Sunday, August 16, 2015

Going to infinity and beyond at Disney's D23 Expo 2015...

On Friday it was time to brave the heat of Anaheim for this year's D23 Expo, Disney's huge fan event showcasing upcoming projects in the worlds of theme parks, movies, TV shows, games, products and more besides.

Giant Buzz Lightyear inflatable balloon outside the
Disney D23 Expo at the Anaheim convention Center
Giant Buzz Lightyear inflatable balloon D23 Expo
This was my third time attending the event, and I was surprised by how little the organisers had learned from previous expos when it came to clear signage for parking and long lines to get through security at the beginning of the day in blazing heat.
Disney D23 Expo Anaheim Convention Center
I also have to preface all this by saying I'm not a huge convention fan, I've worked my share of exhibitions in the past and the sheer crush of people is never my idea of a good time, regardless of the subject matter, plus although I love Disney movies and the parks, I'm not as passionate as some of the other expo goers.

Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow costume 
from Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies
Captain Jack Sparrow costume Pirates Caribbean D23 Expo 2015
My main motivation for attending was to see any cool costumes and props from the movies on display, like in previous years when the D23 Expo had fantastic exhibits of classic Disney movie and TV costumes from the archives like Mary Poppins, Return to Oz, Hocus Pocus, Zorro, Lost, Alice in Wonderland, Once Upon a Time, The Rocketeer, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and more besides.

First Order Stormtroopers from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars Force Awakens First Order Stormtroopers
This year to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Disneyland the archives focused on memorabilia from previous theme park attractions, which for me was less interesting.

The expo also felt even more claustrophobic this year, as all the stands and stages felt so much closer together compared to previous years and it was hard to get a sense of which direction you should head to. And if you queued to get into the expo then you were in for a treat inside as the long lines continued for almost every feature.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
movie costume and prop exhibit
Original Star Wars The Force Awakens movie costumes
In previous year's there was room to breathe and in one instance a great sense of arrival when you entered and saw a huge scale model of the Black Pearl pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean. It provided a real 'wow factor' and I felt that was missing this year. Considering the Disney theme parks are designed and run like clockwork, it seemed odd that the expo was such a mess when it came to layout.

Captain Phasma costume from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Captain Phasma costume Star Wars The Force Awakens
One of the biggest treats this year was seeing all the fantastic costumes from the highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which had previously been on display at Star Wars Celebration fan event, but this time they were exhibited out of their cases which was amazing to see. But even this fantastic exhibit felt hidden away and not clearly signposted.

Costumes from Disney's forthcoming Alice Through the Looking Glass
Disney Alice Through the Looking Glass costume exhibit
Original Alice Through the Looking Glass costumes
Another highlight of the expo for me was the wonderful exhibit for Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass, which featured amazing costumes designed by Colleen Atwood.

I'll be sharing more detailed costume photos at my Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props blog soon, but in the meantime be sure to check out all the fabulous movie costumes from Disney's Alice in Wonderland from 2010.

Marvel's Ant-Man film costume
Marvel had a smaller presence at the expo, but they did have Paul Rudd's Ant-Man movie costume on display out of its case which was cool to see up close and check out in greater detail.

Guardians of the Galaxy space pod prop
Plus they also had this fantastic space pod on display from Guardians of the Galaxy (both had been on display at Comic-Con previously, but as I didn't go it was so cool to see them).

Ideally this is what I'd loved to have seem more of, actual physical props and vehicles from Disney, Marvel and Star Wars movies. Where was the ornate carriage from Disney's live-action Cinderella, that would have been a real highlight?

"To infinity and beyond!"
Giant Buzz Lightyear inflatable balloon
I have to say I did love the giant inflatable 'Buzz Lightyear' balloon from Toy Story which was outside the convention center as it made for a real spectacle, maybe he should have been inside instead to create some theatre and drama.

Overall I didn't enjoy this D23 Expo as much as previous events, but I'm sure real Disney fans dressed up in all their costumes, buying everything in sight, loved it.

At the end of the day it's still the coolest thing to pull back the curtain and see behind-the-scenes of some of Hollywood's biggest movies, I suppose living in L.A. and being exposed to costumes and prop exhibits all year around I've been spoiled these past few years...

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails