A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Disney hides Peter Pan from the kids
ALSO: Marc Fennell to host Mastermind. AND: King Kong comes to Netflix.
Peter Pan, Lady & The Tramp, The Aristocats… Disney says they’re not for kids
Concerned about the sensitivities surrounding some of the racist stereotypes and other negative depictions seen in classic Disney movies, last year Disney started running warnings before their films on Disney+. Now the streaming service has taken it a step further - those films will no longer be available on kids profiles.
What Disney constitutes as worthy of the warning label is fairly obvious: Aristocats, Lady and the Tramp, and Swiss Family Robinson feature racist caricatures of East Asian peoples; Dumbo includes a sequence in which a group of crows perform a song and dance in the style of racist minstrel shows; A large chunk of Peter Pan portrays Indigenous people in a reductive and stereotypical fashion.
New animated series based on Tomb Raider and Skull Island will launch on Netflix.
The Skull Island series is particularly interesting as it ties into the world of the Legendary monster films - the newest of which, Godzilla vs Kong, debuts in cinemas and on HBO Max on March 31. While I’m certainly not suggesting that this cartoon series is one of the highest priorities for Legendary, it does possibly speak to part of why Legendary were so frustrated that a deal to on-sell Godzilla vs Kong to Netflix couldn’t be made.
AO Scott has a really great piece today in the NYT about the need to use the pandemic as a way to make the Oscars messier - to shake up the staid awards show. The article nicely frames the current problem with the Oscars and offers a few pathways for the awards to follow if it has any desire to be more interesting and reflect the increasingly untidy nature of the movie industry.
The broadcast itself is supposed to appeal to a global audience, to stand as one of the last and proudest real-time, mass-viewing events in an increasingly fragmented and asynchronous universe of cultural consumption. At the same time, it is supposed to glorify a specifically American ideal of cultural production — popular and commercial but also high-quality and high-minded, not narrowly nationalistic but welcoming. The academy upholds a friendly, inclusive imperialism, built on a cheerful consensus.
As Mastermind enters its third season for Aussie network SBS it will have a host change. Jennifer Byrne is gone as host. In her place: Marc Fennell, hosting yet another show for the network. SBS has a commitment to diversity, which includes giving Marc Fennell as much diversity in his employment contract as possible.
Marc’s good people and the show will continue to shine with him in the hosting chair. Season 3 begins Feb 22 on SBS.
HBO Max shows some growth - thanks Diana of Themyscira
AT&T has reported its Q4 earnings and detailed the growth of HBO Max. Between Q3 and Q4, the service doubled its number of activated subscribers to 17.2 million. This is a mix of people subscribing directly to HBO Max and people who receive HBO Max through various partnerships (such as subscribing to HBO through their cable company or through other deals via AT&T). Combined, HBO and HBO Max have 41.5 million subscribers - the company said this is two years ahead of its initial forecasts and up from 34.6 million in the 2019 quarter.
The growth has come, in part, from the release of Wonder Woman 1984 on the platform. But it can also be attributed to HBO Max now available on big platforms like Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Also take a read of Dan Rayburn’s summary of the earnings report on his Linkedin.
A promo reel was also seen, showing the first proper footage of The Sopranos feature film The Many Saints of Newark. It also includes footage of Dune, indicating that film is still on track for an HBO Max simultaneous release later this year.
Here’s 16 of the most ambitious cross-overs in TV history. Read: The AV Club
And here’s a list of 25 films that Collider claim time has forgotten. Some of the inclusions are fair. Read: Collider
The Bold Type will return for a fifth and final season. Read: TV Line
Netflix has renewed ‘reality’ show Too Hot To Handle for two more seasons (at least). Read: Deadline
New merch deals have been signed for cult show Letterkenny. Expect Funko Pop dolls soon. Read: World Screen
Jamie Dornan has been added to the cast of The Tourist, shooting soon in Australia. Read: Variety
Tony Revolori is reportedly set to join the lead cast for the TV series follow-up to Willow. This is reported as part of ABW’s long-running commitment to reporting all Tony Revolori news. Read: Deadline
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things debuts on Amazon Prime Video on Feb 12.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things tells the story of quick-witted teen Mark, contentedly living the same day in an endless loop whose world is turned upside-down when he meets mysterious Margaret also stuck in the time loop. Mark and Margaret form a magnetic partnership, setting out to find all the tiny things that make that one day perfect. What follows is a love story with a fantastical twist, as the two struggle to figure out how - and whether - to escape their never-ending day.
Canine Intervention debuts on Netflix Feb 24.
No dog, no breed, no behavior is unfixable for Cali K9's Jas Leverette. Follow the Oakland dog trainer as he works with a range of canines and owners.
Tell Me Your Secrets debuts on Amazon Prime Video on Feb 19.
Emma is ready to start her new life in witness protection. When Mary, a mother searching for her missing daughter, discovers that Emma might be responsible for her daughter’s disappearance she hires an ex-serial predator to track Emma down. And no one is safe.
Supervillain: The Making of Takeshi 6ix9ine debuts on Showtime Feb 21.
SUPERVILLAIN will trace how New York City deli clerk Daniel Hernandez manufactured himself into viral hip hop sensation Tekashi 6ix9ine, the ruthless, tattooed face of Gen Z and hip hop's prince of trolls.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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