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ANAHEIM — At D23 on Saturday, chairman of Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn charmed the crowd with folksy stories about his connection to Disney and how it has been a part of his life. The two-hour presentation featured clips, celebrity appearances and updates on all of Disney’s properties, including Lucasfilm and Marvel.
However, much of the footage shown during the first half of the presentation was the same content that had appeared at Comic-Con less than a month ago. And the crowd was audibly disappointed when Horn started off his presentation with Lucasfilm, but didn’t share any fresh news about Star Wars.
“I wish I could tell you more, but it will come soon,” he told the crowd when they booed.
There were some new clips shown, including footage from Marvel’s Captain America and Thor sequels, three clips from Saving Mr. Banks and a new trailer for Disney’s Muppets sequel. Additionally, a few surprise guests, including Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie, got the crowd on its feet.
Horn introduced Marvel president Kevin Feige to speak on Marvel’s upcoming projects.
He started out with an extended look at Thor: The Dark World. Then, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins, who got a standing ovation, appeared onstage.
The crowd was given the first look at Jane’s (Portman) first day on Asgard.
Feige also gave an update on Captain America: The Winter Soldier next, which has just finished production and hits theaters in April. A clip, which was shown at Comic-Con, featured Chris Evans’ Captain America beating up people in an elevator.
Evans, Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie took the stage. Evans said that Cap is still trying to adjust to the modern world.
Then, Feige introduced a new clip from the film, which he warned was still a little rough. It featured Captain America fighting on a big ship and Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow parachuting in to help out.
Feige also highlighted Guardians of the Galaxy, which he said is four weeks into shooting in London. He showed a very early look at the film, which has a heavy dose of humor to go along with the action. This was the same footage shown at Comic-Con.
To end his presentation, Feige teased the films of 2015 with the voices of the Avengers over an image of Ultron.
Next up was Disneynature and the upcoming film Bears. A first look at the trailer was shown.
President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture production Sean Bailey featured the sequel, Muppets: Most Wanted. Actor Ty Burrell drove out in a tiny car after a new trailer was debuted. A new clip of Ricky Gervais singing and tap-dancing was also shown.
The audience got the first look at the live-action version of Cinderella, being directed by Kenneth Branagh. It was basically an interview with Branagh, some art and Lily James‘ screen test.
Maleficent was introduced next. It stars Angelina Jolie as the infamous villain. Jolie shocked the crowd when she took the stage.
“Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite. I was terrified of her, but I was always drawn to her,” she told the crowd. She revealed that he brother called her when he found out they were making the movie, and pushed her to go after the part.
The actress seemed genuinely excited for the film and charmed the crowd with stories about frightening children on set.
“It feels very special to be a part of this family,” she told the crowd.
The crowd also was shown new footage from the upcoming film, which showed Jolie’s haunting Maleficent casting a spell on Sleeping Beauty.
The live action film Tomorrowland, which will star George Clooney, was presented next. Director and co-writer Brad Bird and co-writer Damon Lindelof took the stage with what they described as a “dusty old box.”
The box, found in the Disney archives, was full of mysterious items from Disney, and the duo didn’t seem to have a lot of answers for what they all mean. There was also a blueprint from the ride and some mysterious insignias. They said these items helped inspire the film.
They revealed that there was a disk in the box that had some animation in it that had never been shown before. They showed it to the crowd because they said it would give insight into their film. The odd clip seemed to be about a place where innovation and progress take place.
Bailey finished his presentation with Saving Mr. Banks, the story behind the making of Mary Poppins. He presented some never-before-seen footage from the film, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. The long clip showed Thompson playing a quick-witted P.L. Travers, who was apprehensive that her work could be turned into a film. Hanks and Thompson are amazing sparring partners onscreen.
The second clip showed Thompson’s character visiting Disneyland. “Do you always get everything you want, Walter?” Travers asks.
“Pretty much,” responds Hanks’ Disney.
After the clip, Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak took the stage to speak about their roles in the film.
A final comedic clip from Saving Mr. Banks featured Schwartzman and Novak’s characters presenting a song to Travers. The duo then took the stage to sing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” and were joined by the real-life Richard Sherman and choreographed dancers with kites.
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