There’s nowhere but at D23 Expo can you gain vital access to Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming film, stage and music projects. From enlightening Panel discussions to magnificent art exhibits, this year Studio offers two arena shows, jump starting the Expo at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, with “Art and Imagination: Animation at The Walt Disney Studios,” a short of future cartoon films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and DisneyToon Studios. John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Disney’s Animation Studios, will emcee an entertaining exhibition, featuring a chock-full of never-before-seen footage, celebrity and filmmaker appearances, and live performances from films like Disney’s Frozen, Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur and the Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse!
On Saturday morning, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, Disney Live Action Production President Sean Bailey, and Marvel Studios President and Producer Kevin Feige will host “Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios.” This marvelous trek through the Studio’s exciting, live-action offerings from Disney also includes several dynamic pictures on tap from Marvel Studios. Stay tuned for Special clips and surprise guests from a range of films including Saving Mr. Banks, Tomorrowland, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and much more.
D23 fans can expect appearances from Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel (Frozen), Dane Cook (Disney’s Planes), Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak (Saving Mr. Banks), Ty Burrell (Muppets Most Wanted) and top Marvel Universe stars and Disney•Pixar talent. And in typical D23 Expo fashion, fans can also anticipate surprise appearances from more of their favorite stars.
In “Broadway & Beyond…Celebrating the Stars of Disney on Broadway,” Friday, Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m., audiences will take a musical adventure with Disney Theatrical Productions President Thomas Schumacher and a cadre of stage stars, including Heidi Blickenstaff (The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast), Merle Dandridge (Tarzan® and AIDA), Josh Strickland (Tarzan) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King). This talented group will belt out tunes from the award-winning musicals they starred in, as well as classic tunes from the Disney on Broadway catalog.
All weekend, D23 fans can go “behind-the-scenes” with the animation artists at Disney and Pixar with several featured panels, including:
- Inside the Ice: The Art of Disney’s Frozen – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ big-screen comedy adventure Frozen. Its chilly, environment and colorful cast of characters, presented breathtaking opportunities, plus a few obstacles for filmmakers. Join the team behind the movie for an exclusive look at the art and animation of Frozen. (Saturday, Aug. 10, 10:30 a.m.)
- The Art of The Good Dinosaur – Pixar Animation Studios’ latest feature takes a look at what might have occurred if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely. And, giant dinosaurs never became nonexistent. Examine this creative world of possibility, the artistry and production design behind it. (Saturday, Aug. 10, 3 p.m.)
- Toy Story OF TERROR! and the Motivation Behind Pixar’s Short Form Content – From toys on, vacation to tow-riffic four wheelers, Pixar maintains some of their most beloved characters alive and well through short-form content. Angus MacLane, director of Toy Story OF TERROR!, a new adventure featuring Woody, Buzz and the Toy Story gang set for release on TV this fall; producer Galyn Susman; and other Pixar short-form filmmakers share their experiences and discuss the exciting challenges of expanding the worlds of these characters loved by audiences across the globe. (Saturday, Aug. 10, 5 p.m.)
- Pixar: Doing Our Homework – Research is a pivotal part of the filmmaking process. And, with a story in hand, Pixar artists set out to become experts, submerging themselves in places, societies and experiences that inspire and inform their filmmaking: whether it be spirited Scots, delectable French cuisine, or deep sea adventures. (Friday, Aug. 9, 6 p.m.
- Women of Pixar – Jessie. Dory. Sally. Merida. Hear each journey of the animated Pixar female character. Although they’ve existed in different worlds, they share the commonality of possessing girl power. Meet and discover how this dynamic group of women from Disney Pixar, could help create some of the most memorable animated films in recent history. They will share stories from their journeys and the lessons they have learned along the way (Sunday, Aug. 11, 1 p.m.). Expo attendees will also have access to an Exclusive Screening of Disney’s Planes in 3D, featuring an introduction by some very special guests. (Friday, August 9, 3 p.m.)
As Disney welcomes Lucasfilm into the clan, fans will have an opportunity to probe deep in the Star Wars universe with a “Crash Course in the Force: Star Wars Saga 101,” an “immersive” journey into the rich history of the worldwide phenomenon, led by Lucasfilm’s resident authority Pablo Hidalgo. (Saturday, Aug. 10, 5 p.m.)
Music fans will be treated to performances by Good Luck Charlie star and platinum-selling Hollywood Records artist Bridgit Mendler (Saturday, Aug. 10, 2:30p.m.-4:30p.m.), and Hollywood Records artists R5, fronted by Teen Beach Movie and Austin & Ally star Ross Lynch (Saturday, Aug. 10, 4:30p.m.-5p.m.). D23 will also present Richard Sherman and Alan Menken, two of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and composers who have won a combined 10 Academy Awards for their work with Disney. In addition, Grammy® Award-winning producer and resident Disney Music Historian, Randy Thornton, will take fans on a musical journey with inside stories of songs written for classic Disney films.
Out on the Expo floor, fans can discover the world of The Walt Disney Studios at their freedom with comprehensive exhibits, including:
- Walt Disney Animation Studios Pavilion – Guests can summon their inner artist and escape into diverse worlds of where there’s much to explore, from the stunning snow-covered setting of Frozen to the high-tech, action-packed world of Big Hero 6, featuring the latest animation technology, behind-the-scenes, and giveaways.
- Disneytoon Studios Pavilion – Aviation aficionados and fairy fans will be on Cloud Nine, as they examine projects, including Disney’s Planes and immerse themselves in the world of Pixie Hollow and the magical heroines from Disney’s Fairies, with thrilling demonstrations and presentations.
- Walt Disney Studios In-Home Entertainment Zones – Plunge into cutting-edge home entertainment technology, and discover what the future holds for Disney movie fans, with sneak peeks of upcoming films in breathtaking high-definition Blu-ray 3D™, including original hit films and new-to-Blu classics, the latest on Disney Second Screen and more. Also, the adorable Disney “Buddies” are back with an all-new movie—Super Buddies—coming August 27! Fans can get a picture with one of the real puppy super heroes. They are appearing live at D23 Expo for the first time—Saturday and Sunday! Wow! Now, this is the place to get in the know on the upcoming Disney movies? Wanna watch any Disney teaser? Chances are, it’s being screened or discussed during this weekend. Plus, you can join a panel with the animator or attend a fascinating art exhibit! D23 is the exclusive place for fans!!
Tickets to the D23 Expo are accessible at D23Expo.com. Price includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 Expo, and can be purchased for single days or for the full three days. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will obtain a reduction for up to four admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 Expo for themselves and their guests. For more information on D23 Expo 2013, visit D23Expo.com.
– That’s IT Mom Penny