Saturday 10 August 2013

Disney and Pixar Tease Upcoming Movies at D23 Expo

The D23 Expo has just begun, and already big announcements are pouring in. Let's see what the Art & Imagination presentation had to offer.

Pixar was up first:

Party Central was screened. It's a short film based on the characters from Monsters University. It will see Mike and Sulley visiting their Oozma Kappa friends. It was believed that this would be included in the MU DVD/Blu-Ray release, but that will not be the case: it will play in theaters before The Good Dinosaur. Party Central is directed by Kelsey Mann.

The Good Dinosaur was up next. It shows what Earth would be like if the asteroid responsible for the dinosaurs' extinction didn't hit our planet 65 million years ago. Apparently, the answer is that our planet would be ruled by farmer dinosaurs who hate bugs. Arlo (Lucas Neff) will be the main character. He has a pretty large family, composed by Poppa (John Lithgow), Mama (Frances McDormand), his two brothers Forrest (Bill Hader) and Cliff (Neil Patrick Harris), and his sister Ivy (Judy Greer). Another characters was introduced, a young human child wearing a bug disguise named Spot. Interestingly enough, the dinosaurs will be talking characters, and the humans may not speak in the film, which is a nice little twist. The Good Dinosaur is slated for a 30th May, 2014 release in the US, and will be directed by Bob Peterson and Peter Sohn.

Inside Out is about a young girl called Riley. But she's not just a character. She's also the setting for emotions. Five emotions who are also main characters in this film. They are Anger (voiced by Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith).

A stellar cast, a very capable director (Pete Docter was the helmer of Monsters, Inc. and Up), a strong yet crazy concept… Inside Out looks set to be another Pixar masterpiece. It's currently slated for a 19th June, 2015 release in the US. And this seems to be our first look at the film's logo:

Finding Dory also had some news regarding its voice cast: Dory's parents have been chosen, they are Diane Keaton (who will be Dory's mom, Jenny) and Eugene Levy (playing the dad, Charlie). It was also revealed that Ty Burrell (Modern Family, Muppets Most Wanted) will voice a Beluga whale named Bailey. The events of Finding Dory will occur a year after Finding Nemo. It is directed by Andrew Stanton, and will open on the 25th November, 2015. Here's a piece of concept art unveiled today:

Toy Story of Terror is a Halloween TV special set to be broadcast on ABC on the 16th October, 2013. It will be 22 minutes long and directed by Angus MacLane. The D23 Expo audience was shown a 10 minutes clip, but we'll keep away from spoilers here (easy to find on twitter, in case you're interested), and have a look at this new still:

And that was it for Pixar. Now, let's talk a bit about DisneyToon Studios:

Two Tinkerbell movies were announced. They are Legend of the Neverbeast and The Pirate Fairy. Of those two, the latter seems to be the more interesting: it will be the first time that a Tinkerbell movie goes to Neverland, and will feature the voice of Christina Hendricks and Tom Hiddleston.

Hendricks will be Zarina, a new fairy, and Hiddleston is credited as James, a cabin-boy who will eventually become a Captain… That's right, he's playing Captain James Hook, and this will be an origin story to the Peter Pan's arch-enemy. Way to go DisneyToon Studios, you've actually piqued my curiosity!

Planes: Fire & Rescue, a sequel to the recently released Planes (our review here) will see Dusty, the first film's main character, becoming a firefighter. He will meet Dipper, an orange propeller plane, voiced by Julie Bowen. Bobs Gannaway is the director, and the film is coming to US theaters on the 18th July, 2014.

And now, let's move to what's next for Walt Disney Animation Studios:

First, there's the short film called Get a Horse! It is directed by Lauren MacMullan in a style that pays homage to the black and white Mickey shorts. Walt Disney's actual voice will feature in the short, as Mickey Mouse himself. The film appears to be full of surprises, which we won't spoil here. Get a Horse! will be theatrically released with Frozen.

Big Hero 6 is loosely based on a Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It features a fictional city named San Fransokyo, and the lead characters will be Hiro Hamada and his robot, Baymax. No casting announcement was made, but the craziness surrounding the D23 Expo offers us a new concept art:

Big Hero 6 is set for a 7th November, 2014 release in the US, and is being directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh).

Zootopia's main character is a fox named Nick Wilde. He will be paired with a cop-bunny, Lt. Judy Hops. Not much was revealed on the story, but a lot of funny ideas were introduced to the D23 Expo audience. Basically, this film's concept is creating an animal civilization where rabbits, wildebeests, foxes… act  and dress like humans. Zootopia is directed by Byron Howard (Bolt, Tangled), looks like good fun, and we're looking forward to its 2016 opening date.

And the panel ended with Frozen. There wasn't a lot to say about it apparently. Clips were of course shown, and the presentation was done after Idina Menzel (voicing Elsa in the movie) came on stage to perform one of the film's songs, Let it Go.

Frozen is directed by Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck, and will be released on the 27th November, 2013 in the US.

That's it for today, but the D23 Expo isn't over yet!

Sources for this article : Hypable, ComingSoon and Matt Jones' twitter.


  1. Awesomeness, awesomeness, so much awesomeness!

    The Good Dinosaur looks and sounds great! Inside Out looks brilliant (unsurprisingly, given it's Pete Docter). Finding Dory, too, looks good. And NPH, Amy Poehler *and* Ty Burrell in Pixar films?! *swoons*

    I'm also in love with Zootopia. But I'm slightly bewildered as to why Christina Hendricks and Tom Hiddleston are in a Fairies movie, and not a fully fledged WDAS film. Sounds interesting though.

  2. Zootopia was definitely the big winner for me. I was already interested in everything Pixar (and still am), but Zootopia still had to win me, and it did. It has the potential to be a hilarious film. Shame it won't be in traditional animation, it would have been perfect.

    The Pirate Fairy is intriguing, but that doesn't mean I want to see it. It's still a Tinkerbell movies, and those aren't great, let's be honest.

    Obviously, Pixar is exciting, with nice voice talents announced. Particularly happy to see two big Pixar fans voicing characters - NPH of course, but Mindy Kaling is also a lover of the Emeryville Studio, at least that's what those 2010 tweets made me believe :
    "Dear Pixar, we adore you. Please let us use a doll of one of your most amazing characters in our Christmas episode, which I wrote."
    "Geniuses @DisneyPixar @LeeUnkrich, did I mention @rainnwilson is directing it? And it's an hourlong? And WE WORSHIP YOU?!"
    As a result, A Woody doll appeared in said episode. Mindy Kaling made numerous Pixar references in the episodes of The Office she wrote, so that tends to prove it.
    Also happy to see Amy Poehler as Joy.

    All in all, I'd say the film I'm most excited from that list is Inside Out.

  3. Yeah! Zootopia sounds great! Nice to see Disney doing something they haven't done in a while.

    The Pirate Fairy is intriguing by virtue of being a Tinkerbell movie that doesn't sound awful.

    Yeah, they're kickass casts! And yes, Inside Out, I reckon, is Pixar's next big chance at snagging another Best Picture nomination.