Animation Highlights from D23

Here’s a snapshot of the highlights and announcements from D23, which I explore in greater detail tomorrow.

Disney Animation

Zootopia (March 4, 2016), from directors Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph), is the studio’s first anthropomorphic feature “designed for animals by animals.”  Rookie bunny cop Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) teams up with sly fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve a disappearance that could tear Zootopia apart. It’s about overcoming bias and Grammy-winning Shakira will voice pop star Gazelle and sing the anthem, “Try Everything.”

Moana (Nov. 23, 2016), the first CG feature from John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin), takes the princess fairy tale to the South Pacific. It was revealed that Dwayne Johnson will voice the demi-god Maui. Test footage was shown of the playful water (reminiscent of The Abyss) and the living island with gorgeous volcanic fluid sim. Music is by Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Grammy-winning composer Mark Mancina (Tarzan, The Lion King), and Opetaia Foa’i (founder and lead singer of Te Vaka).

Gigantic (2018) is the new Jack and the Beanstock re-imagining from director Nathan Greno (Tangled) and producer Dorothy McKim (Get A Horse!). Set during Spain’s Age of Exploration and featuring a world of giants living in the clouds, Jack teams up with 11-year-old giant Inma to thwart the Storm Giants. Mike Gabriel (Wreck-It Ralph) is production designer, Lisa Keene (Frozen) is associate production designer, Lorelay Bove (Big Hero 6) is art director of environments, and Brittney Lee (Frozen) is art director of characters. Music will be from Oscar-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.


Finding Dory (June 17, 2016), the long-awaited sequel from Andrew Stanton, answers the question: “Where is Dory’s family, and will this overly-optimistic fish with short-term memory loss ever be able to find them again?” New characters joining Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) include Hank (Ed O’Neill), a cantankerous octopus; Bailey (Ty Burrell), a misguided beluga whale; Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a kind-hearted whale shark; and her parents (voiced by Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton).

Toy Story 4 (June 16, 2017), directed by John Lasseter, produced by Galyn Susman  (Toy Story OF TERROR!) and scripted by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (Celeste & Jesse Forever), was revealed to be a love story in which Woody goes after Bo Peep.

Coco from director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and producer Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3) is the title of the Dia de los Muertos project in which young Miguel asks “where he comes from, what his place is within his family, and how families stay woven together across time through the simple act of remembrance.” It’s both colorful and whimsical.

Riley’s First Date? the new Inside Out short from Josh Cooley, made its debut. It ventures inside the minds of Riley’s parents when the boy from her hockey team shows up at the front door (see clip below).  The short will be included as a bonus feature in the digital HD & Blu-ray releases of Disney·Pixar’s “Inside Out,” which will be available digitally Oct. 13 and on Blu-ray Nov. 3.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Events, Movies, Music, previs, Shorts, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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