ANAHEIM - Johnny Depp was curiously a big part of Walt Disney Studios' montage of past hits and fan favorites at the beginning of the company's D23 Expo presentation today, but there was little news or mention of the blockbuster star's embattled "Lone Ranger" production from studio chairman Rich Ross. Ross presented the filmmakers and studio heads of Walt Disney Animation, Pixar and Marvel Studios, but the only major news was the confirmation of two new Pixar films for 2013 and 2014.
Pixar veteran and "Up" co-director Bob Peterson will helm the "Untitled Pixar Movie about Dinosaurs" which the company has slated for 2013. Not much was revealed about the project except that it was spawned from an idea of Peterson's about what the world would be like if a meteor never hit the earth causing the extinction of dinosaurs. A concept drawing featured a brontosaurus like dino with a young person riding it in a grassy field.
The other new film which featured even less details from the other "Up" co-director Pete Docter is the "Untitled Pixar Movie that takes you Inside the Mind." Docter appeared onstage and teased the movie will be about what happens with synapses inside your mind.
Other films previewed included a "Cars" spin-off "Planes," Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie," Andrew Stanton's "John Carter [of Mars]," Disney Studios Animation's intriguing "Wreck-it Ralph," Pixar's "Monsters University" and "Brave" as well as "The Muppets," "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" and Sam Raimi's "Oz: The Great and Powerful." Besides the appearance of on screen talent including Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, Jason Segal, Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog and Billy Crystal, 4,500 fans were treated to a cupcake to celebrate Pixar's 25th anniversary.
The presentation ended with the cast of "The Avengers" previewing a clip from the Joss Whedon 2012 tentpole.