Insights Into Entertainment: Episode 96 “Cruising for the Star Wars Stamp of Approval”

In our Disney Detective, Jungle Cruise getting a makeover & Disney Plus quietly pulls some movies from Kids profiles

Then in our Tales from the Edge of the Galaxy, USPS announces new stamps based on droids from ‘Star Wars’ universe & MANDALORIAN SEASON 3 RELEASE DATE REVEALED?

And for our Entertainment News, Elizabeth Olsen Says WandaVision Won’t Feel “So Bizarre” When We Find Out Why It’s a Sitcom & Budweiser will sit out Super Bowl, funnel marketing dollars to boost vaccine awareness

And then we’ll finish up with our Insightful Picks of the week….

Show Notes


  • [INTRODUCTIONS] (2-3 minutes)
    • Insights Into Entertainment: Episode 96 “Cruising for the Star Wars Stamp of Approval”
    • My crafty and loving co-host Michelle Whalen

[SHOW SUMMARY] (2-3 minutes)

  • Today’s Episode:
    • In our Disney Detective, Jungle Cruise getting a makeover & Disney Plus quietly pulls some movies from Kids profiles
    • Then in our Tales from the Edge of the Galaxy, USPS announces new stamps based on droids from ‘Star Wars’ universe & MANDALORIAN SEASON 3 RELEASE DATE REVEALED?
    • And for our Entertainment News, Elizabeth Olsen Says WandaVision Won’t Feel “So Bizarre” When We Find Out Why It’s a Sitcom & Budweiser will sit out Super Bowl, funnel marketing dollars to boost vaccine awareness
    • And then we’ll finish up with our Insightful Picks of the week….

[Show Plugs] (2-3 minutes)

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  • [SEGMENT 1: Disney Detective] (8-12 minutes)
    • Jungle Cruise Reimagined: Disney Announces Ride Retheme!
      • Disney has just announced that the popular Jungle Cruise — an opening day ride at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort — will be rethemed for Guests to enjoy a brand new experience, Rivers Journey.
      • Note that this is the name of the new journey Guests will go on when they board Jungle Cruise. A name change for the ride does not appear to be forthcoming.
      • The brand new Walt Disney Imagineering endeavor is intended to celebrate the diversity and beauty of the world around us and — the best part for fans of the famous Jungle Cruise spiel — is that the Jungle Cruise Skipper will be part of the storyline!
      • According to the official Disney Parks Blog post about the upcoming Jungle Cruise retheme:
      • At Disney Parks, we continue to look for ways to enhance classic attractions and elevate the experience for all of our guests. Today, we’re excited to share that we are building on the story of the Jungle Cruise at both Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort to include new adventures that stay true to the experience we know and love — more humor, wildlife and skipper heart — and also reflect and value the diversity of the world around us. There are no bigger fans of this attraction than our Imagineers so I’ve invited Kevin Lively — former Jungle Cruise skipper — to share a transmission from the world’s most remote tropic rivers!
      • Wow, sounds like we’re in for a wild ride! No word on if we’ll still get to enjoy seeing the “Back Side of Water” during the new Rivers Journey experience.
      • Lively shared: As part of this story update, we’ll get to follow a skipper and his passengers as their journey goes awry. That’s right, for the first time ever, the skipper role will not only be that of a live, experienced and witty guide, but also represented by a show figure within the attraction itself. In fact, the expedition will be up a tree (literally!) after their sunken boat splits apart and chimps board the wreckage, with monkey business ensuing. 
      • But that’s not even half of the hull story. Fans of the Jungle Cruise attraction may recall some boats that used to make their way around the river but haven’t been seen for a while — specifically the Mekong Maiden and the Kwango Kate. Ever wonder what happened to them? Well, you might go ape when you find out! Ultimately, the jungle gets the last laugh.
      • The Imagineering team behind the Jungle Cruise retheme includes Chris Beatty, who shared the following details about the upcoming enhancements with D23:
      • We want to make sure that we take this as an opportunity, right? So as we look to clean up a lot of the challenges that we have in the attraction, we want to make sure we go in and add all the humor that Marc Davis gave it, all those years ago. Anything new we add will be in that tone. And for the first time, we are actually linking scenes together.
      • So if you think of the famous rhino pole scene, with the team of explorers who have somehow camped that night and then been run up the pole by the rhino and a group of other animals… that will really kick off the storyline. Did you ever wonder who those explorers were or where they came from? What’s their backstory? As part of the enhanced storyline, each one of them will have their own story and cultural heritage. There’s a birdwatcher, an entomologist, a wildlife painter, and a photographer, and each one will have a different reason for being on the expedition. And, of course, they did one of the things you’re never supposed to do, which is leave the boat. And one of the things we’re adding to the attraction is an animatronic skipper, who’s been chased up the pole by the rhino, along with the other explorers. They each have great personality, and I think our guests will connect with these characters in new ways. So we’re not really re-envisioning that scene, we’re just adding a narrative and storytelling to bring things to life and connect that moment with other happenings along the river.
  • Disney Plus quietly pulls Peter Pan, Dumbo from Kids profiles over racist stereotypes
    • Last fall, The Walt Disney Company launched “Stories Matter,” a concerted effort by its various branches to reckon with the company’s history of racist stereotypes and negative depictions. “We can’t change the past,” reads the Stories Matter site, “but we can acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward together to create a tomorrow that today can only dream of.” With the launch of the campaign came the addition of content warnings on a number of Disney Plus streaming titles.
    • As noted by several outlets, has Disney Plus removed several titles that currently run with advisory descriptions from Kids profiles. The titles include Peter Pan, Aristocats, The Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo, The Jungle Book, and the live-action Swiss Family Robinson. The movies can still be found and viewed on regular Disney Plus accounts, but for profiles set up for children (which already limit the viewable content to titles rated TV-7FV and G), the classic Disney films can no longer be found.
    • 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.
    • Viewers who encounter these films on adult Disney Plus accounts are met with a strong condemnation of their contents:
    • This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.
    • Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.
    • According to sources, these changes are part of the general mission of “Stories Matter” and are one way for Disney to keep the Disney Plus experience safe; parents can now view these films with their children and talk through the content warnings.
    • “Stories Matter” seems to be provoking major change throughout the business: both Splash Mountain and Jungle Cruise will receive major overhauls at Disney parks in order to flush the racist history and iconography from the rides. Worth noting: The sequels to Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, and Lady and the Tramp are still available on Kids accounts. (And many of them are actually good.)

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  • [SEGMENT 2: Tales from the Edge of the Galaxy] (8-12 minutes)
    • USPS announces new stamps based on droids from ‘Star Wars’ universe
      • Your mail will soon feature characters from a galaxy far, far away thanks to a new line of stamps coming from the United States Postal Service.
      • In an official release, USPS said its latest collection of stamps will salute “Star Wars” droids such as C-3PO and R2-D2 for the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm.
      • The beloved BB-8 from the latest “Star Wars” trilogy will, of course, make an appearance alongside other fan favorites: IG-11, C1-10P (aka “Chopper”), K-2SO, D-O, L3-37, a GNK (a power droid) and a 2-1B (a surgical droid).
      • In addition to the droids, the backgrounds of the 20 stamps will pay tribute to some of the most famous settings in the Star Wars universe, such as the floating Cloud City that can be found above the planet Bespin.
      • Greb Breeding was the designer for the stamps while William Gicker served as art director.
      • USPS said the new collection also honors Lucasfilm’s legacy and its parent company, Disney, for its commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) community.
      • Most notably is the company’s partnership with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a global nonprofit that aims to inspire children from pre-K to grade 12 to consider a career in STEM, in collaboration with their “Star Wars: Force for Change” initiative, which gives FIRST the ability to reach even more young people.
      • USPS will release more details on the stamps, including their release date, later this year.
    • The Disney+ show’s second season created even more conversations than its first, hooking in both casual and die-hard Star Wars fans alike. The Season 2 finale left things in an interesting place as well, with Grogu deciding to leave Din and begin training with Luke Skywalker, pushing both characters into uncertain territory. So, understandably, fans have been anxious to find out as much as they can about The Mandalorian Season 3 — especially after Disney revealed that it would only come after The Book of Boba Fett.
    • Production List reports that The Mandalorian season 3 is set to begin filming in Los Angeles, CA on April 5th, 2021. The report remains unconfirmed as of now, but the date does seem to line up with the Star Wars timeline that the Disney and Lucasfilm executives have been hinting at as of late. Assuming then that this report is accurate, the start date provides us with a fairly good idea of what the premiere window might be for The Mandalorian Season 3.
    • Season 2 of The Mandalorian began filming in early October 2019 and finished production in early March 2020. The season then premiered on Disney+ in October, a little over a year after it began filming. Applying the same basic time table to the show’s next season — using this April 2021 production start date — would indicate that The Mandalorian Season 3 will probably premiere in early April 2022.
    • A 2022 premiere date syncs up with what many fans had already begun to assume about The Mandalorian season 3 — specifically that it wouldn’t be premiering this year.
    • The initial announcement that The Mandalorian spin-off The Book of Boba Fett would be premiering in December 2021 seemed to eliminate any chance that The Mandalorian would be returning in this year. The follow-up confirmation that The Book of Boba Fett had already begun filming, whereas The Mandalorian had not, only seemed to further validate those suspicions.
    • If this production report is accurate, then it means The Mandalorian Season 3 will likely premiere around April 2022, shortly after The Book of Boba Fett finishes airing its run of episodes. That makes sense, as Lucasfilm would likely want to avoid having new episodes of both shows airing at the same time on Disney+, but it also means that The Mandalorian will be breaking its established fall premiere pattern.
    • While that news may be a bit disappointing to fans, they still have quite a lot to look forward to. Not only does it seem possible — and likely — that The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian Season 3 will be airing virtually back-to-back on Disney+, there’s also a whole slate of new Star Wars shows to look forward to in the coming years. So, although the wait for The Mandalorian Season 3 may be longer than fans wanted, it’ll probably be worth it in the end.


  • [SEGMENT 3: Entertainment News] (8-12 minutes)
    • Elizabeth Olsen Says WandaVision Won’t Feel “So Bizarre” When We Find Out Why It’s a Sitcom
      • Elizabeth Olsen says the explanation behind the WandaVision sitcom, which is still to come in the remaining six episodes of the first Marvel Studios series, didn’t feel “so bizarre” after a meeting with producer Kevin Feige. Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, where an undusted Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) returns to life without partner Vision (Paul Bettany), WandaVision inexplicably relocates the “unusual couple” to the suburbs of Westview. This new reality — inspired by decades of classic sitcoms and seemingly created by Wanda — slowly unravels as the couple begins to suspect everything is not as it seems when channeling such shows as Bewitched and Malcolm in the Middle.
      • “They are just trying to fit in. They’re trying to not be found out by their neighbors that they’re super-powered beings,” Olsen told Elle about the premise of WandaVision. “The reason it’s a sitcom shows itself later in the show. When Kevin told me, it didn’t feel so bizarre. It felt like a great way to start our story.”
      • Leading theories posit that “Westview” is a bubble reality created by Wanda’s grief over losing Vision in Avengers: Infinity War, allowing the couple to live out the life stolen from them in the real-world Marvel Cinematic Universe. As new parents to twin sons Tommy and Billy, Wanda and Vision have everything they want — and the magic of the Scarlet Witch rejects anything or anyone that might disrupt the delusion.
      • “Wanda is trying to protect everything in her bubble, protect what she and Vision have and this experience,” Olsen explained. “I think everything she does is in response to keeping things together.”
      • For Feige, the producer behind the 23-movie MCU, the Disney+ streaming service offered Marvel Studios the opportunity to do something that could only play out on television: blend his love for classic sitcoms with Marvel comic book runs like Tom King’s The Vision.
      • “What would give me comfort after school [and] comfort late at night were these television shows. It was the one aspect of my youth and sort of what turned me into, for better or for worse, the person I am today. We’d never been able to really utilize [that],” Feige previously told Variety about the genesis of WandaVision. “My love of all sorts of movies and genre movies has absolutely been poured into all 23 movies you’ve seen us make at Marvel Studios already, but that aspect of my past, we weren’t able to even consider necessarily being able to do anything with it.”
      • Explaining why WandaVision couldn’t be the studio’s next movie, Feige said, “[The Vision] is what led to me to say, ‘Let’s look at putting these two things together,’ and doing what is now our first Disney+ series in a way that it couldn’t just be a movie. It’s not just a long movie on Disney+. We will make shows that are like that, but for what is now our first one, it felt great to do something that could only be done for television.”
      • New episodes of Marvel’s WandaVision premiere Fridays on Disney+.
  • Budweiser will sit out Super Bowl, funnel marketing dollars to boost vaccine awareness
    • Budweiser will not be running a commercial during the Super Bowl for the first time in 37 years.
    • Instead, the Anheuser-Busch InBev beer will use the marketing dollars to support Covid-19 vaccine awareness and access.
    • In the week leading up to Super Bowl LV, Budweiser plans to run its Super Bowl ad digitally. The spot focuses on resilient Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, including a group of health-care workers who were the first to receive the vaccine. Actress Rashida Jones, known for her roles in “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” will narrate the spot.
    • The beer brand also plans to donate a percentage of its advertising airtime for 2021 to the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative. Budweiser will support its efforts with additional campaigns throughout the year.
    • The company also isn’t entirely giving up promoting its beer. Budweiser is giving U.S. consumers who are at least 21 years old a free beer when they visit between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7. AB InBev’s other brands, including Michelob Ultra, Bud Light and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, will have in-game ads during the Super Bowl.
    • Budweiser isn’t the only iconic brand sitting out the game. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have said they won’t be running in-game ads for their namesake sodas. Pepsi is instead focusing on its sponsorship of the halftime show, which stars The Weeknd. PepsiCo’s other brands, including Mountain Dew and Frito-Lay, are planning on airing commercials during the game.
    • In a statement to CNBC, Coke said it has chosen to focus on “investing in the right resources.” The pandemic has upended the beverage giant’s business because fewer drinks are being consumed away from home. Its revenue fell 13 percent during the first nine months of 2020.
    • Last year’s Super Bowl drew about 100 million viewers, but attracting those eyeballs comes with a hefty price tag for advertisers. A 30-second commercial during the football game will set companies back about $5.5 million this year, slightly less than 2020′s rate of $5.6 million.
    • Shares of Budweiser parent AB InBev have fallen 14.5 percent in the last year, giving the company a market value of about $113 billion. While at-home consumption of beer is up due to the pandemic, the blow to bars and sports stadiums has resulted in a 6.8 percent revenue decline during the first nine months of 2020.


  • [SEGMENT 4: Insightful Picks of the Week] (8-12 minutes)
    • Michelle 
      • My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman
        • TV legend David Letterman teams up with fascinating global figures for in-depth interviews and curiosity-fueled excursions in this talk show.
        • My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (commonly referred to as My Next Guest) is an American streaming television talk show hosted by David Letterman that premiered on January 12, 2018, on Netflix. The series consists of interviews with one guest per episode both inside and outside a studio setting. The show has received generally positive reviews, with its format, Letterman’s hosting, choice of guests, and insightful conversations receiving praise. My Next Guest has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special twice.
        • On January 5, 2018, it was announced that Letterman’s guests in the first season would include Barack Obama, George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern. It was also announced that the series would premiere on January 12, 2018, with Letterman’s interview with Obama. This interview was Obama’s first since leaving office.[2][3] On December 14, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had renewed the series for a second season consisting of six episodes.[4] On May 31, 2019, five new episodes were released. On June 21, a bonus episode was released.
    • Joe
      • Resident Alien
      • Syfy
        • An alien crashes on Earth and hides in a remote Colorado mountain town; after assuming the identity of the town doctor, his nefarious mission is threatened when he realizes one of the townspeople, a 9-year-old boy, can see his true alien form. Harry, the “resident alien” slowly begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his secret mission on Earth as he learns to fit in with the humans in the nearby fictional town of Patience Colorado.
        • It’s a dramedy style science fiction show that’s a nostalgic blend of “my favorite martian” meets “Eureka”
        • It’s been described is similar to Northern Exposure in it’s style of comedy
        • Alan Tudyk once again shows us what a brilliant actor he is by playing a convincingly human alien doctor in a way that only Tudyk can.


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