2014 Disney Preview!
It looks to be another standard year for Disney in 2014, which is to say a big one. They've certainly had some bumps along the way, particularly with THE LONE RANGER last year and JOHN CARTER in 2012, but with their hands on the Marvel Cinematic Universe there's plenty to lean back on. 2014 will see two new Marvel films, a big-budget musical, a Muppets sequel, another entry in their nature-themed franchise, three animated films from three different venues, a few dramas, a kids book adaptation, and another live-action treatment based on a classic cartoon. It's a fairly diverse crowd, yet a familiar model for the studio, which is going full steam ahead, as always. Take a look at their offerings for the year and let us know which one's you're most looking forward to!
In The Wind Rises, Jiro (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (voiced by Stanley Tucci). Nearsighted and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world's most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan's plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko (voiced by Emily Blunt), and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo (voiced by John Krasinski). Writer and director Hayao Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in this epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world. From Studio Ghibli, The Wind Rises is slated for limited release in North American thetaers February 21, 2014
, and expanded release on February 28, 2014, under the Touchstone Pictures banner.
The film centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle-cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey's shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn't commit, sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out west.
Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge -- but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon-the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first. March 14, 2014.
Disney's Muppets Most Wanted takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.
Disney's Muppets Most Wanted is directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Bobin co-wrote the screenplay with Nick Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, Muppets Most Wanted hits the big screen March 21, 2014.
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy-the Winter Soldier.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases April 4, 2014., and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature's new True Life Adventure Bears showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life's most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting-but risky-as the cubs' playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food-ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run-while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. Bears captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet's last great wildernesses-Alaska! Directed by Alastair Fothergill (Earth, African Cats and Chimpanzee) and Keith Scholey (African Cats), Bears arrives in theaters April 18, 2014
, to celebrate Earth Day.
In a last ditch effort to save his career as a sports agent, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) concocts a scheme to find baseball's next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turninto a Major League Baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a realityshow competition called "Million Dollar Arm." With the help of a cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout (Alan Arkin) he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from Slumdog Millionaire) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from Life of Pi), two 18 year old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India - the boys, who have never left their rural villages - are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball - JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell) - learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family. May 16, 2014.
Maleficent explores the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king's newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holders her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever. Maleficent opens in theaters May 30, 2014.
Planes: Fire & Rescue is a new comedy-adventure about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world-famous air racer Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team, including spirited super scooper Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie, and a bunch of all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Directed by Roberts Gannaway (Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings), Planes: Fire & Rescue hits theaters in 3D on July 18, 2014.
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team - the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits-Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power fo the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand - with the galaxy's fate in the balance. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases August 1, 2014
, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
In The Hundred-Foot Journey, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant - the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments - until Hassan's passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory's enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.
The Hundred-Foot Journey abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy's drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be. August 8, 2014.
Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life-a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he's not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn't had one. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is directed by Independent Spirit Award winner Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Cedar Rapids, Youth in Revolt) from a screenplay by Rob Lieber, is a 21 Laps/Jim Henson Company production. The film hits theaters nationwide October 10, 2014.
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Big Hero 6, an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion-a robot named Baymax-Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated Big Hero 6 hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.
Inspired by the 1987 true story, McFarland follows high school coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), whose job-hopping leads him to predominantly Latino McFarland High School, located in an agricultural community in California's farm-rich Central Valley. Jim knows he ha to make this school his last stop - he's out of options, with both his career and his family and finds himself in a diverse, economically-challenged community that feels worlds apart from his previous hometowns. Admittedly, the White family and the students have a lot to learn about each other - but when Coach White notices the boys' exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts impresses White - the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, Coach White's unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Jim and his family realize that they finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream. November 21, 2014.
Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lila Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) - all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them. Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award-winning musical Chicago and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, helms the film, which is based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics - including an all-new song for the big-screen adaptation. Produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, "Wicked" producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall, Into the Woods hits theaters December 25, 2014.