Thousands of fans waited to enter the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California as the three-day event opened on September 9, 2022

Preparing for the 100th anniversary, Disney presents its exhibition with surprises

Thousands of fans waited to enter the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California when the three-day event opened September 9, 2022 – Copyright AFP CARLOS JASSO

Paula RAMON

Disney had a lot to offer movie fans at the biennial D23 Expo: previews of two new animated films and the announcement that a sequel to Pixar’s hit Inside Out will be released next year for the entertainment giant’s centenary.

A constellation of stars filled Room D at the Anaheim, Calif. Convention Center at the show Friday as Disney unveiled exclusive images and made a surprise announcement for Inside Out 2.

The 2015 sequel will once again see a series of competing emotions (anger, joy, fear, sadness, disgust) trying to coexist in young Riley’s head. Amy Poehler will again voice Joy.

But this time, Poehler told fans at the Expo that Riley is a teenager and she will experience new emotions that the actress hasn’t revealed.

Kelsey Mann (Lighter, The Good Dinosaur) is directing the film, which is slated for a summer 2024 release.

There were other surprises on the opening day of D23.

Pixar, a subsidiary of Disney, has announced plans to make an animated film, Elio, about an 11-year-old boy who feels out of place in society, but accidentally becomes Earth’s ambassador after an encounter with aliens.

Also slated for release in 2024, the opening shots of the production show colorful aliens as well as the faces of Elio, played by Jonas Kibreab (from the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries), and his mother, Olga, voiced by America Ferrara. (from Ugly Betty)

– Mufasa is growing up –

The studio also released a clip from its first feature series, Win or Lose, which chronicles the adventures of a ragtag high school softball team. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character.

Visitors to the exhibition also saw early scenes from the movie Elemental, which is scheduled for release in 2023. The film tells the love story between Amber (Nancy Drew’s Leah Lewis) and Wade (Mamudu Ati, Jurassic World: Dominion) who live in the city of Elemento.

The catch: the inhabitants of the city are literally made of basic elements – fire, air, water or earth – so they have to fight the elements in order to live together, despite their obvious differences. (Wade is described as a “juicy water guy” and Amber is, of course, fire.)

The exhibition’s afternoon session also featured the first clips of Holly Bailey’s Disney adaptation of The Little Mermaid and Mufasa: The Lion King, which uses computer-generated imagery to show the transformation of an orphan cub into ruler of a lush kingdom.

Disney also showed a short clip of “Wish”, which takes place in the Kingdom of Wish and talks about the origins of magic.

The animated production marks the studio’s celebration – until the end of 2023 – of the 100th anniversary of its existence. Starring Ariana DeBose (West Side Story).

– “We all accept each other” –

The celebration kicked off Friday at the convention center with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristen Bell, Jude Law, Patrick Dempsey, Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph in attendance.

Disney said it would include “100 Years of Wonder” in its logo and introduced fans to its Memorabilia exhibit, which tells the story of the company founded in October 1923 by Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney.

A notable part of the exhibition: Mickey Mouse One, the plane that belonged to Walt Disney himself.

Thousands of fans of “the happiest place on earth” lined up early to enjoy interactive experiences, shop for merchandise and meet friends.

Princesses and Peter Pan, witches, stormtroopers and a host of fantastical creatures filled the halls as the Expo, which normally takes place every two years but was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, resumed.

“I guess I have to be emotional because I’ve been so looking forward to returning,” said actor Allen Weiserman, who arrived on opening day dressed as Cinderella’s evil stepmother.

Weiserman said he worked on his outfit for several months, and on Friday it took five hours to makeover.

“It’s not just about the Disney brand. It’s about all the fans we’ve met, who have become family to us – who accept you for who you are,” he said.

“All my friends here take me for being draped.”

He added, “You know, we’re so happy to be together again.”

D23 is open until Sunday.

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