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Disney D23: EVERYTHING you need to know

Disney D23: EVERYTHING you need to know

It’s all about Disney this morning. Over the weekend the House of Mouse hosted their D23 Conference - revealing sneak peaks and insights into what they’re working on.

First thing you need to know. THERE WAS NO NEWS ON STAR WARS.

Tom Hiddleston and Christina Hendricks arrived on stage to talk a non-MARVEL new feature, namely the new Tinkerbell film: The Pirate Fairy. And then this happened:

The Disney execs revealed some snippets of what is in-store in Tomorrowland, and announced the new iOS App where you explore more of the clues. Kenneth Brannagh talked about his new Cinderella film, Angelina Jolie scares children in Malificent while there was footage of Saving Mr Banks and Muppets Most Wanted.

Disney Animation has some new features a-coming too. Planes: Fire & Rescue, the sequel to Planes is go,  Zootopia hits in 2016, directed by Byron Howard of Bolt and Tangled fame, Big Hero 6 hits in 2014 - genius kids and robots! - as well as Frozen which lands later this year.

And then there’s Pixar - who have a few new mega features… First up is The Good Dinosaur, with a huge cast, inluding John Lithgow, Finding Nemo’s sequel Finding Dory, is go, and the much-teased new feature that the guys are working on is Inside Out.

And if that wasn’t enough for you there are new Pixar-shorts a go-go including Monsters University: Party Central, a new Mickey Mouse short AND a Toy Story Halloween Special.

And then came the superheroes. IN the wake of comic-con there was no way that  Kevin Feige and the MARVEL team could recreate the hype from a few weeks ago. Focussing on Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World. The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy both got hyped a lot - and while it’s not D23 related, Vin Diesel is in talks about joining Guardians.

You want more Tom Hiddleston don’t you? Of course you do:

That’s everything worth mentioning, in brief, from the new Disney slate. *phew*

So you don’t have a digital strategy. No one does.

So you don’t have a digital strategy. No one does.

What is your digital strategy?  What does the future of books look like?

No one knows where they’re going, not really. Publishing is reacting to the same seismic shifts as other ents - music, gaming, TV. Stories aren’t changing, only how they are delivered, and that change hasn’t finished.

Predicting technologies isn’t our job, right? Well, no, but as the technology is transforming it is publishers’ role to experiment and take advantage of opportunities while they are available.

If you don’t have a digital strategy, don’t worry. No one does.

The fact that no one has a strategy means that the playing field is level. That won’t last long.

Already Amazon is trialling pilot shows – letting audiences decide which get made by voting via viewership – while buying up rights to broadcast older shows and movies. Penguin is hoping to earn on IP investments. Hachette and Walker Books are both driving forward with licensing, exploiting new L&M on books and shows – with Walker’s partnership with Aardman on distribution flourishing. Netflix have just signed on Dreamworks to create 300 hours of new animated television.

No matter how big/small the company, there are new start-ups and innovators, new thinkers and disruptive models appearing every week – take advantage of the dust in the air and run some new ideas.

Be creative, try something you would never have tried before. There thousands of potential, scalable ways to experiment – including partnerships with new start-ups, or simply offer some support or resources.

Watch Kickstarter, find a campaign you like, reach out and let them know you could support them. If there’s a service agency looking to launch a slate, row with them. A band that could make it, give them a voice. A short film, offer them hosting space on your server.

You get the idea. All of it is scalable to the size of the budget… but there are no limits.

Not really.

Roddy Doyle: The Guts review roundup

Roddy Doyle: The Guts review roundup

Roddy Doyle is revisiting the Barrytown trilogy with a sequel to The Commitments… Jimmy Rabbitte is middle class, middle-aged and diagnosed with bowel cancer.

What do the critics think? The New Statesmen rounds up the best reviews from the weekend.

Theo Tait (Guardian) remarks that although the book is “easy to pigeon hole” as a “mid-life crisis novel”, it “has heart and humour, and is thick with Dublin detail”. Impressive too is the fact that Doyle manages to simultaneously serve “up a good-sized helping of nostalgia”, yet attack such sentiments at the same time. Tait believes that the book “provides everything that, back in the mid-1990s, a Roddy Doyle novel seemed to represent: a big, raucous but loving Northside Dublin family; perfectly pitched dialogue; well-observed male camaraderie; a lot of music; and, perhaps most of all, entertaining profanity”. He concludes that “The Guts deserves to be a popular success. Who knows, it might even penetrate a demographic group notoriously resistant to reading novels: middle‑aged men”.

Philip Marchand (The National Post) also emphasises the warmth that Doyle’s latest work contains. “The novel is rich in sentiment and episodes conveying sentiment” Marchand explains, while the book has a “comic mode” which is retained even in its darker moments. This “comic mode is heightened by the form of the narrative, which is basically a series of dialogues - often texted”. However, although this “keeps things sprightly” it “also limits the emotional tone, so that the novel begins to seem like a requiem performed entirely by brass instruments.” In all, Marchand offers a balanced appraisal of a “buoyant tale”.

“It is bright, jokey, wry and robust” explains Patricia Craig (Independent). She a makes a point of commenting on the book’s authenticity, as Doyle “captures the authentic tones of a late 20th-century, urban working-class, pub- and housing-estate culture, all Howyeh and Wha’ d’you mean? and shite and fuck”. This creates an “emphatic atmosphere” which “in a sense… takes the place of a plot”. Like the other “’Barrytown’ novels in particular” The Guts is by no means a book where you will find intricate plot making.

Again, reference is made to the book’s treatment of sentimentality. At times, Doyle’s “and his characters’ exasperation with sentimental shite (‘it was fuckin’ everywhere’) gives way to actual sentimental shite: ‘the sadness, the grief, had never left. Like losing the kids, them growing up and away from him, one by one’. But such lapses are rare, amid the whole demotic, chaotic onrush of Dublin life and inimitable carry-on”, Craig explains.

Craig remarks that The Guts features much of what is typical of Roddy Doyle: social criticism, “immense skill” and an intensely Irish feel.

The Independent on Sunday letting ALL arts critics go

The Independent on Sunday letting ALL arts critics go

Just catching up on this now: The Independent on Sunday is letting all if its art critics staff go as of September… part of a series of cuts at the paper.

The paper is to continue arts coverage none of it will be review led and the paper’s music writer, film reviewer, theatre critic, visual arts critic and music critic are all due to finish with the paper in the coming weeks.

It’s a blow to arts coverage in an already shrinking arena - shows and exhibitions reliance on reviews is huge.

Interviews and coverage over at The Guardian.