2019 D23 Expo: Photos and Videos

The 2019 edition of D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event took place August 23 to August 25, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Here are the star-studded  photo and video highlights from the event:

Disney Legends Awards

Robert Downey Jr. at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Diane Sawyer at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Robin Roberts at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Jon Favreau at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Christina Aguilera at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Ming-Na Wen at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Kenny Ortega at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Wing T. Chao at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Disney+ Preview

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” star Ewan McGregor and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“The Mandalorian” team Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito and Taika Waititi at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” stars Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp and Wyatt Russell at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Wanda Vision” team Matt Shakman, Jac Schaeffer, Kevin Feige, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Kat Dennings, Randall Park and Kathryn Hahn at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Diary of a Female President” co-star Gina Rodriguez, Disney+ showcase host Yvette Nicole Brown and “Diary of a Female President” co-star Tess Romero at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Encore!” host/executive producer Kristen Bell at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Noelle” star Anna Kendrick, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production president Sean Bailey and “Noelle” star Billy Eichner (pictured at right) at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“The World According to Jeff Goldblum” star Jeff Goldblum at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Lizzie McGuire” star Hilary Duff at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“High School Musical: The Series” stars at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Walt Disney Studios Movie Presentation

“Jungle Cruise” stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning and Michelle Pfeiffer at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” team Billy Dee Williams, R2-D2, Anthony Daniels, Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Eternals” team Kevin Feige, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Angelina Jolie and Barry Keoghan at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Raya and the Last Dragon” stars Cassie Steele and Awkwafina at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Frozen 2” stars Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Frozen 2” stars Sterling K. Brown and Evan Rachel Wood at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Soul” stars Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad and Questlove at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Soul” stars Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“Onward” stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Miscellaneous Photos

Cast members from “Black-ish,” “Grown-ish” and “Mixed-ish”: Gary Cole, Jordan Buhat, Trevor Jackson. Toka Sumpter, Diggy Simmons, Miles Brown, Laurence Fishburne, Ethan Williams Childress, Christina Anthony, Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jenifer Lewis, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Yara Shahidi, Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Francia Raisa and Arica Himmel at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
“The Simpsons” team members Mike B. Anderson, Al Jean, Matt Groening, Nancy Cartwright and Matt Selman at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

2019 D23 Expo: Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and other Disney-owned movie studios announce updates

August 24, 2019

Walt Disney Studios co-chairman/chief creative officer Alan Horn at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

The following is a press release from Walt Disney Studios:

The Walt Disney Studios—including studio leaders and filmmakers from Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Disney live action, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios—wowed an audience of nearly 7,000 this morning at D23 Expo 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. Alan Horn, cochairman and chief creative officer, The Walt Disney Studios—joined by Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, Disney live action’s Sean Bailey, Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney Animation’s Jennifer Lee—offered guests a captivating look at Disney’s upcoming film slate, including never-before-seen footage and a host of stars, plus a spectacular performance from “Frozen 2” voice cast members Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.

“You’re not just fans, you’re family,” said Horn to the packed room. “It’s because of you that we keep working so hard to make great movies, and we love D23 Expo because it’s where we can share them with you first.”

The presentation included the following highlights.

LUCASFILM

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and  director/producer/screenwriter J.J. Abrams  at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” director/writer/producer J.J. Abrams showcased the riveting conclusion to the Skywalker saga. Kennedy and Abrams revved up the audience, introducing nine stars from the film —many of whom marked this as their first D23 Expo appearance: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran and Billy Dee Williams, plus special appearances from R2-D2, BB-8 and the new droid D-O. A brand-new poster was revealed—and gifted to the entire audience. And all were given a look back at the incredible legacy of Star Wars storytelling and treated to a sneak peek of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which opens in U.S. theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.

Billy Dee Williams, R2-D2, Anthony Daniels, Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams  at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

MARVEL STUDIOS

Director/screenwriter Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige  at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, kicked off his presentation with a surprise visit from “Black Panther” director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. Together, they revealed that “Black Panther 2” (working title) will hit U.S. theaters on May 6, 2022.

Feige segued to next year’s “The Eternals,” inviting cast members from the muchanticipated film to the stage: Richard Madden, who portrays the all-powerful Ikaris; Kumail Nanjiani, who plays cosmic-powered Kingo; Lauren Ridloff, who portrays the super-fast Makkari, the first deaf hero in the MCU; Brian Tyree Henry, who plays the intelligent inventor Phastos; Salma Hayek, who plays the wise and spiritual leader Ajak; Lia McHugh, who portrays the eternally young, old-soul Sprite; Don Lee, who plays the powerful Gilgamesh; and Angelina Jolie, who stars as the fierce warrior Thena. Feige revealed concept art images of each character, and announced three new cast members and their characters: Gemma Chan, who plays humankind-loving Sersi; Kit Harington, who was cast as non-Eternal Dane Whitman, and Barry Keoghan, who portrays aloof loner Druig, and was on hand for the event. Directed by Chloé Zhao, who helmed the critically acclaimed Sundance film “The Rider,” “The Eternals” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 6, 2020.

Kevin Feige, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Angelina Jolie and Barry Keoghan at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Feige concluded with “Black Widow,” the Cate Shortland-directed first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which hits U.S. theaters on May 1, 2020. Feige shared a pre-recorded greeting featuring stars Scarlett Johansson, who reprises her role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow; David Harbour, who was cast as Alexei the Red Guardian; and Florence Pugh, who plays Yelena. The audience was also treated to an exclusive look at the upcoming film.

DISNEY LIVE ACTION

Dwayne Johnson at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Emily Blunt at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, took the audience through upcoming releases for the studio, including next summer’s “Jungle Cruise,” a rousing adventure inspired by the classic theme-park attraction. Star Dwayne Johnson, who plays riverboat captain Frank Wolff, entered Hall D23 aboard an original Jungle Cruise boat, introducing a “trailer” that showed off his character—so much so, that co-star Emily Blunt, who portrays Dr. Lily Houghton, arrived via classic car to share with fans her own “trailer,” offering a different perspective—Bailey laughingly informed Johnson and Blunt that neither trailer was official. Directed by Jaume ColletSerra, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” hits U.S. theaters on July 24, 2020.

Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Bailey welcomed Angelina Jolie back to the stage to present exclusive footage and details about Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” the exciting follow-up to the hit 2014 film. Maleficent, portrayed by Jolie, and her goddaughter Aurora, played by Elle Fanning, begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and new dark forces at play. Aurora’s imminent marriage to Prince Phillip is cause for celebration—however, Prince Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrith, portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer, challenges Maleficent’s role as Aurora’s mother figure. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Connal, one of the leaders of the dark fey who becomes Maleficent’s ally. Ejiofor, Pfeiffer and Fanning were all welcomed to the stage by an enthusiastic audience. Directed by Joachim Rønning, who co-helmed 2017’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” arrives in U.S. theaters on Oct. 18, 2019.

Director/screenwriter Niki Caro and Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production president Sean Bailey at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Bailey next introduced acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro, director of “Mulan,” the upcoming live-action reimagining of the 1998 classic animated film. Caro expressed to fans her passion for the project, sharing several minutes of footage from the epic adventure inspired by one of China’s fiercest warriors. In Disney’s “Mulan,” which opens in U.S. theaters on March 27, 2020, the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders. So, the eldest daughter of an honored but ailing warrior masquerades as a man, transforming into a heroic warrior to ultimately earn her the respect of a grateful nation and a proud father.

Emma Stone in “Cruella'” (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)

Next up, Bailey shared details about “Cruella,” an all-new feature film starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. Stone, who plays the iconic “Cruella,” sent D23 Expo fans a greeting from the London-based set with help from a spotted, four-legged co-star. Fans also got a glimpse of an image of Stone in full costume with Cruella’s signature black-and-white hair. Director Craig Gillespie, who helmed “I, Tonya” and “The Finest Hours,” brings “Cruella” to the big screen on May 28, 2021, with a fresh, 1970s, punkrock approach.

PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

Mike Jones, Kemp Powers, Dana Murray and Pixar Animation Studios chief creative officer Pete Docter at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Pixar Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter guided the audience through Pixar’s upcoming film slate of originals. Docter began with next summer’s release, “Soul,” which he directs. The film journeys from the streets of New York City to the never-before-seen cosmic realms and “The You Seminar,” the fantastical place where we all discover our unique personalities. Producer Dana Murray, co-director/ writer Kemp Powers and writer Mike Jones joined Docter on stage, and together they set up the film for the audience and shared a sneak peek.

Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad and Questlove at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

The team revealed members of the voice cast who joined them on stage, including Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx. Foxx lends his voice to Joe Gardner, a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is playing jazz. Fey plays 22, a soul-in-training who has an unexpected encounter with Joe when he accidentally finds his way to the “You Seminar.”

Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Together, the two are going to find a way to get Joe back to Earth, making him think again about what it truly means to have soul. Filmmakers also revealed that globally renowned musician Jon Batiste will be writing original jazz music for the film, and Oscar®-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”), from Nine Inch Nails, will compose an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds. Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” opens in U.S. theaters on June 19, 2020.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, director Dan Scanlon, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and producer Kori Rae at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Docter next introduced director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae, who shared details and more than ten minutes of exclusive footage from Pixar’s upcoming feature film “Onward.” The movie, which opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020, stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left in the world. Set in a modern fantasy world, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” is inspired by Scanlon’s personal experiences with his brother. Holland, Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus —who voices Mom in the movie—joined the filmmakers on stage—much to the delight of the audience, who all received an exclusive “Onward” poster.

WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS

Dean Wellins, Osnat Shurer, Adele Lim and Paul Briggs at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee presented an overview of the studio’s next two features, beginning with the Thanksgiving 2020 fantasy-action-adventure, “Raya and the Last Dragon.” Directors Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins (“Big Hero 6,” “Frozen”), producer Osnat Shurer (“Moana”) and writer Adele Lim (“Crazy Rich Asians”) joined Lee on stage to set up the film, which introduces Raya, a lone warrior from the fantasy kingdom of Kumandra who teams up with a crew of misfits in her quest to find the Last Dragon and bring light and unity back to their world.

Cassie Steele and Awkwafina at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

The D23 Expo crowd was the first to get a look at the new film, viewing an exclusive three-minute piece. They also met two newly announced members of the voice cast: Awkwafina lends her voice to Sisu, the Last Dragon, who was left on Earth in case dark forces return to the world, and Cassie Steele voices the lead character, Raya. Exploring themes of community and hope, and inspired by the beautiful and diverse cultures of Southeast Asia, the fantasy-action-adventure “Raya and the Last Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 25, 2020.

Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Lee, who directs “Frozen 2” with Chris Buck, and wrote the screenplay, invited Buck to join her on stage as the Oscar®-winning duo revealed new details about the upcoming film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22. Lee and Buck introduced two new “Frozen 2” cast members: Sterling K. Brown, who voices Lieutenant Destin Mattias, and Evan Rachel Wood, who voices Queen Iduna, Anna and Elsa’s mother.

Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

The crowd— who received an exclusive D23 Expo “Frozen 2” poster—saw never-before-seen footage of the new characters, including a scene that featured Wood as Iduna singing to young Elsa and Anna. The song, “All Is Found,” is one of seven all-new original songs by Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The audience also saw a sequence from the movie that showcased Elsa’s yearning for answers about the past, culminating in another song, “Into the Unknown.” And a climactic performance of the song “Some Things Never Change” by Menzel, Bell, Groff and Gad brought the audience to its feet, capping off the studio presentation in extraordinary style.

About The Walt Disney Studios
For more than 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music, and stage plays to consumers throughout the world.

About D23 Expo 2019
D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.
About D23 The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.
Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

2019 D23 Expo: Walt Disney Studios, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm programming announced

August 8, 2019

“Aladdin” (Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)

The following is a press release from D23:

The Walt Disney Studios presents an exclusive look at its unparalleled film slate at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, taking place August 23–25.
At a marquee Hall D23 presentation hosted by The Walt Disney Studios Chief Creative Officer and Co-Chairman Alan Horn on Saturday, August 24, fans will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Studios’ upcoming theatrical releases, including animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios and live-action projects from Disney, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm.

These studios are responsible for some of the world’s biggest movie hits, and past D23 Expos have been the site of some of the first-released details on blockbusters such as Disney’s Aladdin; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana and Zootopia; Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story 4; Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War; and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, along with unforgettable moments like the debut of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” sequence, live musical celebrations of Coco and Mary Poppins Returns, and a sprawling cast of Avengers assembling onstage.

Saturday’s showcase will feature never-before-seen footage, surprise appearances, and more. While the films to be featured in Hall D23 will remain under wraps until showtime, the Studios’ upcoming slate includes Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Mulan, and Jungle Cruise; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2; Pixar originals Onward and Soul; Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and The Eternals; and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and more.

HALL D23 PRESENTATIONS:

Go Behind the Scenes with The Walt Disney Studios
Saturday, August 24, 10 a.m., Hall D23

The Walt Disney Studios presents a behind-the-scenes look at its blockbuster collection of upcoming films. Fans will glimpse what’s on the drawing board for the acclaimed filmmakers at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios and get a peek at the exciting slate of live-action projects, from Disney to Marvel Studios to Lucasfilm’s Star Wars. As always, attendees will be treated to exclusive footage, special guest appearances, and more! Cell phones, cameras, and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.

Disney on Broadway: A 25th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, August 24, 3:30 p.m., Hall D23

Disney on Broadway is thrilled to return to D23 Expo to celebrate its 25th anniversary with an exclusive concert. Hosted by Tony Award®-nominee Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast), the 75-minute concert will feature Heidi Blickenstaff (Freaky Friday, The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, On The Record), Kissy Simmons (The Lion King), Josh Strickland (Tarzan), and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King). A six-piece band, led by Jim Abbott, will accompany performers as they lead the audience through Disney on Broadway’s Tony Award-winning catalogue. The performance will feature songs from Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida, Tarzan®, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Newsies, Aladdin, Freaky Friday, and Frozen. (Talent is subject to change.)

Disney Character Voices, Inc: The 30th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, August 25, 4:15 p.m., Hall D23

For 30 years, Disney Character Voices has kept the voices of Disney characters alive and well for fans through toys, games, apps, theme park attractions, and much more. Take a journey with Rick Dempsey, SVP of Character Voices, and many of those beloved voices—including Tony Anselmo (“Donald”), Jodi Benson (“Ariel”), Bill Farmer (“Goofy” and “Pluto”), Bret Iwan (“Mickey Mouse”), and Linda Larkin (“Jasmine”), with more special guests to be announced—as they step out from behind the microphone to celebrate this joyous anniversary through stories and amazing voices!

CALENDAR OF KEY EVENTS:

Great Moments with Walt Disney
Friday, August 23, 10:30 a.m., Archives Stage

Grammy®-winning producer Randy Thornton, Disney Music Group’s Supervising Producer and Music Historian, will present audio recordings of Walt Disney recalling the development of the first cartoon with synchronized sound, creating Disney’s first hit song, and meeting Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

“Vader Immortal” (Image courtesy of Lucasfilm)

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode II First Look
Friday, August 23, 2 p.m., Stage 28

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series lets you become the hero of your own personal adventure as you step into the role of a Force-sensitive smuggler recruited by Darth Vader himself. Director Ben Snow, Senior Experience Designer Jose Perez III, and Lucasfilm Story Group Creative Executive Matt Martin take the stage for an in-depth discussion about the upcoming second episode, including an exclusive sneak peek that will be available only to those at D23 Expo.

A Musical Celebration of Aladdin
Saturday, August 24, 5:30 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

To celebrate the in-home releases of the all-new live-action Aladdin and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Aladdin Walt Disney Signature Collection, hosts Scott Weinger (“Aladdin”) and Linda Larkin (“Jasmine”) take us on a musical magic-carpet ride through your favorite tunes from Aladdin both on stage and on screen. Special guests include Brad Kane (“Aladdin” singing voice), Deedee Magno Hall (“Jasmine” in Disney’s Aladdin—A Musical Spectacular), Jamal Sims (Choreographer, Aladdin live action), Clinton Greenspan (“Aladdin” on the North American tour), Lillias White (Hercules), and Norm Lewis (Scandal, The Little Mermaid on Broadway). You never know what surprises the Genie may conjure up.

The Little Mermaid: The 30th Anniversary Celebration!
Sunday, August 25, 10 a.m., D23 Expo Arena

Fans of the classic film are invited to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of The Little Mermaid, recognized around the world as one of the greatest animated films of all time. Hosted by the voice of Ariel herself, Jodi Benson, it will be an unforgettable “Under the Sea” celebration. Presented by H2O+.

Hidden Gems of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library: Preserving and Inspiring the Disney Legacy
Sunday, August 25, 12 p.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage

Fans will discover what it’s like to hold Disney history in their hands in this informative panel. The talented team at Walt Disney Animation Research Library (ARL) preserves millions of pieces of original Disney animation art from Steamboat Willie to the films of today. Attendees will learn how the ARL shares these hidden gems, inspiring artists and audiences alike.

The Art of Disney Storytelling
Sunday, August 25, 3 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

John Stamos hosts this panel of master storytellers—including Disney Legends Tony Baxter and Floyd Norman, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Paul Briggs (head of story, Frozen and Big Hero 6), and legendary producer Don Hahn—who will discuss Walt Disney’s impact on their careers and the entertainment industry, highlighting the ways they leverage those lessons to spark creativity today.

World Premiere: Walt Disney Animation Studios Presents Short Circuit
Sunday, August 25, 4 p.m., Stage 28

In this exciting panel, Walt Disney Animation Studios will debut Short Circuit, an experimental short film program that will debut in Spring 2020 on Disney+. Talented artists and filmmakers will share their films for the first time anywhere and give behind-the-scenes insights.

Two Worlds, One Family: The Making of Tarzan
Sunday, August 25, 5:45 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

Twenty years later, the team who brought the animated classic to life “swings” into the D23 Expo to give a behind-the-scenes look at how the Walt Disney Animation Studios film came to be! Guests include directors Chris Buck (Frozen 2) and Kevin Lima (Enchanted); animators Bruce W. Smith, Ken Duncan, and Disney Legend Glen Keane; and producer Bonnie Arnold, as well as a very special performance by Matthew Morrison (Glee) from his forthcoming Walt Disney Records album.

ALL WEEKEND ON THE D23 EXPO SHOW FLOOR

Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) and Pixar will once again team up for an immersive animation experience at D23 Expo. The studios’ upcoming slate of films, which include WDAS’ much-anticipated Frozen 2 and Pixar’s brand-new original feature film Onward, will be highlighted, including opportunities to meet the teams behind the movies and autograph signings of exclusive art and promotional item giveaways. Pixar Animation Studios will also introduce fans to a real-life version of Guinevere, the van from Onward. Decked out with crescent moon windows and a “Pegacorn” (part Pegasus, part unicorn) painted on her sides, Guinevere will offer guests a taste of the adventure that two teenage elf brothers will embark upon in the movie.

Disney on Broadway

Fans can celebrate Disney on Broadway’s milestone 25th anniversary by visiting the VR (virtual reality) theatre on the D23 Expo floor. The brand-new VR experience puts you center stage in Aladdin, Frozen, and The Lion King’s biggest Broadway production numbers, featuring Broadway’s Caissie Levy (Elsa), Major Attaway (Genie), Telly Leung (Aladdin), and Tshidi Manye (Rafiki).

Lucasfilm Pavilion

For the first time at D23 Expo, Lucasfilm will host a pavilion on the show floor with an impressive display showcasing the evolution of the Star Wars stormtrooper. The exhibit will include several of the screen-used costumes seen throughout the iconic movie series. From the classic stormtrooper to new designs featured in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, this stunning display is a rare opportunity to examine these production costumes up close and study the many unique styles deployed throughout a galaxy far, far away. Also featured in the Lucasfilm pavilion will be a special section for young Padawans that will include Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures video shorts, along with multiple interactive activities for kids.

Marvel Studios Pavilion

Inside the Marvel Studios Pavilion on the show floor, fans can step inside the action of Avengers: Endgame via a D23 Expo-exclusive video experience, and tour the costume gallery to see costumes worn by characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Throughout the weekend, Marvel Studios will host panel conversations with filmmakers and artists, as well as special talent signings inside the Pavilion. Fans can test their encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with daily trivia games for prizes.

Inside the World of Avatar

“Avatar” props (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

The astonishing world of Avatar is one of the most indelible ever created in film and a celebration of all that is possible in cinema and storytelling. Avatar’s visionary director, James Cameron, has created a spellbinding, immersive world that transports audiences to a never-before-imagined place inhabited by jaw-droppingly original characters. At D23 Expo 2019, the spectacular world of Avatar comes to life once again with rarely seen props, costumes, and models used in the making of Cameron’s groundbreaking film, paired with the iconic movie moments where they are brought to life. Fans will also get a glimpse at the making of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World Resort, making this one-of-a-kind exhibit, located on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, a must-see stop for anyone who appreciates the very best in movie and theme park storytelling.

Disney Music Emporium – Album Signings and Exclusive Products

Disney Music Emporium, the online destination for collectible Disney music products, returns to D23 Expo 2019 with a pop-up store on the show floor. Over the three-day Ultimate Disney Fan Event, the Emporium will feature album signings by artists and award-winning composers. Limited quantities of a wide assortment of music products will be available, including new releases from Marvel and Lucasfilm, vinyl albums, die-cut picture disc vinyl, cassettes, Crosley turntables, cassette players, posters, and more. Additionally, visitors to Disney Music Emporium will be able to pre-order the Matthew Morrison Disney album. Album signings at the Disney Music Emporium shop include Oscar®- and Grammy®winning composer and Disney Legend Randy Newman (Toy Story films, The Princess and the Frog, Cars films); composer Tyler Bates (Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy); actor Anthony Gonzalez (voice of Miguel from Coco); singer-songwriter, actor, and dancer Matthew Morrison (Glee); plus Hollywood Records artist JD McCrary (voice of young Simba in The Lion King). Scheduled artists subject to change.

Single-day tickets for Sunday of D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children ages 3–9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $79 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children ages 3–9. Single-day Friday and Saturday tickets, as well as three-day passes, are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit D23Expo.com.

About The Walt Disney Studios
For more than 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music, and stage plays to consumers throughout the world.

About D23 Expo 2019
D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities.

For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

2019 D23 Expo: ABC Entertainment announces programming lineup

July 25, 2019

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Ming-Na Wen, Clark Gregg, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Henry Simmons, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge and Jeff Ward. (Photo by Matthias /ABC)

The following is a press release from ABC Entertainment:

Fans will laugh, cry and be tempted to bust a move when ABC brings their biggest stars of comedy, action and dance competition to D23 Expo 2019 this August. Be among the first to learn the secrets of what’s ahead on ABC’s hit series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”; take a peek behind the curtain of the now-iconic Disney Night on “Dancing with the Stars”; travel to the “ish” universe, centered around groundbreaking comedy “black-ish”; and meet some of your favorite ABC stars inperson during special meet & greet/photo op sessions at D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, Aug. 23-25, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Presentations:

“Dancing with the Stars” and Disney!
Friday, Aug. 23, 10:00 a.m., D23 Expo Arena 

“Good Morning America”’s Ginger Zee hosts a behind-the-scenes peek into the most magical night in the ballroom: Disney Night! Join Ginger, show host Tom Bergeron, show judge Carrie Ann Inaba, Mirrorball champions Rashad Jennings and Jordan Fisher, and “Dancing with the Stars” executive producer Andrew Llinares for a celebration of the “Dancing with the Stars” and Disney connection. There may even be a hint at what’s to come on “Dancing with the Stars” 2019 this fall on ABC.

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Friday, Aug. 23, 3:00 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

Stars and executive producers from ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” come together to honor the past six seasons of the show while looking forward to the forthcoming thrilling conclusion of the series in summer 2020. Executive producer and head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb, will host the presentation with cast members Clark Gregg, new Disney Legend Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, and Jeff Ward as well as executive producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen and Jeff Bell.

The “ish” Universe: “black-ish,” “grown-ish” and “mixed-ish”
Saturday, Aug. 24, 3:00 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

Headlined by Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi and Tika Sumpter, the stars from ABC’s “black-ish,” Freeform’s “grown-ish” and ABC’s newest spinoff “mixed-ish” come together to highlight the expanding “ish” universe. Fans won’t want to miss this star-studded panel where anything could happen!

Following is the full schedule* of stars making special appearances in the Walt Disney Television booth throughout the weekend:

Friday, Aug. 23

2:00-3:00 p.m.
“Dancing with the Stars” stars past and present Ginger Zee, Carrie Ann Inaba, Tom Bergeron, Rashad Jennings and Jordan Fisher

5:00-6:00 p.m.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons and Jeff Ward, and executive producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jeff Bell and Jeph Loeb

Saturday, Aug. 24

1:00-2:30 p.m.
“black-ish,” “grown-ish” and “mixed-ish” stars to be announced.

*Schedule and participants subject to change.

Single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday of D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children 3-9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $79 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3-9. Single-day Saturday tickets and three-day passes are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit www.D23Expo.com.

About ABC Entertainment ABC Entertainment airs compelling programming across all day parts, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest-running medical drama in prime-time television; riveting dramas “The Good Doctor,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “A Million Little Things” and “Station 19”; the Emmy® Award-winning “Modern Family” and trailblazing comedy favorites “American Housewife,” “black-ish,” “Bless This Mess,” “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs,” and “Schooled”; the
popular “Summer Fun & Games” programming block, including “Card Sharks,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Holey Moley” and “Press Your Luck”; star-making sensation “American Idol”; reality phenomenon “Shark Tank”; “The Bachelor” franchise; long-running hits “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; “General Hospital,” which has aired for more than 55 years on the network; and late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”; as well as the critically acclaimed hit special ”Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons.’” The network also boasts some of television’s most prestigious awards shows, including “The Oscars®,” “The CMA Awards” and the “American Music Awards.”

ABC programming can also be viewed on ABC.com, the ABC app and Hulu.

About D23 Expo 2019 D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

About D23 The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.   Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

2019 D23 Expo: National Geographic annouces its first D23 programming

July 15, 2019

Alex Honnold in “Free Solo” (Photo by Jimmy Chin/National Geographic)

The following is a press release from National Geographic:

National Geographic joins Disney’s D23 Expo show floor for the first time, delivering unique experiences that inspire curiosity and exploration for fans of all ages. From free solo climbing to the top of El Capitan to exploring the “why” behind the “wow” behind our gray matter, National Geographic will immerse fans in adventure, ignite their curiosities about the world, and surprise them with stories unlike any they’ve seen before, harnessing the spirit of the iconic yellow border.

For the first time at D23 Expo, guests will engage with National Geographic’s wildly popular series, talent, explorers, and some very special guests—cuddly four-legged friends! National Geographic will also be supporting its Disney+ originals at D23 Expo. Details on experiences, talent appearances, and special signings in the National Geographic pavilion will be made available on the D23 Expo app and include the following:

• National Geographic is reaching new heights to accomplish the impossible. Kicking it off on Aug. 23 from 1 to 2 p.m., get inspired at a book signing with legendary rock climber Alex Honnold, featured in the Academy Award-winning film Free Solo, which documented his achievement of his lifelong dream: to climb the face of the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope.

• Then, on Aug. 24 from 3 to 4 p.m., the doctor will see you now! His day isn’t complete unless he’s checked a cow for pregnancy or helped a goat with pneumonia. But it’s all in a day’s work for Dr. Jan Pol from Nat Geo WILD’s No. 1 series, The Incredible Dr. Pol. Hear his amazing animal stories, and cuddle up with his surprise guests—his cutest, furriest, four-legged friends!

• Chill out on Aug. 25 from 11 a.m. to noon with Sue Aikens from multiple-Emmy-awardwinning series Life Below Zero, and hear about her jaw-dropping lifestyle in the remote corners of Alaska. Get a little taste of the subzero temperatures of Alaska while she signs autographs, takes pictures, and shares her incredible tales. • Throughout the weekend on the show floor, National Geographic is also creating a unique fan experience—Beneath the Blue—a breathtaking underwater world that will take you on an incredible journey to explore the oceans and learn more about the impact of singleuse plastic on marine life.

In addition, National Geographic will present incredible panels during D23 Expo, including WOMEN OF IMPACT: Meet the Nat Geo Explorers Changing the World on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Stage 28, featuring women on the front lines of exploration, conservation, and storytelling. They pilot submarines, get up close with lions, tigers, and bears—and even breakdance! Join submersible pilot and founder of a girls’ underwater camp Erika Bergman; multimedia storyteller and Planet or Plastic ambassador Lilly Sedaghat; and large-carnivore expert Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what it takes to become the next game-changing explorer!

Then, on Sunday, Aug. 25, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the D23 Expo Arena, fans will get a first look at the reboot of Brain Games, National Geographic’s wildly popular series, during Power Up Your Brain With Keegan-Michael Key. Ignite your brain power and play some fun, mindbending, interactive challenges with Brain Games host Keegan-Michael Key (Toy Story 4, The Lion King) as he shows you the “why” behind the “wow.” Joining him on stage will be top-class mentalist Lior Suchard, who will no doubt deliver fans an engaging and mind-blowing experience. Explore your mind’s mad skills during this workout of your 3-pound slimy blob!

Single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday of D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children ages 3-9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $79 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children ages 3-9. Singleday Saturday tickets and three-day passes are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit D23Expo.com.

National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure, and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation, and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

About D23 Expo 2019
D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

2019 New York Comic Con: ‘Lord of the Rings’ stars, ‘Angel’ stars, Disney Princess actresses set to make appearances

July 2, 2019

by Carla Hay

Lord of the Rings
Pictured from left to right: Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (Photos courtesy of New Line Cinema)

Stars of “The Lord of the Rings” movies, the “Angel” TV series, and Disney Princess movies are set to make appearances at the 14th annual New York Comic Con, which will take place October 3 to October 6, 2019 in New York City. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is the main hub of the event, but several event activities will take place at other venues in the city.

Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd, who starred as hobbits in “The Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy, will be at the event. There will also be a reunion of “Angel” stars James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter, J. August Richards, Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof. In addition, Disney princess voice actresses Anika Noni Rose (“The Princess and the Frog”), Jodi Benson (“The Little Mermaid”) and Paige O’Hara (“Beauty and the Beast”) will be there to greet fans.

Other celebrities announced for the event so far include “The Empire Strike Back” co-star Billy Dee Williams; original “Star Trek” series co-star Nichelle Nichols; Paul Reubens (also known as Pee Wee Herman); and “SpongeBob SquarePants” creator/voice star Tom Kenny. Also confirmed are “Deadly Class” TV series co-stars Benedict Wong, Maria Gabriela De Faria and Benjamin Wadsworth.

All of these announced stars will be signing autographs at the event.

A complete schedule of 2019 New York Comic Con panels, activities and other celebrity appearances will be announced in the coming weeks.

New York Comic Con, which is produced by ReedPOP, was attended by a record-setting 250,000 people in 2018, according to ReedPop. The event is now the highest-attended comic-book/pop-culture fan convention in North America. Movies and TV programs that were showcased at the 2018 New York Comic Con included “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” “Dragon Ball Z Super: Broly,” “The Walking Dead,” “Doctor Who,”  “Good Omens,” “Riverdale,” “The Umbrella Academy” and “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

UPDATE: Dominic Monaghan has canceled his appearance at New York Comic Con 2019.

2019 D23 Expo announces animation programming: ‘Frozen 2,’ ‘Onward,’ ‘The Simpsons’ and more

June 25, 2019
D23 Expo

"The Simpsons" “The Simpsons” (Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television)

The following is a combination of press releases from  D23:

Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) are gearing up for an exciting weekend of announcements and presentations—sharing never-before-seen footage—plus interactive displays, artist autograph signings, sharable photo opportunities, and giveaways for 2019’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California.

This year, Pixar and WDAS will join forces with Disney’s live-action team, creating a thrilling Walt Disney Studios slate presentation that promises to wow Disney fans in Hall D23 with new announcements, surprise talent appearances, and sneak peeks of select scenes from the films.

GO BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Saturday, August 24, 10 a.m., Hall D23

As a part of The Walt Disney Studios presentation, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee and Pixar Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter will present never-before-seen footage, surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by all-star voice talent from the studios’ upcoming slate of animated films. Fans will get new looks at WDAS’ highly anticipated follow-up to 2013’s Oscar®-winning feature film Frozen when directors Chris Buck, Lee, and producer Peter Del Vecho reveal new details about Frozen 2. Director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae will introduce fans to the characters in Pixar’s upcoming original feature film Onward, while Docter and producer Dana Murray share details about next summer’s original feature Soul. Cell phones, cameras, and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.

SHOW FLOOR
August 23–25, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

On the show floor, the two studios will once again team up for an immersive animation experience at D23 Expo. The studios’ upcoming slate of films, which include WDAS’ much-anticipated Frozen 2 and Pixar’s brand-new original feature film Onward, will be highlighted, including opportunities to meet the teams behind the movies and autograph signings of exclusive art and promotional item giveaways.

Pixar Animation Studios will also introduce fans to a real-life version of Guinevere, the van from their upcoming film Onward. Decked out with crescent moon windows and a “Pegacorn” (part Pegasus, part unicorn) painted on her sides, Guinevere will offer guests a taste of the adventure that two teenage elf brothers will embark upon in the movie.

ANIMATION PANELS

Sunday, August 25, 10 a.m., D23 Expo Arena.
The Little Mermaid: The 30th Anniversary Celebration! – Presented by H2O+
Fans of the classic film are invited to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of The Little Mermaid, recognized around the world as one of the greatest animated films of all time. Hosted by the voice of Ariel herself, Jodi Benson, it will be an unforgettable “Under the Sea” celebration.

Sunday, August 25, 12 p.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage
Hidden Gems of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library: Preserving and Inspiring the Disney Legacy
Fans will discover what it’s like to hold Disney history in their hands in this informative panel. The talented team at Walt Disney Animation Research Library (ARL) preserves millions of pieces of original Disney Animation art from Steamboat Willie to the films of today. Attendees will learn how the ARL shares these hidden gems, inspiring artists and audiences alike.

Sunday, August 25, 4 p.m., Stage 28.
World Premiere: Walt Disney Animation Studios Presents Short Circuit
In this exciting panel, Walt Disney Animation Studios will debut Short Circuit, an experimental short film program that will debut in Spring 2020 on Disney+. Talented artists and filmmakers will share their films for the first time anywhere and give behind-the-scenes insights.

The longest-running primetime scripted show in television history, “The Simpsons,” makes its first appearance at D23 Expo. Get insight on the upcoming all-new season in a lively panel Saturday, August 24 at 10 a.m. in the D23 Expo Arena with Creator Matt Groening, Executive Producer Al Jean, Executive Producer Matt Selman, Supervising Director Mike B. Anderson, and stars Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith. Expect lots of surprises, including an exclusive Simpsons collectible item for everyone in attendance.

“The Simpsons” exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. Recently finishing its historic 30th season, “The Simpsons” has won 33 Emmy® Awards, 34 Annie Awards, 9 Environmental Media Awards, 7 People’s Choice Awards and 12 Writers Guild of America Awards including the 2019 Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program Award.   It was the first animated series to win a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award® in 2012 for the theatrical short “The Longest Daycare.” The Simpsons Movie was a hit feature film, the mega-attraction The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios has received historic expansion updates with the addition of “Springfield,” and the show was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000. It has been named the “Best Show of the 20th Century” by Time magazine and called the “Best TV Show Ever” by Vulture in 2016.

During the D23 Expo, “The Simpsons” fans will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with Bart, Lisa, and the rest of The Simpsons family on the convention floor. A few lucky fans will even get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Matt Groening and the rest of the panelists during a one-hour autograph signing session of an exclusive “The Simpsons” mini-poster following the panel.

About “The Simpsons”

“The Simpsons” is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean are the executive producers. The Gracie Films Worldwide Brand Division develops and produces the licensed content for the series. Visit “The Simpsons” website at SimpsonsWorld.com. “Like” the series on Facebook at facebook.com/TheSimpsons, and follow Homer Simpson @HomerJSimpson and @TheSimpsons on Twitter. Join the conversation using #thesimpsons and follow The Simpsons on Instagram @TheSimpsons.

About Walt Disney Animation Studios

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Located in Burbank, WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully animated feature film, 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2013’s Academy Award®-winning Frozen, the biggest animated film of all time. Among the studio’s timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana, and the upcoming Frozen 2, which opens in U.S. theaters on November 22, 2019.

About Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative, and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Cars, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL•E, Up, Toy Story 3, Brave, Inside Out, Coco, Incredibles 2, and this summer’s must-see feature film Toy Story 4. Its movies have won 36 Academy Awards® and have grossed more than $14 billion at the worldwide box office to date. Onward, Pixar’s 22nd feature, will open in theaters on March 6, 2020.

About D23 Expo 2019

D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

2019 D23 Expo: Disney Legends ceremony to honor Robert Downey Jr., James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Diane Sawyer, Jon Favreau, Robin Roberts, and more

May 16, 2019

The following is a press release from D23:

Robert Downey Jr. and Bette Midler, along with such luminaries as Wing Chao, Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones, Kenny Ortega, Barnette Ricci, Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer, Ming-Na Wen, and Hans Zimmer, will be honored as official Disney Legends during D23 Expo 2019 for their remarkable contributions to the Disney legacy. Hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, the Disney Legends Awards ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 23, in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center.

“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor we can bestow; it’s a recognition of talent, a celebration of achievement, and an expression of profound gratitude to the remarkable men and women who have made an indelible mark on our company and our creative legacy,” said Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “This year’s honorees have earned a place in our hearts and our history for their significant contributions in film, television, and our theme parks around the world.”

The Disney Legends Awards program is a 32-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company, and the first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987. The awards ceremony is just one of the dozens of spectacular events that Disney fans can enjoy during the threeday D23 Expo.

The 2019 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

WING CHAO For 37 years at Disney, Wing T. Chao played a vital role in designing and developing exceptional and inspirational projects, worth over $12 billion dollars, at Disney parks and resorts worldwide. Wing served as vice chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for Asia Pacific Development as well as executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering where he oversaw master planning, architecture, and design.  Wing directed development teams consisting of Disney Imagineers and many of the world’s most renowned architects and designers, developed and built projects including resort hotels, parks, cruise ships, entertainment venues, water attractions, convention & exhibition centers, sports stadiums, restaurants, retail spaces, recreational complexes, office spaces, and two new-town communities at The Walt Disney Company’s
properties in California, Florida, Hawaii, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and other locations worldwide.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. is a two-time Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe® winner who has appeared in more than 80 films. Considered one of the industry’s most talented and respected actors, Downey has embraced both dramatic and comedic roles, including his Disney debut in the 2006 remake of The Shaggy Dog. After numerous standout performances, Downey then went on to help launch Marvel Studios with his celebrated performance as Tony Stark as Iron Man. His role has spearheaded the iconic blockbuster franchises Iron Man and Avengers, for which he’s starred in three Iron Man films, The Incredible Hulk (2008), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017); and four Avengers films, including the most recent, Avengers: Endgame (2019), which shattered box office records and became the largest ever film debut, bringing in $1.2 billion worldwide in its opening weekend. Downey will next star in the title role in 2020’s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle and is in pre-production on the third installment of the successful Sherlock Holmes franchise.

JON FAVREAU Jon Favreau started his career with appearances in film and television and has since become one of Hollywood’s most successful producers and directors. Jon’s first roles included appearances on TV shows such as Seinfeld and Friends, but his big break came with the Miramax indie film Swingers (1996), for which he wrote the screenplay, starred, and co-produced. His directing credits include Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), the live-action remake of The Jungle Book (2016), and this year’s reimagining of The Lion King. Jon also made appearances in several Marvel Cinematic Universe films as Tony Stark’s loyal bodyguard, Happy Hogan. As an executive producer for the Marvel Studios, John holds credits on such films as Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He has also voiced characters for Disney television shows and feature films, including Hercules (TV, 1999), Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (TV, 2000), G-Force (2009), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV, 2010–13), and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). Jon is writing and executive producing the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian for Disney+, which will premiere this November.

JAMES EARL JONES James Earl Jones started his acting career with television and film roles, including appearances in As the World Turns (1966) and Dr. Strangelove (1964). But the Oscar®, Emmy®, and Tony® Award-winning actor is well known for his iconic voice acting, beginning with the role of Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). This villainous vocal performance was reprised in subsequent Star Wars films, including most recently in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and TV shows like Star Wars Rebels (2014–18). His voice can also be heard in Disney Parks around the globe, including recurring vocal performances as Darth Vader for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Other Disney credits include ABC’s Recess in 1998 as the voice of Santa Claus, narrator for the Disneynature film Earth (2009), segment host for Fantasia/2000 (2000), and as the celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Ceremony at Disneyland. Audiences also recognize the actor’s basso profundo as that of Mufasa in The Lion King (1994), a role James would return to in The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998), The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015), and this summer’s reimagining of The Lion King.

BETTE MIDLER When the Disney studio set out to expand the breadth of its film production with Touchstone Pictures, it was Emmy®, Grammy®, Golden Globe®, and Tony® winner Bette Midler who helped lead the way to box office success for the new division. She appeared in a string of hit comedies including Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987), and Big Business (1988). Touchstone’s 1988 drama Beaches not only proved to be a smash with audiences, but it also included Bette’s platinum-selling rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Other Disney films followed, including Stella (1990) and Scenes from a Mall (1991), as well as a memorable vocal performance as the spoiled poodle Georgette in Oliver & Company (1988). Bette is well known to Disney audiences for her role as the witchy Winifred in the perennial Halloween classic Hocus Pocus (1993). She also starred in The Lottery (1989), a short film produced for the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in Florida for guests of the park’s Backstage Studio Tour.

KENNY ORTEGA is a multi-award-winning director, choreographer, and producer. His first work with Disney was choreographing the TV special Disney’s Totally Minnie (1988), followed by Mickey’s 60th Birthday the same year, and he would go on to direct three episodes of Touchstone Television’s Hull High in 1990. In 1992, Kenny directed his first feature film, the beloved Disney musical Newsies, which was followed, in 1993, by the perennial Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus. In 2006, he helmed the Disney Channel smash hit High School Musical, and the success of the first film would bring him back to direct—and choreograph—the sequels High School Musical 2 (2007) and High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008). Ortega also produced and staged the High School Musical Concert Tours, as well as the Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers Best of Both Worlds Tour. His other Disney credits include directing the 2014 short The Making of Frozen, The Cheetah Girls 2 (2006), and most recently the international phenomenon Descendants (2015), Descendants 2 (2017), and Descendants 3, which will be released this summer.

BARNETTE RICCI Barnette Ricci started her career with The Walt Disney Company as a choreographer at Disneyland. In the late 1960s, Barnette created and directed Kids of the Kingdom before going on to choreograph and direct many parades, including Christmas parades, America on Parade, and the Main Street Electrical Parade. She worked on the grand openings of Walt Disney World, EPCOT Center, and Tokyo Disneyland and directed popular stage shows such as Golden Horseshoe Revue at Disneyland and the Diamond Horseshoe Revue in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. Perhaps her biggest project to date is the creation of Fantasmic! Debuting at Disneyland in 1992, the production combines state-of-the-art special effects with live performers along the Rivers of America. The show continues a successful run at Disneyland, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, and now Tokyo DisneySea. Following Fantasmic!, Barnette moved to The Walt Disney Studios as the vice president/show director of Special Events. After more than 40 years with The Walt Disney Company, Barnette retired in 2013.

ROBIN ROBERTS In 1990, Robin Roberts joined ESPN and would quickly become a frequent contributor to the network’s programming. In her 15 years at ESPN, she contributed to NFL Primetime and hosted SportsCenter and In the Game with Robin Roberts. Robin began making appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) in
1995, and in 2005 left ESPN to join the show full-time as co-anchor. Since joining GMA, the show has won four Emmys® for Outstanding Morning Program. For ABC, Robin has hosted In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: All Access Nashville, as well as ABC’s red carpet coverage of the Academy Awards®, and has created original broadcast and digital programming for the network through her production company, Rock’n Robin Productions. In 2007, Hyperion publishing released Robin’s first book, From the Heart: 7 Rules to Live By. Among Robin’s many awards are the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, membership in the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, and being named one of Glamour’s Women of the Year.

DIANE SAWYER Diane Sawyer is an ABC News anchor, tackling some of the biggest issues of our time with original reporting, primetime specials, long-form interviews, and in-depth investigations. One of the most respected journalists in the world, she has traveled the globe delivering breaking news reports, and has conducted interviews with almost every major newsmaker of our time. Her primetime documentaries have won critical acclaim for shedding light on difficult and previously under-reported topics, including her reporting on the realities of poverty in America. Sawyer’s reporting has been recognized with numerous awards, including duPonts; Emmys®; Peabodys; the grand prize of the premier Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, an IRTS Lifetime Achievement Award; and the USC Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award. In 1997 she was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. After more than a decade in television news, Sawyer joined ABC News in February 1989 as coanchor of Primetime. She was named co-anchor of Good Morning America in January 1999, and held the post until taking over the World News anchor chair in December 2009.

MING-NA WEN can currently be found saving the day as Agent Melinda May, aka “The Cavalry,” on the ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ming is also known for her seven years playing Jing-Mei Chen on ER. Ming-Na Wen found success on the big screen when she appeared in the acclaimed Hollywood Pictures adaptation of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. Five years later, she would find animation immortality as the title star of the Disney classic Mulan, a role for which she would receive an Annie Award. Ming-Na returned to the role of heroic Fa Mulan in a slew of projects, including an animated sequel, videogames Kingdom Hearts II and Disney Infinity, on television’s House of Mouse and Sofia the First, and in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018). Ming-Na has been well known to audiences for her television projects, including her voice work in Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb, Disney XD’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Milo Murphy’s Law, the upcoming six-part digital short Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, and a recurring role in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat.

HANS ZIMMER has scored more than 160 projects which, combined, have grossed over $28 billion worldwide. Zimmer has been honored with an Academy Award®, two Golden Globes®, three Grammys®, an American Music Award, and a Tony® Award. In addition to his long list of credits, including notable projects such as Gladiator and The Dark Knight trilogy, Hans has had a great history with The Walt Disney Company. His early work for them includes additional music for White Fang (1991) and co-writing music for Cool Runnings (1993). His groundbreaking, Academy Award®-winning instrumental score for The Lion King (1994) was followed by many memorable projects,
including Crimson Tide (1995), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), The Rock (1996), Pearl Harbor (2001), King Arthur (2004), and Iron Man (2008). Hans is the guiding force behind the music of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, serving in various composing, editing, and producing capacities for The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Dead Man’s Chest (2006), At World’s End (2007), and On Stranger Tides (2011). Hans composed the music for this summer’s reimagining of The Lion King.

Honorees receive a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to the Company. Disney Legends Award recipients will also participate in a handprint ceremony at the end of the event, and their bronzed prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Company’s Burbank headquarters.

Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to D23 Expo 2019.

Including this year’s honorees, a total of 288 Disney Legends have been named. Past Disney Legends include Tim Allen, Julie Andrews, Beatrice Arthur, Howard Ashman, Annette Funicello, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Jennings, Sir Elton John, Angela Lansbury, George Lucas, Steve Martin, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Regis Philbin, Marty Sklar, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters, Betty White, and Robin Williams. Beginning with the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, thousands of Disney fans have been able to enjoy the Disney Legends Awards ceremony live.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children 3–9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $77 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit D23Expo.com.

About D23 Expo 2019 D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

About D23 The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

2019 ARDYs: A Radio Disney Music Celebration is rebrand of Radio Disney Music Awards; Sofia Carson is first ARDYs host

April 19, 2019

Sofia Carson
Sofia Carson (Photo by Kurt Iswarienko/Freeform)

The following is a press release from Disney Channel:

Radio Disney is throwing a real-time live party for its most passionate fans, evolving music’s biggest event for families to the newly rebranded “ARDYs: A Radio Disney Music Celebration” (for the past six years known as the “Radio Disney Music Awards”). Actress, singer, songwriter, Hollywood Records and Republic Records recording artist Sofia Carson (Disney Channel’s “Descendants,” Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists”) is set to host the exciting music and star-filled event. For the first time, it will be a live telecast, originating from Los Angeles, on Sunday, June 16  (8:00 p.m. EDT/re-airing at 8:00 p.m. PDT), on Disney Channel and in DisneyNOW, with a simulcast on Radio Disney. Multiple Emmy(R) and Producers Guild Award nominee Casey Patterson Entertainment (“Lip Sync Battle” and “MTV Movie Awards”) will executive produce the show.

The ARDYs will celebrate the biggest and rising stars in music, television and movies and create an event designed to inspire and entertain today’s families. Beginning May 20, and during the live ARDYs show, fans will be invited to be part of the planning for the live telecast. By visiting the DisneyNOW app, the Radio Disney app or online (Disney.com/ARDYs), fans can participate in polls that will help determine certain elements of the show.

Returning sponsors of the 2019 ARDYs include Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Shapes, Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker 2 video game on the Nintendo Switch system and The Walt Disney Studios.
“We’re creating a next-level celebration of music to entertain and inspire families and over the next many weeks, we’ll bring our fans into the celebration planning, getting their opinions during pre-production and bring it all to life, live, during the show,” said Phil Guerini, vice president, Music Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide and general manager, Radio Disney Network.

Casey Patterson is a six-time Emmy and three-time PGA Award-nominated executive producer who has created a wide array of groundbreaking programming. Patterson recently produced and directed legendary country singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn’s star-studded tribute celebration in Nashville. Patterson’s credits include “Lip Sync Battle,” “MTV Movie & TV Awards,” Dwayne Johnson’s “Rock The Troops,” Bill Murray’s “A Very Murray Christmas” on Netflix, “One Night Only: Alec Baldwin,” “Time and Punishment: A Town Hall Discussion With Jay Z,” “The Concert of the Century” at the White House, “The Concert for New York City,” “Saturday Night Live 25th Anniversary Special” and “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: A Fairytale of New York.”

Disney+ reveals plans for non-fiction programs; spinoff shows for Marvel, ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Monsters Inc.’ also in the works

April 10, 2019

by Carla Hay

Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen in "Captain America: Civil War" (Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios)
Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen in “Captain America: Civil War” (Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios)

Disney+, the streaming service that will launch before the end of 2019, has finally revealed some shows that will be part of the Disney+ lineup. The launch date for Disney+ and the premieres for these shows are still to be announced.*

And although it hasn’t been official announced yet, several media outlets (including Variety) have reported that Disney+ will have several spinoff series about Marvel characters played by the same actors who played the characters in the Marvel movies. Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston), Hawkeye (played by Jeremy Renner), Falcon (played by Anthony Mackie), Winter Soldier (played by Sebastian Stan), Scarlet Witch (played by Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (played by Paul Bettany) will all have their own limited series.

There will also be spinoff shows for “Star Wars” and the animated film “Monsters Inc.” Disney owns Lucasfilm (the company behind the “Star Wars” franchise) and Pixar, the company behind several award-winning animated films such as “Monsters Inc.”

A scene from “The Mandalorian” (Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm)

“The Jungle Book” and “The Lion King” live-action director Jon Favreau is writing and directing the Disney+ “Star Wars” spinoff series, which is called “The Mandalorian.” In October 2018, Lucasfilm and StarsWars.com revealed this synopsis for “The Mandalorian”: “After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the ‘Star Wars’ universe. ‘The Mandalorian’ is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.” Directors for “The Mandalorian” include Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow,  Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard and Taika Waititi.

According to a press release, the Disney+ series “Monsters at Work” reunites the original voice cast of “Monsters Inc.” (John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Jennifer Tilly, John Ratzenberger and Bob Peterson), who will be joined by new cast members.  The press release announces that the new characters are “Tylor Tuskmon (voiced by Ben Feldman), an eager and talented young mechanic on the Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team (MIFT) who dreams of working his way up to the factory Laugh Floor to become a Jokester alongside his idols Mike and Sulley. Starring alongside Feldman is Kelly Marie Tran as Val Little, Tylor’s lifelong friend and confidante; Henry Winkler as Fritz, the scatterbrained boss; Lucas Neff as Duncan, an opportunistic plumber; Alanna Ubach as Cutter, the officious rule follower; and Stephen Stanton as Smitty and Needleman, the bumbling custodial team. Aisha Tyler (“Archer”) voices Tylor’s mom, Millie Tuskmon.” “Monsters at Work” is produced by Disney Television Animation, and the series was developed and is executive produced by Disney animation veteran Bobs Gannaway with Ferrell Barron serving as producer. Kat Good and Rob Gibbs are directors.

A scene from “Monsters Inc.” (Image courtesy of Pixar/Disney)

Disney’s acquisition of several Fox entertainment assets (including Fox Studios, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 21 Television Studios, FX Networks and National Geographic Partners) means that Disney+ is also expected to have Fox-related content. There has also been speculation about what will happen to the Marvel series that were canceled by Netflix (“Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage” “The Punisher” and “The Defenders”), although the explicit content of those Marvel shows (which would get an R rating if they were movies) might prohibit them from being on the family-oriented Disney+ streaming service. Since Disney now owns a majority stake in Hulu, the more adult-oriented Disney content could end up on Hulu.

According to Variety, Disney has signed a two-year deal with production group Supper Club, whose credits include the non-fiction projects “Chef’s Table” series on Netflix and the documentary films “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” and “13th.” Under the deal, Supper Club co-founders Brian McGinn, David Gelb and Jason Sterman will develop and executive produce non-fiction programs for Disney+ and other Disney-owned properties.

Kristen Bell (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Disney+ has announced these non-fiction shows, according to Variety:

  • “Be Our Chef,” hosted by Angela Kinsey, a cooking competition that pits diverse groups of families against each other for culinary showdowns at Walt Disney World. The show is produced by Eric Day and Mark Koops of INE Entertainment.
  • “Earthkeepers” (working title), a wildlife conservation show produced by Supper Club.
  • “Encore!,” hosted by Kristen Bell, a reality show that reunites cast members of high-school musicals. Jason Cohen created the show, whose executive producers are Cohen,  Bell, Alycia Rossiter, Will Gluck, Richard Schwartz, Jim Roush and Chris Wagner.
  • “Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies” (working title), a documentary series that examines the costumes and props of famous Disney films, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Muppet Movie,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and “Tron.” The show is produced by ABC Studios and executive produced by Jason Henry and Dan Lanigan.
  • “Marvel’s 616″ (working title), a pop-culture show produced by Supper Club and Marvel Digital.
  • “(Re)Connect,” a reality show that aims to reunite families who have been divided over a serious issue. The show’s executive producers are Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa and Albert Bianchini of Milojo Productions, and Julian P. Hobbs and Elli Hakami of Talos Films.
  • “Rogue Trip,” a non-fiction travel show that explores places off the beaten path from predictable tourist spots. Bob Woodruff and his son Mack Woodruff are show’s hosts, and will executive produce “Rogue Trip” with Jeanmarie Condon for Lincoln Square Productions.
  • “Shop Class” (working title), a reality competition where students of a shop class are tasked with making new inventions. The show’s executive producers are John Stevens and Spike Feresten of Hangar 56 Media and Richard Rawlings of Production Monkey
  • Walt Disney Imagineering documentary series (title to be announced), produced by Iwerks & Co. and directed by Leslie Iwerks.

*April 11, 2019 UPDATE: Disney+ has announced that its launch date is on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. The subscription rate is $6.99 (U.S. dollars) per month.