles packaging)—as they give you a behind the scenes look at the 2020 Mattel Creations Hot Wheels exclusives for Comic-Con@Home (including Star Wars and Marvel exclusives), release never-before-seen product sneaks, and answer fans’ most important questions.

Duncanville (20th Century Fox Television)
12-1 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Join executive producers Mike & Julie Scully; executive producer and star Amy Poehler, along with stars Ty Burrell, Riki Lindhome, Joy Osmanski, Yassir Lester, Betsy Sodaro, Rashida Jones, and Wiz Khalifa for an exclusive first look at the upcoming second season.

Lucasfilm Publishing: Stories From a Galaxy Far, Far Away
12 p.m.–1 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Authors Timothy Zahn, Alex Segura, Justina Ireland, George Mann, Preeti Chhibber, Tom Angleberger, Rebecca Roanhorse, Greg Pak, and Alyssa Wong discuss their latest Star Wars projects in a panel moderated by This Week in Star Wars host Kirstin Baver and Lucasfilm senior editor Robert Simpson.

Mattel Creations: Designing Pop Culture
1–2 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Mattel’s Richard Dickson (president) and moderator Chris Down (chief design officer) discuss the behind-the-scenes process of what goes into designing iconic toys for today’s pop-culture fans while introducing the world to the all-new platform, Mattel Creations. The Q&A panel will feature Mattel designers and creatives from dynamic brands—including Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars—to examine the collaborative journey that goes into creating Con exclusives, toys, and art inspired by 75 years of Mattel pop-culture influence.

First Look at Hulu’s Helstrom
3–4 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Talk about some family drama! Join Helstrom showrunner Paul Zbyszewski and cast–Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, Elizabeth Marvel, Robert Wisdom, Ariana Guerra, June Carryl, and Alain Uy­—for one hell of a sneak-peek look and conversation around bringing this terror-filled comic to life as Hulu’s next horror series. Moderated by IGN’s Laura Prudom.

bob's burgers

Bob’s Burgers (20th Century Fox Television)
4–5 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Creator and executive producer Loren Bouchard will break news about the upcoming season, and the always entertaining cast including H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, Dan Mintz, and Larry Murphy will have you howling with laughter with never-before-seen footage.

Crossing Swords (Hulu)
4–5 p.m. PT
Watch Here
The Hulu Original chronicles the zany adventures of good-hearted hero wannabe Patrick, who lands his dream job as a squire, only to learn the royal castle is a corrupt hornet’s nest of monarchs, crooks and charlatans. Award-winning film critic Scott Mantz moderates a panel featuring Crossing Swords creators John Harvatine IV and Tom Root; and cast members Adam Ray (“Ruben”), Tara Strong (“Coral”), Seth Green (“Blinkerquartz”), Alanna Ubach (“Queen Tulip”), Adam Pally (“Broth”), and Yvette Nicole Brown (“Sgt. Meghan”), who will discuss the new adult animated series and provide a glimpse at what lies ahead in Season 2.

Archer @ Home (FXX)
5–6 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Archer, FXX’s award-winning animated comedy, returns for its 11th season later this year and follows Sterling Archer and his return to the spy world after a three-year coma. But first, join the voice cast of Aisha Tyler, Chris ParnellJudy GreerAmber Nash, and Lucky Yates, plus executive producer Casey Willis for a lively discussion and the reveal of not-to-be-missed details about the new season!

SATURDAY

Cosmos: Possible Worlds
10–11 a.m. PT
Watch Here
The latest installation in National Geographic’s Cosmos franchise, Cosmos: Possible Worlds makes its network debut on FOX this fall, taking audiences on a series of spiritual voyages of exploration revealing previously uncharted realms, including lost worlds and worlds to come, and those that we may one day inhabit in a thrilling future we can still have. Creator, executive producer, director, and writer Ann Druyan; host and acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson; executive producer, director, and writer Brannon Braga; executive producer Jason Clark; and visual effects supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun come together for a conversation about what is in store for the next chapter of Cosmos and a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the series. The panel discussion—which also features a special introduction by executive producer Seth MacFarlane and exclusive never-before-seen footage—illustrates why Cosmos has remained relevant for the last 40 years. 

The Simpsons @ Home (20th Century Fox Television)
11 a.m.–12 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Join Al Jean, Matt Selman, David Silverman, Carolyn Omine, Mike B. Anderson, and moderator Yeardley Smith for a panel discussion leading into season 32!

phineas and ferb

Disney+’s Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe (Disney+)
12–1 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, director Bob Bowen, and stars Ashley Tisdale, Vincent Martella, Maulik Pancholy, and Dee Bradley Baker share an exclusive sneak peek of Disney+’s upcoming Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe.

Bless the Harts (20th Century Fox Television)
12-1 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Join the Harts, in quarantine of course, for a Paint & Sip! Watch Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, Jillian Bell, and Fortune Feimster with executive producers Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Andy Bobrow try to re-create Bless The Harts characters while chatting about their favorite moments from season one, what they’re looking forward to in season two on FOX this Fall, and how they’ve kept busy during quarantine while drinking the show’s favorite drink—boxed wine!

Guillermo del Toro and Scott Cooper on Antlers and Filmmaking
1–2 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Acclaimed director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Hostiles) and horror maestro Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) tease their upcoming Searchlight Pictures movie Antlers along with how they designed the Wendigo-inspired monster. In addition, the two go in-depth on the craft of filmmaking and how they create a visual style. Moderated by Collider’s editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub.

American Dad! (20th Century Fox Television)
1-2 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Ever wanted to learn how to draw one of your favorite AD! characters?  Now is your chance, join show Supervising Director Brent Woods as he teaches the cast and executive producers how to draw Roger! Grab a sketchbook and pens, and learn to draw everyone’s favorite alien alongside Rachael MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Dee Bradley Baker, and executive producers Nic Wegener and Joe Chandler as they chat about the current season and look toward the series’ 300th episode airing on TBS this fall.

the right stuff

Blast Off with Disney+’s The Right Stuff
1–2 p.m. PT
Watch Here
From Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, The Right Stuff is the first scripted Disney+ original series from National Geographic and follows seven of the military’s best pilots as they become astronauts for the newly-formed NASA. This 45-minute panel, moderated by former NASA Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, will feature cast, crew, and an exclusive first look at the series.

Family Guy  (20th Century Fox Television)
2–3 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Cast members Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, Seth Green, and executive producers Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin, and Kara Vallow from FOX’s hit animated comedy Family Guy celebrate 350 episodes with a virtual table read and a look back at 18 seasons.

agents of s.h.i.e.l.d.

The Fleet Science Center Celebrates: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—The Stories and Science of Androids, Space Travel, and Aliens (ABC)
3–4 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Panelists are Jeffrey Bell (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunner, executive producer, and writer), Andrea Decker (Fleet Science Center, moderator), Dr. Virginia De Sa (professor in the Cognitive Science Department at U.C. San Diego), Elizabeth Henstridge (actor, Jemma Simmons), Dr. Anila Kanchan Madiraju (research associate at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies), Melissa Miller (scientist and science writer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography), James Oliver (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-producer and writer), Sharla Oliver (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-producer and writer), Dr. Troy Sandberg (postdoctoral researcher at U.C. San Diego), Joel Stoffer (actor, Enoch), and Craig Titley (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer and writer).

stumptown

The Stars and Executives Producers of ABC’s Stumptown
4–5 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Stars Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson, and Michael Ealy will be joined by executive producers Jason Richman, David Bernad, and Ruben Fleischer, along with graphic novel author Greg Rucka, to answer your burning questions and discuss the cliffhangers from last season’s finale.

what we do in the shadows

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
5–6 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Named “TV’s best comedy” by the Hollywood ReporterWhat We Do in the Shadows is a documentary-style look into the lives of four vampires and their loyal familiar who, in a surprising twist, is a descendant of famed vampire slayer Van Helsing. Join cast members Matt BerryNatasia Demetriou, Kayvan Novak, Mark Proksch, Harvey Guillén, and the creative team for a spirited discussion hosted by special guest Haley Joel Osment.

SUNDAY

Hoops (20th Century Fox Television)
10–11 a.m. PT
Watch Here
Hoops is a new animated series for Netflix launching this summer from 20th Century Fox Television (The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers). Voice stars Jake Johnson, Rob Riggle, Ron Funches, Natasha Leggero, Cleo King, and A.D. Miles join creator and executive producer Ben Hoffman and moderator/ guest voice star Max Greenfield (Johnson’s former New Girl co-star) for a truly wild and hilarious Q&A.

motherland fort salem

Motherland: Fort Salem: A World of Magic, Action and Intrigue (Freeform)
10–11 a.m. PT
Watch Here
Creator Eliot Laurence and cast members Taylor Hickson, Ashley Nicole Williams, Jessica Sutton, Demetria McKinney, Amalia Holm, and Lyne Renee take part in a conversation moderated by TVGuide.com’s Lindsay MacDonald. They will discuss the epic first season and look forward to season two.

neXt (20th Century Fox Television)
11­–12 p.m. PT
Watch Here
neXt arrives at Comic-Con@Home with a sneak peek of the thrilling opening scene of the propulsive, fact-based thriller about the emergence of a deadly, rogue artificial intelligence that combines pulse-pounding action with an examination of how technology is invading our lives and transforming us in ways we don’t yet understand. Panelists will include creator and executive producer Manny Coto, John Slattery, Fernanda Andrade, Michael Mosley, Jason Butler Harner, and Eve Harlow, moderated by Thrillist’s Esther Zuckerman.

the goldbergs

The Stars and Executive Producer of ABC’s The Goldbergs
1–2 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Stars Wendi McLendon-Covey, George Segal, Sean Giambrone, Hayley Orrantia, Troy Gentile, and Sam Lerner will be joined by executive producer Doug Robinson and moderator Gerrad Hall of Entertainment Weekly.

A Conversation with Nathan Fillion (ABC)
2– 3 p.m. PT
Watch Here
Showrunner Alexi Hawley (The Rookie) talks with Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle, The Rookie) about his career in film and television. With special appearances by Joss Whedon, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Mekia Cox, Molly Quinn, Seamus Dever, and Jon Huertas.

FX Unlocked
In addition to the panels, FX has something special planned. With the cancellation of live events across the world, FX was tasked with replicating the fan experience at San Diego Comic-Con for the new online and remote reality. Working with experiential agency Creative Riff, FX designed captivating digital experiences that generate enthusiasm and build hype for their shows. Called FX Unlocked, it’s a full digital experience, connecting fans with FX’s top programs including American Horror Story, What We Do in the Shadows, DAVE, and Cake. Participants can even win prizes.

FX’s full line-up of digital experiences on FX Unlocked include the following:

  • Test of Terror
    • In celebration of the nine seasons of American Horror Story, fans will dive into a unique gamified trivia experience.
  • A Chat with Dave & GaTa
    • In an exclusive Q&A, fans will be able to see Dave Burd and GaTa break down some of the best moments from DAVE and the inspiration from their lived experiences.
  • Guillermos Stakeout
    • Fans of What We Do in the Shadows will be able to help Guillermo protect Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, and Colin Robinson from the werewolves and vampires trying to kill them in this single-player interactive game.
  • Piece of Cake with Jeron Braxton
    • Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at Cake and a hands-on experience learning how they can create their own art in partnership with Otis College of Art and Design Extension, a national leader in art and design.
  • FX on Hulu Cosplay Gallery
    • Cosplay has always been an iconic part of the Comic-Con experience with fans showcasing their impressive craftsmanship with realistic and creative costumes of their favorite characters. FX is helping them keep the tradition alive with the first virtual FX on Hulu Cosplay Gallery. Fans can submit their costume photos, sketches, or mockups inspired by their favorite FX originals (via Instagram) for the chance to see their costume grace the walls of the digital gallery.

“We will miss attending the traditional event this year, but the silver lining is that with FX Unlocked we can engage with fans from across the country. We see this as an opportunity to forge an even stronger connection with our audience and make our shows part of this virtual celebration,” says Kenya Hardaway, Senior Vice President, Integrated Promotions-Multi-Platform Marketing at FX Networks.

The Tree-mendous Story Behind Disney’s Sketchbook Ornaments

By Zach Johnson

For Disney artist Steve Thompson, it’s not about what’s under the Christmas tree—it’s about what’s on it. For the last 15 years, he’s been designing detailed ornaments for shopDisney.com, recreating moments from classic films such as Cinderella and Peter Pan. For Thompson, who joined The Walt Disney Company as an animator in 1994, it’s a dream job—and it’s one that allows him to use his gifts to spread holiday cheer all year long. (A few of the ornaments from this year’s collection are already available on shopDisney.com, and D23 Gold Members and Gold Family Members get 10% off purchases of $50 or more!)

“I’m a huge ornament collector and a Disney fan, but I wasn’t really feeling too connected to the ornaments we were carrying back in 2005,” recalls Thompson. “So, one day I said, ‘What if we did really beautiful, sculpted moments from these films?’ To me, an ornament is something amazing that you hang on your tree. In that first year, we did a little bit of those. They sold really well, and the next year we did a little bit more. And all of a sudden, they seemed to just take off. Fans were really connecting to these true-to-story moments.”

Since then, the Sketchbook Ornament series has included new decorations featuring popular characters such as Aladdin, Dumbo, Buzz Lightyear, Jack Skellington, Mulan, Pinocchio, Rapunzel, Snow White, Tinker Bell, and Winnie the Pooh. “The need to come up with something to make the characters feel fresh and new every year is a huge challenge, especially for some of these films that have been around for so many years,” he says. “It’s up to me to figure out how we can make it not look like what we’ve seen. It’s daunting when I get started. I’m like, ‘Good, God! I have no ideas at all!’ But eventually, I’ll think of all these ideas. So, it’s a huge challenge, but it’s so rewarding when you see them finished.”

 

Thompson begins sketching his ideas more than a year before they go on sale. “I start off with the obvious moments: ‘What are the big moments in the film everyone connects to?’ But I also like to find those secondary moments. This year’s Ariel ornament is inspired by the scene where she’s in her pajamas and jumps on the bed in Eric’s castle for the first time… and nobody has done that! It’s such a cute moment! Even if it’s an obvious character, sometimes it’s an unexpected moment I’ll get excited about.” Thompson will then send his sketches to a sculptor, who will add dimension to his design. “The sculpting process takes a really long time. I always like to have enough time to make sure they look perfect,” he says.

Thompson will sometimes collaborate with in-house digital sculptors on the ornaments. “It’s great to be able to work with them, and they’ll usually work on the films that we have digital files for, like Frozen and Moana. We use the same files the animators do, so we can understand things like posing and expression. But the bulk of the ornaments are hand-sculpted,” he says. “Even though I’m not a sculptor, I know what things should look like in three dimensions. It’s a lot of back and forth. They might send me 100 photos of the same ornament from every possible angle, and I have to draw my notes from every single angle. It just keeps going back and forth and back and forth until the sculpting is done, and then it goes into painting. It’s a whole process, and I’m still involved all the way through the final paint. You have to love getting into the minutiae of that, and I want everything that ends up in the store to be something I’m proud of. And I want the ornaments on my tree, too! Sometimes it’s like, ‘What do I want on my tree? Who are we missing? What would be amazing and surprise fans?’ I know a lot of brands create Disney ornaments, but I feel like we’re doing them the best. And we’re doing characters you’re not going to get elsewhere.”

Thompson, who has attended every D23 Expo, particularly loves designing ornaments featuring unexpected characters. Over the years, he’s designed ornaments for Diana the Huntress, Mr. Toad, Peas-in-a-Pod, Roger Rabbit, and Timothy Q. Mouse, to name a few.

“I work with a merchant team and a great group of people who trust my opinion. They know I’m a huge Disney fan and I like to tap into what films fans are talking about,” Thompson says. “Some of the ’90s films I worked on are having a bit of a moment. I love the fact that I’ve now done a Pain and Panic Hercules ornament and added Meg and done Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Those were the ones I’d been pushing for.”

Some ornaments are easier to pitch than others. “The Alice in Wonderland Doorknob—that was one I pitched for five years,” he reveals. “When they finally made it and it did really well, they brought it back three years in a row! It’s not an obvious character, but Alice in Wonderland also wouldn’t be that film without that character. As brief as he appears in the film, he is important. Sometimes you have a ‘random’ character that just makes a really great ornament. A good idea is always a good idea; it just might not be the right moment.”

 

This year’s Sketchbook Ornament collection introduces the Fairytale Moments series, featuring Disney Princesses like Anna, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, Merida, Pocahontas, and Tiana. “We’re trying something a little different,” Thompson says. “Instead of just a figure with a cloth dress, all the Disney Princess ornaments have become figural story moments.” And the Legacy collection, under the Sketchbook Ornament umbrella, includes designs that honor the 50th and 80th anniversaries of The Artistocats and Fantastia, respectively.

Thompson began working on next year’s collection in March… but he can’t say much about it just yet. “It’s super rewarding and fun, and I hope to keep doing this. Next year’s ornaments are even better. I keep trying to one-up myself,” he says. However, Thompson is quick to point out that the Sketchbook Ornaments are not a solo effort. “I do design them, but I work with such talented artists, from the sculptors to the painters to the merchant team. It’s a team effort,” he says. “There are real people behind these magical little moments on your tree. We’re just as passionate about them as the people who buy them.”

Sneak Peeks at Marvel’s 616 on Disney+—Plus More in News Briefs

By Courtney Potter

See What’s In Store on Marvel’s 616—New Docuseries Coming to Disney+

There’s a brand-new series arriving soon on Disney+, and just this week we got to see a few sneak peeks at the excitement to come. Marvel’s 616 explores how Marvel’s rich legacy of stories, characters, and creators exist within the world outside your window. Each documentary—helmed by a unique filmmaker—explores the intersections of storytelling, pop culture, and fandom within the Marvel Universe. The first clip, above, is from the episode “Higher, Further, Faster,” directed by Gillian Jacobs. In it, she shines a light on the trailblazing women of Marvel Comics and how they found ways to tell stories of representation and inclusion.

In this second clip, above, from the episode “Lost and Found,” actor and comedian Paul Scheer shares his eye-opening and hilarious quest to discover the “forgotten” characters of Marvel Comics.

Look for Marvel’s 616 on Disney+ soon!

5 Fantastic Things to Watch This Weekend

Well, the day has finally come to welcome live sports back on the ol’ television set… or streaming device of your choice. And amongst all the amazing stuff to watch this weekend is NBA Countdown presented by Mountain Dew: NBA Restart (Saturday, July 25, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC)—sure to get you primed and ready for some thrilling basketball action! Read up on what else you can expect from around the worlds of Disney by clicking here.

mickey and friends stay true

Celebrate Friendship with New Mickey & Friends: Stay True Campaign

There’s nothing quite like friendship to bring color, warmth, and fun to your life—and that’s especially important when times are tough. And there’s an all-new celebration, starting this week, to honor these important relationships…

Mickey & Friends: Stay True is a new global campaign inspired by our beloved Sensational Six—Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto—and their truly iconic friendships. Almost 100 years’ worth of countless adventures and memorable milestones have cemented the Sensational Six as a symbol of loyalty, kindness, and hope across the globe.

Starting this week and culminating on July 30—which happens to be International Friendship Day—Disney is calling on fans around the world to give a shout-out to their friends for “staying true” (through social media channels and more) using the hashtag #MickeyFriendsStayTrue.

Wanna get in on the friendship fun? Stay tuned to the @MickeyTrueOriginal Instagram handle, where fans can find out all the ways to get involved—each inspired by a different member of the Sensational Six—every day throughout the week. Also, be sure to use that #MickeyFriendsStayTrue hashtag to share your stories of friendship… some of which might end up being featured on Disney’s social platforms and even on ABC’s Good Morning America.

By the way, thanks for being our friends! We appreciate it!

Elena of Avalor Goes Prime-Time for Finale Special

Disney’s Emmy®- and Imagen Award-winning animated series Elena of Avalor, inspired by the incredible diversity of Latin cultures and folklore, will be celebrating its series finale with an all-new prime-time special on Sunday, August 23, at 7 p.m. Read more about it—and hear from the show’s creator and executive producer, Craig Gerber—right here at D23.com.

Marvel’s Storyboards—New Digital Series Now Playing!

Here’s a bit more awesome news from the world of Marvel: Just this week, Marvel Entertainment premiered the first episode of a brand-new digital series! Available on both Marvel’s YouTube channel and on Marvel.com, Marvel’s Storyboards is a 12-episode nonfiction series following Joe Quesada, executive vice president and creative director of Marvel Entertainment, as he explores the origin stories and inspirations of storytellers of all mediums, backgrounds, and experiences at their favorite spots throughout New York City and beyond. Check out the trailer for the series, above.

Marvel’s Storyboards will be aired in two six-episode seasons, highlighting a variety of visionary, critically acclaimed storytellers including Oscar®-winning songwriter Robert Lopez (Disney’s Frozen); Olympic ice skating phenom Johnny Weir; stage and screen actor Christian Borle; comedian and actress Sasheer Zamata; and many more!

Season One kicked off on Thursday, July 23, with the one and only Hugh Jackman; do make sure check the episode out, and stay tuned all summer long for more brand-new Marvel merriment.

New Trailer for Beyonce’s Black is King

Just a few more days until we get to witness this sure-to-be-ridiculously-memorable new film from Beyoncé Knowles-Carter… And as such, Disney+ and Parkwood Entertainment just released a new trailer Black Is King, helmed by the 24-time Grammy® Award-winner. Premiering globally on July 31, 2020—and based on the music of The Lion King: The GiftBlack is King will premiere two weeks after the one-year anniversary of the theatrical release of Disney’s global phenomenon The Lion King. Take a look at the trailer, above.

Black is King reimagines the lessons from the hit film for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns. In production for a full year and filmed in various locations around the world, the project features a dizzying array of diverse voices on its creative team—including directors Emmanuel Adjei, Blitz Bazawule, Pierre Debusschere, Jenn Nkiru, Ibra Ake, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jake Nava, and Kwasi Fordjour; and co-directors and second unit directors such as Dafe Oboro, Julian Klincewicz, Derek Milton, Meji Alabi, Joshua Kissi, Alexandre Moors, and Deon Van Zyl. Special guests seen in the film include Aweng Ade-Chuol and Adut Akech, Naomi Campbell, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, and JAY-Z.

Look for Black is King exclusively on Disney+ beginning Friday, July 31.

Disney Launches Global Mickey & Friends: Stay True Campaign

By the D23 Team

Disney announced today the launch of Mickey & Friends: Stay True, a global campaign inspired by the Sensational Six—Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto—and their iconic friendship that has spanned several decades. Through countless adventures and almost a century’s worth of milestones, the Sensational Six have always stayed true to one another, and now they’re inspiring others to do the same. Starting this week and culminating on July 30, International Friendship Day, fans across the world are invited to “shout out” their friends and thank them for “staying true” through social media challenges, free digital activations, and more, using #MickeyFriendsStayTrue.

Yara Shahidi, Gigi Hadid, and Chance the Rapper helped kick things off today with posts celebrating their friends Sayeed Shahidi, Ehsan Shahidi, Olivia Perez, and Taylor Bennett.

“When I think of my earliest memories of friendship and what it means to be a friend, I flashback to the Sensational Six,” said Yara Shahidi. “I am excited to celebrate International Friendship Day with my sensational brothers and the iconic group of Disney friends who have inspired the beauty of friendship.”

Mickey & Friends: Stay True

“I’ve always been such a big Disney fan, and know any day I get to step foot into a Disney park will be another great one,” said Hadid. “I have so many amazing memories from childhood to adulthood that include Mickey and the Sensational Six. I’m so happy to be celebrating International Friendship Day alongside these iconic characters!”

Added Chance the Rapper, “My brother is my best friend, and I’m excited to celebrate International Friendship Day alongside him and Mickey Mouse.”

Starting July 24 and leading up to International Friendship Day, Disney will prompt fans with calls to action, each inspired by a different member of the Sensational Six, every day via the @mickeytrueoriginal Instagram account. Throughout the week, fans will be encouraged to use #MickeyFriendsStayTrue to share tales of friendship. Good Morning America and syndicated talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan will join the celebration with special messages to encourage viewers to participate—and some of the friendship stories could end up being featured on Disney’s social platforms and on Good Morning America!

Mickey & Friends: Stay True

“Celebrating friendship and those who help us stay true to ourselves and others is more important than ever before,” said Kareem Daniel, president of Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing. “As families around the world look to Disney to add magic to their daily lives, this campaign highlights the enduring bonds between Mickey and his pals—inviting fans to share in their exciting adventures and iconic friendships.”

In celebration of the campaign, new product collaborations with Primark, H&M, Adidas, BIG W, BaubleBar, Ray-Ban, Otterbox, and Kellogg’s will be available, along with cross-category products for all ages at retailers all over the world, with more to come later this year. On July 23, shopDisney.com will feature a special ‘buy-one-get-one-plush-for-$3’ offer, and on July 28–30, it will offer up to 40 percent off on Mickey & Friends merchandise.

In addition, the Mickey and Friends: Stay True playlist by Walt Disney Records is now streaming. Disney+ will feature the Mickey and Friends Collection at the top of the Collections section in Disney+ from July 27–August 2, in honor of the global campaign.

Mickey & Friends: Stay True

Being loyal, creating memories and making each other laugh are just some of the ways that Mickey and his friends have continued to stay true to one another for almost a century. In order to highlight the history of this iconic friend group and reveal what it takes to maintain lifelong friends, historian Brian Sibley analyzed more than 600 hours of Disney films, shorts, and featurettes featuring the Sensational Six. The analysis revealed loyalty is the No. 1 trait that stands the friendship test of time. Sharing similar interests and adventures is also key, and laughter really is the best medicine. Per Sibley’s analysis, other important traits include making time for each other, being honest when needed, and being thoughtful.

The top 10 qualities key to lifelong friendship according to 90 years of Disney stories are:

  1. Loyalty (like Pluto always being by Mickey Mouse’s side)
  2. Honesty (whether it’s what they want to hear or not, the Sensational Six are always honest with each other)
  3. Kindness (like Donald taking on an extra job to pay for a big date with Daisy)
  4. Understanding of faults (whether it’s Donald’s feistiness or Goofy’s foolishness, the friends are always forgiving of each other’s faults)
  5. Shared interests (like Mickey Mouse and Pluto’s love of fishing)
  6. Embracing differences (whether you’re sassy like Daisy or happy-go-lucky like Pluto)
  7. Supportive of ambitions (such as Mickey Mouse’s lifelong support for Minnie Mouse’s career paths)
  8. Shared sense of humor (whether you’re always laughing like Mickey Mouse or being the comedian like Goofy)
  9. Making time for each other (a long running theme with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse)
  10. Being thoughtful (such as the birthday surprises the Sensational Six plan for each other every year)

Disney’s Mickey & Friends: Stay True campaign will continue throughout the year, and will include celebrating Friendsgiving in November. For additional information on Mickey & Friends: Stay True, follow @MickeyTrueOriginal and #MickeyFriendsStayTrue on Instagram.

5 Fantastic Things to Watch This Weekend

By Zach Johnson

Need something new to watch this weekend? Look no further than Disney+ and Nat Geo WILD, which will air fresh episodes of One Day at Disney and The Incredible Dr. Pol, respectively. Meanwhile, ABC will air an ESPN-produced special celebrating the return of the NBA. And if you’re looking for a new film, Freeform and FX will be airing two very different, very fun movies: Pretty Woman and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

one day at disney

One Day at Disney—Friday, July 24, on Disney+
KABC–TV LA’s Chris Cristi covers breaking news from 1,500 feet aboard his news chopper.  As a helicopter reporter, he delivers up-to-the-minute reports on all sorts of events, both big and small, keeping Los Angeles residents invested in their community. A self-proclaimed news nerd since age 9, he is fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news.

nba on abc

NBA Countdown presented by Mountain Dew: NBA Restart—Saturday, July 25, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC
Led by host Maria Taylor and featuring analysts Paul Pierce, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams and ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the two-hour ESPN-produced special will include guest interviews and live reports from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida—home of the NBA season. The special will originate from ESPN studios, with Wojnarowski reporting from Lake Buena Vista, and preview the restart of the season and the NBA seeding games after the March 11 season stoppage. Additionally, the NBA Countdown team will examine the current climate in basketball amidst the social justice movement and share how the NBA, NBPA, and NBA player leadership are reacting.

pretty woman

Pretty Woman—Saturday, July 25, at 4 p.m. ET on Freeform
Disney Legend Garry Marshall directed this modern twist on Cinderella, which pairs a down-on-her-luck woman, Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) with wealthy businessman Edward Lewis (Richard Gere). While on a business trip in L.A., Edward hires the charming Vivian to stay with him for the weekend. As they grow closer, they also discover there are major obstacles to overcome as they work to bridge the gap between their two different worlds.

the incredible dr pol

The Incredible Dr. Pol—Saturday, July 25, at 9 p.m. ET on Nat Geo WILD
The full moon has been known to make the animals of central Michigan act a little crazy, and this month is no exception. In the brand-new episode “Supe-Pol-stitious,” not only is a full moon in effect, but it’s also Friday the 13th! Of course, no one at the clinic will admit they are superstitious… but curious cases and mysterious mishaps will abound despite their skepticism. From unique animals to strange situations, it’s guaranteed to be a freaky Friday!

miss perigrines

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children—Sunday, July 26, at 1 p.m. ET on FX
Tim Burton directed this fantastic adventure, based on the novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs. After his dear grandfather leaves clues to a mystery that spans different times and worlds, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield) finds a magical place known as Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. The mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers—and their terrifying enemies. Ultimately, Jake discovers that only his own special peculiarity can save his new friends. The 2016 feature film from 20th Century Studios boasts a stellar cast that includes Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Allison Janney, and Chris O’Dowd.

National Geographic’s Rogue Trip Brings the Ultimate Father-Son Adventure to Disney+

By Beth Deitchman

As a war correspondent for ABC News, Bob Woodruff frequently reported from so-called “roguish” nations while these countries and their people were facing the worst of times, from civil unrest to civil wars. Now, on National Geographic’s new series Rogue Trip, debuting Friday, July 24, on Disney+, Bob is returning to these far-off locales, which are known mostly for conflict, to shine a lens on the best of what they have to offer: their natural beauty, their time-honored traditions, and especially, the people who are truly the heart of each region. Bob’s 29-year-old son, Mack, shares his father’s passion for travel and reporting, and their commitment to presenting a new perspective on these often misunderstood nations has resulted in a travel guide like you’ve never seen before, as well as the father-son trip of a lifetime.

rogue trip

The Woodruffs embarked on this extraordinary adventure in July of last year and spent about four consecutive months circling the globe. We caught up with them by phone this week, finding them right back where they started—home—where they’re staying safe and healthy, and dreaming of a trip to nearby New Jersey, let alone the other side of the world.

Bob and Mack’s Rogue Trip journey took them to remote corners of Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Ukraine, regions that most of us are unlikely to visit on our own. These extraordinary locales also invited a host of equally extraordinary experiences, and over the course of six episodes, viewers will see Bob and Mack hunt for crocodiles with their bare feet, rappel down a waterfall, and join what can only be described as a “turtle rodeo” on the open sea.

rogue trip

“This was not a typical vacation like we’ve taken,” Bob stresses, and Mack concurs. “If our family were to design a family trip, it would look nothing like this trip,” he says. “But if my dad and I were to design one together, it would look way more similar to what we did on
Rogue Trip [than the usual Woodruff family vacation].”

For Bob, whose work as a journalist brought him to the regions featured in Rogue Trip, the show is an opportunity to tell more of each nation’s story than has previously been reported on network news. “My biggest fear is that the reporting about countries during crises could somehow make people think that the entire culture is dangerous, or the entire culture is inferior,” he shares, and he wanted each nation’s unique and “remarkable” people to be celebrated front and center. Bob notes that, overwhelmingly, the people they met in their travels take tremendous pride in their respective homelands. “And they don’t like having criticism from the outside or being imposed upon by a culture outside the country,” Bob says. “We went there to learn from them, not for them to learn from us.”

rogue trip

Mack believes there’s much to be gleaned about resilience from these often misjudged nations. “All of the countries that we went to have gone through some sort of war, conflict, or disaster, but they’ve all rebounded from that. They haven’t rebounded perfectly or fully and they’re always going to be a work in progress,” he says—much like any country is.

Of course, the entire Woodruff family understands resilience. In 2006, while reporting from Iraq, Bob was severely injured by a roadside bomb—an event with an impact that can be felt in Rogue Trip as well as in Bob and Mack’s relationship. During a break from the action, father and son discuss how unthinkable a journey such as this—and even a return to reporting—seemed in the aftermath of Bob’s traumatic brain injury, making it all the more special for both that they are now able to share this experience. “I love doing this right now, but I love doing this with you,” Bob says in the episode set in Papua New Guinea.

“The biggest thing is that Dad shouldn’t have lived through his accident, so any time that he can spend with me and any time that I can spend with him pretty much is bonus time at this point,” Mack tells us.

rogue trip

While Bob and Mack are inviting viewers to look at parts of the world in a new light, Rogue Trip has provided a natural opportunity to see new facets of each other, as well. Though Mack has grown up watching his father’s news reports on TV, the trip was the first time he was able to understand how much Bob brings to a story both before and after the cameras begin rolling. “Being able to observe his work ethic is something that I knew existed and had heard about from his friends and colleagues, but it’s a different thing altogether to witness it,” Mack shares.

rogue trip

“This is the first time in our lives that we have spent time together as colleagues more than really father and son, because we both love doing the same thing,” Bob says. “I wasn’t going to teach Mack anything and, more importantly, I think Mack was there to teach me more. He has a different approach to the world. He’s a different generation. He’s got views of the planet and it’s just great to be in a position where I’m the student to the teacher who is my own child. He’s 29 years old now—he’s not even my child anymore. He’s another guy.”

“Hopefully a little more special than that,” Mack laughs.

rogue trip

Fair warning: Watching Rogue Trip—either alone, or with one’s parental units or adult children—may just inspire you to start planning your own trip down roads less traveled. Right now, the Woodruffs are dreaming of colder climes—a Norway vacation is in Mack’s post-quarantine future, while Bob has just one continent left to cross off his list: Antarctica. Their advice to fellow world travelers looking to go off the beaten path—spoken like true reporters—is to do the research and talk to people who have already been to a destination. For Mack, it’s less about the distance covered than simply stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, and that’s what he hopes Rogue Trip inspires in people who watch. As hard as that can be, he stresses, “That’s where you really grow.”

Disney’s Elena of Avalor to End with a Magical Prime-Time Special

By Zach Johnson

Princess Elena’s heroic journey to become queen will culminate in an epic prime-time finale special of Disney’s Emmy®- and Imagen Award-winning series Elena of Avalor, premiering Sunday, August 23, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. New episodes leading up to the finale will debut every Sunday, beginning July 26, at 5 p.m. ET/PT, and all episodes will debut on Disney Junior and DisneyNOW. Inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore, Elena of Avalor premiered in 2016 and tells the story of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who has been learning what it takes to be a great leader by ruling her enchanted fairy-tale kingdom as crown princess until she’s old enough to be queen. Airing in more than 150 countries worldwide, the hit series has been lauded for its messages of leadership and inclusiveness.

“It has been a tremendous honor for me to bring Disney’s first Latina princess to the screen,” says creator and executive producer Craig Gerber. “Everyone involved with Elena of Avalor, from the creative team to the unbelievable cast and crew, felt the responsibility to get this right. We created the character of Elena with the hope that she would be a role model, not just for young Latina girls watching, but for all children to be able to see what a true leader looks like. From the beginning, Elena’s story arc has been that she would one day become queen. With the series finale, the creative team has been able to bring Elena’s story to the thrilling conclusion that we always envisioned. I can’t wait for viewers to see the final chapter in Elena’s epic adventure.”

In the prime-time special Elena of Avalor: Coronation Day, as plans for Elena’s (voice of Aimee Carrero) coronation are underway, Esteban’s (voice of Christian Lanz) team of villains unleash legendary spirit misfits, the Four Shades of Awesome. In order to save her kingdom, her family and her friends, Elena must journey to the Spirit World and back, and face the ultimate test of her courage and character, before becoming queen. Jenny Slate, Mark Hamill, Fred Armisen, and Andy Garcia guest star as the Four Shades of Awesome. Patrick Warburton guest stars as Grand Macaw, ruler of the dark side of the Spirit World.

The series also features the voice talents of Jenna Ortega as Princess Isabel; Chris Parnell, Yvette Nicole Brown and Carlos Alazraqui as jaquins Migs, Luna and Skylar, respectively; Emiliano Díez as Francisco; Julia Vera as Luisa; Jillian Rose Reed as Naomi; Joseph Haro as Mateo; Jorge Diaz as Gabe; Keith Ferguson as Zuzo and Joe Nunez as Armando. Elena of Avalor will continue to air on Disney Junior and Disney Channel platforms around the world. In addition, the series’ first two seasons are currently available to stream on Disney+.

The finale also features returning guest voice cast members Constance Marie, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jaime Camil, Justina Machado, Gina Rodriguez, Mario Lopez, Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, John Leguizamo, Cheech Marin, Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg, Cloris Leachman, Chrissie Fit, Tyler Posey, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Kether Donohue, Nestor Carbonell, Andrea Navedo, Eden Espinosa, Ana Ortiz, Gina Torres, and Gaby Moreno, who also sings the Elena of Avalor theme song.