The first annual D23 Expo kicked-off this morning with Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger pumping the crowd up by showing clips of Disney films and TV shows such as “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “17 Again” and Alice in Wonderland.
After the brief video, Mr. Iger explained D23 was created for the fans and thanked them for “keeping the magic alive.”
The packed room of Disney enthusiasts were then treated to a 30-minute look at The Princess and the Frog, the studio’s upcoming animated musical set in New Orleans.
When Mr. Iger announced the special screening, the crowd eagerly screamed and cheered for the upcoming preview.
The film isn’t scheduled to hit theatres for another three months and while it’s nearly completed, there were scenes in the movie that did not have animation yet, but that didn’t seem to bother the fans who enjoyed the sneak peek and laughed throughout.
The story revolves around Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) and her childhood friend Charlotte (Jennifer Cody). Tiana didn’t grow up as privileged as her friend, but always dreams of opening a French Cuisine restaurant in memory of her father.
She waits tables and saves up every dime to make it happen.
Her friend, meanwhile, only dreams of being a princess and wants to marry someone of her social and financial status.
When Prince Naveen comes into town, Charlotte thinks she’s going to be with him and does everything she can to get his attention, but little does she know the Prince isn’t really who she thinks he is. Naveen is now really a frog thanks to a spell an evil magician cast on him.
After the presentation, Mr. Iger came out on stage again and announced he had a surprise for the audience. Anika Noni Rose walked out on stage rocking a pale pink sequenced short dress and sang “Dreams Come True in New Orleans.”
Her appearance brought an overwhelming response from the crowd as she belted out the song.
She waved to everyone as she exited the stage and Mr. Iger told us she had been “suffering from bronchitis,” and called her “heroic” for still performing. She sounded amazing, so it’s hard to believe she was ill, but it was definitely a pleasure to see her in action.