Special thanks to Disney for the magical trip to Anaheim to cover the D23 Expo
Having the opportunity to sit in on the Pixar & Walt Disney Animation Studios Panel was so exciting. This was a top-secret gig, you guys, and only media were allowed to have phones during the panel, but even we couldn’t take photos in there. We legit saw people being kicked out for attempting to record or take pictures during the event. What we were allowed to do was tweet about what we were hearing and what we saw. There’s so much to go over, so hang with me, OK? This is all SUPER exciting, and I clear up some rumors that have been circulating for a little while now.
Bob Iger, Disney CEO introduced John Lasseter who is the Chief Creative Officer of Pixar & Walt Disney Animation Studios. John is one of the most animated people I’ve ever seen in real life. So much so that sometimes it seems he stepped right out of Toon Town and just became a real boy. Sort of like a real life Roger Rabbit meets Pinocchio thing. He was excited to give us behind the scenes information and as many trailers and sneak peeks as he could muster up for the upcoming films.
In order of when they release, here’s what’s on the horizon for Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios:
“I’m so excited about our upcoming movies; they are all hilarious, emotional, beautiful and make you think,” said Lasseter, who serves as executive producer on all animated titles. “It’s a great mix of incredibly creative and surprising new worlds and characters and stories we love returning to. Our filmmakers are putting so much heart into these films – I can’t wait for people to see them.” -John Lasseter
We were treated to the first EVER public performance of “Remember Me” by Anthony Gonzalez, who voices Miguel in Coco, and Benjamin Bratt who voices Ernesto de la Cruz.
This film looks absolutely stunning with animation that appears to be glowing, and a story that captures a topic we all face, but don’t always feel comfortable talking about.
At the heart of Coco is family, but specifically the importance of remembering loved ones, both alive and passed on. That’s what Dia de Muertos is all about. It is a celebration of life, even the lives of those who have passed. I saw talk on social about it being a morbid or sad movie that children shouldn’t see and I have to say I completely disagree. This film doesn’t talk about death, but about life and remembering the lives of those we love who just so happen not to be with us in body anymore.
The grand finale featured more than 160 performers including the Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea and Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles under the direction of Kareli Montoya, and the Grammy®-winning Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band.
Unkrich, co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson shared details about the original story with the crowd. In theaters Nov. 22, 2017, “Coco” introduces Miguel, an aspiring musician whose family long ago banned music. Desperate to prove his talent and follow in the footsteps of his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, Miguel makes a fateful decision and finds himself in the Land of the Dead, where he meets his extended family and charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal). Together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Everyone in attendance all received an exclusive “Coco” poster depicting the film’s iconic skull guitar. We are heading out today to buy a frame for this gorgeous poster. I’ll share a picture of it on Instagram once it’s hanging on Styles’ “Nerd Wall”.
OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE
Then Kristen Bell took the stage. She introduced us to a new 21 minute “Frozen” holiday featurette that will be featured in front of Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” on November 22, 2017.
The all-new, original song, “That Time of Year” began to play on the big screen, but they had sound was glitching out, so as Disney would have it, Josh Gad surprised us all by coming on stage and singing the entire song for us LIVE while the feature played behind him.
That was my initial “OMG I’M SCREAMING” moment. Elder Cunningham, I mean OLAF, was on stage singing live. Ridiculous. It was hilarious and fun and totally Josh Gad.
John Lasseter then let us in on a few secrets regarding Incredibles 2. We love the Parr family in this house, and we often watch The Incredibles during Family Movie Night, which really should not be a shocker considering how much my kids love superhero movies.
I didn’t realize that only the audience knows that Jack Jack has powers, but that’s one of the ideas that The Incredibles 2 is built on. They’ve moved to this high tech house that reminded me of Tony Stark’s home in Iron Man 3, and Mrs. Incredible has become the breadwinner while Bob Parr stays home to take care of Jack Jack, Dash, and Violet.
In the clip that we got to see, we see Jack Jack using his powers on a raccoon that looked oddly like Meeko from Pocahontas. Bob Parr eventually finds Jack Jack outside and flips his lid when he realizes for the first time ever that Jack Jack has powers. I won’t give everything away (although I’m sure other writers have), but Jack Jack’s powers are the absolute BEST in the family. I can’t wait to see him hone in on them.
Did you also know that director, Brad Bird also voices Edna Mode in The Incredibles? I had NO idea until he came on stage sounding like Edna.
He was joined by Craig T Nelson (Mr. Incredible), Holly Hunter (Mrs. Incredible), Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and Frozone – THE SAMUEL L. JACKSON!
Incredibles 2 hits theaters on June 15, 2018.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2
One of Kyle’s favorite animated films is Wreck It Ralph, and I don’t think anyone in our family is as excited for it to hit the theaters on November 21, 2018 as he is.
Sarah Silverman who voices Vanellope von Schweetz took the stage with Directors Rich Moore & Phil Johnston during D23 Expo 2017 to tell us a little bit about the film.
We were the first to see the global debut of a scene from the filk that pays homage to the Disney Princesses. Nearly ALL of the original actresses who brought these princesses to life reprise their roles for this particular sequence in the movie, AND ALL OF THEM CAME ON STAGE TO SAY HI! Auli‘i Cravalho (“Moana”), Kristen Bell (Anna in “Frozen”), Kelly MacDonald (Merida in “Brave”), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in “Tangled”), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog”), Irene Bedard (“Pocahontas”), Linda Larkin (Jasmine in “Aladdin”), Paige O’Hara (Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”) and Jodi Benson (Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”) were welcomed on stage for the largest gathering of Disney Princesses in history.
The scene is absolutely HYSTERICAL. My favorite part is when Merida begins talking in a thick British accent and Vanellope looks completely perplexed. When she looks at the other princesses for help, one of them says “We can’t understand her either, she’s from the other studio.”
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Ralph and Vanellope venture into the internet to find the part needed to fix their arcade game so that they don’t go into retirement. Joining the cast is Taraji P. Henson from Empire who boices Yesss, an algorithm who plays an important role in Ralph and Vanellope’s journey into the internet. “Yesss knows about everything cool and on trend. And she does spell her name with a triple ‘s.’ Yesss is very savvy, smart and sexy.” says Henson.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.
UNTITLED DISNEYTOON STUDIOS FILM
The animation and SOUND in this clip was BANANAS! I can’t wait to find out what it’s called and to see it again on the big screen. It is inspired by the USAF, and as the granddaughter to two military men, I’m pumped to see what Disney does with it.
John Lasseter kicked off the presentation by announcing Disneytoon Studios’ original new animated movie, “Untitled DTS Film.” Directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway, and produced by Ferrell Barron, the theatrical feature film explores the future of aviation—taking moviegoers to the edge of discovery in the air—and beyond. “Untitled DTS Film” opens in theaters on April 12, 2019.
TOY STORY 4
Lasseter invited Pixar’s Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?” short) to the stage, revealing that Cooley has assumed full director responsibilities for “Toy Story 4.” The pair brought with them a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the director’s life at the Northern California studio. Produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out”), “Toy Story 4” is slated for release on June 21, 2019.
FROZEN 2 (TITLE TBA)
John let us in on all the names they will NOT be using for Frozen 2, but I can’t remember any of them, they were all hysterical, but didn’t capture the nature of the film which its theaters on November 20, 2019.
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and produced by Peter Del Vecho, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature-length follow-up to 2013’s Oscar®-winning film “Frozen” is slated for theaters on November 27, 2019. Bell, Gad, Menzel and Groff are reprising their roles in an all-new story. Lasseter, Bell and Gad shared with “Frozen” fans a behind-the-scenes video showcasing the filmmakers’ recent research trip to Norway, Finland and Iceland.
UNTITLED DAN SCANLON MOVIE
Another film that is in the basic works is inspired by Dan Scanlon’s question to himself, “What was my father like?” His dad died when he was one year old, and the film is based in a fantasy world starring elves, trolls, and sprites. Basically anything that would be on the side of a van in the 70’s. How freaking GOOD is that film going to be? I love that Disney isn’t afraid to tackle big, heavy topics like this one.
“In the film, we’re going to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him. But thanks to the little magic still left in the world, the boys embark on a quest that will allow them a chance to spend one last magical day with their father.”
And that’s it for animation, but some really big things are on the horizon for live action too. Stay tuned for that article!