This Week on Disney+: News and Debut Round-up (Sep 11 – Sept 18, 2020)

After last week’s palooza of new content, including Live-Action Mulan (which we break down right here), this week on Disney+ is a bit lighter. But that only helps us catch up with all the new stuff, right?

However, Disney+ did share some juicy news. You’ll find this article is in two sections – Disney+ News, and This Week on Disney+.

Disney+ News

The Origins of Olaf are Revealed in the All-New Short, “Once Upon a Snowman”

Debuting October 23 – What happened to Olaf within the moments after Elsa created him as she was “letting it go” and building her ice palace, and when Anna and Kristoff first meet him in the forest? And how did Olaf learn to love Summer? The all-new Walt Disney Animation Studios animated short, Once Upon a Snowman, follows Olaf’s first steps as he comes to life and searches for his identity in the snowy mountains outside Arendelle. Once Upon a Snowman is directed by Trent Correy (animation supervisor, “Olaf” in Frozen 2) and Dan Abraham (veteran story artist who boarded Olaf’s “When I Am Older” musical sequence in Frozen 2) and produced by Nicole Hearon (associate producer “Frozen 2” and “Moana”) with Peter Del Vecho (producer, “Frozen 2,” “Frozen” and the upcoming “Raya and the Last Dragon”). Olaf is voiced by the incomparable and award-winning actor Josh Gad. 

“This is an idea that started to form when I was an animator on the first Frozen,” said director Trent Correy.”  “Dan Abraham and I are so grateful and excited to have had the opportunity to direct this short, working with our incredible colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios.”

“Josh Gad gives one of the great animated voice performances as Olaf through the ‘Frozen’ films,” said director Dan Abraham. “To have the opportunity to work with him in the recording booth was such a privilege and career highlight.”

Official Trailer: “The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom”

Original Series Premiering September 25 – Disney+’s “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” produced by National Geographic and narrated by the award-winning, fan-favorite Josh Gad, gives viewers a backstage pass to explore the magic of nature within Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT. Each of the eight episodes dives into the details, unveiling the multifaceted aspects of animal care, conservation and Disney Imagineering and showcases the parks’ magnificent array of more than 300 species and 5,000-plus animals and the herculean tasks their animal care experts undertake to keep things running day and night.

The Doctor is In – Disney+ Orders “Doogie Kameāloha, M.D”

New Original Series Premiering in 2021 – On Sept 10th Disney+ announced that a new doctor is coming to the streaming service in 2021.  “Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.” (working title), a re-imagining of the popular ABC series “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” has been picked up to series and is scheduled to go into production later this year.  Kourtney Kang (“Fresh Off the Boat,” “How I Met Your Mother”) is set to write and executive produce for 20th Television.

Set in modern-day Hawaii, the 10-episode comedy follows Lahela “Doogie” Kameāloha, a mixed race 16-year-old girl, juggling a budding medical career and life as a teenager. Guiding Lahela (and also complicating things) is her family, including her spit-fire Irish mother who’s also her supervisor at the hospital, and her Hawaiian “Local Boy” father struggling to accept that his daughter is no longer his little girl. 

“Thirty years ago, a young medical prodigy took the world by storm and left a lasting impact on pop culture,” said Ricky Strauss, president, Content and Marketing, Disney+. “Kourtney and the team at 20th Television have created a very modern take on this beloved property which will resonate with our global Disney+ audience. We can’t wait to introduce the world to the new Doogie!”

“Doogie, Howser MD” is beloved by everyone at our studio, so we knew that if we were going to reinvent it for a new generation, we had to have both the blessing and participation of the Bochcos and a creator with a fresh, new take that made us lean in,” commented Carolyn Cassidy, president, 20th Television. “Kourtney’s vision for the character is so inspired, we’ve been dying to collaborate with Melvin and Jake again, and Disney+ is exactly the right home for this idea. We couldn’t be more excited.” 

Running for four seasons on ABC from 1989 to 1993, “Doogie Howser, M.D.” starred Neil Patrick Harris as the now iconic doctor. The hit series catapulted Harris into television stardom and made the term “Doogie Howser” synonymous with kid geniuses.  

“Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.” is written and executive produced by Kourtney Kang and produced by 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios.  Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar will executive produce and Dayna and Jesse Bochco will produce the half-hour comedy series.


This Week on Disney+ – Friday, September 11

This Week on Disney+, look for Christopher Robin! If you missed out when this film was in theaters, or if you haven’t watched it since August of 2019, now you can enjoy this film from the comfort of your home.

Christopher Robin (2018)

Weird But True – Episode 305 “Photography”
This year Carly and Charlie’s work is the main attraction at an art gala! This year’s gala focuses on photography, but the duo is not as skilled in this artform. They head to Berkeley to learn from one of the best – National Geographic photographer Anand Varma! Their idea to combine paper art with photography makes their creation the hit of the show!

One Day At Disney – Episode 104 – “Amanda Lauder: Chef Chocolatier”
Fulfilling a childhood dream, Amanda Lauder is the Chef Chocolatier for The Ganachery at Disney Springs. For Amanda, it’s a daily goal to create a delicious dessert that is both a tasty treat and a memorable experience for each guest. S’mores, ganache squares and chocolate lollipops are all on the menu as Amanda takes us into The Ganachery’s bustling kitchen. 


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