Greta Van Fleet Guitarist Jake Kiszka Talks About the Bands New EP “From the Fires”

Greta Van Fleet burst onto the rock music scene in early 2017 with their debut EP titled “Black Smoke Rising”. By September the track “Highway Tune” was topping the Billboard charts. To capitalize on this momentum the band has released a second EP titled “From the Fires”. Media Mikes had the chance recently to speak with the bands guitarist Jake Kiszka about the bands new EP, their recent tour with Halestorm and the bands plans for 2018.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some back ground on Greta Van Fleet and possibly tell us some of your influences?

Jake Kiszka: With Josh, Sam and I being brothers our influences are very similar. We were exposed to music at a very early age. I remember going on trips and listening to bands like The Allman Brothers. We had access to the same vinyl collection so I think that had a lot to do with what we are doing now. Danny also was in to a lot of the same music. Around the time I got into high school I started bringing friends over to jam and eventually Josh would start coming out and singing then a little later Sam started coming out and playing bass. A short time after all that happened Danny started coming over and was basically the last piece of the puzzle.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands new double EP “From the Fires”?

JK: We had put out “Black Smoke Rising” and we still had a bunch of songs that we had either written or recorded so to showcase some other elements of our playing we dipped into those songs. We also wanted to cover some material from a one of our influences Sam Cooke. We had those songs and some live tracks that we picked from for this release.

AL: How does your work on this release compare to that of your debut EP?

JK: The first EP was a spread of songs we had written over the course of five years. “Highway Tune” was actually the first song we had ever written followed by “Safari Song” about a year later. “Flower Power” was another song that was written about two years into the group’s existence and “Black Smoke Rising” was written right before we were set to go in to the studio and record.

AL: What type of process does the band have for song writing?

JK: We write in a lot of different ways. A lot of times one of us will bring something to the table and then we all decide if it is something we want to work on. That’s when the four of us really start to contribute to making one piece of music. We all bring things in to the writing process so it tends to vary.

AL: You guys just wrapped up a tour with Halestorm. Can you tell us about that experience?

JK: It was fantastic! Seeing people singing our songs and just rocking out was really great. I don’t think that was something any of us really expected as our sound is a bit different. The whole experience of that night after night was shocking and humbling.

AL: You guys have a string of sold out shows lined up through December. Can you tell us your thoughts on that?

JK: That’s another thing that was not expected. We really didn’t figure all those shows would sell out so quickly. It’s going to be a great thing that takes us right up until the holidays and then after that we plan to head into the studio in January to record our first full length album.

AL: What can we be expecting from that new album?

JK: The album will probably be another spread of both newer and older material that we have written at different points in time. We hope to have the album done early to mid 2018. With everything that has happened for us this past year we have gained some resources that will help us take things further with this new album. We will be looking to hit bigger venues and festivals as well as hitting some new countries also.

DVD Review “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book!”

Starring: Sean Ryan Fox, Madison Pettis, Jadon Sand, David Arquette, Corey Burton
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2015
Run Time: 141 minutes

Episodes: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Disney Junior’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” continues to impress time after time. The show is great and then a few years ago, they introduced Peter Pan into the mix, which made it cooler. Now they have mixed in classic characters like Wendy, Michael and John to complete circle in the all-new special “Battle for the Book!”. This is literally the best episode of the series since it has aired. It is funny, sharp and very entertaining. I am not sure how they are going to top this next time but I can’t wait to see what they have planned next for this show…oh and BTW my two year old loved it also 😉

Official Premise: When Wendy’s special Storybook is stolen by Captain Hook, Jake and his mates go to London to help Peter Pan’s friend (from the classic movie Peter Pan). The longer the book is out of Wendy’s hands, the more she and her brothers (John and Michael) forget about their past adventures on Never Land. The battle for the book continues in Never Land, where Hook plans to destroy the book and its stories in the legendary Ring of Blue Fire. It’s up to our young heroes to save Wendy’s Storybook and the Story of Peter Pan!

“Jake and the Never Land Pirates” includes the following voice cast: Sean Ryan Fox (“Life Tracker”, “East of Kensington”) as Jake, Madison Pettis (“Cory in the House”, “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and 3”, “The Game Plan”) as Izzy, Jadon Sand (“Frozen”, “Wreck it Ralph”) as Cubby, David Arquette (“Scream” movies) as Skully, Jeff Bennett (“Tinker Bell” film series) as Mr. Smee, Bonesand Corey Burton (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”) as Captain Hook.

If the hour-long season three finale of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” is not enough for you there is still much more packed into this DVD. In terms of special features we get ten “Jake’s Never Land Pirate School” shorts. The shorts are “Flying”, “Tick Tock Croc”, “B-B-Big Bugs!”, “Go Bucky!”, “Saving Captain Hook!”, “Mama knows Best!”, “Dancing with the Pirates”, “I’ve Got My Sword!”, “Hop-Hop-Hop!”, and “Look Out!”. These are great watchings for the for kiddies to enjoy. Also includes inside every DVD is an exclusive checker board bandanna with gold coins, which is not available anywhere else but this DVD release. So if you love “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”, this is a must own!

Book Review “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Winter Never Land”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Board book: 12 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 16, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Like their last board book, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Sailing the Never Sea”, this latest book from the hit Disney Junior series, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Winter Never Land” is shaped like a Christmas tree and is a great way to get into the holiday mood. Even though this book is coming out in September, I welcome the holiday season with open arms. The story is fun and this sums up another great addition in the “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” series.

Official Premise: This holiday board book is sure to get every pirate into the Christmas spirit! Never Land has become a Winter Wonderland! The night before Winter Treasure Day, Peter Pan leaves gifts and the Forever Green Tree on the beach for his favorite pirate crew. But before Jake, Izzy, and Cubby can celebrate together, Captain Hook steals the holiday treasures-even the tree! In their quest to reclaim their treasure, Jake and the crew realize that friendship is more valuable than any gift.

Virginia Madsen talks about her new film “Jake Squared”

Virginia Madsen is known for her Academy Award nominated role in the film “Sideways”. Sci-Fi/Horror fans will know her from her roles in “Candyman”, “The Prophecy” and “Dune”. Her latest film is called “Jake Squared” and co-stars Elias Koteas and Mike Vogel.  The film will be released on August 15th in theaters in the U.S. and will also be available on VOD (iTunes, Hulu, Amazon, etc.) Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Virginia about the film and what she has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did it come about for you to get a role in “Jake Squared”?
Virginia Madsen: The director Howard and I have known each other since the 80’s. Our kids went to school together and they are in college [laughs]. So it was irresistible since we were finally able to all work together and it was great.

MG: What did you enjoy most about working on the film?
VM: I loved the story of our longtime friendship. Elias is one of the greatest actors in the world. We’ve worked together before – this was a chance for us to move our real life on screen. More difficult than doing it where your screaming and crying. We were longtime friends who always had a little vibe but we’ve never kissed before [laughs]. Elias is like my brother but he’s also really sexy and a great guy. So we asked Howard if we could not rehearse and we wanted the camera we had to catch that kiss, which would actually be our first kiss in all these years. I have to tell you it was really good [laughs]. I was very silly and giggly, it was very silly right before we went. We were going in for the kiss and it was really hard not to laugh. It was really weird “you’re my friend – but you’re also very hot” so you know and it was like I was kind of like we kissed for a lot longer than we needed to.

MG: I really enjoyed this film and I agree Elias was amazing.
VM: So glad you got to experience it. I think it can appeal to a wide audience but it is a wonderful indie film that has something for everyone. I also love that it’s going to be available everywhere. There was a time that if u did a indie film and you didn’t get that big release, your movie would disappear. It might show up in an old Blockbuster. Now it’s a whole different world for independent movies. Our film can now be seen worldwide in online.

MG: I also liked how the film switch from narrative to documentary style.
VM: Yes, I really liked that because we’re just telling a story. That’s what we do we are story tellers, it was interesting to be able to speak directly to the audience and fill them in on whats going on. Really interesting device that he used, worked really well in the film.

MG: You have worked in many genres including drama, horror, sci-fi; which do you enjoy the most out of all those?
VM: Depends on the material, I like working on good films. But I do love the fantasy/horror/sci-fi genre because that’s like make believe – like when you dress up for Halloween. You feel like a little kid when your making a horror film and it’s really fun. It’s my passion, I’m so blessed to be able to have employment when most actors are out of work. Internet has been very big for me recently as well. Hats off to Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti on “House of Cards” since that changed everything and has opened the door for so much work. I am always very grateful for them.

MG: Going forward, anything to talk about?
VM: Well I have a film called “The Wilderness of Jane” and another film called “Walter”. They are both wonderful indie film that have both been sold. Where, when…I don’t know yet. These independent movies explore relationships more than mainstream movies do and are highly creative. Not that I wouldn’t want to be in the studio rom-com machine, I mean I love to make that kind of money, I love to be in a position where if u put me in a film you can get financing. All those guys have stacks and stacks of scripts and there’s just a handful of them. Amazing when someone like Howard writes like this film and can go out and get the money and due to that we get to all play in the sandbox. I am trying to finance things and it’s really hard because of where the films can go.

Book Review “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Sailing the Never Sea”

Author: Marcy Kelman
Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Jake and the Never Land Pirates
Board book: 12 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: July 1, 2014

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”, our family can never get enough! AHOY!!! Thankfully Disney is keeping up with our appetite with great new releases. “Sailing the Never Sea” is the latest book, which is such fun for kids and adults and I also love the way it is shaped. It may be something so simple as a design that just makes a book so much more enjoyable and this a must have for all families.

Official Premise: It’s anchors away when that sneaky snook Captain Hook nabs Bucky’s brand new golden anchor. Jake and the crew will need some help from some finned friends to get the anchor back in a quest that takes them across the high seas.

Disney has really scored with this series and with each new book, there is just endless possibilities for this show to go. This book has become a must read for my two year old and has traveling from our car to her bedroom for nightly reading. We have actually even gotten to the point that our daughter is reading the words as we are saying it, that’s right two years old. I have to give credit to Disney for their constant supply of excellent books. Can’t wait to see what is next in the cards for this series!

Win a Blu-ray for Jake Gyllenhaal’s “Enemy” [ENDED]

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of Jake Gyllenhaal latest film “Enemy”, Media Mikes is excited one (1) copy of the Blu-ray to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Jake Gyllenhaal film. This giveaway will remain open until July 4th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email

Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal) is a glum professor who has grown disinterested by his ordinary life. When Adam discovers a man who appears to be his double, the identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely and hauntingly intertwined. Gyllenhaal is transfixing playing both roles, journeying through a world both familiar and strange. The film’s final and unnerving image will not be soon forgotten by audiences. In the end, only one man can survive.

Book Review “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Cubby’s Mixed-Up Map”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Jake and the Never Land Pirates
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: May 20, 2014

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Climb aboard, Me Hearties, and be a pirate true…Yo ho lets go!” I do not think there is a day that goes by that myself, my wife or my daughter sings the theme song to “”Jake and the Never Land Pirates”. This show and it’s music are tons of fun. This latest book “Cubby’s Mixed-Up Map” is another cute story for fans of the show.

Here is official premise for the book: Cubby and his mateys are on a hunt for the Golden Dinghy, but Captain Hook steals the map to reach the treasure first! With only his memory and a crayon, can map master Cubby re-draw the treasure map and beat Captain Hook to the Golden Dinghy?

This swashbuckling storybook following the adventures of Jake and his crew also includes two sheets of stickers for even more pirate fun. Right away after finishing this book, daddy had about five stickers all over his shirt, so this was a nice bonus for sure.

Adventure Time’s Jake vs Finn Mimobot Designer USB Flash Drive Giveaway [ENDED]

Media Mikes is teaming up with Mimoco to bring you the ultimate MIMOBOT giveaway. What time is it “Adventure Time” fans? Media Mikes wants to you decide who will win in a Jake vs Finn best quote battle. This is for hardcore fans of “Adventure Time” only. The best quote will be chosen and the person will be awarded either a Jake or Finn MIMOBOT Designer USB Flash Drive. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with either your favorite Jake or Finn quote. This giveaway will remain open until March 19th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Finn from Adventure Time is way more than just a little kid with a dog, a sword, and a hat, and Finn MIMOBOT is way more than another flash drive. Armed with his ‘awesome hat’, backpack and sword, there is no evil too scary for him to face, no adventure too big to be adventured, and for Finn MIMOBOT, no file too important. Oh yeah, and when you whip Finn MIMOBOT out, everyone will know that you are King Awesome.

Adventure Time’s Jake is not your average dog- he’s, well… stretchy. as in flexible. And he can talk, too. But he’s still loyal and loving and Jake MIMOBOT can be just as good a friend and just as flexible. Store a small file on Jake MIMOBOT. Go on, store a big file… whatever you want! He can hold up to 64GBs of your stuff, and he won’t complain. Jake MIMOBOT is there in a pinch and will proclaim to your friends and coworkers that yes, you love Adventure Time, and no, you will not let them down.

Also “Adventure Time” fans keep an eye out for the upcoming BMO BatteryBot that’s available for pre-order now, here. Who knows maybe this Summer we will be giving away one of these beauties as well, so stay tuned!

DVD Review “Adventure Time: Jake the Dad”

Starring: Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Hynden Walch, Niki Yang, Tom Kenny
Created by: Pendleton Ward
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Cartoon Network
DVD Release Date: September 17, 2013
Run Time: 176 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Adventure Time” is no question of my best…and also most bizarre shows on TV animated or not. When I first saw it a few years ago, I literally couldn’t get enough of it. The show is currently in its fifth season and it only keeps getting better and better…and also weirder and weirder but that is part of its charm. “Jake the Dad” is fifth and latest volume DVD release after “Jake vs. Me-Mow”. I loved this episode where Jake becomes a dad with Lady Rainicorn but that is not all since there are an additional 16 episodes included as well. The real draw for this release though has to be the Jake hat that comes with this DVD. In fact, since I received this my 18-month old daughter has refused to take it off. So I would call this a must own for an fan of “Adventure Time”.

This release includes sixteen episodes from the shows fourth and fifth seasons including: “Jake the Dad”, “Burning Low”, “Gotcha!”, “Sons of Mars”, “BMO Noire”, “The Hard Easy”, “I Remember You”, “All the Little People”, “Mystery Dungeon”, “All Your Fault”, “Five More Short Graybles”, “Vault of Bones”, “Simon & Marcy”, “Puhoy”, “One Last Job” and “BMO Lost”. Currently only the first and second seasons are available complete on Blu-ray with the third coming on February 25, 2014. So this DVD is a great way to own some of the best episodes from this show now and not have to wait for the complete seasons. If the Jake hat alone was a bonus enough for you there is also a character feature called “Little Did You Know”, which is a nice bonus extra if you are a fan of the show.  Can’t wait to see what Cartoon Network has planned next for this show cause I can’t get enough.

Book Review “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Mama Hook Knows Best”

Author: Sharon Osbourne
Illustrator: Disney Storybook Art Team
Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Jake and the Never Land Pirates
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 17, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If you have young kids then you know about the marvel of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”. This show can stop my daughter dead in her tracks (and she is fast). “Mama Hook Knows Best” features the character of Captain’s Hook mother voiced by Sharon Osbourne, who also in fact wrote this book. It is not Shakespeare for Osbourne but fans of the show will enjoy the expansion of this character. Mama Hook has been in two episodes already and even has her own spin-off short series, so expect much more from this character in this series!

Official Premise: Mama Hook reminisces about her great experiences sailing the Never Sea and the stories she told young James Hook when he was growing up. Written by Sharon Osbourne, the stories are reminiscent of familiar fables like “The Tortoise and the Hare,” set in Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ world of fun pirate playfulness and daring adventures.

From the minute, I gave this book to my 18 month old daughter she ran around the house screaming “Hook!”. In fact she not only loved the book but she also loved the audio CD version of the book, which is a nice bonus to include here. I have a feeling that we are going to be revisiting this book quite a bit over the next few months. The very talent Disney Storybook Art Team delivered this book full of great illustrations showing Mama Hook’s memories of when she sailed the Never Sea. Since the book is subtitled “A Pirate Parent’s Favorite Fables”, the stories included are exciting and also educational as well.  Overall, a must have a great gift for the upcoming holiday season!

DVD Review “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Never Land Rescue”

Starring: Cameron Boyce, Madison Pettis, Jonathan Morgan Heit, David Arquette, Corey Burton, Jeff Bennett
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: November 19, 2013
MPAA Rating: TV-Y
Run Time: 148 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When my 17 month old daughter hears that theme song to “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” she runs to the TV and stops whatever else she is doing. The show is so fun and also delivers some great messages for kids. “Jake’s Never Land Rescue” is such an epic feature length special episode. When I saw the trailer, I was blown away. Of course, anything with Peter Pan showing up in the show is always fun as well. Disney Junior has a gold mine here and I (and my daughter) can’t wait to see what they have planned next for this great series.

Official Premise: The fate of Never Land hangs in the balance as magical treasures are mysteriously vanishing: Jake’s sword, Izzy’s pixie dust – even the directions on Cubby’s map! To save the day, Jake goes on the “Forever Quest” to restore power to the source of Never Land’s magic, the legendary Forever Tree. Join him on a thrilling expedition inside an enchanted cave, under the sea, and all the way to the top of Mount Destiny! But Jake needs help from his trusty crew – and YOU – to succeed against all odds and outsmart Captain Hook. Awash with exciting surprises, unforgettable music, and eight more swashbuckling adventures, “Jake’s Never Land Rescue” will make you believe in the everlasting magic of true friendship.

This DVD contains four great bonus episodes from the Disney Junior series. “It’s a Pirate Picnic / The Key to Skull Rock” features when Hook digs up the crew’s picnic spot and the crew gets a key to a treasure. “The Golden Twilight Treasure / Rock The Croc!” follows the crew must rescue a firefly from Hook and a treasure map lands in Croc’s mouth. “Jake and Sneaky Le Beak / Cubby the Brave” follows a sneaky pirate that steals from Hook and the group finds a pair of boots makes Cubby brave. Lastly “Jake’s Special Delivery / Seahorse Saddle-Up!” follows a mysterious package that washes ashore and the crew participates in a seahorse race.

If the bonus episodes are not enough to complete this DVD also included there is a exclusive Destiny Sword and also some really cool Glow-in-the-Dark stickers. There are also eight additional “Playing with Skully” Cartoon Shorts. They are really fun and I am excited that they are available on DVD. This series is currently in its second season and Disney has recently ordered a third season, which is set to premiere on February 17, 2014. So there will be much more coming for this show in the near future!! Yo Ho Let’s go!

Loren Hoskins & Kevin Hendrickson talks about making music for Disney Junior's "Jake and the Never Land Pirates"

Loren Hoskins & Kevin Hendrickson are the musical duo responsible for the fun pirate rock on Disney Junior’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”. Besides the music, the duo are also characters in the show, Sharkey and Bones, Captain Hook’s henchmen. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with the Loren and Kevin about their work on the show.

Mike Gencarelli: You guys are no stranger to pirate-rock. How do you feel you have changed from Captain Bogg and Salty to The Never Land Pirate Band?
Loren Hoskins: We inherited a universe. It was one we knew fairly well with it being Never Land. We got to play all these iconic characters in a number of different situations. On top of that we got to really test the fabric of pirate rock. We were able to write song for a number of different shows. I feel like this has broadened our outlook a little bit and given us more toys to play with.
Kevin Hendrickson: I think it has also given us a lot more songs to write. We used to write about 10 songs a year but now I think we write about 10 times that amount. This is more of a full time job now.

MG: With music being a very integral part of the show do you ever feel any pressure related to writing the music?
LH: I don’t know about pressure but I suppose I do now that you brought it up [laughs]. What blew our minds when we got started with this is that we were just offered an opportunity to try and write a theme song. To have it snowball in to working on the underscore and a bunch of other little songs which then led to us being both animated and live action characters has been a real gift. I am probably more excited about things than anxious.
KH: I have a little bit different take as I do feel a certain amount of pressure but it’s exciting. The scripts and writers are really great so from the beginning I felt a lot of pressure to really up the game and write great songs. In a way it’s been a positive thing to be surrounded by such a great team.
LH: I agree with that. We were stepping in a new world as we had never done an underscore before. We had to learn a whole new vocabulary. We had to learn a new way to tell a story and we wanted to reward everyone’s faith in us.

MG: What would you say is your favorite song to perform with the group?
LH: We did a performance run at Walt Disney World that was 30 shows in 10 days. It was incredible. There were 700 people or more showing up to see us perform for each of the 3 shows. We closed each set with the song “Never Land Pirate Band”. The kids know that song very well. So to perform that live and see kids at their first rock concert jumping around and singing along is a great feeling.

MG: Loren, you voice Sharky as well as Sandy the Starfish; how do you feel about going from singing to voicing characters on the show?
LH: When I was a kid I didn’t want to be pirate when I grew up. I wanted to be Mel Blanc and be able to do all those amazing voices. So to do voices on the show is a total blessing for me. It is something I really love.

MG: What can we expect to see during season 3 of the show?
KH: There are going to be some fun spring themed episodes as well as one titled “Tiki Tree Luau”.
LH: That is going to be a great episode. These episodes are just so great as the characters are doing some really funny stuff. In one episode titled, “Captain Who?”, Captain Hook forgets who he is, which is just a great story line.

MG: Does it blow your mind how popular your character have become, even including puppet versions in “Disney Junior Live” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?
KH: Absolutely! Everyday is just stunning and it has yet to wear off. To hear our music in the parks and see it on television and then knowing that’s it’s going out all over the world is thrilling.
LH: When we got the chance to meet the puppeteers at Disney we were both equally excited to meet each other. It was really cool to be behind the scenes of a big Disney show.

MG: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job and entertaining children?
KH: Every time we get the opportunity to perform live in front of an audience and share our music is something that has really struck me. It’s a great privileged to be able to do that.

MG: Are there any plans to do more live shows in the parks?
LH: We haven’t heard anything yet. We never know as there is always some grand adventure being planned. Right now we are really focusing on season 3. We have been recording lots of songs for the new end sequences and focusing on a new round of pirate rock.

MG: Speaking of new music, will we be seeing a new album in the near future?
LH: I sure hope so! (Laughs) They have a beautiful way of rolling things out that runs tandem with the new episodes. We have heard of lots of cool things that will be happening in the near future. We don’t know when but there should be a new album soon.

Disney Junior Orders Third Season of Hit Series “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”

Sails to New Heights as Disney Channel’s #1 Preschooler Series of All Time with 100 Episodes and New Consumer Products Line

Disney Junior has ordered a third season of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” its #1 series and cable TV’s #1 series among Boys 2-5, bringing the episode tally to 100 thus far, it was announced today by Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide. The series revolves around a crew of kid pirates – leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby – and follows their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit two infamous characters, the one and only Captain Hook and Mister Smee, from Disney’s classic “Peter Pan.” The stories emphasize teamwork and features original pirate rock music performed by Sharky and Bones of The Never Land Pirate Band.

Kanter said, “The series is connecting with kids on every level and brings them closer to characters they’re already familiar with and introduces them to new, original characters they have made their friends.” She continued, “The storytelling is adventurous and heartfelt and embeds the kind of learning that we know is important to parents. We’re pleased to be extending viewers’ experience with the stories, allowing them to play the ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ experience.”

The memorable Disney stories and characters, both classic and contemporary, have connected strongly with kids age 2-7 and their parents, and that connection has also led to the creation of brand extensions in other Disney businesses. “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” is a prominent part of the popular Disney Junior Live on Stage! attraction at Disney Parks & Resorts, and is featured in a Disney Junior magazine from Disney Publishing, in a soundtrack and DVD from Disney Studios and a Disney Consumer Products line set to debut in stores nationwide in spring 2012. Included are multiple product categories: party supplies, apparel (sleepwear, daywear), room décor and plush. An exciting toy line releasing in June and showcased this week at American International Toy Fair, will feature plush, role play and accessories from Just Play and action-oriented play sets and figures from Fisher-Price, including Jake’s Pirate Ship, designed after Bucky, Jake’s ship in the series.

A hit since its premiere in February 2011, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” is cable TV’s #1 series among Boys 2-5 and Disney Channel’s #1 preschool series of all time among Total Viewers, Kids 2-5, Boys 2-5 and Women 18-49.

The series airs daily during Disney Channel’s Disney Junior programming block for kids age 2-7 and will have a major presence on the new 24-hour Disney Junior channel launching in the U.S. on Friday, March 23. The series stars Cameron Boyce as Jake; Madison Pettis as Izzy; Jonathan Morgan Heit as Cubby; David Arquette as Skully; Corey Burton as Captain Hook; Jeff Bennett as Mister Smee and Bones and Loren Hoskins as Sharky. Many of the key creative professionals behind Disney Junior’s Emmy-nominated series, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” are behind “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” including executive producer Rob LaDuca, producer/story editor Mark Seidenberg and director Howy Parkins. The series is produced by Disney Television Animation.

Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s animated and live action series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. Disney Junior launched in February 2011 with a daily programming block on Disney Channel. In its first year, Disney Junior posted the network’s biggest yearly audience in the daypart in Total Viewers, Kids 2-5, Boys 2-5 and Women 18-49 and increased by double-digit margins among preschooler demographics over year-ago levels. On March 23, 2012 Disney Junior will add a basic cable and satellite channel in the U.S.

Interview with Irwin Keyes

Irwin Keyes started his career in the late 1970’s and has been seen in everything from TV shows to commercials to movies.  Movie Mikes’ Adam Lawton got a chance to talk with Irwin at this years Chiller Theatre convention and got a chance to ask him about his career.

Adam Lawton: You have been in the business since the 70’s and have done everything from TV series to movies and even video game voice work do you have one that you prefer over another?
Irwin Keyes: I like to do comedy, horror and drama whatever work comes along I do.

AL: Is there any truth to the rumor that you were considered for the role of Freddy Krueger in “A Nightmare on Elm Street”?
IK: That’s what I’m told. I was there yep but things went different ways. I was actually supposed to play Ajax in the movie “The Warriors” but they realized I was too old for the gang who were much younger. I was about 26 at the time and the rest of the cast was probably 17.  So Walter Hill told me “Don’t worry I got a better part for you”, you’re going to be the guy who arrests Ajax.  That actually ended up being a really good part and I got to beat the crap out of him and get my anger out.

AL: You were Ravelli in Rob Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses” was there any particular reason you were not back for The Devils Rejects.
IK: Well Universal put out the first film which had about a 15 million dollar budget and the second film had a budget of less than 3 million. There were a lot of cuts in the cast of the second movie and probably some of the quality in the script.

AL: Do you have any new projects coming up? Possibly “Wrestlemaniac 2”?
IK: HAHAHAHA “Wrestlemaniac” I think that’s a great movie and I’m surprised you have seen it because I don’t believe Anchor Bay really put it out well.  I feel it should have been on the Starz channel because when I saw it, I thought it was a really good movie. I don’t know why they didn’t do it right since they are a good company.

AL: There definitely is room for a sequel with the way the first movie ends.
IK: Yeah, he could stop at the gas station and get me.  I actually had a discussion with the producer about that and I was gonna play the guy who kinda straightens him out after after he goes nuts but nothing came of it.

AL: Do you have any projects coming up that you want to tell the fans about?
IK: We have “Dahmer vs Gacy” coming out which has been all over the internet.  I also have a short film which is going to be made into a full feature film but more to come on that later.

Interview with Patricia Quinn

Patricia Quinn is probably best known for her role as Magenta in both the screen and stage production of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Movie Mikes’ Adam Lawton got a chance to talk with Patricia at this years Chiller Theatre convention and got a chance to ask her about her career.

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Adam Lawton: Tell us about working on the film adaptation of  “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and how it differs from the stage?
Patricia Quinn: The stage and screen were completely different. The stage version didn’t have the castle setting or the Transylvanians. The movie had a lot of surprises and I didn’t know what was going on from day to day. We were at the dinner scene and Tim pulls the cloth off and there is Meatloaf underneath and everyone screamed because they had no clue he was under there. The movie was made so fast and the crew had no time to talk to the cast.

AL: Your lips are featured in the beginning how did that come about?
PQ: In the stage version, there are usherettes who sang the ‘Science Fiction Double Feature’ song and I played one of those as well as Magenta. So the only reason I agreed to do the movie was to sing the song, not for actual part of Magenta. So when I asked “Am I signing the song?” they told me “No”, so I said “I’m not doing your film”. So then Richard says to me “You always say no after lunch Pat, not during it” I said “Well I wanna finish it”. So on the last day of shooting Jim Sharman had to find a way to sing the song, so they had O’Brian’s voice who was not as pretty as me.  He asked if I had seen the painter/photographer Man Rays’ “Lips” and I said “No”, but have since seen it many times since.  He used that picture for his inspiration.  This movie was shot on a shoe string budget so they draped some material on the camera.  In order keep my head from moving the screwed it into an art lamp that had been sitting on the stage, this made me look like Frankenstein.

AL: How long did that scene take to shoot that scene?
PQ: It took a good long morning to shoot and was not much fun but was worth it.

AL: Did you get to keep any props or costumes from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”?
PQ: No I didn’t want them…what would I want those for? (laughs) But I tell you people have built houses buying those things on eBay.  I should have taken them but I don’t do that.

AL: Can you tell about your experience from being in “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life”.
PQ: They are a very clever crew and Jon Cleese is a most brilliant actor.  I adore him. I was doing a “Hammer House of Horror” film “Witching Time” and he says “I think I have a role for you but you’re going to have to undress a bit” and I said “Oh that’s fine I’m doing “Hammer House of Horror” and our joke is ‘Knickers off, ready for work'”.  It really was a joke, I had a cloak on and all but not really a lot of clothes.

AL: So he kind of took you up on the offer?
PQ: Slightly and then Terry Jones directed the film and it got worse and worse. It was quite memorable I think.

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