Our first session at the D23Expo 2017 was all about Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios! Details were revealed about their upcoming movies and this information was explosive!
John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, could not have been more excited to share the stage with the stars and filmmakers from both studios! He let us in on brand new reveals regarding elebrities, secret footage, and other news about movies scheduled for the next couple of years. I laughed, I cried, and had goosebumps throughout this incredible session as it all unfolded before me on stage!
I am going to share the news in order of release date:
We got to hear the first public performance of “Remember Me” from Pixar Animation Studios’ 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, sang the song written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. I met the Lopez’s a few years ago just before the release of that little movie they worked on with some fun songs. FROZEN!
“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.”
“Coco” Opens November 22, 2017!
OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE
Kristen Bell, Princess Anna, introduced us to the new “Frozen” holiday featurette, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.” Josh Gad, who voices Olaf, surprised us with a live performance of the all-new original song “That Time of Year,” written by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson.
In case you missed that, JOSH GAD SANG TO US!
“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” premieres in front of Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” on Nov. 22, 2017.
Remember the iconic Edna Mode? Well, in the new film she is treated like the fashion icon she really is! See and hear what the fashion world thinks of super-suit stylist Edna Mode, small in stature, yet large in fashion genius! Showcasing fashionistas from Heidi Klum and Kendall Jenner to Zac Posen and Rachel Zoe, watch for yourself:
I live in NYC and am used to being judged for my bad sense of fashion, but to have Edna herself look at me in disdain has been one of my bucket list items!
“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.”
Not pictured above is Baby Jack Jack. We saw a secret scene of him showing off his new powers, not on purpose, but simply because he needed to fight with a raccoon who dared to take food out of the family’s garbage can. It was fantastic.
“Incredibles 2” hits theaters on June 15, 2018.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2
Comedian Sarah Silverman, returns as the voice of Vanellope von Schweetz. We were introduced to the story line, and then we got to view a scene from the movie that blew the entire room away. Vanellope sneaks into a room full of Disney Princesses. These sweet, demure young ladies spy an intruder and bust out into defense mode. Watching Cinderella break her glass slipper, the way you see someone do in a bar fight to get ready to cut someone, was brilliant, as were all the Princesses, who showed they were never going to be anyone’s victims again. The crowd roared and I had goosebumps for an hour because it did not stop there. A make-over might have been involved, and it was not Vanellope who changed!
AND THERE WAS MORE!!!!!
Fans were the first to see the global debut of a scene from the film that pays hilarious homage to the Disney Princesses. John 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.
I started to sob as these Princesses joined each other on stage, one by one. I am thrilled to have been able to witness this.
Oh, and one more thing. We saw another video which introduced a new character into this second Wreck-it Ralph movie. The characters name is Yesss. This new character is an algorithm who plays an important role in Ralph and Vanellope’s journey within the Internet. Golden Globe®-winning actress Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) is Yesss!
“Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.
UNTITLED DISNEYTOON STUDIOS FILM
Disneytoon Studios’ has an original new animated movie, as of yet untitled that will be directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway, and produced by Ferrell Barron. The film explores the future of aviation—taking moviegoers to the edge of discovery in the air—and beyond.
We saw a really early rough draft of a clip and it looked fantastic. Big adventure and action! We saw it first!!
“Untitled DTS Film” opens in theaters on April 12, 2019.
TOY STORY 4
John Lasseter brought Pixar’s Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?” short) to the stage, sharing that Cooley has assumed full director responsibilities for “Toy Story 4.”
I remember sobbing through parts of Toy Story 3, out of pure joy, so I can’t wait for this new one. Stay tuned for some surprise info later on the blog about the new Toy Story Lands being built in both US Disney Parks!
“Toy Story 4” is slated for release on June 21, 2019.
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 27, 2019. Bell, Gad, Menzel and Groff are reprising their roles in an all-new story. We got to see a behind-the-scenes video showcasing the filmmakers’ recent research trip to Norway, Finland and Iceland. I have written before about these research trips, the Disney folks go to great lengths to ebing the most authenticity possible to all their films, including animated movies.
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.”
Lastly, I just received permission to share this unlisted video with you with recaps from the actual event. Shh, don’t tell anyone I showed you this!
Disclosure: Disney invited me on this press trip and paid all of my expenses. No other compensation was received. All opinions are always 100% my own and honest. All pictures are courtesy of the D23 Press.