‘Walt & El Grupo’ Debuts in Theaters on September 11th with Limited Engagements in L.A. and N.Y.

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Walt & El GrupoLOS ANGELES, July 15  — Acclaimed documentary WALT & EL GRUPO, a festival favorite in Rome, Rio, San Francisco, Palm Springs and Seattle, is set to begin its theatrical run with limited releases in Los Angeles and New York on September 11, 2009. The film, from writer/director Theodore Thomas (“Frank and Ollie”) and producer Kuniko Okubo, is also scheduled to run for a week in Seattle starting September 25th and will debut in additional markets soon after.

In New York, the film will open at the Quad Cinema. In Los Angeles, the film will release on two screens, at the Landmark’s Regent Theater in Westwood and the AMC Downtown Disney 12 in Anaheim. For more information on the film, check out the official website at www.waltandelgrupo.com, become a fan on Facebook, or follow the film on Twitter.

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Humana Announces Winners of ‘G-Force’ Premiere Contest

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Three active kids are heading to Hollywood to join stars from “G-FORCE” on the red carpet. Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), a leading health-benefits company, today announced the winners of its “Operation Planet Savers” game, the latest in a series of games developed by Humana’s Games for Health team.

Winners of the “Operation Planet Savers” game will attend the red carpet premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “G-FORCE” movie on July 19 in Hollywood. Winners were chosen through a random drawing of those who played the game since it started on June 1. ”Operation Planet Savers” is part of a unique collaboration with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and is designed to impact children’s health in a fun and innovative way.

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Report: Miley Cyrus to Become Newest Disney Fairy

Variety is reporting that Disney has acquired the film rights to Aprilynne Pike’s debut novel  and New York Times Best Seller, Wings, as a starring vehicle for Miley Cyrus. The tween supernatural-slash-romance novel is set to be the first of a series of four (Pike has announced she’s currently working on the sequel, Spells) and centers around a fifteen year old named Laurel who gets more than she bargains for when she enters the public school system for the first time.

Cyrus is currently working on the Nicholas Spark project, The Last Song and a new season of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana.

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‘Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie’ Premieres August 28; Special Programming Beginning August 24

Manhattan’s magical wizard siblings Alex, Justin and Max Russo accompany their parents on a Caribbean vacation where Alex’s inadvertent magic spell makes it so her parents have never met. When they learn the only thing that will reverse the spell is the magical Stone of Dreams, they embark on a quest through the jungle to find it, with time running out to save their family, in “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie,” an adventure comedy complete with over 350 special effects, premiering FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) as part of the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise.

Filmed in San Juan Puerto Rico, the movie stars Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera and David DeLuise in the roles they made popular in the hit series “Wizards of Waverly Place.”

In anticipation of the movie, www.DisneyChannel.com will present an exciting two-part game, “Journey to the Cave of Darkness” and “Quest for the Stone of Dreams.” Users can also upload their own photo to become part of the Russo family vacation snapshot, as well as explore and collect hidden objects and unlock bonus behind-the-scenes footage from the movie.

In the week leading up to the movie premiere, Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin and Jennifer Stone will introduce their favorite “Wizards of Waverly Place” episodes in a “Wand Picked Wizards” programming event. All 16 episodes will air Friday, August 28. The premiere schedule follows. All times ET/PT: (more…)

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Walt Disney Studios and Disney Parks Team Up at National Association of Black Journalists Convention; Tiana to Make In-Person Debut

WASHINGTON, July 10  — Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are combining forces at this year’s National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Annual Convention and Career Fair to present an exciting lineup of entertainment, including a sneak preview of special footage from Walt Disney Pictures’ animated comedy adventure, “The Princess and the Frog,” and the debut of Disney’s newest princess, Tiana, voiced by Tony Award(R) winning-actress Anika Noni Rose.

Rose will also perform a song from “The Princess and the Frog.” The performance and the sneak peek of select footage from the upcoming film are part of the NABJ Convention’s “NABJ Presents” event on Thursday, Aug. 6 at the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel and Marina.

“Disney’s magic is in full-force again this year and we are especially thrilled they have chosen the NABJ Convention to highlight ‘The Princess and the Frog,'” said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. “We are also proud of Disney’s involvement in the African-American community through multiple initiatives including Disney’s Dreamers Academy. And we are pleased that convention attendees are offered the opportunity to experience the theme parks of Walt Disney World Resort first-hand.”

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will unveil Princess Tiana live and in-person, just as she will appear to park guests, at the NABJ Convention — two months before her scheduled debut at Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Park in California.

“This is the first time anyone will see the new princess,” said Craig Dezern, vice president of Global Public Relations for Disney Destinations. “We’re excited for NABJ attendees to see first and first-hand our newest Disney princess.”

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Disney Channel to Begin Production on ‘Camp Rock 2 The Final Jam’ with Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers

Disney Channel will begin production later this summer on “Camp Rock 2 The Final Jam,” the sequel to the hit Disney Channel Original Movie “Camp Rock,” with Demi Lovato, Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas reprising their starring roles. Joining the cast are Matthew “Mdot” Finley and Chloe Bridges. Also returning to the sequel’s cast are Meaghan Martin, Alyson Stoner, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Roshon Fegan, Daniel Fathers and Maria Canals-Barrera. “Camp Rock 2 The Final Jam” is scheduled to premiere in 2010 on Disney Channel.

“Camp Rock has had tremendous success around the world – on television, on DVD and as a soundtrack” said Gary Marsh, President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide. “Our goal with this sequel is to raise the stakes and dig deeper into these wonderful characters and their musical journey.”

The movie will be directed by DGA Award-winning director Paul Hoen (Disney Channel’s “Jump In!” and “The Cheetah Girls One World”) and choreographed by Rosero McCoy (“Step Up”). The script was written by Dan Berendsen (Disney’s “Hannah Montana The Movie,” “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie” and “The Cheetah Girls One World”) and the writing team of Karin Gist (“One Tree Hill,” “Jump In!”) and Regina Hicks (“Girlfriends,” “Jump In!”).

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D23 to Show Never-Before-Exhibited Artifacts at Comic-Con International

D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans and the Walt Disney Archives are excited to share with San Diego Comic-Con attendees a few never-before-exhibited artifacts from their amazing collection of sci-fi, fantasy and adventure film costumes and props. The display will be open throughout the event, which runs this year from July 23 to July 26.

The costume worn by Bill Campbell as Cliff Secord in The Rocketeer.

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At Comic-Con, Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter Lead Animation Panel While Walt Disney Studios Holds First Ever 3D Panel

BURBANK, Calif. — Animation greats Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter and directors Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton will take part in their first ever Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center July 23-24. The filmmakers will be on hand to help Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures showcase a wide-ranging roster of upcoming films, including 3D juggernauts ALICE IN WONDERLAND, TRON and DISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and animated gems THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PONYO and the TOY STORY trilogy.

Zemeckis, Burton, Miyazaki and Lasseter will take part in industry panels.

* COMIC-CON’S FIRST EVER 3D PANEL — Veteran directors Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton join TRON producers Sean Bailey and Steve Lisberger on Thurs., July 23 at 11 a.m. for an unprecedented presentation featuring behind-the-scenes filmmaker insights about the highly anticipated 3D adventures DISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and TRON. In addition to Q&A opportunities with each of the filmmakers, the 90-minute panel will feature never-before-seen concept art, trailers, actual 3D film footage and other Comic-Con-only footage debuts. In a groundbreaking technical feat, this is the first time ever that 3D footage will be shown at Comic-Con. Patton Oswalt will moderate.

* ANIMATION PANEL — Animation legends Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter join veteran animation directors Lee Unkrich, Kirk Wise, Ron Clements and John Musker on Fri., July 24 at 12:45 p.m. for an animation panel which will highlight upcoming animated films, including Disney•Pixar’s TOY STORY/TOY STORY 2 double feature, Disney•Pixar’s TOY STORY 3, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ half-hour holiday TV special PREP & LANDING, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and Miyazaki’s PONYO. John Lasseter will host the panel and Patton Oswalt will moderate a group Q&A following the presentation, which will include filmmaker insights, trailers and select film sequences. (more…)

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Reese Witherspoon Presents ‘Legally Blondes’ on ABC Family August 2

ABC Family will present the television premiere of the third installment of the “Legally Blonde” franchise, “Legally Blondes,” on Sunday, August 2 (8:00PM – 10:00PM ET/PT). In this newest chapter of the popular franchise, Reese Witherspoon, as producer, passes the blonde-baton to British twin sisters Becky and Milly Rosso, who expertly carry on the “Legally Blonde” legacy as Elle’s cousins, Izzy and Annie Woods. The Rosso twins are most recognizable as Disney Channel stars from “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” Leading into the premiere of “Legally Blondes” will be the first two installments with “Legally Blonde” airing at 4:00PM ET/PT, and “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde” airing at 6:00PM ET/PT.

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Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato’s Princess Protection Program, Watched by 28.1 Million, Now on DVD

Princess Protection ProgramBURBANK, Calif., June 30 — Last week Disney Channel’s PRINCESS PROTECTION PROGRAM was crowned royalty as TV’s number one entertainment telecast of 2009 in Kids 6-11 (3.1 million) and Tweens 9-14 (3.2 million) and as cable’s most watched scripted telecast (viewers) when the exciting adventure/comedy debuted. Since its premiere in EMEA in May ’09, and now the U.S. and Canada, Disney’s “Princess Protection Program” has reached 28.1 million unique Total Viewers around the world, including 3.7 million Kids 6-11 and 3.5 million Tweens 9-14 for the June 26th premiere.

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