D23 Expo 2015 Wrap-Up Part One: Pixar and Marvel

This past weekend was the D23 Expo, basically a mini Disney comic con, where the studio had panels for their upcoming films, showed footage and even announced new movies. A lot of exciting and interesting information came out of the expo, so let's break down the news that broke this weekend:

This is the first part of the breakdown. You can see Part Two here


Pixar started off strong with talking about their upcoming 2016 sequel, Finding Dory, which takes place only six months after its 2003 predecessor. Many people, including myself, have questioned why the story of Finding Nemo even needed a sequel, especially after 13 years. Director Andrew Stanton apparently thought the same thing. In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, gearing up for the film's D23's presentation, Stanton realized that Dory's story wasn't over, saying:

"I wanted to know that if this charming, forgetful fish ever got lost again, that she would be okay. That she would find her way home. And at the end of Finding Nemo, I wasn't confident about that. So that's when I knew I had another story."

I love the story of Finding Nemo, and I find it to be a very deep and complex movie, while also being a light and enjoyable film-- like many of Pixar's films. D23 revealed the image above from Finding Dory, which got me very excited. It feels like I'm right back in this world that the 2003 film created, and the animation looks better than ever. Modern Family's Ed O'Neill and Ty Burrel, will both be in the film, with the former being Hank the Octopus (pictured above) and the latter being a beluga whale. The film will take place in an ocean sanctuary, the Marine Biology Institute in California, where sea animals are treated and then released back into the wild. I love the sea, and I find its wildlife and everything in it fascinating. Finding Nemo was a really cool movie to see as a kid, and I have high hopes for its sequel.

Also, an original Pixar film was announced at D23, called Coco. Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich will helm the film, which will center around the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos, which means "Day of the Dead". The movie focuses on Coco, a twelve year old boy growing up in a Mexico, and is due in the fall of 2017. Unkrich said that the idea of the "juxtaposition of skeletons with bright, fesitve colors" was what inspired the film. The type of animation shown above looks radically different from that of Pixar's normal animation. It looks to be 2D animation, which intrigues me. But as of right now, I don't know enough about to film to be either excited or not excited about it. Until I know more, I am indifferent on the film. But, it is Pixar, so it has that going for it.

Pixar unveiled its film slate for the next few years, shown below:


Marvel started off its presentation with showing a series of concept art images from their upcoming film, Doctor Strange. The movie has only been filming for a couple weeks, so they didn't have any real footage to show. But the concept art showed star Benedict Cumberbatch in costume as Doctor Strange, along with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. The concept art also gave audiences a look at how the different dimensions would look in the film, with spectators describing the art as "insane", "trippy", "otherworldly" and with many making comparisons to Inception. In my book, those are all really, really good things. 

Another thing taken away from the presentation was that the classic origin story of Doctor Strange will be kept for the film. In the comics, Doctor Stephen Strange was a surgeon who ended up in a car crash, ruining his hands. Seeking healing, Strange travels and visits with the Ancient One, who trains him in the ways of the mystic arts in order to become a sorcerer. I wasn't sure if they would tell an origin story, or if the film would open with Doctor Strange already being the Sorcerer Supreme, but I guess we will be getting the former, which I am glad about. Doctor Strange has an interesting origin story, and I am excited to see it played out on screen.

Cumberbatch sent in a video message, saying of the film:

"You're going to get girls, car explosions and astral projections into multiple universes. The usual fare."

After recently seeing Cumberbatch's Oscar nominated performance in The Imitation Game, I am now excited to see him as Doctor Strange more than ever, and I have been saying since he was initially rumored that he would be perfect casting as the Sorcerer Supreme. I think, under the direction of horror director Scott Derrickson, that this is going to end up being one hell of a movie!

Marvel then proceeded to talk about their next film to come out, 2016's Captain America: Civil War. The star of the film, Chris Evans, walks out on stage, joined by Anthony Mackie, who plays the Falcon. The two joked around, before revealing a trailer for the film, which has yet to be put online. I obviously was not at D23, so I didn't get to see the trailer, but you can read a full breakdown of the trailer by ScreenRant.com here. But from what I've heard, it was fantastic. The trailer revealed a large amount of the film's characters, including Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), General Ross (William Hurt), the Vision (Paul Bettany), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Crossbones (Frank Grillo), the Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) and more. However, the new Spider-Man (Tom Holland) did not make an appearance.

I really hope this trailer is put online in the next couple weeks. Civil War is one of my most anticipated films of next year, as it is pretty much the size of an Avengers movie. This is going to be a big, big film, and I am really excited to see it all come together. 

What do you think? Do you like the looks of Finding Dory? Does Coco sound interesting to you? Di you like the sounds of the Doctor Strange concept art? Are you looking forward to Captain America: Civil War? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Written by: Nate 
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