I’m officially so jealous of anyone who got to go to Disney’s Comicon celebration D23. I got to experience some of the fun panels watching on periscope (thanks awesome periscopers!) and I can’t even imagine seeing them in person. Let me try and sum up all we learned from D23.
The biggest announcement was Star Wars Land!!! Disneyland and Disneyworld are going to expand to add whole new lands with an immersive Star Wars experience . I love Star Wars so this is so exciting. Evidently all the park personnel and everything you see at Star Wars land will be in character and part of the Star Wars world. The land will be “14 acres each. Guests will be able to ride the Millennium Falcon, sample blue milk and hang out at the cantina”. Sign me up!
We also found out that Space Mountain is going to be redesigned to Hyperspace Mountain Star Tours will be updated to include the Force Awakens characters. Sounds like a Disneyland trip will be in my future!
In other Disneyland news they announced a new Toy Story land with a slinky dog roller coaster. So far the Toy Story attractions have been amazing so this should be great.
Star Wars Movie News
Continuing on the Star Wars vein we got new information on the Rogue One movie which looks awesome. Director Gareth Edwards has started shooting and we should get the movie next year. It will be the first stand alone Star Wars movies and looks like it will take a darker tone about resistance fighters who are trying to steal the plans for the Death Star.
The cast looks great with Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk. With some Chinese action stars it could provide a really visceral feel to the action of the movie and universe which they are trying to keep as real in feel as possible.
We also got this really cool cast photo
Marvel of course had some big announcements at D23 the biggest are lots of info about next years Captain America Civil War. If you don’t know this plots superheroes against each other and evidently they showed a new trailer with Black Widow and Hawkeye fighting. I can’t wait to see this new trailer!
Kevin Feige of Marvel also announced Doctor Strange and evidently Benedict Cumberbatch spoke to the crowd from London. I’m a huge Cumberbatch fan and don’t know anything about Dr Strange so the movie looks like a fun addition to the MCU.
We also learned a little more about Toy Story 4. We knew it was a love story but John Lasseter elaborated it was a romance between Woody and Bo Peep who was missing in the 3rd movie. Evidently Woody and Buzz go on an adventure to find Bo and it is very romantic. Lasseter said:
“Each of the stories is a different genre,” Lasseter said, “and Toy Story 4 is a love story. It’s a love story between Woody and Bo Peep. Bo’s returned for Toy Story 4. Woody and Buzz head out to find Bo. It’s a very, very emotional story, and it’s very fun doing a story about [those two characters].”
It’s really true about the Toy Story movies. Each one has a different feel and is in a different genre.
The much talked about Coco project was officially announced by Director Lee Unkrich. This is going to be a day of the dead story where they ask the question What if you could meet your long dead family members? (Pixar loves those what if questions!). The only thing about it which makes me a tiny bit sad is I am sure nobody will remember Book of Life after this which was so artistically beautiful but lacked Pixar’s great storytelling.
Disney Animation News
The biggest news from Disney is their new film Gigantic which will take on the Jack and the Beanstalk story. I believe this will be the first time Disney has retold a fairy tale they have previously animated? Fun and Fancy Free is okay but the new take on it seems very inventive.
In this version the giant is an 11 year old girl which I think could be really interesting and I love the concept art. I think it could work really well with the current WDAS CG animation style. Also Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez from Frozen are doing the music (Yay!). Evidently they sang one of the songs and it was a huge hit.
Disney had a presentation on their upcoming film Moana and Dwayne Johnson proved his charisma once again. They also announced all the music talent behind the film, which I am super pumped about- Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote the The Heights and is incredible, composer Mark Mancina (“Tarzan” “The Lion King”), and Opetaia Foa’i who is in a Polynesian band called Te Vaka. John Musker and Ron Clements are directing and so there is every reason to be excited about this movie (I love anything Polynesian!). And it is so cool to see how important the project is for Johnson.
The last animated film they talked about is Zootopia. We learned some interesting things about it. First of all, that it is going to be a musical or at least have original songs which I didn’t know about. They announced a character named Gazelle who will be played by Shakira which honestly I doesn’t do much for me but should be a good outreach to the Latino Disney fans. I’m not a fan of her outfit which seems very slinky. I’m still a little nervous about this project but the team they’ve got is great and it’s cool to see Disney doing something different. I’m sure it will be great.
The last thing I thought was cool in the footage was the response to The Jungle Book trailer. Director Jon Favreau introduced it and I guess everyone loved it! And then the entire cast was on stage which looked really cool. Ben Kingsley, who voices Bagheera, said “There is a saying among actors: Never work with a child or animals. I work with a child, and I play an animal.” I just hope they change the ending. Fingers crossed. It sounds like they are using some inspiration from the book and the movie so that sounds great. I was glad to hear that it will be a musical and they will be singing Bear Necessities!