Frozen coming to new books and Lego animated shorts, and Disney goes East

Also: Yelchin death under investigation; Comedy Central and Nickelodeon unveil summer line-ups; Led Zeppellin lawyers move to dismiss copyright case; Bollywood singer Kapoor ‘doesn’t know Punjabi’; and Drake spends a seventh week atop Billboard charts.

Lego characters based on the animated film Frozen. Disney via AP
Powered by automated translation

Frozen coming to new books and Lego animated shorts

Disney is letting Frozen go in new directions. The company says Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven from the blockbuster 2013 animated film will appear in both new books from Random House and an animated short film series from the Lego Group. The eight-book series, Frozen Northern Lights, will revolve around the characters attempting to restore the aurora borealis with a new troll protagonist named Little Rock. The four shorts inspired by the books will feature the film's original voice actors as Lego versions of the characters. Disney says Frozen Northern Lights is scheduled for release in July, and the Lego shorts will air this fall on the Disney Channel. The company previously announced plans for a Frozen movie sequel, Broadway show and several theme-park attractions. – AP

Yelchin death under investigation

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that it is in contact with Los Angeles authorities and Fiat Chrysler regarding the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin. The federal agency is also urging owners of Jeep Grand Cherokee and other vehicles subject to a recent recall to make sure their car is in Park mode and completely turned off before they get out. The statement on June 20 came a day after the 27-year-old actor was found dead in the driveway of his Studio City home after his 2015 Grand Cherokee pinned him against a mailbox pillar and security fence. Fiat Chrysler, which issued a recall in April because of problems with the gear system in 1.1 million vehicles, says it is also conducting an investigation into the accident. The automaker reported 41 injuries potentially linked to the gear problem. – AP

Comedy Central and Nickelodeon unveil summer line-ups

TV channels Comedy Central and Nickelodeon have announced their regional schedules for the summer season, with plenty of new shows to keep viewers entertained. Comedy fans can look forward to premieres of I Live With Models, a sitcom about an average-looking guy whose chance to be employed as a hand model finds him sharing his life with some decidedly above-average-looking women; Tut, a light-hearted look at the reign of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun; and another historical comedy in the shape of Another Period, following the rich Bellacourt family and their servants on Rhode Island at the turn of the 20th century.

There are plenty of new shows and movies for kids on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr, too, including new seasons of both Sanjay and Craig and Breadwinners, as well as movies from Dora and Friends and PAW Patrol. All new shows debut in July. – The National staff

Led Zeppellin lawyers move to dismiss copyright case

Led Zeppelin's lawyers asked a judge on June 20 to throw out the case accusing the band's songwriters of ripping off a riff for Stairway to Heaven. The estate of Randy Wolfe, founder of little-known 1960s band Spirit, failed to prove it owned the copyright to his 1968 song Taurus or that it was substantially similar to Stairway, attorney Peter Anderson said. United States district judge R Gary Klausner was due to hear arguments on the motion when the trial resumed on the morning of June 21. Wolfe's estate claims that guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant incorporated a unique musical phrase from Taurus in the introduction to their 1971 rock epic. Anderson said prosecution attorney Francis Malofiy had failed to show that members of Led Zeppelin were familiar with the song and experts had not presented a convincing case that the tunes were similar enough to amount to copyright infringement. – AP

Disney goes East

The Shanghai Disney Resort, which officially opened on June 16, will surpass the Palace Museum in Beijing as the top spot for visitors in China, a leading Chinese travel specialist has predicted. According to a report by online travel agency Ctrip, the resort is expected to receive at least 15 million visitors a year, more than 40,000 a day, China Daily reported. Last year, the Palace Museum saw a total of 15 million tourists. It also found that local tourists from the Shanghai region are likely to make up 40 per cent of visitors. Chi Huiguang, a Beijing resident who went to the Disney Resort on a high-speed train, said she has been to Disneyland in Los Angeles, and the one in Shanghai was equally good, despite the long lines and high prices for tickets and food. Ctrip said about four out of 10 current visitors are couples and 30 per cent are parents accompanying their kids. But as the summer vacation arrives, more parents are expected to visit the resort with their children, the agency said. – IANS

Bollywood singer Kapoor ‘doesn’t know Punjabi’

Singer Kanika Kapoor, who is popular for her Bollywood songs with Punjabi lyrics, says she is from Uttar Pradesh and doesn't know the language very well. "I don't know Punjabi. I'm a UP Khatri," said Kapoor. "I recently sang a Bengali song – an interesting song which will be out in two weeks. I've also sung a Kannada song," the singer added. "When I was memorising the lyrics of Baby Doll [one of her biggest Punjabi hits], I would say: 'Ye duniya peetal di.' I didn't know the Punjabi pronunciation, but I learnt and delivered," Kanika told reporters on World Music Day, June 21. Kapoor's other hits include Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan, Desi Look, Nachan Farrate, and her most recent song Da Da Dasse from the Udta Punjab soundtrack, all with a significant portion of the lyrics in Punjabi. Speaking about her Bollywood journey, Kapoor added: "Today I feel like I am an established singer in Bollywood. I carefully choose my songs. I write music as well, so I have that sensibility." – IANS

Drake spends a seventh week atop Billboard charts

Canadian R&B singer Drake held onto the top spot of the weekly US Billboard 200 album chart for a seventh consecutive week on June 20, becoming the first male artist in more than a decade to achieve the feat, according to Billboard. Drake's album Views sold another 121,000 units in the week ending June 16, comprising album and song sales and more than 110 million streams, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

Billboard said the last male artist to spend seven consecutive weeks at No 1 on the album chart was rapper Eminem with The Marshall Mathers LP, which spent eight consecutive weeks at the top of the chart in 2000. The Billboard 200 album chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album). Streaming activity for Drake's fourth album on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Inc's Apple Music has consistently soared past 100 million streams each week since its release in late April. Drake held off new albums from pop singer Nick Jonas and hip-hop artist Jon Bellion. – Reuters