We recently had the amazing opportunity to attend the Disney D23 Expo 2013 and we saw and learned so much while attending. One Panel that stood above the rest was the Disney Interactive panel! The folks behind the scenes did an amazing job bringing this panel to D23 and it truly was a magical experience.
Co-Presidents Jimmy Pitaro and John Pleasant came out to introduce four new exciting projects.
We were given the World Premiere of first look at BLANK a Vinylmation: A Love Story. This was the first of twelve episodes that will be available for viewing online at http://www.Disney.com/Blank. The story follows a vinylmation figure that has not been colored or patterned; he is Blank. Blank’s story is about his ability to create his own path and destiny. The series is shot in stop motion with actual vinylmation figures. While stop motion is in itself an amazing artistic expression, to add to the beauty of the piece, there is no dialogue. The characters have no mouths so how would they speak anyways? The first episode is so cute and touching and gives such a high hope for the rest of the series. I can’t wait to see it! I even bought my own Blank Vinylmation figures at D23 since I loved it so much!
It’s a Small World will be a web series that follows the adventures of a group of children that travel around the world in a hot air balloon. This is of course inspired from the famous and long lasting theme park ride: It’s a Small World. Not much more was said regarding this project, but the image of children from all around the world gathering in a large hot air balloon definitely says a lot.
Coming from the video game area of Disney Interactive is Fantasia Music Evolved and Disney Infinity.
Fantasia Music Evolved is literally the next step in the evolution behind the concept of Fantasia. In 1940, Walt Disney brought classical music to a new level of interpretation by putting animated images to famous symphonic works. In 1999, Disney gives us Fantasia 2000 which updates the idea with new takes on classical music. Coming in 2014 Fantasia takes its next evolutionary step as an interactive experience. Using motion sensor technology, Fantasia will immerse you in fantastic worlds where you will control the music. The example displayed to us was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. As the song plays you follow the note cues and change the version of the song while it’s playing. It begins with the original version, but a couple minutes in you can switch it to an instrument only version, then you can switch it to a stadium performance, then after unlocking a manipulation key, you can alter guitar solos. You have the ability to alter the song so as to make it your own unique performance.
After the demonstration we were given a special surprise treat. Conductor Inon Zur came out to conduct the Disney Chamber Ensemble in Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Winter, the first movement.
Next was Theodore Gray the founder of Touchpress and creator of an amazing new application that encompasses Disney Animation. The app is called simply Disney Animated. This is more than the average app. This is an entire interactive multi-media reference tool. This app allows you to see behind the scenes how animation is created, enables you to manipulate animated characters, gives you interactive view of animation models that no one is allowed to touch and even provides every single Disney Animated feature in frame by frame timelines. This is like having the keys to the Disney Animation Vault and running through all of it like a kid in a candy store. This app is so beyond amazing that no words that anyone can say will be able to convey the true awesomeness of it; I highly recommend you check it out now. I loved it so much I downloaded it during the presentation as I couldn’t wait to have it. I kid you not!
The final project discussed was AMAZING Disney Infinity Game. While all of the projects look fantastic, this is the one we were most excited to see. I’m sure you remember my coverage of the launch of this game when it was announced at the El Capitan in Hollywood some time ago. I’ve been counting the days until I heard more about it. If you don’t remember my post…
Disney Infinity is a new gaming platform that combines fun game play and collectible figurines. There are two modes; Play Set Mode and Toy Story Mode. In Play Set Mode your character enters a world based on an existing Disney or Pixar Universe. To choose a character to “play with” you simply select a figurine and place it on the platform and your character appears.
Each play-set is specific to its corresponding character, ie; Jack Sparrow on the Pirate Ship and Sully at Monsters University. But in Toy Box Mode the possibilities are literally infinite.
In Toy Box Mode you can put Mr. Incredible and big monster Sully together. In Toy Box Mode you can create your own environment and bring elements from other play-sets. Some of the creators even created a Disneyland for the characters to play in. You can create your own Disneyland! Again the possibilities are INFINITE!
Disney Infinity is available on the PS3, X-Box 360, Wii and WiiU gaming systems. The starter pack comes with 3 playable characters and their corresponding universes. Sully from Monsters U, Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles and Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Character figurines also available for playtime are each of The Incredibles, Davy Jones, Woody, Buzz, and Wreck-It Ralph to name just a few.
There are also Play-sets for The Lone Ranger and Cars. There is also a Disney Infinity Action App that you can download and use your Power of Imagination to bring the characters of the Disney Infinity game to life where ever you got. You can essentially take the game with you! You can create your own movies STARRING MR. INCREDIBLE, SULLEY, JACK SPARROW and YOU! I highly recommend you download it here NOW!
The amazing panel concluded with the fabulous folks at Disney Interactive giving us the amazing Fantasia Apprentice Mickey figure that they only made 5,000 of to us attendees. It’s the figure to the right in the picture below.
He’s amazing and he won’t be available for retail purchase until 2014! I can’t tell you how much we love this little character.
“…the most fun thing is for kids to be creative and to build.”-John Lasseter regarding Disney Infinity.
I can’t agree more! There are so many amazing things coming from Disney Interactive that I can’t wait to see in action!