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Do you ever watch the opening of the Disney animated classic "Beauty and the Beast" and wish that instead of yelling "bonjour!" in the streets of Paris, the townspeople shouted "what's good?" to Belle as she strolled through the ghetto?

In this astoundingly well-executed parody from onetime "American Idol" contestant Todrick Hall and an assemblage of YouTube celebrities -- and even a glimpse of Antoine Dodson (or at least a lookalike) -- "Belle" goes through her morning walk through the 'hood, gets her hair did, and gets holla'd at by Jerome (not Gaston).

Best of all, everyone looks like they're having fun. Try not to watch this one over and over. [SOURCE]


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THE BIGGEST Indian animated feature, Arjun: The Warrior Prince, is set to be a summer blockbuster. Director Arnab Chaudhuri, 40, talks to Aradhna Wal about scaling animation for adults with a story every child knows.



Tell us about the project.
It is a huge film. It took us three years to make it. Ronnie (Screwvala) approached me with the idea of a film on Arjun and I jumped at it. Common depictions of the Mahabharata are so formal. We’ve used the story to make a big martial arts spectacle. In that sense it’s quite a contemporary take. It’s not just a comedy for kids.

Why tag it ‘The Untold Story’?
It’s about the approach. People think of Arjun as a hero without flaws. But he was a man involved in a power struggle. Before that he was a boy who was a very talented marksman. There is a big difference between being able to hit the target and being a warrior leading an army into battle. We deal with his insecurity, doubt, his transformation and his coming of age. The same with the other Pandavas. What you read and what you see, they’re fine upstanding characters. That is boring. How do you create differences between them? Bhim and Yudhishthir bicker, like brothers would.

EDITED EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW )
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Don't expect to see Mulan in a pretty getup when we first meet Disney's warrior princess in Once Upon a Time's September 30 premiere. She'll be armored up and battle-ready.


"I go on a journey with Prince Phillip to find his princess, Aurora," teases Mulan's portrayer, Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch). "There's this evil spirit that's moving and my character ends up bonding with Sleeping Beauty. And as you've heard, Captain Hook is joining us."


So might sword overpower hook? "Definitely," says Chung, who mastered her sword-wielding skills on ABC Family's Samurai Girl. "If you compare the size and length of my sword to his hook, who do you think has the longer reach?" [SOURCE]


Girl, you look ready to fall over...
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You know what they say in Hollywood. That your movie is only as good as your villain. Well, one of the main reasons that Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” was so highly praised (Richard Corliss of “Time” Magazine flat-out called Disney’s return to hand-drawn animation “… the best film of the year”) and is such an entertaining motion picture is Bruce W. Smith’s ground-breaking work with that animated feature’s villain, Dr. Facilier.

Of course, it’s easy to understand why Ron Clements & John Musker were anxious to have Bruce come work on this production. Given that he’d been a supervising animator on “Tarzan,” “The Emperor's New Groove” and “Home on the Range,” Smith was already familiar with the ways things worked at the Mouse House. He’d also proven in the past that he could handle the pressures of working on a full-length animated feature.


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Pixar's "Toy Story 3" is the highest-grossing movie of all time in Mexico, where the animated adventure tale of children's toys Woody and Buzz Lightyear collected $59 million at the box office in 2010, more than megahits like "Avatar" and the "Harry Potter" finale.

The follow-up from "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson is also likely to have strong appeal with Mexican audiences -- and to boast more authentically Latino characters than a Spanish-speaking Buzz Lightyear doll.


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Dr. Joshua Sweet, one of the heroes of Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, is a heroic member of the team searching for the undersea world of Atlantis. And he's the first black character in the history of Disney animated feature films. That may surprise you. After all, you may remember Eddie Murphy's routines in Mulan, Samuel E. Wright's rendition of Under the Sea in the Little Mermaid, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox in Song of the South or the crows in Dumbo. But none of those characters were human. "It has taken a ridiculously long time," says Atlantis director Kirk Wise.


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By Andy Seiler, USA TODAY
Contributing: Susan Wloszczyna
06/13/2001 - Updated 09:20 AM ET

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