More revelations took place at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California on Friday. Audiences were shown exclusive clips and concept art for two of Disney’s most anticipated upcoming projects; Frozen and Big Hero 6.
Frozen tells the story of Anna (voiced by Kristin Bell), who is determined to find her sister Elsa (Idina Menzel) and end the winter madness in the kingdom of Arendale. Anna must team up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) who is a mountain man with a beard and a scowl. The film is co-directed by Chris Buck and Wreck-It Ralph writer Jennifer Lee, and is inspired by Hans Christen Andersen’s The Snow Queen. According to John Lasseter, it was a tale that Disney himself had always been interested in bringing to the big screen.
Audiences saw a preview of the film, which illustrated Anna’s awkwardness, and were treated to a special appearance by Kristen Bell. The actress said, “I always dreamed of being in a Disney movie. Did I think it would happen? No. Did I want it to happen? Yes. With every bone in my body.”
Frozen is set to be released on Nov. 27th.
According to Lassester, Big Hero 6 is “inspired by the culture of Japan but mashed up with the culture of America.” Director Don Hall knew that he wanted to combine his love of Disney animation with his love of comic books, so he was excited when he came across Big Hero 6. “It’s an underground Marvel comic about a Japanese superhero,” Hall explained. Adding,” I wanted a robot who you could fall in love with…. a huggable robot,” before he introduced the audience to Baymax, a robot whose movements are modeled after baby penguins.
The hero of the film is named Hiro, a 14-year-old tech genius who must assemble a team including Gog, a bike messenger; Wasabi, a sushi chef’ Honey Lemon, a glamorous chemist and part-time barista; Fred, a comic book lover; and Baymax. This team is assembled when the designs for Micro-bots fall into the hands of a super villain.
Big Hero 6 will be released in 2014.
The third film, Zootopia, was revealed to be in development, and goes back to the 1973 Disney film Robin Hood, where animals acted out the roles in the classic story. When Tangled director Byron Howard proposed a new animated film populated by talking animals, he said Lassester “lifted me up in the air like a baby Simba.”
Howard, and writer Jared Bush, shared how various experts helped create the characters. The concept art showed a clever-looking wildebeest in a three-piece suit with glasses, but it was decided that those animals are “impossibly stupid,” according to Bush, so they changed the character into a dopey yokel named Gnu-pid.
The plot is a buddy movie about a fox named Nick Wilde who is accused of a crime and teams up with rabbit cop named Lt. Judy Hops to find out the truth. The filmmakers showed concept art of the city, with Howard adding, “One of the key concepts is if you squint at any frame of film you might think you’re looking at an animal in a natural environment.”
Which of these new Disney gems are you most excited for?