IT’S DISNEY’S world; we’re just living in it in order to gleefully hand over our Mickey moola.
Disneyland opened 62 years ago today to great pomp and nationally televised coverage. Over the weekend, Disney showed how it has perfected its ability to trumpet its imagineering to the world.
At the biennial D23 fan expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, Disney pulled back the curtain on teaser after teaser. Legends like animation boss John Lasseter might have led some of the proceedings, but make no mistake: Disney chief executive Bob Iger is the real leader behind this embarrassment of riches; it was he, after all, who guided Disney in acquiring Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm.
Which is why the weekend featured franchise after franchise in a rollout arguably no other entertainment company could match.
Here were some of the key reveals of this D23:
1. Star Wars: In the same weekend that the late Carrie Fisher was movingly inducted as a Disney Legend, fans also got a behind-the-scenes teaser for December’s “The Last Jedi,” in which Fisher will appear. Perhaps Disney is saving the next true “Jedi” trailer for this week’s Comic-Con.
2. “Wreck-It Ralph 2″: “Ralph Breaks the Internet” — next year’s sequel to the Disney Animation smash featuring the voices of Sarah Silverman and John C. Reilly (now adding Taraji P. Henson) — provided an occasion to mash up Disney franchises. Silverman’s Vanellope was seen in a rough cut hanging with a squad of Disney princesses while guarded by Stormtroopers, according to reports.
3. “The Incredibles 2″: Director Brad Bird teased next year’s long-awaited return of the Parr family, with a new look at baby Jack-Jack. Pixar also teased 2019’s “Toy Story 4″ and an “untitled suburban fantasy film” from “Monsters University” director Dan Scanlon inspired by tragedy from his own youth.
4. “Infinity War”: Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige emceed the rock-star rollout of assorted Avengers, Guardians and Josh Brolin’s Thanos, as well as Joe Russo,” the co-director of Marvel’s “Infinity War.” The cast, like the interconnection of the franchises, only grows — with Tom “Spider-Man” Holland and Chadwick “Black Panther” Boseman riding new heat.
5. “A Wrinkle in Time”: This is one of the few big Disney offerings led by an all-female creative team of director Ava DuVernay and screenwriter Jennifer Lee (an Oscar winner for “Frozen”), as adapted from Madeleine L’Engle’s novel. Disney unveiled a trailer for the family fantasy that stars Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis and Oprah Winfrey.
6. “Lion King”: What Jon Favreau did for the megahit live-action adaptation “Jungle Book” Disney is hoping to repeat with his 2019 “Lion King” remake, featuring Donald Glover and returning James Earl Jones. Tim Burton’s live-action “Dumbo” and Guy Ritchie’s live-action “Aladdin” also stoked interest, especially with the casting announcements for the latter.
7. “Coco”: Pixar’s first Latino-themed film is almost here (arriving in November), and director Lee Unkrich is teasing a highly promising holiday release about the 12-year-old aspiring guitarist who travels to the Land of the Dead. Also teased: The “Frozen” short that will precede “Coco” in theaters.