Kelly Preston, Ella Bleu Travolta and John Travolta
09/12/2009 at 12:00 PM EDT
Nine months after the death
of their 16-year-old son Jett, John Travolta and Kelly Preston – with their daughter Ella Bleu – made their first public appearance together on Friday to promote their new Disney film Old Dogs
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook introduced the family during a surprise appearance for fans at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif. Travolta led the way on stage, holding Ella's hand, as the family helped Cook introduce the movie. All three appear in the comedy, which marks Ella's big screen debut.
According to the Associated Press, Travolta told the crowd, "I always appreciate the audience's love for me." He continued: "I hope they love Old Dogs
and much as we do, because I've got my baby in it."
While his wife returned to work in recent months to star opposite Miley Cyrus
in The Last Song
, Travolta has kept out of the public eye, instead flying to various locations alone
to privately cope with his grief.
Preston was expected to speak in October at the California Governor's Conference for Women on a panel titled "Grief & Resilience" but she bowed out
last month saying it was "just too soon" to discuss Jett's passing.
also costars Robin Williams and hits theaters on Nov. 25.