The brilliance of Disney Channel’s newest original movie is evident in its guileless title: it’s a Teen Beach Movie. Channel surfers (and actual surfers!) will know exactly what they’re getting into when they flip to the Disney Channel this Friday night, July 19th.
Promotional image for Teen Beach Movie, copyright Disney
Formerly titled Teen Beach Musical, Teen Beach Movie is a throwback to the 1960s genre of “beach party” movies, first popularized by the Gidget film series (and TV spinoff) which starred Sandra Dee as a teenage surfer girl in 1959’s Gidget. The 1963 Beach Party movie (starring Frankie Avalon and former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello) launched a series of films which debuted between 1963 and 1966, and the genre quickly spun off into dozens of other films by competing studios looking to take advantage of the explosion in popularity.
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In the summer of 2011, the Disney Channel launched its first-ever nationwide dance competition: the Make Your Mark: Ultimate Dance Off ‘Shake It Up’ Edition.
Promotional image for Disney Channel's Make Your Mark: Shake It Up Dance Off, image copyright Disney
Solo and group dancers between the ages of 8 and 16 were invited to upload their auditions to the Make Your Mark website, with more than 28,000 audition videos submitted. Six finalists were chosen to compete in a televised event, and the winners, a team of four dancers known as AKsquared, were featured on an episode of Disney Channel’s hit series Shake It Up.
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2012 was another blockbuster year for superhero flicks. This summer saw the launch of a brand new Spider-Man franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man (73% on Rotten Tomatoes) and the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises (87%).
The Cast of The Avengers Assembles
The Dark Knight Rises is on its way to a $500 million domestic box office gross, but it is unlikely to surpass this summer’s truly heroic feature: Marvel’s The Avengers (92%) which stars not one but six Marvel superheroes and has grossed more than $617 million domestically and $1.49 billion worldwide, securing third place in the All Time Worldwide Box Office.
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On August 6th, 2012, the five week audition period for the second annual Make Your Mark: Shake It Up Dance Off came to an end after more than 25,000 audition videos were submitted online by aspiring young dancers.
Promotional image for Make Your Mark: Shake It Up Dance Off, image copyright Disney
The semi-finalists won’t be announced until September 14th, more than a month after the last of the auditions were uploaded. In the meantime, Make Your Mark hopefuls can watch, “like”, and comment on the 25,000+ audition videos while they wait…wait…and wait for the big day.
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With four weeks until the end of auditions for this year’s Make Your Mark: Shake It Up Dance Off, the competition is already rocking. Already, more than 6,400 audition videos have been submitted by aspiring dancers from across America and are available to view online.
Screenshot from the Make Your Mark: Shake it Up Dance Off promotional video, image copyright Disney
This year’s Make Your Mark website is different than last year’s. Disney has nixed the STAR and THUMBS UP icons used to distinguish last year’s featured and most popular audition videos. This year, viewers can search the audition videos by song (“Don’t Push Me”, “TTYLXOX”, “Something to Dance For”, “Whodunit”), and by “Number of Dancers”, “Dance Style”, and “Fun Stuff” (Cool Location, BFFs, Fresh Personality, etc.). Viewers can “Like” videos and post responses from a selection of pre-approved comments.
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