Disney releases Frozen 2 teaser with Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel

For the first time in forever — or roughly six years — Frozen is back on the horizon.

Walt Disney Animation Studios has dropped the first teaser for this November’s Frozen 2, the feature-length follow-up to the 2013 Oscar winner and box-office behemoth.

The new footage features a dramatic sequence in which Elsa (Idina Menzel) uses her powers to run, climb, and slide across a body of water, including a moment in which she freezes and then scales a wave. There are also glimpses of her royal sister Anna (Kristen Bell), and fellow core returning characters Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Josh Gad) looking out from a cliff at an autumn landscape.

Bell and Menzel return once again to voice Anna and Elsa, alongside Gad as chatty snowman Olaf and Groff as hunky mountain-man Kristoff. Early newcomers to the vocal cast include This Is Us’s Sterling K. Brown and Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood.

Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (who has since taken over as Chief Creative Officer at WDAS) have returned to direct the reprise trip to Arendelle, which will also feature new songs from award-winning songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and a script by Lee and Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures). Peter Del Vecho also returns as producer.

An official sequel to Frozen was announced in March 2015, about a year and a half after the first film opened and proceeded to turn animation on its head, scooping up over $1.2 billion at the box office (and becoming the highest-grossing animated movie of all time). The title inspired a global frenzy for Frozen merchandise, spin-offs, and a Broadway musical. The film’s narrative has continued in various forms, particularly in the shorts Frozen Fever in 2015 and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure in 2017, but Frozen 2 will be the most significant continuation of the story thus far.

In late January the reunited ensemble of the original Frozen had already begun teasing the film on Twitter and Instagram. Check out that and a new poster below.

Frozen 2 slides into theaters Nov. 22.

Related content:

  • Kristen Bell shares an update on Frozen 2
  • Frozen 2 will change how you think of the first movie
  • Disney sets release dates for Frozen 2, Lion King, and more

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Watch: Dax Shepard Moved Kristen Bell to Tears During His Birthday Surprise

AceShowbiz -Actor Dax Shepard celebrated his 44th birthday by making his wife Kristen Bell cry on TV.

The actress pretended to be an audience member on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” during an “Ask Dr. Dax” agony uncle segment on the programme, which taped on the “CHiPs” star’s birthday on Wednesday, January 02.

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Bell shrieked as Dax, who has appeared regularly on the show over the past year to host his “Ask Dr. Dax” segment, during which he answers audience members’ awkward sex and personal questions, confessed he had a hunch there was someone in his cake as he approached, but added it was the “perfect” birthday surprise.

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‘The Good Place’ Recap: Dammit, Janet(s)

A review of “Janet(s),” this week’s episode of The Good Place, coming up just as soon as your amusement has been scheduled…

Well, what do you know? The Good Place returns to the afterlife full-time and turns out one of its best episodes in a long time. Funny how that works.

Our interlude on Earth wasn’t without its moments, particularly in the episode prior to this. But there was always a sense of the series working with its dominant hand tied behind its back. Turns out its off-hand could compensate pretty darned well, but it still wasn’t the creative team using their full powers. “Janet(s)” very much put all of those things on display — ironically, in an episode where much of the screen time only featured one-sixth of the ensemble.

Arc-wise, a whole lot happens over the course of these 20-odd minutes. Eleanor gets Chidi to admit that he loves her, too, and they kiss without immediately getting their memories wiped again. Michael discovers that it’s been 521 years since any human got into the Good Place(*), but can’t get anyone from the accounting department to believe that the point system has been hacked. And in the most significant development of all — and the best mid-season cliffhanger the show has done so far — the Soul Squad finally arrives in the for real, actual, no foolin’ Good Place. To quote Eleanor, holy forking shortballs!

(*) The Jeremy Bearimy of it all means we can’t know for sure if the last person to gain Good Place admission died in 1497, but let’s assume so for lack of a better theory. The internet doesn’t offer a ton of notable deaths from that year, so I’m going to go with Flemish singer/composer Johannes Ockeghem, if only because I assume Raymond Holt is familiar with his work.  

But a lot of that comes at the very end of the episode, which is primarily a showcase for the joy that is D’Arcy Carden’s performance as Janet — and as the four dum-dums who all happen to look like Janet while they’re stuck in her void(*). Carden’s really only doing a straightforward impression of Jason, and it’s a great one in how she captures the sing-song quality of the dumb-but-wise things that come out of his mouth. (Jason-Janet listing things white people say: “Billy Joel! I Found it on Etsy! There was nowhere to park! Did you fill up the Brita?”) But what’s impressive is how well Carden’s performance and Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan’s script delineate who each Janet is channeling even before she starts wearing a sweater vest for Chidi-Janet, a high-necked sleeveless floral print for Tahani-Janet, etc(**). She evokes just enough of the mannerisms of Kristen Bell and the others to sell it, so that even when Eleanor-Janet and Jason-Janet have swapped clothes to try to fool Chidi-Janet, they still seem like Bell and Manny Jacinto when the charade gets dropped.

(*) Mike Schur on how they filmed the Janet-only scenes: “We did the scenes a few different ways — some had multiple D’Arcy-heighted stand-ins, for eye-lines, and sometimes she was just by herself in a white room, acting to no one. It was wild. There was also a pole with a weird lip mold so she could ‘kiss herself.’ I think she went a little crazy. In a fun way!”

(**) I look forward to all the “My sexuality is Janet dressed as Jason” memes on Twitter tonight. And Eleanor’s attraction to her own temporary body is yet another reminder that our heroine is bi.

It’s a delight to watch, even as it’s an unexpected twist in the ongoing Eleanor/Chidi romance. After three seasons of gradually building up the idea of them as actual soulmates, rather than the cruel prank Michael sold them on at the start, the two come together in an episode where they’re both being played by a different actor altogether. But the body swap of it all actually ties in nicely with Chidi’s philosophical arguments about how he’s not the same Chidi who fell in love with Eleanor in past simulations. And it also makes the moment where we transition from two Janets kissing to Eleanor and Chidi kissing feel more powerful: their love is now real and solid enough to make their true selves fully present, even in this surreal white void. I’ve been pretty agnostic on this coupling for most of the show’s run, but recent episodes have sold it very very well, that world-saving kiss most of all.

Michael and the actual Janet’s adventures in Accounting, meanwhile, were a fun return to the bureaucracy of the afterlife that we’ve mostly been missing this season. Stephen Merchant is an inspired choice to play head accountant Neil. He has a goofy but sweet comic energy that neatly fits the show’s vision of the afterlife, and he’s one of the few comic actors working who can make Ted Danson look short — and, as co-creator of the British Office, which led to Michael Schur’s sitcom career, he helped begat this particular show we’re enjoying now. The Accounting office matches what we’ve seen in other corners of the afterlife, with retro technology and an extreme degree of specialty, as there are people assigned just to deduct points for “Impressions (Borat)” or “Songs With Specific Dance Instructions.” And poor Matt from Weird Sex Things feels perpetually suicidal.

As we suspected, Shawn has figured out a way to game the system and divert all of humanity to the Bad Place for the last five centuries, which now raises the stakes significantly for the show going forward. It’s no longer just about saving these four dummies, nor even about the notion of a binary Heaven/Hell system being unfair. It’s that the system has ceased to work altogether, and now everyone is being eternally damned, but the system is (in a very The Wire kind of way) too oblivious to its flaws to recognize that. It’s a huge turn in things, and a greater responsibility for Michael. As satisfying as Chidi and Eleanor’s kiss was, even more satisfying was Janet convincing Michael that he had to stop looking for other authority figures to fix things and take the responsibility on himself. It’s an important growth moment for both him as a character and the two of them as friends (so well established in last season’s “Janet and Michael”). And the scene neatly plays it for both dramatic and comic effect: Michael gets his big hero moment where he stands up to Neil and says, “So… I’m gonna do it,” and then he instantly looks ridiculous when his move is to slap the corner piece of birthday cake out of Neil’s hand as a distraction so they can run into the sorting room and escape to the Good Place.

That our heroes have now arrived at the place the show allegedly began, and what they want to be their final destination, would suggest the story is running out of road. But things are never easy on The Good Place — not even when characters are in the Good Place — so I look forward to seeing the real thing as much as I look forward to seeing how Eleanor and friends won’t get to stay there permanently quite yet.

Only three more episodes to go this season, and over a month til we get to see the first of those. I can’t wait. Can you?

Previously: Death Becomes Them

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Golden Globe Nominations 2019: My Snappy Judgments

The 2019 Golden Globe nominations were, as per usual, a mixed bag (full list here). For every inspired nod (congrats, Billy Porter!) there was one that had me scratching the skin off my scalp (nothing for Schitt’s Creek?!). So without further adieu, I give you the good, the bad and the downright ugly from this year’s list.

I’m Super-Ecstatic About:
* All of the long-overdue love for The Good Place.
* Yvonne Strahovski sneaking into the Supporting Actress category for her revelatory work in Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale.
* GLOW‘s Alison Brie and last year’s winner, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Rachel Brosnahan, both getting recognized for their respective series’ knockout sophomore seasons.
* Killing Eve star (and Golden Globe co-host) Sandra Oh snagging a Best Actress in a Drama nod!
* Pose scoring a Best Drama Series nomination (and star Billy Porter nabbing a Best Actor mention).
* The strong showing for Amazon’s Homecoming. Ditto HBO’s Barry.
* Donald Glover’s Best Actor in a Comedy nod for Atlanta.

I’m Rolling My Eyes About:
* The Globes’ infuriating tradition of lumping every single genre in the supporting acting races. Enough. (Yes, I copied and pasted this directly from last three consecutive GG Snappy Js. And I will continue to do so until something changes.)

I’m Super-Pissed About:
* Nada for Netflix’s sublime and terrifying Haunting of Hill House.
* Zilch for Catherine O’Hara and the rest of the Schitt’s Creek crew!
GLOW failing to secure a best comedy nod for its fantastic sophomore season. I also would’ve liked to have seen Betty Gilpin get recognized alongside Brie.
* The omission of Insecure‘s Issa Rae and Natasha Rothwell.
* Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer getting snubbed.
* No Best Comedy nod for Atlanta?! And where’s Bryan Tyree Henry?!

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The Good Place renewed for season 4

Oh, dip! NBC has renewed The Good Place.

The Peacock announced Tuesday that it has ordered a fourth season of the clever afterlife comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. The number of new episodes has not yet been determined, but each of the first three seasons contained 13 episodes.

The Good Place — which was created by Parks and Recreation overlord Mike Schur, and also stars D’Arcy Carden William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, and Manny Jacinto — is currently winding down its third season. The cultishly adored series, which has enjoyed raves from critics throughout its run, is not a ratings powerhouse; it is averaging a 1.6 rating in the 18-to-49-demographic and 4.6 million viewers when factoring a week of DVR playback.

The Good Place will air a new episode Thursday and then head off the schedule for the rest of the year. It will return in mid-January, and the season 3 finale will air later in the month.

Related stories:

  • Good Place season 3 exclusive photos
  • Did The Good Place jinx the Jacksonville Jaguars?

The Good Place

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