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Disney's D23 Expo rolls out much anticipated star-studded Disney+ online service

2019/8/27 10:08:25   source:Xinhua

A throng of Disney superfans - many clad as superheroes or Disney princesses - waited impatiently at the entrances of the Anaheim Convention Center near Disneyland in Orange County, the United States, on Friday, eagerly anticipating their chance for a sneak peek at Disney's coming attractions at the company's ultimate fan event, the D23 Expo-2019.

The D23 is the official fan club for the Disney Company. The D23 Expo is held every two years to reward Disney superfans for their community-building and devotion to all things Disney and to get word-of-mouth and social media kicked into hypergear. Disney brings their worlds of film, TV, theme parks and celebrities together for their fans to enjoy.

Heavy-hitters, Bob Iger, Chairman, CEO and visionary behind the expansion of Disney to become the world's largest entertainment company; Kevin Mayer, Chairman of Disney's Direct-to-Consumer and International; Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm; and Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, hosted various parts of the ceremonies, proving that executives behind the scenes share that crowd-pleasing Disney gene.

"No matter how many years pass, no matter how much our company and the world changes, we've never lost sight of one thing: it all started with a mouse," quipped Iger in his opening remarks.

Hitmaker singer and die-hard Disney fan, Christina Aguilera, who launched her career in Disney TV's "Mouseketeer Club," stated off the proceedings with a rousing song and moments later was inducted into Disney's coveted "Disney Legend" honor roll.

This year, a total of 12 newly-minted Disney Legends included Robert Downy Jr., whose iconic performance as billionaire inventor, Tony Stark aka Iron Man, kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2008 and opened the door for 22 more blockbuster films, with more in the pipeline; Marvel director, Jon Favreau; Chinese-American actress Ming-Na Wen; and other luminaries who has made outstanding contributions to Disney over the years.

Kevin Mayer took the stage to introduce Disney's most ambitious effort to date, their much-anticipated, direct-to-consumer streaming video channel, Disney+, which may be the only new online service with enough clout and content to take on monolith Netflix head-to-head.

During a 90-minute presentation, a parade of celebrities, filmmakers, and creatives treated the 6,800-person audience to the first public preview of Disney+'s original movies and shows set to stream when the service launches on Nov. 12.

Disney gave fans a first look at the service's upcoming originals and announced exciting new titles, including world premiere trailers released for "The Mandalorian," "Lady and the Tramp," "Noelle," "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," "The World According to Jeff Goldblum," and "Encore!"

Disney+ will be the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more, together, for the first time. The service will offer ad-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content.

Alongside unprecedented access to Disney's incredible library of film and television entertainment, and 30 seasons of "The Simpsons," the service will also be the exclusive streaming home for films released by The Walt Disney Studios in 2019 and beyond, including "Captain Marvel," "Avengers: Endgame," "Aladdin," "Toy Story 4," "The Lion King," "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," "Frozen 2,"and "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, who produced George Lucas's celebrated Star Wars trilogy, took the stage to reveal that the new season of The Emmy award-winning animated series, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" will also be available on the plus service come February.

Hugely popular star, Ewan McGregor, made a surprise appearance to announce his return as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new untitled series from Lucasfilm.

Marvel's MCU will be prominently featured in Disney+ upcoming series programming, with: "Ms. Marvel," the first female Muslim superhero ever to grace the screen anywhere in the world; "She Hulk," a companion to "The Hulk;" "Hawkeye," starring Jeremy Renner; "Loki," a spin off from "Thor," starring Tom Hiddleston; "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," reteaming Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, to reprise their roles from "Avengers: End Game," as will Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter.

"With less than three months until launch, Disney+ will soon entertain and inspire audiences of all ages for generations to come, and we're excited to preview some of the amazing original content being created for the service exclusively from our world-class brands today at the D23 Expo," said Mayer, noting that storytelling is the cornerstone of The Walt Disney Company.

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