Power of the Mouse House

Dis­ney brought out the big guns at its D23 Expo last week­end.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - By MICHAEL CHEANG en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

THESE days, Dis­ney is a pop cul­ture be­he­moth of its own right. With Marvel Stu­dios, Pixar An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios and Lu­cas­film all un­der its um­brella, these com­ple­ment its own mega fran­chises such as Mickey Mouse and friends, the Dis­ney Princesses, Dis­ney An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios and the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar and lu­cra­tive live-ac­tion adap­ta­tions of its an­i­mated clas­sics.

The stu­dio re­ally flexed their mus­cles last week­end at their bian­nual D23 Expo held in Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia, show­ing off trail­ers and footage from its up­com­ing films, but also more de­tails on its theme parks and other prop­er­ties.

Here are five of our favourite moviere­lated rev­e­la­tions from D23:

Dream team

Marvel Stu­dios pa­raded al­most the en­tire cast of the up­com­ing Avengers: In­fin­ity War at D23, but it was the ex­clu­sive footage they showed that had us re­ally, re­ally ex­cited.

While we have yet to see it, the de­scrip­tions we’ve read on­line have been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive so far.

It ap­par­ently opens with Thor go­ing splat on wind­shield of the Mi­lano – the Guardians Of The Galaxy’s space­ship – and ends with Thanos us­ing the In­fin­ity Gaunt­let to hurl an EN­TIRE PLANET at the heroes.

With the Avengers teaming up with the Guardians, Spi­der-Man and Doc­tor Strange against Thanos and his no­to­ri­ously evil Black Or­der, this is THE mother of all Marvel Stu­dios movies.

Sure, there’s still Thor: Rag­narok to come this year, but we’re al­ready con­tem­plat­ing us­ing our Time Stone to fast for­ward to May 2018, when Avengers: In­fin­ity War is re­leased.

Sim­ply In­cred­i­bles

Pixar’s se­quels have been a mixed bag so far – rang­ing from great (Toy Story 3), en­ter­tain­ing (Find­ing Dory) to down­right for­get­table( Cars 2, Mon­sters Univer­sity).

But there is one se­quel that should blow them all away – The In­cred­i­bles II, which will open in the United States next June.

Ac­cord­ing to di­rec­tor Brad Bird, the up­com­ing se­quel to the 2004 hit Pixar movie about a fam­ily of su­per­heroes is set one minute af­ter the orig­i­nal film’s fi­nal scene in which the Parr fam­ily was suit­ing up and get­ting ready to take on the Un­der­miner (“I’m al­ways be­neath you, but noth­ing is be­neath me!”).

This pretty much means we’ll get a su­per­hero fight from the get-go. And that’s not all, at­ten­dees also got to see footage of the baby of the fam­ily, Jack-Jack (whose pow­ers man­i­fested at the end of The In­cred­i­bles) in ac­tion.

Dis­ney’s an­i­ma­tion arm also high­lighted a few up­com­ing projects, in­clud­ing a yetun­named avi­a­tion/space re­lated film, Frozen short Olaf’s Frozen Ad­ven­ture, Pixar’s up­com­ing orig­i­nal fea­ture Coco and an “Un­ti­tled Pixar Film That Takes You To A Sub­ur­ban Fan­tasy World”.

Princesses unite

Speak­ing of an­i­ma­tion, the se­quel to the 2012 hit film Wreck-It Ralph sees the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter mov­ing out from the video game ar­cade into the world wide web of weird­ness that is the In­ter­net.

While we doubt the ac­tual movie or the trail­ers for this will ac­tu­ally break the In­ter­net, one par­tic­u­lar an­nounce­ment should at least come close to bring­ing down some servers of any ded­i­cated Dis­ney Princess fo­rums out there.

In footage shown at D23, Sarah Sil­ver­man’s Vanel­lope von Sch­weetz ends up in a room with a host of Dis­ney princesses, in­clud­ing Snow White, Moana, Anna (Frozen), Ariel (The Lit­tle Mer­maid), Belle (Beauty And The Beast), Aurora (Sleep­ing Beauty) and even Medina from Pixar’s Brave.

If the ap­pear­ance of all these beloved char­ac­ters was not enough, Dis­ney even roped in the orig­i­nal voice ac­tress for each Princess (with the ex­cep­tion of Snow White’s Adri­ana Caselotti, who died in 1997), and gath­ered them on stage at D23. Talk about a mag­i­cal Dis­ney mo­ment.

Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The In­ter­net

pre­mieres Novem­ber 2018.

The last of Leia

Star Wars: The Last Jedi di­rec­torRian John­son took to the stage with cast mem­bers Daisy Ri­d­ley, Mark Hamill, Gwen­do­line Christie, Beni­cio Del Toro and Laura Dern, but very lit­tle was re­vealed about the plot of the up­com­ing movie. They did, how­ever, re­veal some cool new char­ac­ter posters, and played a nice lit­tle be­hind-the-scenes video that had some poignant scenes of the late Car­rie Fisher fool­ing around on set.

It ends with Fisher say­ing: “It’s about fam­ily. That’s what makes it so pow­er­ful.” That got us a lit­tle teary-eyed, since The Last Jedi will be her fi­nal movie as the great Leia Or­gana.

The cir­cle of live-ac­tion

Of late, Dis­ney has had some de­gree of suc­cess adapt­ing its an­i­mated clas­sics like The Jun­gle Book and Beauty And The Beast into live-ac­tion films. At D23, they made some big an­nounce­ments on their next en­tries in this in­creas­ingly lu­cra­tive fran­chise.

First up was the an­nounce­ment that a live-ac­tion ver­sion of the clas­sic 1941 film

Dumbo is al­ready in pro­duc­tion, with Tim Bur­ton at the helm. The cast for the up­com­ing Guy Ritchie-di­rected Aladdin wasalso an­nounced, with rel­a­tive un­known Mena Mas­soud in the tit­u­lar role, Naomi Scott as Jas­mine and Will Smith as the mo­tor­mouthed Ge­nie (voiced in the orig­i­nal 1992 an­i­mated ver­sion by the late Robin Wil­liams).

What we’re most ex­cited about, how­ever, is

The Lion King. Hav­ing al­ready done the an­i­mal-cen­tric The Jun­gle Book, di­rec­tor Jon Favreau is now tack­ling one of Dis­ney’s most suc­cess­ful an­i­ma­tions ever.

He even showed off the open­ing scene from the movie – an al­most iden­ti­cal recre­ation of the an­i­mated fea­ture’s iconic open­ing scene (you know, the one with El­ton John’s

Cir­cle Of Life) – and judg­ing from the re­ac­tions af­ter that, this is one live-ac­tion adap­ta­tion that is set to roar when it opens in 2019.

Avengers: In­fin­ity War

Frozen), Beauty And The Beast), Tan­gled Aladdin), The Princess And The Frog), Wreck-It Ralph).

Bur­ton will be helm­ing the live-ac­tion reimag­in­ing of Dis­ney’s 1941 an­i­mated clas­sic Dumbo.

Wreck-It Ralph is head­ing back to the big screen – this time he’s wreck­ing the In­ter­net.

Con­cept art for The In­cred­i­bles II, which is set one minute af­ter the orig­i­nal film ends.

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