Tag Archives: movies

Disney Channel and twins: a love story

6 Aug

Have you been watching Disney Channel lately? I have. Don’t judge me, I’ve had a lot of free time and I’m someone kinda lazy who wishes she was 8 years old once again. Therefore, yes, I have been watching a lot of TV and a lot of Disney Channel- let’s say it is to stay young at heart. Anyway, I noticed that these days on Disney Channel- and I mean Disney Channel France, we have the french channels in Mauritius- there are a lot of twins. That’s when I realised that since I started watching TV, about 14 years ago, there were never no twins on Disney Channel. They must really like this concept. Probably because people like twins, it’s twice as much fun and cuteness and there’s this double trouble thing also.

Anyways, if you don’t believe there have been many twins on this channel, I decided to make a list :p

*Note: This list was made in an approximate chronological order and by twin pair, meaning if the subtitle mention a show starring a particular pair of twin, any other project starring them will be mentioned under that subtitle and not another.

#1. The Parent Trap

I know this 1998 movie doesn’t star actual twins but back in the days I used to think Lindsay Lohan really had a twin sister. I was 3 years old, don’t blame me, then later on I read in a magazine how the movie was made and I was even more impressed by Lohan’s acting. I used to wonder if sometimes she wished she had a real twin, I know I wish I did. These were the good ol’ days when Lohan, playing Hallie Parker and Annie James, was still the young promising actress we all loved. ‘The Parent Trap’ is one of my all time favourite movies and it is not one of those movies that you stop enjoying once you grow up. I mean, when will this ever cease to be funny?

and by 'this' I meant this

and by ‘this’ I meant this

Never.

Aaah this blond gold-digger…I don’t remember her name but I know it did not take as much as lizard on her face to freak her out.

the parent trap

I hope I find my secret twin already, there are so many people I want to freak out.

#2. Sister, Sister

This series, starring the twins Tia and Tamera Mowry, aired on ABC from 1994 to 1999 then later on Disney Channel aired the episodes between 2002 and 2007, meaning on the french channels there must have been a lag of about a year. Nevertheless I was really young when this used to air and since there have not been a lot of re-runs I have not many vivid memories of this show…except for its theme song of course. There were a lot of them, I remember the season 3 to 4 one best and I found a video on YouTube that lets us watch them all in HD. Yay!

While ‘Sister, Sister’ was airing on Disney Channel, they apparently couldn’t miss the opportunity to use the twin concept some more, therefore leading to a couple of Original Disney Channel movies, namely ‘Twitches‘ in 2005 and its sequel ‘Twitches Too‘ in 2007. Magical twins from another world who live on Earth and never meet until a little before they turn 21. This show and movies featured the one of only two pair of twins with different surnames, unless you count the twitches birth name: Apolla and Artemis DuBaer.

twitches

All I can say is the idea of identical twins who have no idea they have a twin, live their life peacefully and suddenly meet their biological doppelganger later on in life by pure coincidence is popular, to say the least. But it is entertaining and adding a magic twist cannot hurt.

#3. Kim Possible

Okay, this series was not about the crazy adventures of twins but one must not forget Jim and Tim, Kim Possible’s younger identical twins siblings. How can one even forget their “hicka-bicka-boo” “hoo-sha”? How can one say the Tweebs were not an awesome and absolutely cute part of this show?? Simple, one cannot.

 

Adorable. Hard to imagine these two were  the young scientists and mechanical geniuses that they were.

Adorable. Hard to imagine these two were the young scientists and mechanical geniuses that they were.

#4. The Suite Life of Zack & Cody

Finally a pair of identical non-animated twins that grew up together: Zack and Cody Martin! These blond-heads started charming us with their cuteness back in 2005 as they unleashed mayhem in the Tipton Hotel of  Boston. I must admit I had a crush on Cody, because he was smart. I like that. Zack wasn’t bad either. I cannot say I wasn’t happy to see them back on Disney Channel in The Suite Life on Deck in 2008…and to see that puberty had done a good job. The cute little faces hadn’t gone through a ‘Macaulay Culkin’ transition, meaning their twin-ness was still exploitable. Not that I am complaining.

zackandcody

We must also not forget that while the suite life was airing, the Sprouse twins also starred in ‘Modern Twain Story: The Prince and The Pauper‘ in 2007 and later on finally got their ‘The Suite Life Movie‘ in 2011. That was some extra twin-awesomeness for us.

#5. The High School Musical Movies

You may not really follow me on that one and that’s understandable. It wasn’t until years after the last HSM movie was produced and aired that I realised that Sharpay and Ryan Evans were fraternal twinsies. I knew they were siblings and I did realise they were in the same grade but never did the twin idea really cross my mind. If you were like me and didn’t already know about these two then, I guess now the coordinated outfits, the chemistry and synchronisation all make a lot more sense.

Especially hard to believe when you know they spent 9 months in the same womb.

Especially hard to believe when you know they spent 9 months in the same womb.

Seriously though, casting Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel for these roles was a perfect choice. That’s probably when Disney Channel realised they did not need to cast real life twins to continue exploring- and exploiting a bit- the universe of twins onscreen. This is even more apparent in the more recent Disney Channel Original shows below.

#6. Liv & Maddie

This show started airing on Disney Channel in 2013 and it stars Dove Cameron as she plays both Liv and Maddie Rooney, identical twins who don’t have much in common except their appearance. This seems to be a bit of wink to ‘The Parent Trap’. Liv is a starlet, freshly back home from Hollywood she has to find her place again in the family and rekindle her relationship with her three siblings, namely her twin sister Maddie, a tomboyish myopic for whom sports and competition are huge parts of her life.

Liv_and_Maddie_poster

I cannot help but like this show. It is still on its first season and still has this innocence Disney shows have at the beginning but what I find refreshing is how the script is written to make the protagonists, Liv and Maddie, actually nice to each other. They try to be nice to each other, to help and please each other…it really is a change to see Disney onscreen siblings not be jerks to each other like on ‘Hannah Montana’ or ‘The Wizards of Waverly Place’. Maybe it is just because they are twins- but then Zack wasn’t exactly sweet to Cody most of the time- but I hope the love will last longer than the first season.

Oh and Dove Cameron’s acting makes it seem like she has a promising career in front of her. This girl knows her job. I know I am not a movie critic but I believe I’ve watched enough movies and TV shows to recognise bad acting, and this is not it.

#7. I Didn’t Do It

Honestly, I did not think I would like ‘I Didn’t Do It’ but then I kinda found myself in Lindy- the nerd- so let’s just say that if I turn on the TV and this show is on I won’t switch channels unless I absolutely know there is something I really love on another channel at that time. The twins on this show are Logan and Lindy Watson, fraternal twins played by Austin North and Olivia Holt. See what I meant by not having to cast actual twins to play twins anymore?

ididntdoit

The twins are obviously the blonds. How many times have the twins on Disney Channel been blonds? A lot. Excluding Tia and Tamera, we never had brunette twins. It is as if Disney doesn’t know this species exist in real life too- referring to Jim and Tim Possible here.

#8. Gravity Falls

New pair of twins in an animated TV show aaaaand they are dark haired. I’m seriously freaked out, maybe they do only exist in the animated world of Disney Channel! Then I have zero hope of finding my secret twin someday 😦 *breathe in, breathe out* Anyway, welcome Mabel and Dipper Pines to the big twin family of Disney!

S1e2_mabel_and_dipper_punching

I absolutely love Gravity Falls, because it does not make a lot of sense but the main character actually realises this and is as ‘freaked out’ as me. So in the end it is not a big pack on nonsense, more like a big pack of weird mysteries. Do you get what I mean? No? Yes? It doesn’t matter, I won’t change my mind. Their supernatural universe full of vampires, dinosaurs, latino mermen, marriage-obsessed gnomes and weirdly cute triangular demons to say the least, is one I really like.

The Pines close my twin list of Disney Channel. I wonder when they will find a new pair of real life twins to use on a show again… I don’t think that will be anytime soon, they have enough twins in their studios to last a while.

If you think I missed a pair, let me know in the comments. You could tell me which is your favourite pair too 😀

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Let’s talk Marvel.

17 Jun

Hi. Again, it’s been a while since I have not written. Stuff happens.

Anyways, if I am writing today it’s for a very specific purpose: clearing some issues concerning Marvel comics and its various characters TV and movie rights. Because, in my opinion, if you watched the Wolverine, X-Men, Avengers, Thor, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, etc.. movies, there are stuff you should know. Especially if you have a thing for crossovers and pray to whoever god you pray to every night for Wolverine or Spider-man in the Avengers movie, read on. Even if you don’t pray for that every night, read on.

marvel-logo-o (1)

There was a time, quite a while ago, when Marvel Entertainment Studios- then called Atlas and then again Timely- sold the movie rights of some of its comic book characters to some other movie studios like Sony and 20th Century Fox. At around that time, Marvel’s main focus was, naturally, comic books and they had probably not well anticipated the success that movie adaptations of the comics could have. Ensued the not very very wise decision of selling the movie rights to Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the like to the movie studios mentioned above. Anywho, after the raging success of the Spider-man trilogy movies and the X-Men movies at the box office, Marvel Entertainment realised that the future of their studios was in the movies. Movies attract a larger audience, movies awe and dazzle in a way only movies can, movies are the closest we can feel to the superheroes of our childhood, they bring these heroes closer to reality, mais je m’emporte je m’emporte. So, where was I? Yes, Marvel Entertainment comes to the conclusion that they need their movie character rights back. They have to re-create the comic books universe and transform it into their cinematic universe. That is when they get back the rights to Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor from Artisan and the rights to Hulk and Namor from Universal Studios. Now, the big adventure can start. They invested big money and even bigger time to create the Avengers project. It may not seem obvious to everybody but this was a risky venture and it cannot be denied that they played it well, introducing characters like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America in their own movies. Introducing minor characters in those said movies, minor characters who would end up playing huge roles in the movies that would follow.

Okay, this may get complicated so let’s focus on the movie character rights first, then get into, what I like to call, what Marvel did.

I found a very practical and clear image on the web that will definitely clear all the doubts one could have and all the questions one could ask about the characters. Here it is:

There. Doesn't get clearer.

There. Doesn’t get clearer.

So, basically, if Disney/Marvel wanted to include Spider-Man in say the Avengers 2, they’d get sued because he belongs to Sony. Same goes for Wolverine. See, Marvel could not buy back the cinematic rights to all its comics characters, and that is simply because it would be insane(and a teeny bit selfish in my opinion) to let go of a movie franchise that earns them billions.

Let’s talk about the exception in teal. Yes, the colour of the set where Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are in is called teal. Anyway. This is the big exception. Since Fox has the rights to all the characters who appear regularly in the X-Men comics, it seems logical that they would belong to Fox- all with being Magneto’s children and stuff- However, they have been with the Avengers for years also, and thus can rightfully be used in the Avengers franchise. It all looks fantastic, getting the best of both worlds, huh? There are some rules though: In the Avengers franchise they are not allowed to mention Magneto or even “mutants” and in the X-Men they are not allowed to discuss Avengers or Hulk and the like.

For those of us who still nurture the hope of crossovers and Marvel/Disney getting to buy back all their characters rights and create a grandiose universe, it is not time to give up yet. It is important to note that, the contracts of, for example, The Fantastic Four states that if Fox makes no movie including them for so many years, the rights goes back to Marvel Entertainment..erm Disney. However, it makes sense that knowing how much cash can be made from superhero movies, Fox would never let go that easily, and that is why, ladies and gentlemen, a reboot is on its way. There is still hope though, that if Sony, Fox and Disney sat at a table together and discussed how to make the most of it, we may get to see Spider-man and Iron Man high-fiving or Wolverine and Thor grunting together someday. It all depends on the offer.

There is hope!

There is hope!

Okay, now let’s go down to business and check out what Marvel did.

First let’s establish the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Movie chronology

20th Century

21st Century

And of course, everything is connected. It all started with Phase 1, also known as, Avengers Assembled. The movies in phase 1 are all those that preceded The Avengers and The Avengers itself. The movies and their after-credits scenes all link to each other and add up to create Marvel’s Cinematic Universe little by little. Marvel has literally made after-credits scenes an art. The first one, after Iron Man, dropped a tease-bomb on all the viewers; we will never forget the “I’m here to talk to you about The Avengers Initiative.” and as Nick Fury announced that “Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” we did not know it yet either, we were not prepared for what was to come. What came was huge. From the wink to Captain America after the Incredible Hulk to finding Mjolnir after Iron Man 2, we all saw it coming, The Avengers initiative. Then comes phase 2, the post-Avengers phase. At this point, the tension builds up considerably and we realise something bigger is coming our way. Even the after-credits scenes are darker, no more hinting at the hope of an incredible team, they tease-threaten. Thanos remains a threat, Loki remains a threat-now he is king of Asgard and nobody knows, Hydra also remains a huge threat- they have Loki’s sceptre, that means they are still within S.H.I.E.L.D’s facilities and they are testing Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Threats, threats, threats! This time what awaits us is still shrouded in mystery.

Also, a big development in that universe, that I grew to appreciate, is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the TV show. We literally got an insight inside S.H.I.E.L.D, got to know some agents, started to understand and love them, and now I realise it was all building up to the events in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. It kind of created a bigger dramatic event to watch everything connected in chronological order. Not watching everything also means you are missing out, not watching Captain America will probably ensure you don’t understand everything in the coming movies and TV shows connected and not watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D also hides key events from you. I won’t tell you what, I have probably spoiled you enough already. I hope I haven’t. Sincerely.

shield

You may think this is all already a lot, but Marvel is not done with us. In fact, it just got started. They already have a phase 3, consisting at the moment of Ant-Man the movie and the third Captain America movie, in pre-production. And there is more, a second season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been confirmed, together with the new TV show Marvel’s Agent Carter. You think that’s it? You’re wrong, more TV shows are coming your way! Disney-Marvel and Netflix have joined forces to create four drama series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, leading up to a miniseries revolving around the Defenders team. The Defenders, a bit like The Guardians of the Galaxy, are not very ‘mainstream’ to movie-goers. They are definitely not Superman, they are not very well-known, have a well-known story and a fan-base beyond comics lovers, and yet people are getting excited about them. People who may not have known who the Guardians of the Galaxy were a few months ago, are now feeling the hype, they are impatient to meet the characters, they want to travel deeper into the Marvel Universe. And that, that is beautiful. Marvel is winning its bet; creating a cinematic universe worth being branded Marvel.

And in case you want some more insight into Marvel and its novel idea of ‘shared universe’- something ‘unheard in Hollywood’ according to Tom Russo from Boston.com, you might want to check out the TV special titled Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe. It is a documentary on the history of Marvel Studios and the making of its cinematic universe. I linked it just here 😉

Until next time, I wish you all well. If you want to discuss, do it in the comments section 🙂