Culture on My Mind – Brawn, Bands, and Bunnies… Oh, My!

Culture on My Mind
April 16, 2021

It’s time for another round of discussions and mayhem about classic science fiction, brought to you by the fine folks at the Dragon Con American Sci-Fi Classics Track.

On March 25th, the pah-nelists went to bah-tle over which Ah-nold was the best. That’s right, it’s an Arnold Schwarzen-Off. Featuring commandos Jeff Burns, Denise Lhamon, and Darin Bush, this panel won’t give you a raw deal. Getch-yo-ass to YouTube!

On April 1st – no foolin’! – it was time for the championship round of the Battle of the (Fictional) Bands!

So, here’s the story: The winners of the previous three encounters – The Soggy Bottom Boys, Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers, and DethKlok – were joined by a fourth competitor determined by a tournament of 16 non-winners from the previous rounds. The final three non-winners in the other rounds got automatic second chances, consisting of Spinal Tap, The Archies, Wyld Stallyns, Larry Underwood from The Stand, Mouse Rat, The Oneders, The Blues Brothers, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and The Misfits.

The remaining entrants were chosen from a pool of bands that didn’t make it to the finals, and the whole lot was judged by Kevin Cafferty, Chris Cummins, Shaun Rosado, Leigh Tyberg, ToniAnn Marini, Keith DeCandido, and Wrenn Simms.

On April 8th, the track celebrated the rabbit-themed holiday with a discussion of bunnies in pop culture. Kevin Eldridge joins the mayhem as some things lepus in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror were celebrated. 


We’re all caught up for now. Fun times lay ahead, including a couple of anniversary celebrations. If you want to play along at home, get thee hence to the YouTube channel and the group on Facebook. If you join in live, you can also leave comments and participate in the discussion using StreamYard connected through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

The episode art each week is generously provided by the talented Sue Kisenwether. You can find her (among other places) on Women at Warp – A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – Battle of the Bands

Culture on My Mind
March 26, 2021

It’s time for this week’s second helping of science fiction classics, and this time we’re going to rock.

On March 4th, the first round began as Kevin Cafferty, Chris Cummins, Shaun Rosado, and Leigh Tyberg considered sixteen performers from the depths of classic sci-fi.

On March 11th, Round Two began with the jury of Toni Ann Marini, Kevin Cafferty, Chris Cummins, Shaun Rosado, and Leigh Tyberg.

On March 18th, this classic trilogy of musical mayhem converged with the illustrious panel of Keith DeCandido and Wrenn Simms (sharing one screen and, allegedly, one vote), Kevin Cafferty, Chris Cummins, Shaun Rosado, and Leigh Tyberg.

If you want to experience each of the competitors, you can do so through these convenient YouTube playlists:


We’re all caught up now with the exception of the March 25th panel. Rumor says that it involves another battle, but this time it’s all about AH-nold. After all, if it bleeds, Schwarzenegger can kill it.

There are also rumors that the March musical madness is not the end of the battle of the bands. There’s still time for King Thunder!

Gary and Joe have a lot more fun discussions planned. If you want to play along at home, get thee hence to the YouTube channel and the group on Facebook. If you join in live, you can also leave comments and participate in the discussion using StreamYard connected through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – February’s Classical End

Culture on My Mind
March 23, 2021

It is time to catch up on another batch of American Sci-Fi Classics discussions.

On February 18th, Price Horn and Jessa Phillips went to test depth to talk about what happens when science fiction gets wet.

On February 25th, a few members of the Council of Mikes participated in the ultimate Michael tournament. Mike Faber, Michael Gordon, Michael Bailey, and Michael G. Williams duked it out. I was unable to attend due to a work trip.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again): Gary and Joe have a lot more fun discussions planned, so you should stay tuned to the YouTube channel and the group on Facebook. If you join in live, you can also leave comments and participate in the discussion using StreamYard connected through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

Later this week, I’ll take a look at the fun that they had in the first three weeks of March. Those panels were all about the Battle of the Bands. I’m rooting for King Thunder from Quantum Leap because “Fate’s Wide Wheel” keeps on turning.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – The Color of Our Food

Culture on My Mind
February 26, 2021

This week, I have food on my mind. In particular, a video from Cheddar about the history and current use of dyes in our food.

It is fascinating to me that Americans invest so much into food appearance, even to the point of tasting something that isn’t really there to begin with. I already knew that we waste about $218 billion dollars of food every year, including the destruction of otherwise perfectly good produce at the grocery store due to cosmetic blemishes, but the psychology is laid bare in this simple eye-opening presentation.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – Early Year Classics

Culture on My Mind
February 19, 2021

It is time for another batch of American Sci-Fi Classics discussions.

On January 7th, Keith DeCandido, Denise Lhamon, and Michael Bailey stopped by to discuss the 30th anniversary of Dick Tracy.

On January 14th, Sue Kisenwether, Deanna Toxopeus, Darin Bush, and Lola Lariscy asked the question “But is she a Mary Sue?”

On January 21st, Sue Kisenwether, Denise Lhamon, Deanna Toxopeus, Kevin Eldridge, Sherman Burris, and newcomer Maree Jones talked about the purrrfect organism. Yep, it’s all about cats in science fiction.

On January 28th, newcomer Kornflake of The Flopcast podcast joined Denise Lhamon, Sherman Burris, and Shaun Rosado in a deep dive of animated fantasy from the 1970s.

On February 4th, Felicity Kuzinitz, Nathan Laws, Tom Morris, Charlie Morris, Shaun Rosado, and Michael Williams signed up for electroshock treatments as they looked back on the 35th anniversary of Return to Oz.

Finally, to celebrate the season of love, February 11th brought newcomer Jeff Burns, Elizabeth Jones, Kevin Cafferty, Deanna Toxopeus, Lola Lariscy, and Jessa Phillips to the virtual love boat to talk all about the best genre romances.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again): Gary and Joe have a lot more fun discussions planned, so you should stay tuned to the YouTube channel and the group on Facebook. If you join in live, you can also leave comments and participate in the discussion using StreamYard connected through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – The Life Cycle of a Cup of Coffee

Culture on My Mind
January 15, 2021

This week, I have coffee in my mind. In particular, a TED-Ed presentation on how the cherries in the field end up in your morning cuppa.

The TED series of educational presentations has been around for quite some time. I really enjoy losing myself in some of the talks, and the “lessons worth sharing” are no example. I love to learn, and this is just one more way to do that every day.

So this week, I’m sharing this less from A.J. Jacobs that dives into the round-the-world journey of coffee, from plant to brew, the complex infrastructure, and the people who make it happen.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – Post-Christmas Classics

Culture on My Mind
January 8, 2021

I know that we’re officially outside the holiday season and firmly into the new year, but the American Sci-Fi Classics crowd knows no temporal bounds. Join me this week for one last taste of the holiday season.

On December 24th, Kevin Eldridge, Chris Cummins, Jonathan Williams, and Kevin from Gleaming the Tube took a look at weird Christmas things, from E.T. replacing Santa Claus to Emmet Otter, the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas special where Skeletor turns out to be nice, and Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey!

On December 31st, Gary and Joe waged a battle to escape the grasp of 2020 by discussing time travel movies with Gary Lindros, Shaun Rosado, and… Doctor Victor von Doom? There was also a side-battle between Mitchel and Lindros to determine who is the Ultimate Gary.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again): Gary and Joe have a lot more fun discussions planned, so you should stay tuned to the YouTube channel and the group on Facebook. If you join in live, you can also leave comments and participate in the discussion using StreamYard connected through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – Disney Investor’s Call 2020: Addendum

Culture on My Mind
December 21, 2020

Since it was just announced, I have one addendum to my post about the Disney Investor’s Call: The Book of Boba Fett.

The news was dropped at the end of The Mandalorian‘s season finale, and it was formally announced on December 21st.

Now, among things that shouldn’t need saying with the actual words being right there in the tweet and Facebook post, this is a new series, not the third season of The Mandalorian. A new series that Disney couldn’t talk about at the investor’s call because it would spoil the back half of a currently airing production.

Nevertheless, certain geek websites and YouTube talking heads insist that Temuera Morrison and Boba Fett are replacing Pedro Pascal and Din Djarin because of behind the scenes “drama” or some bantha poodoo.

Don’t give them the oxygen or the credit. They’re lying to you.

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett is coming in December 2021. The Mandalorian is slated to return for a third season soon after that.


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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – Dragon Con American Sci-Fi Classics Continues

Culture on My Mind
December 21, 2020

The folks at the Dragon Con American Sci-Fi Classics have been continuing to churn out content. It’s been a few weeks since I checked in with them, so here’s a bit of catching up.

On October 22nd, they celebrated Halloween with Tar Man, Bub, Barbara’s Brother, and More: Our Favorite Zombies! This panel included Jason Gilbert and Samantha Bryant.

On October 29th, Felicity Kusinitz and Rick Terault stopped by to discuss the 45th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Also on October 29th, Gary and Joe were visited by Beth Van Dusen and Lola Lariscy to chat about horrific children in Tender Lumplings: Our Favorite Evil Kids.

On November 5th, they took a dive into local children’s television shows from the age of youth on Jabberwock & Vegetable Soup: Obscure Children’s Shows. The panel included Kevin Eldridge, Felicity Kusinitz, Deanna Toxopeus, and Sherman Burris.

On November 11th, Keith R. A. DeCandido stopped by to talk superheroes on Talkin’ Tights & Capes with Keith DeCandido.

On November 12th, I joined in the fun as Gary Mitchel celebrated a birthday with the tradition AMA (Ask Me Anything) panel.

On November 19th, it was All Things V! Graciously Welcoming Our Lizard Overlords. Guests included: Charles and Adina, founders of CT:V, the Flagship of the Visitor Fleet, a dedicated group of costumers celebrating the original sci-fi classic “V”; The Irredeemable Shag from The Fire and Water Podcast Network; and Denise Lhamon.

November 26th saw the Turkey Day Potluck on the channel. Kevin Eldridge joined in to host the variety show.

On December 3rd, they hosted a huge panel on Elf, Scrooged, Muppets & Die Hard: Greatest Christmas Movies Ever Made! Guest included Elizabeth Jones, Bethany Kesler, Shaun Rosado, Alison Sky, and Chad J. Shonk.

The Christmas spirit continued on December 10th with Funny Christmas & Chanukah Music. Guests included Kevin Eldridge, Geena Phillips, Chris Cummins, and Metricula.

December 17th rounds out this batch with Moving the Stars for No One: A David Bowie Tribute Panel. Guests included Beth Van Dusen, Rob Levy, and Tom Morris.


So, I can’t make any promises, but I’m going to try to keep up with the promotion of this channel. It’s one of my home bases during Dragon Con and Gary and Joe are great people. I admire the work that they’re doing to keep these discussions going throughout the year.

Gary and Joe have a lot more fun discussions planned. Stay tuned to the YouTube channel and the group on Facebook. If you join in live, you can also leave comments and participate in the discussion using StreamYard connected through Facebook.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – Disney Investor’s Call 2020

Culture on My Mind
December 18, 2020

This week, I’m thinking Disney.

It’s been a weekend since the Disney Investor’s Call, but it’s taken a few days to parse all of the news from the four-hour long presentation on all things Disney, including Star Wars and Marvel Studios.

It was almost like a mini-D23 Expo to close out a troubling year. But it did come with news that the Mouse House was planning on expanding their streaming offerings within the next few years, including around 10 Marvel series, 10 Star Wars series, 15 additional series under the Disney banner (Disney animation, Pixar, and live action), and 15 completely new movies under those same banners.

There will be a price hike on Disney+ to cover it. The service is going to $7.99 a month in the United States, coming from the 86 million subscribers they picked up in the first thirteen months as well as anyone else who wants in on what the House of Mouse has in store.

Raya and the Last Dragon

Raya and the Last Dragon

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra in ancient Asia, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well.

This computer-animated adventure film stars Kelly Marie Tran as the titular Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu, the last dragon. It is directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, co-directed by Paul Briggs and John Ripa, produced by Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho, written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim, and scored by James Newton Howard.

This film was originally set for a November 2020 theatrical release, but due to COVID-19 it was pushed back to late March 2021. The investor call revealed that it will be released to Disney+ on March 5th alongside a theatrical release. The streaming release will be on the Premium Access side of Disney+, meaning that it will require an additional fee to access. If it follows the Mulan model, it will likely become widely available around three months afterward.

Star Wars

Ahsoka LogoThe Star Wars news started with what might have been a no-brainer after this season of The Mandalorian.

There are a lot of dark clouds surrounding Rosario Dawson at the intersection of Star Wars fandom and the LBGTQ+ community, and she has a lot of work to do to regain trust given the allegations against her. I don’t discredit anything that the LBGTQ+ community has to say about it. Disney has made many strides forward in representation and diversity, but the casting of both Rosario Dawson and Gina Carano has told many people that there is still a long, long road to travel.

That said, given her status, I would have been very surprised if Disney had let Dawson go after a one-shot appearance as one of the most famous modern characters in the franchise.

There are not a lot of details surrounding the Ahsoka Tano limited live-action series, but Dave Filoni is slated as showrunner. Which, of course he is, because she is his creation.

I am excited about this for many reasons. I’ve loved Ahsoka since her premiere in 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars, even if my fellow fans were not. Trust me, despite what franchise detractors claim now, they were certainly not fans of her twelve years ago. But in that time, she has expanded the philosophy of the Force beyond the Skywalker films, and has been an avatar for Dave Filoni to take the reins of the Star Wars universe after literally studying at the feet of George Lucas for the animated series that followed the 2008 film.

I just wish someone else was in the lead acting role, y’know?

Rangers of the New Republic Logo

The Ahsoka series is apparently going hand-in-hand with Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic, a live-action series from executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni that will intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event.

Whatever that means, anyway. I’m guessing that either we’ll get some clues as The Mandalorian wraps its second season, or maybe we already have with that golden badge that Cara Dune received from the New Republic.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Logo

Last August, Lucasfilm and Disney announced that Ewan McGregor was returning to his prequel trilogy role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in a series set on the Tatooine dunes. We found out from the call that the series will take place approximately ten years before A New Hope, or effectively halfway into his self-imposed exile after Revenge of the Sith. The series will be helmed by Deborah Chow, who directed in season one of The Mandalorian.

The big news here is that Hayden Christensen is returning to the role of Darth Vader for the series. It’s only been relatively recently that Christensen has warmed up to Star Wars fans after the fire and venom they flung at him after the prequels. Seriously, if you want to see how bad some supposed fans can be, read up on the troubles that Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, and Hayden Christensen have had in light of the nastiness of fan letters.

It’s not clear if Christensen will be in flashbacks or in the Vader suit, but I’m eager to see how the story goes because I loved Ewan McGregor’s interpretation of Kenobi.

After that, they talked about the next feature film.

Patty Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 will be directing a Rogue Squadron film.

Coming to theaters in December 2023, this film will follow the next generation of starfighter pilots in the Star Wars universe. It also fulfills a dream since Patty Jenkins, the daughter of a fighter pilot, has always wanted to make a fighter pilot movie. She’s also a Star Wars fan. It’s a match made in heaven.

We’re also getting a film directed by Mandalorian and Marvel alum Taika Waititi, but no details are available.

Star Wars logo bundleFinally, we have a last bundle of television series.

Lando Calrissian’s getting a show, but we have no idea if it’s Billy Dee Williams, Donald Glover, or another actor in the svelte capes.

The Cassian Andor (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) series is finally being talked about. The Tony Gilroy spy thriller will star Diego Luna as Cassian Andor with Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma.

Leslye Headland, Emmy Award-nominated creator of Russian Doll, is in charge of a Dark Side mystery-thriller called The Acolyte, which is set in the final days of the High Republic era. That’s well before The Phantom Menace.

Star Wars: Visions will present ten short films in an anthology from the world’s best anime creators.

A Droid Story will take us on an epic journey with a new hero guided by R2-D2 and C-3PO.

And, last but not least, The Bad Batch will continue the Clone Wars story with the elite and experimental clones introduced in The Clone Wars: Season Seven as they navigate the turbulent times just after the fall of the Republic. This one might be the hardest for me to watch since I’m not a fan of the clones who executed Order 66. It all depends on what happened to the Bad Batch as Palpatine gave the order and what happens to them afterward.

I have seen people complain already that it’s too much, too soon. First, this is a plan for years, not months. Second, everything but Rogue Squadron and Taika Waititi’s film will be behind a paywall so you need to pay to play. Third, this is nothing compared to Marvel Studios.

Marvel Studios

The investor call brought the final trailer for WandaVision, a series dealing with Wanda Maximoff, Vision, the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, and the dawn of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It premieres in January.

The series will also include Teyonah Parris as a grown-up Monica Rambeau (Captain Marvel), Kat Denning as Darcy Lewis (Thor and Thor: The Dark World), and Randall Park as FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Ant-Man and the Wasp).

We also got a first look at The Falcon and the Winter Solider, a post-Avengers: Endgame and post-Spider-Man: Far From Home series with the new Captain America (played by Anthony Mackie) and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier as they take on Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl, Captain America: Civil War).

They briefly addressed Chadwick Boseman and the Black Panther legacy: Black Panther 2 is definitely happening with Ryan Coogler back at the helm, but they will not recast the role of T’Challa. I’m still pulling for Letitia Wright’s Shuri to become the new Queen of Wakanda.

Disney also announced a few new surprise titles for Phase Four.

Marvel logo bundle

Secret Invasion will star Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury as he battles a (ahem) secret invasion of Skrulls with shapeshifting Skrull ally Talos (Captain MarvelSpider-Man: Far From Home). This is probably going to be loosely based on the comics event of the same name.

Ironheart stars Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, a young black girl from inner city Chicago who reverse engineers Tony Stark’s armor to become the protector of her neighborhood. I am definitely onboard for this.

Don Cheadle will return as War Machine/James Rhodes in Armor Wars as Marvel explores what happens when Iron Man tech falls into the wrong hands. We got a taste of that in Iron Man 2.

We’ll also get a “live action holiday special” with the Guardians of the Galaxy cast (written and directed by James Gunn) and a series of shorts featuring new characters in the Marvel universe via I am Groot.

F4Ready for another surprise? Just over a year after regaining the rights to Marvel’s First Family, director Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far from Home, and the third Spider-Man MCU film) will be in charge of Fantastic Four.

The Fantastic Four have been notoriously difficult to capture on film, but with Watts in charge, I’m expecting about the same level of levity and charm as he’s shown through the two Spider-Man films so far.

We got a first look at What If…?, which explores stories of alternate Marvel Cinematic Universes where one little thing changed the whole world. What if Peggy Carter was the super soldier instead of Steve Rogers? What if T’Challa was taken by Yondu, thus becoming Star Lord? What if…?

There’s also a first look at Loki, a series that looks like a ton of multiverse-bending madness. It also features Atlanta’s famous Marriott Marquis hotel. I’d know those elevators anywhere.

Oh, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania! Peyton Reed is returning to direct, Kathryn Newton is taking over the role of Cassie Lang, and Jonathan Majors is Kang the Conqueror.

Is that enough? Of course not. Marvel still has Black Widow on May 7th, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on July 9th, The Eternals on November 5th, and the third MCU Spider-Man film on December 17th.

Thor: Love and Thunder (enter Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (which just announced newcomer Xochitl Gomez to portray America Chavez!), the Black Panther sequel, the Captain Marvel sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and a Blade movie are still in the wings for 2022 and beyond.

We also have Hawkeye (Hailee Steinfeld is Kate Bishop), Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani is Kamala Khan), She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany in the title role with Tim Roth and Mark Ruffalo returning as Abomination and Hulk), and Moon Knight being developed for Disney+.

And… breathe.

Disney Live-Action

Love ’em or hate ’em, Disney’s still revamping their back catalog in live-action/computer animated form. However, given the tumult presented by COVID-19 on the motion picture industry, the upcoming remakes of Peter Pan and Pinocchio will join Lady and the Tramp and Mulan on Disney+ instead of theaters.

Peter Pan and Wendy will star newcomer Ever Anderson (the daughter of Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson, who also plays a young Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow) and Alexander Moloney. Yara Shahidi will play Tinker Bell and Jude Law will play Captain Hook.

Yes, a black Tinker Bell. Prepare yourself for a whole new crop of close-minded bovine excrement from that particular sector of the internet.

Pinocchio will star Tom Hanks as Geppetto and Alan Cumming as Honest John, with Robert Zemeckis at the helm. Tom Hanks is a universal treasure, so I’m excited to see what he does with this.

Jungle Cruise and The Little Mermaid will still be released in theaters, and we’re also getting sequels to Enchanted and Hocus Pocus. I get the former, but I’m hesitant about the latter.

Disney Animation

On the success of the DuckTales reboot, Disney is breathing new life into Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, this time in the hybrid live-action/computer generated format. John Mulaney and Andy Samberg are the chipmunk brothers in a world where cartoons live side-by-side with humans. So, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? style?

Lin-Manuel Miranda is coming back to Disney animation with Encanto, a new animated film set in Colombia dealing with “the dangerously wonderful chaos of family” combined with elements of magic. Encanto will be the studio’s 60th animated feature film.

Princess Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) and Moana will be returning in their own respective musical animated series, and Baymax (Big Hero 6) and the characters of Zootopia will also be getting their own shows. Disney also announced that they’re teaming up with the Pan-African entertainment company Kugali to develop a science fiction animated series called Iwájú, which showcases a gorgeous, Afro-futuristic world.

We’re also getting another crack at A Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this time as a 3D computer animated series. Not my cup of tea exactly, but it will probably work for the fans. Blue Sky Studios is working on an animated sequel to Night at the Museum, which was a fun and chaotic trilogy.

Pixar also has some dishes for the table: We also get a Buzz Lightyear origin story and a Cars series. I’m skeptical about both of those, but they’re still working on feature films too, including Luca and Turning Red.

Lucasfilm

Willow LogoLucasfilm also chimed in with news of a fifth Indiana Jones film with Harrison Ford back in the fedora, James Mangold in the driver’s seat, and a target date of July 2022.

They added a Willow television series to the mix, including Warwick Davis returning as the great sorcerer Willow Ufgood in a story set decades after the 1988 Ron Howard film.

Finally, Lucasfilm will be adapting Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling novel Children of Blood & Bone, which features a young African girl in a coming-of-age adventure to restore magic to her forsaken people, the Maji.

Untitled Alien Series

FX Alien LogoTo wrap this all up, the call also contained news of a television series coming to Hulu via FX based on the Alien film series.

Noah Hawley, the writer and producer known from his work on Fargo and Legion, has been tapped to run this series. Rumors abound that Ridley Scott, director of 1979’s Alien and sequels Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, is being courted as executive producer.

All we have so far is that this series will take place on Earth, a first in the franchise if you ignore the two Alien vs. Predator films. And, honestly, most people do.


That’s a lot to cover, but it’s also a bright future for Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney/Fox properties. Keep an eye out because the next few years are going to be packed.

I know I’m excited. If my social media feeds are any indication, I’m not the only one.

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Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.