For the first time ever, three of Disney’s signature streaming services, Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, will showcase their variety of original and exclusive content through immersive show floor pavilions, live demos, never-before-seen content, and special experiences at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California.
Guests will be the first to experience Disney+ before it launches in the U.S. on November 12. They will also get to step into the world of ESPN+ Original shows with an interactive exhibit, and discover costumes and show props from Hulu’s award-winning original content and on-demand streaming library.
On the Expo show floor, the Disney+ Pavilion will offer guests demonstrations of the live Disney+ app as experienced across mobile and connected TV devices, showcasing the unprecedented collection of entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. Guests will also see costumes and props from Disney+ Originals and have the opportunity to subscribe to the service with a special offer available exclusively to Expo attendees and D23 Members.
Off of the show floor, Disney+ will make its debut appearance in the 6,800-seat Hall D23 and D23 Expo Arena venues:
Disney+ First Look Showcase
Friday, August 23, 3:30 p.m., Hall D23
Fans won’t want to miss this exclusive preview of Disney+ and its exciting slate of original films and series from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. Yvette Nicole Brown (Lady and the Tramp, Elena of Avalor) will host this star-studded presentation packed with never-before-seen content, surprise guests, performances, and reveals, including a first look at Lady and the Tramp, The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and many more.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Sneak Peek Screening and Panel
Friday, August 23, 5:30 p.m., D23 Arena
Before the global phenomenon returns in a brand-new series on Disney+, Expo guests are invited to a special advance screening of the first episode and panel with the talented new cast on the arena stage.
At the ESPN+ Pavilion guests will have the opportunity to see and connect with exciting original content, with two interactive exhibits dedicated to new programs making their ESPN+ debut this summer, Peyton’s Places (with five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning) and SneakerCenter.
Peyton’s Places: Peyton’s Places is a 30-episode documentary series hosted by Peyton Manning, exclusively on ESPN+. Produced by ESPN+ and NFL Films, the series offers a fun, insightful tour through 100 years of football, following the sport and the league’s rise to an American cultural touchstone. For nearly a year, Manning has crisscrossed the country, visiting the people and places that have played an important part in the making of the NFL—highlighting memorable events, teams, players, and trends over the past century. Peyton’s Places begins streaming on ESPN+ in late July.
SneakerCenter: SneakerCenter is a series devoted to sneaker culture across sports, entertainment, and more. Told by the star athletes, artists, enthusiasts, and brands powering the global sneaker marketplace, each episode of SneakerCenter will be anchored by a unique narrative, supported by a rotating set of “mixtape-style” segments that take fans deep into every aspect of the sneaker movement. Directed by award-winning filmmaker and acclaimed author Bobbito García, a special preview episode featuring NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is streaming now, with the full series premiering in the fall.
The Hulu Pavilion will be home to more than 20 iconic costumes and artifacts, including the famous red robe worn by the likes of Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale, paintings featured in season one of Castle Rock, and George Clooney’s Catch-22 costume. In addition to costumes, visitors to the interactive exhibit will be able to get a close look at show props from upcoming Hulu Originals like Little Fires Everywhere and select shows found in Hulu’s streaming library, such as The Good Doctor, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Goldbergs.
Disney+ Pavilion Stage Programming
Additionally, the Disney+ Pavilion Stage will host three full days of panels, highlighting the service’s diverse originals and its collection of beloved movies and shows, along with special ESPN+ panel programming.
The tentative schedule is as follows with times subject to change:
Friday, August 23
10 a.m. ESPN+ Presents Peyton’s Places Special Screening and NFL 100th Anniversary Trivia
12 p.m. Walt Disney Animation Studios Panel with Eric Goldberg and Mark Henn
12:30 p.m. The World According to Jeff Goldblum Q&A with Jeff Goldblum
1:15 p.m. Phineas and Ferb Conversation with Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh
Saturday, August 24
10 a.m. ESPN+ Presents SneakerCenter Panel moderated by show director Bobbito Garcia
11 p.m. ESPN+ Presents SneakerCenter Demonstration by Mr. Cartoon
12 p.m. Stargirl Performance and Panel
1 p.m. The Simpsons Trivia with Yeardley Smith
1:15 p.m. Marvel’s Hero Project Panel with Sana Amanat, Sarah Amos and Stephen Wacker
2:30 p.m. Forky Asks a Question and Lamp Life Creative Panel with Val LaPointe, Bob Peterson, Mark Nielsen, and Marc Sondheimer
3 p.m. Secret Society of Second Born Royals Q&A with Peyton Elizabeth Lee and Skylar Astin
Sunday, August 25
10:45 a.m. Prop Culture Movie Prop Showcase and Q&A with Dan Lanigan, Jason Henry, Tony Swatton, and Fon Davis
11:15 a.m. Be Our Chef Games with Angela Kinsey
12 p.m. Monsters At Work Behind-the-Scenes Presentation with Bobs Gannaway and Ferrell Barron
12:45 p.m. The Imagineering Story Conversation with Leslie Iwerks and Bob Weis
1:15 p.m. Short Circuit Creative Panel
3:30 p.m. Pixar’s SparkShorts Screening
5 p.m. ESPN+ Hosted DJ Wrap
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!