This year's D23 expo will see both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios joining up with Disney's live-action team for a monumental presentation. Disney's biennial convention has become one of the industry's most-anticipated events, even rivaling San Diego Comic-Con, which occurs a full month beforehand. This is obviously due to the big name studios that now live under the umbrella of the Mouse House, such as the Star Wars and Marvel franchises, alongside Disney's already incredibly successful film and animation studios. But 2019 has also earned Disney an array of other properties. Earlier this year, the company bought 21st Century Fox assets for a whopping $71.3 billion, which gave them the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. Unfortunately, Fox projects will not be showcased at this year's expo, but it gives attendees some insight into how future conventions will look.
Disney's exponential growth over the years has also proven to be a concerning one for Hollywood. It gives the Mouse House control of about 40 percent of the domestic box office, making it far more difficult for their competitors to squeeze into the picture. It's also left filmmakers concerned that less films will be produced now due to Disney's overwhelming demands. But, despite these concerns, Disney is confidently putting its best foot forward with a stacked slate of releases for industry professionals to dig into.
According to Disney, both Pixar and Walt Disney animation will be "sharing never-before-seen footage—plus interactive displays, artist autograph signings, sharable photo opportunities, and giveaways," at this year's expo. They promised that this year's presentation will surprise attendees with "new announcements, surprise talent appearances, and sneak peeks of select scenes from the films." Along with all of the showroom floor excitement, expo-goers will get to see a first look at Frozen 2, and Pixar's upcoming projects Onward and Soul. They'll also be holding a panel for Walt Disney Animation's new program called Short Circuit, which is "an experimental short film program that will debut in Spring 2020 on Disney+."
Not only will Disney have a lot to cover in the realm of animation, but their highly anticipated streaming service, Disney+, will also be a major point of discussion at this year's expo. The streaming service is set to contain a slew of original content. Everything from new live-action movies to Star Wars' live-action series The Mandalorian to Marvel's vast array of live-action shows, alongside old Disney animation and Disney channel properties, will be available to stream. The amount of content appears endless and overwhelming, but Disney has promised quality over quantity when it comes to their content.
That's easily one of Disney's best qualities: their ability to make high-quality content in the over-saturated market. A lot of their success derives from how well-done some of their properties are, which can easily be seen from their skyrocketing box office numbers. Almost everyone loves what they produce, hence the rising popularity of D23. So, even though they dominate a majority of the filmmaking sphere, at least they're putting their all into making content that moviegoers can enjoy. They truly care about the properties that they control and want to do right by them. One can only hope that rival production companies will manage to stay afloat in the Mouse House's filmmaking flood.
- Frozen II (2019) release date: Nov 22, 2019
- Onward (2020) release date: Mar 06, 2020