Walt Disney Studios announces D23 Expo plans include The Muppets, The Avengers, Pixar sneak peeks, and celebrity guests

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Walt Disney Studios today announced their panels, presentations, and some celebrity guests that will be featured at the 2011 Disney D23 Expo, taking place Aug. 19-21 at the Anaheim Convention Center. On Saturday, August 20, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios Rich Ross will lead a 2.5 hour presentation that will include Disney’s The Muppets, John Carter, Disney•Pixar’s Brave, Marvel’s The Avengers, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and more.

Celebrities to make appearances as part of the Studios’ involvement in the D23 Expo will include 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.

Five small sessions will also be presented from the worlds of Pixar, including sneak peeks at Monsters University (the Monsters, Inc sequel/prequel) and Brave:

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).

On the Expo floor, fans can explore the world of The Walt Disney Studios with exhibits including:

Walt Disney Studios Animation Pavilion – Experience the art, technology, culture, and legacy of Walt Disney Animation Studios with filmmaker demonstrations, drawing classes, book signings, meet-and-greets, and art exhibits.

Walt Disney Studios In-Home Entertainment Pavilion – Dive into cutting-edge home entertainment technology and learn what the future holds for Disney movie fans, with sneak peeks of upcoming films in breathtaking high-definition Blu-ray 3D™ and more.

Inside Tides: Pirates of the Caribbean Film Prop Collection – Get an up-close look at an exclusive collection of detailed set pieces, props, and costumes from the billion-dollar blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

In addition, Expo attendees will also have access to advance screenings of a new 3D version of The Lion King and the upcoming ABC holiday special Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Tickets to D23 Expo 2011 are available at http://www.D23Expo.com.

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