A surprise appearance by Angelina Jolie was the highlight of Saturday’s  live-action presentation at Disney’s annual expo in Anaheim, California, as attendees booed a paltry Star Wars segment.
The actress took to the stage to chat with president of Walt Disney Studios motion picture production Sean Bailey about her role in Maleficent, the Sleeping Beauty spin-off that centres on the villain from the classic children’s tale.
The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville and is scheduled to open on Jul 2, 2014.
Earlier The Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn failed to offer anything new on Star Wars: Episode VII set for release in 2015. Telling the crowd how excited executives were following the Lucasfilm acquisition was not enough and there were scattered boos from the hall.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige came on to talk up Nov 8 release Thor: The Dark World and introduced Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins from the cast.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie made an appearance as Disney showed footage from the sequel, set to open on Apr 4, 2014.
Feige showed a clip from Guardians Of The Galaxy, which will open on Aug 1, 2014. The Marvel adaptation is shooting now in London, however the studio did not repeat its recent Comic-Con trick of flying the entire key cast over for a Q&A session.
Horn returned to talk up Disneynature’s new project, Bears, ahead of its Apr 18 2014 release. Bailey discussed Muppets Most Wanted and Rob Marshall’s musical adaptation Into The Woods, which will star Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt and has been set for a December 2014 holiday release.
There was also a sneak peek clip from Cinderella, which Kenneth Branagh directs and will open on Mar 13, 2015, as well as a promotional spot for the adventure Tomorrowland starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and Thomas Robinson that is set to open on Dec 12, 2014.
Bailey showed two clips from Disney’s big live-action awards season hopeful Saving Mr Banks – about the backstory of the making of Mary Poppins, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014 – starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks.
Saving Mr Banks opens on Dec 20 and two of the film’s stars Jason Schwartzman and B J Novak took to the stage to welcome an appearance by Mary Poppins composer Richard Sherman.