Walt Disney Animation Studios Announces Moana

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Walt Disney Animation Studios revealed plans today for “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated comedy-adventure about a spirited teenager on an impossible mission to fulfill her ancestors’ quest. In theaters in late 2016, the film is directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Aladdin”).

“John and I have partnered on so many films—from ‘The Little Mermaid’ to ‘Aladdin’ to ‘The Princess and the Frog,’” said Clements. “Creating ‘Moana’ is one of the great thrills of our career. It’s a big adventure set in this beautiful world of Oceania.”

In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.

“Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said. “She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.”

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Guardians of The Galaxy Soundtrack To Be Released On Cassette Tape On November 17, 2014

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Marvel and Hollywood Records announced that a limited edition The Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 Soundtrack will be finally issued on cassette November 17, 2014.

The cassette will be made available only to independent retailers partnered with Record Store Day (get a list of participating stores here). The cassette, which is the first audio cassette Disney has released since 2003, will only be available until December 31, or until supplies last.

The release of ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 1′ on cassette times nicely with the release of the DVD and Blu-ray on December 9, 2014. The cassette will even come with the classic mix tape cover art, with all the song titles written in pen.

Here’s the track listing for the soundtrack:

1. Blue Swede – “Hooked on a Feeling”
2. Raspberries – “Go All the Way”
3. Norman Greenbaum – “Spirit in the Sky”
4. David Bowie – “Moonage Daydream”
5. Elvin Bishop – “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”
6. 10cc – “I’m Not in Love”
7. Jackson 5 – “I Want You Back”
8. Redbone – “Come and Get Your Love”
9. The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb”
10. Rupert Holmes – “Escape (the Pina Colada Song)”
11. The Five Stairsteps – “O-O-H Child”
12. Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

Director James Gunn has confirmed he’s already thinking about “Awesome Mix Vol. 2″ which will be included in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘ opening on July 27, 2017.

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Batman Adventures: Mad Love Deluxe Edition Hardcover

Written and drawn by the masterminds behind Batman: The Animated Series, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, this epic reveals the origins of Harley Quinn as she proves her love to The Joker by trying to eliminate the Dark Knight on her own! Now in a deluxe format with exclusive extras and bonus material! The 96 page hardcover will be released on March 18, 2014 and retail for $17.99.

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Cartoon Network To Air LEGO DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered On October 27, 204

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Cartoon Network announced that LEGO DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered will debut on the channel on October 27, 2014.

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The story centers on Batman, who is reluctant to become part of the Justice League and prefers to work alone. However, when the heroes begin to disappear, The Dark Knight must get down to work and save his comrades.

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Special Look At Disney’s Feast

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Disney’s Feast premieres in front of Big Hero 6 in 3D on November 7, 2014.

“Feast,” a new short from first-time director Patrick Osborne (head of animation, “Paperman”) and Walt Disney Animation Studios, is the story of one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share.

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Toys R Us To Host LEGO Batman Bat-Signal Build Event On October 18, 2014

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Toys R Us will host a LEGO Batman Bat-Signal build event on October 18, 2014.

What’s noteworthy about this set is that it comes with a rare Batman printed dish piece that has only appeared in LEGO DC Super Heroes The Batcave (6860).

The event runs from 12PM – 2PM but make sure to get there an hour or two early. The giveaway at each store is limited and these events seem to getting more popular each time.

In-Store LEGO Event: Event intended for children ages 5-up. Parental supervision required at all times. All giveaways and event materials available while supplies last and distributed to participating children only. Limit 1 per child. Quantities limited; no rain checks. All participating Toys “R” Us US locations.

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Apple Introduces iPad Air 2

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Apple today introduced iPad Air 2, the thinnest and most powerful iPad ever. Now just 6.1 mm thin and weighing less than a pound, iPad Air 2 features an improved Retina display for enhanced contrast and richer, more vibrant colors, and better cameras for taking stunning photos and videos. Available in gold, silver and space gray, the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 offer Touch ID so users can unlock their iPad with just the touch of a finger and make purchases easily and securely within apps using Apple Pay.

Pricing & Availability

iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come in three gorgeous metallic finishes including gold, silver and space gray, and customers in 29 countries and territories can order online beginning Friday, October 17. Both iPads will be available starting later next week in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau (Wi-Fi models only), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Availability in Croatia, Greece, Puerto Rico, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and elsewhere around the world, will continue through the end of October with additional global availability in the coming months. iPads are sold through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 64GB model and $699 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 64GB model and $829 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of $399 (US) for the 16GB model, $499 (US) for the 64GB model and $599 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $529 (US) for the 16GB model, $629 (US) for the 64GB model and $729 (US) for the 128GB model.

iPad Air, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini, available in silver or space gray, are offered at now more affordable prices. iPad Air starts at $399 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model, iPad mini 2 starts at $299 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model, and iPad mini starts at $249 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model.

To complement the new iPads, a colorful range of cases and covers offer both protection and customization with iPad Air and iPad mini Smart Covers available in seven bright colors and Smart Cases for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini offered in five new elegant shades. Custom-designed polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad Air and iPad mini will be available for a suggested retail price of $39 (US) in black, white, blue, green, pink, yellow and (RED). iPad Air 2 Smart Cases are available in beautiful aniline-dyed leather in midnight blue, olive brown, black, soft pink and (RED) for a suggested retail price of $79 (US) with Smart Cases for iPad mini available in those same colors at a suggested retail price of $69 (US). Smart Covers and Smart Cases are available through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

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Apple Introduces 27-inch iMac With Retina 5K Display

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Apple today unveiled the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, featuring the world’s highest resolution display with a breathtaking 14.7 million pixels. At this amazing resolution, text appears sharper than ever, videos are unbelievably lifelike, and you can see new levels of detail in your photos. With the latest quad-core processors, high-performance graphics, Fusion Drive and Thunderbolt 2, iMac with Retina 5K display is the most powerful iMac ever made—it’s the ultimate display combined with the ultimate all-in-one.

Pricing & Availability

iMac with Retina 5K display begins shipping today with a 3.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics and a 1TB Fusion Drive for a suggested retail price of $2,499 (US). Customers can order iMac with Retina 5K display through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com).

Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/imac.

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Apple Updates Mac mini

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Apple today updated Mac mini with the latest technologies and a new lower starting price, making Apple’s most affordable Mac an even better value. Mac mini now features fourth generation Intel Core processors, integrated graphics that are up to 90 percent faster, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Thunderbolt 2 and is still the world’s most energy efficient desktop.

Pricing & Availability

Mac mini begins shipping today. Mac mini comes in three standard models: a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 GHz, 4GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and a 500GB hard drive starting at a suggested retail price of $499 (US); a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory, Intel Iris Graphics and a 1TB hard drive starting at suggested retail price of $699 (US); and a 2.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory, Intel Iris Graphics and a 1TB Fusion Drive starting at a suggested retail price of $999 (US). Customers can order Mac mini through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com).

Customers can choose to configure their Mac mini with up to a 3.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of memory, and up to a 1TB  PCIe-based flash drive. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/mac-mini.

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Annie Lennox To Release New Album, Nostalgia

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Annie Lennox is the latest singer to try her hand at the Great American Songbook.  Her new album of standards, Nostalgia, arrived September 30, on vinyl.

The disc won’t be released on other formats, like CD and digital, until October 21.  The content, however, will be the same: a collection of classic songs such as “Georgia on My Mind,” “Summertime,” “The Nearness of You,” “God Bless the Child” and “Mood Indigo.”  Lennox says she chose the material after spending hours on YouTube researching these types of songs.

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“I was just curious, I thought, ‘I wonder what my voice would be like.  Would these songs suit my voice?’  It was like a little challenge,” the former Eurythmics frontwoman tells Billboard.  “I just sort of got to know them, became friends with them really and had a great deal of joy in the process.”

In 1995, Annie released an album of cover songs called Medusa, but those were relatively modern songs, by the likes of The Temptations, Neil Young, The Clash, Paul Simon and Bob Marley.

Here’s the track listing for Nostalgia:

“Memphis in June”
“Georgia on My Mind”
“I Cover the Waterfront”
“Summertime”
“I Put a Spell on You”
“Strange Fruit”
“God Bless the Child”
“September in the Rain”
“You Belong to Me”
“I Can Dream, Can’t I”
“The Nearness of You”
“Mood Indigo”

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