BREAKING: Stitch’s Great Escape To Operate Seasonally, Permanent Closure Imminent

The show will return for the busy 2016 holiday season for two periods, November 19th-26th, 2016 and December 17th, 2016 through January 2nd, 2017.

Walt Disney World has not offered a seasonally operating attraction in many years, not since the mid-2000’s when they would only open the Wonders of Life pavilion at Epcot during the busy holiday season. Of course, the Wonders of Life was retired shortly thereafter. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is the only attraction that was ever offered only seasonally to return to normal operation at Walt Disney World.

Stitch’s Great Escape is rumored to close permanently in the not-too-distant future to be replaced with a Wreck-It Ralph attraction. This seasonal closure could be used to start work on a new attraction inside the building.

Turner Lands 11 Star Wars Films, Including Parts VIII, IX and Rogue One

This is the deal Turner was looking for.

Through unprecedented deals with The Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox, TNT and TBS have secured exclusive basic cable and ad-supported on-demand rights to the entire live-action Star Wars oeuvre as we currently know it.

The 11-film agreement includes the network premiere windows for last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the highly anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (hitting theaters Dec. 16), as well as the network-TV premieres of the next three yet-to-be-released movies, including the final two films of the new trilogy.

The Disney agreement covers five of the six originalStar Wars films, while a separate deal with 20th Century Fox folds in the one that got it all started,Star Wars: A New Hope.

TNT will mark the milestone arrangement by airing the first two trilogies over six consecutive nights, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 8/7c, with The Phantom Menace, and wrapping Sunday, Sept. 25 with Return of the Jedi and a big ol’ Endor hootenanny.

The Force Awakens (which made its premium cable debut Sept. 10 on Starz) will land on TNT in early 2018, followed in 2019 by Rogue One.

22 holiday movies Hallmark is prepping for Christmas

As the air turns a little crisper and the leaves yellow and redden, many people will turn to the person nearest to them and exclaim in amazed, cheery unison: Only three months until Christmas! Granted, it’s too early for the halls to be decked and for any sugar plum fairies to move rhythmically inside childrens’ heads, but it’s time to start preparing for the avalanche of holiday TV movies headed your way – and it’s coming way sooner than you think.

Hallmark Channel, the leader in comfort-food Yuletide-based telefilms, will commence its Countdown to Christmas spectacle on Oct. 28 at 10 p.m., as the network converts into a 24-7 original TV movie channel, first revisiting classics from years past. And on Nov. 5 at 9 p.m., the season of giving truly begins, as new originals begin piling up like blizzard-sent snowfall. This year’s batch of films welcomes back familiar faces such as Lacey Chabert, Lori Loughlin, Danica McKellar, and Alicia Witt, as well as first-time Hallmarked stars like Jaime King, Mena Suvari, and former American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky.

You want Jack and Jill (as in Jack Wagner and Jill Wagner)? Done. How about someone that rhymes with Wagner, like, say, Meredith Hagner? Can do. Cookie factory in jeopardy? Fake couples turning real? Mystery gifts? People named Christmas Carol and Terry Christmas? It’s all happening. EW is giving the first look at a list – checked twice, of course – of the upcoming Hallmark Channel holiday movies. (Note: Several more films will be announced at a later date.) In addition, we present the slate for sister channel Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, which will kick off its “The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas” campaign on Oct. 28 as well. Prepare to envelope yourself in the pre-Christmas spirit.

HALLMARK CHANNEL
A WISH FOR CHRISTMAS 

Premieres: Nov. 5, 9 p.m. (all times ET/PT)
Starring: Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls), Paul Greene (A Christmas Detour)
Official logline: “Sara Shaw (Chabert) is the type of woman who prefers to sit on the sidelines at work, but when her big idea for a Christmas initiative is stolen, she makes a wish to Santa that she’ll finally have the courage to stand up for herself. When Santa grants her wish and she gets a chance to make prove herself to her boss (Greene) but Santa’s wish only gives her 48 hours. As the clock ticks down, Sara will discover how to channel the Christmas magic and speak her mind all on her own.”

MISTLETOE PROMISE
Premieres: Nov. 6, 9 p.m. 

Starring: Jaime King (Hart of Dixie), Luke Macfarlane (Brothers and Sisters)
Official logline: A chance meeting between two strangers who share a disdain for Christmas results in The Mistletoe Promise, a pact to help them navigate their holiday complications – together.  But as they spend more time with each other and experience the magic of Christmas the phony couple discovers there may be more to their contract than business.  Based on the bestselling novel by Richard Paul Evans.”

EVERY CHRISTMAS HAS A STORY
Premieres: Nov. 12, 9 p.m. 
Starring: Lori Loughlin (Fuller House), Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Willie Aames (Charles in Charge)
Official logline: “
A TV personality (Loughlin) has an on-air snafu and admits she hates Christmas. Following the debacle, she is invited to the Most Christmas-y town in America to try and repair her image. Forced to work with her ex-boyfriend Jack (Ferguson), the show’s producer, the magic of Christmas and this special town will change the way she views Christmas and her life.”

CHRISTMAS COOKIES
Premieres: 
Nov. 13, 9 p.m. 
Starring: Jill Wagner (Wipeout), Wes Brown (True Blood)
Official logline: ”
Aunt Sally’s Christmas Cookie Company is sold to a large conglomerate and executive Hannah (Wagner) must seal the deal and shut down the factory, which is the small town of Cookie Jar’s lifeblood. What was supposed to be a simple assignment for Hannah becomes complicated when she meets Jake (Brown), the factory owner who’s determined to keep the factory in town. Despite not being a fan of the holiday, the Christmas spirit in this small town is infectious and she gets swept up in the joy of the season while also falling in love.”

MY CHRISTMAS DREAM
Premieres: Nov. 19, 9 p.m. 

Starring: Danica McKellar (Wonder Years), David Haydn-Jones (A Cookie Cutter Christmas), Deidre Hall (Days of Our Lives)
Official logline: 
Christina Masters (McKellar), the manager of McDougal’s flagship department store, is determined to land the manager position for their new Paris location. She sets out to impress Victoria (Hall), the store’s owner, by creating the best holiday display in McDougal’s history. Fresh out of inspiration despite assuring Victoria otherwise, Christina turns to a recently-fired store employee (Haydn-Jones) who also happens to be a talented artist and single dad to his young son. As they work side-by-side, the business relationship becomes personal and she finds herself falling in love. Will the allure of her dream be too strong or will she choose to follow her heart?”

A DECEMBER BRIDE
Premieres: Nov. 20, 9 p.m. 

Starring: Jessica Lowndes (90210), Daniel Lissing (When Calls the Heart)
Official logline: ”
Aspiring interior designer Layla O’Reilly (Lowndes) is dreading the Christmastime wedding of her cousin who’s marrying Layla’s ex-fiancé. Although Seth Murphy (Lissing) is the one responsible for introducing the bride and groom, she begrudgingly accepts his offer to be her date as she’s out of options. Seth gets carried away at the reception and announces they’re engaged, forcing a mortified Layla to keep up the pretense. But as the faux couple spends more time together they find themselves feeling something very real. Based on the book by bestselling author Denise Hunter.”

SHOOTING CHRISTMAS (working title)
Premieres: Nov. 23, 9 p.m. 

Starring: Taylor Cole (The Originals)
Official logline: “
One of the most famous actresses in world heads to the Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa, to shoot a holiday-themed. She is thrown for a loop when a romance brews between her and local inn keeper and single dad, Matt. As she gets a taste of small-town life and people who give of themselves without asking anything in return, she discovers the true meaning of Christmas.”

CHRISTMAS LIST 
Premieres: Nov. 25, 9 p.m. 

Starring: Alicia Witt (Nashville), Gabriel Hogan (Heartland)
Official logline: ”Isobel Gray plans a storybook Christmas with her boyfriend, including a snow-covered cottage in the Northwest, and a carefully composed bucket list of classic holiday traditions. But when the boyfriend goes AWOL, the list proves challenging and a tempting new romance turns her life upside down. Will Isobel have a White Christmas ending under the mistletoe?”

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (working title)
Premieres: Dec. 4, 9 p.m. 
Starring: TBA
Official logline: “Carol is an over-involved mother but nothing compares to the holiday season when she goes over-the-top spearheading her kid’s school’s Christmas Spectacular each year, which earned her the nickname Christmas Carol by the parents and faculty. All that changes the day Terry moves to town with his teenage daughter. Also single, he is very fond of the holiday himself, having volunteered to mount the Christmas play each year at his daughter’s former school. Carol tries to politely tell the single dad his help won’t be needed but he has no intention of stepping aside. The tug-of-war turns into something of a rumble and it becomes clear neither of these parents is willing to work with the other. With the competition lines clearly drawn in the sand, the dueling duo sets out to outdo each other to create the most memorable Christmas spectacular ever. The pressure is ON to make this the best Christmas ever as it’s anybody’s guess if “Christmas Carol” will live up to her moniker or if newly titled “Terry Christmas” will become the new holiday hero. The two will ultimately learn the error of their ways and put aside their differences while learning they have a lot more in common as an unexpected romance begins to bloom.”

THE NUTCRACKER (working title)
Premieres: 
Dec. 10, 9 p.m 
Starring: 
Amy Acker (Person of Interest), Sascha Radetsky (Flesh and Bone)
Official logline: “Rising star, Lilly James lives and breathes ballet. Her sister, Beth, is not only her biggest fan but often forgoes her own needs to make sure Lilly has every opportunity possible. Lilly’s devotion pays off when she is accepted into the New York City Ballet. Her biggest dream comes true when she lands the lead role of Clara in The Nutcracker and will make her debut on Christmas Eve. As she prepares for her big night, she receives the tragic news that her sister has died.  She is removed from the show by none other than Mark, her boyfriend and dance partner.  Betrayed and heartbroken, she vows never to dance again. Years later, Lilly’s niece receives the same Christmas wish, the role of Clara in the prestigious Philadelphia Nutcracker Ballet, only to find that the Ballet Director is Mark, who betrayed Lilly years ago. Will Lilly see the truth about her past, and allow herself a second chance to dance and another chance to find love?”

MEANT TO BE (working title)
Premieres: Dec. 11, 9 p.m. 
Starring: Brennan Elliott (Strong Medicine)
Official logline: “Maddie, a high-powered marketing executive, is on her way to a client’s wedding but her plans are derailed by car trouble. When a fork in the road leads her to Christmas Valley, a town in love with Christmas, an unexpected encounter and a group of strangers that start to feel like family will have her questioning what she’s really been missing in life.

CHRISTMAS EXPECTATIONS 
Premieres: Dec. 17, 9 p.m. 

Starring: Meredith Hagner (Veep), Bobby Campo (Scream: The TV Series), Gregory Harrison (Rizzoli & Isles)
Official logline: “Christmas Expectations is about a hopeless romantic who can’t ever seem to give a guy a real chance, that is until she starts receiving each of the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ as gifts anonymously at her door (yes, from the song… a partridge, leaping lords, milking maids… 5 golden rings!!). It’s a fun mystery that she tries to solve with her core group (including her sister who’s about to have a Christmas wedding) to see if there’s a suitor on the other end to finally live up to her expectations.”

RUNAWAY SLEIGH
Premieres: Dec. 18, 9 p.m. 
Starring: TBA
Official logline: ”
Laurel is in charge of her hometown’s Christmas parade, and with budget cuts, she’s having trouble making it a special event this year and, after a recent divorce, getting into the holiday spirit. When she and her daughter Scarlett cross paths with a lone farmer who has a sleigh that he claims came from Santa crash-landing on his property years ago, they are both skeptical.  But the sleigh would make a great addition to the parade if it could be restored. When the farmer gives Laurel the sleigh for the parade, her ‘luck’ slowly changes. It’s almost as if the sleigh is leading her to all the right pieces she needs to make the parade a success, including meeting a handsome man from town who has the loving touch to restore the relic. Laurel is converted into a true believer and rekindles that holiday spirit with her daughter, especially when she realizes the real Santa is riding his lost sleigh in the Christmas parade.”

WHEN CALLS THE HEART: THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS
Premieres: Dec. 25, 9 p.m. 
Starring
Erin Krakow (Army Wives), Daniel Lissing (Last Resort), Jack Wagner (Melrose Place) and Lori Loughlin (Fuller House)
Official logline: “
An intriguing peddler comes to Hope Valley selling the townspeople his wears and teaching them valuable lessons about joy and giving. And when the townspeople realize that the recently displaced settlers in the area will not have a proper Christmas, they come together to create a special holiday celebration – including a Nativity presentation from the schoolchildren — that will infuse everyone with the true spirit of Christmas.”

ROSE PARADE NEW YEAR (working title)
Premieres: Jan. 1, 9 p.m. 
Starring: 
Rachel Boston (In Plain Sight)
Official logline: “Andy (Boston) is a passionate and talented artist whose Pasadena family has been building Rose Parade floats for generations. But when her Dad gets sick and can’t lead this year’s efforts as usual, Andy has no choice but to take the helm and supervise the construction and decoration of their client’s float over Christmas with only a few weeks to go.  And to make matters worse, she’s saddled with the extra challenge of dealing with Cliff, a demanding businessman whose company commissioned the float. Forced to work together, these two can’t help but clash – she’s a creative type who knows this flower-strewn process inside out, while he’s all business with no time for art. But working side-by-side over Christmas, they each learn the other is not who they seem. And together, with a ragtag team of volunteers, they might just have what it takes to create a magnificent Rose Parade float… IF they can pull it together by New Year’s.”

HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES
LOVE ALWAYS, SANTA
Premieres: Nov. 6, 9 p.m.
Starring: TBA
Official logline: “After losing her husband Bradley three years ago on Christmas day, Celia Banks never thought she’d fall in love again. Now, her entire world revolves around taking care of her daughter Lilly. Lilly writes a letter to Santa with one wish — for her mommy to be happy and find love again.”

FINDING FATHER CHRISTMAS
Premieres: Nov. 13, 9 p.m.
Starring: Wendy Mallick (Hot in Cleveland), Erin Krakow (When Calls the Heart), Niall Matter (Eureka)
Official logline: “Christmas for Miranda is a painful reminder of the family she never had. Her mother died when she was young, never revealing the identity of her father. But, three days before Christmas, she unexpectedly receives a clue as to the whereabouts that takes her to a beautiful New England town where she meets Ian, a young man who helps with her search. As the clues lead to her father’s identity and Miranda discovers the possibility of love in Ian, and she learns that her father lived in the small town and now she knows his family (her brother and her biological father’s wife). She faces a terrible decision… Should she share the truth and risk losing the family she has just found, or leave and keep the secret forever? This Christmas promises to be life-changing for Miranda with a new chance at life and love.”

OPERATION CHRISTMAS
Premieres: Nov. 20, p.m.

Starring: Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Lisa Durupt (Murder She Baked)
Official logline: “As her new romance blossoms, a single mother is dismayed when her boyfriend, a military sergeant, is deployed right before Christmas. Determined to not let it ruin the holidays for her and her children they decide to give back to the struggling military families on his base and, as their efforts go viral, they are rewarded in ways they never imagined.”

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
Premieres: Nov. 27, 9 p.m.
Starring: James Brolin (Life In Pieces), Mena Suvari (American Beauty), Giselle Eisenberg (Life in Pieces)
Official logline: ”
Jackie Foster (Suvari), a dynamic Assistant District Attorney and single mom,  is looking forward to wrapping up her latest case and spending Christmas with Gracie (Eisenberg), her adorable and precocious, eight-year old daughter. But when Jackie’s estranged dad, Jack (Brolin), a gruff retired police officer, unexpectedly shows up at her door, they will be forced to confront old wounds. Tensions rise when Jack brings Nose, a mischievous former police dog, into Jackie’s orderly home. Though Jack had planned on quickly passing through, Gracie convinces him to stay until Christmas. Despite the baggage he brings, Jack and Jackie begin to work through their issues and she finds the possibility of an unlikely romance with a detective friend of Jack’s. As they experience the magic of Christmas together, they attempt to let go of their past and celebrate this loving holiday the way Jackie always dreamed.”

EACH PRECIOUS HEARTBEAT (working title)
Premieres: Dec. 4, 9 p.m.
Starring: Emillie Ullerup (Sanctuary)
Official logline: When Alice, a beloved neonatal intensive care unit supervisor, is forced to take early retirement, her young colleague Jenny decides to turn the upcoming staff Christmas party into a surprise celebration for her. The plan is complicated by Matt, the hospital’s new CFO, who’s been tasked to cut costs. Initially at loggerheads, Jenny and Matt get to know and understand each other —a sweet Christmas gift neither saw coming.”

THE SOUND OF CHRISTMAS (working title)
Premieres: Dec. 11, 9 p.m.


Starring: TBA

Official logline: “Lizzie is a young piano teacher working at a music school while trying to save enough money for a Steinway piano. The school is gearing up for their major Christmas fundraiser and she has committed much of her time to plan the event. One afternoon, she meets Brad who takes an interest in her playing and asks if she will teach his uninterested teenage daughter. She begins to break through to the young girl, and sparks begin to fly with Brad, but she is shocked to find out that his interest is not solely in her playing, but in the property that houses the music school. She sets out to save the school and the event, but can she work things out with Brad?”


A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER
Premieres: Dec. 18, 9 p.m.


Starring: TBA

Official logline: “A harsh TV personality, Jennifer, needs a break from her own life, so she hops into a car and drives to a small town mountain retreat. On her way there a blizzard veers off the road and she crashes. When she comes to she has complete amnesia and a friendly passerby takes her in. As time passes she still doesn’t remember who she is and the friendly passerby, a widower himself with 3 kids, assimilates her into his family. But as she slowly starts remembering who she is, she prefers the new life she’s built in the small town.”


First Look At Lumiere And Cogsworth From ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Arrives

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast live-action remake has inspired incredible anticipation amongst fans since the trailer and poster were released. One thing missing from the trailer was a better look at some of our favorite classic characters. Now the wait is over, the first look at Lumiere And Cogsworth has arrived online.

The images were shared from a Twitter user.

Along with a better look at the famous candlestick and clock, another image surfaced which shows the back of Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as Le Fou.

The trailer broke the record for most views within a 24 hour period for a teaser, which was originally held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This teaser was watched 91.8 million times in the first 24 hours, passing the 88 million views that the second teaser for The Force Awakens. 

Beauty and The Beast will be directed by Bill Condon, the film stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Kevin Kline as Maurice, and Audra McDonald as Garderobe.

Beauty and The Beast will arrive in theaters on March 17, 2017.

Are you looking forward to this live-action remake? Comment below and let’s chat all things Beauty and the Beast! 

Kenobi: A Star Wars Story’ Is the Fan Trailer You’ve Been Looking For

What was Obi-Wan Kenobi doing for those 20 years between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘A New Hope’?

One of the few things fans agree are a positive to come out of the divisive Star Wars prequels is Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

Now, a filmmaker named Rich Williamson has put together a fan trailer imagining a film showing Kenobi’s life after 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The Jedi master is living in exile on Tatooine, tortured by the role he played in the downfall of the Republic and watching over a young Luke Skywalker.

https://vimeo.com/178941014

The Star Wars universe is poised to debut its first standalone film with Rogue One: A Star Wars Storyslated for December. A young Han Solo film is also on the slate, and fans have been clamoring for a Kenobi spinoff.

“I’d love if Star Wars started doing different genres, especially with the ‘Star Wars Story’ films,” Williamson wrote in the comments section of his trailer. “One film might be a heist movie, one a horror, this one more of a meditative Western. Shake it up.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda Joining ‘Little Mermaid’ as Producer and Songwriter

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken have come on to pen the songs for Disney’s live-action reboot of “The Little Mermaid.”

Miranda will also produce the film along with Marc Platt.

The 1989 version followed a mermaid princess who struck a bargain with a sea-witch in order to meet a human prince on land. Menken wrote the music for the animated tale, including memorable hits like “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World,” and “Kiss the Girl.”

The reboot is one of a handful of “The Little Mermaid” pics on the market. Working Title also working on their own with Chloe Grace Moretz starring.

Following the huge success of Miranda’s “Hamilton,” which has smashed Broadway records and swept the Tonys, Disney has been very active in finding ways to get in business with the multi-hyphenate. He recently penned all the songs to the Disney animated pic “Moana” starring Dwayne Johnson and is also set to co-star opposite Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.”

He is repped by WME.

As for Disney, this film marks another pic in their slate of live-action reboots of classic Disney animated classics joining the recently released “Jungle Book”, “Beauty and the Beast” which bows next year and the “101 Dalmatians” origin pic “Cruella” starring Emma Stone as the classic villain.

Angela Lansbury, Paige O’Hara to Reunite at ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Anniversary Screening in NYC

Original voice castmembers Robby Benson and Richard White also will appear in person for an extended introduction.

New York City is bringing back Beauty and the Beast.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Disney will screen the animated classic in honor of its 25th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 18, at Alice Tully Hall.

The screening will take place at Alice Tully Hall, the same venue where the 1991 feature was shown two months before its theatrical release, as part of the 29th New York Film Festival. Presented as a work-in-progress title, with a third of the film consisting of storyboard art and black-and-white animation tests, the screening was met with a standing ovation. It then became the first animated film to earn an Academy Award nomination for best picture and won Oscars for best score and original song.

Original voice castmembers Paige O’Hara (Belle), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts),  Robby Benson (Beast) and Richard White (Gaston) will appear in person for an extended introduction.

The film screens ahead of the 54th New York Film Festival, as well as the release of Disney’s live-action reboot starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.