Saturday, September 12, 2009

Best. D23 Presentation. Ever.

Disney Studio executive Dick Cook lead this morning's presentation of news and upcoming movie sneak peeks at the D23 Expo. There was so much activity that I'll just recap it with bullet points. Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed in the arena.

*Guests were given 3D glasses upon entering the arena. Several of the movie clips to be shown would be in 3D.

*A rather lengthy intro clip highlighting the Disney studio films and music through the years got the crowd motivated.

*As Dick Cook took the stage to welcome the Expo guests, snow began to fall inside the arena. It was the perfect set-up to present Disney's holiday film "A Christmas Carol". Director Robert Zemeckis came on stage to talk about the film and a behind-the-scenes clip with Jim Carrey was shown. ZapperZ has written about this film in previous posts, and after seeing the sneak peek, I also agree that you'll want to see this film!

*Dick Cook also confirmed rumors that a new 3D version of the Beatles movie Yellow Submarine.

*Disney has been heavily promoting their upcoming film Old Dogs, starring Robin Williams and John Travolta. This film was a family affair, as John, his wife Kelly, "and their daughter Ella Blue all appear in the film. They came on stage and John answered a few questions from Dick Cook.

*The crowd of 5,000 attendees began to grown excited as Dick started to describe the accomplishments of his next guest, director Tim Burton. Burton rarely makes appearances and his arrival at the D23 presentation was met with thunderous applause. The trailer for ""Alice in Wonderland" was shown. When asked what made making the film so difficult, Burton paused for a moment and answered, "uhhh... Me." Big laughs from the crowd.

*It was also revealed that a stop-motion feature of Tim Burton's short film "Frankenweenie" would be created.

*And what kind of presentation would it be without a visit from the Muppets? Our favorite pals appeared in a replica of the Mark Twain, complete with singing from Miss Piggy and Kermit. A new Muppet movie is in the works called "The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made."

*Producer Jerry Bruckheimer then appeared on stage to present a sneak peek at "Price of Persia: The Sands of Time". This movie, slated for May 2010, is pure Bruckheimer summer big action flick. Be prepared for lots of explosions and heros in peril.

*Next on the agenda was an appearance by Nicholas Cage. We had seen him at the Haunted Mansion event earlier, so it was no surprise that he would appear at the D23 expo to promote his new film "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". I don't know if Dick Cook was teasing, but when he asked Nicholas Cage is he's be interested in doing a third National Treasure movie, Nic said, "Sure!"

*The DisneyNature section was previewed next. Dick reported that 2.7 million trees were planted in response to the film "Disney Earth". Next year on Earth Day, they will be releasing a new film titled "Oceans". The tag line is "If you think you have seen the ocean, you haven't even scratched the surface." The film looks gorgeous.

*Disney Studios also revealed a collaboration with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro to create a new branch of the company called Disney Double Dares You that will create darker, creepier films. The first film to be produced under this label is titled TrollHunters".

*Another film released by Disney is "The Last Song", a movie adaption to the popular book by Nicholas Sparks. It's star of the movie, Miley Cyrus, made a surprise appearance at the presentation and performed one of her hit songs "The Climb". Although entertaining, I think the performance was largely unappreciated by the mostly-adult expo attendees. I did hear about a few pre-teen girls in the balcony who became very excited, but that reaction was limited.

*The sequel to Tron has been generating a lot of buzz at the expo, and the audience at the presentation welcomed the review of the original movie and the rough cut test footage of Tron Legacy.

*The partnership with Dreamworks to produce 6 live action films was also revealed, but I didn't hear any additional details on this.

*Andrew Stanton of Pixar Studios is creating a live action film "John Carter of Mars". It is expected to be a trilogy. Concept art for this film was shown to the audience. Expected date of summer 2012 for the movie.

*The rumors regarding a remake of The Lone Ranger were confirmed, and Johnny Depp has been secured to play the role of Tonto.

*And speaking of Johnny Depp, Dick Cook sure know hows to end a presentation with a pow! The title of the next Pirates movie was announced -- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, coming summer 2011. And as the audience applauded the news, the theme music from the Pirates movies began to swell. Curtains opened to reveal a mock-up of the Black Pearl. Cue fog and wind fan to billow out the sails. The crowd roared its approval. The boat turned to reveal its passenger: Johnny Depp in character as Jack Sparrow. The audience went absolutely crazy! Depp played his drunken yet charming Sparrow character with gusto.

What a great climax to an awesome presentation! The crowd left the arena very happy and anticipating the new films to come out of the studio.

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