Hello, Popculturology readers. Today’s edition is going to be brisk. Turns out one of the problems with trying to write a twice-weekly newsletter during the months of July (and I’m assuming August) is that there sometimes isn’t much going on.
The news takes a vacation, I guess.
I’m not on vacation this week, though, so let’s see what we can chat about today …
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- Feature Presentation: How Nimona lived on
- The News: Wolverine’s Deadpool 3 look
- Trailer Watch: Napoleon, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
- Odds and Ends: Ken’s Barbie ballad
How Nimona lived on
We watched Nimona on Sunday night. I highly recommend you do the same. The animation stands apart from anything that Disney or Pixar or DreamWorks is doing. The story values inclusion and is quite progressive in a world of Globbies.
While Nimona was released on Netflix and produced by Annapurna Pictures, the film began its journey from graphic novel form at Blue Sky Studios. (Blue Sky was responsible for the Ice Age movies, the Rio movies and The Peanuts Movie.) When Walt Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, they didn’t have room for Blue Sky Studios in a crowded animation stable that already included Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Studios, which meant Blue Sky got shut down.
Nimona was shut down with the studio.
Annapurna and Netflix eventually swooped in, finished Nimona and released it to critical and audience acclaim.
How could Disney have bailed on Nimona? I asked after we finished the movie. This could’ve been a Toy Story-esque jolt to the company’s animation studio, both in style and substance. Were they just not interested in picking up another animation studio’s work? Were they worried about the queer stories being told in the movie?
Well, Paste Magazine’s Tara Bennett published “Nimona the Phoenix: The Miracle and Legacy of Blue Sky’s Last Production” on Monday. The in-depth look at the film’s path added a bunch of nuance to the story of Disney canceling Nimona that I had in my head.
And, unfortunately, Disney doesn’t come out looking too great when it comes to honoring the full story originally told in Nimona.
With the animation itself in good hands, [Robert Baird], [Nick Bruno] and [Troy Quane] says they turned their attention to story, fixing and smoothing out the overall narrative and going back in to re-emphasize the queer story points that were present in the graphic novel but softened under their Disney tenure.
With regards to that, Bruno says that since Disney inherited Nimona via their acquisition, it only understood after the dust settled what was getting made at Blue Sky. “We started putting together reels for them, and it was very clear that they were not aware that there was a gay relationship in the movie,” he says. “They were very open and honest with us about being a little worried about that because they had tried some things. They had mentioned Beauty and the Beast with [LeFou] and getting a lot of hate mail so there were nerves there.”
Not great, guys …
In the spirit of keeping things brief today, I’m going to encourage you to, one, watch Nimona, and two, read the Paste Magazine piece on the movie.
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Wolverine debuts iconic look for Deadpool 3
At long last, Wolverine will rock the yellow-and-blue costume from the comics. Hugh Jackman has worn a lot of costumes as Wolverine since he first appeared as the character in 2000 — lots black leather and sleeveless shirts — but he’s never had the chance to wear the comic-accurate costumes that characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe wear all the time.
Ryan Reynolds revealed the first look at Jackman’s Wolverine costume for Deadpool 3 on Monday. (I’d link to it, but the high-definition version is on Twitter, and I’ve hit my rate limit over there. Wonderful site.)
There was a deleted scene from The Wolverine that teased a comic-accurate brown-and-yellow costume, but Logan didn’t follow up on that one.
- Detective time for Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson. The duo will play detectives in Lips Like Sugar, according to Deadline. Harrelson loves playing a detective, huh?
- Harley Quinn returns on July 27. The fantastic animated series is back for its fourth season in less than two weeks. If you haven’t been watching, now’s your chance to catch up.
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I love this trailer. While I knew that Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix were working on a movie about Napoleon, I had no idea it was going to look this awesome. This one is going to be a huge Oscar contender.
Napoleon opens on Nov. 22.
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
Calling this the “final trailer” for Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One is a bit of a stretch. It’s basically just a one-minute ad with praise for the film.
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One opens on Wednesday. But there are showings today and Tuesday …
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- They Don’t Want Us And We Don’t Need Them (David Roth, Defector)
- Harrison Ford and the Ravages of Time (Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture)
- The Summer of Kramercore (Amanda Mull, The Atlantic)
- Minx EP Paul Feig on HBO Max Cancellation and Why He’d Rather Release Shows on Linear TV (Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter)
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Ryan Gosling’s Ken ballad
I don’t think I’m going to make it to theaters to see Barbie when it comes out in a few weekends, but Warner Bros. is doing their best to release a bunch of the film online before it opens. Here’s hoping Barbie — Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, this song — dominates awards season.
Journey to Ahoska
Still wild that we’re getting a live-action Ahsoka show that brings the Star Wars Rebels characters to life at the same time.
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