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Summit ’20: Disney+ reveals new competition formats, docuseries

Disney+ has revealed a slate of new non-fiction projects at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans Wednesday (Jan. 29), including two competition formats and two docuseries. The re-imagined reality competition format ...
January 29, 2020

Disney+ has revealed a slate of new non-fiction projects at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans Wednesday (Jan. 29), including two competition formats and two docuseries.

The re-imagined reality competition format The Quest takes place in the world of “Everealm.” Teen contestants will compete in an unfolding drama where they encounter mystical beings that “rival their favorite books, games and movies.”

Competitors will be embedded in an immersive world complete with “seamless technology, creature design, practical effects and scripted characters.”

The Quest series is executive produced by Court Five’s Mark Ordesky (The Lord of the Rings) and Jane Fleming; Scout Productions’ David Collins, Michael Williams and Rob Eric (Queer Eye); and New Media Collective’s Bertram van Munster, Elise Doganieri and Mark Dziak (The Amazing Race).

The Quest is a truly unique unscripted show as it takes contestants into a fully immersive world of magic and fantasy,” said Scout’s Rob Eric in a statement. “There is no better partner than Disney+ for this type of enchanted storytelling.”

Munster, Doganieri and Dziak will also produce The Maze for Disney+, which brings five teams consisting of one adult and one teen relative on a “mind-bending” journey.

Participants will solve riddles and decipher clues that will guide them through European cities and villages. In each episode, the characters will reveal information to participants, pushing them onward to their final destination where all contestants will convene, but only one will solve the maze.

Also on the streamer’s slate is National Geographic’s six-part docuseries Meet the Chimps, which will take viewers into the secret life of Chimp Haven, a 200-acre wildlife refuge in Louisiana, home to more than 300 chimpanzees.

The series — a blend of natural history and observational-documentary filmmaking — tracks the group of chimps that are given a second chance at life, and offers “unparalleled” access to the sanctuary.

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.

Finally,  Disney+ has greenlit an untitled Pixar series from Supper Club (Chef’s Table), about the animation studio’s SparkShorts program, which allows a select group of Pixar employees to make their own short animated film.

Brian McGinn, Jason Sterman and David Gelb executive produce.

“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, SVP of content at Disney+, in a statement. “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 inventiveness and wonder of making Pixar’s Sparkshorts.”

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