Disney dropped the first teaser trailer for Frozen 2 (or is it Frozen II?) on Wednesday and I’m still picking my jaw up off the ground.
This movie has some significant creative hurdles to overcome:
It’s a sequel to a beautiful and wildly popular movie that was, by all appearances, completely self-contained.
The first movie was so wildly popular that folks by now are maybe ready to “let it…” you know.
The latest Frozen movie was that absurdly awful Olaf short that parasitically attached itself to Coco in theaters.
The trailer came during, let’s just say, a week that isn’t Disney animation’s best. We’re all still recovering from the first sighting of Will Smith as a blue genie in a movie that looks like a PlayStation cut-scene.
And yet, the first Frozen 2 trailer stares directly at that ocean of obstacles, pulls up its ponytail, and FEROCIOUSLY ICE-RUNS ITS WAY RIGHT INTO THE GIANT WAVE.
I could not be more excited.
Watch the trailer below (or, watch the version I re-edited and posted to Twitter here):
My radar doesn’t bother me anyway,
PS My podcast Mosaic is up for a 2018 Brodie Award, and you can still vote until Sunday! The category for the award is Best Discussion on Polygamy and/or Sexual Abuse within Mormonism, and the recognition is for two audio documentary episodes I created. Voting is open at this link until Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 @ 4 a.m. Eastern time. I am grateful for every vote clicked, as well as for everyone who has listened so far. Thank you!
On my radar: Feb. 15-21, 2019
To put something good on my radar, please get in touch.
Saturday, Feb. 16
📺 Saturday Night Live (New episode @ 11:30 p.m., NBC, Don Cheadle hosting with Gary Clark Jr.) -- With the exception of last week’s excellent episode featuring Halsey, SNL is stale these days. Alec Baldwin’s impression of Trump is neither biting nor revealing, Che and Jost bring a spirit of out-of-touch self-congratulations to “Weekend Update” each week, and the show’s best cast members often get underutilized. But I still can’t give up on this show, which is over-ripe for disruption from newer and fresher voices. There have been better sketch shows, and live TV is less relevant now than it used to be, but the live format still means something to me, and so until another show comes along, I’ll be tuning in to the institution that is SNL.
Monday, Feb. 18
🎬 New SparkShorts program from Pixar shorts on YouTube -- Pixar is expanding its short film program with a series of upcoming shorts that will play on the Disney•Pixar YouTube channel. The next up, Kitbull, will arrive on Feb. 18. Purl and Smash and Grab are available now.
Tuesday, Feb. 19
📺 Miracle Workers (New episode @ 10:30 p.m., TBS) -- This limited series caught my attention when I found out that Daniel Radcliffe was playing an afterlife worker and Steve Buscemi was playing a burnt out, loser version of God. But once I found out that the series also stars Geraldine Viswanathan — whose performance in last year’s Blockers was one of the components that made that film a charming and delightful surprise — I could not wait to see this show.
Thursday, Feb. 21
📺 Broad City (New episode @ 10 p.m., Comedy Central) -- The final season continues! I have only recently (finally!) started watching this show... and it's AMAHZING. Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson have created a comedy masterpiece. Their depiction of city life and friendship is insightful and hilarious. I am so glad I get to take in this (final!) season as it airs, and I already know that whatever projects either of them do in the future will automatically be On My Radar™.
🎭 Be More Chill (Broadway, in previews) — I really like new musicals, and while I don’t know much about this one yet, my interest is piqued by the description printed in The New Yorker: “If you fed Dear Evan Hansen and Mean Girls to the Little Shop of Horrors plant, with a few Xbox games as a digestif, Be More Chill is probably what you would get.” More info.
🎬 Catching up on Oscar noms -- By my count, there are 52 Oscar-nominated films this year, and so far, I've seen half of them. I've got some work to do.
Visit the full list for my complete listing of upcoming movies, TV shows and more.
ADDED THIS WEEK:
📺 Film Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 23 @ 5 p.m. Eastern, IFC/Facebook) — Host Aubrey Plaza will emcee an evening that will recognize some really great films. More info.
🎬 Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (In theaters March 15) — From the writers of The Handmaid’s Tale, the director of Poison Ivy and the star of It, comes (what I assume to be) an entirely different kind of story of young womanhood. I have a feeling the tone for this will more closely resemble that of the film’s producers, Ellen DeGeneres and Wendy Williams. Trailer.
📺 Emmy nominees announced (July 16) — The Television Academy will announce the nominees for the 2019 Emmy Awards. More info.
📺 The Emmy Awards (Sept. 22, FOX) — The Television Academy will award the best of TV. More info.
At the end of each newsletter, I look to -- the past! -- to mention the most most notable pieces of culture I've been paying attention to, whether they were previously on my radar or not.
🎬 Alita: Battle Angel (Now playing) — This movie astounded me by, on one hand, being a virtuosic cinematic feat, and on the other hand, having been declared finished and released to theaters without apparently ever making contact of any kind with a human woman. From the moment Alita wakes up, she serves only male interests throughout the whole film (even when rebelling against them). That’s how a groundbreaking film becomes, instead, completely ordinary.
🎬 Isn't It Romantic (Now playing) -- Rebel Wilson stars in this rom-com send-up. The jokes may take the form of meta sarcasm, but they are powered by deep, secret sincerity. The movie also features Liam Hemsworth, who, like his brother Thor-Chris, may take the form of statuesque perfection, but is actually powered by spot-on comedic chops.
🎬 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Now playing) — I’m grateful to this movie for many reasons, but mostly I’m grateful for the introduction of Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, the shape-shifting alien voiced by Tiffany Haddish, into the canon of all-time great animated characters. Her design is constantly mesmerizing, a product of endless creativity, magnified by the choice to only use the simplest spare parts of the Lego box. Her implementation is not only perfect animation, but perfect Lego ethos. I adore everything about her, and the overall smart, hilarious and touching movie that surrounds her.
🎬 What Men Want (Now playing) — Taraji P. Henson has serious comedic chops, and I was delighted to see her be a flawed, aggressive, layered person. The depiction of her character’s sexuality is especially notable. She is interested in having sex, other people are interested in having sex with her, but she’s bad at sex because she’s selfish and aggressive — and these three traits are all allowed to coexist without negating each other, which is rare for the depiction of women characters in popular culture.
Thanks for reading! What's on your radar? Get in touch to let me know! And look for my next letter to go out on Feb. 22.