Thursday, July 13, 2017

D23 2017 Live & Afterthoughts Megapost


D23 2017 is right around the corner... I've decided to report on it the way I did the last two times...

Live! But not from there, but from my house on the East Coast! This is going to be similar to my live blog of the 2013 and 2015 D23 Expos, where I updated the posts as the presentation progressed. Tomorrow, we're going to hear about what's going on with Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar. The panel should last about two hours, as the site says from 2:30-4:30PM PST. I'll likely be here to report on the news, not like last time where I had to go into work. Tomorrow and Saturday, I'm off, so I'll take advantage as much as possible...

I'm hoping that some of my predictions come true, such as a tiny word on what Walt Disney Animation Studios has on the docket after Gigantic's fall 2020 release, details on Pixar's two 2020 releases (similar to how, during the 2011 D23, they revealed the premises for two original pictures set for the future - they ended up being Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur), and more...

See you all tomorrow...

7/14/2017 - 1:42PM EST - PRESHOW

Hours before it all starts, we have a nicer look at the Incredibles 2 concept artwork, courtesy of Oh My Luxo...


It's just so eye-popping... John Lasseter confirmed to IGN that the sequel begins right where the first film left off, though again, the Underminer and the younger Incredibles could just be the opening sequence. The film could very well slam a "15 Years Later" card once that action sequence ends...

Associate production designer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Mingjue Helen Chen, confirmed on her twitter that the presentation for Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 will be pretty darn big...


I'm ready...

My friend Sebas, who is there, went up to the film's display and recorded a small taste of the picture...


Looks like a bit of a rough ride!

Hours later, /Film posted a YouTube video of it, revealing some more that was missing in my pal's video. That is indeed a cable they're racing through...


Visually awesome, as per usual with Disney's animation. Definitely got some TRON vibes there. I like how they're in bubbles traveling through these high-speed cables, and how Ralph's too big for his. I presume this isn't just preview footage, and that it'll be in the film itself in some way or another.

7/14/2017 - 5:26PM EST - DISNEY ANIMATION & PIXAR PRESENTATION

Putting all the presentation stuff in its own section... Updates-a-comin'...

Disneytoon's Untitled 2019 Movie... A cryptic trailer for the 4/12/2019 release was shown, and it appears that it's going to be a film set in the Cars universe that's about spacecraft. No title has been revealed, however... Jokingly, the trailer ended with "SPACE." Then... On screen, it said... "This SPACE to be filled with a title when we think of one."

So the Cars spin-off stuff isn't over yet, I see...


Interesting...

Olaf's Frozen Adventure... One thing of note: A sequence in this upcoming featurette will be animated in the style of Christmas sweaters. Josh Gad also appeared onstage to sing the song Olaf was supposed to sing in the clip, the audio had cut off.

Frozen 2... Will not be called Frozen 2. No title has been revealed yet, but it isn't going to end up being called Frozen 2. Oddly enough, no Disney Animation theatrical sequel was ever a straight up "2": The Rescuers Down Under, Fantasia 2000, Winnie the Pooh, Ralph Breaks the Internet, now this...

Ralph Breaks the Internet... A small tease was shown. Arcade/family center owner Mr. Litwak apparently set up a router, Vanellope gets pulled in, Ralph goes after her, they end up in the new world. Ralph is hit by a bunch of pesky Internet pop-ups... Sounds great already!

Now apparently, Vanellope's home game, 90s kart racer Sugar Rush, has crashed... So that sets off the events of the new story, they venture into the world of the Internet to find a new home for Vanellope. A new character was shown, a woman named "Yesss." She works for a BuzzFeed parody website called Buzzaholic, she happens to be - per the reports - an algorithm. They're going to go all out with the Internet stuff, beyond web-based games and such.

She will be voiced by Taraji P. Henson, and her hairstyle constantly changes, keeping up with ever-changing trends. In a clip, she takes Ralph and Vanellope an a tour of the Internet. I just wonder how a character like that and the thing they are satirizing will hold up...

Okay, apparently Disney's BuzzFeed-esque clickbait site Oh My Disney exists in-universe, and there, Ralph and Vanellope will meet classic Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters... Not sure how I feel about that... Could be just a fun carrot for the fans, but it seems a little odd and almost like overdosing on synergy. Later on in the scene, Vanellope tries to get the princesses - in CG form - to believe she's also a princess. C-3PO and Stormtroopers appear, too.

Merida is present, too. The other princesses tell Vanellope she's "from the other studio." Nice poke at folk who often can't tell the difference between Disney Animation and Pixar. Still trying to make heads or tails of this whole idea, though...

All of the princesses will be voiced by their actual voice actors from the classics, late 80s and onward obviously... I also assume Anthony Daniels will voice C-3PO. That's a plus, but still... Going to have think about this.

It now seems like the Walt Disney Animation Studios panel is over... Now moving onto Pixar's Incredibles 2...

Incredibles 2... First thing of note. The family still doesn't know that Jack Jack has powers... Interesting. New models of the characters were shown... They also seem to have a new house, built in a forest. Bye bye suburbs...

Bob/Mr. Incredible will now take care of Jack Jack more while Helen/Elastigirl will be more front and center. "Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don't think so!"

Huck Milner will be Dash's new voice actor, taking over from Spencer Fox. Everyone else is back.

The film apparently has an idea in it that director-writer Brad Bird could not use in the first film. A scene was shown in storyboard form: Bob falls asleep watching Jack Jack, the baby watches cops-and-robbers on TV, goes outside and encounters a burglar... The raccoon from the concept art! A chase scene occurs, he uses his powers, and he's apparently loaded with them. More than what we saw in the film and the DVD short, Jack Jack Attack... Sounds awesome already! It is here that Bob learns that Jack Jack actually does have superpowers...

Toy Story 4... First confirmation: This will be the title. Nothing else.

Apparently co-director Josh Cooley graduated from the co-director chair... He may be main director on this... He has! It is official, Lasseter is no longer director on the picture, which is good because he's a very busy guy. Too busy to direct features, in my opinion. Let's see what newcomer Mr. Cooley is made of!

Pixar Originals... Currently getting word on the next Pixar original being set in a "suburban fantasy world"...

Hmmm...

"The Untitled Pixar Film That Takes You Into a Suburban Fantasy World." It's 2011 D23 all over again!

This is also... Dan Scanlon's film... Wooooooow. I can already feel the strings, too. This one is personal for Scanlon, who lost his father at age one. Scanlon went to explain that growing up, he had a recording of his father saying "Hi" and "Bye." I can only imagine what my gut will look like after this movie becomes a thing.

ComingSoon says...

"The film imagines that a world of magic existed, but has grown into something contemporary. There are no humans, but elves, sprites, trolls and 'anything that would be on the side of a van in the 70s.'"

Whaaaaat? In this world, unicorns are apparently pests, and the main characters are two boys who go on an adventure that teaches them about their father.

They're on Coco now, but I'm going to assume Scanlon's movie is the March 13, 2020 picture. Makes sense to me, because Mark Andrews' film is supposed to be a sci-fi film... Better fit for a summer blockbuster season release, perhaps.

Coco apparently now features a song from Frozen songsmithers, Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

The panel has ended prematurely... Thanks for tuning in, now...

DISNEY ANIMATION & PIXAR PRESENTATION
AFTERTHOUGHTS

Alright fellas, time to collect all of my thoughts on this past presentation...

Starting off, Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 does indeed sound like the action-packed, jam-packed, super-fun follow-up we've been waiting for, but I actually have some concerns...

While a lot of people are raving about the idea of all the Disney princesses making appearances in the film (and their original voice actors reprising their roles, from Jodi Benson to Auli'i Cravahlo), among other Disney-owned property characters like Marvel and Star Wars faces, I'm actually a bit iffy on this whole idea. The Oh My Disney website is appearing as an actual place in the Internet world, and while some might like that... I think it feels kind of cheap, rather than a loving tribute to Disney characters we love and have known our whole lives. It almost feels like a big detour, as if the film is going out of its way to promote everything else in the Disney stable. That stuff should be subtle.

But I didn't see the sequence itself, and those who did see it are saying it's hilarious and lots of fun. In a way, it keeps the whole Roger Rabbit aspect. Wreck-It Ralph featured so many great classic video game cameos, and being a movie about what video game characters do when real-world people aren't around, it made sense. For me, the Disney characters... Not so much, even in a story that takes Ralph and Vanellope into the world wide web. Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, however, are ridiculously talented folks, for Wreck-It Ralph is in the Top 15 section of my Disney animated features ranking. That film's script - to me - very rarely loses a beat. I trust them, and I also hope that the whole princess scene doesn't have all those annoying little generalizations about the older heroines that we've heard time and time again, how they were all "damsels in distress," how they were all weak, and whatnot. Don't do what Frozen did, guys.

There's also something rather off-putting about all those classic princesses being done in CGI as well... For obvious reasons, of course. Outside of that, I am still excited about Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2... Improve that title, folks. Really, it's clunky and disorganized.

Frozen 2... Not much was said about it, though I like that it's not going to be called "Frozen 2." Lines up with all the previous in-house Disney Animation-made sequels: The Rescuers Down Under, Fantasia 2000, Winnie the Pooh, Ralph Breaks the Internet... No straight up "2"-titled sequels. Pixar seems to be all for that.

Pixar...

Incredibles 2 sounds like it'll be a good step forward, despite the fact that it may not be about an older Parr family. More supers being present is indeed exciting, as is Jack Jack exploring his powers. The whole sequence with the raccoon chase sounds like a whole lot of fun, and it'll be great to see Elastigirl be the protagonist this time. Seems like a thing with Pixar sequels... The deuteragonist becomes the lead: Mater in Cars 2, Mike in Monsters University, Dory in Finding Dory, now Helen Parr in Incredibles 2...

I'm glad that Josh Cooley is now the director of Toy Story 4. This may also explain the delays, somewhat. When they announced that Lasseter himself was going to handle it, I was a little skeptical of that particular detail. Lasseter, as we all know, is a top dog at both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He's also a key person in other departments, such as Disneytoon, Imagineering, and other areas of the company.

Many choose to insinuate that Lasseter is Pixar's worst director because of the first two Cars movies and (the unfairly maligned) A Bug's Life, but I beg to differ. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are excellence, I think A Bug's Life is a strong little movie that gets way too much flack for all the wrong reasons, and I love the first Cars. To me, Cars 2 was the one he could not crack. Well, Cars 2 was in the works long after Lasseter assumed all the positions he's in now. Cars 2 was also ripped out of the hands of another director at the very last minute. The Lasseter of 1999 would've salvaged it, the Lasseter of 2011 is not the Lasseter of the past. That's what happened with Cars 2, not "John Lasseter is a weak director." Stop that.

Anyways, a little hint seemed to imply that Toy Story 4's road trip story will involve an RV. Maybe, it seems logical, right? I'm still skeptical of Toy Story 4's storyline, though. I hope to be proven wrong on this, though...

No, the real meat of Pixar's presentation was Dan Scanlon's untitled "Suburban Fantasy World" story... Pixar's dipping their toes in the high fantasy water, this looks to be more of a fantastical and magical film than Brave was. This is not a dig on that 2012 film, but I do feel that the Scottish tale's fantasy elements could've been further explored. This new film - presumably opening March 13, 2020 - will take us to a whole other world, where it's just fantasy creatures from elves to trolls to sprites. I love how it's a personal story for Scanlon, who never knew his father (he died when he was a year old), the same goes for the young leads. It's also cool how unicorns will be something of a common pest in this very magical world...

To me, "Suburban Fantasy World" is the kind of thing animation should be doing. Animation and high fantasy like this go hand-in-hand, yet we see live-action (with the help of hyperreal CGI) do it more: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, this, that... Animation has a few under its belt these days, but it's great to see more of it on the way.

I was hoping we'd hear about what Mark Andrews has been cooking up, but I guess we'll learn that some other time. Probably later this year or early next year...

Disneytoon's project is a bit of a letdown... I was kind of hoping for something new, considering that corporate Disney wasn't happy with how Planes: Fire & Rescue did at the box office. The Tinks never went theatrical in the states, so I was wondering: Could it have been something based on a current Disney animated TV show? Something with Mickey and the gang a la the 2004 Three Musketeers movie? Elena of Avalor? Nope, another entry in the talking autos universe. The reveal was indeed kind of neat, and the joke working title made for a good laugh, but otherwise... I can take it or leave it.

Overall a pretty good presentation, though not as satisfying as the previous ones. Disney Animation only highlighted two pictures on their slate, and they're sequels no less. No word on Gigantic, no hints on what the untitled 2021 picture might be. Another day, another day...

4 comments:

  1. When they said they're going to Oh My Disney I was like "Oh c'mon you gotta be kidding me, seriously?" But then I saw the Clip, where they made references to Disney stuff that Disney nerds know, and the princesses oh my god that scene, I'm telling you wait until you see it

    "Princesses; Do people think your life got better because you meet a strong man?"

    Vaneloppe: Yes

    Princesses: Oh she really is a princes

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    1. Since you saw the footage at the expo, what is your opinion on Yesss?

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    2. She reminded me a bit to Edna mode

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  2. I'm a bit iffy on the concept of Ralph 2 to begin with. the internt idea sounds a tad gimmick-y. (Doesn't help we have a very similar in cincept film coming in just 2 weeks...).

    But i hope it works, since we have the same basic crew. That princess scene sounds really funny.

    As for the Disneytoon thing, thought rhey were being shut down after the latest Tink but I'm glad they're staying, but not sure about yet ANOTHER Cars spinoff going to theatre.

    Forget Cars 2 or whatever, these spin offs ruin the Pixar brand. They not make them but they allow them to do the Planes stuff which was going to, and should have gone/straight to video.

    We don't know enough to judge but Space sounds very shark jumping.

    I'm pretty excited for Incredibles 2 2especially with how it'll be a straight sequel.

    A commentary on current superhero trends could be coo; ut this is better as sequel to the original story.

    I bet the Underminer stuff will be just an opening action scene, especially since they made a whole video game out of the Underminer stuff already.

    Toy Story 4...yeah, still not sold. I'm sure it'll be Good, but i don't think it'll justify it's existence. We'll see though.

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