Adassa and Mauro Castillo Celebrate Colombian Culture Through Music in ‘Encanto’

Encanto, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 60th film, is an animated musical that tells the story of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family who live in a magical casita hidden in the mountains of Colombia. Every Madrigal child is blessed with a unique magic gift, like super strength and healing powers, to use to help the family and surrounding town. Unfortunately, Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) is the only one who didn’t receive a gift. But when she discovers that the magic is in danger of disappearing, she sets off on a quest to save it while also learning more about her family and realizing her true worth.

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NOC Review: ‘Encanto’ is Mostly Enchanting

First of all, score one for Walt Disney Animation for putting out two releases in one year that celebrate different stories from different cultures! With the terrific Raya and the Last Dragon earlier this year, and now the charming Encanto, it’s refreshing to see that the House of Mouse has been more proactive in telling stories that aren’t just rooted in Western European fairy tales. I think Moana really opened the door for this, and as far as our site is concerned, we couldn’t be happier.

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NOC Interview: Josh Gad Talks Walt Disney Animation Studios’ ‘Olaf Presents’

Josh Gad is back as the voice of Olaf for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Olaf Presents. The series of new animated shorts starring everyone’s favorite talking snowman launches November 12, exclusively on Disney+. Gad has also brought the character to life in Frozen, Frozen Fever, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, Frozen II, At Home with Olaf, Once Upon a Snowman, and Lego Frozen Northern Lights.

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‘Encanto’ Directors and Writers Find Magical Realism in Colombian Culture

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto is an animated musical that celebrates Lantine and Latinx culture, specifically everything Colombia offers. The film follows Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz), the only child not blessed with a magical gift. As she struggles to find her place within her multigenerational enchanted family, she finds out that the magic that has helped them and the town is in danger of disappearing. So she sets off on an adventure to prevent that from happening.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Challenges of Songwriting in ‘Encanto’

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto tells a story about family and individuality through the Latin American lens, specifically a Colombian one. The film follows the Madrigal family, where every child was blessed with a magical power that they are to use to help the family and better the community. Well, every child except Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), who has to face the frustration of being the only one without a blessing.

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Get All the Details on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ ‘Olaf Presents’

Josh Gad is back to voice everyone’s favorite talking Snowman in Olaf Presents! Disney animator Hyrum Osmond will be directing and Jennifer Newfield serves as producer. The new series will launch exclusively November 12 on Disney+.

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Natalie Nourigat Talks How ‘Far From Tree’ is Personal and Speaks to a Larger Audience

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Far From Tree may feature a pair of raccoons as the main characters, but they have very humanistic qualities. Like the protective instincts of a parents or the genuine curiosity of a child. Set on a quiet idyllic beach of the Pacific Northwest, audiences will get to see how the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree applies to every parent and child relationship, even those who are raccoons.

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Hard NOC Life 207: A ‘Justice League’ of His Own

Keith and Britney share their favorite moments from Disney+’s WandaVision making-of special before revealing what’s Nerd Poppin’ this week. For Britney, she’s reading all the books in the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing initiative. Meanwhile, Keith has seen The Snyder Cut and gives his semi-spoilery opinion of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

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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.

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Hard NOC Life 206: ‘Raya’ and the Last ‘WandaVision’

Dominic, Keith , are joined by new recurring co-host (and friend of the NOC) Britney Monae! Together, they break down the series finale of WandaVision, review Disney’s latest animated adventure Raya and the Last Dragon, and more!

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Getting Real with Raya: An Interview with Kelly Marie Tran

Today, I’m beyond thrilled that I get to say that we finally have a Southeast Asian Disney Princess! That’s right! Raya and the Last Dragon is officially hitting cinemas and Disney+ via Premier Access today, and we couldn’t be happier. In fact, if you want to take a look at what we thought of the film, check out our review here.

Having said that, here at The Nerds of Color, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing may talented and wonderful actors of color; each one doing their part to further the cause of shining a light on the underrepresented. However, to me, this 10 minute interview may top them all!

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Disney’s ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Comes at a Poignant Time for Asian Americans

There’s no question the global pandemic has affected the lives of many within the United States having the highest COVID-19 cases and death rate. The previous administration under President Donald Trump blamed China for the deadly coronavirus, labeling the disease as the “China Virus” and, more broadly, putting targets on the backs of Asian Americans by fellow citizens who are angry by the economic and social impact of the pandemic. Since then, there has been a rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes throughout the U.S. After multiple attacks on the elderly Asian population, the media started to notice, thanks to the help of Asian American advocates and allies pushing for these stories to be shared. Multiple brands, including Disney, Nike, and Apple, began releasing statements condemning the attacks on Asians and where people can donate and show support.

It seems like the perfect time to release Raya and the Last Dragon, a Disney film inspired by Southeast Asian cultures and traditions. Raya and the Last Dragon is set in the fantasy world of Kumandra where humans and dragons lived together in harmony. That sadly ends when the Druun, an evil entity, threatens the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, the Druun have returned and Raya (Kelly Marie Tran), the lone warrior princess, must find the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), to stop the Druun and save the world. The film’s theme is centered around trust and how Raya must learn to trust in order to achieve saving the world.

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NOC Review: ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ is Relevant, Rollicking, and Remarkable

In 1937, Walt Disney debuted something that changed the history of cinema — the release of the first full length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This in turn gave birth to Walt Disney Animation Studios and a long history (at times problematic) of classic stories and adventures involving dragons and princesses that has, for the most part, arguably withstood the test of time from generation to generation. But generations change. Art and time change the world and, in turn, the world and time must also change art. Our expectations on the types of stories we can tell, and the cultural sources of those stories must evolve and expand, because life has become more complicated since 1937. And thus today (or rather this Friday), the world will see how far we’ve come since Snow White, when Disney introduces the world to it’s newest game-changer Raya and the Last Dragon. Now you’re probably thinking, “C’mon. Is it really a game-changer? How? Why?” And if you are thinking that, first off, that’s just rude (just kidding). And second, if you’ve been reading my reviews long enough I’m sure you’re used to my dramatic flair for hyperbole. However, to answer your question, yes. I believe it is.

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NOC Review: ‘Us Again’ Charms Right Before ‘Raya’

If you have the great fortune of seeing Raya and the Last Dragon in a safe, socially distant drive-in theater this coming weekend, I’m happy to say you’ll be treated to a neat little short from Walt Disney Feature Animation called Us Again.

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‘Myth: A Frozen Tale’ Expands The Frozen Universe with Fairytale Story

Disney’s Frozen has released multiple stories surrounding the world of Arendelle and its people since the release of the original animation in 2010. Now, Disney+ is about to release the VR Short, Myth: A Frozen Tale, which transports viewers to a vibrant and mystical world where the elemental spirits (inspired by Frozen 2) come to life and the myth of their past and future is revealed. It serves as a prequel to the second film.

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Olaf’s Story Gets Told in Disney+ Short ‘Once Upon a Snowman’

There is a lot to be said about Disney films pushing their franchise further and further by releasing more media content to the masses. It makes you wonder, do we really need more side stories about Frozen?

Well, with Disney+’s digital short, Once Upon a Snowman, it proves that we really do.

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Arendelle Antics at the ‘Frozen II’ Press Conference

We made it folks! It’s been a few months and our countdown is at last complete! Frozen II has arrived! That’s right, give yourselves a big pat on the back for sticking with us! To cap off everything, we wanted to take you all inside, perhaps, the most fun press conference we’ve ever covered here at The Nerds of Color. We got the chance to hear from (and bask in the glory of) national treasures Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Evan Rachel Wood, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez, and Peter Del Vecho! Here’s how the magic went down.

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Interviewing the Crew Behind ‘Frozen II’

Well folks, after a month-long countdown on our site, we are in the homestretch leading up to the release of Frozen II, and we’ve only just begun to break the ice (Wow. That was bad. Sorry.). I would like to extend my humble thanks to everyone who counted down to the film’s release with us, and we have a couple more surprises in store for you Frozen fans this week! For one, we had a chance to talk to the Heads of Animation for the film (Becky Bresee and Tony Smeed),  as well as the Head of Story (Normand Lemay) and Director of Story (Marc Smith) about the evolution of the project. Here’s what they had to say!

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NOC Review: ‘Frozen II’ is the Best Animated Movie of the Year

The Oscar Race for Best Animated Feature is over. It’s going to be Frozen II. As someone who thought Frozen, now considered by many to be a classic animated film on par with The Little Mermaid, was a very good-not-great movie, it was going to be tough for its successor to melt my icy cold heart. Rest assured, this one is grander, deeper, more challenging, and even more gorgeous than its predecessor. Walt Disney Animation Studios has made a near perfect movie here, and they deserve to be proud. Frozen II outdoes the first in every respect! Heart melted!

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Exploring the Enchanted Forests and Dark Seas of ‘Frozen II’

To countdown to the release of Frozen II, we are providing all of you with an inside look at the making of the movie, as well as interviews with the filmmakers and artists who worked incredibly hard to bring Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and, of course, Olaf to life. Earlier this week, we brought you a look at how the talented team at Walt Disney Animation brought a future classic musical sequence to life. Today, we’re excited to reveal another new sneak peek at the magic to come!

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Letting Go: Deconstructing a New Musical Sequence for ‘Frozen II’

To countdown to the release of Frozen II, we are providing all of you with an inside look at the making of the movie, as well as interviews with the filmmakers and artists who worked incredibly hard to bring Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and, of course, Olaf to life. A couple of weeks ago we brought you a look at the production design of the film. This week we’re excited to reveal another new sneak peek at the magic to come!

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How to Create a ‘Frozen’ World: Inside the Production Design for ‘Frozen II’

To countdown to the release of Frozen II, we are providing all of you with an inside look at the making of the movie, as well as interviews with the filmmakers and artists who worked incredibly hard to bring Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and, of course, Olaf to life. Last week we brought you a look at the evolution of the sequel’s story. This week we’re excited to reveal another new sneak peek at the magic to come!

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Breaking the Ice: Evolving the Story of ‘Frozen II’

To countdown to the release of Frozen II, we are providing all of you with an inside look at the making of the movie, as well as interviews with the filmmakers and artists who worked incredibly hard to bring Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and, of course, Olaf to life. Last week we brought you just a sampling of what’s to come with a first look and panel discussion with directors Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, and producer Peter Del Vecho. This week we’re excited to reveal another new sneak peek at the magic to come!

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