Highlights From Disney’s D23 Expo [Feature]


Comic book and pop culture fans aren’t the only ones who get conventions. There is a convention for darn near everything, and Disney is no exception. D23 is a club for Disney fans that was launched in 2009. The first D23 expo was held that year, and the second expo took place over last weekend. The line-up included panels, autograph signings, presentations, and a Dick Van Dyke concert. I’m not kidding. Just like San Diego Comic-Con, a day of the convention (Saturday) even sold out. Disney came armed with news from all corners of their vast kingdom, including Pixar, ABC, and Marvel.

Photo from Lebeau's Le Blog

Fantasyland expansions

In the parks corner, the expansion of Fantasyland at Disney World is still on track. They shared video of testing for the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coast but nothing new was revealed. The lack of news in this division is just as telling as big announcements. They did have a model available, and you can view several pictures here.

Footage from Pixar’s Brave Looks Promising

Cars II turned a few fans off. I mean, how dare Pixar have one lackluster movie (according to some) in their collection. The upcoming Brave, set for release in 2012, looks like it will pull disgruntled fans back in. The film is a first for Pixar on a few counts. It’s their first film featuring a female lead; the heroine is redheaded Merida. It’s also their first period piece. The tale is set in the Highlands of Scotland. An extended clip as well as some unfinished scenes were revealed at D23 and it looks like it will be a return to form.

Upcoming Pixar films

If the teaser trailers and images for Brave don’t make you happy enough, worry not. Pixar announced two upcoming films; and at least one of them is sure to make you smile. They will be releasing a movie about dinosaurs in November 2013. If that doesn’t restore your faith in humankind I don’t know what will. Pixar plus dinosaurs equals heaven. The film will take a look at what would have happened if the dinosaurs hadn’t been wiped out. Another film, due May 2014, will look inside the human brain.

Avengers assemble

Marvel might have skipped San Diego Comic-Con, but they made up for it at D23. Their panel, which covered some animation topics and some feel good talk about their relationship with Disney, concluded with a new clip for The Avengers. Let’s be honest. Regardless of their talking points, all anyone would have heard was blah, blah, blah Avengers! Marvel knows this. They had as much of the cast as possible on hand for the shining moment. Newsarama breaks down the clip scene by scene.

These highlights stole the show, but they were far from the only headlines released. John Lasseter discussed the next animated films for Walt Disney Animation Studios: Planes (spring 2013) and Wreck-It Ralph (November 2012). Monsters University, a college days prequel to Monsters, Inc., will be released in 2013 with familiar voices. Tim Burton also has a new stop-motion film in the works called Frankenweenie. The story about a boy bringing his dog back from the dead is in production and should be out in October 2012.

Can you believe most of that news came out of a three-hour panel? Actually, I think the term used was “event.” It’s an interesting approach to dump all the information at one time instead of letting it trickle out. Considering the buzz on the internet and social media websites over the weekend though, I think Disney knows what they are doing. Most of the time.

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