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  1. #1

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    Walt Disney Studios fall '09, 2010 and beyond

    Disney pulls out all the stops at D23

    Studio backing Guillermo del Toro production shingle

    By Paul Bond
    The Hollywood Reporter
    Sept 11, 2009, 06:40 PM ET

    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Disney has teamed with director Guillermo del Toro to create Disney Double Dare You, a new label with a mandate to produce spooky animated feature films.

    Studio chairman Dick Cook made the announcement Friday in front of 5,000 enthusiastic fans of all things Disney during the second day of the company's four-day D23 Expo.

    The first film from the new studio is called "Trollhunters" and based on an original story by del Toro. He'll also produce the movie.

    Del Toro was in New Zealand directing "The Hobbit" for MGM and New Line. However, there was plenty of star power on hand to wow the crowd. And Cook had other official announcements up his sleeve.

    Cook confirmed that Disney will remake the 1968 Beatles' film "Yellow Submarine," to be written and directed by Robert Zemeckis and turned into a 3D motion-capture spectacle.

    Zemeckis showed the attendees scenes from his upcoming take on "A Christmas Carol" that stars Jim Carrey in "seven or eight roles" (he couldn't quite remember which). "And we only had to pay him once," Cook quipped.

    Johnny Depp also hit the stage to a standing ovation. Playing a drunken Jack Sparrow, he and Cook announced that the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie will be subtitled "On Stranger Tides" and hit theaters in summer 2011.

    Tim Burton also joined Cook -- rousing almost as much passion from the audience as did Depp -- and showed some "Alice in Wonderland" clips. He confirmed that he is working on a feature-length version of his 1984 short film "Frankenweenie."

    John Travolta, wife Kelly Preston and their daughter Ella Bleu Travolta showed scenes from their upcoming comedy "Old Dogs," which also stars Robin Williams. It's 9-year-old Ella Bleu's feature-film debut.

    Miley Cyrus, who stars in next year's "The Last Song," sang her hit tune "The Climb," and Jerry Bruckheimer showed snippets from "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time."

    Nicolas Cage told Cook he's interested making another "National Treasure" movie and he showed scenes from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," a live-action film inspired by Disney's 1940 animated "Fantasia," which Cage called "the most beautiful movie ever made."

    Cage also took a few moments to get serious, noting that Friday marked the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Turmoil like that inspires him to make family-oriented movies, he said.

    The nearly two-hour event at the Anaheim Convention Center began with a lengthy montage, accompanied by a live orchestra, of Disney films through the ages, with fans showing their appreciation with various degrees of applause. For those keeping score, the crowd made the most noise for "Mary Poppins," "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Beauty and the Beast."

    And not only did directors, stars and movies receive love from the fans, so did Cook, providing evidence that the Disney studio itself attracts the sort of loyalty usually reserved for celebrities.

    That sort of reaction must have been like music to the ears of Steven Clark, head of the D23 Expo. The conference ends Sunday, when Disney-Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter will head a presentation similar to Cook's.

    Clark wouldn't reveal how many attended the conference -- beyond "tens of thousands" -- nor would he guarantee a repeat performance next year.

    He did, though, say that if D23 Expo is to be an annual event, he plans to keep it in Anaheim.

    D23 is the name of the $75-a-year fan club that Disney launched six months ago. The D23 Expo is its "signature event," Clark said. The number "23" is an homage to 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his animation studio.

    Clark says Disney's intent is to break even on D23 Expo, though it's obviously a marketing effort and -- judging from the positive reaction from fans and attention it has been getting from mainstream media outlets -- a successful one.

    Attendees paid $37 a day or $111 for all four days, with discounts for children and D23 members. Clark said attendees have come from all 50 states and several countries, "including large contingents from Australia, the U.K. and Japan."
    Disney pulls out all the stops at D23

  2. #2

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    Re: Walt Disney Studios fall '09, 2010 and beyond

    Too bad, I chose not to see the thing, but I did hear about the films that are coming(mostly from other people.)

  3. #3

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    Re: Walt Disney Studios fall '09, 2010 and beyond

    John Lasseter draws a crowd at D23

    Toon maestro shows clips of 'Pooh,' 'Princess and the Frog'

    By Paul Bond
    The Hollywood Reporter
    Sept 14, 2009, 01:20 PM ET

    ANAHEIM -- John Lasseter's mission to reinvigorate hand-drawn animated feature films has kicked into overdrive.

    At D23 Expo's final day Sunday, Disney/Pixar's chief creative officer showed scenes from "Winnie-the-Pooh," coming to theaters in spring 2011, and "The Princess and the Frog" (Dec. 11), then told 5,000 Disney fans that studios made a mistake shunning hand-drawn to focus on computer-generated.

    "What audiences don't like is bad movies," he said, not traditional animation. Studios have scapegoated traditional animation, Lasseter said, blaming failures on the medium instead of where the responsibility actually lies: in lackluster stories and dialogue.

    During a news conference after a well-received presentation for expo-goers, Lasseter promised "a lot more" hand-drawn animation in the future, using such phrases as "squash and stretch" and "character and life" to stress the advantages the medium has over its CG-animation cousin.

    Of course, Lasseter also treated the audience of 5,000 to clips and trailers of CG-animated films, and he made announcements that, more times than not, simply confirmed what most in the industry already know.

    > Barbie is back in "Toy Story 3," and this time Ken joins her. He's voiced by Michael Keaton. Bonnie Hunt and Whoopi Goldberg also have joined the cast, and, as Lasseter mentioned last week in London, so has Timothy Dalton.

    > There's a fifth Tinker Bell DVD in the works, titled "Race Through the Seasons."

    > The lead in "Rapunzel" is Mandy Moore, and Zachary Levi has joined. "Rapunzel," scheduled for theatrical release Christmastime 2010, is Disney's 50th animated feature film but the first CG-animated film to be a musical.

    > The crowd also seemed pleased with a clever scene from the upcoming ABC Christmas special "Prep & Landing," about a covert group of elves who prepare homes for Santa's arrival.

    > And Lasseter gave a thumbs up to the Academy's decision to increase the number of best picture films to 10. Asked during a news conference whether the new policy (actually a return to an old policy) will increase the odds of "Up" getting a best picture nomination, Lasseter said, "Of course I have my fingers crossed."
    John Lasseter draws a crowd at D23

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    Re: Walt Disney Studios fall '09, 2010 and beyond

    Quote Originally Posted by ALIASd View Post
    Cook confirmed that Disney will remake the 1968 Beatles' film "Yellow Submarine," to be written and directed by Robert Zemeckis and turned into a 3D motion-capture spectacle.
    Oy vey......

    Let's just remake everything ever made, why don't we?

    Hollywood 2010: We're All Out of Ideas™

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