Warning: This RECAP may be EPIC. During the presentation that John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studio himself led, it was excitement personified. Imagine if you could a room that held 7,500 people packed to the gills. Multiple presentation screens, sneak peeks, musical performances and appearances from stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Ginnifer Goodwin, Dwayne Johnson, Randy Newman and Ty Burrell, among others. The excitement and electricity in the room was palpable, but lets get down to business. UPCOMING MOVIES!
THE GOOD DINOSAUR (#GoodDino)
Voice Cast: Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn, AJ Buckley, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliott, Frances McDormand, Marcus Scribner, Jack Bright
Director: Peter Sohn
Producer: Denise Ream
“The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.
Directed by PeterSohn and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”), Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters on Nov. 25, 2015.
Anticipation for Disney·Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR was amplified when Director Peter Sohn and Producer Denise Ream shared breathtaking sequences with fans, including never-before-seen footage of a trio of T-Rexes in action. One thing that I noticed was the combo of animation and realism in the film. The trees, the river, the mountains are all so picturesque you would think you are looking at live footage then you have Arlo. It’s going to be a new look, which of course PIXAR is known for. Also, a scene in the footage we saw had the entire room of 7,500 in tears, but again….isn’t that what PIXAR does? Make us have the feels?
Voice Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman
Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore
Co-Director: Jared Bush
Producer: Clark Spencer
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde(voice of Jason Bateman),to solve the mystery. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,”a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,”“The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”), opens in theaters on March 4, 2016
During the panel, it was announced, International superstar Shakira is lending her Grammy®-winning voice to Gazelle, the biggest pop star in ZOOTOPIA, D23 EXPO fans learned via a taped message from Shakira today. Ginnifer Goodwin (ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” “Something Borrowed,” “Walk the Line”), the voice of the film’s rookie rabbit officer Judy Hopps, saluted fans alongside Directors Byron Howard (“Tangled”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph”), and Producer Clark Spencer (“Wreck-It Ralph”). Hilarious new scenes from the film were unveiled, plus a tease of the all-new original song, “Try Everything,” written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate, and performed by Shakira.
There was also an EXTREMELY funny clip involving Sloths working at the DMV. I promise you will laugh so hard that tears will fall. Everything about Zootopia looks fun and I can’t wait!
Things are looking up at Walt Disney Animation Studios – way up. GIGANTIC, Disney’s unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” will feature music from Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who greeted D23 EXPO fans in signature style—in song—alongside Director Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and Producer Dorothy McKim (“Get A Horse!”). “I always wanted to be part of the Disney legacy,” said Greno. “I loved those classic stories brought to life—‘Snow White’ or ‘Cinderella’—in a way that made those films the definitive version for generations. I want to carry on that tradition by bringing ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ to modern audiences. We’re taking parts of the story we all remember and adding twists and turns, emotion and humor.”
Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s GIGANTIC follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality—and who knew giants were so down to earth? GIGANTIC hits theaters in 2018.
Dwayne Johnson (“San Andreas,” “Furious 7,” HBO’s “Ballers”), who lends his voice to the mighty demi-god Maui in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ MOANA, hit the stage at D23 EXPO this afternoon. Renowned Directors John Musker and Ron Clements (“The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Aladdin”), and Producer Osnat Shurer (Oscar®-nominated Pixar shorts “One Man Band,” “Boundin’”) shared dazzling early test footage and revealed plans for the film’s inspired music and the extraordinary team behind it. Tony®-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway’s hottest new hit “Hamilton,” Tony-winning “In the Heights”), Grammy®-winning composer Mark Mancina (“Speed”, “Tarzan” “The Lion King”) and Opetaia Foa’i (founder and lead singer of the world music award-winning band Te Vaka) blend their diverse and dynamic talents to help tell the tale of a spirited teenager who sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder.
“Our research took us deep into the South Pacific,” said Clements. “The wonderful people we met there, their rich history and traditions, and their fantastic music changed us forever.” “We can’t wait to bring those experiences to MOANA,” added Musker. “We are incredibly lucky to be able to work with three amazing artists who are the absolute best at what they do. The sounds they create will be something we’ve never heard before—but it’ll feel like it’s been part of this world forever.” Foa’i and his band Te Vaka capped the presentation with a show-stopping performance illustrating the magic of the movie’s music. MOANA sails into U.S. theaters on November 23, 2016.
This movie is going to be one of my favorites releasing next year. The story, the music, the animation, and THE ROCK? It gripped my heart and hasn’t let go.
Director Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”) and Producer Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”) revealed the title of their upcoming film: Disney·Pixar’s COCO is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion. “As artists and filmmakers, we couldn’t help but be drawn to the striking visuals of Dia de los Muertos,” said Unkrich and Anderson. “But it was the celebration’s core themes of family, remembrance and connection across generations that resonated within and truly inspired us. Dia de los Muertos is as singular as the Mexican culture, while at the same time completely universal in its message.
“In our story,” they continued, “the celebration of Dia de los Muertos serves as the perfect backdrop for our main character to ask where he comes from, what his place is within his family, and how families stay woven together across time through the simple act of remembrance.”
FINDING DORY (#FindingDory)
Ellen DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”), the voice of everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, took a dip with D23 EXPO attendees this afternoon, celebrating Disney·Pixar’s upcoming film FINDING DORY. Joining DeGeneres on stage this afternoon were Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), who lends his voice to Hank, a cantankerous octopus; Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), the voice of Bailey, a misguided beluga whale; and Kaitlin Olson (“Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), who voices Destiny, a kind-hearted whale shark. Oscar®-winning Director Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”), co-director Angus MacLane and Producer Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”) offered details about the all-new story, which reunites Dory with friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale?
Said Stanton, “In FINDING DORY, we can expect to address the one emotionally open-ended issue that remained from the first movie: Where is Dory’s family, and will this overly-optimistic fish with short-term memory loss ever be able to find them again? Her issue has also given us the opportunity to travel to very different locations, on land and sea, and meet a variety of new sea creatures that expand the world of Nemo, Marlin and Dory.” Also featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton, Disney·Pixar’s FINDING DORY swims into theaters June 17, 2016.
Pixar Animation Studios marks the 20th Anniversary of TOY STORY this year. Said Lasseter, “All the characters from ‘Toy Story’—especially Woody and Buzz—are so close to us. They seem more like family members than just creations. Not only do we dearly love the characters, but we also love the world of ‘Toy Story’—the world where toys come to life when people are not in the room has always been rich with many story possibilities.”
WOW. Can you believe it’s been 20 YEARS since the first Toy Story?! Man, does that bring back the memories. at #D23EXPO we were treated to Randy Newman singing the grea, “You’ve Got a Friend In Me”…THE FEELS ya’ll! I literally had goosebumps and was glad this was the last film we chatted. about. THEN IT WAS CONFIRMED:
TOY STORY 4 (#ToyStory4)
Lasseter, who’s one of Pixar’s three founders, celebrated 20 years since TOY STORY transformed the animation industry and the art of storytelling. Also joining in the celebration were TOY STORY 4 co-director Josh Cooley (“Cars 2,” “Ratatouille”) and Producer Galyn Susman (“Toy Story OF TERROR!”). Screenwriters Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (“Celeste & Jesse Forever”) joined Buzz, Woody and Bo Peep for the celebration. “I’m very proud of our films,” said Lasseter. “When we made the first three TOY STORY films, we didn’t realize what we had done was to change the genre of each of the films’ story. For TOY STORY 4, we are doing a type of story we have not done before: a love story. It’s a story about a relationship between Woody and Bo Peep. ” TOY STORY 4, which will be directed by Lasseter and produced by Susman, is slated for release on June 16, 2017.
WHEW. That’s a lot! Which film are YOU most excited about?
***Disclosure: I attended the #D23EXPO event Set Visit My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***