Over two days, Disney gave their fans all the hype they could handle at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. While no trailers for “Thor: Ragnarok” or “Black Panther” were released, there was more than enough to keep Disney, “Star Wars” and Marvel fans excited for what’s to come. Here’s the biggest news that came out of the convention this year.
Taraji P. Henson will be joining the cast of “Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” as Yesss, a trend-setter who takes Ralph and Vanellope on a tour of the Internet. Fans were also treated to a clip of Vanellope meeting ALL the Disney princesses, many of whom will be voiced by their original voice actors.
A sneak preview of Pixar’s next film, “Coco,” was also shown to audiences. The clip showed a boy named Miguel, who is so desperate to play the guitar against his family’s wishes that he steals one from the grave of his great-great-grandfather. In doing so, he winds up in the Land of the Dead, where he comes across his ancestors and tries to discover why his family banned music.
Before “Coco,” audiences will be treated to “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,” a “Frozen” short film that will see Olaf the Snowman take center stage as he prepares a holiday party for Anna and Elsa. Olaf’s voice actor, Josh Gad, took to the stage at D23 to performance live one of the new songs from the film.
After “Coco,” the next Pixar film will be “The Incredibles 2.” Director Brad Bird presented concept art for the new film, along with a work-in-progress clip in which Mr. Incredible discovers that his infant son, Jack-Jack, now has powers.
But the biggest Pixar news at D23 came when John Lasseter announced that he was stepping down as director of “Toy Story 4,” handing over the reins to “Inside Out” screenwriter Josh Cooley. Lasseter will remain on the project as a producer.
The live-action presentation opened with a new trailer from “A Wrinkle in Time” presented by director Ava DuVernay. Based on the classic novel by Madeline L’Engle, the film stars Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon
After much speculation, Disney announced the leads for Guy Ritchie’s remake of “Aladdin.” “Jack Ryan” star Mena Massoud will play Aladdin, and “Power Rangers” star Naomi Scott will play Jasmine. Disney also confirmed that Will Smith will play Genie.
Disney also quietly moved Niki Caro’s remake of “Mulan” out of its Nov. 2, 2018 release date, replacing it with “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” a surreal adaptation of the famous German Christmas tale. Morgan Freeman and Keira Knightley lead the cast.
There was no new “Star Wars” footage available at D23, though newcomers to the franchise Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro and Kelly Tran were on hand to discuss joining the galactic saga. A behind-the-scenes montage was also shown that featured the late Carrie Fisher.
But the presentation did feature a jaw-dropping clip that showed how the famous “Circle of Life” opening scene will look with the photorealistic CGI technology used in last year’s “The Jungle Book.” James Earl Jones, Donald Glover and John Oliver are included among the cast.
Finally, Marvel saved the best for last by giving D23 fans an early look at the “Avengers: Infinity War” trailer, which featured the Guardians of the Galaxy meeting Thor for the first time, the return of Iron Man’s Hulkbuster suit and the awakening of Peter Parker’s Spidey Senses.