On Friday afternoon, the Anaheim Convention Center's Hall D became Hall D23, where Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Studios would host their bi-annual D23 Expo presentation, showcasing successes of recent years and major upcoming films.
A reel kicks off the presentation, with footage from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Moana, Brauty and the Beast, Rogue One, Cars 3, The Jungle Book, Doctor Strange, Pirates of the Caribean, Captain America: Civil War, and The Last Jedi. New titles, such as Mary Popping, Wreck It Ralph 2, Mary Poppins, and more take the screen.
Alan Horn takes the stage to kick off the presentation. He highlights this morning's Disney Legends Awards ceremony and points out he is wearing a Pluto pin.
"Today, of course, is all about animation," Horn said. "Tomorrow we'll have actual people."
He highlights the several studios which Disney manages but credits all of their success to the foundation laid out by animation. "Ever since the early days of our first animated film, Snow White, which premiered in 1987... Animation Studios have been filled with world class storytellers, creative wizards always pushing the envelope of this time honored art form."
He highlights the successes of Zootopia, Finding Dory, and Moana. Most recently, Lightning McQueen "lit up the track" in Cars 3.
To highlight the upcoming films, Horn introduces Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, who fires t-shirt cannons into the crowd.
"Today, we are gonna show you things that no one has seen outside the walls of our studio," Lasseter said. "We're gonna make some announcements of new stuff."
First up, he'll discuss Disney Toons. They are working to make an animated film centered around flight and aviation. He introduces a clip he calls "the speed test."
In the footage, an airplane part is crashed in a desert. Suddenly, a fighter jet zips into frame and across the desert. It's flying extremely low. Another jet joins it in flight. They zip through canyons, through craters, and continue alongside one another. Getting close, we see the planes have eyes on their windows. They fly to the edge of the atmosphere, bordering space. A stealth bomber flies behind them and takes a shot, narrowly missing. "Disney SPACE" the screen says before it becomes, "This SPACE to be filled with a title when we announce one."
Olaf's Frozen Adventure will be a 21-minute featurette released in theaters this November with Pixar's Coco. Directred be Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers Skelton, produced by Roy Conli. Four brand new song from ELyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson. The entire original cast is back.
Kristen Bell takes the stage to share more.
"Olaf's Frozen Adventure takes place during the first winter since [they] have reopened the door to the castle," Bell said. "Anna and Else welcome everyone to the castle to celebrate the Christmas holdiay but the villagers all leave early" to celebrate with their own families. The girls realize they "don't actually have any holiday traditions of their own. It breaks Olaf's tiny little heart to see the girls so sad." He teels Sven they have to go round up the greatest traditions and bring them back to the castle. "As Olaf collects those traditions, he starts to feel musical."
Bell introduces some footage but it freezes. She says the only way to do it correctly is to bring Josh Gad to the stage. He bursts out and restarts the footage. He performs Olaf's voice live with the footage.
After a stand ovation from the crowd, Gad thanks the crowd. He is excited to right a wrong, "At last Olaf, like Luke Skywalker before him, is front and center," Gad said. "It's an ensemble," Bell points out. "I see Olaf's Frozen Adventure. Perhaps it's a typo?"
Now it's time to talk about Frozen 2.
"We don't really like that title, either," Lasseter said. He jokes more about the title choices, from Frozen To, Frozen Toe, Thawed, Frozen Solid, and Fro-Yo.
"For this film, our filmmakers were inspired by some of the most glorious filmmakers on the planet," Lasseter said. Bell chimes in to share that the inspiration from the film is coming from a global adventure by directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho.
"Now please enjoy the filmmakers personal videos enjoying their incredible trip," Gad said. A video plays, with images and video from the crew's cold, global journey.
Footage from Wreck It Ralph 2 takes over. Ralph gains access to the Internet and becomes trapped inside the connection. He leaves the arcade through the wires and meets the entire Internet. Ads get in his face suddenly, acting as pop ups. "I'm gonna wreck it!" he yells over the title.
"If you like seeing video games brought to life in Wreck It Ralph," Lasseter starts, "You are going to go crazy for seeing the Internet brought to life in Wreck It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet."
The directors take the stage.
"When we thought about where to take these characters next, we had to go big," Rich Moore said.
"This time, Ralph and his pal Vannelope are going to escape the arcade world," Phil Johnston adds before introducing the star.
Sarah Silverman is introduced to the stage to share more details. "In our story, Vannelope's game Sugar Rush breaks, and Ralph and Vannelope have to travel into the internet to find a replacement part. It's the only way to save the game."
"As Ralph and Vannelope explore this massive universe, they're going to meet several new characters, including one who appears to be an expert of this massive universe," Johnston said.
The character is Yesss and she is dressed in blue, extravagantly. She is an algorithm for the site BuzzAholic.
"Because she's always up on the latest trend, she has the ability to shift he hair and outfits." Playing Yesss will be Taraji P. Henson.
A clip plays for D23's eyes only....
Yesss talks to Ralph and Vannelope and asks if they are enjoying the Internet. He says, "Yes," and she thinks he is saying her name. Once that is cleared up, Ralph reveals he wants to go viral. Yesss discusses how to pull it off, and it's all about like-minded humans and appealing to them. The site which appeals to everyone is ohmydisney.com, and the animation features Iron Man, Star Wars, Tinkerbell, and more Disney character. I a Marvel Yourself booth, people turn into Iron Man and Stan Lee. Elsewhere, people push Buzz Lightyear's buttons. A little girl plays with Zoom-Zooms until Stormtroopers escort the Disney princesses by. The crowd goes will. Yesss insists they cannot mess with the princesses. Vannelope wants to go mess with them anyway. Inside the room, the Disney princesses are shocked to see Vannelope. They all draw weapons -- Moana, Cinderella, Repunzel, Jasmine, Snow White, Ariel and more are ready to go. They question how she is a princess and gleefully tell horror stories of their origins. They call her a princess when they realize her life was great until a big strong man showed up. A Batman style transitions takes the clip to girls having a slumber party. Ariel starts singing about wearing a shirt for the first time and the princesses beg her to stop. Vannelope calls the princesses cool because they're as messed up as anyone. Jasmine reveals she is allergic to cats despite hanging around a tiger all the time. C-3PO eventually enters and tells them they have five minutes. They call him R2-D2, then BB-8. He says he longs for the days of Captain Solo. Vannelope is happy to have met them and prepares to leave.
The footage gets a roaring applause. John Lasseter reveals the original voice actresses for the princesses, including Ming Na Wen as Mulan, Idina Menzel as Elsa, Jodi Benson as Ariel Paige O'Hara as Bell, Linda Larkin as Jasmine, Irene Bedard as Pocahantas, Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, Mandy Moore as Repunzel, Kelly MacDonald as Merida, Kristen Bell as Anna, Auli'i Cravalho as Moana, and Sarah Silverman as Vanellope.
"We were wondering how the heck we were gonna follow that, so we'll follow it with Incredibles 2," Lasseter said. He's been excited for this movie since before D23 existed. "There's one character who is just so interesting from the Incredibles that people keep talking about..."
A reel of fashion design takes the screen. Fashion designers describe Edna and their experience with her a Paris Fashion Week. Various celebrities and designers compliment Edna and thank her for all of the inspiration.
Writer/director Brad Bird takes the stage. "It's so great to be here to tell you about the film," Bird said. "It's fundamentally a story abot family...with this new film, we're excited to jump back into that world." He unveils 3D models of the family as they'll appear in the new film. "We have controls able to do so much more than before," he says, while expression tests take the screens. The entire family is back, down to Violet, Dash, and Jack Jack.
"You the audience know that he has super powers but the family is unaware. We're having fun with that in the film."
"There's an issue with the family's house," Bird recalls. "So, the family has to get a new house. As you can see, it's kind of a cross between a dram house and a super lair -- a secret agents hosue or something. Water flows throughout the whole building and its made almost entirely of sharp corners which is not ideal for a baby."
"The whole world of Incredibles 2 is gonna be greatly expanded upon," Bird said, introducing an image of a hydra liner cruise-looking ship and a slew of super hero illustrations. "We'll be seeing a lot more of Elastagirl," with a chain of events putting her at the forefront of the film's plot.
He can't wait for everyone to see it "next summer."
Craig T. Nelson (voice of Bob) takes the stage, along with Helen voice actress Holly Hunter, Violet voice actress Sarah Mount, new Dash voice actor Huck Milner, and Samuel L. Jackson who voices Lucius Best.
This is the first time the cast has been together. Bird asks for advices for the young new Dash actor. They all joke with him, including Jackson saying, "Never read the comments."
Bird introduces a work-in-progress clip from the film.
Jack Jack sits on Bob's lap and watches a robbery on television. He compares the robber to a raccoon eating from the trash and now wants to attack the raccoon. He uses his powers to move through a glass door, take the chiken leg from the raccoon, put it back in the trash, and put the lid on the trash. He and the raccoon get into a wrestling match through the yard. Jack Jack kicks him through a lawn chair before igniting with fire, throwing charis out of his way, and approaching the a raccoon. A mess ensues and the raccoon is left running from Jack Jack's laser eyes. Jack Jack catches him in an umbrella and ends up wrestling him again, with the raccoon grabbing onto him and getting caught as he becomes a mushy, sticky substance. Bob runs out and tries to stop him, scooping Jack Jack up, but Jack Jack forms into five versions of himself. Bob picks them all up and he becomes one again. Bob is ecstatic to learn his son has powers.
Josh Cooley will direct Toy Story 4 solo, with John Lasseter on board as executive producer. Cooley takes the stage.
Cooley recalls meeting Lasseter and tells a funny story about sharing hugs with him. He will work with many of the original crew of Toy Story on Toy Story 4. He put together a short video to showcase what the team is working on.
Cooley and Jonas Rivera (producer) tour the Pixar offices. There will be all new characters in Toy Story 4, in addition to returning characters. A war room is filled with grown people acting like children with toys. Albert Lozano, character art director, reveals some expressions and art of Lulu, but they won't reveal who the character is. Cooley keeps toys in his office for inspiration. Downstairs in animation, a few new characters - a duck and a bunny - a shown in early stages. They rush around the office and introduce dozens of employees to D23. They show the first line being recorded and it is the voice of the aliens!
"At the beginning of the presentation, I mentioned that D23 has become the place for us to announce new films, which we're gonna do right now," Lasseter said.
"New worlds that they've never seen before," leads to Pixar's next original film set in "Suburban Fantasy World," (the temporary title) from Dan Scanlon of Monsters University. Kori Rae of Monsters University will produce. "This film is based on a very personal story of mine," Scanlon said. His father passed away when he was very young and he never remembered him. He never even heard his voice. "A relative sent us an audiotape that they thought might have our father's voice on it," Scanlon said. At the end of the tape, they heard their father say, "Hi" and "Bye." To him and his brother, it was "magical." They always wondered who their father was and "that question became the blueprint for this film." This film sees a world where machines took the place of magic, with stoves, microwaves, and others replacing them. "This world is basically a mix of the fantastic and the everyday."
"In this world, there are no humans. There are just elves, trolls sprites, pretty much anything that would be on the side of a van in the 70s. And there are unicorn everywhere! In this film, we're going to tell the story of two teenage brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him."
"Wait til you see this movie," Lasseter said of Coco. Director Lee Unkrich, co-director Adrian Molina, and producer Darla K. Anderson take the stage.
Anthony Gonzalez will voice a core character, Miguel, whose best friend is a dog named Dante. Ernesto dela Cruz is voiced by Benajmin Bratt. An early animation is the character singing plays. When Miguel realizes he is related to the famous singer Ernesto, his guitar is taken away from him.
Another clip shows Miguel racing into town to enter the town's talent show. The film arrives in theaters later this year.