What is it?
Amongst the flurry of your usually geek digest, you might have read quite a few things this weekend that has piqued your interest regarding a few of our favourite franchises. Most of this has emerged from a biennial expo event called D23 held in Anaheim California. But what is D23, and why should it matter?
D23 is basically Disney’s official fan club, and offers 3 membership tier levels (Gold, Silver and Free). It is named after Walt Disney, his arrival in Hollywood and the founding of the company in 1923. At its core level , the memberships provide access to its own website, Disney twenty-three (a quarterly publication), yearly member gifts, member events, member exclusive merchandise and the D23 Expo, a Disney fan convention, touted as “Bringing all things Disney under one roof.” D23 on occasion also offers exclusive tours of its Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California which it not generally open to the public.
Now, you may be thinking that this only appeals to ‘Disney’ fans, or you may even be against all things Disney in general, but the thing to pick out in all of the above is that the exclusive content doesn’t just cover its own animations, but also the franchise content now owned by the Disney behemoth, which includes Pixar films, the Star Wars universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and comics. Like most expo’s, it is filled with exclusive content, booth’s, talks, special guest celebrities, toys, models and other kinds of merchandising, but in this instance completely concentrated on Disney and its franchises. As mentioned within the introductions, Disney held their D23 expo over the weekend, and a ton of news was revealed. Here are some of the most recent reveals from the most recent D23 expo below:
Star Wars Land
Yes, Disney is creating a themed ‘land’ of Star Wars within its two big Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks in the USA. They will each occupy about 14 acres of land, and strive to immerse guests into the Star Wars Universe, occupied by many inhabitants; humanoid, aliens and even droids! Disney say that everything created will be part of their original storytelling, and nothing will be out of character or stray from the mythology. Early attractions confirmed are one ride that allows you to control the Millennium Falcon, and another attraction that will place guests in the middle of a battle. A fully fledged ‘Cantina’ will also be developed for people to visit.
Summary of everything else
Pixar Animation Studios presented the first looks of: The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory (yes this is still happening!), Zootopia, Moana, and Toy Story 4, which is said to be a toy love story!
Marvel Studios presented footage from Captain America: Civil War, and stills of the new Doctor Strange movie.
Walt Disney Pictures are doing a big drive of original and live action remakes, showing off Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Pete’s Dragon, The Finest Hours, and The Queen of Katwe.
Disney Interactive held presentations on its 3 big upcoming videos games: Star Wars: Battlefront, Disney Infinity 3.0 and Kingdom Hearts III
In addition to the above and also announced at D23, in celebration of the imminent release of Star Wars Battlefront, Sony are releasing a GORGEOUS Darth Vader-themed PS4 console for geeks to channel their inner dark side. Darth’s face is emblazoned on the chassis of the console, while the Dual Shock 4 has also been themed to closely match the colour scheme of Vader’s chest panel.
The console will come bundled with the Battlefront game, as well as a voucher to download 4 Star Wars Classics – Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Jedi Starfighter, and Star Wars Bounty Hunter all reworked for the PS4. The 1TB console will be available for us in the UK on November 19th.
The next D23 expo isn’t until 2017 now, and with Disney swallowing up more and more franchises we hold dear to our hearts, it looks like it might not be such a bad idea to cough up on one of those Disney fan club memberships to get the news first, and also exclusive access to the D23 in 2017. See you there?