23 Things We Learned And Saw At Disney's D23 Expo 2013

The 2013 edition of Disney's fan convention D23 Expo has come to a conclusion. We were on the ground in Anaheim this weekend covering all the new announcements and giving you detailed descriptions and reactions to all the new footage screened.  We had so much coverage over the weekend, you very well might have missed it on your days off. So we put together a complete rundown of everything we learned and saw at the Expo. Enjoy!


Walking the show floor, I talked to so many /Film readers and it seemed they wanted to talk about what they didn't see rather than what WOWed them at the convention. The big story of the convention was that there was no new announcements for the future of Star Wars films. The D23 Expo promised a "revealing look" at the upcoming live action film projects of LucasFilm but didn't deliver much of anything. During the presentation, Disney head Alan Horn was met to many groans and boos when he announced they didn't have any new details to share.

I can't even imagine how many Star Wars fans flew thousands of miles, bought D23 passes which cost in the hundreds, booked hotels (which aren't so cheap, being next to Disneyland) and waited in that line which began the night before, in hopes of anything Star Wars. I don't think anyone expected footage, but they could have done something — Even a release date announcement would have been something, but they didn't even have that ready (which does seem a bit odd). The disappointment of those fans could be heard echoing throughout the rest of the weekend. But does Star Wars Episode 7's absence from D23 Expo raise bigger questions? Germain wrote a good editorial trying to answer this question.


Disney screened the first ever footage from Maleficent, the "untold story" of the famous Sleeping Beauty villain starring Angelina Jolie. The power of Jolie as the classic disney villain wowed the crowd — read a description of the scene here or hear our reaction to the footage here.


Marvel Studios brought Comic Con leftovers to the D23 Expo, but surprised by showing new scenes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World. Read about the new Captain America 2 footage, or read about the new Thor 2 scene, or hear our reaction to the new footage. You can watch the presentations (sans footage, of course) here.


It may have been playing to the crowd, but Disney screened a few scenes from the upcoming Saving Mr. Banks and the crowd loved every minute of it. Read a description of the scenes screened or hear our reaction to the footage.

ZZ01F64F92Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof finally opened the mystery box that "inspired" their upcoming science fiction film Tomorrowland. You can read about their presentation during the live action film panel, watch our video blog reaction to the footage, or learn everything we found out about the "1952? box from the booth and guided audio tour on the show floor.ZZ5058FD92

Disney revealed new logos for their live action slate, including: Maleficent, Tomorrowland, Into The Woods, and Cinderella. See them here.

Star Wars Rebels header

While the absence of Star Wars news was probably the biggest story to come out of D23, Germain was able to learn a couple very small Star Wars news bits at the Crash Course in the Force panel including possible details of the 'Rebels' storyline and the promise of a larger Star Wars presence at Disneyland in the near future.


Disney released a bunch of new images and concept art images for upcoming Disney Animation and Pixar film productions including: the Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory, the Planes sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue, the Toy Story television Special Toy Story of Terror, two original projects from Pixar: Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, Walt Disney Animation's Marvel comic book adaptation Big Hero 6Frozen, the Disney Toons Tinkerbell spin-off/Captain Hook prequel The Pirate Fairy, and the Mickey Mouse short film Get A Horse!


Disney finally revealed their plans for their animated adaptation of the Marvel comic book Big Hero 6. Learn about the heartfelt story and find out just what characters will be appearing in the movie (also check out their silhouettes from a booth on the show floor teasing the movie), and watch our reaction to the footage.


It was announced that Academy Award and Emmy nominated director Leslie Iwerks (A Pixar Story and Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible) is directing a documentary about Walt Disney Imagineering to be released in 2016. The trailer premiered and it online — watch it now!


With Planes hitting theaters the same weekend, Disney gave us a few announcements and a early look at the sequel. It was announced that Secret of the Wings and Stitch! The Movie helmer Bobs Gannaway was directing Planes: Fire and Rescue. We learned that Julie Bowen has been cast as Dipper, a red and orange two propeller plane who is Dusty's biggest fan. And we were shown some early footage which gave us a glance at the film's storyline.


Disney announced that the 30-minute special Toy Story of Terror will premiere October 16th on ABC,  just in time for Halloween. We screened the first ten minutes of the special, and you can read about it here.

ZOOTOPIA (Working Title)

Walt Disney Animation Studios announced their 2016 film, Zootopia, an animated feature set in an animal world from Tangled director Byron Howard. The "buddy action comedy" is  "set in a world where humans never existed." You can see the first concept art above, or find out what we learned about the movie.

Mickey Mouse Get a Horse Short

Perhaps the most unusual thing shown at D23's animation panel was the long lost Mickey Mouse short film Get a Horse! But the story behind the short is more shocking and strange than you might think. Click here to find out the spoiler-filled details of Walt Disney's first Mickey Mouse short film in decades.


Disney surprised fans by announcing that Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Thor) would be voicing a character who later becomes  Captain Hook in DisneyToon Studios film The Pirate Fairy. Find out more details on this film and read about the footage they showed during the announcement.

Finding Dory Logo

Pixar's Andrew Stanton announced some of the new cast for the Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory, which includes Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, and Eugene Levy. We also learned a little but about the films plot, read about it here.


Pixar's Pete Docter (Monsters Inc, Up) gave us a huge glimpse at his next film Inside Out. We learned a lot about the story of the new film, which takes place inside a 11-year old girl's mind. They also announced a voice cast which includes Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Bill Hader and more. Read about the footage that was screened, or watch us give our reaction to the footage.


Disney and Pixar revealed the first real details for the film The Good Dinosaur, from which we've previously seen only concept art. The story is described as the biggest "what if?" ever — "what if the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs missed Earth entirely?" The voice cast was announced, which includes John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris and more. Footage from the film was screened which you can read about the details here, or watch our video blog for our more indepth reactions.

Monsters University showdown

Pixar also surprised fans by announcing that we'll be getting more Mike and Sully in a new Monsters University short film titled Party Central. They screened the short film, which will debut in theaters in front of Pixar's The Good Dinosaur next year. Read about the short film, or watch our video blog reaction.


Disney Parks had no new announcements at the expo, but they did hint at some future attractions including teases of Star Wars and Avatar:

Avatar-Land research trip souvenirs at D23 Avatar-land was announced two years ago and we've still yet to see any solid information about the new land in Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom. The Dinsey Imagineers did put together a fun booth in the Imagineering pavilion on the D23 show floor showcasing their souvenirs they brought back from their "research trip to Pandora." While the items don't really reveal much, they are fun to look at. Check out the image gallery here.Star Wars tease at D23 Expo

A section of boxes sit in the middle of the Imagineering pavilion, some featuring the marking "Orange Harvest". Star Wars fans know that "Blue Harvest" was the production codename for Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Disneyland is located in the "O.C.", Orange County California. The subtitle reads "Speculation Beyond Imagination". So Disney definitely wants Star Wars fans and Disneyland fanatics to speculate. Check out some photos of the various markings on the boxes, all of them fun easter eggs for Star Wars fans or maybe even hints at what might come for the future of Star Wars in the Disney theme parks.

Something weird header

And another "weird" tease featured in the Imagineering pavilion was a joint project between Marvel and Disney Imagineering. As part of the early viral marketing, Imagineers passed out posters of two children approaching a very strange door with the ominous words "Do You Dare Enter?"  All that tells us for certain is that the "something weird" is a comic book of some sort, but all clues point to it being something to do with the never-made Museum of the Weird attraction which Disney was also developing as a movie project. See the full poster here.


And if you didn't have a chance to tour Walt Disney Imagineering's Journey into Imagineering pavilion, you still have your chance thanks to a video tour which has made it online. Some of the presentations were also video taped and uploaded online. Watch the videos here.