Pixar Animation Studios logo is visible on the smartphone screen in this photo.
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The Walt Disney Company revealed new information about its upcoming slate of animated films and TV shows during its Pixar and Disney Animation Studios panel on Friday at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California.
Animated films released in theaters in the wake of the pandemic have crashed at the box office. Previously, parents were reticent to bring children back to theatres, but now it seems that fewer titles and the increase in children’s content on streaming have contributed to keeping families at home.
Disney has escalated the issue since movie theaters reopened, as it has put most of its new Pixar films, including “Turning Red,” “Soul” and “Luca,” on Disney+. While these decisions were made at a time when vaccinations were either not available to children and foot traffic was slow to watch the film, it trained consumers to expect these titles on streaming.
That’s part of the reason that “Lightyear” had a weak opening in theaters this summer. Of course, the film was also hurt by a confusing premise that deviated from what made the Toy Story franchise so special.
Disney revealed some of the titles of the films associated with Pixar and its Walt Disney Animation Studios, as well as its live-action remakes, during Friday’s panel. It will also share which movies will go to theaters and which will come via Disney+.
Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, Pete Docter, took the stage at the D23 Expo to announce new titles from the animation studio, which will hit theaters and Disney+ in the coming years.
Coming in the summer of 2023, “Elemental” tells the story of a bustling metropolis inhabited by the elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water. But when a Fire Girl and a Water Boy develop a relationship, the two must navigate how to interact while being polar opposites. Director Peter Sohn said that the film also touches on themes of immigration and finding one’s place in the world.
The company is launching its first long-form series called “Win or Lose” on Disney+. The show is the brainchild of two storyboard artists and tells the story of the Pickles softball team in the week before their championship game. Each episode takes place over the course of the same week, but from a different main character’s point of view.
“Elio” is a new project from the studio centered on an 11-year-old boy named Elio, who is just trying to fit in. His mother is working on a top secret military project to decode alien messages, but it’s Elio who accidentally makes first contact and becomes the de facto messenger for Earth. The film will start in spring 2024.
Amy Poehler joined Doc on stage and announced that Pixar would be making a sequel to 2015’s “Inside Out.” Riley is a teenager now and new emotions are joining the mix. The film comes out in the summer of 2024.
Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, announced a number of new projects from the studio.
To start, Lee said “Zootopia+” will arrive in November. The show follows the lead characters from the 2016 feature film.
Disney is partnering with Kugali Media to bring “Ivazoo” to Disney+. The series is set in Nigeria and follows a young heiress named Tola and a poor boy named Kole. It arrives on the streaming service in 2023.
The studio shared a trailer for “Strange Worlds,” which arrives in theaters Thanksgiving 2022. The film centers on the Clydes, a family of explorers who must rely on each other despite their differences to traverse an unknown and treacherous new land.
“Wish” is a Disney Animation 2023 feature film. It traces how the dream star, whom so many Disney characters have wished for, came to be. The film is set within the Kingdom of Roses and follows Asha, an optimist with a sharp wit. Asha sees darkness in the kingdom that no one else sees, so in her moment of desperation she makes an emotional plea to the stars. It summons a real star from the sky named Star with magical wish-fulfillment powers.
Asha is played by Ariana Debos as Asha and Alan Tudyk as Valentino, a goat. DeBoss sang an original song from the film and Tudyk ran through his repertoire of Disney characters that included Hei Hei from “Frozen”, “Moana” and King Candy from “Wreck-It Ralph”.
Prior to revealing its animated content, Disney unveiled new trailers for “Hocus Pocus 2”, which arrives on Disney+ September 30, as well as “Disenchanted”, the sequel to 2007’s “Enchanted”. , on the streaming service on November 24.
Following the release of “Pinocchio” on Thursday on Disney+, the studio announced several new additions to its list of Disney live-action remakes.
Alexander Moloney as Peter in “Peter Pan and Wendy”, Aver Anderson as Wendy and Alyssa Wapanteh as Tiger Lilly are set to release on Disney+ in 2023. Jude Law portrays Captain Hook.
“Haunted Mansion” is expected to hit theaters on March 10, 2023. Directed by former Disneyland star Justin Simien, the film is filled with Easter eggs pulled out of famous Disney park rides. During the panel, Simien announced that Jamie Lee Curtis would star in the film as Madame Leota.
Barry Jenkin’s formerly untitled Lion King project is called “Mufasa: The Lion King” and tells the origin story of Mufasa from cub to king. The clip shared with audiences at the D23 Expo shows stunning visuals similar to 2019’s “The Lion King” and will hit theaters in 2024.
The company also shared a brief glimpse of “Snow White” releasing in theaters in 2024. The film stars Rachel Ziegler as the title character and Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. Fans erupted in applause as soon as Gadot came on stage. The “Wonder Woman” actress said she enjoyed playing the villain as she was often given more heroic roles.
Both Ziegler and Anderson noted that the studio worked to give more agency to classic characters like Snow White and Wendy, and to provide a modern take on these classic stories.
Rob Marshall, director of Disney’s remake of “The Little Mermaid,” shared the entire “Part of Your World” sequence from the film. Halle Bailey’s performance was met with loud applause and a standing ovation when she took the stage. The film will hit the theaters on 26 May 2023.