Now that another Disney+ Day has passed, we can move on to the meat of Disney’s big weekend: the D23 Expo, where the world’s biggest fans can take a look at what they’ve seen before but now re-invent.
Cynthia Orivio, our new Blue Fairy, kicked off the day and reminded the audience that there is a new version of Pinnochio currently in memory on Disney+. Continuing the theme that this stuff was now the order of the day, Disney Studios President Alan Bergman took the stage to remind us that these reinventions, such as The Lion King, The beauty and the Beast, Cinderellaand Cruel, were “iconic”. We’re guessing he meant the movies to use “iconic imagery,” but regardless, more of these iconic reimaginings and sequels are dropping.
Bergman then brought in Walt Disney Studios President Sean Bailey to tell us about how they’re reviving old brands.
Do not worry: Hocus Pocus 2 and Disillusioned are still coming
First, the sequels. Hocus Pocus 2 debuts later this month, and since we’ve already shared the trailerwe’re going to move on to the other big announcement in the sequel: Disillusioned. Make No Mistakes With Matt Groening’s Netflix Comedy Disenchantment. This is a sequel to the wonderful comedy by Amy Adams Delighted from 2007. The entire cast is back, including Adams, Patrick Dempsey,
Adele Dazeem Idina Menzel and James Marsden. They upped the ante by also adding Maya Rudolph. And now there is a trailer.
Disillusioned lands on Disney+ on November 24, 2022.
Reinventing the past is Disney’s future
The presentation went round-robin style, with Bailey shuffling the VIPs on stage for about five minutes, playing a clip, and then shuffling them. Next, Jude Law and the cast of Peter Pan and Wendy took the stage.
Directed by David Lowery, who directed one of the best films of 2021, The green knightand the delightful Disney remake pete’s dragon, Peter Pan looks a little sleeker than the other movies announced today. It’s still packed with nostalgic imagery straight from the Disney vault, but also with a distinct visual style, location shooting, and a fish-eye lens that won’t stop. So how will this literally differ from every other revisionist peter pans of the last 20 years? These got theatrical releases.
Our new Hook captain, Jude Law, said this version goes a bit more into the “backstory” when Peter and Hook “were once friends.” But, again, it remains to be seen how this one will differentiate itself from the many other Peter Pans.
Perhaps the trickiest aspect of the movie is Tiger Lily, a character who hasn’t been treated with much respect by Disney in the past. Nevertheless, newcomer Alyssa Wapanatâhk said she was very “excited to have the honor” of playing Tiger Lily. “Being able to tell the story for her was phenomenal for me.”
Peter Pan and Wendy [sigh] is coming to Disney+ next year.
After fending off Peter Pan in Neverland, Sean Bailey presented the trailer for The haunted mansion and announced that Winona Rider is joining the cast. Manager (and former Disneyland employee) Justin Simin also mentioned that “according to TikTok” Jared Leto is playing the Hatbox Ghost. We await horror stories from his castmates about the lengths he went to to fit into a hatbox for the role. But really, this one is for the real Hatbox chefs.
“This script was funny and filled with interesting characters, but it had a bit of a dark side to it,” Simin told the crowd at D23. “I really relate to that. I felt like I knew how to do it. I felt like I understood New Orleans. And, of course, I’m a fanboy. So I felt like I understood the ride, and I felt like I had a responsibility here to make sure that all the little details, all the Easter eggs are there because I’m such a nerd.
Bailey took out Oscar winner Barry Jenkins for a preview of Mufasa: The Lion King. by Jon Favreau The Lion King made over a billion dollars, which means people loved it. However, the “live action” animation in Mufasa probably won’t convert anyone discouraged by the last trip to Pride Lands. Yet again, Barry Jenkins is very good at making movies. Here’s what Barry Jenkins had to say about the movie:
Mufasa is the origin story of one of the greatest beings in the history of the alliance. Mufasa, all uppercase. It’s a story told in a few different time periods. Rafiki, Timon and Pumbaa, whom we all know and love, tell the story of Mufasa and how he grew into a very handsome, awesome and fantastic young lion cub. It is a story about how Mufasa became royal. We assume he was just born into his line. But Mufasa was actually a little orphan, who had to navigate the world alone. And in telling this story, we discover the true journey of how Mufasa found his place and the circle of life. It’s pretty awesome.
I felt I had to make this movie because when I was 14 I was helping raise two nephews. And there was a VHS tape that we watched maybe 95 times in 20 days. So I really knew this character. I liked it. But as I was reading this wonderful script, I was thinking about Mufasa and why he’s awesome and how people get awesome. And it’s crazy. I’m not a king, but when I was doing my movies, I was on stage at the Oscars with Moonlight, and I was there and five of my best friends from college were also there. And what you learn from the story is that Mufasa is who he is. He is great because of the family and friends he has with them. And so I saw myself in there. I thought, this is a very nice story to tell.
For Mark Webb White as snow, Gal Gadot and Rachel Zegler took the stage to show some footage. There are no midgets yet – and seeing as they’ve been cut from the title, who knows what their role will be. So far it resembles the other remakes, recreating the look of the animated classic. But we’ll have to see Dopey to find out just how scary this thing is going to be.
Similarly, Rob Marshall invited Halley Bailey on stage to show The little Mermaid teaser and an excerpt from “Part Of Your World”. Looks like not all the effects are done yet, but for now it’s reminiscent Avatar and the “merman” advertisement of Zoolander. On the other hand, Marshall has promised four new songs by Alan Menkin and Lin Manuel Miranda, so that’s something.
Pixar on Disney+
The director of The good dinosaurPeter Sohn, is back, and he’s contributed music videos and concept art for the upcoming Pixar movie Elementary. Sohn described the film as “very personal” and that the seed for the idea came from his parents. “We immigrated to the United States from Korea in the early ’70s,” Sohn said. “They had no money, no family, no English. But they managed to create a life in New York.
In the same way, Elementary drops a “fire family” equating with Element City, “where earth, air, water, and fire are characters in our community.”
More from Pixar is coming in 2023 as we have a bit more information on win or lose, the studio’s first television series. The show stars Will Forte as the coach of a ragtag little league baseball team, the Pickles, and the week before their big game. Each episode will focus on a different character’s perspective, allowing for different styles of animation.
Pixar also announced two new features Elio and upside down 2we talked about here.
Expect! Disney also has cartoons to share
Disney animation studios will not be outdone. Today they showed snippets of their upcoming series Zootopia+ and Iwaju.
Zootopia+ is a series in six episodes which, like win or losefocuses on a different character and gender in each episode with different animation styles, some of which look really cool and some of which look like Pixar.
On the other hand, Iwaju is a truly historic collaboration between Disney and an outside animation studio. Jennifer Lee, Creative Director of Walt Disney Animation Studios, shared how she read about a Nigerian animation studio that would bring Disney down. So she liked a lot of Disney executives before her and bought the competition.
With the Kugali team, Disney will premiere the futuristic sci-fi series Iwaju Next year.
Finally, Lee released the cast for their upcoming 61st animated feature, strange world. Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White and Lucy Liu star in a space adventure about a dysfunctional group of explorers. This one comes out on November 23.
“Our film is inspired by some of the great adventure stories we grew up with,” said co-director Don Hall. “Specifically stories about a group of explorers who stumble upon a hidden world.”
What are we most looking forward to discovering? Jaboukie Young-White’s character, Ethan Clave, whom Young-White described as “the master of the vibe” who makes “the vibe great”.
And that’s it from the D23 Expo Disney Animation Studios and Pixar presentation. Come back tomorrow when Disney tries to bury us under a mountain of star wars and Marvel announcements.