The Next Generation of Cars ~ Start to Finish: Pixar’s Production Pipeline for Cars 3 ~ #Cars3Event

Pixar Production Cars 3

Have you ever wondered what technical challenges go into making a movie like Cars 3? How do they get every aspect so realistic and life-like? How do they make cars appear to have emotions and come across as human? Have you ever stopped to ponder how it all comes together so seamlessly? I was fortunate to meet with the creative minds in charge of making sure it all comes together – Bobby Podesta (Supervising Animator), Michael Fong (Supervising Technical Director), and Jon Reisch (Effects Supervisor). I have to admit – I had no idea what went into any of this. I just imagined a group of animators sitting at a computer and putting together a movie. I came away from this session in awe of these creative minds and how much of themselves they put into creating movies for us to love!

Pixar Production Cars 3
Effects Supervisor Jon Reisch, Supervising Animator Bobby Podesta and Supervising Technical Director Michael Fong

The animators spent time researching by taking trips to real demolition derbys, trying to visualize and come up with ideas of how it feels to be a car in this situation and how the car would react in different situations and different environmental elements. Technical effects are vital to creating believable interactions between characters and vital to creating believable emotions. Simulating mud in Cars 3 for example, was one of the big challenges for the film in the same way snow was for Frozen and hair was for Brave. Those elements are vital to the story and to the emotions of the story and the characters.

At Pixar the story is always king and this is true in every department across the board in making a movie, even in the technical aspects. Technology can’t be allowed to take away from the story. All visual aspects of a scene must be adjusted in such a way as to avoid stealing focus away from the story.

They build the entire production pipeline around the idea that the story must be constantly improving and in order for that to happen, all departments have to be ready to discard work and make changes at almost any time. They design their tools, workflow and schedules to account for this. The goal is Directed Realism, in which physics can be broken if true physics would detract from the storytelling.

The effects team deals with all the natural phenomena, from fire to smoke to sand, using physical simulation software to design everything. But every film has its challenges and the challenge in Cars 3‘s was mud. The not-really-solid, not-really-liquid nature of it required innovation on their part to achieve it correctly in the film. Their research involved filming themselves playing in the mud to discover what aspects of it they wanted and needed to recreate in animation.

Through the effects work, they were able to provide the believable interaction that grounds the characters to the world. They created emotional stakes for the characters. I was fascinated listening to the team, as I always am when it comes to listening to how creative and imaginative the folks at Pixar are.

We were also treated to an overview on designing, creating and bringing life to a whole new generation of cars. This session included Jude Brownbill, Directing Animator; Jay Shuster, Production Designer and Michael Comet, Characters Supervisor. One interesting aspect I learned from listening to this group was it was a challenge for them to incorporate the new characters. Each new character is very different from McQueen and each are very different from each other. They had to look at what animation can do to support the uniqueness of each character.

There’s 3 ways:

  • One is the way they look.  Control the shape of their mouth and the shape of their lips.
  • The way that they move. 
  • The way that they act and the way they behave.

They must constantly remind themselves with these designs that it’s characters first and vehicles second.

The character team is responsible for taking the concept art from the art department and bringing it into the computer and providing it to other departments like animation.  

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CARS 3 opens in theatres everywhere on June 16th!

I was provided an all expense trip to San Francisco by Disney. All opinions are my own.

An In-Depth Look at Pixar in a Box ~ #Cars3 #Cars3Event

Pixar Box Khan Academy

For those of you that don’t know, Pixar in a Box is a behind-the-scenes look at how Pixar artists do their jobs. This collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy is sponsored by Disney. A lesson plan full of really cool information. I’m embarrassed to admit that before I was invited by Disney to come to San Francisco for the #Cars3Event and Pixar presentations, I didn’t know as much about it as I thought I did. For one thing I didn’t realize it was free. More importantly I never considered a middle school child using Pixar in a Box for all the things they can use it. Do they consider themselves an artist? They can learn about all the things they can do with that talent at Pixar. They can learn about careers they didn’t even realize existed. They can learn how the subjects they are learning in school – like math, science, computer sciences and humanities – are used every day to create amazing movies at Pixar. The next time your child tells you they want to be an animator so that cruddy math or science grade doesn’t matter – you can tell him/her how wrong they are. Sign them up for this program and let them see for themselves how those subjects are used! Imagine you or your child finding a new career – one that you may not even have known existed!

Through the lessons plans, you and/or your child will be able to animate bouncing balls, build a swarm of robots, and make virtual fireworks explode. The set-up seems easy to follow along with and I love you can jump from area to area easily.


Back in 2015, Pixar joined forces with Khan Academy to launch a free online course about animation called “Pixar in a Box.” Through interactive exercises, your child (and you) can analyze what goes into creating a story – the plot, world, and characters in films, and start developing storytelling superpowers and animation interests.

The themed set of lessons are infused with videos and web-based interactive widgets to help kids get excited about and visualize the math behind some of Disney’s biggest animated features. Each lesson comes with an introductory video that explains math concepts such as using parabolic curves to model grass or using weighted averages to translate clay sculptures into 3D computer models. The student can then play around with tools based on the real tools that Pixar animators use and are given the opportunity to test their knowledge through built-in assessments.

Right up there with being an astronaut or the President, there’s one job that your average kid would probably love to snag: Working at Pixar. Pixar in a Box focuses on real-Pixar-world applications of concepts you might usually encounter in the classroom. There’s no need to register for the course, nor a requirement to watch the lessons in order — just head to their site and start exploring!

Pixar in a Box is free on Khan Academy, so don’t be shy about checking it out. New lessons will be released as time goes on and you can sign up with Khan Academy to receive email alerts when new lessons become available.

We were given a step by step walk through of the lesson categories and plans by Elyse Klaidman, Director of Exhibitions and Educational Parnterships and Tony DeRose, a Senior Scientist and lead of the Research Group at Pixar Animation Studios. I came away thinking that even in my sixties, I would really love to go through the lessons. It’s a really neat way to learn something new and when learning is fun (what else would you expect from Pixar!) I know I was always able to learn better. Also, because you can easily skip from area to area and only focus on the lessons that really spark your interest. What could be better than  initiatives to help make math, science, and engineering education more inspiring and relevant for middle and high school students. This collaboration with Khan Academy is designed to show students how creative challenges at Pixar are addressed using concepts that they’re learning in classrooms. What a great program!

Here’s a look at Cars 3 coming in June. Just imagine how the creators of this great upcoming film were able to learn what they do using lessons like the ones offered through Pixar in a Box!


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CARS 3 opens in theaters everywhere on June 16th!

I was provided an all expense trip to San Francisco by Disney. All opinions are my own.

“Thanks for the Adventure!” My Visit to Pixar Animation Studios #Cars3Event

Pixar Animation Studios TourYou all know I love Disney. You all know I love Pixar. Put those two things together and when Disney invites you to come to California and be part of the #Cars3Event that includes a visit to Pixar Animation Studios – well, let me tell you – I turned into a real fan girl over it! I was so excited I was hyperventilating!

As a huge Pixar fan, nothing prepares you for the feeling you get when you first go under that Pixar Animation Studios arch when entering the property. Then as soon as you get yourself together, you turn and walk right up to the iconic lamp. The LAMP! And . . . the BALL! Both sitting right there, right in front of you. And . . .  did you know the lamp lights up at night!!

The campus is beautiful. The campus is amazing. The campus is much more than I ever imagined. The attention to even the slightest and smallest details around every corner are mind-blowing!

On the walls ~ 

And even in the floors ~ !

Everywhere you go you notice something amazing. Some little detail that gives a nod to a Pixar movie or short. Everywhere you go you see happy employees. Some of the most creative minds in animation work here. At Pixar everything is about the story. At Pixar everything IS happy! Even the mail room is cool! Picking up your mail? Have a putt first – be sure to note the number of strokes on the board!

Walking into the lobby of the Steve Jobs Building you get a sense of community. You begin to understand the community of creativity that everyone who works here shares. The lobby houses the restaurant for employees, mail room, and the Pixar store among other smaller areas. With the lobby being the center, the building splits off left and right. Just as our brains are split into left and right. The left side of our brain handles reading, writing, speaking, arithmetic reasoning and understanding so the left side of the building is where the writing and the story creative minds work. The right side of our brain handles visual, music and emotional expression so the right side of the building is where the animation takes place. Both sides come together in the middle!

Everything at Pixar revolves around the story and all stories are based in emotional realism. Even the offices and campus are built to reflect this. Every area of the campus has a story behind it (like the Steve Jobs Building and the left brain/right brain concept). Every area of the campus evokes an emotion. Each area of the campus is built with the happiness and comfort of the creative minds that work there in mind.

From the beautiful, grassed amphitheater ~ 

To the year-round heated pool for employees to use, relax, exercise and think in ~

Or the basketball court to have a quick game while sharing ideas ~

The campus also includes a a soccer field, an organic vegetable garden used by Pixar’s chefs, flower cutting gardens and a wildflower meadow and a jogging trail. All of these amenities are meant to keep the animation staff happy and animated! , jogging trail, and basketball court.

I learned so much about the location on my tour. The story behind Pixar’s headquarters starts in 1999 with Steve Jobs. He had a vision for what he wanted the campus to be. His plan was for the space to hold up to 1000 employees. He wanted it to be a place that promoted encounters and unplanned collaborations. No closed-up offices – lots of glass. The original design called for separating different employee disciplines into different buildings – one for computer scientists, another for animators, and a third building for everybody else. But because Steve Jobs was a fanatic about wanting unplanned collaborations, he envisioned a campus where these encounters could take place ~ hence the lobby I described above. The atrium lobby houses a reception, employee mailboxes, cafe, foosball, fitness center, two 40-seat viewing rooms, and a large theater. His idea was that people who naturally isolate themselves would be forced to have great conversations. 

Job once said,  “If a building doesn’t encourage collaboration, you’ll lose a lot of innovation and the magic that’s sparked by serendipity. So we designed the building to make people get out of their offices and mingle in the central atrium with people they might not otherwise see.”

When people run into each other, when they make eye contact, great things happen ~ and this is so evident by the layout of the facilities and the great things that come out of Pixar.

Moving beyond the atrium, the entire building plan was meant to provide a clean slate that gave Pixar the ability to creatively fill the space as it saw fit – in a very organic way. Many offices are arranged in U-shaped units of 5-6 individual offices – with a central gathering area in the middle that brings the idea of the creating unplanned collaboration down to a smaller, workspace-sized concept. There are even large Bar-B-Que areas complete with grills and picnic benches for employee collaboration outside! The campus is organized like parts of Manhattan, with sections called the Upper West Side, Lower East Side, etc. An annex building for overflow staff two blocks away, meanwhile, is called Jersey. Another building housing pre-production work is called Brooklyn – (all top secret stuff in here and no roaming the halls allowed!)

Pixar has created a work environment that people enjoy working in. Starting with the huge version of Luxo Jr, the cast of the Incredibles in the atrium, Bing Bong, Hank . . around every corner another reminder. A reminder of work that took years to complete. A connection to the great work created and the emotional connection each employee has to each film. Everyone at Pixar has a connection and a love of their work and it shows. There can be no greater feeling than walking around and being reminded of the great work you helped produce – as well as seeing the smiles of visitors like me, recollect the way each movie touched their lives.

I would love to go back. I would love to see more. I would love to be a fly on the wall when all of those creative minds come together!

Since my tour of Pixar was part of the #Cars3Event, I have to remind you – don’t forget to follow along over the coming weeks to get all the latest information about Cars 3. We were shown a portion of the new film while there and I know everyone will LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I’m actually still a bit disappointed we didn’t see the whole thing but from what I understand all of those creative minds are still collaborating to make sure it’s perfect when it opens June 16! So buckle up!

I always say that every Pixar movie teaches a lesson and Cars 3 is no different. I think the main lesson will be learning to be happy with where you are in life. When you reach a certain age you may not be able to do all the things you once loved, but there are many other things in life to make you happy. Time will tell if I’m right.

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CARS 3 races into theaters everywhere on June 16th!


I was provided an all expense paid trip to San Francisco by Disney. All opinions are my own.

California Here I Come! I’m Going to San Francisco for the #Cars3Event!


As a blogger and social media influencer it’s always exciting to be scrolling through your e-mails in the morning and see in the subject line “Disney Invites You…” It’s even more exciting when the subject line is: “Disney, Pixar and ABC Invite You….” In the blogging world there is one thing that we all know – Disney (and any organization under Disney) knows how to treat bloggers to an unbelievable experience so that we can share with all of our readers everything they need to know about upcoming movies, features or events. All Disney invitations come with lots of pixie dust and amazing adventures and I know this trip to San Francisco will be no different.

The official itinerary isn’t finalized yet but the tentative schedule looks like this:

Monday, March 27th: Arrive into San Francisco and attend a reception that evening at Pixar with footage from CARS 3 (opening in theatres on 6/16) and a screening of the short film LOU. Did you see that part that says – AT PIXAR!!!! 

Did I tell you – I’m going to Pixar!

Tuesday, March 28th: Attend a press day at the Sonoma Raceway for CARS 3 including interviews with Director Brian Fee, Producer Kevin Reher and various animators, take a lap around the racetrack in a real race car, learn how to quickly change out a tire at a pit stop and go on a tour of the garage. That night we will screen the upcoming Disneynature film BORN IN CHINA (opening in theatres on 4/21)!

Wednesday, March 29th: We will head back to Pixar to learn all about Pixar in a Box followed by a special screening of the series premiere episode of “The Toy Box,” the ultimate toy-competition series, which will provide talented designers with the chance of a lifetime: an opportunity to bring their toy concept to life with industry-giant Mattel and to the shelves of Toys ”R” Us the day after the series finale. Inventors present their toy concepts to a group of mentors that include Pixar Creative Director of Consumer Products Jen Tan, who will be available for an exclusive Q&A after the screening. The eight-episode series hosted by Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”) premieres on Friday, April 7th at 8/7c on ABC.

Somewhere in there we will also get to see an adorable new Disney Junior show – “Puppy Dog Pals” which stars fun-loving pug puppy brothers Bingo and Rolly, whose thrill-seeking appetites take them on adventures in their neighborhood and around the globe. Whether helping their owner, Bob, or assisting a friend in need, the pugs’ motto is that life is more exciting with your best friend by your side. Premiering April 2017, the series features two 11-minute stories that showcase Bingo and Rolly’s similarities and differences and demonstrate positive lessons about friendship, problem-solving, collaboration, creativity and adventure. Following the screening, Sean Coyle (executive producer) and Diane Ikemiyashiro (Disney Junior creative executive) will participate in a Q&A. #PuppyDogPalsEvent

Oh wait – did I tell you – I’M GOING TO PIXAR!

Follow along on social media March 27 to March 29 to get all the latest news on Cars 3, Born in China, The Toy Box, Lou and Puppy Dog Tales – #Cars3Event #TheToyBox #PuppyDogPalsEvent #BorninChina #ABCTVEvent #DisneyNature #DisneyPixar

By the Way – I’m So Excited!

I’m Going to Pixar!

Some of the other really fun bloggers that will be traveling along with me: Andrew from Mommy’s Busy, Go Ask Daddy | Ari from Love, Peace and Tiny Feet | Laura from Celebrate Woman Today | Holly from I Like It Frantic! | Jennifer from Jen Around the World | Stella from Healthy Frugal Living | Nicole from SAHM Reviews | Lynsey from Coffee For Mom | Olivia from This n That With Olivia | Brenda from The Small Things | Barb from Rural Mom | Kate from Highlights Along the Way | Dawn from Hustle.Mom.Repeat | Pam from Mom Does Reviews

D23 Expo 2015 RoundUp of News from Day 2 – This is a Long One!


Johnny Depp – in full Captain Jack attire – and Harrison Ford were in attendance to help share the news about the movies and delighted fans at the D23 Expo 2015 on Saturday.

The biggest news announced: Not one – but two Star Wars Lands. One at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the other at Disneyland!

Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

The partnership between Disney and Lucasfilm dates back to 1987, when the successful Star Tours attraction, inspired by George Lucas’s legendary Star Wars film series, opened at Disneyland.  The attraction was then redesigned, emerging as “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue” in 2011 and featuring more than 50 different story outcomes and the possibility to visit five different planets.

For 60 years, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been delighting millions of people with fantastic storytelling, exceptional entertainment and extraordinary experiences, creating places where guests can make life-long memories with their friends and families.  This announcement marks an unprecedented time of growth with exciting developments happening around the world – from Disneyland Resort’s Diamond Celebration to the anticipated opening of Shanghai Disney Resort in China.

The remainder of the news regarding the re-imagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be found in a separate post HERE. Many were anticipating the release of the new name that Mr. Iger alluded to last year but to the disappointment of many, no new name for Hollywood Studios was announced.

Also discussed in detail was Avatar Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well as extending the park into an evening experience with later hours, shows, and attractions. Kilimanjaro Safari will be extended and open later. 


As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will invite guests into the world of AVATAR, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

  • Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land.
  • AVATAR Flight of Passage – The centerpiece of Pandora – The World of AVATAR, brings guests into one of the most thrilling scenes from the film, in which they will soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world.
  • “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.
  • Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

EPCOT: Guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands, fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and soar over man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its debut next year.


In addition to the new “Frozen Ever After” ride, a whole new area dedicated to “Frozen” will be showing up at Epcot. The Norway pavilion will be expanded to give guests the feeling of stepping into Arendelle with a new meet and greet featuring Anna and Elsa, the Royal Sommerhaus.

There was tons of information (and models) released for Shangai Disneyland which will eventually be the subject of an independent post since that information would most likely triple the size of this already very very long post of information.




Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm presented their live action film slates at the D23 EXPO 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The presentations, which revealed exclusive news and details about the upcoming live action films, were aided by live and video appearances from talent and filmmakers. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn hosted the highly anticipated biennial event.

“It’s quite something to be able to have Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm all on the same stage, and it’s tremendously gratifying to unveil our upcoming projects to our most dedicated fans first,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “We always have an incredible time at the D23 EXPO.”

After welcoming the crowd to D23 EXPO 2015, Horn introduced Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, and Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, to present overviews of the Marvel Studios and Disney live action slates. Later Horn returned to the stage to present the Lucasfilm film slate to the enthusiastic audience.

A recap of the presentation follows:

  • Kevin Feige led off with a glimpse into the world of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange, featuring  a video greeting by Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars as the title character, followed by a pre-production piece that offered fans a taste of the look and feel of the upcoming  film, opening in U.S. theaters onOctober 26, 2016.
  • Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” marched into D23 EXPO with an introduction by its producer, Kevin Feige. To the delight of the audience, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie showed up on stage to help Feige show never-seen-before footage from the movie. Before the footage rolled, Feige revealed that there was a special “Easter egg” for fans to find: it was aptly a nod to D23 EXPO.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

The movie stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serve as executive producers and the screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in the U.S. on May 6, 2016.


  • Sean Bailey took the stage to introduce the first film in the Disney live-action lineup, “The Finest Hours, which is based on the remarkable true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. Chris Pine, who plays Bernie Webber, the captain of the rescue boat, joined Bailey on stage to give fans a peak at the heroic action-thriller.

Presented in Digital 3D, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, the film, which is directed by Craig Gillespie and also stars Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana, transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

“The Finest Hours” is produced by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero and Doug Merrifield is the executive producer. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and the screenplay is by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson.  “The Finest Hours” storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016.


  • After an introduction by Sean Bailey, Jon Favreau, director of Disney’s upcoming “The Jungle Book, welcomed to the stage newcomer Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of candidates to play man-cub Mowgli; plus Oscar® winners Ben Kingsley, who helps bring panther-turned-mentor Bagheera to life, and Lupita Nyong’o, who lends her voice to the protective mother wolf Raksha. Favreau treated fans to a sneak peek of footage from the film, and each guest received a copy of the dramatic teaser poster following the presentation. The all-new, live-action epic adventure showcases Mowgli’s journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s 1967 animated classic, the film features state-of the-art technology that immerses audiences in the lush world like never before. “The Jungle Book” also features the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor produce and the screenplay is by Justin Marks. “The Jungle Book” hits theaters in stunning 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15, 2016. 


  • Bailey welcomed Mia Wasikowska to the stage, where she thrilled fans with a preview of the all-new spectacular adventure, “Alice Through the Looking Glass, featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories. Director James Bobin brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” in which Alice (Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. The film, which once again features Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall, introduces several new characters as well: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father, and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd, and Tim Burton produce and John G. Scotti is the executive producer. The screenplay is by Linda Woolverton. Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.

In addition to attending the film’s presentation in Hall D23 at the Convention Center, fans had the opportunity to transform themselves into their favorite characters from Underland with an interactive experience, Travel Through the Looking Glass. By means of a first-to-market face-tracking application, D23 EXPO participants entering one of four photo booths located on the show floor were able to become the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, the White Rabbit or the Cheshire Cat with full digital-makeup and cinematic 3D objects seamlessly—and instantly—applied to their reflections, and in real time. They were then emailed a 10-second video and still image, which they could share on their favorite social media platforms.


  • Bryce Dallas Howard joined Bailey on stage to talk about her starring role in “Pete’s Dragon, a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film. The heartwarming adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon, “Pete’s Dragon” is directed by David Lowery, produced by Jim Whitaker, and executive-produced by Barrie Osborne, and also stars Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford. “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
  • Bailey, with the help of Lupita Nyong’o, introduced the crowd to the upcoming film “Queen of Katwe,” which is based on the inspirational true story of a girl from the poverty-stricken slums of rural Uganda who dreams of becoming a champion chess player. Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler based on the book by Tim Crothers, “Queen of Katwe” stars Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Medina Nalwanga.
  • Bailey next presented “Beauty and the Beast,including a musical greeting from stars Emma Watson, Josh Gad and Luke Evans—sent from the London set where they are currently filming. The live-action musical, a retelling of the studio’s animated classic, stars Watson,  Dan Stevens, Evans, Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald and newcomer Nathan Mack. The film is directed by Bill Condon.  Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated classic, provides the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Tim Rice, as well as several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.
  • A surprise visit by Johnny Depp, who showed up on stage completely decked out as Captain Jack Sparrow, brought down the house and thrilled fans at Sean Bailey’s presentation of the next exciting film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean “ franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” 

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him.  Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

The film is directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning and stars Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush. Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer and Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor serve as executive producers. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” releases in U.S. theaters on July 7, 2017.

  • Alan Horn took the stage again to present the Lucasfilm slate and timeline to the D23 EXPO fans.  Horn told the audience that there were only 124 days to the release of Episode VII, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” on December 18, 2015 and added that there have been record-breaking trailer views and fantastic fan response. Touching on “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” Horn reminded the audience that Rian Johnson will be directing the film slated for release on May 26, 2017. Then in a surprise announcement, Horn informed everyone that Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World”) has signed on to direct “Star Wars: Episode IX,” which is scheduled for release in 2019.

Moving on to the new Star Wars stories series, Horn touched on the “Untitled Han Solo” stand-alone film, slated for release on May 25, 2018 by reminding everyone that it  will be directed by Christopher Miller & Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan writing the screenplay.

  • Horn then took the audience by surprise, announcing the cast for “Rogue One,” the first of the standalone Star Wars stories to hit the big screen, which has commenced principal photography. Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) is directing “Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star.

The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award® for her leading role in “The Theory of Everything”; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar®-winning “Milk” and the critically acclaimed “Killing Them Softly”; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy® for his leading role in “Bloodline” and co-starring  in the upcoming “Mississippi Grind”; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in “Ip Man” and “Blade II”; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning “Let the Bullets Fly” and “Devils on the Doorstep”; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and winner of an Academy Award® for his leading role in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in “The Hunt” and was the memorable villain from 2006’s “Casino Royale”;  Alan Tudyk,  who plays a performance-capture character in “Rogue One,” stars in the soon-to-be-released “Con Man” series and “Trumbo,” which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in “Nightcrawler” and starred in the BAFTA-winning film “Four Lions.”

The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ended the live-action presentation with a bang as J.J. Abrams introduced stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o. The crowd cheered when John Boyega announced that everyone there would get a Drew Struzan D23 EXPO commemorative poster to take home. Then, in a bringing-down-the house surprise moment, Harrison Ford, who is reprising his role as Han Solo, joined Abrams on stage to wild applause.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan.  “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015.




Orlando Bloom to return as Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales


Marvel Studios debuted the first footage of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR for the crowd attending Disney’s D23 Expo. Fans went wild! No official trailer has been released as of yet to share. 

Here’s a synopsis of the trailer shown:

  • The footage opened with Captain America fighting Crossbones with Falcon and Black Widow as Cap’s Backup.
  • Crossbones is trying to blow up a truck.
  • Crossbones throws an explosive at Cap who blocks it with his shield but it sticks to it so Cap throws his shield up in the air so the explosion is high into the sky.
  • Crossbones removes his mask and tells Cap that his pal Bucky began to remember him even though he was then brainwashed as the Winter Soldier. Seems this is why Hydra had to keep brainwashing him over and over again because he keep remembering little bits.
  • Cut to the scene from the end credits of ANT-MAN and Bucky tells Cap he remembers his mom. Cap knows there’s some Bucky left in his old friend.
  • Cut to General Ross who shows gratitude to Cap but also tells him he is seen as more of a vigilante than a hero now.
  • Then it showed Tony Stark talking to Cap and telling him how sometimes he wants to punch Cap in his perfect teeth.
  • Black Widow is shown facing off against Hawkeye and asks him if they are still friend and Hawkeye responds by saying it depends on how hard she hit him.
  • At the end, Hawkeye opens a van door and there’s Ant-Man who is starstruck seeing Cap and mixes up his words, “You know a lot of super people, so thanks for thanking of me.”
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR releases on May 6, 2016.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn announced that writer-director Colin Trevorrow will direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set for release in 2019.

While production won’t begin for a few years, Trevorrow is heading to Lucasfilm this year to begin working with artists and his fellow Star Wars directors. “Colin is someone I’ve been interested in working with ever since I saw ‘Safety Not Guaranteed,’” says Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “The power of that film paired with the enormous success of ‘Jurassic World’ speaks volumes about his abilities both as a storyteller and skilled filmmaker. We are thrilled to have such an incredible talent as Colin join our family and step into the Star Wars universe.”

Trevorrow states, “This is not a job or an assignment. It is a seat at a campfire, surrounded by an extraordinary group of storytellers, filmmakers, artists and craftspeople. We’ve been charged with telling new stories for a younger generation because they deserve what we all had—a mythology to call their own. We will do this by channeling something George Lucas instilled in all of us: boundless creativity, pure invention and hope.”

Star Wars: Episode IX will conclude the third trilogy of Star Wars movies that begins with Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.




Lucasfilm announced that their first film in the new standalone Star Wars stories series, “Rogue One,” has begun principal photography. Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) is directing “Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.

The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award® for her leading role in “The Theory of Everything”; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar®-winning “Milk” and the critically acclaimed “Killing Them Softly”; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy® for his leading role in “Bloodline” and co-starring  in the upcoming “Mississippi Grind”; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in “Ip Man” and “Blade II”; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning “Let the Bullets Fly” and “Devils on the Doorstep”; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and winner of an Academy Award® for his leading role in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in “The Hunt” and was the memorable villain from 2006’s “Casino Royale”;  Alan Tudyk,  who plays a performance-capture character in “Rogue One,” stars in the soon-to-be-released “Con Man” series and “Trumbo,” which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in “Nightcrawler” and starred in the BAFTA-winning film “Four Lions.”

“‘Rogue One’ takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kathleen Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’”

Veteran ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll, who shares a long history with the Star Wars movies, dating back to the mid-1990s, originated the idea for the movie. Allison Shearmur (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Cinderella”), John Knoll, Simon Emanuel (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “Fast & Furious 6”) and Jason McGatlin (“Tintin,” “War of the Worlds”) are executive producers. Kiri Hart and John Swartz (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) are co-producers.

To create the lived-in, realistic feel of “Rogue One,” Edwards chose Greig Fraser (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Foxcatcher”) to be his director of photography and Neil Corbould (“Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator,” “Saving Private Ryan”) to be his special effects supervisor.  Star Wars and Lucasfilm veteran Doug Chiang (“Star Wars: Episodes I-II,” “Forrest Gump”) and Neil Lamont (supervising art director for the “Harry Potter” series, “Edge of Tomorrow”) will be the production designers. Additional crew members will include stunt coordinator Rob Inch (“World War Z,” Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”), creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan (“Prometheus”) and co-costume designers Dave Crossman (costume supervisor for the “Harry Potter” series, “Saving Private Ryan”) and Glyn Dillon (costume concept artist for “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Jupiter Ascending”).

Pixar Post - Incredibles 2 and Cars 3 Logo

We’ve been waiting a long, long time for The Incredibles 2. The first film ended with a hint that we would see more adventures of the Parr family. Our wait is almost over, as the sequel is now officially in the works over at Pixar Animation Studios.

Cars 3 is also in development! Woot!