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D23 Expo Day 1 highlights: Mufasa: The Lion King prequel, Halle Bailey’s Ariel in Little Mermaid trailer, Snow White, Inside Out 2, Mahabharata series & more

D23 Expo Day 1 highlights: Mufasa: The Lion King prequel, Halle Bailey’s Ariel in Little Mermaid trailer, Snow White, Inside Out 2, Mahabharata series & more

From unveiling Halle Bailey’s Ariel in The Little Mermaid trailer to announcing Mufasa: The Lion King prequel, D23 Expo Day 1 commenced with Disney and Pixar’s live-action and animation panel starting with a sizzle reel and following up with Disney’s chairman Alan Bergman revealing the spanking new logo to commemorate 100 years of the Mouse House. The best reveals were announced by President Sean Bailey beginning with Hocus Pocus 2 which received rave audience reactions. Here are highlights of the best D23 2022 Day 1 announcement, cast reveals, release date schedules & more.

The Friday event of D23 at Anaheim was packed with exciting news but let’s start with the most discussed project reveal, The Little Mermaid trailer featuring Halle Bailey as Ariel was unveiled on stage by director Rob Marshall and the titular star. The original animated feature’s composer Alan Menken and Lin Manuel Miranda are collaborating to produce four new songs which will open the upcoming movie in a new way.  The director also hyped Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula performance.

The Little Mermaid’s The Part of Your World shown at D23 Expo

The Part of Your World sequence from The Little Mermaid was showcased for the attendees but unfortunately won’t be released online at this point like all other D23 Expo exclusive previews. Nonetheless, the screening received a massive positive response from the crowd. The Little Mermaid releases this summer May 2023.

Sanderson sisters return to haunt Salem in Hocus Pocus 2 and the events are set 29 years after the 1993 film. While the main cast wasn’t present at D23 Expo, Sam Richardson, Hannah Waddingham, Froyan Gutierrez, Tony Hale and the rest of the cast had a video introduction for attendees, reports THR. Next up was Disenchanted with its cast Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Idina Menzel, Maya Rudolph, Nicole Brown, Yvette Nicole, Gabriella Baldacchino and Jayma Mays all on stage. A new poster was released feature the full star-studded cast and Adams’ Giselle dazzling in the front and center. Disenchanted will release on Disney Plus on November 24 for Thanksgiving.

Bleeding Cool’s Kaitlyn Booth, who was present for the Day 1 event transcribed star Ever Anderson who plays Wendy, describing the setting of Peter Pan & Wendy saying, “this new movie has a lot more depth to Wendy and this movie will make her and Peter equals”. Adding, “The rivalry between Peter and Hook is more fleshed out, audiences will love the fight scenes.” Jude Law will play Captain Hook and Alyssa Wapanatâhk as Tiger Lily. All three cast members were on the D23 stage sharing tidbits of details from the live-action movie set for Disney Plus with a 2023 release.

Disney also had a secret trailer for Haunted Mansion just for D23 Expo attendees. Jamie Lee Curtis arrived on stage to confirm her role as Madame Leota in Haunted Mansion. Winona Ryder has a cameo and trailer footage description from attendees revealed Danny Devito and Owen Wilson’s characters were shown in the first look.

Next in line was Mufasa: The Lion King, the second installment following 2019’s The Lion King live-action which grossed $1.6 billion at the global box office. The movie was announced by director Barry Jenkins and a trailer was showcased which begins with Rafiki’s narration from Pride Rock where a baby Mufasa struggles to find his way in the ruthless wild as an orphaned cub. Lion King fans’ favorite meerkat and warthog, Timon and Pumba will be the narrators of Mufasa: The Lion King.

Another announcement that raised eyebrows in India is the in-development Mahabharata series for Disney Plus. Actor Hrithik Roshan also praised the project reveal, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise since he’s rumored to have a role in the Madhu Mantena-produced show. The project is still in the early stages of development.

Early footage from Snow White was shown and stars Gal Gadot and Rachel Zegler addressed the crowd. With Live-action announcements wrapped, Pixar’s animation projects were showcased, such as Inside Out 2, Elemental, Win or Lose, Elio and Wish.




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