For those that couldn’t attend the Walt Disney Studios presentation during the 2011 D23 Expo, here is a summary of the movies that were discussed. Leading the presentation were Rich Ross (Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios), Sean Bailey (President, Production, The Walt Disney Studios), John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios), and Kevin Feige (Producer and President, Marvel Studios).
- DisneyToon Studios’ Planes – It was announced that actor Jon Cryer (TV’s “Two and a Half Men”) will voice the main character in DisneyToon Studios’ Planes. Jon joined John Lasseter on stage for the announcement and to introduce the teaser trailer of the film.
- Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph – Director Rich Moore welcomed Jack McBrayer and Sarah Silverman on stage where the D23 audience was the first to see the opening sequence from the movie. Here is the film description from the one-pager:
U.S. Release Date: November 2, 2012
Voice Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch
Director: Rich Moore
Producer: Clark Spencer
Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore (TV’s “The Simpsons,” “Futurama”) take moviegoers on a hilarious, video-game-hopping journey in “Wreck-It Ralph,” the story of an arcade game Bad Guy determined to prove he can be a Good Guy.
Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game’s perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes… so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan—win a medal—but soon wrecks everything, and accidently unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph’s only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman), a young troublemaking “glitch” from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it’s “Game Over” for the entire arcade?
“Wreck-It Ralph,” an action-packed, visually stunning CG comedy set in contrasting worlds that are like nothing ever before seen on the big screen, is produced by Clark Spencer (“Lilo & Stitch,” “Bolt”). Taking fun and games to a whole new level, the film smashes into theaters Nov. 2, 2012, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D® in select theaters.
- Disney / Pixar’s Brave – Filmmakers Mark Andrews and Katherine Sarafian were joined by actors Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd to present footage from the film. Here’s the film’s one-pager:
U.S. Release Date: June 22, 2012
Voice Talent: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane
Directors: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Producer: Katherine Sarafian
Composer: Patrick Doyle
Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In “Brave,” a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts.
Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.
Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and the signature Pixar humor enjoyed by audiences of all ages. The film takes aim at theaters on June 22, 2012, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
- Director Mark Andrews served as story supervisor for the Disney•Pixar films “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles,” and was Oscar®-nominated as the co-writer/co-director of the Pixar short “One Man Band.” He also contributed to the screenplay as co-writer and served as second unit director for the 2012 Walt Disney Studios film “John Carter.” Director Brenda Chapman directed DreamWorks Animation’s “The Prince of Egypt” and was story supervisor for the Disney classic “The Lion King.” Producer Katherine Sarafian produced the Pixar short film “Lifted” and served as production manager for “The Incredibles.”
- Actress Kelly Macdonald stars as Margaret Schroeder on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” and as Ravenclaw’s ghost, The Grey Lady, in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” Her film credits also include “No Country for Old Men,” “Gosford Park” and “Trainspotting.”
- Appearing in the movies “Men in Black 3” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” Emma Thompson is an Oscar®-winning actress (“Howards End”) and screenwriter (“Sense and Sensibility”) who most recently starred in, wrote and executive produced “Nanny McPhee Returns.”
- Scottish comedian Billy Connolly most recently served as narrator for the Walt Disney Animation Studios short “The Ballad of Nessie” and appeared in “Gulliver’s Travels.”
- Disney / Pixar’s Monsters University – In a special surprise appearance, Billy Crystal, flanked by Mike Wazowski and Sulley, joined director Dan Scanlon to discuss the film and show some behind-the-scenes making of the film. Here’s the one-pager for the film:
U.S. Release Date: June 21, 2013
Voice Talent: Billy Crystal, John Goodman
Director: Dan Scanlon
Producer: Kori Rae
Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. “Monsters University” unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.
Screaming with laughter and fun, “Monsters University” is directed by Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Tracy”) and produced by Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”). The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
- “Monsters, Inc.,” originally released on November 2, 2001, was nominated for four Oscars®: Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Song—“If I Didn’t Have You,” for which it won.
- “Monsters University” will hit U.S. theaters nearly 12 years after the “Monsters, Inc.” theatrical debut.
- Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles in the prequel as the wise-cracking Mike Wazowski and lovable Sulley.
- “Monsters University” features a host of new faces and a few returning favorites from “Monsters, Inc.”
- Untitled Pixar Film From Director Bob Peterson – Joining Bob Petersen was producer John Walker to give fans never-before-released information about the untitled film about dinosaurs. As a sneak peak, here’s the one-pager:
U.S. Release Date: November 27, 2013
Director: Bob Peterson
Co-Director: Peter Sohn
Producer: John Walker
What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? This hilarious, heartfelt and original tale is directed by Bob Peterson (co-director/writer, “Up;” writer, “Finding Nemo”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “The Iron Giant”).
- Untitled Pixar Film From Director Pete Docter – Alongside Pete Docter was producer Jonas Rivera to provide never-before-released information about their upcoming project. The film will take viewers inside the human mind. Confused? Here’s the studio’s one-pager:
U.S. Release Date: May 30, 2014
Director: Pete Docter
Co-Director: Ronnie del Carmen
Producer: Jonas Rivera
Pixar takes audiences on incredible journeys into extraordinary worlds: from the darkest depths of the ocean to the top of the tepui mountains in South America; from the fictional metropolis of Monstropolis to a futuristic fantasy of outer space. From director Pete Docter (“Up,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and producer Jonas Rivera (“Up”), the inventive new film will take you to a place that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen: the world inside the human mind.
- John Carter – Producer Jim Morris and director Andrew Stanton were accompanied by the film’s stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, and Willem Dafoe to present never-before-seen footage, introducing fans to the film’s epic characters. For more information, let’s look at the official one-pager:
Release Date: March 9, 2012
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Daryl Sabara, Polly Walker, Bryan Cranston, with Thomas Haden Church and Willem Dafoe
Director: Andrew Stanton
Producers: Jim Morris, Colin Wilson, Lindsey Collins
Screenplay by: Andrew Stanton & Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon (credit not final)
Based on the story
“A Princess of Mars” by: Edgar Rice Burroughs
From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”—a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). “John Carter” is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago and is best known for writing and creating Tarzan—still one of the most successful and iconic fictional creations of all time. “John Carter” is based on Burroughs’ first novel, “A Princess of Mars.”
- Academy Award®–winning director/writer Andrew Stanton directed and co-wrote the screenplay for “WALL•E,” which earned the Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award® for Best Animated Feature of 2008. He was Oscar® nominated for the screenplay. He made his directorial debut with “Finding Nemo,” garnering an Academy Awardnomination for Best Original Screenplay and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of 2003. He was one of the four screenwriters to receive an Oscar nomination in 1996 for his contribution to “Toy Story,” and went on to receive credit as a screenwriter on subsequent Pixar films “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “WALL•E.”
- The award-winning below-the-line team includes Production Designer Nathan Crowley, Oscar®- nominated for both “Dark Knight” and “The Prestige,” and Costume Designer Mayes Rubeo, whose work is showcased in “Avatar” and “Apocalypto.”
- Michael Chabon, who won the Pulitzer Prize in Literature for his novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” is a co-writer on the screenplay.
- Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino has received numerous accolades for his work on previous Disney•Pixar films “Up” (Oscar® winner, Best Original Score; BAFTA winner, Best Music; Golden Globe® winner, Best Original Score for a Motion Picture; GRAMMY® Award winner, Best Score Soundtrack Album), “Ratatouille” (GRAMMY Award winner, Best Score Soundtrack Album; Annie Award winner, Best Music in an Animated Feature Production; Oscarnomination, Best Original Score) and “The Incredibles” (Annie Award winner, Best Music in an Animated Feature Production; GRAMMY nomination, Best Score Soundtrack Album).
- Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie – Producers Don Hahn and Allison Abbate gave fans a sneak peek at what’s to come in next year’s film, including a demonstration on how these fascinating characters come to life through stop-motion animation. As usual, let’s go to the one-pager:
Genre: Animated comedy
U.S. Release date: October 5, 2012
Voice Cast: Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata FerrellDirector: Tim Burton
Producers: Tim Burton, Allison Abbate
Executive Producer: Don Hahn
Screenplay by: John August
Based on an original idea by: Tim Burton
From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.
A stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” will be filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D, which will elevate the classic style to a whole new experience.
- When Tim Burton originally conceived the idea for “Frankenweenie,” he envisioned it as a full-length, stop-motion animated film.Due to budget constraints, he instead directed it as a live-action short, released in 1984.
- “Frankenweenie” follows in the footsteps of Tim Burton’s other stop-motion animated films “Corpse Bride” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”—both of which were nominated for Academy Awards®.
- Over 200 puppets and sets were created for the film.
- The voice cast includes four actors who worked with Burton on previous films: Winona Ryder (“Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands”), Catherine O’Hara (“Beetlejuice,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”), Martin Short (“Mars Attacks!”) and Martin Landau (“Ed Wood,” Sleepy Hollow”).
- Several of the character names—Victor, Elsa Van Helsing, Edgar “E” Gore and Mr. Burgermeister— were inspired by classic horror films.
- The Odd Life of Timothy Green – The film’s star Jennifer Garner was on hand to talk about the inspiring, magical film and her experience making the movie. Want more? Over to the odd one-pager:
U.S. Release date: August 15, 2012
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, Dianne Wiest, CJ Adams, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ron Livingston, M. Emmet Walsh, Odeya Rush, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lois Smith and Common
Director: Peter Hedges
Producers: Ahmet Zappa, Scott Sanders, Jim Whitaker
Executive Producers: John Cameron, Mara Jacobs
Story by: Ahmet Zappa
Screenplay by: Peter Hedges
Academy Award®–nominated director/writer Peter Hedges (“Dan in Real Life,” What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”) brings enchantment to the screen with “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” an inspiring, magical story about a happily married couple, Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim—and their small town of Stanleyville—learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts.
- Oz The Great and Powerful – Unable to join in person as they’re currently filming in Detroit, the film’s director Sam Raimi and stars James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Zach Braff provided fans with a first look at the making of Oz The Great and Powerful via a taped piece from the set of the film. Click your heels three times and say “There’s no place like the one-pager:”
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Release Date: March 8, 2013
Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff
Director: Sam Raimi
Producer: Joe Roth
Executive Producers: Grant Curtis, Philip Steuer, Palak Patel
Screenplay by: Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire
Walt Disney Pictures’ fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
- Disney’s The Muppets – Stars Jason Segel, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy gave fans an exclusive look at never-before-seen footage from their upcoming film. At this point, you probably don’t need it, but here’s the studio one-pager:
Genre: Family Comedy
U.S. Release Date: November 23, 2011
Cast: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal, Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones and Walter
Director: James Bobin
Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
Executive Producers: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller, John Scotti, Martin Baker
Written by: Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller (credit not final)
On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds. To stage The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate. With secret, signature, celebrity cameos, Disney’s “The Muppets” hits the big screen Nov. 23, 2011.
- Funnyman Jason Segel (TV’s “How I Met Your Mother,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) stars in, co-writes and executive produces Disney’s “The Muppets.”
- Honoring the Muppet tradition, celebrity cameos include Mila Kunis, Donald Glover, Leslie Feist, Mickey Rooney, Alan Arkin, Rob Corddry, Dave Grohl, Kristen Schaal, Ricky Gervais, Kathy Griffin, Billy Crystal, Ken Jeong, Sarah Hyland, Sterling Knight, Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, James Carville, Rico Rodriguez, Selena Gomez, Danny Trejo, Wanda Sykes, Judd Hirsh, John Krasinski and Jim Parsons.
- Disney’s “The Muppets” is directed by James Bobin, who co-created HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords,” which he wrote, directed and exec produced.
- Kermit received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. His song “The Rainbow Connection” was nominated for an Academy Award®.
- Bret McKenzie, who starred in, wrote for and served as composer for HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords,” is the music supervisor for Disney’s “The Muppets,” as well as the writer/producer of three original songs, which include big Muppet-style opening and closing numbers.
- It’s been 12 years since the Muppets’ last big-screen feature film (“Muppets from Space,” 1999).
- Disneynature’s Chimpanzee – Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross presented the next Disneynature film, Chimpanzee. No pictures yet, but we do have the one-pager:
Genre: True Life Adventure
U.S. Release Date: April 20, 2012
Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield
Producers: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield, Alix Tidmarsh
Executive producer: Don Hahn
Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with “Chimpanzee,” a new True Life Adventure introducing an adorable baby chimp named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph. Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Working together, Oscar’s chimpanzee family—including his mom and the group’s savvy leader — navigates the complex territory of the forest.
The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps, who’d rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar’s family is confronted by a rival band of chimps, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever. Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“African Cats” and “Earth”) and Mark Linfield (“Earth”), “Chimpanzee” swings into theaters on Earth Day 2012.
- “Chimpanzee” is the fourth release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years. The label was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to capture a variety of wildlife subjects and stories.
- The first three releases under the Disneynature label—“Earth,” “Oceans” and “African Cats”—are among the top four highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time.
- Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, including “Seal Island” (1948), “Beaver Valley” (1950), “The Living Desert” (1953) and “Jungle Cat” (1958). The films earned eight Academy Awards®.
- Marvel’s The Avengers – The Avengers assembled at the D23 Expo, alongside producer and president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige. Stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders and Chris Hemsworth made an appearance to present their upcoming film. Here’s the studio’s one-pager for the film:
U.S. Release date: May 4, 2012
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Joss Whedon
Producers: Kevin Feige
Executive Producers: Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Patricia Whitcher, Louis D’Esposito
Screenplay by: Joss Whedon
Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the superhero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as SHIELD, finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.
The presentation also spent some time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pixar. Buzz and Woody made appearances and celebratory cupcakes were handed out to everyone in the audience.
Any predictions on which of these (and when) will hit the parks?