What We Know from Disney's D23 Movie Presentations
Not only is Disney’s D23 Expo a chance for fans of all ages to celebrate all things Disney, but it's also a chance for the company to make many future movie announcements and reveal never before seen trailers. This year, there was a ton to cover on the movie front, since Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm all contribute to Disney's movie output. To make this more organized, the studio broke things up over two presentations: one for animated films, and the other for live-action films.
Below I’ve highlighted these announcements from Disney’s D23 movie presentations. Now, as none of us "Sisters" were able to attend this year, I'm merely going to highlight the announcements the best I can. I was able to tune in via broadcasts, Twitter feeds, blog posts, etc. But my hope is that this way you can have all the announcements in one place for your enjoyment!
The Speed Test
John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, and DisneyToon Studios, kicked off Friday’s animation panel with a short film called The Speed Test. Lasseter said it served as a tease for an upcoming film that will focus on the history of aviation. Though he didn’t have a title to share, he did say that the release date is April 12th, 2019.
Toy Story 4
Lasseter announced that he would no longer be co-directing the film, and that Josh Cooley would instead be handling the film solo. Given that Lasseter is already running three animation studios, it’s probably a smart call. Toy Story 4 is scheduled for release on June 21st, 2019.
Wreck It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet
In the sequel to Wreck It Ralph we will see Ralph go beyond the world of video games and into the broader internet itself. Directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston (Zootopia) introduced a new character named Yesss. The character is an algorithm used to power a viral news site called Buzzaholic — basically poking fun at viral nature of the modern web. Ralph Breaks the Internet is coming on November 21st, 2018.
Pixar's Untitled Fantasy Movie
Or jokingly called The Untitled Pixar Film That Takes You To A Suburban Fantasy World. This film will follow two teenaged elves as they go on a journey to spend one last day with their lost father. The concept art shown was unique and surprisingly dark, with unicorns portrayed as ravenous scavengers rooting through trash.
Pixar’s next big release is Coco. The movie appears to be an intriguing mix of traditional family themes, along with some beautiful and vivid imagery. It will be released on November 22nd.
Olaf's Frozen Adventure
To serve as the short before Coco in theaters will be the Frozen spin-off featurette Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. A musical number was played for the crowd, with Josh Gad playing his role as the beloved snowman. Kristen Bell appeared to discuss the short and also the upcoming Frozen 2. While she and Lasseter revealed that film directors recently traveled to Iceland, Norway, and Finland to do research for the landscapes in the film, other details were slim.
The Incredibles 2
Another high point during the presentation was footage from The Incredibles 2. A sneak peek was shown that I heard was hilarious and a little frightening, leaving those in attendance excited to see more June 15th, 2018.
A Wrinkle In Time
Film director, Ava DuVernay introduced the cast to kick off Saturday’s live-action panel. The trailer was shown, which you can watch here, and we’re looking forward to its release on March 9th of next year.
The Lion King, Aladdin, Dumbo and More
Turning its animated classics into live-action movies has become Disney’s go-to move, and there were a many updates over the course of the panel. One big reveal was that it is producing a live-action Dumbo, with Tim Burton directing. The cast of the Aladdin remake was also announced, that includes Mena Massoud as our favorite street rat, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Will Smith filling in the big shoes of the Genie. The studio also confirmed Dwayne Johnson, a new Disney favorite, will be taking part in an adaptation of the Jungle Cruise ride.
And then (I'm kicking myself for not attending) a clip from the upcoming remake of The Lion King was shown to the audience. Rumor has it that it was a nearly shot-for-shot recreation of the original’s opening scene, with impressively detailed animals.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
As it turns out, Disney also releases movies based on this tiny property called Star Wars, and director Rian Johnson took the stage with cast members including Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio Del Toro, and Laura Dern to talk about the movie. As expected, no new plot details were revealed, but audiences did get a chance to watch a stirring behind-the-scenes reel that explores the making of one of the year’s most anticipated sequels.
Avengers: Infinity War
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige first introduced Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos in the upcoming films. Audience members figured this might be one of the only celebrity appearances, as San Diego Comic Con is this coming weekend. But then the list of cast members began to grow: Dave Bautista (Drax), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Paul Bettany (Vision), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch). After that sunk in, Feige brought out Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), and Tom Holland (Spiderman). I heard that around this time the noise in the room became so loud, it was compared to "Beatlemania." Then came Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), and Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man)— followed shortly by Joe Russo, one of the film’s two directors.
The teaser trailer, which will hopefully be released to the public during one of the Comic-Cons, was then shown to the audience (again, why wasn't I there? All those Marvel men AND this).
This trailer was the best way for Disney's live-action panel to end on the highest possible note! Though a tremendous number of films were highlighted during the two presentations, I hear that Marvel’s glimpse of Infinity War won the day.
Which films are you most excited for?
Thumbnail Image from Dork Side of the Force