Over the weekend I had the opportunity to check out D23′s Wonderful Morning with Winnie the Pooh event being held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The early morning event included a continental breakfast, advanced screening of the film, and a discussion panel and signing with five of the supervising animators on the film. All attendees were also treated to a limited (edition of 500) Winnie the Pooh poster.
If you’re unfamiliar with D23, it is the official Disney fan club. The club hosts a number of fan club exclusive events (including screenings like this one) and the mother of all events – the D23 expo. This year marks the second D23 expo (the first was in 2009) which takes place between August 19-21 at the Anaheim convention center. Among the highlights of this years expo :
- Behind the scenes previews of upcoming projects from Walt Disney Studios including viewings of exclusive video clips, and filmmaker discussions.
- Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit featuring costumes and props from such projects as Pirates of the Carribean, Tron, and LOST.
- Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior events featuring some fan favorite Disney stars.
- Disney Interactive Media Group pavilion featuring demos for upcoming games and Disney.com activities.
- An advance screening of The Lion King in 3D.
Adjacent to the El Capitan is the Disney’s Soda Fountain and Studio Store. For a limited time, the store is operating a little “Pooh-tique” which features some really cute collectibles including cuddly plushes and fun tees. Lots of really adorable things in the shop so before checking out the film I snapped a few picture of my favorite things for you!
Disney Store exclusive plush dolls (SO, SO soft). Totally need that rabbit and owl! And kanga. And roo. Okay, okay. I need them all.
My favorite tee. Features E.H. Shepard artwork!
Another cutey cute tee.
These were my favorite, little pillows with E.H. Shepard artwork! Awww!
A barrel of Rabbits and Eeyores.
HUGE plushes, I think nearly shoulder high to me. Which really isn’t saying a lot I guess.
I absolutely loved the animators panel which featured live character sketches and exclusive pre-production clips. Here’s a few pictures of the animator’s sketches that I snapped for you :
[A picture of Mark Henn sketching Winnie the Pooh should totally be here. In lieu of a photo, here is a sentence about how bummed I am because I missed taking a photo of said sketch. Waaah!]
Eric Goldberg sketching Rabbit.
Eric Goldberg sketching more Rabbit. You know, to make up for missing the Winnie the Pooh sketch (waaaah take 2).
Randy Haycock sketching Eeyore.
Dale Baer sketching a rather deranged looking Owl.
Bruce Smith sketching Piglet.
The Piglet shot is my favorite of the lot because RIGHT after I snapped that one the following exchange went down…
Angry, very stern El Capitan security : “I need to take your camera now”
Me : “Uhhhhh and why is that?” *Doesn’t give camera to security*
Now irate El Capitan security : “You took a picture. NO PHOTOS.”
Me : “Oh, I was invited as press… I heard ‘no photos of VIDEO CLIPS’.”
Still irate El Capitan security : “NO PHOTOS or you’re out of here.”
Some other guy who might have been security but was probably not : “CAMERA. JUST PUT IT AWAY NOW.”
Woooow. Props. Mad people skills right there (PUN INTENDED).
Oh yeah, I did make sure it was okay to post these pictures because I’m not like, a crazy bootlegger or someone who is all shady and stuff.. sorry to disappoint your preconceived notions EL CAPITAN SECURITY!!
Not being too keen on not being reasoned with, I skipped out on the signing (waahh take 3) and checked out some of the surrounding sights instead. I actually normally avoid this part of Hollywood like the plague, but since I was there anyway I decided it might be nice to snap some photos to share here.
The El Capitan Theatre.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is just across the street (as are a bunch of tourists).
The Hollywood and Highland Center which houses the Kodak Theatre + shopping and dining is also right across the way.
Inside the center. The people on the bridge are snapping photos of the Hollywood sign which is on the hills in the background.
EVERYONE stops and takes pictures at the bottom of this huge stairway.
Winnie the Pooh is out this Friday (and just in time for Carmageddon), you can check out my previous review of the film here along with some pictures of my visit to Disney Animation Studios. I’ll also have some Winnie the Pooh goodies to giveaway in conjunction with the film release (thanks to the generosity of Disney Living) so be on the look out for that as well!