D23-muppets

Kermit playing the banjo on top of the Mark Twain riverboat at the "Disney Movie Magic" presentation in 2009.

Kermit-riverboat

The Muppets at the "Disney Movie Magic" presentation in 2009.

The D23 Expo is a biennial convention run by The Walt Disney Company, originally billed as "The Ultimate Disney Fan Experience" (later changed to "The Ultimate Disney Fan Event"). The first Expo was held in Anaheim, California, from September 10-13, 2009.

D23 is "The Official Disney Fan Club", founded in March 2009. The "D" stands for Disney, and "23" represents 1923, the year that Walt Disney arrived in California and founded what would ultimately become The Walt Disney Company.

D23 also holds smaller fan events for its members throughout the year, separate from the expo, and publishes a magazine called Disney twenty-three.

D23 Expo 2009

D23 Expo The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

D23 Expo The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

D23 Expo 2009 highlights reel featuring the Muppets

Disney Movie Magic

On Friday, September 11, the Muppets made a surprise appearance on the Mark Twain Riverboat (a smaller replica of the Disneyland attraction) during the "Disney Movie Magic: Inside the Disney Studios" arena presentation. It was announced that they were working on a new movie, The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made! (later set aside in favor of The Muppets). The Muppets performed "Rainbow Connection," preceded by Pepe singing "Prince Ali" from Aladdin.[1]

Appearing on the riverboat were Kermit the Frog, Fozzie, Pepe, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Animal, Janice, Floyd, Dr. Teeth, Zoot, Beaker, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Scooter, Rizzo the Rat, Lew Zealand, Robin, Penguins, Chickens, with Sweetums standing beside the boat.

Statler and Waldorf appeared after the number shouting, "We want Grumpy!"

Johnny Depp, in full costume as Pirates of the Caribbean character Captain Jack Sparrow, made a surprise appearance at the end of the presentation. Jack said that he'd like a snack, and asked where that nice frog was who'd been on stage earlier -- "he probably tastes like chicken."[2]

Media highlights reel of presentation; (YouTube))

The Muppets Presentation

Muppetcookingshow

Promotional slide for The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora.

Virals

A preview of the then upcoming Youtube videos during the presentation.

Magic2b

(from left to right) Fozzie, Gonzo, and Pepe, turned into chickens by Disney Magic at the Muppets Presentation.

Meetup3b

Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Pepe meeting fans after the Muppets Presentation.

The Muppets were scheduled to appear at a special presentation by The Muppets Studio on Sunday, September 13. Before entering the venue, each of the attendees received a raffle ticket, and throughout the presentation, various pieces of Muppet merchandise were raffled off. The presentation, hosted by Lylle Breier, detailed some of the future plans for the Muppets. Pepe the King Prawn, Sam the Eagle, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and the Swedish Chef appeared. (End of presentation clip: (YouTube))

Projects announced included:[3][4][5]

After the presentation, everyone in attendance received a Muppet Myzos bracelet and could wait in line to meet Fozzie, Gonzo, and Pepe, and have their pictures taken with them.

Around the Show Floor

Displays on the show floor offered glimpses of upcoming Muppet merchandise as well as some Muppet memorabilia.

D23 Expo 2011

Highlights from the D23 Expo 2011!

Highlights from the D23 Expo 2011!

D23 Expo 2011 highlights reel featuring Miss Piggy, Kermit, and Rowlf

Henson Podcast

Henson Podcast

Complete Jim Henson portion of the Disney Legends Ceremony, video uploaded by The Jim Henson Company.

The second D23 Expo was held in Anaheim, California, August 19-21, 2011.

Disney Legends Ceremony

The 2011 Disney Legends Ceremony took place Friday, August 19, where Jim Henson was named a Disney Legend. A montage of some of Jim Henson's work was shown, the walk-around Sweetums helped present his award and Lisa and Brian Henson gave speeches. In addition, Brian and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph performed Stuffed and Unstrung's version of "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face." Kermit the Frog and Rowlf the Dog made a surprise appearance, performing a live rendition of "Rainbow Connection", inviting the audience to sing along.

Inside the Walt Disney Studios

On Saturday, August 20, Jason Segel, Kermit, and Miss Piggy were scheduled to make an appearance at the Walt Disney Studios arena presentation to promote The Muppets.[7] Jason and Kermit were sitting on stage, while Piggy arrived a few moments later on a motorcycle. They then presented two clips from the movie.

Media highlights reel of presentation; (YouTube))

Around the Show Floor

Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix

Also on August 19, Dick Van Dyke appeared in a musical presentation and performed songs with The Vantastix. Among their songs was a Sesame Street medley, which included the "Sesame Street Theme", "The People in Your Neighborhood", "Rubber Duckie", "Bein' Green" and "I Love Trash." (YouTube)

D23′s Muppet-acular Mayhem at D Street

On November 17, 2011, D23 held a Muppet-acular Mayhem at D Street event exclusively for D23 members and their guests at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California for the debut of new Muppet clothing, original artwork, and skate decks. There were light refreshments and a live DJ.

D23's Disney and Dickens

On December 5 & 6, 2011, D23 held their Disney and Dickens event for its members at the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. Some of Disney's classic Christmas films were screened, including The Muppet Christmas Carol.

D23's The Muppets Take Disney Store Manhattan

On November 27, 2012, D23 held a The Muppets Take Disney Store Manhattan event at the Disney Store in Times Square, New York City. A limited number of D23 members had the chance to meet and have their photos taken Kermit the Frog and Pepe the King Prawn, and got a 15% discount on store merchandise. There was also some Muppet trivia from the Disney store crew.[8]

D23 Expo 2013

The third D23 Expo was held in Anaheim, California August 9-11, 2013. Muppets Most Wanted actor Ty Burrell, and producer Todd Lieberman were in attendance to promote. During a promotional presentation on August 10, Burrell drove Le Maximum onto the stage.

D23 Expo 2015

To promote the premiere of The Muppets on ABC, D23 hosted a panel with the Muppets consisting of Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Matt Vogel, and Bill Barretta with Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Floyd, Pepe, Rowlf, Uncle Deadly, Animal, Rizzo, Pokey, a bunny, and two Whatnots. Whitmire led a brief puppetry class for four audience members, and the panel fielded questions from a moderator and the audience. (Transcript)

D23 EXPO 2015 FRIDAY PANEL RECAP

D23 EXPO 2015 FRIDAY PANEL RECAP

D23 Expo 2019

D23-BCG-Amphibia-poster

Poster artwork, via Matt Braly (Amphibia creator and executive producer).[9]

On August 23, 2019, Kermit the Frog appeared in a teaser video announcing the new short-form series Muppets Now during the Disney+ panel.

On August 24, Kermit hosted the Q&A panel for the Disney Channel animated series Amphibia and Big City Greens.[9][10]

Uncle Deadly made a surprise appearance at a panel celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Haunted Mansion. Deadly played the role of the Ghost Host in a dramatic reading of an early script for the attraction.

On August 25, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker appeared from Muppet Labs in a prerecorded video screened during the National Geographic Brain Games panel.[11]

Sources

  1. The Muppet Mindset: BREAKING NEWS from The Disney23 Expo! (September 12, 2009)
  2. Boucher, Geoff. "Johnny Depp (in Jack Sparrow costume) surprises Disney D23 Expo audience", LA Times blog. September 11, 2009 (archived)
  3. ToughPigs - Muppets at D23: Movies, DVDs, and Merchandise News! (September 14, 2009)
  4. The Muppet Newsflash - The Muppets at D23 (September 17, 2009)
  5. The Muppet Mindset - D23 Update: Special Muppets Presentation (September 13, 2009)
  6. With new merch & a new movie in the pipeline, there's no stopping the Muppets now Jim Hill Media (April 29, 2010)
  7. The Walt Disney Studios Takes Fans Behind the Scenes at the D23 Expo August 9, 2011 (archived)
  8. The Muppets Take Disney Store Manhattan November 6, 2012 (archived)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Matt Braly (@Radrappy) on Twitter, August 14, 2019
  10. Meet Your Favorite Disney Channel Stars at D23 Expo 2019 June 18, 2019
  11. Keegan-Michael Key Plays Some Lively Brain Games August 25, 2019

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