D23 Expo: Studio Panel Part 1 – The Animation Side

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Today’s is the second day of our coverage of the D23 Expo, and it started off in a big way with the Walt Disney Studios panel. For those in attendance, we were treated to a very cool two and a half hour behind the scenes look of what’s to come over the next few years from the Walt Disney Studios output from Disney Toons, Pixar, their live action division, Disney Nature, and Marvel Entertainment. There was so much to talk about, I’ve decided I’m going to split it up this article into two separate posts: One for the animation side, and one for the live action side. The first place we’ll begin is with Walt Disney’s animation side of the studio.

Disney Toon Studios ‘Planes’

  • ‘Planes’ is in an off shoot of the Pixar’s ‘Cars’ films and takes place in the same universe.(stay tuned later today for Chip’s post)
  • The main character is a crop duster named Dusty who is on a world wide adventure.
  • Dusty will be voiced by John Cryer of ‘Two and a Half Men’ fame.
  • The movie will be released in Spring 2013.
Walt Disney Animations ‘Wreck-it-Ralph’
  • ‘Wreck-it Ralph’ will be released on November 2, 2012
  • The film is about a arcade game villain who, after continuously being defeated by a hero named Fix-it Felix, Jr., decides he know longer wants to be a villain. He sets out to find his new home in a new game where he can be a hero.
  • The main character of Ralph is voiced by John C. Reilly. Other cast members include Jack McBrayer (’30 Rock’), Jane Lynch (‘Glee’), Sarah Silverman (‘The Sarah Silverman Program’).
  • The movie is directed by Rick Moore, of ‘Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama’ fame.
Pixar’s ‘Brave’
  • June 22, 2012
  • John Lasseter said this will be Pixar’s “First fairy tale…sort of.”
  • The movie will be Pixar’s first with a female lead, named Merida, and their first period piece.
  • The movie is set in ancient Scotland.
  • It is directed by Mark Andrews, who has been with Pixar since 2004.
  • The voice cast includes Melly McDonald (‘Boardwalk Empire’) as the voice of Merida, as well as Billy Connolly (‘Boondock Saints’), Emma Thompson (‘Harry Potter’, ‘Nanny McPhee’), Craig Ferguson (‘Winnie the Pooh’, ‘The Late Late Show’), Robbie Coltrane (‘Harry Potter, ‘Goldeneye’), and Kevin McKidd (‘Grey’s Anatomy’).
Pixar’s ‘Monsters University’
  • The movie is a prequel to the original film and follows Mike and Sully through college, before they were friends.
  • It’ll be an animated college movie.
  • The film will feature many familiar characters, such as Randall and Roz, while featuring many new characters.
  • The movie is directed by Dan Scanlon.
  • The film is set for Summer 2013.
At the end of the panel, Pixar also announced two brand new projects. One for Winter 2013, and one for 2014. The first film will be directed by Bob Peterson and will be about dinosaurs. As of right now it’s known as ‘The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs’, but said there should be new information in the coming months. The second film will be directed by Pete Docter and is going to be set in the “world of your own mind”. It is currently known as ‘The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes Place Inside the Mind’. As the animation half was coming to a close, all those who worked for Pixar who were present took to the stage to celebrate Pixar’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Buzz and Woody came out and gave them all a cake, and then the entire crowd was given cupcakes with the Luxo Ball frosted on the top. And this was all just for the first hour and a half! Stay tuned for my second post regarding Disney’s live action news.
Thanks to D23 Media for the pictures.


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