Disney’s D23 Expo is touted as one of the biggest events this 2017. This year, D23 truly delivered with its cinematic and theme park exclusives, exciting panels, and featured the biggest names in Hollywood. The biennial event, which was hosted in Anaheim, California, was most lauded for its huge project reveals.
D23 Expo Top Reveals Fans Raved About
1. Wreck It Ralph 2 will have a new character and a slew of Disney princesses.
Ralph Breaks The Internet will debut on November 21, 2018. The sequel will see the titular character and Vanellope von Schweetz moving into the broader Internet and meeting new characters. Taraji P. Henson will lend voice to Yesss, an algorithm that powers a viral news site called Buzzaholic.
One of the most delightful surprises in D23 was the appearance of the original actors who voiced Disney’s iconic princesses. The characters played by Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Linda Larkin (Jasmine), Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Kelly MacDonald (Merida), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Kristen Bell (Anna), and Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) will be appearing in Wreck It Ralph 2.
2. Although Elsa doesn’t have any details about the Frozen sequel, Olaf gets its own icy spinoff.
Chris Buck giving Ice Olaf a warm hug in Montreal. pic.twitter.com/GE0BwkfzyL
— Walt Disney
Frozen (@FrozenFans) March 16,
Bell and co-star Josh Gad helped introduce the 21-minute featurette movie, which will star the lovable, singing snowman. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure will play in theaters alongside Pixar’s Coco in November. This is a relief for fans who wish to see more of Frozen.
When asked about additional details regarding Frozen 2, Bell and John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Disney and Pixar animation, didn’t share much. They did say directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee had traveled to Iceland supposedly for film research.
3. The Incredibles will return to the silver screen after 14 long years on June 15, 2018.
Retweet if you can’t wait for the 15th of June 2018.
The Incredibles II pic.twitter.com/LO1qmui4EC
— Danito Ⓜ (@realDANITO) July 25, 2017
The long-awaited sequel generated a lot of buzz lately, thanks to a video tribute to fashion designer Edna Mode. In the video, fashion heavyweights like André Leon Talley, Rachel Zoe, Heidi Klum, and Zac Posen praised the most intimidating character in the original movie.
At the D23 Expo, Director Brad Bird (who voiced Edna) introduced the rest of the returning cast members: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, and Samuel L. Jackson. Bird also showed an in-progress sequence of baby Jack-Jack showing his impressive powers.
4. The A Wrinkle In Time presentation garnered the loudest response at the D23 Expo.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 26, 2017
Award-winning director Ava DuVernay and cast members Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling were D23 Expo 2017 guests for the Saturday panel. The three introduced the trailer of their upcoming film, which was a mix of fantasy images playing to emotional beats to the delight of the audience.
Based on the science fiction novel of the same name by author Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle In Time will be played in theaters on March 9 next year.
5. The behind-the-scenes reel of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was something.
BTS Reel Pt. 1 ??Follow us @StarWars_VIII?? #StarWars #Episode8 #EpisodeVIII
#StarWarsVIII #StarWars8 #Wait4VIII
Director Rian Johnson took the D23 stage with the main cast of the latest Star Wars movie, including Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio Del Toro, and Laura Dern. The cast remained mum about The Last Jedi by not revealing any new details.
The behind-the scenes video, however, was interesting. Johnson, Ridley, Oscar Isaacs, and franchise veteran Mark Hamill made appearances with the clip. The entire mood of the clip was somber. At one point, Johnson said the upcoming movie will leave fans shocked. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will premiere in theaters on December 15 this year.
6. Carrie Fisher is recognized as a Disney Legend.
— Seth Kelley (@SethMKelley) July 14, 2017
Star Wars co-star and pal Hamill, Winfrey, and Whoopi Goldberg were recognized as Disney’s latest Legends. However, the three took their time at the awards ceremony to recognize the late actress, who is also a fellow Legend.
Scream Queens star Billie Lourd, who is Fisher’s daughter, also sent a letter to acknowledge the recognition on her mother’s behalf. Lourd said at the event:
“(My mother) secretly always wanted to be a Disney princess… So getting to be a Disney princess and a Disney legend would have been her ultimate dream.”
7. Disney revealed its live-action Aladdin and Jasmine.
— Christina Sloan (@Disneyer934) July 29, 2017
A D23 Expo 2017 exclusive, Disney said it has now found its Aladdin and Jasmine in actors Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. Massoud’s acting credits include Jack Ryan, Open Heart, and The 99. Scott, meanwhile, is known as the Pink Ranger in the 2017 Power Rangers movie.
The live-action adaptation of Aladdin will also feature Will Smith as the Genie. Disney has yet to announce who will be playing the iconic villain Jafar.
8. The new live-action Lion King pays homage to the original movie.
— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) February 18, 2017
The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau used elements of the famous opening sequence of the 1994 original for its teaser trailer. Before it was shown, emotions at the D23 Expo were built up when the venue went dark for a minute, followed by a shot of the sunrise above the beautiful woodlands and greenlands filled with wild animals to the tune of “Nants ingonyama bagithi baba”. A live action version of Rafiki the baboon then crawls toward Pride Rock.
Earlier, Disney announced that it has tapped actors Donald Glover and James Earl Jones to voice Simba and Mufasa. The live-action Lion King will debut in 2019.
9. Mary Poppins Returns shows what the iconic character’s life is after her wards have grown up.
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) July 15, 2017
The teaser for Mary Poppins Returns did not reveal too much about the movie, which stars Emily Blunt as the titular character. However, Disney promised that the sequel, which will take place 25 years after the original, will show Michael and Jane Banks as adults.
Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda will play a lamplighter in the movie and will join co-stars Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters. Mary Poppins Returns will delight fans on Christmas day next year.
10. Toy Story 4 confirmed with a new director.
Disney picked an enthusiastic image to announce ‘Toy Story 4’ (yep, Rashida Jones is there, she’s 1 of the writers) pic.twitter.com/LRipc2loBS
— Cam Williams (@MrCamW) November 7, 2014
Lasseter was originally tapped to co-direct the fourth installation of the beloved live-action film with Josh Cooley. However, he announced at the D23 Expo that he will step down as co-director of Toy Story 4. He did confirm he will remain on board as executive producer.
Toy Story 4 will be bringing in original stars Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. The film will be based on a story co-written by Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, which is based on a story by Pixar Braintrust. It will be shown in theaters on June 21, 2019.
11. A new, immersive Star Wars-themed attraction will be opened in 2019.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be the latest themed attraction to open at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The attraction will be set in a remote trading port supposedly located on the edge of wild space.
Fans will see the iconic features like Millennium Falcon and the Star Destroyer at the new attraction. Guests might need to take part in a quest for them to avoid being on the list of a bounty hunter. The droid Rex will be trading in his job as a star speeder pilot for Star Tours to be a DJ at Galaxy’s Edge.
12. Disney has huge plans for the 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort.
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) July 22, 2017
Disney is planning to make some timeless and relevant improvements to the resort to make it a place where “the real becomes fantastical and the fantastical becomes real.”
Two of which are for the Ratatouille themed attraction at the France Pavilion and a Guardians of the Galaxy E-ticket attraction. You’ll probably find your true love in one of these magical attractions once it’s open to the public soon.
13. Avengers: Infinity War unveils its teaser trailer only to D23 Expo attendees.
😮 Avengers: Infinity War is going to be EPIC! pic.twitter.com/tmJWyBkd8h
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) July 24, 2017
An exclusive teaser trailer for Marvel’s next superhero movie was shown, and it was a lot to take in. The teaser trailer itself was otherworldly, taking the superheroes to various parts of the universe leading to their confrontation with Thanos.
The entire cast and crew also showed up at D23 for the movie presentation. Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos in the film, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr., and co-director Joe Russo went onstage.
Avengers: Infinity War debuts in theaters on April 28, 2018.
Check out the D23 Expo 2017 Highlights recap by Variant Comics:
Disney’s revelations at the D23 Expo only showed the company’s commitment to going bigger and bolder. The other thing to note is how the fans showed their support for Disney’s latest projects. Indeed, Disney has come a long way from its humble roots as a small colored animation studio in 1923.
What was your favorite moment at the D23 Expo 2017? Share it with us by leaving a comment below!
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