D23 Expo: Things We Learned from the Disney+ Panel

Disney+ made its D23 Expo debut this afternoon with a presentation filled with several classic movies and TV series and new original content for their new streaming service at the Anaheim Convention Center. The showcase was met with cheers as actress Yvette Nicole Brown, who stars in Disney+ live action film Lady and the Tramp, hosted presentation which included new series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

Here are a few things we learned from the panel:

      • Gary Marsh, president and CCO of Disney Channel Worldwide, shared that Disney+ will have over 5,000 episodes of Disney Channel and Disney Junior content and both Classic and original Disney films.
      • Phineas and Ferb, a popular cartoon from Disney XD, will return for a movie called Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe.
      • Lizzie McGuire is back and she’s now an adult! Hilary Duff returns as Lizzie McGuire, who is now an apprentice with a fancy New York decorator, happy with the man of her dreams, and in an apartment in Brooklyn. She is just about to turn 30, but still deals with the 13-year-old girl inside her head. So, yes, the cartoon is back. Creator Terri Minsky also returns!
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    • High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is not a reboot or a remake of the original Disney Channel movie. Instead, it’s very meta. High School Musical is a movie and a high school named East High want to do a production of that musical. In the series, Ricky (Joshua Bassett) auditions for the school musical to try to win back his ex-girlfriend, Nini (Olivia Rodrigo), who has moved on with a new boyfriend, the musically talented and Instagram influencer, EJ (Matt Cornett). They are joined by an array of interesting characters including Nini’s best friend Kourtney (Dara Renee), choreographer Carlos (Frankie A. Rodriguez), EJ’s cousin and aspiring singer-songwriter Ashlyn (Julia Lester), the new transfer Gina (Sofia Wylie), the crazy drama teacher Miss Jenn (Kate Reindeers), and many others. The series will consist of 10 episodes.
  • Pixar presented some content that will be featured on the Disney+ platform including:
      • Forky Asks A Question — a series of shorts which Forky, the beloved character from Toy Story 4, asks a random question to one of the Toy Story characters. In one of the shorts shared, Forky hilariously asks Hamm, “What is money?” Hamm explains the concept of money with Forky just reacting the way we’d expect Forky to react.
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    • Monsters At Work — a new animated series that is a spin-off of Monsters Inc. The show stars Ben Feldman as Tylor Tuskmon, a recent graduate of Monster University, who is ready to scare some children. He then finds out that the rules have changed and the monsters must be able to make the children laugh. This leaves him in a very difficult situation. Aisha Tyler is the voice of Tylor’s mother, Millie. Also, Kelly Marie Tran is on this show and we already stan!monsters at work
  • Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, came onstage to present the MCU lineup for Disney+. There were a lot of talk surrounding the shows we did know about, but Feige shared three new series that will be premiering on Disney+ for Phase 4.
      • Avengers: Endgame is coming to Disney+ on December 11th.
      • The first animated series from the MCU What If…? made its first teaser appearance. In the footage shown, there are a variety of different stories including Peggy becoming Captain America, but this time in a UK flag version of the suit and is called Captain Carter; a zombified Captain America; a black Star-Lord; and, many more. In the footage shown, we also see Steve Rogers still becomes a hero during Peggy’s reign as Captain. Rogers is placed in a iron suit, similar to Tony Stark’s clunky metal suit. Hayley Atwell was onsite to share with the audience her excitement for the return of Peggy and all thanks to the fans who loved the character. Jeffrey Wright will be the voice of the narrator named The Watcher. What If… will premiere in 2021.
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      • The anticipated series Loki was talked about briefly during the presentation. Tom Hiddleston could not make it to the presentation, but left a video message to the fans. “It’s your boundless enthusiasm and support that Loki still has more stories to tell,” said Hiddleston. “This journey you and I have been on isn’t over yet. It’s only just begun.” The creatives did reveal that Loki may have made a friend in the series. Loki will premiere in 2021.
      • Falcon and The Winter Soldier was met with high applause as Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan took the stage. The series will see the return of some MCU regulars including Daniel Brühl as Zemo and Emily Van Camp as Agent Sharon Carter, and newcomer John Walker, played by Wyatt Russell. Falcon and The Winter Soldier will premiere in 2020.
      • The WandaVision teaser was shared to the audience which featured footage from The Dick Van Dyke Show mixed in with previous movie scenes of Wanda and Vision (Avengers: Infinity War). Writer Jac Schaeffer described it as ‘half classic sitcom and half MCU spectacular.’ Teyonah Parris was previously announced as Monica Rambeau, but it looks like she won’t be alone. Kat Dennings and Randall Park return as their MCU characters, Darcy Lewis and Agent Jimmy Woo, respectively. Kathryn Hahn will be joining the series as Wanda and Vision’s nosy neighbor. WandaVision will premiere in 2021.
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    • Feige came back onstage and announced THREE new series coming to Disney+ in a later date.
      • Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk will have their own live-action shows, which will also interconnect with the films.
  • Not only known for its franchise content, Disney shared some reality and documentary content coming to the platform, including several shows about dogs, a cooking competition, the every day life of Disney workers, and a series surrounding a beautiful man’s curiosity for things.
      • One Day at Disney is a 52-episode short form documentary on the lives of Disney workers. It will premiere on December 3rd.
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      • The World According to Jeff Goldblum will follow the enigma that is Jeff Goldblum around as he learns about the most random, yet fascinating things, like ice cream, sneakers, tattoos, denim, and many more. Just the trailer alone is worth watching the man, the myth, the legend that is Jeff Goldblum.
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      • In the Kristen Bell-produced unscripted series, Encore!, former castmates of high school musicals are contacted to reunite to re-create their original high school musical performance.
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  • For tweens and teens everywhere, Disney did not forget about you guys.
    • Based on the best-selling young adult novel by Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl is coming to Disney+. With a screenplay by Kristin Hahn, Julia Hart, and Jordan Horowitz, Stargirl tells the story of a girl who plays with her own beat of the drum in high school. It stars Grace VanderWall, Graham Verchere, Karan Brar, Maximiliano Hernandez, Darby Stanchfield and Giancarlo Esposito. Stargirl will launch on Disney+ in early 2020. JG1_4675_2019082352314813.JPG
    • Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is an original comedy film directed by award-winning filmmaker Tom McCarthy with screenplay by McCarthy & Stephan Pastis and based on the best-selling book series by Pastis. The film follows the hilarious exploits of our quirky, deadpan hero, Timmy Failure, who, along with his 1,500-pound polar bear partner Total, operates Total Failure Inc., a Portland detective agency. Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made will launch on Disney+ in early 2020.
  • Three films are being featured on Disney+ including the live-action version of Lady and the Tramp.
      • Brown brought on Lady and the Tramp cast members Rose (“Lady”) and Monty (“Tramp”) — the actual dogs from the film — onstage as they premiered the trailer for the film. It is a live-action retelling of the 1955 animated classic, Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson), the pampered house dog, meets Tramp (voiced by Justin Theroux), the lovable stray, as they go off on an adventure through the city.
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      • In Disney’s first Christmas comedy, Noelle stars Anna Kendrick as Noelle, the daughter of Santa Claus, who must find her brother, Nick (Bill Hader), who has ran away from his duties as the next Santa Claus. The film also stars Shirley MacLaine and Billy Eichner.
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    • Disney+ treated audiences with a scene from the upcoming original film, Togo: The Untold True Story, about a true story set in the winter of 1925 across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra and the adorable dog named Togo that lead his owner and fellow dogs in 1925 serum run to Nome across central and northern Alaska. The film stars Willem Dafoe and is directed by Ericson Core. It premieres on the platform in December.
  • The Muppets are BACK! Forty years after leaving the swamp in The Muppet Movie, Kermit the Frog and the gang are coming to Disney+ with their first-ever unscripted short-form series, Muppets Now! It is scheduled to premiere in 2020.
  • From executive producer and actress Gina Rodriguez comes the story of a 12-year-old Cuban-American girl named Elena and her journey through middle school, which sets her on the path to ultimately becoming the president of the United States. It stars Tess Romero as young Elena and Rodriguez as the adult Elena. The series is a half-hour single camera dramedy. It is set to premiere in January.JG1_4775_2019082354359785.JPG
  • Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, took the stage for the Star Wars portion of the presentation.
      • Clone Wars is COMING BACK! It’s official! A new season will be premiering only be on Disney+ in February 2020.
      • It looks like Rogue One’s stories are just beginning. Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk took the stage to present their new untitled series about Cassian Andor and K2SO’s life (obviously, prior to the events of Rogue One). Tudyk joked the series would be called “K2FastK2Furious with Cassian Andor.”JG2_4911_2019082353842405.JPG
      • Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni took the stage to reveal the trailer to the anticipated series, The Mandalorian. It stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito, and Taika Waititi, who brings the droid IG-11 to life. Waititi also directed an episode as well. Disney Legend Ming-Na Wen also is part of the cast. It’s set after the fall of the Empire — after Return of the Jedi — and before the emergence of the First Order and follows the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far far away from authority of the New Republic.
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    • Ewan McGregor returns as the iconic Obi-Wan Kenobi for a new series about Obi-Wan. They did not provide any more details other than Kennedy revealing “the scripts are written, and we begin shooting next year. We can’t wait to start production. And we have our Obi-Wan.” JG2_5169_2019082353842431.JPG

Here are a few additional details about Disney+:

  • Disney+ has announced their official global launch dates. The US, Canada, and the Netherlands will have Disney+ on November 12th, 2019. Australia and New Zealand will have theirs on November 19th, 2019.
  • The price of Disney+ will be a monthly price of $6.99 or an annual rate of $69.99 in the U.S. Pricing will vary outside the U.S. Disney+ offers viewers of all ages a compelling price-to-value proposition, with a consumer-friendly experience that’s easy-to-navigate with personalized recommendations, high-quality and commercial-free viewing, up to four concurrent streams, and unlimited downloads with no up-charges.
  • Those who are attending the D23 Expo can lock onto a special offer of three years for $140.97 with a limited edition Founder’s Pin given to those who sign up.
  • Subscribers have access to unlimited downloads of shows and movies on the Disney+ app to watch offline later on up to 10 mobile or tablet devices, with no constraints on the number of times a title can be downloaded per year. Once downloaded, subscribers can watch on the go and without an internet connection. The number of titles stored at one time on a device is dependent upon the available storage space on a subscriber’s device.
  • Subscribers will enjoy an ultra-high-definition viewing experience with up to 4K Ultra HD video playback in Dolby Vision ultra-vivid imaging, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos immersive audio on supported devices for available programming.
  • Subscribers can access unlimited viewing of Disney+ content without having to watch a single commercial.
  • Subscribers can set up to seven different profiles and choose an avatar tailored to their favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel or Star Wars characters, with over 200 avatars available.
  • Disney+ allows subscribers to concurrently stream video content on up to four registered devices with no up-charges.
  • At launch, Disney+ will offer support for English, Spanish, French and Dutch languages, including both user interface as well as audio support and/or subtitles for library content, with additional languages available for Disney+ Originals.
  • The app offers support for closed captioning, descriptive audio, and navigation assistance to help subscribers with disabilities discover and enjoy their favorite stories.

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