Still flying from winning their Creative Arts Emmy the day before, the cast of Disney Channel’s Wizard of Waverly Place held a panel on Sunday in which thousands of fans were treated also to a brief runway fashion show showing off a clothing line inspired by the show, the premiere of the third season (which airs October 9) and a performance by Disney recording artist Honor Society. Hosted by Radio Disney’s Ernie D, the only cast member unable to appear was David DeLuise who had broken his clavicle at the awards ceremony.
Just prior to the D23 Auction, a ceremony was held in which the winner of the official Donald Duck portrait was announced. The contest was held in honor of Donald’s 75th Anniversary and took advantage of recently-discovered unawarded Duckster awards within the Walt Disney Archives. The award, originally commissioned by Walt Disney, has been awarded less than two dozen times and has not been given out in at least two decades.
Mickey and Donald joined the stage as the winning portrait was unveiled, announcing Jennifer Sleeper as the winner.
Congratulations to Jennifer and all of the other well-deserved finalists.
The D23 Expo Auction event kicked off with ‘Rhythm and Hue’ artist David Garibaldi taking the stage (and often taking to the air). Using a combination of music, movement, paint and inspiration, Garibaldi (who once toured with the Blue Man Group) creates portraits of cultural and historical icons in just 5-7 minutes each right before the audiences’ eyes in a super dynamic performance.
Between paintings (three in all), David would address the crowd and offer words of inspiration and dream chasing, citing his own years as a misguided youth as a street graffiti artist.
Each of David’s three paintings that night were also introduced as surprise lots during the auction. His rendition of Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, a landscape-oriented portrait (rare for Garibaldi), was not only performed for the first time ever during the event, but also provided one of the auction’s more intense moments with a heated bidding war to help close the night.
Below is a photo gallery of David’s performance of his second two paintings of the night along with some photos from backstage where Garibaldi signed and even dedicated his pieces — at least when he wasn’t being bombarded by his legions of fans.
As always, click on any thumbnail to see a larger version or click on the PicLens link to start the slideshow and be sure to check out Garibaldi Arts.
It was news when it was announced that Dick Cook would be a keynote speaker at the D23 Expo on behalf of the Walt Disney Studios. It was big news when it was announced that he would be joined on stage by actor Nicolas Cage. It was headlines when D23 announced at the eleventh hour that directors Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton would also take the stage. But what literally thousands of rabid Disney fans bore witness to this morning defies any category of news. Filled with exclusives and celebrities upon celebrities, even those who had an inkling there was more than Disney was letting on couldn’t have imagined what the Walt Disney Studio managed to pull off in front of the capacity crowd.
Getting settled in your seat, it was impossible not to notice the orchestra setup at stage right – you knew then you were in for something a little extra. The lights dim and the orchestra fills the Arena with epic theme music as clips from Disney films begin to play. Then you start to hear singing voices as a 10 person choir chimes in when there are lyrics to be sung. Theme song after theme song, movie after movie, from Snow White to the Proposal and everything in-between. It has to be at least, oh, I don’t know… 23 minutes long. An absolute masterpiece crafted by Barnette Richie with music and songs sync’d perfectly every frame of the way, remarkably demonstrated by an extended clip of a musical number from Enchanted mid-way.
Then Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook took the stage. He talked of his love for the company ever since he started as a steam train and monoral operator at the Disneyland Resort some 40 years ago. He spoke of quality being the underlying factor in movies produced by the studio. He talked about the animation studios and upcoming projects such as Cars 2 and Rapunzel which will be covered in depth when John Lasseter takes the same stage on Sunday. He talked about how for the first time in history the Walt Disney Studios will open its gate to the public and invite them to see a limited pre-release engagement of The Princess and the Frog in the studio’s newly renovated state-of-the-art theater as well as the special engagement in New York City’s famous Ziegfeld Theatre.
He acknowledged the work of Miramax before turning to the Touchstone Pictures label and its newest upcoming release The Last Song, written by Nicholas Sparks for and starring Miley Cyrus. And he mentioned the upcoming sequel Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride.
Every day at the D23 Expo, from approximately 12 pm – 2 pm, attendees are treated to a look at upcoming Vinylmation releases. For Thursday – Saturday, this opportunity includes Vinylmation product developer Donald Ferro. Donald took some time out to show me some of the figures that have never been on display up until now, which you can see below. We also talked about new Vinylmation products such as the 3″ colored blank for those who prefer to begin with a non-white base canvas. Pictured below, the blanks will initially come in red, black, yellow, pink and purple colors with the potential to retire and/or introduce new colors along the way.
Enjoy footage from the exciting events and announcements from the Walt Disney Studios presentation featuring WDS Chairman Dick Cook. Dick welcomes numerous celebrities to the stage for the event including directors Robert Zemeckis, Jerry Bruckheimer and Tim Burton, actors John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Ella Bleu Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, the Muppets, a performance by Miley Cyrus and more. Plus see what the fans have to say! Footage courtesy of Disney
Below is some footage provided to us by Disney from both the Bob Iger address and the induction of both Betty White and Robin Williams into the Disney’s Legends program. Enjoy!
Scheduled to begin at 10 am, the address by Disney President and CEO Bob Iger actually began at 10:30 am. Although it was clear by the fact that the 4,000 seat Arena was still having guests being ushered in after checking all cameras and cell phones and being wanded by security, it wasn’t until Iger took the stage that he declared the popularity of the address the ultimate cause for the delay. Popularity is a major understatement as well as although the address was set to begin at 10, D23 Expo guests came to the Anaheim Convention Center as early as 4 AM to wait for the doors to open at approximately 6:45 AM, only to immediately go wait in another line to enter the Arena.
The presentation began with a powerful video that really underlined the expanse and reach of The Walt Disney Company. Not just the conglomeration of individual divisions, but how the company is experienced by people the world over (indeed I learned that there was a reporter from Russia covering the event). The titles quickly formed the sentence ‘Every Minute of Every Hour, Someone is Experience the Disney Difference’ (or somthing to that effect) and flashed through snippets of productions past and productions yet to come in all mediums. The film ended with flashing The Walt Disney Company over and over in different languages.
Then Iger took the stage and talked about the birth of D23, how he would constantly have guests ask him why there was no way for Disney to reach out to its customer base and how a visit to the Walt Disney Archives became the catalyst for D23. He talked about how only a company like Disney could have the type of fan base that would enable them to pull off a convention like the D23 Expo.
Crediting it all to the fans, Iger talked about being a fan of Disney himself as a child. A brief mention of the Mickey Mouse Club quickly transitioned to a lengthy ode to Davy Crockett. Anette, he said, was cute, but she had nothing on Davy.
Prior to the ABCs of Disney event, the stars (minus Tom Bergeron and Courteney Cox) appeared on a small red carpet for photos and media interviews, mostly by outlets like Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight. I actually stumbled onto this event by accident when determining what the queue would be like for the event and was initially told I had the wrong type of pass to be allowed into the area, but the cast members had a change of heart and let me in and even called for a media host to be assigned to me so I wouldn’t have any further issues.
It’s the eve of D23 Expo and Mickey’s hard at work making sure everything goes off without a hitch. Join Mickey Mouse as he checks out The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives and all sorts of things going up for the Expo like the 5’3″ Buzz Lightyear made entirely of LEGO bricks and the fully interactive Storytellers’ Sandbox from Walt Disney Imagineering. Footage courtesy of Disney.