Disney Post | Official Blog of The Walt Disney Company

Disney Post | Official Blog of the Walt Disney Company

August 28, 2015

Disney News This Week: Pixar in a Box Launches on Khan Academy, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Products To Be Revealed in Global Unboxing Event and Disney Television Animation Announces Key Executive Appointments

By Beth Deitchman, The Walt Disney Company

Pixar in a Box, a new online resource that explores the academic concepts behind Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process, went live on KhanAcademy.org on Thursday, August 27. The free online curriculum uses video lessons, interactive exercises and hands-on activities to help students discover how the academic concepts they learn in school enable Pixar filmmakers to create movie magic. Pixar in a Box has been designed especially for students in middle and high school, but the resources are available to learners of all ages. “Learning makes us beginners again,” said Ed Catmull, president, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. “In my experience, creativity involves missteps and imperfections, which is one more reason it is important for every one of us to keep learning—in order to remain flexible and keep our brains nimble. By working with Khan Academy on Pixar in a Box, we hope to encourage the excitement of learning and creative thinking for middle and high school students and to provide the tools to do it.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens products are set to be unveiled in a global live toy unboxing event that will unfold over 18 hours in 15 cities and 12 countries. The event—the first of its kind—will feature top digital stars from the Maker Studios network. The Star Wars YouTube channel will host the live stream, which kicks off in Sydney, Australia at 7:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, September 3 (5:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 2) and concludes with a grand finale at Lucasfilm in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PT (11 a.m. ET) on Thursday, September 3. A new product inspired by the upcoming film will be revealed at each of the 15 locations. To learn more about the event and the online personalities who will be participating, visit StarWars.com.

On Wednesday, August 26, Disney Television Animation (TVA) announced several key executive appointments that have been made to further bolster the content development pipeline for the Disney Junior, Disney Channel and Disney XD branded platforms. In recognition of the bold innovation going on at TVA, Eric Coleman has been named senior vice president, Original Programming, and General Manager, Disney Television Animation; in addition, Jonathan Schneider has been promoted to vice president, Strategy; Aaron Simpson has joined the company as vice president, Development; Shane Prigmore has been appointed to the role of vice president, Creative Affairs; and Bonnie Lemon has joined the company as vice president, Production. Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said in the announcement, “Through Eric’s selfless leadership and firm grasp on every aspect of storytelling, Jonathan’s extraordinarily collaborative style and Shane’s incredible artistic talent, the TV Animation team, led by some of the most innovative minds in the animation industry today, is poised to continue delivering the highest quality creative content.” He continued, “We’re thrilled to welcome Bonnie and Aaron to our Production and Development teams to expertly manage the complexity of TVA's productions, both in development and on air, as we continue to expand our content slate.” The announcement comes on the heels of TVA’s most successful year ever, with a portfolio of series that includes the Emmy® and Annie Award-winning Mickey Mouse shorts, Gravity Falls and the new series Star vs. The Forces of Evil, which recently premiered with Disney XD’s No. 1 most watched animated series debut ever in Total Viewers.

Pixar in a Box, a new online resource that explores the academic concepts behind Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process, went live on KhanAcademy.org on Thursday, August 27.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens products are set to be unveiled in a global live toy unboxing event that will unfold over 18 hours in 15 cities and 12 countries. The event—the first of its kind—will feature top digital stars from the Maker Studios network.
On Wednesday, August 26, Disney Television Animation (TVA) announced several key executive appointments that have been made to further bolster the content development pipeline for the Disney Junior, Disney Channel and Disney XD branded platforms.
August 26, 2015

‘The Force Awakens’ in Epic Global Toy Unboxing Event on YouTube

By Amelia Lukiman, Disney Consumer Products

Since the announcement of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans around the world have been looking forward to all things Star Wars, including film-inspired toys that have always played a role in how fans experience the Star Wars universe. As a lead up to the highly-anticipated release of the feature film, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media today announced that Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will be unveiled in the world’s first-ever global live toy unboxing event. Featuring highlights from the range of epic new merchandise, the event will roll out in a New Year’s Eve style celebration unfolding over 18 hours in 15 cities and 12 countries.

The online live stream event will feature talent from the Maker Studios network, giving fans a first look at film-inspired toys ahead of the midnight madness at retail on September 4 known as “Force Friday.” Kicking off in Sydney, Australia on the morning of September 3, and continuing through Asia, Europe, Canada, and North and South America, selections from the new toy line will debut to global fanfare leading up to retailers around the globe opening their doors at midnight.

“Over the course of 18 hours, some of Maker Studios’ biggest stars will each be unboxing a new toy from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens product line in a different city around the world and sharing the experience live on YouTube,” said Leslie Ferraro, President, Disney Consumer Products. “We’ve seen tremendous excitement for these new products and can’t wait to see the global reaction from the Star Wars fan community.”

The Star Wars YouTube channel will host the live stream, which kicks off with the first unboxing in Sydney, Australia at 7:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, September 3 (5:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 2), with the grand finale at Lucasfilm in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Thursday, September 3. Each of the 15 locations will reveal a never-before-seen product inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Fans can tune in to watch live unboxings at home or on mobile devices, and also enjoy the latest trailers on the upcoming movie, commentary from special guests, fun product videos and demos, and footage from recent Star Wars events. Check out www.StarWars.com for the full live stream schedule as well as more details on retailers participating in “Force Friday.”

Fans are encouraged to document their experiences around the event on social media using the hashtag #ForceFriday.

Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media today announced that Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will be unveiled in the world’s first-ever global live toy unboxing event.
August 21, 2015

Disney News This Week: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Announces New Lands and Enhancements, The Walt Disney Studios Reveals Details About its Upcoming Slate and Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Unveil New Titles and Updates at D23 EXPO 2015

By Beth Deitchman, The Walt Disney Company

 

 

On Saturday, August 15, at D23 EXPO 2015, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (WDPR) announced new attractions and entertainment coming to Disney parks around the globe. Saturday morning in the 7,500-seat Hall D23, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger revealed plans for two 14-acre lands themed to Star Wars that will be built at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. Later that afternoon, WDPR Chairman Bob Chapek took the stage to reveal additional expansions and enhancements. Toy Story Land will come to life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Chapek announced, and he also revealed that the new land coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be named Pandora—The World of AVATAR. Beginning next year, guests at Epcot and Disney California Adventure park will enjoy Soarin' Around the World, while Hong Kong Disneyland guests will immerse themselves in the world of one of their favorite Super Heroes at Iron Man Experience, opening in 2016. For updates and more details, visit the Disney Parks Blog.

 

 

Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter hosted Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Hall D23 presentation on Friday, August 14, at D23 EXPO 2015, where he announced that Disney has begun production on Gigantic, a unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk” that features music from Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Frozen). The film is slated for release in 2018. Grammy®-winning international superstar Shakira is bringing her voice to Zootopia, which hits theaters March 4, 2016, while Dwayne Johnson will lend his voice to the mighty demi-god Maui in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana, which opens on November 23, 2016. Lasster also revealed the title of the upcoming film from director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and producer Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3): Coco, a Dia de los Muertos-themed film that is “the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion.” With the help of cast members Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, and Kaitlin Olson, new details were revealed about Finding Dory (opening June 17, 2016); and Lasseter, co-director Josh Cooley, producer Galyn Susman, and screenwriters Rashida Jones and Will McCormick told Disney fans that Toy Story 4—scheduled to open June 16, 2017—will be a love story between Woody and Bo Peep.

 

 

The slates for Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm were presented at D23 EXPO 2015 on Saturday, August 15. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige provided sneak peeks of Marvel’s Doctor Strange (opening November 4, 2016) and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War (opening May 6, 2016); while Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, shared updates on The Finest Hours (opening January 29, 2016), The Jungle Book (opening April 15, 2016), Alice Through the Looking Glass (opening May 27, 2016), Pete’s Dragon (August 12, 2016), Queen of Katwe, and the live-action musical Beauty and the Beast (opening March 17, 2017). Bailey also introduced a surprise guest, newly inducted Disney Legend Johnny Depp, who will appear in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (opening July 7, 2017). Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn presented the Lucasfilm slate and timeline: Episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens December 18, 2015; Episode VIII, to be directed by Rian Johnson, is slated for release on May 26, 2017; and Episode IX—which will be directed by Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World)—is scheduled for release in 2019. Additionally, the first standalone story in the new Star Wars stories series, Rogue One, has commenced photography under the director of Gareth Edwards and will be released December 16, 2016, while the Untitled Han Solo film is slated for release on May 25, 2018 and will be directed by Christopher Miller & Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon writing the screenplay.

On Saturday, August 15, at D23 EXPO 2015, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (WDPR) announced new attractions and entertainment coming to Disney parks around the globe.
Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter hosted Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Hall D23 presentation on Friday, August 14, at D23 EXPO 2015.
The slates for Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm were presented at D23 EXPO 2015 on Saturday, August 15.
August 20, 2015

Disney Hosts Summit to Promote Supplier Diversity and Inclusion

By Cynthia Momdjian, The Walt Disney Company

Diversity is critical to the way we do business at Disney. By fostering an environment where a broad range of opinions, ideas and perspectives can be shared, we are better able to bring a broad range of experiences to entertain our distinct guests around the globe.

The Supplier Diversity team at the Company helps bring a rich diversity of voices and businesses to Disney. One way they accomplish this goal is through ensuring that minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned business enterprises are considered for inclusion in the Company’s supply chain.

Last month, the team hosted nearly 100 companies—from industries such as marketing, technology and corporate services—on the Studio lot at The Walt Disney Company Southern California Supplier Diversity Summit. The event is one of three annual summits the Company holds for potential suppliers in Southern California, Connecticut and Florida—the major geographic regions where Disney businesses operate.

Along with spending a day at Disney’s headquarters, entrepreneurs and business owners had the opportunity to learn about Disney’s business operations and needs to serve its worldwide audience. Attendees also met Disney employees from all around the Company and heard from diverse suppliers who already are part of Disney’s supply chain.

“Including minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned business enterprises in Disney’s supply chain creates a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” said Eugene Campbell, vice president, Supplier Diversity, The Walt Disney Company. “The summit is an opportunity for Disney teams to identify and meet potential suppliers who can provide value for their businesses.”

Last month, the Supplier Diversity team hosted nearly 100 companies—from industries such as marketing, technology and corporate services—on the Studio lot at The Walt Disney Company Southern California Supplier Diversity Summit.
August 18, 2015

Disney VoluntEARS Show Support for Education at UNCF Los Angeles Walk

By Cynthia Momdjian, The Walt Disney Company

This past Saturday, Disney VoluntEARS celebrated the start of the back-to-school season by participating in the 33rd Annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) 5K Walk for Education in Los Angeles. Employees from Disney, ABC and ESPN joined community organizations from throughout Southern California for the fun 5K walk celebrating education and in support of the 60,000 students UNCF helps attend college each year.

Earlier this year, The Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million commitment to UNCF that will provide scholarships to outstanding African American students. The first recipients of The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program are heading to campuses around the country this fall. Those students and future recipients will receive scholarships, as well as support through tools and resources, that will make college and their career aspirations more accessible.

The program also will create a career resource that will be available to a broad network of African American students, in addition to the scholarship recipients.

Eligible students may apply for The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program in Spring 2016.

Disney VoluntEARS celebrated the start of the back-to-school season by participating in the 33rd Annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) 5K Walk for Education in Los Angeles.
Disney VoluntEARS celebrated the start of the back-to-school season by participating in the 33rd Annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) 5K Walk for Education in Los Angeles.

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