Entertainment

Latinas Are Getting Nostalgic on Twitter After Seeing that Disney+ is Streaming ‘Gotta Kick it Up’

It is possible that Disney has, yet again, out-done itself. On Tuesday, Disney finally launched its much-anticipated streaming service Disney+, the subscription-based platform that is set to release over 600 titles to their customers for $6.99 a month. The buzz around this service has long been building, with people expressing their excitement at the release of their long-forgotten childhood favorites since Disney+’s Twitter account tweeted out all of the titles that would become available on its launch.

For nostalgic millennials who grew up watching Disney Channel Original Movies, the premiere of this service has been nothing short of life-changing. People are taking to their social media feeds to express their excitement over forgotten favorites like “Smart House”, “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century”, and “Don’t Look Under the Bed”. But the movie that Latinas are most excited about re-watching? “Gotta Kick It Up”. 

For those of you who need a refresher, “Gotta Kick it Up” was a 2002 Disney Channel original movie that starred America Ferrera.

The movie follows a group of middle school girls who are trying to form a dance team in Los Angeles in the face of budget cuts. Scrambling for a coach, the girls turn to their biology teacher, Ms. Bartlett, to whip them into shape. Like any underdog tale, the aspiring dance team starts off as a mess, but with a lot of hard work, the girls soon start to believe in themselves. Through the course of the movie, the girls learn how to put their differences aside and work together to eventually qualify for nationals. 

The Disney Channel movie was notable for not only having a primarily Latinx cast (which is a rarity even today), but for featuring baby-faced versions of successful Latina actresses like America Ferrera and Camille Guaty. Not only that, but the movie’s climax featured a rad dance scene that little girls everywhere tried to imitate in their living rooms (seriously–look it up).

“Gotta Kick It Up” was groundbreaking for its depiction of Latinx life that wasn’t centered on harmful stereotypes or cliche stories.

The movie was written by Meghan Cole, and was based on her experience as a Teach for America teacher at Nimitz Middle School in Huntington Park, Los Angeles. The decision to make these Latina students normal teens was a deliberate choice, according to Cole. “I wanted to have a Latino movie, with Latino kids doing great things,” she told The New York Times. “Not being stereotypical kids creating havoc”. Cole also expressed her desire for the movie to “portray positive teenage Latino role models and stress the importance of after-school programs”. 

But arguably “Gotta Kick It Up”‘s greatest legacy was teaching a legion of youngsters the phrase “Sí, se puede!” as well as the history behind it. At one point during the movie, the girls are doubting themselves and their chances of winning the upcoming dance competition. In response, Daisy, the movie’s protagonist, tells the girls a brief history of her grandmother’s involvement in the Chicano movement and tells them about how Cesar Chavez’s rallying cry “Sí, se puede!” served to strengthen and unify the Mexican-American community. Throughout the movie, the girls repeat the phrase whenever they’re happy, doubtful, or scared. 

Of course, Latinas on Twitter are not hesitating to shout from the rooftops the the return of “Gotta Kick It Up” to our TV screens.

It’s always exciting to be reminded of something that was so integral to your childhood that you may have forgotten about. The fact that Latinas can watch this movie again, as well as share it with a younger generation, is worth celebrating.

This Latina gave the entire Twitterverse a very informative PSA about Disney+’s movie catalog: 

https://twitter.com/_hadaaa/status/1194345273138597888?s=20

Not all heroes wear capes.

This person had very specific requirements for the conditions under which they’d pull out their wallet for yet ANOTHER streaming service:

Honestly, the service could cost $50 a month and we would shell out the money for a chance to be able to watch this cinematic masterpiece on repeat.

This person knows that his money is being spent on only the most important things in life:

Sometimes, you’ve got to be honest with yourself and decide what your priorities are in life. And sometimes, those priorities are binge-watching Disney Channel Original Movies all day.

This Latina became emotional about the impact that “Gotta Kick It Up” had on her when she was younger:

Yet somehow, it’s frustrating to know that not that much project has been made for Latinx representation in the media almost 15 years later.

Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ Is Getting A New Elsa And Ciara Renée Will Be Playing The Beloved Character

Entertainment

Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ Is Getting A New Elsa And Ciara Renée Will Be Playing The Beloved Character

ciararenee8 / Instagram

What do Idina Menzel, Caissie Levy, and Caroline Bowman have in common? They’re all Broadway actresses that have portrayed Elsa from “Frozen.” They also happen to be all white. Well, that’s all about to change!

Afro-Latina actress Ciara Renée will be playing the role of Elsa in “Frozen” on Broadway.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

Frozen made its Broadway debut in 2018 and was played by Caissie Levy. Idina Menzel was the voice of Elsa in the animated film. Now, an Afro-Latina has scored the coveted role. 

Renée will be playing Elsa, and McKenzie Kurtz will be making her Broadway debut as Anna. Renée and McKenzie will take over the roles. Caissie Levy and Patti Murin end their run as Elsa and Anna respectively on Feb. 16. Renée was previously in the Broadway show “Big Fish” as the Witch as well as “Pippin.”

“Here it is! It’s official! I’m joining the cast of @frozenbroadway as Elsa alongside this bright new star, @mckenziekurtz! And I am incredibly grateful! This is an opportunity to expand minds, open hearts, and empower folks with the power of LOVE! I can’t wait to get started!”

While we’re still getting to know the 29-year-old, we are learning so much about this extraordinary actress who is pretty amazing at showing her biggest supporters lots of love in return.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

Renée, who is half Black and half Puerto Rican, thanked her friends, family, and supporters by giving them exact instructions on what to do when they come to see her show on Broadway. 

“I just want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for all the support and love I received yesterday. It was honestly overwhelming. Thank you, thank you,” Renée said in a video on her Insta-story. “I am so thrilled to be playing Elsa.” 

“But I wanted to set down some ground rules about people coming to see the show,” she said. “I am always so grateful when people come to see the show, people I know, people I don’t. But it isn’t my favorite thing to know when you’re coming. So, if you’re someone I know well, and we have each other’s phone number and you live in New York City, please do not tell me when you’re coming. Please come and text me at intermission or at the end of the show, which is preferred, and I will make sure to put your name on the list. I will check it right after the show.”

She also gave instructions to those she doesn’t know all that well. “If we don’t know each other well or talk super often or you’re from out of town, please do let me know when you’re coming because I want to make sure that I get to see you. For everybody else, I will 100 percent do my very best to Stage Door [where actors meet fans after the show as they exit the theater] as much as humanly possible. I know people come from all over the world to see Broadway and I want to be there as much as I can. If I am not there, please know it’s for a reason. I may not be feeling well, or something is pulling me away, I don’t know what it is, but I will always do my best to Stage Door because I love meeting you all and I am so honored that you would come to see our shows.”

We just love how precise and in control she is about meeting friends and fans. That kind of gratitude will definitely take her far in Broadway and Hollywood. 

Aside from her work on the stage, Renée has also appeared in several television shows.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native and 2013 graduate of Baldwin Wallace University has appeared in Facebook Watch’s series “Strangers,” Netflix’s “Master of None,” CBS’s “Big Bang Theory,” and on the CW’s superhero series “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Arrow,” and “Flash.”

If you haven’t heard Renée’s stellar voice, here’s a clip of the actress singing Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold.”

Congrats on this new role, Ciara! We can’t wait to see her show on Broadway! Will you be going?

READ: The New Cinderella Remake Tapped Camila Cabello To Play The Princess And Billy Porter To Be The Fabulous Godmother

Critics Are Left Scratching Their Heads After the Academy Failed to Nominate JLo For Her Role in “Hustlers”

Entertainment

Critics Are Left Scratching Their Heads After the Academy Failed to Nominate JLo For Her Role in “Hustlers”

STXfilms

The Academy may not think Jennifer Lopez is worthy of an Oscar, but she’ll always be the winner in our hearts. On Wednesday morning, the 92nd annual Academy Awards were announced, leaving fans breathless as they waited to hear the name of Jennifer Lopez called among the nominees for “Best Supporting Actress”. Unfortunately, fans were left disappointed (and some furious) as the Puerto-Rican triple-threat was shut-out from the list of names.

Entering Oscar season, a Lopez nomination for her role in “Hustlers” was considered a sure-thing. Since the movie’s release, critics praised Lopez for her star-turn as savvy and maternal stripper Ramona in the heist drama. “Whether shaking her booty for braying patrons, philosophizing cynically about the American way or letting tenderness seep through her money-mad veneer, Lopez’s Ramona exudes power,” said NPR critic John Powers. “She’s the sun around which…the whole movie orbits.”

Not only did critics anticipate Lopez receiving a nomination, many were even expecting her to all-out win in the competitive category.

2019 was Lopez’s year to truly shine. Not only had she re-established herself as a force to be reckoned with as a serious actress, she also cemented her status as a global icon with her announcement as the co-headliner for the 2020 Superbowl, along with fellow Latina, Shakira. Not only that, she also got engaged to long-time boyfriend Alex Rodriguez in 2019, and announced that she was the face of Versace’s 2020 campaign in January. Lopez had never been more on top of the world.

There is much speculation swirling in Hollywood circles as they try to piece together why Lopez was so blatantly snubbed from the much-deserved recognition. Critics are theorizing that “Hustlers” as an Oscar film was too flashy and sexy to be taken seriously. Others are saying that Lopez’s celebrity status prevented her peers from recognizing her theatrical talent. And of course, there is a vocal contingent saying the Academy snubbed Lopez because she is a woman of color. 

To make matters worse, Lopez wasn’t the only person to be marginalized in the historically white male-dominated playing field. Female directors were completely shut-out from the race as well.

And although there were more female directors in 2019 than ever before, the Academy still refused to reconigze all the good work they are doing. Female directors like Greta Gerwig and Marielle Heller (for “Little Women” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, respectively) were lauded for their directorial prowess, but were nonetheless passed over in favor of old favorites like Martin Scorcsese (“The Irishman”) and Quentin Taratino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”). 

Throughout the awards season, Hollywood executives complained of low-attendance for female-directed movies as well as ones starring people of color (notable examples being “Queen and Slim” and “Little Women”). ”I don’t think that [men] came to the [‘Little Women”] screenings in droves, let me put it that way,” “Little Women” producer Amy Pascal recently told Vanity Fair about her critically-acclaimed film. “And I’m not sure when they got their [screener] DVDs that they watched them.”

Critics are taking the snubs as further proof that The Oscars are not only #sowhite, but also so male.

Although Hollywood insiders recognize the fact that a movie’s worth doesn’t come from arbitrary awards, they also insist that Oscar nominations are symbolic of the prevailing and unconscious biases of the Hollywood establishment. In other words, Hollywood has a diversity problem that transcends the scope of the Oscars. 

But if there is any consolation for the widespread disappointment that fans and critics alike are experiencing after the Oscar nominations, it’s that the backlash to the nominees might stir real actions on the part of Hollywood insiders. It’s hard to talk about wanting change for so long without committing to doing it yourself. 

Naturally, Twitter users had some strong opinions about this year’s Oscar nominations. 

If there’s one place on the internet where people go to vent their frustration loudly and publicly, it’s Twitter. 

Of course, the “I don’t know her” jokes were frequent and plenty.

Sadly, this GIF works too well. We actually think that the entire history of this meme was leading up to this moment.

This person pointed out how the only person of color nominated was for playing a slave. As usual.

FACTS. Yes, we love Cynthia Erivo, but there’s more to the black experience than being a slave.

People were revealing the many ways they were paying tribute to their queen.

Honestly, this one is bigger honor than any stupid award can provide.

This person called out the Academy for the obvious discrimination against people of color.

Coincidence? I think not.