Monday, August 22, 2011

D23 expo: So that happened

After all the excitement and build up to the D23 expo, it pains me to say that it wasn't quite as mind-blowing as the first one in 2009.

While the event was still fun and entertaining, some of the logistical issues got in the way of a good time.

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the three day Disney convention was the much anticipated Avengers footage. Marvel specifically skipped comic-con to save the big reveal for D23. In hindsight that may have been a mistake.
While the Disney crowd gave the film's stars a hero's welcome, the buzz may have been stronger post comic-con than it has been post D23.

Tim was one of the lucky few to get into the studio presentation and was in full geek out mode as he described the footage in detail.

In one scene Nick Fury confronts a captured Loki, who is being held in a cell in the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. In the other clip, Tony Stark describes his team to Loki saying they have two assassins, a demigod, a living legend who actually lives up to the legend and of course The Hulk.
It sounds awesome and makes May seem too far away. Hopefully, Marvel will release the clips online soon, so the rest of the world can geek out.

The movie studio panel also included the first look at character drawings from "Monsters University." In the prequel Mike and Sully are in college learning how to become the Monsters fans know and love.

Billy Crystal was on hand to talk about returning to Monsteropolis with John Goodman and Steve Buscemi. Producers said the film will feature all the college cliches like jocks, nerds and goths.
The other big highlight was the appearance of The Muppets to promote their upcoming film. Kermit the Frog and writer/star Jason Segal previewed new clips and delighted crowds with classic Muppet humor.
It was an especially nice moment since Muppets creator Jim Henson had been honored as a Disney Legend the day before. Henson's son and daughter accepted on his behalf, with his son Brian performing a musical number accompanied by his puppet friends.

Also honored as Disney Legends were TV personality Regis Philbin, Disney princess voice actresses Linda Larkin, Lea Salonga, Anika Noni Rose and Jodie Benson.

Joining the expo for the first time was Marvel Comics. Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada gave fans a history lesson on how the company was started, where some of its most popular characters came from and how they decided to develop "The Avengers" franchise.

Though it was interesting, the time could have been better served by promoting upcoming projects like "Ultimate Spider Man #1," the Richard Storm "Castle" graphic novel or maybe reshowing "Avengers" footage for those he didn't see it the first time.

For fans only familar with the films the studio produces, it was a wasted opportunity for Marvel to make a big splash its first time at the expo.

Overall it was a fun experience for die hard Disney fans to see everything they wanted in one place, however, event organizers were unprepared for the large number of attendees and the lack of preparation made for a hectic expo.

As of right now the D23 expo is scheduled to return in 2013.

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