Although I am SUPER excited that my Walt Disney World Trip is only a little over a month away, it’s ALWAYS been a dream of mine to go to the D23 Expo. ONE DAY I WILL GET THERE, for now I have to settle for scouring the internet for photos, videos, and little tidbits from those who attended. TODAY I want to share a TON of those tidbits with you!
D23 is the official Walt Disney fan club, and they have an annual expo in Anaheim California where they reveal new details about their upcoming movie slates (along with information on new additions to Disney World & Disneyland) and this year’s expo included key voice talent like Benjamin Bratt, Anthony Gonzalez, Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson, Huck Milner and Sarah Silverman.
John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, teamed up with the stars and filmmakers from both studios to present new details, footage, behind-the-scenes looks and images from a host of upcoming films. “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.”
Have you heard about COCO yet?
Guests were treated to the first-ever public performance of “Remember Me” from Pixar Animation Studios’ upcoming feature film COCO. Anthony Gonzalez, who provides the voice of Miguel in the film, and Benjamin Bratt, who lends his voice to Ernesto de la Cruz, teamed up to perform the song written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Capping the animation presentation, the grand finale featured more than 160 performers who descended upon Hall D23 at the Anaheim Convention Center, 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.
“Our film embraces a broad landscape of music,” said director Lee Unkrich. “We were fortunate to have Kristen and Bobby create ‘Remember Me’—it’s the signature song made famous by Ernesto de la Cruz, and it embodies the key theme in our story: the importance of remembering loved ones both in life and beyond.”
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.
COCO features an original score from Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“Up,” “Rogue One”) and additional songs co-written by Germaine Franco (“Dope,” “Shovel Buddies”) and Molina. Also part of the team is musical consultant Camilo Lara of the music project Mexican Institute of Sound.
Here is the trailer for COCO:
Disney•Pixar’s COCO opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd!
JUST as you were getting “Let it Go” out of your head…
OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE
Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna, introduced fans to the new FROZEN holiday featurette, OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE. Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, surprised the crowd with a live performance of the all-new original song “That Time of Year,” written byElyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson. The song is part of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new 21-minute featurette, which hits the big-screen in front of Disney•Pixar’s COCO on Nov. 22, 2017.
Joining Bell and Gad in the featurette are Idina Menzel as the voice of Elsa, and Jonathan Groff as the voice of Kristoff.
The featurette is directed by the Emmy®-winning team Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (“Prep & Landing”) and produced by Oscar® winner Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”).
Here is the trailer for OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE:
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE open in theatres everywhere in front of COCO on November 22nd!
We’ve been waiting FOREVER for this! I’d love to share a trailer with you, but here’s the next best thing!
John Lasseter, who’s looked forward to the return of everyone’s favorite family of superheroes since THE INCREDIBLES was still in production, was excited to share with fans a look at what the fashion world thinks of super-suit stylist Edna Mode—the petite-but-powerful character introduced in Pixar Animation Studio’s 2004 Oscar®-winning feature. Showcasing fashion phenoms from Heidi Klum and Kendall Jenner to Zac Posen and Rachel Zoe, the video can be viewed here:
INCREDIBLES 2 director Brad Bird—who lends his voice to Edna—joined Lasseter on stage to welcome to the festivities the voices of Mr. and Mrs. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (newcomer Huck Milner) and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson). Bird revealed details of the upcoming caper, which puts the family into an expanded universe that includes new allies and a brand-new villain. “‘Incredibles 2’ is really a family film, it’s just that the family happens to have super powers,” said Bird. “They may have super speed or super strength, but they experience the same problems as any family.”
“Bob’s actually home with the kids this time and I’m the one out fighting crime,” added Hunter. She joked, “I’ve been working out 13 hours a day!”
Disney•Pixar’s INCREDIBLES 2 hits theaters everywhere on June 15th, 2018!
You can call it whatever you want, I’m currently calling it- THE MEGA DISNEY PRINCESS TAKEOVER!
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2
Directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston hit the stage at D23 Expo 2017, introducing Emmy®-winning actress and comedianSarah Silverman, who returns as the voice of Vanellope von Schweetz.
Fans were the first to see the global debut of a scene from the film that pays hilarious homage to the Disney Princesses. Lasseter revealed that filmmakers had asked the original voice actresses behind the Princesses featured to reprise their roles for the sequence, and in a moment no Disney fan will forget, 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.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ follow-up to 2012’s WRECK IT RALPH leaves the arcade behind, venturing into the expansive universe of the internet—which may or may not survive Ralph’s not-so-light touch. Outcasts-turned-BFFs Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz are reuniting with Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer) and Sergeant Calhoun (voice ofJane Lynch). Filmmakers revealed a new character, Yesss, an algorithm who plays an important role in Ralph and Vanellope’s journey within the internet. Golden Globe®-winning actress Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) lends her voice to the character. “Yesss is a new character who owns the website Buzzaholic,” said Henson. “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.”
Produced by Oscar® winner Clark Spencer, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 hits theaters on Nov. 21st, 2018!
WAIT I’M NOT DONE!
UNTITLED DISNEYTOON STUDIOS FILM
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 12th, 2019!
It’s FINALLY HAPPENING! (insert Woody flail here)
TOY STORY 4 (#ToyStory4)
John 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 21st, 2019! (Tor Story Land opens in Hollywood Studios NEXT SUMMER, though!)
FROZEN 2 (TITLE TBA)
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 27th, 2019! Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff are reprising their roles in an all-new story. John 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
Director Dan Scanlon, who helmed Pixar’s “Monsters University,” joined Lasseter to share a few details about an all-new original feature film currently in production at Pixar Animation Studios. According to Scanlon, who lost his father at a very young age, the film is inspired by the question he’s always asked: who was my father? The story is set in a world with no humans—only elves, trolls and sprites—“anything that would be on the side of a van in the ’70s,” said the director. “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.” Kori Rae (“Monsters University”) will produce.
If you haven’t seen the trailer for this yet, hold on to your hats!
A WRINKLE IN TIME (#WrinkleInTime)
Sean Bailey welcomed A WRINKLE IN TIME cast members Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine along with newcomer Storm Reid and visionary director Ava DuVernay to the D23 stage, where they thrilled fans with a first look at the film’s teaser trailer and teaser poster. The film, which is an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic, takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and ultimately, the triumph of love.
Here is the new teaser trailer for A WRINKLE IN TIME:
Directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee based upon the beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle, A WRINKLE IN TIME is produced by Jim Whitaker and Catherine Hand with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer. The film also stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, André Holland and Rowan Blanchard, with Zach Galifianakis.
Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who is desperate to fit in. As the daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), but she has yet to realize it for herself. Making matters even worse is the baffling disappearance of Mr. Murry (Chris Pine), which torments Meg and has left her mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) heartbroken. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) to three celestial guides—Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling)—who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they set off on their formidable quest. Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are soon transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must look deep within herself and embrace her flaws to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness closing in on them.
A WRINKLE IN TIME opens in theatres everywhere on March 9th, 2018!
Here’s one I hadn’t heard of until D23!
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS
Sean Bailey shared with D23 Expo 2017 fans Disney’s all-new take on a classic story in THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, newcomer Mackenzie Foy as Clara, Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger, Morgan Freeman as godfather Drosselmeyer, and featuring a special performance by Misty Copeland, the movie is inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale. THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is directed by Lasse Hallström and produced by Mark Gordon and Larry Franco.
The film largely takes place in a strange and mysterious parallel world—home to Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. But it’s the ominous Fourth Realm where Clara must take on a tyrant called Mother Ginger as well as a gang of mice who’ve stolen a coveted key from Clara.
Said Bailey, “The Mouse King is made up of thousands of mice—a cutting-edge CG creation. But we wanted him to move in a way that would be wonderfully surprising and incredibly cool, so we called on Lil Buck to provide the style of dance that defines the character. He is so talented and the way he makes this character move is unbelievable.”
Los Angeles-based dancer Lil Buck hit the stage at D23 Expo 2017 to demonstrate the kind of street dancing—called jookin—that informed the way his character moves in the film. The performance earned a standing ovation.
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS open in theatres everywhere on November 2nd, 2018!
I KNOW you’ve been waiting for me to mention the classics being re-imagined for us!–
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
To the delight of D23 fans, Emily Blunt, the star of Disney’s sequel MARY POPPINS RETURNS, took to the stage with director/producer Rob Marshall to talk about the eagerly-anticipated return of the practically-perfect nanny. In this original musical sequel to the 1964 “Mary Poppins,” Mary and her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, embark on entirely new adventures with the next generation of the Banks family to help them find the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
Blunt and Marshall answered questions from Sean Bailey, with Blunt offering insight on how she made the character her own. “I needed to try to pay homage to Julie Andrews, but carve out a new space for myself,” said Blunt. “And we were very loyal to the books.” Rob Marshall shared, “I was incredibly honored to be approached by Disney about directing a sequel. This is a brand-new original film musical from top to bottom, which is very rare, and it is a wonderful opportunity to create something specifically for the screen.” D23 attendees were then treated to an exclusive first look at the film, which was accompanied by a live orchestra performing original new music from the film conducted by composer Marc Shaiman, eliciting thunderous applause.
P.L. Travers first introduced the world to the no-nonsense nanny in her 1934 children’s book “Mary Poppins.” However, the subsequent adventures of Mary Poppins remained only on the pages of the seven other P.L. Travers’ books…until now. MARY POPPINS RETURNS is drawn from the wealth of material in these additional books. The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks, Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks, Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary’s William Weatherall Wilkins and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady and Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character. MARY POPPINS RETURNS is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Marshall & John DeLuca based on The Mary Poppins Stories by P.L. Travers. The producers are Marshall, DeLuca and Marc Platt with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer, and the music is by Marc Shaiman with songs by Shaiman andScott Wittman.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS opens in theaters everywhere on December 25th, 2018!
D23 Expo 2017 fans were greeted from across the pond by visionary filmmaker Tim Burton, who is busy directing his next project—a live-action reimagining of Disney’s 1941 animated classic DUMBO. “’Dumbo’ was always one of my favorite Disney films,” said Burton. “We’re trying to give it the same heart, feeling and emotion that we all loved about the original.”
The film stars Colin Farrell as Holt Farrier, a former circus star and war-veteran charged with the care of a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock of an already struggling circus. Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins were cast as Holt’s children, who discover that Dumbo can fly. Danny DeVito portrays circus owner Max Medici who tries to capitalize on the novelty. And Michael Keaton is persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere who swoops in with aerial artist Colette Marchant, portrayed by Eva Green, to make Dumbo a star. Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek Frey, Ehren Kruger and Justin Springer are producing from a screenplay by Kruger. Filmed entirely in England, DUMBO is utilizing state-of-the-art visual effects to portray the big-eared elephant and many of his animal counterparts.
DUMBO flies into theaters everywhere on March 29th, 2019!
THE LION KING (#TheLionKing)
Alan Horn joined Sean Bailey to surprise the D23 Expo crowd with a special look at director Jon Favreau’s new live-action take on Disney’s 1994 classic animated film THE LION KING. The technology team behind the movie are introducing all-new filmmaking techniques that promise striking visuals never before seen on the big screen—bringing celebrated characters to life in a whole new way.
Favreau, who was behind 2016’s blockbuster live-action remake of THE JUNGLE BOOK, joined Bailey on stage. “This is a story that belongs to everyone who grew up with the original film,” said Favreau. “I wanted to demonstrate that we could be respectful of the source material while bringing it to life using new techniques and technologies. We wanted to do something special for the D23 Expo audience and give them a first look at what we’re up to.”
THE LION KING is one of the biggest animated films of all time with a lifetime global box office gross of $968.8 million. It won Academy Awards® for the original song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (Elton John, Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer). In 1997, the stage production inspired by the film made its Broadway debut, subsequently winning six Tony® Awards; 19 years later, it remains one of Broadway’s biggest hits.
Starring Donald Glover as Simba, and James Earl Jones as—naturally—Mufasa, Favreau’s live-action version of THE LION KING is produced by Favreau, Jeffrey Silver and Karen Gilchrist.
THE LION KING roars into theaters everywhere on July 19th, 2019!
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Alan Horn welcomed Rian Johnson, the writer and director of the latest chapter in the Skywalker saga, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. Johnson thrilled the audience by introducing talent from the film, including Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.
The audience was then treated to a special sneak peek of behind-the-scenes footage from the highly anticipated movie:
In Lucasfilm’s STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of THE FORCE AWAKENS join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
The movie stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is written and directed by Rian Johnson. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman are producing, with J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI opens in theaters everywhere on December 15th!
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (#Avengers, #InfinityWar)
For the finale, Horn brought Kevin Feige to the stage for Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. To start the ball rolling, Feige unveiled the Marvel Studios’ official 10th anniversary logo to the excited audience. Marvel Studios’ 10th anniversary begins with the release of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and covers an impressive decade of Marvel Studios’ blockbusters released from 2008 through the AVENGERS untitled film in 2019. In celebration of the anniversary, fans can expect exclusive consumer products and collectibles, along with in-theater events and much more in the coming months.
Then, in a surprise for all that brought the house down, talent from the film made a grand entrance, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff. To top it all off, the thrilled fans got an exclusive early look at footage from the movie, introduced by Joe Russo, one of the directors.
An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.
Anthony and Joe Russo direct the film, which is produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opens in theaters everywhere on May 4th, 2018!
And some NEWS to share on upcoming projects!
Sean Bailey confirmed and revealed new films underway at the studio:
A live-action take on Disney’s 1998 feature, which will be helmed by Niki Caro (“McFarland, USA,” “Whale Rider”).
JUNGLE CRUISE (#JungleCruise)
A live-action nod to the popular theme park ride. The studio is working with Dwayne Johnson, recently heard as Maui in MOANA, on the project.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, with Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie.
It’s going to be an AMAZING few years at the theater! What are you most excited to see??
Did you know that toothpaste becomes stronger than concrete if left on surfaces for too long? I didn't either. Thanks, kids!
Y'all can keep your creepy little elves- my kids live in fear of the PRESENT PRISON. holdinholden.com/2014/12/the-…
Cut Yourself some Christmas Slack goo.gl/fb/4WVJe2
My day as a parent isn't complete until I've threatened to sell at least one of my children on the black market. Twice. At least.
He only has himself to blame pic.twitter.com/UffL59jSmz
I'm forever teaching my kids to never say never... but... I'm breaking my own rules, here. NEVER EVER EVER will there be an elf on my shelf. Here's why: holdinholden.com/2012/11/why-…
If you have the desire to be in charge of someone else's bedtime who listens to you even less than you listen to yourself when you say "GO TO SLEEP ALREADY!"- having kids is definitely for you.