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John Lasseter, Disney Princesses, and Olaf Headline D23 Expo 2017

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D23 Expo 2017 is fast approaching. The celebration of all things Disney will include, of course, backstage peeks into Disney animation past, present, and future. Here’s what to expect from the main animation-focused panels and presentations, just announced by D23.

Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films

  • Friday, July 14, 2:30 p.m., Hall D23
  • Hosted by John Lasseter
  • Footage from Coco
  • Footage from Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
  • Surprise announcements
  • Musical performances
  • Voice talent appearances

Though not listed in the announcement, it’s likely that this presentation will also include goodies from The Incredibles 2Toy Story 4, and maybe even Frozen 2Gigantic is now delayed so far into the future (November 2020) that it will still be a year and a half away by the D23 Expo two years from now, so there probably will be minimal news surrounding it, but we can dream, can’t we? Hopefully we’ll also get an update on the status of DisneyToon Studios and perhaps a few announcements about some of those untitled films on both studios’ release calendars. (Though all of that is pure speculation.)


The Power of the Princess

  • Saturday, July 15, 10:30 a.m., Stage 28
  • Hosted by Disney animators Amy Smeed and Kira Lehtomaki
  • Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel
  • Ming-Na Wen, voice of Mulan
  • Anika Noni Rose, voice of Tiana
  • Auli’i Cravalho, voice of Moana

We’ll forgive the fact that Moana herself insists she is not a princess only because of this incredible line-up.


Creating the Worlds in Pixar’s Universe

  • Saturday, July 15, 12:15 p.m., Stage 28
  • Featuring Pixar production designers and artists sharing about their films’ imaginative settings


Olaf’s Frozen Adventure: A Sneak Peek at the New Frozen Short Film

  • Saturday, July 15, 2:30 p.m., Stage 28
  • Pretty self-explanatory here. Sure to have lots of advance footage!

This project was initially announced to be a television special, though the language used by D23 implies it’s now a short film. It is unknown of it will still debut on television or instead release theatrically. Regardless, D23 reveals some new info about the project: it is produced by Roy Conli (TangledBig Hero 6) and it will include new songs. We’ve already known for a while that it is directed by Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters (the same duo behind Disney’s Prep & Landing holiday specials). The text curiously refrains from mentioning the Lopezes’ involvement, which may or may not mean the new songs are written by them.

The Evolution of Pixar’s Characters

  • Saturday, July 15, 6:00 p.m., Stage 28
  • “Legendary Pixar artists” share the creation of the studio’s beloved characters


Bambi‘s 75th Anniversary

  • Sunday, July 16, 11:30 a.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage
  • Stories from the voice cast
  • Look into the film’s hand-drawn artwork
  • Celebration of new Walt Disney Signature Collection release of the film


The D23 Expo is July 14-16, 2017, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. Tickets are available through D23.


What announcements do you hope will be made at this year’s D23 Expo?

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes


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