The annual D23 Fan Expo for the biggest Disney enthusiasts is kicking off with a presentation of what the house of mouse has on tap for the next year in animation.
The presentation is set to begin any minute, so stick with Zap2it as we live blog the event.
All times are ET.
1:25 p.m. – 25 minutes late, but the crowd cheers at the Lucasfilm logo on screen. Bob Iger takes the stage. His favorite Mouseketeer was Annette Funicello.
1:30 p.m. – “Star Wars” fans shouldn’t get too excited, because Iger says they aren’t ready to share many details about the franchise this weekend. That could be a simple misdirect to surprise fans at Saturday’s live-action presentation, though.
1:35 p.m. – Iger throw to a video package containing footage from “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Malefecent,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and just about everything else the company is working on at the moment. There was even a little “Star Wars” thrown in. Very impressive sizzle reel. John Lasseter out next.
1:40 p.m. – He’s going to talk about Pixar stuff first. Bill Hader appears doing his impersonation of the slug from “Monsters University.” He voices the character.
1:50 p.m. – They show the short that will run before “The Good Dinosaur.” It’s a spinoff of “Monsters University” called “Party Central.” It features the monsters getting a door station and using it to jump around and party.
They also show a quick tease of “The Good Dinosaur,” which asks, “What would happen if the meteor that killed them missed the Earth?”
1:55 p.m. – According to the filmmakers, the dino designs in “The Good Dinosaur” are made with farming in mind. A clip is shown of many different species of dinosaurs working together to make a successful farm. They are also showing off animation tests for baby dinosaurs, all very adorable.
Voice cast for the movie includes John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer. The main character Arlow is voiced by a young actor named Lucas Neff from “Raising Hope.”
Hader is back out with Greer and Neff to talk about the movie. They joke about never having met each other. Hader reiterates that he’s not Dwight from “The Office,” no matter how many people ask.
2:05 p.m. – Next clip from “The Good Dinosaur” finds Arlow encountering the first human any dinosaur has seen, a kid named Spot. They, of course, form a friendship and go on an adventure. One more clip from the movie shows Spot, three-feet-tall, climbing Arlow, who is 70 feet tall, trying to reach a bug that’s flying away.
2:10 p.m. – “The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Human Mind” is now “Inside Out.” The characters are all feelings of a 12-year-old girl, going into her thought process and emotions. Character voices include Lewis Black as “Anger,” Mindy Kaling as “Disgust,” Bill Hader as “Fear,” Amy Poehler as “Joy.” Finally, “Sadness” will be voiced by Phyllis Smith (“The Office”). Is Hader the new face of Pixar?
A short animation test shows Joy in the emotional headquarters of the movie. RIley, the little girl, has just moved to San Francisco. The feelings will visit locations like long-term memory (looks like a server room) and Imagination land, which resembles a certain mouse-based theme park. Joy and Sadness get get booted from headquarters, leaving the other three in charge everything … Which could be tricky. “Inside Out” will be out in 2015.
2:30 p.m. – Next up is “Finding Dory.” The film’s director and producer are here. The movie is in production. The story takes place a year after “Finding Nemo.”A traumatic event sends her off in search of her family, while Nemo and his dad search for her. Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres return, obviously. Dory’s parents are voice by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy. There are lots of other cast members to be announced later. However, they reveal Ty Burrell will voice a Beluga Whale named Bailey.
Bill Hader isn’t in this one, they reiterate. He takes the stage in a sea cucumber costume to try to get a part in the movie. He makes a very not-Disney NSA joke.
John Ratzenberger appears with a marching band to cement his place as Pixar’s lucky charm. Take that, Bill. As the announcer lists off John’s Pixar credits, confetti showers down on the audience. The marching band cues up “You Got A Friend In Me,” as they all leave the stage.
2:40 p.m. – Pixar is doing “Toy Story of Terror” for ABC at Halloween. They’re showing the first 10 minutes. The toys find themselves in nearly every stereotypical horror movie situation horror movie situation as they are forced to stay overnight in a roadside hotel and start getting picked off one by one until only Jessie remains. The “Toy Story” cast all seems to be returning to voice their characters. It airs on ABC, October 16.
2:50 p.m. – Next up is a video tour of the DisneyToon Studios. Nice place to work, lots of ways to spend time not working. They’re announcing two new Tinkerbell movies, including “Legend of the Neverbeast.” It’s due in 2015. There’s also “The Pirate Fairy,” which finds Tink on the high seas. Tom Hiddleston joins the cast with Christine Hendricks. They’re here. Hiddleston plays a cabin boy on a pirate ship, while Hendricks plays a fairy named Zarina, who goes on a pirate adventure. It turns out Cabin Boy James is actually Captain James Hook.
3:05 p.m. – Hiddleston delights the crowd with a rendition of “Bare Necessities.” He also sings in the movie. They then show a storyboard clip of the movie’s pirate song, “A Frigate That Flies.
3:15 p.m. – Time for “Planes.” There’s not a lot to say about the movie, as it’s in theaters. The director still shares a clip featuring the many different planes in the movie. The next installment in the series, “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” will be in theaters in 2014 and it’s dedicated to firemen. Julie Bowen will play a plane in the movie, along with Dane Cook who will reprise his role from “Planes.”
3:20 p.m. – Dane takes the stage, joking, “When you think of family-friendly entertainment, you think of Dane Cook.” He’s excited to be part of the Disney family and remembers seeing Robin Williams in “Aladdin” and wishing he could do that someday. The first clip shown publicly from the movie sees Cook’s character meeting the fire and rescue team. Bowen’s character is a big fan of his Dusty Crophopper. The clip is set to AC/DC and the movie just got a whole lot more awesome.
3:35 p.m. – Next the focus shifts to Walt Disney Animation Studios, with a tribute to longtime story-boarder Burny Mattinson, who is celebrating 60 years at Disney. He started his career as a messenger and errand boy on the Disney Studio lot.
3:45 p.m. – They are debuting a short first made 85 years ago, “Mickey Mouse in Get A New Horse.” It’s somehow in 3D. While a big part of the short is old, it seems they’ve added 3D CGI to the short, mixing the two world. The movie’s characters jump off the screen and interact with it. The 3D is impressive. It seems there is no part of the short that is actually old, everything in it is brand-new. Keep that on the down low. One part of it is old, though. The voice of Walt Disney as Mickey Mouse.
3:55 p.m. – “Get A Horse” will run before “Frozen” in theaters. Next up is “Big Hero 6.” The movie is set in a mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo dubbed, of course, San Fransokyo. The first clip from the animated movie shows a mix of action and comedy, with comic book and anime influences. The main character, Hiro, will take on his city’s underworld with a team of hero’s he has put together.
4:05 p.m. – “Zootopia” is announced as the studio’s 2016 film. Directed by the person behind “Bolt” and “Tangled.” It’s a buddy action/comedy that takes place in a world filled with animals, where humans never existed. Cue the animals in clothes! The question they asked when designing the movie is, “What would a modern world designed by animals be like if it were designed by them?” The buildings and locales in the movie were designed to resembles natural animal habitats.
4:15 p.m. – It looks like “Frozen” is the last movie up for the presentation. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel are supposed to be here. Fingers crossed! The team behind the music of “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon” are responsible for the original music in “Frozen.”
4:25 p.m. – Bell takes the stage without Menzel. She’s wanted to be in a Disney movie since she was a kid, but never expected it to happen. She also tells a story about recording her own tape of the “Little Mermaid” soundtrack as a kid on her boombox. They then show a clip of her character, Anna. Other characters include Kristoff and his reindeer companion Sven, along with a snowman named Olaf. He will be voiced by Josh Gadd. Gadd is in the house. Gadd jokes that he would have animators record him naked in a meat locker for accuracy. “Frozen” ends with a clip of Olaf.
4:40 p.m. – Menzel appears to officially close the presentation with a live performance of a song from the movie called “Let It Go” and it’s snowing in the panel hall. Not a bad start to D23.