By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 9, 2011 at 6:38AM
Deploying some marketing muscle, Disney is mounting D23 Expo from August 19-21 at the Anaheim Convention Center near Disneyland. Disney marketeers will take fans behind the scenes, offer sneaks peaks, panels, special appearances and exhibitions on their upcoming projects, including Disney's The Muppets, Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, Oz: The Great and Powerful and John Carter, Pixar's Brave, and Marvel's The Avengers. Five sessions will be dedicated to Pixar, including one on the art of Brave and another on the characters of Monsters University.
Disney studio execs Rich Ross and Sean Bailey, Disney Animation/Pixar's John Lasseter and Marvel's Kevin Feige will all participate. The lineup of the Expo's offerings is below. Here's more.
In celebration of 25 years of moviemaking magic, five sessions will be devoted to the artistry and technical wizardry of Pixar:
* A Conversation with the Pixar Creative Team – Enjoy a rare opportunity to spend some time with the key figures responsible for Pixar’s unprecedented success, including John Lasseter (chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios), Jim Morris (general manager, Pixar Animation Studios), Pete Docter (director, Monsters, Inc., Up), Andrew Stanton (director, Finding Nemo, WALL-E), Bob Peterson (co-director, Up), Lee Unkrich (director, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (director, Brave), and Dan Scanlon (director, Monsters University).
* The Characters of Monsters University – Director Dan Scanlon and Production Designer Ricky Nierva discuss how they combine hair, horns, and a lot of heart to bring the wonderful Monsters University characters to life.
* Michael Giacchino’s Music of Pixar – In this musical presentation, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino explores his early influences through the creation of modern-day classic scores from Ratatouille, Up and Cars 2.
* The Art of Brave – Production Designer Steve Pilcher and Shading Art Director Tia Kratter show how they and their team put paint to canvas and fingers to computer keys to create the stunning visuals of Scotland for Disney•Pixar’s upcoming film Brave.
* Pixar Shorts – This retrospective screening of the animation studio’s legendary short films will be followed by a panel discussion with several of the filmmakers, including Ralph Eggleston (director, For the Birds), Andy Jimenez (director, One Man Band), Angus MacLane (director, BURN-E), Pete Sohn (director, Partly Cloudy), Teddy Newton (director, Day & Night), and Enrico Casarosa (director, La Luna).
Expo attendees will also have access to advance screenings of an all-new 3D version of The Lion King, presented by RealD 3D, coming to theaters and homes this fall, and the upcoming ABC holiday special Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Out on the Expo floor, fans can explore the world of The Walt Disney Studios at their leisure with comprehensive exhibits, including:
* Walt Disney Studios Animation Pavilion – Experience the art, technology, culture, and legacy of Walt Disney Animation Studios with filmmaker demonstrations, drawing classes, book signings, meet-and-greets, and art exhibits.
* Walt Disney Studios In-Home Entertainment Pavilion – Dive into cutting-edge home entertainment technology and learn what the future holds for Disney movie fans, with sneak peeks of upcoming films in breathtaking high-definition Blu-ray 3D™ and more.
* Inside Tides: Pirates of the Caribbean Film Prop Collection – Get an up-close look at an exclusive collection of detailed set pieces, props, and costumes from the billion-dollar blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.