'The Avengers,' 'The Muppets' and Pixar in the spotlight at Disney's D23 Expo
Walt Disney Studios announced panels and scheduled talent today for the Disney D23 Expo 2011 later this month in Anaheim, CA. The three-day event running Aug. 19-21 will feature sneak peeks and exhibits from some of the company's most anticipated projects including "The Avengers," "The Muppets," "Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, "Oz: The Great and Powerful," Pixar's "Brave" and more. Rather than debuting any footage from any of those projects at Comic-Con in July, it appears covering costs at a company-sponsored event only a month later was deemed a more financially prudent move.
On Saturday, Aug. 20, Rich Ross chairman, The Walt Disney Studios; Sean Bailey, president, production, The Walt Disney Studios; John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; and Kevin Feige, producer and president, Marvel Studios, will present a look at Disney Studios and Marvel Studios' upcoming film slate. Talent scheduled to appear include Jason Segel, Kermit and Miss Piggy (Disney’s "The Muppets"), Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins and Willem Dafoe ("John Carter (of Mars)"), Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd ("Brave"), Jennifer Garner ("The Odd Life of Timothy Green"), Jack McBrayer and Sarah Silverman ("Wreck-It Ralph"), to be determined cast members from Marvel’s "The Avengers" and other "surprise" guests.
Additionally, Pixar's 25 years will be celebrated with five intriguing panels.
A Conversation with the Pixar Creative Team: Enjoy a rare opportunity to spend some time with the key figures responsible for Pixar’s unprecedented success, including John Lasseter (chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios), Jim Morris (general manager, Pixar Animation Studios), Pete Docter (director, "Monsters, Inc.", "Up"), Andrew Stanton (director, "Finding Nemo," "WALL-E," "Jon Carter"), Bob Peterson (co-director, Up), Lee Unkrich (director, "Toy Story 3"), Mark Andrews (director, "Brave") and Dan Scanlon (director, "Monsters University"). Brad Bird is the only major Pixar filmmaker not scheduled to appear.
The Characters of "Monsters University": Director Dan Scanlon and Production Designer Ricky Nierva discuss how they combine hair, horns and a lot of heart to bring the sequel to 2000's "Monsters" to life.
Michael Giacchino’s Music of Pixar: In this musical presentation, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino explores his early influences through the creation of modern-day classic scores from "Ratatouille," "Up" and "Cars 2" (no word if he'll throw in some "Star Trek" or not).
The Art of "Brave": Production Designer Steve Pilcher and Shading Art Director Tia Kratter show how they and their team put paint to canvas and fingers to computer keys to create the stunning visuals of Scotland for the 2012 release.
Pixar Shorts: A retrospective screening of the animation studio’s acclaimed short films will be followed by a panel discussion with several of the filmmakers, including Ralph Eggleston (director, "For the Birds"), Andy Jimenez (director, "One Man Band"), Angus MacLane (director, "BURN-E"), Pete Sohn (director, "Partly Cloudy"), Teddy Newton (director, "Day & Night"), and Enrico Casarosa (director, "La Luna").
Expo attendees will also have access to advance screenings of an all-new 3D version of "The Lion King"and the upcoming ABC holiday special "Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice" from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Exhibits include an Animation Pavillion, a In-Home Entertainment Pavillion and "Inside Tides: Pirates of the Caribbean Film Prop Collection."
Tickets are available to the public at Disney.com/D23. And as you'd expect, they aren't cheap. The eye-popping admission fee is $47 for a one-day adult ticket and $37 for children 3-12. Three-day passes are $136 for adults and $106 for children. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will receive a discount for up to four admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 Expo for themselves and their guests.