The D23 Expo is in full swing and thousands have descended into Anaheim to help celebrate all things Disney. The expo is a chance for The Walt Disney Company to showcase all things Disney from all parts of the company. Films, Parks, Television, Consumer Products and more are represented at the expo.
The day kicked It was a big day kicking off with the Disney Legends Ceremony where the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau and others were honored for their work at the company. The day then really got exciting as more details about the forthcoming Disney+ service were announced with some surprises.
High School Musical The Musical The Series
The Disney+ presentation began with singing and dancing to help introduce the cast of High School Musical The Musical The Series. The 10-episode scripted series, set at the real-life East High, where the original movie was filmed, follows a group of students as they countdown to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.” With meta references and some docu-style elements, it’s a modern take on the “classic” from 15 years ago.
Show-mances blossom; friendships are tested, while new ones are made; rivalries flare; songs are sung; and lives are changed forever as these young people discover the transformative power that only high school theater can provide.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” follows East High juniors Ricky and Nini, who just returned from summer camp with a new-found voice, confidence and ambitious boyfriend, E.J. With the help of his best friend, Ricky launches a plan to win back the heart of his ex-girlfriend Nini by auditioning to stage opposite her in the school’s first-ever theatrical production of “High School a Musical.
Lizzie McGuire on Disney+
In a big surprise announcement Hillary Duff hit the D23 stage to make the announcement that Lizzie McGuire would be available on the new streaming service. Then she announced that Lizzie would be returning to television in all new episodes. This time she is grown about to turn 30 and is living in New York City.
“Lizzie has also grown up, she’s older, she’s wiser, she has a much bigger shoe budget,” Duff said from the stage Friday in Anaheim. She added, “She has her dream job, the perfect life right now working as an apprentice to a fancy New York City decorator. “
Lizzie McGuire creator Terri Minsky is also aboard the revival, no word if any other original cast members will be part of the show.
Diary of a Female President
Diary of a Female President got some attention as the cast behind the show hit the expo stage. Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin) is executive producing this series, which has received a 10 episode order for Disney+. The show told from the narration of her diary, “Diary of a Female President” follows Elena, a Cuban-American 12-year-old girl as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school and begins her journey to become the future president of the United States.
Executive producer Gina Rodriguez commented “I established my production company as a vehicle to tell stories for and by the underrepresented. Bringing this story to Disney+ is a dream come true not to mention hope for our future.”
Up-and-coming actor Tess Romero (“Blind Spot,” “Alternatino”) portrays young Elena. Charlie Bushnell, who makes his acting debut in the series, plays Bobby, Elena’s sweet-faced older brother. Selenis Leyva (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Murphy Brown,” “Maniac”) stars as Gabi, Elena and Bobby’s intelligent and loving mom. Michael Weaver (“Here and Now,” “The Real O’Neals,” “Notes from the Underbelly”) plays Sam, a lawyer at Gabi’s firm who is in the beginnings of a relationship with her.
Diary of a Female President will air on Disney+ in 2020.
Lady and the Tramp
Yvette Nicole Brown joined fellow “Lady and the Tramp” cast members Rose (“Lady”) and Monty (“Tramp”)—the canine stars of the film—to premiere the first trailer from the film.
In Disney+’s “Lady and the Tramp,” a timeless retelling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.
Monsters at Work
In Monsters at Work Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their beloved roles as Mike and Sulley. The new animated series for families set to premiere in 2020. The series picks up six months after the original movie story, with the Monsters, Inc. power plant now harvesting the laughter of children to fuel the city of Monstropolis, thanks to Mike and Sulley’s discovery that laughter generates ten times more energy than screams.
“Monsters At Work” follows Tylor Tuskmon (voiced by Ben Feldman), an eager and talented young mechanic on the Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team (MIFT) who dreams of working his way up to the factory Laugh Floor to become a Jokester alongside his idols Mike and Sulley.
Starring alongside Feldman (“Superstore”) are: Kelly Marie Tran (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) as Val Little, Tylor’s lifelong friend and confidante; Henry Winkler (“Barry”) as Fritz, the scatterbrained boss; Lucas Neff (“Raising Hope”) as Duncan, an opportunistic plumber; Alanna Ubach (“Coco”) as Cutter, the officious rule follower; and Stephen Stanton (“Star Wars Resistance”) as Smitty and Needleman, the bumbling custodial team. Aisha Tyler (“Archer”) voices Tylor’s mom, Millie Tuskmon.
Forky Asks a Question
Lots of laughter as Tony Hale, reprises his role as Forky in the all new Pixar animated shorts “Forky Asks A Question.” The shorts will explore important questions about how the world works, there is an initial 10 episode order.
The Muppets are still alive and will have a home on Disney+. Today it was announced that they will continue their mayhem and laughter this time to the streaming world. Having tackled prime-time, the movies, it’s only fitting that they tackle the all new world of television. The show will be an unscripted short-form series.
Bell brings together former castmates of a high school musical, tasking them with re-creating their original performance in a high school reunion like no other. Emotions run high as the former students face faded friendships, former flames, self-doubt, and killer choreography. Through it all, these unlikely groups of friends—with the help of Broadway’s best—just might pull off a standing-ovation-worthy performance of beloved musicals like “The Sound of Music,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Annie” and more.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
Jeff Goldblum, who stars in and hosts “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” from National Geographic, gave fans a peek inside the series including a new trailer for the show.
Through the prism of Jeff Goldblum’s always inquisitive and highly entertaining mind, nothing is as it seems in this new series. Each episode is centered around something we all love — like sneakers or ice cream — as Jeff pulls the thread on these deceptively familiar objects and unravels a wonderful world of astonishing connections, fascinating science and history, amazing people, and a whole lot of surprising big ideas and insights.
“Noelle” stars Anna Kendrick and Billy Eichner joined Sean Bailey to announce their film will premiere on Disney+ on November 12 before sharing a new trailer.
In the upcoming holiday comedy, Kris Kringle’s daughter is full of Christmas spirit and holiday fun, but wishes she could do something “important” like her beloved brother Nick, who will take over from their father this Christmas. When Nick is about to crumble like a gingerbread cookie from all the pressure, Noelle suggests he take a break and get away…but when he doesn’t return, Noelle must find her brother and bring him back in time to save Christmas.
“The Mandalorian,” executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni joined series stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito, along with Taika Waititi, who brings the droid IG-11 to life, to premiere the teaser trailer for the first Star Wars live-action series.
Earlier in the day at the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony, Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company, announced that new Disney Legend Ming-Na Wen will join the cast of the series.
After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. “The Mandalorian” is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+
Kathleen Kennedy President of Lucas Film made some pretty big announcements at the D23 Disney+ showcase.
In February of 2020 the Emmy award winning animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will debut on Disney+. The series will return for a twelve episode order and will mark the return of some fan favorites including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano as well as Captain Rex.
Star Wars Series in Development
An all new Star Wars series is in development for the streaming platform. It had been rumored in recent weeks but confirmed today as Stars Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk joined Kathleen Kennedy on stage to make things official. Both actors will be reprising their roles from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and the stories follow Cassian Andor’s adventures as a rebel spy during the formative years of the Rebellion, before the events of “A New Hope.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi Series
Kathleen Kennedy made a but one last thing announcement and it was a big one as Ewan McGregor made his surprise appearance to officially announce that he will be returning to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new untitled series from Lucasfilm.
Marvel Stuidos Live-Action Series
Kevin Feige made many announcements today and will be doing the same tomorrow during the film panel. Today though we now have a clearer picture as to how The Marvel Cinematic Universe will fit into television. It is joining Disney+ in a big was as he announced several live-action series in development at Marvel Studios including: “Ms. Marvel,” “Moon Knight” and “She-Hulk,” all derived from Marvel comics.
The Falcon and Winter Soldier
On the established Marvel character front we had Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, the stars of the upcoming Marvel Studios’ ”The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.” The series will find Falcon and the Winter Soldier teaming up after “Avengers: Endgame.”
An exciting announcement for me is that Emily VanCamp will be reprising her role as Sharon Carter.
Also announced was that Wyatt Russell who will play John Walker—a character from the comics coming to the screen for the first time.
“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” will launch on Disney+ in 2020.
Stars Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen were on hand for their new series, “WandaVision.” Bettany will return as Vision and Olsen as Wanda Maximoff—two super-powered beings living their ideal suburban lives who begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
Feige as always had a surprise up his sleeve as he brought to the stage Kat Dennings and Randall Park who will reprise their roles from “Thor” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” he then introduced Kathryn Hahn who has been cast as a new character in the series.
The series has been described as a blend of classic sitcom meets Marvel Cinematic Universe. WandaVision will premiere in 2021.
We have known about Loki for awhile and there was a big reveal at ComicCon in San Diego just last month. So today Feige welcomed head writer Michael Waldron to the stage as they discussed “Loki.”
In “Loki,” Tom Hiddleston makes his return as Loki, the god of mischief and everyone’s favorite villain. The series will take place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” “Loki” debuts on Disney+ in 2021.
This one really got the crowd excited for the possibilities that it could offer to the world of Marvel. “What If…?” will be the first animated series that focuses on different heroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and imagines what would happen if the events in the films worked out differently. Examples shared included a zombified Captain America and Peggy Carter taking Steve Rogers’ place in the super-soldier experiment. Hayley Atwell was on hand for the announcement as she will be starring in the series. Feige also announced that almost the entire cast of the MCU will be lending their voices to this series.
“What If…?” premieres on Disney+ in 2021.