Disney’s D23 Convention Now Officially A Comic Con Competitor

Disney and Marvel Studios bringing the noise to this month’s D23 Expo, including THE AVENGERS, OZ, JOHN CARTER and more.

A couple of months ago I theorized that the reason why Disney and Marvel Studios were almost completely sitting out Comic Con was that they would be saving themselves for the D23 Disney fan convention in August. And the official D23 line-up has been announced and what do you know, I was right.

D23, which runs August 19-21 in Anaheim, California, will include presentations about:

John Carter
The Muppets
Oz The Great and Powerful
and, of course
Marvel’s The Avengers 

That’s what I would have expected to see at a Disney panel at Comic Con, and it would have been one of the most powerhouse panels at San Diego. And the guest list?

Jason Segel, Kermit, and Miss Piggy (Disney’s The Muppets), Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, and Willem Dafoe (John Carter), Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd (Brave), Jennifer Garner (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), Jack McBrayer and Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It Ralph), cast members from Marvel’s The Avengers, and other surprise guests.

But that isn’t even all that D23 is doing. This is Pixar’s 25th anniversary, so they’re not only showcasing Brave, they’re doing a number of Pixar-oriented panels:

* A Conversation with the Pixar Creative Team – Enjoy a rare opportunity to spend some time with the key figures responsible for Pixar’s unprecedented success, including John Lasseter (chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios), Jim Morris (general manager, Pixar Animation Studios), Pete Docter (director, Monsters, Inc., Up), Andrew Stanton (director, Finding Nemo, WALL-E), Bob Peterson (co-director, Up), Lee Unkrich (director, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (director, Brave), and Dan Scanlon (director, Monsters University).

* The Characters of Monsters University – Director Dan Scanlon and Production Designer Ricky Nierva discuss how they combine hair, horns, and a lot of heart to bring the wonderful Monsters University characters to life.

* Michael Giacchino’s Music of Pixar – In this musical presentation, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino explores his early influences through the creation of modern-day classic scores from Ratatouille, Up and Cars 2.

* The Art of Brave – Production Designer Steve Pilcher and Shading Art Director Tia Kratter show how they and their team put paint to canvas and fingers to computer keys to create the stunning visuals of Scotland for Disney•Pixar’s upcoming film Brave.

* Pixar Shorts – This retrospective screening of the animation studio’s legendary short films will be followed by a panel discussion with several of the filmmakers, including Ralph Eggleston (director, For the Birds), Andy Jimenez (director, One Man Band), Angus MacLane (director, BURN-E), Pete Sohn (director, Partly Cloudy), Teddy Newton (director, Day & Night), and Enrico Casarosa (director, La Luna).

D23 has been an event that barely registered in the past, but this year it’s looking to take on serious baller status. And this is just what they’ve announced. Will Marvel tell us what their 2014 mystery movies are? What other surprises are in store? I’ll be there, so you can read all about it on Badass Digest.

And if you wanted to attend, here’s a link where you can buy tickets. All the cool movie stuff is happening on Saturday.

Hat tip to Brian Henne.