D23 Expo Recap: Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Film Announcements

Disney - D23 Expo disclosure - The Positive MOM Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, introduced John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, at the D23 Expo on Friday, at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Lasseter hosted the Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films panel and presentation, showcasing never-before-seen footage, major surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by star voice talent. And I was in that very room.

It was the most magical weekend of my life! The energy in any D23 Expo space is outstanding, as it gathers everything that Disney touches with its magic: from the films to the fans, and presented by decision makers, directors, producers, musicians, and talent. D23 Expo is unlike anything I’ve ever lived and I’m going to share my experience (and all the exclusive news from D23 Expo) with you, but I have to say it: you need to be there to know what it’s like. D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) ALAN HORN (CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS) We started by reminiscing and celebrating the immense success of already legendary films like Zootopia and Cars 3. D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) ALAN HORN (CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS) My skin was painted with never ending goosebumps as I thought about how blessed I’ve been to meet and interview the filmmakers and animators of both of these films and be in the spaces where all the magic is created. D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) ALAN HORN (CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS) But what’s better than “I’ve been there”? The answer is “I am here!” That morning, I had cried witnessing Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg, Mark Hamill, and Stan Lee receive the Disney Legend Awards, and seeing Carrie Fisher be honored, as we collectively wished she was presently with us, but somehow feeling her spirit was.

As the announcements, engaging presentations, sneak peeks and previews rolled out, I shared the excitement with thousands of fans who screamed, shed happy tears, and lived the emotions that a true Disney fan experiences in such a uniquely special environment. D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) JOHN LASSETER (CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, PIXAR AND WALT DISNEY ANIMATIONS STUDIOS) When John Lasseter entered the room, he blasted shirts out for the audience to catch. Then he went on to release and reveal news for DisneyToon Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Pixar. D23 Expo presentation: Pixar and Walt Disney Studios Upcoming Films with John Lasseter First up, from DisneyToon Studios, a first look clip titled “Speed Test” gave us a glimpse of an untitled movie that is now in the works and will be released on April 12, 2019. 

According to John Lasseter, this film “celebrates the next horizon of aviation” and is directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway, and produced by Ferrell Barron. TAKING FLIGHT – Directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway, and produced by Ferrell Barron, Disneytoon Studios’ original new movie explores the future of aviation—taking moviegoers to the edge of discovery in the air and beyond. The untitled movie soars into theaters on April 12, 2019. (Concept Art) © 2017 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Walt Disney Animation Studios was next in line, with Olaf’s Frozen Adventure’s announcements. This 21-minute featurette will debut before Pixar’s Coco this November 22, with four original songs for us to enjoy. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure will bring back he entire original cast of Frozen!

Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna of Arendelle, shared that Anna and Elsa (Idina Menzel) realize they don’t have any holiday traditions, and that Olaf enrolls Sven in an adventure to bring back the best traditions for them to adopt. As she introduced Olaf’s song, we experienced “technical difficulties” as the sound completely stopped. The audience gasped as Josh Gad came in to save the day and sing “That Time of Year” live for us. Oh my! D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) KRISTEN BELL, JOSH GAD We shared many laughs as John Lasseter, Josh Gad, and Kristen Bell played around with the “unique title” of Frozen 2, which will be released on November 27, 2019. Josh Gad playfully complained that the cast didn’t go on the research trip to Norway, Iceland, and Finland that Frozen 2 directors and producers (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho) embarked on to portray the history and cultures accurately in the movie. It was all so hilarious and unbelievable! D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) PHIL JOHNSTON, RICH MOORE Next up, directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston took the stage to introduce Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet. I was tempted to scream “I know them!” because I felt so much joy in my heart remembering my interviews with them along with producer Clark Spencer for the DVD release of Zootopia. I wish you could see the big smile on my face right now.

The talented actress and comedian Sarah Silverman, who plays Vanellope von Schweetz, explained that this time around, our beloved characters go beyond the arcade to explore the Internet and find replacement parts to fix the game. A new character, Yesss (voiced by Taraji P. Henson), was announced, and then it happened. My favorite moment out of the 2-hour presentation – we saw all the Disney Princesses in an exclusive clip that had everyone laughing uncontrollably.  After seeing the most EPIC clip in the history of Disney (I’m sure all D23 Expo attendees that went to the Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios panel agree) we witnessed history as most of the living Disney Princesses took the stage, one introducing the other:

  • Paige O’Hara – the original voice of Belle in Beauty and The Beast
  • Irene Bedard –the original voice of Pocahontas
  • Mandy Moore –  the original voice of Rapunzel in Tangled
  • Auli’i Cravalho –the original voice of Moana
  • Sarah Silverman – the original voice of Vanellope von Schweetz in Wreck-It Ralph
  • Kristen Bell –  the original voice of Anna in Frozen 
  • Kelly MacDonald – the original voice of Merida in Brave
  • Anika Noni Rose – the original voice of Tiana in The Princess and the Frog
  • Linda Larkin – the original voice of Jasmine in Aladdin
  • Jodi Benson –  the original voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 14:  (L-R) Actors Paige O'Hara (Belle/BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), Irene Bedard (POCAHONTAS), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel/TANGLED), Auli'i Cravalho (MOANA), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope von Schweetz/RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2), Kristen Bell (Anna/FROZEN), Kelly Macdonald (Merida/BRAVE), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana/THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG), Linda Larkin (Jasmine/ALADDIN), and Jodi Benson (Ariel/THE LITTLE MERMAID) of RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 took part today in the Walt Disney Studios animation presentation at Disney's D23 EXPO 2017 in Anaheim, Calif. RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 will be released in U.S. theaters on November 21, 2018(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Paige O'Hara; Irene Bedard; Mandy Moore; Auli'i Cravalho; Sarah Silverman; Kristen Bell; Kelly Macdonald; Anika Noni Rose; Linda Larkin; Jodi Benson

The room went crazy, as John Lasseter had predicted! It was a legendary moment and I just started to look around, amazed to be a part of it. You guessed it, I couldn’t hold back the tears… and I am letting them roll right now.  Mark the date for November 21, 2018!

John Lasseter then admitted he had a hard time figuring out how to follow that moment. He introduced Incredibles 2 writer and director Brad Bird, who welcomed the entire cast on stage – the first time they’ve been together in a room, he added.

THAT’S INCREDIBLE -- In “Incredibles 2,” Helen is in the spotlight, while Bob is at home with Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack, whose superpowers are still under wraps. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone team up to do what they do best. Featuring the voices of Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner and Samuel L. Jackson, Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” opens in theaters on June 15, 2018.  (Concept Art) © 2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Incredibles 2 features the voices of Holly Hunter (Helen Parr /Elastigirl), Craig T. Nelson (Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible), Sarah Vowell (Violet Parr), Huck Milner (a brand new voice for Dash Parr) and Samuel L. Jackson (Lucius Best / Frozone), who took a selfie with us. Can you believe it?

D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) SAMUEL L. JACKSON, HUCK MILNER, SARAH VOWELL, HOLLY HUNTER, CRAIG T. NELSON, BRAD BIRD

We learned that Helen will be in the spotlight, which to me it sounds like an empowered mom film that you and I will relate to – YAY! And then we watched a sneak peek that gave us a preview of Jack-Jack’s powers. I’m not going to lie, he’s going to blow your mind!

And of course, Edna Mode will be returning to wow us with her greatness!

Guess who voices Edna? Director Brad Bird himself! Can’t wait to see the new lines on June 15, 2018 when Incredibles 2 is released (exactly a year of the Cars 3 release). D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) JOSH COOLEY

An emotional moment for all Toy Story fans happened when John Lasseter announced Josh Cooley as the director for Toy Story 4. Cooley is not a stranger to D23 Expo fans, since he directed short Riley’s First Date?, which premiered at the last convention.

“Directing Toy Story 4 is the highest honor I could ever have,” said Cooley. I can’t wait to hear more, but for now, we know a new character named Lulu was mentioned and an RV trip was hinted.  Toy Story 4 is being produced by Jonas Rivera of Inside Out, and will release on June 21, 2019.  

Disney Pixar Studios Lamp - Cars 3 - Lightning McQueen

They showed us the a behind-the-scenes where we met all the animators working on Toy Story 4. I cannot even tell you how excited I was to recognize the Brooklyn building where it’s all happening, since I had the privilege to tour Pixar Animation Studios earlier this year for the Cars 3 Event.

All Pixar fans were anxiously awaiting the announcement of the next Pixar original. I did not foresee that the movie would be based on director Dan Scanlon’s life! The moving film tells us how the magic of the world helps two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him have one last magical day with him. It combines a “suburban fantasy world” and “the everyday.”

D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) DAN SCANLON

Though I assume we were all in tears (it couldn’t have been just me!), we laughed with the previews we saw, especially when we found out that unicorns will be dime a dozen in this new world where humans don’t exist – only elves and those types of creatures. It will be another Pixar hit for sure!

D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - 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, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA) LEE UNKRICH, ADRIAN MOLINA, DARLA K. ANDERSON

And last, but not least, Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina, and Darla K. Anderson discussed the next Pixar movie, which opens November 22 after Olaf’s Frozen Adventure: Coco! Now this film is a long-awaited one for me, because you know it features a Latino cast and is all about El Dia De Los Muertos, making family and family history a main focus.

Two clips and a poster were a real treat, and it didn’t hurt that Benjamin Bratt, the voice of Ernesto de la Cruz, delighted us with his dashing looks, and sang “Remember Me” along with adorable Anthony Gonzalez. Anthony Gonzalez  voices Miguel, the young aspiring musician whose family banned music and ends up in the Land of the Dead. Just about every Latina is excited about his relative Hector, who is voiced by Gael García Bernal.

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 14:  Dancer Kareli Montoya (L) and actor Benjamin Bratt of COCO took part today in the Walt Disney Studios animation presentation at Disney's D23 EXPO 2017 in Anaheim, Calif. COCO will be released in U.S. theaters on November 22, 2017.  (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Kareli Montoya; Benjamin BrattA multi-color fiesta ensued with golden petals and the Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea and Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles under Kareli Montoya, and the Grammy®-winning Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band. 

Which Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios movie are you most looking forward to? Stay tuned for all things D23 Expo as I share my adventures with you, and be sure to follow using #D23Expo #DuckTales #SummerofHeroes #Disneyland and #TheLionKing. You can also visit D23.com and learn about the D23 Expo here and follow @DisneyD23 on TwitterFacebook, PinterestInstagram, and YouTube.

Other D23 Expo Recaps and Updates: 

Join me at D23 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event!

Disney, Marvel Studios & Lucasfilm Live Action Movie Announcements

Upcoming Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Attractions and Experiences

What to Expect at D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

Seize The Chance to Hero Up

D23 Expo Recap: My Exclusive Interview with the DuckTales Producers

D23 Expo Recap: Fun Facts and Surprises From THE LION KING Panel

D23 Expo Recap: Meeting Mantis & Nebula

Finding Your Place In The Galaxy

The Most Powerful Life Lessons From The Lion King

Elayna Fernandez - Author - 
Speaker - Success Guide to Moms and Mompreneurs
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM

I’d love to keep connected with you! Join my Instagram community | Watch me on Periscope Subscribe to blog post Updates | Like on Facebook | Follow on Twitter

Elayna Fernandez - Author - 
Speaker - Success Guide to Moms and Mompreneurs
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM

I’d love to keep connected with you! Join my Instagram community | Watch me on Periscope Subscribe to blog post Updates | Like on Facebook | Follow on Twitter

Images courtesy of Disney/Image Group LA

47 thoughts on “D23 Expo Recap: Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Film Announcements

  1. Hola! Were you able to attend the Music of Avalor panel? I’m just curious. I listened to it online and it was incredible! I Got It Down is my new favorite Elena song! I’m excited for Realm of the Jaquins! I heard The Power of the Princess panel was incredible too!

  2. Love the way you write! This was a great blog post about an awesome day at the D23. I really want to go next time and am already going to start saving up!!! Nice work Elayna!

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  4. This recap is stellar, as well as the level of detail and photos. I felt like I was there ;). Thanks for sharing!

  5. Classic John Lasseter. I aspire to be like him when I’m older, just throw random swag at people. I am so excited to watch Ralph Breaks The Internet, and was so excited about the Disney Princesses scene. It’s going to be EPIC. And Coco… I think there will be some great laughs in that one. I’m ecstatic!

  6. This sounds absolutely amazing! I love Disney and Pixar! They are such good movies and always such fun to watch! I would have loved to attend such an event! you’re so lucky! I can’t wait for The Incredible 2!

  7. Since I was a kid, now I am a senior citizen, my love for Disney’s animated films and movies don’t get lost. It gets more intense. I have to admit that I love fantasy, the make-believe stories. Through your blog, I have a very good second hand experience of those amazing WD animated films.

  8. This is such an amazing event! I wish I could have been there. I would have loved to see the presentation of the Disney Legend awards. So amazing!

  9. My sister has a fantastic collection of disney princesses and disney characters. I’m sure she wouldn’t miss this amazing event! I wish i could come with her ha ha. Thank you for sharing

  10. This was so cool to read! I bet this was an experience to last a lifetime! That’s so cool that so many of the actors who voiced the characters we loved were there!

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  12. Wow. So many Disney movies to look forward to! I am excited to see the sequels of my favorites. I will let my friend know that Frozen will have a sequel. Her 5 year old daughter will love it! Thank you for sharing your experience and lovely photos of the D23 event.

  13. Thanks for sharing your photos! The D23 event was a success, not doubt about that! I am so looking forward to Toy Story 4. Makes me wonder what would the storyline be!

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  17. This is so exciting! Everyone would be so excited with this, even in different ages. People might be going crazy because of these upcoming films.

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