Video Blog on Disney's D23 Presentation for 'Avengers', 'Brave' & More
by Alex Billington
August 22, 2011
Over the weekend I made the trip down to Anaheim to attend Disney's D23 Expo, which as a convention has numerous problems of its own, but the main focus was on their big presentation on Saturday morning. Instead of going to Comic-Con this year, Disney decided to host their own 3-hour preview at D23 providing early glimpses of footage from most of their upcoming movies, and brief celebrity appearances. We weren't allowed to even bring in our cell phone during the panel at all, so I met up afterwards with my friends Peter and Germain from SlashFilm to talk about our thoughts on all the various movies they previewed there.
Disney covered two groups of movies, their live-action and animation line-ups, giving us an early glimpse at: Marvel's The Avengers, Andrew Stanton's John Carter (of Mars), Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful, Disney's The Odd Life of Timothy Green (trailer here) and Jason Segel's The Muppets. On the animation side of things, they previewed the Cars spin-off Planes (teaser trailer), Wreck-It Ralph, Pixar's Brave, Pixar's Monsters University (more on that here) and the two new untitled Pixar movies. Here's our full-on video blog (we start with the live-action films, then go through animation in the second half):
As we talked about a lot of movies, the video runs quite long (over 20 minutes), so here's a rundown of the timecodes if you're looking for our reactions to specific projects: The Avengers - 1:15 / The Muppets - 4:02 / Oz: The Great and Powerful - 6:44 / John Carter - 9:10. Then we move to animation: Wreck-It Ralph - 13:50 / Pixar's Brave - 17:50 / Pixar's Monsters University - 21:15. And that covers just about everything!
The films that clearly stood out and made the most impact at D23 were Wreck-It Ralph, Pixar's Brave, and for most of us, The Muppets. I'm one of the only ones who will still defend John Carter and I will admit that I actually enjoyed the footage. The CGI looks flawless, up at the levels of Avatar or perhaps even beyond. And although it feels very much like a western, I think it's still going to have all the fantasy/sci-fi elements that make it such an exciting story, but they haven't showed us much of that yet (and I'm not sure why). Overall, the presentation was a bit lackluster, as the entire thing was scripted and sometimes included extremely brief 60-second-long appearances from such talent as Willem Dafoe and Robert Downey Jr. Where were the Q&As? And why not split the preview into animation/live-action segments, just like we did?
Disney has an impressive slate of movies in the works, but I'm honestly most excited for their animation line-up these next few years. From an original Pixar fairy tale coming next summer, to the Monsters Univ. prequel to one of my all-time favorites. Plus of course, Wreck-It Ralph, which is now on everyone's radar though we didn't even know about it before. As always, we will keep you updated on everything coming up!