Gwendoline Yeo on Her Return as Nala Se in ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’

Nala Se is the Chief Medical Scientist on the planet of Kamino, where she oversaw the production of thousands of clone troopers who served in the Clone Wars. In the aftermath of the fall of the Republic and the quick rise of the Galactic Empire, she seems to have an agenda of her own that she’s carrying on; one that involves protecting her former medical assistant, Omega, from harm.

Continue reading “Gwendoline Yeo on Her Return as Nala Se in ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’”

Anime Expo Lite’s ‘Trese’ Panel Talks Origin Story, International Release, and Anime Adaptation

A panel all about the Filipino horror comic series, Trese, is one of many available for VOD through this year’s Anime Expo Lite. Moderated by Megan Peters of Comicbook.com, the conversation brought together comic writer Budjette Tan, artist KaJO Baldisimo, Ablaze Publishing co-founder Rich Young, and executive producer and showrunner of Netflix’s anime adaptation, Jay Oliva, to discuss everything about this beloved story of a badass investigator and her adventures surrounding the supernatural creatures of Filipino folklore.

Continue reading “Anime Expo Lite’s ‘Trese’ Panel Talks Origin Story, International Release, and Anime Adaptation”

Ming-Na Wen on Exploring Fennec Shand in ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’

The latest Star Wars animated series, The Bad Batch, finds the galaxy at a turning point. The Clone Wars just ended and the Empire is quickly rising to power. Clone Force 99, a squad of elite clone troopers with genetic mutations, along with a young female clone named Omega, must navigate this rapidly changing galaxy. Along the way, they are quick to learn that to play it low might be the most difficult task, when they have the likes of Fennec Shand after Omega.

Continue reading “Ming-Na Wen on Exploring Fennec Shand in ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’”

Netflix’s ‘Trese’ Spotlights Filipino Folklore Through Binge-able Storytelling

The highly anticipated anime adaptation of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo’s comic book series, Trese, is at last available to stream on Netflix. The adventures of hardcore investigator Alexandra Trese spring from the black-and-white comic illustrations into this beautifully animated, heavily detailed world, filled with tons of action, Filipino folklore, and a destiny cemented by circumstances but defined by respectable character.

Continue reading “Netflix’s ‘Trese’ Spotlights Filipino Folklore Through Binge-able Storytelling”

Netflix Gives First Look at ‘Trese’ Anime Series

Tabi-tabi po!

The trailer for Trese is here and it looks so good! The highly anticipated anime adaptation of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo’s popular comic book series of the same name brings the black-and-white illustrations to life in color and with animation that looks so beautiful, it makes even the gory parts a stunning sight.

Continue reading “Netflix Gives First Look at ‘Trese’ Anime Series”

AAPI Supernatural Recommendations for Fans of Disney’s ‘So Weird’

It’s been well documented that I am a fan of the ‘90’s Disney Channel original series, So Weird; a paranormal drama that balances out both the supernatural and tender-hearted moments of a grieving family. But when you’ve watched the same episodes over and over again, you can’t help but ache for something new, but with a similar vibe. To balance out the desire of also wanting to see more stories created by and starring people that look more like you can make for a grand adventure.

Continue reading “AAPI Supernatural Recommendations for Fans of Disney’s ‘So Weird’”

Patrick Clanton on the Evolution of Behind the Magic YouTube Channel

Last June, three months into sheltering-in-place and unable to perform for a live audience, actor Patrick Clanton decided to tackle an idea he has had for a while about starting a YouTube channel about the hidden gems of Disney. Originally called Behind the Ears, the channel’s early videos explored the making of Zoog era Disney Channel shows like The Famous Jett Jackson and short-lived Disney Broadway productions such as The Little Mermaid. Continue reading “Patrick Clanton on the Evolution of Behind the Magic YouTube Channel”

NOC Presents: A SEA Conversation about ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

With Raya and the Last Dragon out for about a week now, there are many thoughts and opinions being shared across the Internet about it. While a few of us here at The Nerds of Color have written extensively about Disney’s first Southeast Asian film, I thought it would be appropriate to gather together the Southeast Asian Nerds of Color writers and discuss it. Together with Laura Sirikul, Mike Manalo, and Patrick Michael Strange, in a conversation about as long as Raya and the Last Dragon itself, we go in-depth on everything from the film’s plot, how it tackled the topic of trust, the characters, the majority East Asian cast, the lack of Filipino culture and actors, and more.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers from Raya and the Last Dragon.

Continue reading “NOC Presents: A SEA Conversation about ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’”

Paolo Montalban on Memories of ‘Cinderella’ and the Making of a Filipino American Musical

The 1997 version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella has been available to stream on Disney+ for two weeks already, and for Paolo Montalban, he is thrilled. The actor, who played Prince Christopher in the film, found out about its upcoming release on the streaming platform from his agent, about a week before it was officially announced to the public.

Continue reading “Paolo Montalban on Memories of ‘Cinderella’ and the Making of a Filipino American Musical”

The Stars of ‘Finding ‘Ohana’ Discuss Filming in Hawaii and Hawaiian Representation

Pili and Ione a.k.a. E Kawena reconnect with their Hawaiian roots by way of a treasure hunt of a lifetime in the latest Netflix film, Finding ‘Ohana. After finding themselves with their widowed mother in rural Honolulu to take care of their grandfather, the Brooklyn-raised siblings are initially skeptical about the arrangements. However, things change after Pili comes across a journal hinting at treasure hidden in the island’s caves and mountains. Together with E and their new friends and putting her geocaching skills to good use, they make their way onto forbidden and dangerous turf.

Continue reading “The Stars of ‘Finding ‘Ohana’ Discuss Filming in Hawaii and Hawaiian Representation”

The Backstory ‘Cobra Kai’ Should Tell

WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Season 3 of Cobra Kai.

The third season of Cobra Kai has been out for a few weeks already on Netflix and a lot unfolded over the course of its ten episodes. Familiar faces returned, dynamics between some of the characters changed for the better while others changed for the worst, and through a sequence of flashbacks, audiences got a glimpse at the backstory of the original (and current) Cobra Kai sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove).

Continue reading “The Backstory ‘Cobra Kai’ Should Tell”

Three Characters Lauren Mary Kim Performed Stunts for in ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2

WARNING: The following contains spoilers from the second season of The Mandalorian.

Lauren Mary Kim, a seasoned stunt actor and martial artist, has been making waves this past year for her work in two Star Wars productions. She did motion capture for the character of Ahsoka Tano in the series finale of The Clone Wars and she doubled for Emily Swallow’s the Armorer in the season one finale of The Mandalorian.

Continue reading “Three Characters Lauren Mary Kim Performed Stunts for in ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2”

Hiromi Kamata On Growing Up with Selena’s Music and Directing Netflix’s Biopic Series

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, otherwise known as Selena, was and still is hailed as the Queen of Tejano music. Performing since childhood, she made waves in the predominantly male music scene and is still held in high regard in the Latinx American community. Her origin story, her rise to stardom, and the sacrifices her family made along the way are the subject of the new biopic series for Netflix, Selena: The Series. Continue reading “Hiromi Kamata On Growing Up with Selena’s Music and Directing Netflix’s Biopic Series”

‘Waikiki’ Doesn’t Pull Any Punches about the Realities of Tourist Hot Spot

The Hawai’i International Film Festival is capping off its 40th rendition with Christopher Kahunahana’s feature film debut, Waikiki. The story follows a woman, Kea (Danielle Zalopany), as she works multiple jobs in order to break away from her abusive relationship and get herself a place to call home. When she accidentally hits a homeless man, Wo (Peter Shinkoda), with the van she’s living out of and later finds her van missing altogether, the two sporadically travel and connect with each other, all the while Kea confronts the traumas of her past.

Continue reading “‘Waikiki’ Doesn’t Pull Any Punches about the Realities of Tourist Hot Spot”

‘Water Like Fire’ Explores Life and Loss in Contradictory, Unexpected Ways

Water Like Fire is another film part of the lineup for the 40th Hawai’i International Film Festival. Directed by Mitchel Viernes, Chanel (Taiana Tully) navigates her days working at a local restaurant, while surfing in her spare time. With both her parents gone, her only remaining family member is Caleb (Randall Galius); her brother who’s fighting a drug addiction. No matter how strained their relationship is, nothing keeps Chanel from being by Caleb’s side, after he winds up in the hospital from a hit-and-run. Continue reading “‘Water Like Fire’ Explores Life and Loss in Contradictory, Unexpected Ways”

‘Story Game’ Navigates Celebration of Storytelling Through Odd Plot Choices

The Hawai’i International Film Festival is marking their 40th year with a 25-day virtual program. Of the wide variety of stories coming from Hawaii and beyond, Jason K. Lau’s Story Game stands out as a film about just that: storytelling.

College friends James (Alberto Rosende), Chika (Lyrica Okano), and Nicole (Greer Grammer) go camping in Hawaii when they decide to challenge each other to telling the best story possible. With the guide of an app called Story Game, each friend must telling a supernatural story set in Japan, featuring a character with green eyes. Each friend goes at it as they attempt to one up one another, as their narratives come to life.

Continue reading “‘Story Game’ Navigates Celebration of Storytelling Through Odd Plot Choices”

‘Song Exploder’ Host Hrishikesh Hirway Breaks Down the Making of the New Netflix Series

Song Exploder is a new documentary series from Netflix where a variety of music artists discuss the making of and story behind their songs. From conversations with host and executive producer Hrishikesh Hirway, to archival footage of the artists at work, each episode dives deep into how songs like R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” and Alicia Keys’ “3 Hour Drive” came into existence. Continue reading “‘Song Exploder’ Host Hrishikesh Hirway Breaks Down the Making of the New Netflix Series”

Patrick Clanton on Exploring Disney’s Hidden Gems on Behind the Ears YouTube Channel

Behind the Ears is a YouTube channel that explores the histories of Disney’s hidden gems. Since its debut in early June, the series of video essays have taken a deeper dive into some of Disney’s past projects; ranging from Zoog era Disney Channel shows like The Famous Jett Jackson, to short-lived Broadway musicals like Aida, and even made-for-TV events like the Whitney Houston-produced version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

Continue reading “Patrick Clanton on Exploring Disney’s Hidden Gems on Behind the Ears YouTube Channel”

‘Mulan’ is a Thoughtful but Clunky Iteration of the Chinese Folktale

Mulan is the latest in a growing line of Disney live-action remakes. Based on the 1998 animated feature film of the same name, as well as The Ballad of Mulan, a young woman (Yifei Liu) disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father’s place in the Imperial Army, to protect the country from Northern invaders. Along the way, she comes to terms with realizing her full potential and to not hold back on who she is.

Continue reading “‘Mulan’ is a Thoughtful but Clunky Iteration of the Chinese Folktale”

Auli’i Cravalho’s Experience in Timely Coming-of-Age Drama, ‘All Together Now’

In Netflix’s new film, All Together Now, Amber Appleton is a musically gifted high schooler with a heart of gold, as she spends her days giving all she can to others, while working towards realizing her potential. However, what her friends and peers don’t know is that she is homeless and is living on a bus with her mother. When the circumstances surrounding her hidden life take a turn for the worst, Amber must learn to accept help from others.

Continue reading “Auli’i Cravalho’s Experience in Timely Coming-of-Age Drama, ‘All Together Now’”

Lauren Mary Kim on Developing and Performing Stunts for Two ‘Star Wars’ Productions

This past year has been a busy one for the Star Wars universe. Aside from the release of the final film of the Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker, there has also been the beginning of the first live-action series, The Mandalorian, released last fall on Disney+, as well as the conclusion of the beloved animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this past spring. For Lauren Mary Kim, a stunt actor who has been working in Hollywood for the past 16 years, she has been involved in the making of both of these Star Wars productions. Continue reading “Lauren Mary Kim on Developing and Performing Stunts for Two ‘Star Wars’ Productions”

From ‘Rise’ to ‘Shadow,’ F.C. Yee on Deepening the Story of Avatar Kyoshi

Last summer, the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra expanded with the release of The Rise of Kyoshi; the first young adult novel in the franchise. Written by F.C. Yee, it tells of the humble beginnings of the hardcore, justice-pursuing Avatar Kyoshi.

Now, Yee is capping off the Kyoshi duology with the release of The Shadow of Kyoshi. In the aftermath of establishing herself as a fully realized avatar, Kyoshi stumbles her way across the world, tending to her responsibilities as best she can, when a mysterious threat emerges from the Spirit World.

In an e-mail interview, Yee discusses writing The Shadow of Kyoshi following its predecessor’s positive reception, on writing a story set around the Spirit World, and also his thoughts on the recently resurged interest in the series that started it all. Continue reading “From ‘Rise’ to ‘Shadow,’ F.C. Yee on Deepening the Story of Avatar Kyoshi”

25 Years of Encouraging Dream Pursuits in ‘Whisper of the Heart’

Over the course of Studio Ghibli’s 35 years of movie-making, only seven of its theatrical releases have been directed by people other than the company’s co-founders, Hayao Miyazaki and the late Isao Takahata. While the eighth film of its kind, Earwig and the Witch directed by Miyazaki’s son Gorō, will be released later this year, this summer holds significance in the fact that its been 25 years since the first time such a project was released from the studio. That film is Whisper of the Heart. Continue reading “25 Years of Encouraging Dream Pursuits in ‘Whisper of the Heart’”