We just got out of the animation panel at the D23 Expo, featuring Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, and Disneytoon Studios, and… wow. We are really excited about the upcoming slate of animation.
“We’ve installed seatbelts on all of your seats, I recommend you fasten them.” – John Lasseter on what was coming up in the presentation
Toy Story OF TERROR!
The panel audience was the first to see any of Toy Story OF TERROR!, the spooky animated special featuring our Toy Story faves. While we don’t have any footage to show you (it was only for those lucky ducks in attendance), Pixar did release a new still:
The 30-minute special premieres on ABC October 16, 2013.
Kristen Bell and Josh Gad showed up to share some never-before-seen footage from Frozen. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Broadway veteran Idina Menzel sang “Let It Go”, a powerful new song from the film, while snow (confetti) drifted magically around the arena. Emotions.
Bonus: Walt Disney Animation Studios just released this new still of Anna meeting mountain-man Kristoff for the first time.
Frozen hits theaters nationwide November 27.
Get a Horse
Get a Horse, featuring Walt Disney HIMSELF as the voice of Mickey, premiered today at the Expo.
The black-and-white, hand-drawn, theatrical short opens in theaters in front of Frozen on November 27.
The Pirate Fairy
Disneytoon Studios announced The Pirate Fairy, the newest addition to the Disney Fairies franchise. The best part? Christina Hendricks and Tom Hiddleston have joined the cast to voice Zarina (the misunderstood dust-keeper fairy) and a young Captain Hook, respectively.
In an amazing turn of events, Tom Hiddleston revealed that his favorite movie growing up was The Jungle Book, and that for an audition to a London theatre school, he sang “Bare Necessities” instead of something classical or from a musical like everyone else. He emphatically announced that he wasn’t going to sing it in the panel today, and the crowded booed him! SO HE SANG THE CHORUS OF BARE NECESSITIES.
The Pirate Fairy is slated for release in Spring 2014.
Bonus: John introduced a video that took the audience inside the Disneytoon Studios offices and highlighted an all-you-can-eat cereal bar, walls made of recycled wood from a basketball court, and the fact that the food at DTS is the best food EVER.
The Good Dinosaur
Co-director Peter Sohn and producer Denise Ream were on hand to announce key members of the voice cast, including Lucas Neff, Bill Hader, Judy Greer, Neil Patrick Harris, John Lithgow, and Frances McDormand. (That is a lot of celebrities in one sentence.) Neff, Hader, and Greer were there in person:
The Good Dinosaur asks the generations-old question: What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? The film will be in theaters May 30, 2014.
Planes: Fire & Rescue
Planes star Dane Cook joined director Bobs Gannaway to show concept art and footage from the film. They also announced that Julie Bowen will join the second Planes film as the voice of Lil’ Dipper.
Planes: Fire & Rescue will be in theaters on July 18, 2014.
Big Hero 6
Director Don Hall treated the panel to a story presentation, including a sizzle and concept art:
Big Hero 6 will be in theaters November 7, 2014.
There are many, many reasons to be excited about this movie, but here’s a big one: Amy Poehler will be joining the cast as the voice of Joy. Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, and Bill Hader will be lending their voices to the film as well. The audience met two of the film’s five starring emotions, Sadness and Fear, when Smith and Hader appeared on stage to greet fans.
Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out will be in theaters June 19, 2015.
Director Andrew Stanton and producer Lindsey Collins made exciting announcements about the voice cast—Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, and Ty Burrell will be joining Ellen Degeneres in the film.
The panel was interrupted when Bill Hader (dressed as a sea cucumber) suggested that a role be added for him in Finding Dory. It would be his fourth turn voicing a Pixar character, and as he put it, would make him “Pixar’s Lucky Charm”. In an appropriate response, Pixar’s actual lucky charm, John Ratzenberger, paraded onto the stage with the Disneyland marching band. Ratzenberger then joined Hader in a hilarious duel of joke one-upmanship.
Finding Dory reunites Dory with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way. (Say it with us: awww!) Finding Dory will be in theaters November 25, 2015.
Zootopia (Working Title)
Director Byron Howard and writer Jared Bush shared plans for the upcoming comedy adventure Zootopia. In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who’s trying to make it big goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends.
Byron Howard noted that when he told John Lasseter that he loved classic Disney movies about animals (The Jungle Book, Dumbo, One Hundred and One Dalmatians) and wanted to make another, John lifted him into the air, “like a baby Simba.”
Zootopia will be In theaters in 2016.
Final amazing thing that happened: John Lasseter changed his shirt three times during the presentation. He began with a Monsters University shirt, then switched to a Planes shirt, and finally a Wreck-it Ralph shirt. So, basically he represented all three studios he heads up through his fashion choices. We approve.