Disney Announces Upcoming Animated Movies at D23 Expo 2015

d23expo_2015
Think about it—how many of your most cherished Disney memories can be traced to films from Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios? This afternoon, at D23 EXPO 2015, Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter led us on amazing journey through the films you’ll be seeing in the coming months and years. We were overjoyed to see some old animated friends—we’re talking to you, Dory!—and happy to meet some exciting new ones. We were left with a true memory of a lifetime for having witnessed one of those special events that only happen at D23 EXPO.

Alan Horn, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, told the audience, “This is D23. This is your get-together,” before turning things over to John Lasseter, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer. Lasseter showed off one of his signature Hawaiian shirts—one of more than 500, according to Horn—and even fired a few off into the audience.

Before presenting the Studios’ slates to a thrilled audience of Disney fans, Lasseter heralded both studios for their incredible stories: Walt Disney Animation Studios, “a studio that Walt Disney himself started 92 years ago,” and Pixar, “the studio of pioneers who invented much of computer animation.” The two came together for a spectacular afternoon.

First up was Zootopia, which opens March 4, 2016. Lasseter revealed, “One of the things I’ve always loved about Disney animation is talking animal movies. Especially the ones where they walk upright and wear clothes.” Directors Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph) welcomed Ginnifer Goodwin to Hall D23. Goodwin, who plays Zootopia’s “bunny cop” Judy Hopps is a self-described “Disneyholic” who was thrilled to learn that the house she now lives in was once owned by the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Disney Legend Sterling Holloway. The filmmakers gave all in Hall D23 a sneak peek of Zootopia, and revealed one special surprise—international superstar Shakira is lending her Grammy®-winning voice to Gazelle, the biggest pop star in Zootopia. Via taped message, Shakira played “a snippet” of an original song from the film, “Try Everything.”

When Lasseter returned to the stage, he referenced the lasting legacy of Disney animated films and said, “If we’ve done our job right, these stories can live forever in people’s homes.” So many of these eternal stories come from fairy tales, and Lasseter thrilled the 7,500-member audience by announcing that Walt Disney Animation Studios is in production on their version of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” a film that is called Gigantic. Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Gigantic follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home.

And as director Nathan Greno (Tangled) and producer Dorothy McKim (Get A Horse!) said, if you make a movie that has gigantic comedy and gigantic emotion, you’re going to need music. And music in the film—and today at D23 EXPO—is provided by the award-winning songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the team behind Frozen. They previewed a demo of a song from Gigantic, which is slated to hit theaters in 2018.

Beloved animators Ron Clements and John Musker (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid) along with producer Osnat Shurer (Boundin’), unveiled Moana, the tale of a spirited teenager who sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder. Moana is inspired by stories of a legendary demigod, Maui. In casting Maui, Musker said, “We wanted to find someone who was mighty. We needed someone strong. And, of course, we needed someone extremely… “

“Handsome!” a bold offstage voice boomed. And on to the stage walked the actor lending his voice to Moana—the mighty, strong, and yes, handsome, Dwayne Johnson. Johnson was clearly thrilled to be at D23 EXPO, and moved to be part of a Walt Disney Animation Studios film. “I had a goal, and the goal was to be in the Disney family. The goal was to be part of a Disney animated movie. For me to be standing here today with these brilliant filmmakers and storytellers… Thank you so much!” he said.

The filmmakers from Pixar’s current blockbuster Inside Out, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, begged John Lasseter to allow them to screen Riley’s First Date?, the short that will be included on the Blu-ray, DVD, and digital release of Inside Out in the fall. We’re so glad that they were so persuasive—the short is awesome!

In previewing The Good Dinosaur, the film’s director, Peter Sohn, explained that his love of movies came from his mother, who would take him to see American movies—even though she didn’t understand English. He would translate as best he could. But there were movies he didn’t have to explain, and those were Disney animated movies. The iconic scene between Dumbo and his mother just “got her,” Sohn said. “She didn’t need to understand English. We just felt everything.” That experience made him want to learn animation. Sohn and and producer Denise Ream also showed off never-before-seen footage of a trio of T-Rexes, voiced by AJ Buckley, Anna Paquin, and Sam Elliott.

There was a veritable school of surprise guests for the Finding Dory portion of the presentation! After Lasseter revealed that no one lobbied harder than Ellen DeGeneres for a sequel to Finding Nemo, DeGeneres herself appeared on the Hall D23 stage. She was joined onstage by her co-stars Ed O’Neill (Modern Family), who lends his voice to Hank, a cantankerous octopus; Ty Burrell (Modern Family), the voice of Bailey, a misguided beluga whale; and Kaitlin Olson (Always Sunny in Philadelphia), who voices Destiny, a kind-hearted whale shark. The filmmakers also revealed that we’ll meet Dory’s parents in the film, whose voices will be provided by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy. Finding Nemo’s director Andrew Stanton has returned for the sequel (co-directed by Angus MacLane and produced by Lindsey Collins, the co-producer of WALL•E), and he admits that he never planned on revisiting the story. But over time Andrew realized, “One issue remained unaddressed—Dory’s family.” “I wanted to know that if this charming, forgetful fish ever got lost again, that she could find her way home.” Finding Dory swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

There were more old friends to visit—but first we were introduced to new ones. Director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and producer Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3) revealed the title of their upcoming film today at D23 Expo 2015. Disney·Pixar’s Coco is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion. The film was inspired by Lee Unkrich’s thoughts about his ancestors. “What if I could meet them? What would I ask them?” he wondered. Unkrich and Anderson visited Mexico to research the film and Dia de los Muertos, which, Anderson explains, “is like a big family reunion that spans the divide between the living and the dead.”

And then it was time to go back to the film that started it all—Toy Story—by looking forward to the next adventure for the toy box gang. “Each of the stories [in the trilogy] is a different genre. Toy Story 4 is a genre we’ve never done in the Toy Story world, and it is a love story. We’re proud to announce that it’s a love story between Woody and Bo Peep.” Lasseter stressed how thrilled he is to be directing the film—along with co-director Josh Cooley—and the story is very personal to him, inspired by his wife, Nancy.

When Lasseter introduced Toy Story 4, he acknowledged disbelief that the first film is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. “I’m sorry to make a lot of you feel old all of a sudden,” Lasseter apologized. But there was no better way to celebrate that milestone than with a live performance of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Disney Legend Randy Newman, evoking that same feeling we had upon watching Toy Story in 1995.

Get a Sneak Peek at The Walt Disney Studios’ Upcoming Film Slate at D23 Expo 2015

Disney Movies

For more than 90 years, Disney films have been exciting, enthralling, and entertaining moviegoers… And The Walt Disney Studios are gearing up to do exactly that for Disney fans at D23 EXPO 2015. The Studio has just announced its lineup for D23 EXPO 2015, taking place August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and it’s packed with sneak peeks and exclusive presentations and experiences you won’t see anywhere else.

The Studio will unveil its animation and live-action film slates via two huge Hall D23 presentations featuring surprise guests and many unforgettable moments. Other not-to-be-missed events include a Frozen FANdemonium musical celebration with Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and the 20th anniversary celebration of Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story with John Lasseter and the original Pixar crew.

HALL D23 PRESENTATIONS:

Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films, Hosted by John Lasseter
Friday, August 14, 3 p.m.—Hall D23

After meeting the Emotions inside the mind of an 11-year-old, taking a trip to San Fransokyo, where a boy genius and his robot save the world, and falling in love with a queen with icy powers who wants to “let it go,” come see where Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios plan to take you next. In what has become a D23 EXPO must-see, host John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, presents this in-depth look at the animation studios’ slate. Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage from Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Doryand Disney Animation’s Zootopia and Moana. The event will include surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by the films’ star voice talent.

Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios
Saturday, August 15, 10:30 a.m.—Hall D23

Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm are home to some of the planet’s best storytellers, immersing audiences fully in the world of each film from beginning to end and beyond. In this exclusive Hall D23 presentation, join Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn for a tour of upcoming live-action projects from these legendary film studios. A bevy of special guests will be on hand to offer a look at an unparalleled slate that includes Alice Through the Looking GlassThe Jungle Book, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil WarStar Wars: The Force Awakens—and much, much more.

Frozen FANdemonium: A Musical Celebration!
Sunday, August 16, 3 p.m.—Hall D23

Join host Chris Montan, president, Walt Disney Music, and the Oscar®-winning songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez as they take you on a once-in-a-lifetime musical journey through the world of Frozen. This one-day-only performance features your favorite friends from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film—including Anna and Elsa––with sing-along experiences and fascinating stories behind some of your favorite Frozen songs.

CALENDAR OF KEY EVENTS:

In Conversation with the Filmmakers and the Emotions Behind Inside Out
Friday, August 14, 11:30 a.m.—Stage 28

Get the inside story on the making of Pixar’s latest summer release, Inside Out. Hear from Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (UpMonsters, Inc.) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up) as they reminisce and share their personal stories of creating a world that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen.

Welcome to Zootopia!
Saturday, August 15, 1:30 p.m.—Stage 28

Welcome to Zootopia, a magnificent mammal metropolis, and home to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ next feature, the comedy-adventure Zootopia. Join directors Byron Howard (Tangled, Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph, Bolt), and artists from the incredible production team as they introduce rookie rabbit-officer Judy Hopps, con-artist fox Nick Wilde and a host of dynamic animal characters, sharing footage and behind-the-scenes stories with D23 EXPO-goers.

Pixar Secrets Revealed! Hear the Stories They Didn’t Want You to Know!
Saturday, August 15, 3 p.m.—Stage 28

Ever wonder where your favorite Pixar stories began? Hear the stories you don’t know about the classic films that you love. Pixar senior development executive Mary Coleman hosts this experience, welcoming the storytellers behind some of Pixar’s most successful films, including Darla K. Anderson (A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc.Cars, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (The IncrediblesRatatouilleBrave), Ronnie del Carmen (Up, Inside Out), and Dan Scanlon (CarsToy Story 3Monsters University), as they talk about the twists and turns of crafting a narrative and share some of the crazy story ideas that didn’t make the final cut.

Toy Story: 20 Years Later, the Original Crew Looks Back
Saturday, August 15, 4:30 p.m.—Stage 23

From flipbooks to feature films, animation has taken audiences to fantastical new worlds, far beyond the limits of any real-world setting. Pixar Animation Studios has been at the forefront of this evolution, blurring the line between art and technology and bringing beloved characters to life with heart and humor. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1995’s Toy Story, the first computer-animated feature film, join members of the original crew, including filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Galyn Susman, Ralph Eggleston, Sharon Calahan, Eben Ostby, Bob Pauley, and Bill Reeves as they share their stories and the challenges they faced along the way.

Aladdin—The Making of a Classic
Saturday, August 15, 6 p.m.—Stage 28

Join Walt Disney Animation Studios filmmakers, including legendary directors John Musker and Ron Clements, animators Eric Goldberg (Genie), and Mark Henn (Jasmine), as well as Jasmine herself, Linda Larkin, and the two actors who gave life to the character Aladdin: Scott Weinger and Brad Kane, as they unveil the stories behind one of the great Disney classics, Aladdin, a film that led to a “whole new world” for animation.

The Shorts of Walt Disney Animation Studios: from Paperman to Prep & LandingFeast to Frozen Fever
Sunday, August 16, 11:30 a.m.—Stage 28

When Walt Disney and his brother Roy founded the Disney Brothers Studio in 1923, their first medium for storytelling was the animated short. More than 90 years later, Walt Disney Animation Studios continues this tradition, making groundbreaking and award-winning shorts including Feast, Paperman and this year’s hit Frozen Fever. Join the filmmakers behind these shorts and so many others, including Get A Horse!, John HenryLorenzo, and The Ballad of Nessie for a conversation about this truly animated art form.

The Tunes Behind the Toons: Screening/Q&A
Sunday, August 16, 6 p.m.—Stage 28

D23 EXPO invites you to a special screening and Q&A panel for The Tunes Behind the Toons, a short form documentary that celebrates the power of music in animation. From the silent film days when organists played live accompaniments, to the music within today’s animated features, this documentary traces the origins of cartoon music and its pioneers. Featuring interviews with Alan Menken, Randy Newman, Patrick Doyle, Mark Watters, Bruce Broughton, Richard Sherman, and many others. Producer/director Dave Bossert will lead a star-studded Q&A following the presentation.

ON THE EXPO SHOW FLOOR:

The Walt Disney Studios—Show Floor Exhibition

Step into the worlds of The Walt Disney Studios in this wide-ranging showcase of exciting projects from Disney Live Action, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm. Among the many highlights:

  • For the first time at D23 EXPO, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios have created a joint experience no Disney fan should miss. With live demonstrations, presentations, and autograph signings with top filmmakers from each studio, plus free giveaways and interactive displays featuring the films Inside OutThe Good DinosaurZootopiaFinding Dory, and Moana, this is a can’t-miss attraction for animation fans.
  • Explore costumes, props and photo ops from the Studios’ live-action films, including Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.

Disney Movies Anywhere Tweet Suite

Take pics and share them in the Disney Movies Anywhere Tweet Suite. It’s also the perfect opportunity to learn more about Disney Movies Anywhere, Disney’s digital movie app that lets you watch your Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movie collection across your favorite devices, anywhere you go.

Say Aloha to John Lasseter’s Film-Themed Hawaiian Shirts

Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter takes Disney and Pixar animation to heart—literally. For nearly every film—from Finding Nemo and Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen and Inside Out, Lasseter has commissioned an exclusive movie-themed Hawaiian shirt. And those who know the Oscar®-winning storyteller know that he loves his Hawaiian shirts—and dons one for almost every occasion. Animation fans will see their favorite film characters “materialize” before their eyes in this colorful collection, which will be exhibited on the show floor.

An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg

D23 hosts the first public exhibition anywhere of “An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg.” Celebrate Goldberg, whose artistry at Walt Disney Animation Studios began with his groundbreaking work on Genie in Aladdin, and continues to this day on projects such as the upcoming Moana and the 2014 Oscar®-nominated Mickey Mouse short Get A Horse! The exhibition features a collection of more than 100 of Goldberg’s caricatured creations of Disney characters, drawn in a style reminiscent of art seen on the famed walls of Sardi’s Restaurant and The Brown Derby. This incredible collection of art is from the newly released book An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg Draws the Disney Characters, and will be available for purchase in the Walt Disney Publishing pop-up shop on the EXPO show floor.

Frozen Album Signing

With the purchase of Frozen: The Songs or Frozen Picture Disc at the Disney Music Emporium, guests will be issued a wristband to secure a space for an album signing with Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, and Tom MacDougall (Co-Producer, Frozen Soundtrack) on Saturday, August 15 at 10:30 a.m.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

Pixar Takes D23 Expo 2015 to Infinity and Beyond!

©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Disney fans already know that the Anaheim Convention Center is the place to be from August 14–16. But when guests arrive at D23 EXPO 2015 on August 14, a larger-than-life Buzz Lightyear helium balloon will make it clear they’re in the right place. Pixar has just announced their lineup of presentations, panels, and events taking place over the weekend and it has us feeling even more joyful than Joy in Inside Out. The wide variety of events pays homage to Pixar’s past, while looking ahead to its roster of exciting new films.

Buzz Lightyear will welcome visitors to D23 EXPO 2015 as Pixar Animation Studios celebrates the 20-year anniversary of Toy Story. Buzz has taken flight in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® six times as a giant character helium balloon, measuring 67.7 feet long, 39.9 feet wide, and 34.3 feet tall. Buzz’s appearance at Expo marks his first trip ever to the West Coast. Disney fans can see Buzz on Friday, but they can celebrate all things Pixar the whole weekend long.

Here’s the lineup:

Every Story Is a Journey: The Upcoming Films of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios
Friday, August 14, 3 p.m.—Hall D23

After meeting the Emotions inside the mind of an 11-year-old, taking a trip to San Fransokyo where a boy genius and his robot save the world, and falling in love with a queen with icy powers who wants to “let it go,” come see where Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios plan to take you next. In what has become a D23 EXPO must-see, host John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, presents “Every Story is a Journey.” Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage from Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia and Moana. The event will include surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by the films’ star voice talent. Cell phones, cameras and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.

In Conversation with the Filmmakers and the Emotions Behind Inside Out
Friday, August 14, 11:30 a.m.—Stage 28

Get the inside story on the making of Pixar’s latest summer release, Inside Out. Hear from Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (UpMonsters, Inc.) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up) as they reminisce and share their personal stories of creating a world that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen.

Pixar Secrets Revealed! Hear the Stories They Didn’t Want You to Know!
Saturday, August 15, 3 p.m.—Stage 28

Ever wonder where your favorite Pixar stories began? Hear the stories you don’t know about the classic films that you love. Pixar senior development executive Mary Coleman hosts this experience, welcoming the storytellers behind some of Pixar’s most successful films, including Darla K. Anderson (A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc.Cars, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (The IncrediblesRatatouilleBrave), Ronnie del Carmen (Up, Inside Out), and Dan Scanlon (CarsToy Story 3Monsters University), as they talk about the twists and turns of crafting a narrative and share some of the crazy story ideas that didn’t make the final cut.

Toy Story: 20 Years Later, the Original Crew Looks Back
Saturday, August 15, 2015, 4:30 p.m.—Stage 23

From flipbooks to feature films, animation has taken audiences to fantastical new worlds, far beyond the limits of any real-world setting. Pixar Animation Studios has been at the forefront of this evolution, blurring the line between art and technology and bringing beloved characters to life with heart and humor. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1995’s Toy Story, the first computer-animated feature film, join members of the original crew, including filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Galyn Susman, Ralph Eggleston, Sharon Calahan, Eben Ostby, Bob Pauley, and Bill Reeves as they share their stories and the challenges they faced along the way.

ON THE EXPO SHOW FLOOR:

Animation – Show Floor Exhibition

For the first time ever, Pixar Animation Studios is creating a Show-Floor experience at D23 EXPO. Pixar teams up with Walt Disney Animation Studios for an unforgettable adventure that showcases magic from both animation studios, featuring live demonstrations, presentations, and autograph signings with top filmmakers, free giveaways, and interactive displays. With highlights from films like Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Zootopia, Finding Dory, and Moana, animation fans will get the inside scoop on their favorite films and characters.

Say Aloha to John Lasseter’s Film-Themed Hawaiian Shirts

Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter takes Disney and Pixar animation to heart—literally. For nearly every film—from Finding Nemo and Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen and Inside Out—Lasseter has commissioned an exclusive movie-themed Hawaiian shirt. And those who know the Oscar®-winning storyteller know that he loves his Hawaiian shirts—and dons one for almost every occasion. Animation fans will see their favorite film characters “materialize” before their eyes in this colorful collection, which will be exhibited on the show floor.

Fans can take home their own shirt, thanks to Disney Store at D23 EXPO. This D23-exclusive Reyn Spooner-design features characters from all the feature films produced under the creative guidance of Lasseter. The simple, appealing collage joins many of Disney’s and Pixar’s most beloved recent characters on one wearable canvas. The shirt will retail for $99.95.

Disney’s ‘Inside Out’ Nabs Record-Breaking #2 Weekend With $91Million Debut

Pixar - Inside Out

The feeling over at Disney this morning is one of unmitigated joy. Once again proving that rank doesn’t matter, Walt Disney’s Inside Out didn’t need to top the weekend box office to be an unqualified winner. The Pixar masterpiece came in second place to the massive second weekend of Jurassic World, but it still debuted with an eye-popping $91.06 million. With all of the handwringing (or at least indifferent commentary) about how Inside Out would be the first Pixar film not to top the weekend box office, this has to feel pretty sweet for the Walt Disney and friends. Oh, and it nabbed $41m overseas for a $132.056m global cume, so it’s got that going for it.

That is the second-best Pixar ever (behind Toy Story 3), the biggest Pixar debut for an original film, and the biggest weekend ever for a film that didn’t top the box office, clobbering the $68m debut of The Day After Tomorrow. It wins that record even when adjusted for inflation, in case you were wondering. It’s also the biggest debut ever for a non-sequel/ It’s also the biggest debut ever for a non-sequel/not-based on anything animated feature and the fourth-biggest animated debut period, behind Shrek the Third ($122m), Toy Story 3 ($110m), and Shrek 2 ($108m). Actually, it’s the biggest opening ever for a pure “not based on anything” movie, meaning it was Inside Out, not Jurassic World, that was breaking Avatar box office records this weekend.

After four years of “slump” talk, I think we can safely assume that reports of Pixar’s demise were greatly exaggerated.  What’s doubly impressive is that it pulled this off while Universal/Comcast Corp.’s Jurassic World was pulling a $102m second weekend. What’s astonishing is how both massive movies basically acted as if the other one didn’t exist. Yes, the marketplace can indeed support to mega-smash hit movies basically at the same time, and this weekend will indeed have the two biggest “#1 and #2″ films of all time by a healthy margin and one of the biggest cumulative weekend box office totals of all time.

So now, to the extent that it matters, is the part where we ask how big Jurassic World‘s second weekend would have been without Inside Out grabbing $91.06m worth of audience members. And we have to wonder, had Jurassic World only opened with $100m last weekend, would Inside Out have been able to best Shrek the Third‘s $122m debut weekend to become the biggest animated opener of all time? Inside Out is of course Pixar’s first original film since Brave back in 2012 and, due to a few sequels and a delayed The Good Dinosaur, their second original since 2009 out of six films. It is actually their second consecutive female-centric original to boot, although The Good Dinosaur was supposed to come out in May of 2014.

It is not a princess story and it’s actually a pretty complicated and explicitly internal narrative, so that it opened better than the easier-to-sell Monsters University is a huge testament to both the power of overwhelmingly positive reviews and the Pixar brand name. It’s a win for Disney, which has been watching pundits and writers take the piss out of the Marvel universe on account of Jurassic World‘s record run. It’s a win in the sense that is the biggest opening for a female-centric film outside of the three Hunger Games films and three of the five Twilight films and will likely end up, by default almost, as the biggest female-centric domestic grosser outside of Frozen and whichever Hunger Games movies it doesn’t top.

In terms of long term play, the Pixar mid-June originals tend have somewhat inconsistent weekend-to-final multipliers, depending on the breaks. A worst-case scenario Cars 2 performance  gets it to $256m domestic, while a Monsters University performance  gets it to $299m. A performance like Brave and Wall-E gets it to $321m domestic, which feels like the plausible best case scenario, although a Toy Story 3  gets it to $345m.

The 4x or more performances of CarsUpRatatouille, and Finding Nemo, and even  are likely a pipe dream, but you can certainly do the math if you wish. Okay fine, since you begged, such runs would get $366m, $385m, $385m, and $442m respectively. This all means that if it can magically avoid accidentally topping the box office it can become the biggest grossing movie never to top the weekend box office, well-ahead of My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($242m). So now the only question is whether Minions will hurt Inside Out or merely compliment it come July 10th. We’ll know more next weekend when we get a look at the film’s legs, so that’s enough for now. Inside Out is a massive smash, Pixar is “back,” and let’s just celebrate that a movie this good did this well this weekend.

New ‘Finding Nemo’ Themed Attraction Coming to Tokyo DisneySea

Finding Nemo - Tokyo Disney Sea

Oriental Land Company has announced that a new attraction themed to the world of the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo” and its upcoming sequel “Finding Dory” (to be released in 2016) will open in Port Discovery at Tokyo DisneySea Park in spring 2017.

Guests will board a submarine that “shrinks” to the size of a fish and uses a ride system that seamlessly blends visuals from the films with a motion system. In this immersive underwater experience, guests will be able to explore the vast ocean from the same point of view as Nemo and Dory and meet different characters and make new discoveries each time they ride.

The development of this attraction is only possible because of the collaboration between Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Oriental Land Company. The teams have worked together to create new, popular attractions and entertainment at Tokyo Disney Resort and make the resort one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations. We are also pleased that the teams will continue this collaboration as they work with the production staff of “Finding Dory” who will help create the visual images for this attraction.

Disney will Ban Smoking in all Future Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm Movies

Bob Iger

From Business Insider

Disney will ban smoking in all its future movies aimed towards kids.

Bob Iger said the company will “absolutely prohibit” the use of smoking in Disney films rated PG-13 and under at Thursday’s annual shareholder meeting during a Q&A session.

“We are extending our policy to prohibit smoking in movies across the board: Marvel, Lucas, Pixar, and Disney films,” said Iger.

Iger said the only exception will be in films which involve historical figures known for smoking.

“For instance, we’ve been doing a movie on Abraham Lincoln, he was a smoker, and we would consider that acceptable,” said Iger. “But in terms of any new characters that are created for any of those films, under any of those labels, we will absolutely prohibit smoking in any of those films.”

Disney previously put a smoking ban in place to movies produced by the company after 2007.

The company details its no-smoking policy in films on its website.

Here’s the outline, which was last updated March 20, 2012:

  • Disney policy prohibits product placement or promotion deals with respect to tobacco products for any movie it produces and Disney includes a statement to this effect on any movie in which tobacco products are depicted for which Disney is the sole or lead producer.
  • Disney has determined not to depict cigarette smoking in movies produced by it after 2007 and distributed under the Disney label.
  • Disney discourages depictions of cigarette smoking in movies produced in the United States for which a Disney entity is the sole or lead producer and which are released either as a Touchstone movie or Marvel movie, and seeks to limit cigarette smoking in those movies that are not rated “R” to:
    •   scenes in which smoking is part of the historical, biographical or cultural context of the scene oris important to the character or scene from a factual or creative standpoint, or
    •   scenes in which cigarette smoking is portrayed in an unfavorable light or the negative consequences of smoking are emphasized;
  • Disney will place anti-smoking public service announcements on DVD’s of new and newly re-mastered titles, not rated “R,” that depict cigarette smoking and will work with theater owners to encourage the exhibition of an anti-smoking public service announcement before the theatrical exhibition of any such movie.
  • Disney will include provisions in third-party distribution agreements for movies it distributes that are produced by others in the United States and for which principal photography has not begun at the time the third-party distribution agreement is signed advising filmmakers that it discourages depictions of cigarette smoking in movies that are not rated “R.”
  • For movies produced outside the United States or where Disney’s influence over the content of films is limited (such as movies co-produced by Disney), Disney seeks to discourage depiction of smoking in movies that are not rated “R” where we believe it is appropriate and practical to do so.
  • Disney regularly reviews the incidence of depictions of smoking in movies distributed by Disney entities. Compiled results of such reviews will be made public.

Disney’s 2015 Movie Slate Features 12 Movies, Including ‘Star Wars’ and More Marvel

The-Walt-Disney-Studios

Walt Disney Studios cemented its 2015 slate earlier this week and it could be a huge year for the studio. There are two Marvel movies on the way and the studio also has the first Star Wars movie in a decade and two new Pixar movies.

While the blockbusters are getting the most attention, Variety notes that the studio does have a few smaller releases ready to go. There will be another Disneynature movie on the way, Monkey KingdomMcFarland, USA will be 2015’s mid-budget sports movie, following in the footsteps of Million Dollar Arm.

Disney will also release another live-action version of an animated classic, Cinderella, which stars Lily James in the title role.

Marvel will begin the summer blockbuster season with Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1. Then, Brad Bird’s highly anticipated Tomorrowland will open on May 22. The second Marvel movie is Ant-Man, due out on July 17.

Pixar has two films, after not releasing any in 2014, and both are original stories. Inside Out will be out on June 19 and the long-delayed The Good Dinosaur finally hits the big screen on Nov. 25.

This year’s Dreamworks release will by Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War thriller, which stars Tom Hanks.

Last but not least, this year will see the first Lucasfilm releases since Disney bought the studio in 2012. The George Lucas-written animated film Strange Magic opens on Jan. 23. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is due out on Dec. 18.

Here’s the full list of Disney’s 2015 releases:

Jan. 23: Strange Magic (Lucasfilm)
Feb. 20: McFarland, USA (Disney)
March 13: Cinderella (Disney)
April 17: Monkey Kingdom (Disneynature)
May 1: Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel)
May 22: Tomorrowland (Disney)
June 19: Inside Out (Pixar)
July 17: Ant–Man (Marvel)
Oct 9: The Jungle Book (Disney)
Oct. 16: The Untitled Steven Spielberg Cold War Spy Thriller (DreamWorks)
Nov. 25: The Good Dinosaur (Pixar)
Dec. 18: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm)

New Short Frozen Fever to Open in Theaters in Front of Cinderella

Frozen_Fever

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ all-new short Frozen Fever, which welcomes Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf back to the big screen, will open in theaters on March 13, 2015, in front of Disney’s Cinderella, a live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale.

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and produced by Peter Del Vecho and Aimee Scribner, with an all-new original song by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Frozen Fever marks the first project reuniting the Oscar®-winning original team from Disney’s “Frozen.”

In Frozen Fever, it’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.

BREAKING NEWS: Playtime Hits the Big Time: Toy Story 4 to Debut in 2017

Toy Story 4

Nearly two decades after Pixar Animation Studios created the world’s first computer-animated feature film with Toy Story, today it has revealed plans for Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 4, an adventure that returns audiences to the world of the studio’s signature characters.

John Lasseter, director of the original Toy Story and Toy Story 2, will direct the film, which opens a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story gang. The story was dreamt up by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich, the storytellers who have been the driving force behind all three Toy Story films.

“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” said Lasseter. “We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.”

Writing team Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (Celeste and Jesse Forever) joined the project, and Pixar veteran Galyn Susman (ABC’s Toy Story OF TERROR! and Toy Story that Time Forgot) is producing.

Toy Story 4 is slated for release on June 16, 2017.

Bob Iger Named “2014 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive Magazine

Bob Iger

Chief Executive magazine today announced that Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, has been named “2014 CEO of the Year,” an honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of CEO peers. This is the 29th year the award has been given, with past honorees including Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, Jack Welch, former CEO of GE and Michael Dell, founder, chairman and CEO of Dell Computers.

“Even iconic brands need fixing from time to time,” says JP Donlon, Editor in Chief of Chief Executive magazine. “But instead of the easy fixes, Bob Iger played the long game by addressing Disney’s cultural issues head-on with a three-pronged strategy, making it a stronger, more profitable company with greater depth in its overall brand. For this reason, he is well-deserving of this year’s CEO of the Year honor.”

Just the sixth CEO in the company’s history, Iger, who took over the helm in October 2005, transformed the organization into a profit-making powerhouse. He acquired Pixar Animation Studios from Steve Jobs in 2006 and Marvel Entertainment in 2009. In 2012, Iger negotiated a deal for Lucasfilm, which gave Disney the rights to the Star Wars brand. During Iger’s tenure, Walt Disney’s 2013 shareholder return was 202 percent. In February of this year, the stock price hit an all-time closing high of $79.23, compared to just$23.81 when Iger first took over as CEO.

Nominations for CEO of the Year were garnered from among the readers of Chief Executive magazine. The 10 most frequently cited nominations were evaluated and a winner voted upon at a meeting of a peer Selection Committee, which took place earlier this year inNew York City.

The 2014 CEO of the Year Selection Committee was comprised of: David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell, and 2013 Chief Executive of the Year; Dan Glaser, President and CEO, Marsh & McLennan; Fred Hassan, chairman, Zx Pharma and partner/managing director, Healthcare at Warburg Pincus; Tamara Lundgren, President and CEO, Schnitzer Steel Industries; Tom Quinlan, President and CEO, RR Donnelley; Christine Jacobs, former chairman and CEO, Theragenics, and director, McKesson; Bob Nardelli, CEO, XLR-8, Bill Nuti, Chairman and CEO, NCR’ Jeff Sonnenfeld, President and CEO, Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Yale School of Management;Mark Weinberger, Chairman and CEO, EY; Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO, Frontier Communications; and Tom Saporito, Chairman and CEO, RHR International.

“Bob is a visionary and innovator who consistently delivers terrific performance across a diverse portfolio of businesses,” Dan Glasersaid.

“He’s been a disruptive innovator in taking the entertainment industry to another level using new media and new technology,” addedTom Quinlan. “He took a great brand and made it better, which isn’t easy to do.”

Iger’s 2014 CEO of the Year designation will be celebrated at an invitation-only event hosted by NYSE Euronext and the Chief Executive Group at the New York Stock Exchange in July.

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