Written by Karlamon :
Greetings, fellow Disney fans! It was that time once again for the grand D23 Expo, which took place this year from July 14 to 16. This is Disney’s bi-annual convention which showcases many of their upcoming projects. Whether it’s Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars, theres always bound to be something to get hyped for with these announcements from the Magic Kingdom!
[Image credit: Comic Book Cast]
For this article, I’ll primarily be focusing on the animation aspects of the convention, and will briefly talk about the live-action productions, with research done on a variety of trusted news websites. There’s a lot to get through, so lets get into it!
Disney Animation / DisneyToon
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
It may seem like a huge mouthful of a title, but Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 marks as the highly anticipated return of Ralph and Vanellope as they venture out onto the world wide web. On stage, directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston announced a new character for the film; an algorithm called Buzzaholic (voiced by Taraji P. Henson of Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade), which seems like an obvious parody of viral news sites like BuzzFeed.
(Psst… Don’t fall for whatever clickbait crap BuzzFeed writes.)
Another big announcement is that there will be plenty of cameos in the sequel. Not just from Marvel and Star Wars, but also all of the Disney Princesses hang out with Vanelllope in the presented D23 clip! That, and the original voices of the modern princess have returned to reprise their roles, with 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).
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 will be released on November 21, 2018, so set you’re calendar if you’re keen to get back into the game with Ralph!
Frozen 2 / Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
Yes folks, no Disney event is complete without freezing us with more Frozen stuff. As an appetiser to Frozen 2, Disney is preparing a new Frozen featurette titled Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, which will be released with Pixar’s Coco this Thanksgiving. D23 audiences were presented with a live musical number performed by Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf the snowman.
Speaking of the sequel, Kristen Bell (the voice of Anna) and executive producer John Lasseter took stage to discuss about it’s status. The only details they revealed was that directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee have traveled to Iceland, Norway, and Finland to research the icy landscapes for the film.
The “Frozen fever” will fully return when Frozen 2 releases on November 27, 2019, 6 years after the original.
Untitled outer space film
Ever wish the Cars franchise should get beamed off the face of the Earth? Well you’re in luck (kinda), because DisneyToon Studios is producing the series’ second spinoff (the first being Planes) thats literally in space! It isn’t known if the film will be connected with Planes, but what we do know is that the space movie will be released on April 12, 2019.
Releasing on November 22 this year, Coco is going to be Pixar’s next big hit, and their second release of 2017 following Cars 3. The filmmakers presented new footage to the audience, including an extended sequence of Miguel being transported to the Land of the Dead after attempting to steal his grandfather’s guitar.
Attached to Coco will be the previously-mentioned Frozen featurette Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, so that will be two different holiday celebrations in one screening!
The Incredibles 2
The most-anticipated animated sequel of all time is finally becoming a reality in The Incredibles 2, scheduled for release on June 15, 2018. On stage, director (and voice of Edna Mode) Brad Bird brought in most of the original cast members including Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter as Elastigirl, Sarah Vowell as Violet, and Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone. The only replacement actor was Huck Milner as Dash, due to Spencer Fox’s voice deepening since the 2004 original.
The sequel is said to begin almost immediately where the first movie ended, where the Incredibles are about to face the Underminer (voiced by John Ratzenberger). An exclusive clip was shown to D23 audiences, which features baby Jack-Jack using his superpowers on a raccoon.
Toy Story 4
Releasing on June 21, 2019, Toy Story 4 will bring Woody, Buzz, and their friends back to the big screen after a 9-year absence. The only announcement made at this year’s D23 was that John Lasseter has stepped down from directing, and has passed the torch onto co-director Josh Cooley to complete the movie. Lasseter stated at an international press conference:
“I always felt like I need to keep directing, and that’s why I decided to do Toy Story 4 initially, but I oversee three studios and I think I counted 24 feature films I’m overseeing, and it was not really practical, to be blunt. But also what made it easy was Josh Cooley was amazing; wait until you see it – he is so good. And it was time to let go of the bike and let him ride, and he’s doing a great job. It’s really fantastic. And I do get creative satisfaction from being the executive producer, the chief creative officer, and helping all of these great filmmakers. So that’s what made the decision for me, and I’m loving what I do. I have the best job in the world.”
On a side note, it was confirmed that Toy Story is going to be a featured world in the long-awaited video game Kingdom Hearts III. The new trailer (which has Japanese audio with English subtitles) confirms that the game finally has a set release year of 2018, releasing for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The Untitled Pixar Film That Takes You To A Suburban Fantasy World
John Lasseter announced that Pixar will be creating a new original movie, currently known as The Untitled Pixar Film That Takes You To A Suburban Fantasy World, helmed by Monsters University director Dan Scanlon. Scanlon based the idea on his personal story where his father died at an early age, and only heard the two-word voice of his dad via a tape recording.
The movie is a suburban fantasy adventure which follows two teenage elf brothers set off to spend one last day with their lost father. The world is said to be rather dark based on concept art, where unicorns are even frowned upon as trash pests! No release date is set yet, but I sure am intrigued by this.
Special previews of A Wrinkle in Time, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and Mary Poppins Returns (all releasing in 2018) were screened for the D23 fans. However, the big bucks are expected to come in the following years with their
cynical cash grabs live-action remakes. Tim Burton’s Dumbo remake got a March 29, 2019 release date, the Mulan remake has been delayed to 2019, and the Aladdin remake got an announced cast. This includes Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Will Smith as the Genie.
But the big breakthrough of the panel came in the form of Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King. Using the same groundbreaking CGI technology he implemented in his remake of The Jungle Book, the clip presented a shot-by-shot recreation of the “Circle of Life” opening, and was met with a huge applause by the crowd. The Lion King remake will release theatrically on July 19, 2019.
Avengers: Infinity War looks set to be not only the biggest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also the biggest superhero movie of all time. Marvel fans were in for a big treat when many of the iconic cast members came to the stage, and presented an exclusive teaser of the movie. It was not released to the public, so those who didn’t attend will have to crave a bit longer for the teaser.
Avengers: Infinity War releases on May 4, 2018, with another Avengers movie to follow up the year after.
The Star Wars panel featured director Rian Johnson and many of the sequel trilogy’s cast members talking about the highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While no plot details were announced, they did however gave fans a behind-the-scenes look on the new movie.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to take off in cinemas on December 15 this year.
And that concludes our special article on the D23 Expo of 2017! Share your thoughts on the announcements and which movies you’re excited for. Disney will be back for another D23 Expo in mid-2019!
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