Sunday, August 11, 2013

D23 Report (Aug 9 & 10): Maleficent First Look & Branagh's Cinderella sizzle reel

I had a feeling it would be a Maleficent week...

It turns out, D23 attendees were treated to a great first look at the live-action panel on Friday and Saturday, along with an appearance and interview with Ms. Jolie (minus the horns).

From iO9:
The first ever footage of Maleficent screened at D23, which Peter Sciretta of Slashfilm described quite highly (Edit FTNH: see pic of tweet inserted below). Then the lady of the hour, Angelina Jolie, appeared to a standing ovation and talked about how bad-ass Maleficent's horns are. GOOD. 
More importantly, the official Maleficent synopsis was released, which reveals a bit as to why this awesome villain decided to go green and ruin princess Aurora's life:
✒ ✒ ✒  ✒ (click the "Read more" link below this line) ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ 

“Maleficent” is the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

From Hero Complex:
“Maleficent” star Angelina Jolie arrived at D23 on Saturday morning, and like the evil sorceress she’s playing in the live-action retelling of the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” she knows how to make an entrance. 
Clad in a black sweater and black pants, the actress received a standing ovation from the audience, and she described her elation at starring in the film, saying that as a child she had an affinity for Maleficent. 
...“Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite,” Jolie said. “I was terrified of her, but I was also drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her. She had this elegance and grace, yet she was wonderfully, deliciously cruel.”
A new teaser for the film was screened, adapting the integral scene from the animated movie in which Maleficent arrives and curses the baby Aurora. 
(Interestingly, in this version, she makes a point of saying that Aurora will fall into a death-like sleep and will be awakened by love’s first kiss — in the animated classic, of course, Maleficent says the infant girl will die and it’s the three fairies who introduce the first-love loophole).
One of the largest display at D23's Treasures of Walt Disney Archives
Here are a few details from the teaser. 
From Bleeding Cool: 
The trailer for Maleficent was screened, showing just how scenes from Sleeping Beauty are part of this story. The footage opens with a ceremony celebrating the birth of Princess Aurora, quickly crashed by Maleficent who places a curse on the babe. There were some shots of the fairies, played – I believe – by Juno Temple, Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton. They’ve not only been shrunken by the FX, their proportions have been skewed. I expect this trailer, or something like it, will make its public debut very soon…
From Screen Crush: 
To give you some idea of what was shown, it imagines the famous Christening scene of baby Aurora. The three fairies (Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather) fly to the castle, ready to bestow their gifts on the child. As soon as the green fairy, Fauna, is about to present hers, the candles are snuffed out and a dark whirlwind heralds the evil witch herself. “Well, well,” says Jolie, accompanied by a villainous, whispered cackle. Scenes flash forward as we see Aurora growing up into her teenage self, while Maleficent, engulfed in a green flame, casts the famed curse we can all probably recite from memory.

Branagh's Cinderella was showcased too. Although filming has yet to begin (they're waiting for pumpkin season), there was a sizzle reel, that apparently provided plenty of buzz:

From iO9 again:
Next up is Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella. A short pre-production sizzle reel was screened, which is impossible to judge. But people were very, very jazzed to see Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother—and less than thrilled about Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother (we remain excited/ Edit FTNH: as do we!). The biggest bit of news is simply that Branagh is sticking to the Cinderella script. So no need to worry about Leonardo Da Vinci showing up Ever After-style.
And from Yahoo Movies:
Over stills, drawings, and footage in various states of development, Branagh described a world where our heroine is strong but kind, where we see the politics of the court, and where familiar story elements – like the glass slipper and the pumpkin coach – come alive in fantastic ways.
Fairy tale bonus of the day:
Did you know Director Guillermo del Toro is a huge fan of Disney's Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent in particular (and that he originally wanted to direct Maleficent)?
Guillermo del Toro: “Let me tell you how much of a fan I am. I have a collection of over two or three dozen Maleficent figures, some of them four or five feet tall. I own about 10 pieces of conceptual art from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ that include the dragon and a lot more pieces that are just from ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ It’s one of my three favorite Disney films.”
He also said: “I think Maleficent’s dragon is the only design with the wings separate from the front legs, the only time that design has ever worked. (Source: Hero Complex)

Fairy tale bonus of the day, the second:
Disney also officially introduced the musical cast of the Into The Woods and revealed their logo: which is very similar (if not almost exactly the same) as the original community theater logo (which, I, personally, think its kind of great). That was about it, but considering all the casting-crazy the last few weeks, that's a pretty good start.

Fairy tale bonus of the day, the third:

Completely unique to Disneyland Paris is a minor attraction of sorts, tucked into the hillside beneath Sleeping Beauty Castle. It's here that you'll find La Tanière du Dragon, the dragon's lair. The path leading to the left of the castle has a distinctly less friendly character all its own. The lanterns are more Gothic than romantic. The stone and wood are heavier and darker, and even the carved details in the columns transition from vines and squirrels to thorns and ravens.

That raven bears a striking resemblance to Diablo, loyal pet of the evil fairy Maleficent. Maleficent is also referenced in the horns depicted on the sign marking the entrance to the dragon's lair. Fans of Disney's 1959 animated classic, Sleeping Beauty, will remember that Maleficent turns into a dragon in the film's climax, only to be defeated by Prince Phillip and the Sword of Truth. Did Maleficent perish in that battle, or does she perhaps live on, forever in dragon form and banished to this subterranean realm?

Once inside, the dank caverns of dripping stalactites are dotted with the occasional flickering torch, suspended by sconces forged in an appropriate silhouette. Before long, though - and almost before your eyes have time to adjust - you turn a corner and find yourself in the heart of the lair, mere feet away from the beast itself.

The dragon of La Tanière du Dragon is actually the largest Audio-Animatronics figure created for Disneyland Paris, with a length of more than seventy feet. It's movements are subtle, but highly effective. Walk in, and you may find the dragon asleep, it's tail gently swaying and it's chest heaving slightly with each breath, wisps of smoke drifting from its nostrils.

After a few moments, the creature awakens, clacking its long talons and raising its mighty head to roar defiantly at the unwelcome visitors. Each time the dragon stirs, it reacts a bit differently, adding to the sense that it's truly alive.
(Reblogged from disneyshawn)

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