D23 Expo 2017 – Animation Session – Wreck-It Ralph 2 – Ralph Breaks the Internet

Up next at the D23 Expo Animation Panel, Walt Disney Animation presents Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet. John Lassiter brings out the voice of Vanellope, Sarah Silverman.

Wreck-It Ralph 2 finds Vanellope in trouble when the game Candy Crush is broken. Ralph has to go to the internet to find a replacement part. Fans are shown a clip of Ralph, Vanellope, and the new character, Yesss (Taraji P. Henson). We see them entering the OhMyDisney.com website and they come across all of the Disney Princesses. Vanellope decides to mess around with their, but in turn, she learns a valuable lesson.

By Disney Princesses, we mean all the Disney Princesses and their original voices.

D23 Expo 2017 – Animation Session – Frozen & Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

This Thanksgiving, Walt Disney Animation is bringing fans Olaf’s Frozen Adventure as the opening short in front of Pixar’s Coco.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure takes place during the first Christmas after the events of Frozen. For the first time, Anna and Elsa will spend the holidays together and they want to throw a party, but all of the villagers want to go home and be with their family.

Since the sisters have never celebrated Christmas together, Olaf and Swen decide to go into town and research the Christmas traditions of the townsfolk. The short will feature four new songs.

During the session, John Lassiter brings out Kristen Bell to talk about the short and show a clip. Halfway through the clip, the sound goes out and Josh Gad appears to sing Olaf’s song live.

Lassiter also announces that Frozen 2 is in the works and that the original cast will be back and Frozen 2 will not be the final title. The final title will also not be “Thawed” or “Frozen Assets.”

No story details were discussed, but we were shown footage of the animator’s trip to Norway, Iceland, and Finland.

D23 Expo 2017 – Animation Session – Disneytoon Studios

D23 kicked off its Animation Session with an update on Disney’s little-known animation studio, Disneytoon Studios. Disneytoon is known for producing Disney’s direct to DVD Tinkerbell series and the underperforming Planes, starring Dane Cook.

Disney Chief Creative Officer John Lassister said that Disneytoon Studios is moving in a new direction. Animators have been researching the ever changing nature of planes and jet  and presented a short film called “Speed Test.” The short revealed a photo-realistic mountainous backdrop with jets. Think Cars and Top Gun. Nothing more was announced.

Despicable Me 3 – Movie Review

Newly married ex-villain Gru (Steve Carrell) discovers he has a twin brother in Despicable Me 3.

Release Date: June 30, 2017
Writer: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon
Cast: Steve Carrell, Kristin Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Pierre Coffin

Despicable Me 3 starts a few months after the events of Despicable Me 2, but that really doesn’t mean anything other than Gru and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are married and now a crime fighting team. This introduces us to the film’s villain Balthazar Bratt, voiced brilliantly by Trey Parker. Bratt is a former child actor, who starred as a really bad villainous child. His show ended once puberty kicked in and is no longer a cute child. Now he is just a villainous villain looking to destroy Hollywood with a giant robot likeness of himself.

When Gru and Lucy fail to stop Bratt from stealing a giant pink diamond, they are fired from the Anti-Villain League (AVL) by its new leader Valarie da Vinci (Jenny Slate). Before I go one, this begins the start of four parallel plots.

The first is defeating Balthazar Bratt. Bratt wants revenge on Hollywood for canceling his show and ending his acting career. He plans to destroy the city using his giant robot and his giant laser. The giant laser can only be used with the giant diamond, he stole.

Second, the recently fired Lucy is finding it difficult to be the mother to Gru’s kids: Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith and Agnes. She gets along with them fine, but she is unable to be a parental authority to the children.

Third, now that Gru is no longer a hero or villain, the minion lead by Mel (Pierre Coffin) quit and look for a new villain to follow. This leads them to slapstick hijinks on their path to jail for more slapstick hijinks.

Fourth, Gru discovers that he has a twin brother, Dru (Steve Carrell). Dru was raised in the country of Freedonia, the world’s largest producer of pigs. Dru feels like a failure in his father’s eyes because he never became a great villain like his brother Gru, Gru tricks drew into stealing the diamond from Bratt…in a villain-like way to foil Bratt’s plan and hopefully get his job back at the AVL.

Let’s start with what’s great about Despicable Me 3. It’s funny. The minions are back with their cuteness and their adult-type humor. I laughed a lot. The kids in the theater laughed and laughed. I had to buy my daughter a minion plush after the movie. Trey Parker is also brilliant as Baltazar Bratt in his first voice role not created by him. He vocally exemplifies evil childishness. He is also accompanied by an awesome 80’s soundtrack. Like the movie, Baby Driver, he can only commit his crimes while playing songs like Michael Jackson’s Bad.

The problem with Despicable Me 3 is the sweetness of the relationship he has with the kids is now passed on to Dru, which is not as sweet. Also, the fact that there are four plots in this movie means that sufficient time is not available to adequately address each plot. Every conflict is resolved quickly we are unable to connect emotionally. That was the charm of the first two Despicable Me film, Gru trying to win the hearts of the three girls.

Despicable Me 3 is a great film for kids and a good time will be had. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the emotional punch behind it that made us love the previous films.