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D23 Expo 2019: 'Raya and The Last Dragon', 'Soul', 'Frozen 2' and More

This past weekend saw this year's edition of the D23 Expo in Anaheim- the celebration of all things Disney. Films, TV, themeparks and more, everything under the Disney umbrella was there- including Disney Animation, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Lots of exciting news for the animation lover came out of this year's show.

The biggest news of all has to be the unveiling of the next big Walt Disney Animation Studios animated film. There has been an Untitled WDAS film on the calendar for Holiday season 2020 for quite some time, and we had no idea what it was. We speculated it could even be the long-rumoured but not yet confirmed Zootopia sequel. Now however we know better- the November 2020 release will be Raya And The Last Dragon.

The film will be set in a fictional kingdom called Kumandra that is inspired by "the beautiful and diverse cultures of Southeast Asia". The titular character is a lone warrrior (voiced by Cassie Steele) who teams up with a group of misfits to find Sisu, the last dragon (voiced by Awkwafina). The film is being directed by Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins (both of whom are making their feature debut) and written by Adele Lim who was responsible for Crazy Rich Asians' screenplay.  The announcement came with a stunning piece of concept art.

Expo attendees were also given a sneak-peak at footage from this year's Frozen 2- including a taster of two of the seven new songs written for the film by the all-conquering Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. We also learned that Evan Rachel Wood will voice Queen Iduna- Anna and Elsa's mother- and Sterling K Brown will voice Lieutenant Destin Matthias.

Frozen 2 will be released this November and is directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck. You can check out the newly revealed characters below.

Not to be outdone, Disney's colleagues at Pixar also gave attendees a look at their upcoming releases.  Attendees got to see eight minutes of footage of next March's suburban fantasy Onwards. 

We also got the first details about Pete Docter's next movie, Soul- due next summer. We've now learned that the film will see Jamie Foxx voice a middle-school teacher named Joe Gardener, with big dreams of playing Jazz at a legendary club- only to see an accident befall him before he can get there. In the spirit world, he encounters a soul in training (voiced by Tina Fey) and together they hatch a plan to get Joe back to Earth.  Although it may seem pretty soon to be dealing with the afterlife so soon after Coco, this is looking like a different kettle of fish entirely. The cast will also feature Daveed Diggs, Questlove, and Phylicia Rashad. Get your first look at the min characters and some concept art, here!

It was also announced that a Phineas and Ferb movie is coming in 2020! But don't worry, it's not the next stop on Disney's seemingly unstoppable "live-action" remakes train, but a sequel movie to the series that will be exclusive to Disney Plus.  Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe sees the eponymous duo crossing the galaxy to save their sister. Check out the new logo!

Spider-Man is coming back to Disney...Disney Junior that is, in the form of Spidey And His Amazing Friends, the first Marvel show aimed at preschool kids and their families. The new show will launch in 2021 and will feature Peter Parker alongside Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy. Coming to Disney Channel meanwhile is new animated series Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur which will feature 13-year-old genius Moon Girl.

At the Marvel panel, the first image was shown of Peggy Carter as Captain Britain in Marvel's What If... coming to Disney Plus!

It was also announced that the eagerly awaited new season of Star Wars The Clone Wars will launch on Disney Plus in February 2020. It was also revealed that Disney Plus original series are due to follow a weekly schedule, rather than a Netflix binge model, so you'll have to be patient!