Disclosure: I have been invited by Disney to attend D23 Expo. All opinions shared are 100% my own.
It never fails every time I come home from a Disney trip I feel crazy inspired and excited. My trip to #D23Expo was like something I could have never expected. D23 Expo truly was, ‘The Ultimate Disney Fan Event’. It brought together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. You can find out more about D23 Expo 2017 by visiting D23expo.com. I will also be sharing a lot of updates and an inside look at my trip.
First, I attended the Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios session in which John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios (talk about a dream job) 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. Jaws were hitting the floor as he kept bringing out celebrities and giving the scoop on what they have been working on.
“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.”
It was so cool seeing all of the celebrities and creators behind some of our favorite Disney movies coming out on stage to share the latest news. They revealed new details about their upcoming movie slates. My favorite moment was when Auli‘i Cravalho, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Kelly MacDonald, Anika Noni Rose, Irene Bedard, Linda Larkin, Paige O’Hara and Jodi Benson came together on stage in a celebration fit for a princess. It was incredible, they introduced one princess after the next!
Now, here is the scoop on what was shared about your favorite movies. 🙂 Following, in the order of release, are the films presented on behalf of both studios.
COCO – In theaters Nov. 22, 2017
Unkrich, co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson shared details about the original story with us. 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.
“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.”
We saw the first-ever public performance of “Remember Me” from Pixar Animation Studios’ upcoming feature film “Coco.” This over-the-top finale featured over 160 performers, lights, huge backdrops, and more. It was pretty incredible.
OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE – In theaters Nov. 22, 2017
Kristen Bell joined the stage and we went wild. She was just as amazing as you’d like think. She introduced us to the new “Frozen” holiday featurette, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.” Then the screen cut out and she played it off like a technical error, but it was all planned out. Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, surprised the crowd and helped his pal Kristen out with a live performance of the all-new original song “That Time of Year,” .
INCREDIBLES 2 – In theaters June 15, 2018
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 andRachel Zoe, the video can be viewed here.
“‘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.” – Director, Brad Bird
Also, check out this fun video of Edna Mode, our favorite fashionista from the Incredibles 2.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2
As fans at D23expo, we 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.
This moment was incredible, seeing all of our favorite Disney princesses coming together. We were able to put a voice with a name and it one beautiful photo see all of the princesses together. I can’t quite explain in words just how magical this was.
We saw a scene from Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 when all of the princesses were together and let me just describe it in one word, HILARIOUS!! You will love it. There is also another character, you will love. Yesss…
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.”
UNTITLED DISNEYTOON STUDIOS FILM – In theaters on April 12, 2019
In gold D23Expo fashion, we also got the scoop on a new movie coming out in 2019 that has yet to be titled. It will be 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. If it is anything like the movie updates we’ve seen, it’s going to be another Disney win.
TOY STORY 4 – In theaters on June 21, 2019
Yes, Toy Story 4 is happening and Lasseter invited Pixar’s Josh Cooley to the D23Expo stage announcing 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. The movie is produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out”). It was pretty incredible seeing Josh Cooley being so thankful and passionate about a project. This is sure to be another good one in the “Toy Story” collection.
FROZEN 2 (TITLE TBA) – In theaters November 27, 2019.
Parents with little girls rejoice…another Frozen is coming your way. I know this movie is wonderful for all genders and ages, I just specifically remember the first grade girls I use to teach being obsessed with Frozen. 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”. 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. They also joked about titles for the movie and I’m sad to say they won’t be calling it, “Thawed,” but personally I found it quite humorous. 😉
UNTITLED DAN SCANLON MOVIE
Another united movie is in the works. 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? This was a very heart warming moment and many in attendance were emotional.
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.”
This is just start of my #D23Expo posts. This trip was a filled with so many updates. These movies announcements were so exciting and I still can’t believe I was actually there to hear it all in person. You all are going to LOVE what Disney and Pixar have in the works. Movie fans, stay tuned I have more exciting scoop to share with you in the coming days!
Here is a fun fact to hold you over. 🙂 The name “D23” actually comes from 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood.