By Charly SHELTON
Earlier this summer, we went to E3 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo – to see the newest video game releases and newest gadgets coming up. Then we took you to Comic-Con to see the new everything else that will be found in movies, comics, games and pop culture.
Now for our final convention of the season, we take you behind the magic to D23 Expo, the convention that shows Disney fans what is coming up at the studio, in the parks and at merchandising locations.
Disney Store unveiled its new line of Princess toys ¬– dolls of each princess that are clothed in the formal wear of today’s fashion but inspired by their original attire. Each one is outfitted in a flowing gown that looks similar to what they wore in their stories, just a bit more grown up, clothing that is more mature looking. The dolls went on sale Monday, Aug. 22 and a new one will be released each Monday for 10 weeks at the Disney Store. Guests will not know which doll is to be released until the day they show up in stores. Ariel and Cinderella have been released by press time, and each one retails for $59.50.
The theme parks presentation was terrible. Fans have come to expect in panels like these announcements and special peeks from behind the doors of Imagineering. Unfortunately nothing really exciting was announced and what was shown to us left us wanting. The sneak peeks were not that in-depth, the announcements were small and unsurprising and the presentation itself felt as though it just dragged on and on. Really a disappointment.
The Disney films presentation was great. No cameras were allowed in, so we can only show our readers a few small clips provided by the studio. But what was shown to the attending audience was spectacular. Guests, including John Lasseter, head of Pixar, actor Billy Crystal and Kevin Feige, head of Marvel, were in attendance to delight audiences with announcements of upcoming movies, clips of films in the works and extended trailers of films that are all but ready to be released. Top among the sneaks was the clip of next summer’s super hero team up film, “The Avengers.” The audience went wild and when the cast came out on stage after the clip played, the cheers grew even louder. Then to top it off, Robert Downey Jr., starring as Iron Man in the film, complained about only getting to see it on the small screen backstage and he wanted to see the clip again up on the big screen with us. We got to watch it twice! It was definitely the audience favorite.
The peek of the upcoming animated movie “Brave” promised a film that is going to be absolutely fantastic. Set in medieval Scotland, this is a Pixar film featuring the first female lead in the company’s history. It is beautifully animated and features many interesting new characters voiced by famous Scottish actors. This promises to be a huge hit for the studio.
The convention, which was held for the second time at the Anaheim Convention Center, was not as good this year as it was the first time when it was held in 2009. Then it was just a few fans coming together to celebrate Disney and have a little fun. Now it is over the top, restricted and full of protocol.
And the crowds. Ridiculous crowds, especially on Saturday. The best way to experience this convention for anyone but the hardest of die-hard fans is through the media outlets that are shoehorned into the convention center to report what scraps are thrown to us. But for those scraps, we are thankful because they come months before the public release, and we are glad to see them.
Overall, the convention was alright. Not as good as before, but still not bad.