ThisFunktional Junior: November 2021

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(Info from Press Release)

This holiday season, the new chapter in Illumination’s smash animated franchise arrives with big dreams and spectacular hit songs as the ever-optimistic Buster Moon and his all-star cast of performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage extravaganza yet …all in the glittering entertainment capital of the world. There’s just one hitch: They first have to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star—played by global music icon Bono, in his animated film debut—to join them.
Buster (Oscar® winner Matthew McConaughey) has turned the New Moon Theater into a local hit, but Buster has his eyes on a bigger prize: Debuting a new show at the Crystal Tower Theater in glamorous Redshore City.
But with no connections, Buster and his cast—including harried mother Rosita (Oscar® winner Reese Witherspoon), rocker Ash (Scarlett Johansson), earnest Johnny (Taron Egerton), shy Meena (Tori Kelly) and, of course, provocateur Gunter (Nick Kroll)—have to sneak their way into the world-famous Crystal Entertainment offices, run by ruthless mogul Jimmy Crystal (Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale).
In a desperate attempt to get Mr. Crystal’s attention, Gunter spontaneously pitches an outrageous idea that Buster quickly runs with, promising that their new show will star rock legend Clay Calloway (Bono). Problem is, Buster has never met Clay, an artist who shut himself away from the world more than a decade ago after the loss of his wife. Even worse, Buster has failed to realize that Mr. Crystal is an egocentric gangster who would rather drop somebody off the roof of a building than be lied to.
As Gunter helps Buster dream up an out-of-this-world theatrical masterpiece, and the pressure (and sinister threats) from Mr. Crystal mount, Rosita’s leading role in the show gets ripped away and handed to Mr. Crystal’s spoiled daughter, Porsha, played by Grammy-nominated artist Halsey. Desperate to save the show, and his life, Buster embarks on a quest to find Clay and persuade him to return to the stage.
What begins as a dream of big-time success becomes an emotional reminder of the power of music to heal even the most broken heart.
Sing 2 is written and directed by acclaimed returning filmmaker Garth Jennings and features additional new characters played by music superstar Pharrell Williams, Black Panther’s Letitia Wright and comedians Eric André and Chelsea Peretti. The film is produced by Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and by Janet Healy. Sing 2 combines dozens of hit songs from pop to rock, K-pop to Latin, and from artists including Billie Eilish, Drake, U2, The Weeknd, Prince, Taylor Swift, BTS, Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. With electrifying performances, breathtaking artistry and Illumination’s signature humor and heart, Sing 2 is sure to be the definitive feel-good cinematic event of the year.

Get tickets to see #Sing2 only in theaters December 22

(Info from Press Release)

Safari Park Offers Festive Fun for the Entire Family

‘Tis the season for holiday fun, and Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo proudly supported by California Coast Credit Union and Wild Holidays at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park offer memory-making holiday experiences for the entire family. Both events will treat guests to views of amazing wildlife, twinkling lights, entertaining live performances, holiday music and more. While visiting the parks, guests can also pick up one-of-a-kind, wild and wonderful gifts for everyone on their shopping listEvery purchase from a Zoo or Safari Park gift shop helps San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance take another step in achieving its mission of saving animals and plants worldwide, andcreating a world where all life thrives.
Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo
Jungle Bells proudly supported by California Coast Credit Union will treat guests to a wonderland of lights, entertainment, holiday music and, of course, views of some remarkable wildlifeincluding reptiles, lemurs, baboons, reindeer and more.

Visitors to Jungle Bells won’t want to miss Aurora, an exciting visual and sound experience that weaves 3D projections, music and light into a spectacular performance. Friendly mythical wind, water and ice sprites share their stories, as well as the power of nature contained within their mystical orbs. As the performance comes to a dramatic and beautiful conclusion, the Aurora Borealis appears—the only time it has been seen in San Diego! Auroratakes place twice nightly (except Dec. 24) at Hua Mei Plaza, at 6:30 p.m. and at 7:40 p.m.

In addition to Aurora, Jungle Bells is full of exciting experiences, including Dr. Zoolittle’s animal-themed version of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” the Northern Frontier Holiday Forest aglow with specially decorated and lighted trees, and the toogtree on Front Street, which doesn't just light up, it appears to come to life, "dancing" to sounds of the seasonGuests can visit Santa at Gingerbread Landing, see some of Santa’s elves as they keep things hopping with their energetic trampoline performance at the Toy Shop Hop, enjoy a jazzy carol session and strolling musicians, join in the Reindeer Games on the main plaza and meet larger-than-life friendly Zoo characters like Dr. Harry Lion, Churchill Polar Bear, Sydney Koala and their friends. 
Jungle Bells is not just about holiday sights and sounds, but also delicious holiday smells and tastes from seasonal treats like hot chocolate and cookies, and other culinary delights offered at the Zoo’s restaurants and food stands. 

Located just outside the Zoo exit, the beloved Balboa Park Miniature Train will be running during Jungle Bells. Train tickets are $3 for ages 1 and older; children younger than age 1 are free. Ages 5 and younger must ride with a paying adult. 

Those looking for something extra special to do during Jungle Bells can enjoy a 90-minute Inside Look Twilight Tour, available for a limited time only. This evening tour features a special look at animals that are just waking up as the sun goes down. Reservations are required. For prices, times and more information, visit

The San Diego Zoo is once again welcoming California Coast Credit Union as the presenting sponsor for Jungle Bells 2021. With over 24 branches in Southern California, California Coast is the longest serving financial institution in San Diego County. It is also San Diego’s oldest financial institution (almost as old as the Zoo), having been founded in 1929 by teachers. 

Jungle Bells is scheduled Dec. 10, 2021 through Jan. 2, 2022. The San Diego Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during this event, except for Dec. 24 when the Zoo closes at 5 p.m. Jungle Bells activities are free with Zoo admission or membership. Parking is free. Visit
Wild Holidays at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Guests can see the Safari Park in a whole new light at Wild Holidays, on select dates Nov. 26, 2021 through Jan. 2, 2022. During Wild Holidays, visitors can walk the pathways on a holiday expedition and travel through places that glow and twinkle with holiday cheer. Fanciful characters, musical entertainment, storytelling and culinary treats round out the evening of holiday festivities. And a visit to the Safari Park would not be complete without a trek aboard the Africa Tram to see remarkable wildlife,including rhinos, giraffes, African crowned cranes and wildebeest.

Safari Park visitors will enjoy Safari Park Radio 197.2 playing holiday hits throughout Safari Base Camp, with the DJ presenting “Did you Know?” segments and trivia games— and they will laugh with animated Robert the Zebra during the daytime hours, and dance along to Wild Holidays’ musical entertainment. The Safari Park’s adventure and explorer extraordinaire, Safari Parker, will read an original holiday story, “Twas the Night before Wild Holidays,” at the Village Playground—and guests can also take a photo with the jolly ol elf himself, Santa Claus, in his whimsical home at the Village Marketplace; sip and savor culinary delights at the Safari Park’s food stands; and shop for the perfect holiday gifts at the Safari Park’s retail locations. 

Plan ahead and make the visit extra special by participating in one of the Safari Park’s upgraded experiences, including the Flightline Safari. Secure and comfortable in a harness, participants will experience breathtaking views of the Safari Park as they soar as high as 130 feet above the ground, traveling two-thirds of a mile, with a spectacular view of cape buffalo, giant eland and other wildlife in the expansive savanna habitats below. Or, guests canpack up their “trunk” for a Roar & Snore sleepover adventure at the Safari Park. All sleepovers include camp activities, an after-hours look at the wild lives of our wildlife, guided walks, a campfire program, dinner, an evening snack and breakfast the following morning. Choose from several age-appropriate sleepover categories with their own themes, including the new Supreme Roar and Snoreexperience. For prices, times and more information, visit

Wild Holidays at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park will take placeweekends and select dates Nov. 26, 2021 through Jan. 2, 2022. During Wild Holidays, the Safari Park will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with holiday festivities from 4 to 8 p.m. Wild Holidays activities are free with Safari Park admission or membership. Vehicle parking is free for members at Wildlife Protector and above levelsVisit
Holiday Gift Guide
Those looking for the perfect holiday gift for that specialsomeone may be surprised to discover that San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance offers a wide variety of great, unique gifts to please just about anyone! And by giving a gift from San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, you’re also giving back, by supporting wildlife conservation. This holiday season, shop with a purpose. And if you can’t visit the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park to pick up these one-of-a-kind items, you can shop online at For local San Diego County customers, buy on Dec. 16 through Dec. 23 and pick up from us. Select local pickup during checkout,and you will receive a notification email with instructions once your order is ready.

  • Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo: Dec. 10–23 and 25–31, 2021; and Jan. 1–2, 2022. 
  • Wild Holidays at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park: Nov. 26–28; Dec. 4–5, 11–12, 18–19, 20–23, and 26-31, 2021; and Jan.1–2, 2022.
About San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. The Alliance empowers people from around the globe to support their mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance supports cutting-edge conservation and brings the stories of their work back to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park—giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The work of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance extends from San Diego to strategic and regional conservation “hubs” across the globe, where their strengths—via their “Conservation Toolbox,” including the renowned Wildlife Biodiversity Bank—are able to effectively align with hundreds of regional partners to improve outcomes for wildlife in more coordinated efforts. By leveraging these tools in wildlife care and conservation science, and through collaboration with hundreds of partners, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has reintroduced more than 44 endangered species to native habitats. Each year, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s work reaches over 1 billion people in 150 countries via news media, social media, their websites, educational resources and the San Diego Zoo Kids channel, which is in children’s hospitals in 13 countries. Success is made possible by the support of members, donors and guests to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, who are Wildlife Allies committed to ensuring all life thrives.
(Info from Press Release)

A continuation of the acclaimed series, "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder" follows the adventures and misadventures of newly 14-year-old Penny Proud and her Proud Family as they navigate modern life with hilarity and heart. The 2020s brings new career highs for mom Trudy, wilder dreams for dad Oscar and new challenges for Penny, including a socially woke neighbor who thinks she has a lot to teach her, bullying social media influencers who want to cancel her and her own teenage hormones. Penny's friends return, including Dijonay, LaCienega, Zoey and Michael. Penny's Suga Mama also returns, ready as ever to dispense tough love or a gentle hand whenever Penny needs it. Among the new faces are Maya and KG, new kids who not only have to deal with the struggles of being the new kid but also having two dads, a first for Smithville.

Will Begin Streaming On February 2022
(Info from Press Release)

It might seem humans have mapped every inch of our planet’s surface, but look closer and you’ll discover that there is still so much more to uncover — the age of exploration is far from over! Welcome to Earth, a Disney+ original series from National Geographic, follows two-time Academy Award® nominee Will Smith on an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world to explore Earth’s greatest wonders and reveal its most hidden secrets. Throughout the six-part limited series produced by visionary Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Protozoa Pictures, Jane Root’s Nutopia and Westbrook Studios, Will is guided by elite explorers on an awe-inspiring journey, getting up close and personal with some of the most thrilling spectacles on the planet — from volcanoes that roar in silence to deserts that move beyond our perception to animal swarms with minds of their own. Combining breathtaking cinematography with Will's boundless curiosity and enthusiasm, the blockbuster series is an exciting, multisensory ride through Earth’s most mind-bending portals.

Will Begin Streaming On December 8
(Info from Press Release)

Set in the avant-garde street-sneaker subculture of New York City, "Sneakerella" stomps its sneaker culture imprint on a music-driven, gender-flipped “Cinderella” fairy tale.
El (Chosen Jacobs) is an aspiring sneaker designer from Queens who works as a stock boy in the shoe store that once belonged to his late mother. He hides his artistic talent from his overburdened stepfather and two mean-spirited stepbrothers who constantly thwart any opportunity that comes his way. When El meets Kira King (Lexi Underwood), the fiercely independent daughter of legendary basketball star and sneaker tycoon Darius King (John Salley), sparks fly as the two bond over their mutual affinity for sneakers. With a little nudge from his best friend and a sprinkle of Fairy Godfather magic, El finds the courage to use his talent to pursue his dream of becoming a 'legit' sneaker designer in the industry. 
Starts Streaming February 18, 2022 – exclusively on Disney+

(Info from Press Release)

Indulge in a New Original Series When All Episodes Premiere December 15 Exclusively on Disney+

At Destination D23, Disney+ debuted the trailer for “Foodtastic,” an immersive global competition series in which highly skilled artists create extravagant scene work and larger-than-life sculptures made entirely out of food, launching exclusively on the streaming service December 15.
“Foodtastic” is an exciting new series hosted by the multitalented, Emmy® award-winning actress Keke Palmer, with FLOUR SHOP founder Amirah Kassem and NYC’s City Cakes founder chef Benny Rivera serving as food art experts. Teams of highly skilled artists work to create extravagant and extremely detailed larger-than-life builds out of everyday food items, putting their creative and technical skills to the test. Each episode showcases beautiful pieces of work that are rooted in your favorite iconic Disney IP.
"Foodtastic" is produced by Endemol Shine North America. In addition to Palmer, Josh Silberman, Sarah Happel Jackson and Endemol Shine North America’s Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre and Michael Heyerman are executive producers.

Streaming on Disney+ December 15
Twitter: @DisneyPlus
Instagram: @DisneyPlus
Facebook @DisneyPlus
Hashtag: #FoodtasticSeries

Disney/Craig Sjodin*
(Info from Press Release)

Disney Branded Television has ordered "Primos," an original animated comedy series created and executive produced by Natasha Kline (director of "Big City Greens," "South Park"). The story, based on Kline's childhood experiences with her extended multicultural Mexican American family, introduces Tater, an eccentric 10-year-old girl with big dreams and, unbeknownst to her, a certain "it factor" that makes her exceptional. When her 12 cousins ("primos" in Spanish) move in for the summer, they help her discover just what it is.

Kline said, "'Primos' is set in childhood summers spent with my cousins under one roof, and the comedy that's borne from that wonderfully hectic setting. As a kid, I didn't see myself or my culture represented onscreen, so I'm excited to share my family dynamic through these new Disney characters and stories."
Meredith Roberts, senior vice president/general manager, Television Animation, Disney Branded Television, said, "It's been especially gratifying to see Natasha directing more than 30 episodes of our #1 series 'Big City Greens' while also creating her own new show that bears her authentic comedic voice and her family's culture and values. We're looking forward to delivering it to kids and families worldwide."
Produced by Disney Television Animation, each half-hour "Primos" episode is comprised of two 11-minute stories. Tater's aspirations and larger-than-life imagination are seen via entries in her super-secret diary, which turn her deepest thoughts into grandiose animation sequences.
Source: NMR, 3Q21 (July-Sept ’21), L+7, K6-11, #1 DC series ranked on hours watched.
*COPYRIGHT ©2021 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All photography is copyrighted material and is for editorial use only. Images are not to be archived, altered, duplicated, resold, retransmitted or used for any other purposes without written permission of Disney Channels Worldwide. Images are distributed to the press in order to publicize current programming. Any other usage must be licensed. Photos posted for Web use must be at the low resolution of 72dpi, no larger than 2x3 in size.

(Info from press release)

Series Key Art Now Available

Indulge in creativity when all episodes of the Disney+ original series “Foodtastic” are available to stream on Wednesday, December 15. Disney+ also revealed the series key art.

Hosted by the multitalented, Emmy® award-winning actress Keke Palmer, “Foodtastic” is an immersive global competition series in which highly skilled artists create extravagant scene work and larger-than-life sculptures made entirely out of food. From vegetables and butter to fruit and cheese, these everyday items are transformed into works of art. Each episode is rooted in iconic Disney IP and the food-based builds are an extension of that world. FLOUR SHOP founder Amirah Kassem and NYC's City Cakes founder chef Benny Rivera serve as food art experts on the series. "Foodtastic" is produced by Endemol Shine North America. In addition to Palmer, Josh Silberman, Sarah Happel Jackson and Endemol Shine North America’s Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre and Michael Heyerman are executive producers. 
Episodes include the following:
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Introducing Micro-Girl
Food artists call on Ant-Man and The Wasp to help a lab tech save the day.
Star Wars: The Rebel Mechanic 
“Foodtastic” food artists help a Rebel mechanic defeat the Galactic Empire.
Toy Story: Toy Doctor to the Rescue
Food artists distract Andy before he learns his robot toy is broken.
Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Best Friend
Food artists and beloved characters keep Belle’s best friend entertained.
The Avengers: Sorceress by Day
Food artists must conjure the Avengers to save the city from an attack.
Cars: Back on the Track
Food artists give a mechanic a car to enter the Piston Cup.
The Lion King: Queen of the Jungle
Food artists help a Pride Lands tour guide tell Simba’s story.
Up: An Explorer’s Adventure
Food artists give an explorer helpful suggestions on where she should go.
Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph’s New Game
Food artists work to make a brand-new video game for an amazing gamer.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Hunt for Barbossa
Food artists help a retired pirate free her matey, Captain Barbossa!
The Muppets: A Chicken Day Miracle
Food artists work to make Gonzo’s holiday, Chicken Day, the best day ever.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s 50-year History of Wildlife Conservation to be Celebrated with a Float in the 134th Rose Parade Presented by Honda

(Info from press release) Giraffes, Rhinos and Wildlife Safari Truck Represent the Safari Park’s Ability to Connect People to Wildlife and ...