Disney+ announces slate of non-fiction projects at Realscreen Summit
January 29, 2020
Disney+ is developing the next generation of the critically-acclaimed series “The Quest,” now featuring teen participants and adding more epic world building interactive elements. The streaming service has also greenlit the ultimate brainteaser competition series “The Maze,” National Geographic’s “Meet the Chimps” and an untitled docuseries that follows Pixar’s SparkShorts program as they discover talented new storytellers, it was announced today during a Disney+ panel at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans.
“These projects take people on epic adventures, immerse them in fantastical worlds and shine a light on extraordinary people and creatures, which are all important benchmarks of our Disney+ nonfiction content philosophy,” said Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+. “We are thrilled that we get to bring the groundbreaking ‘The Quest’ back to life, and can’t wait for people to discover ‘The Maze,’ our special subjects in ‘Meet the Chimps’ and the innovation and wonder of making Pixar’s Sparkshorts.”
Filmed at a castle outside Vienna, Austria, “The Quest” is an innovative reality competition that takes place in the fantasy world of Everealm. Teen contestants will compete in an unfolding drama where they encounter mystical beings and magical encounters that rival their favorite books, games and movies. They will be embedded in a fully immersive, 360-degree world complete with seamless technology, creature design, practical effects and scripted characters who interact dynamically with them. The series is executive produced by Court Five’s Mark Ordesky (“The Lord of the Rings”) and Jane Fleming; Scout Productions’ David Collins, Michael Williams, Rob Eric (“Queer Eye”); and New Media Collective’s Bertram van Munster, Elise Doganieri and Mark Dziak (“The Amazing Race”).
With a very unique take on adventure competition, “The Maze” brings five teams consisting of one adult and one teen relative on a journey of mind-bending proportions. Participants will solve riddles and decipher clues that will guide them through European cities and fairytale villages. In each episode, the characters will reveal information to participants pushing them onward and closer to their final destination where all contestants will convene, but only one team will solve the Maze. It is also executive produced by van Munster, Doganieri and Dziak.
National Geographic’s “Meet the Chimps” takes viewers into the secret life of one of the largest and most unique wildlife sanctuaries in the world – Chimp Haven—a 200-acre refuge tucked deep in the forested heart of Louisiana, which is home to more than 300 chimpanzees. This six-part series tracks the ups and downs of this extraordinary group of chimps that are given a second chance at life by a staff whose dedication, compassion and commitment knows no bounds. Through a seamless blend of natural history and observational-documentary filmmaking, “Meet the Chimps” puts the chimps – the heart and soul of the series – at front and center. A real-life drama with a full emotional range, the series gives unparalleled access to everything happening at Chimp Haven, including food squabbles, alliances, romances, “bromances”, tears, tantrums, high jinx and heartbreaks. “Meet the Chimps” is produced by Blink Films (“Meet the Penguins,” Meet the Orangutans,” and “The Creative Brain”), with Justine Kershaw and Michael Welsh serving as executive producers, and Virginia Quinn as series director.
The untitled Pixar series from Supper Club (“Chef’s Table”) will follow Pixar’s inventive SparkShorts program. By offering a select group of Pixar employees the opportunity to make their own animated short film, the SparkShorts program helps discover and support the next generation of Pixar storytellers. The series will give audiences an exclusive and immersive look at the filmmakers and their films, while exploring the creative philosophy and community that makes Pixar unique. Brian McGinn, Jason Sterman and David Gelb executive produce.