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Disney Previews Their Upcoming Slate At 2020 Investors Day



On December 10, Disney held their annual presentation for investors. That sounds really boring (which probably, much of it is) but from a fan's point of view, it's when they show off their upcoming releases for the next couple of years, and many have been made public for the first time. This year they announced numerous new projects including new animated films and series from Pixar, Disney, LucasFilm and Marvel, as well as more details from previously announced titles.

Two brand new theatrical Pixar films were announced, that will follow the upcoming Soul and next summer's Luca. On June 17 2022, Pixar will release Lightyear, a spin-off from the Toy Story series. But rather than a standalone movie for Tim Allen's toy character, this is based on the 'real' Buzz: it's the "definitive origin story of " the character who "inspired the toy", Angus MacLane (director of Toy Story Of Terror and Small Fry shorts, co-director of Finding Dory) makes his solo directing debut. In an inspired piece of casting, Buzz Lightyear will be voiced by Chris Evans. A full-on sci-fi flick from Pixar? Yes, please. 


 

Releasing in 2022 in the autumn, Domee Shi, director of the short Bao makes her feature debut helming Turning Red, an original feature about Mei Lee, a 13-year old who has to deal with the normal issues of adolescence... as well as the fact that every time she gets excited she turns into an adorable giant red panda! 


 

Walt Disney Animation Studios announced that their next film Raya and The Last Dragon will be released next March simultaneously in cinemas and via 'premiere access' on Disney Plus. The last film released in this way was the live-action Mulan, although that didn't release in cinemas at all. This is surprising news as the fact that Pixar's Soul is releasing on Disney Plus without the need to pay extra, many speculated that Mulan's release strategy was not very profitable.

WDAS also revealed their next film which will release in November 2021. Encanto comes from Zootopia directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush, with Charise Castro Smith co-directing. Set in the mountains of Colombia, in the titular town, where the residents are blessed with magical powers. Our hero is Mirabel, the only member of the Madrigal family without superpowers, but who becomes Encanto's last hope. The film features original songs from Lin Manuel Miranda.

It has also been confirmed that the follow up to the 2019 not-live-action Lion King is actually going to be a prequel. Moonlight director Barry Jenkins will direct. And it's still not live-action, whatever they say.

Otherwise, Disney is going all-in with Disney Plus. Which is not surprising considering they already have racked up 137 million subscribers across the world. They revealed a whole slate of new projects, both series and original movies, from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and LucasFilm.

WDAS also revealed their "first-ever television series" (Disney's Television Animation division being a separate entity) with spin-offs of some of their big-screen hits. Baymax will continue the adventures of the lovable inflatable robot from Big Hero 6, coming early 2022.

Zootopia+ is a short-form series that will focus on different characters we met in the original movie, coming Spring 2022. In 2023 Tiana will continue the adventures of the titular Princess and The Frog star as she is now princess of Maldonia. The same year Moana, The Series will follow her adventures as she ventures beyond the reef. Both series will be long-form and feature new songs.

WDAS will also produce Iwájú in collaboration with pan-African comic book company Kugali. Translating roughly as "the future" it's a sci-fi steeped tale set in Lagos, Nigeria.

Pixar announced Dug Days, a collection of shorts starring the lovable pooch from Up, written and directed by Bob Peterson. Another spin-off comes in the form of Cars, a new series following Lightning McQueen and Mater on a cross-country road trip. Various Pixar characters will also star in short collection Pixar Popcorn. 


Pixar's first ever long-form series was announced Win Or Lose, focused on the members of a coed middle school softball team on the lead up to their big championship game. The series arrives in 2023. Pixar also announced a brand new documentary series Inside Pixar, which is now streaming.

Marvel Studios first animated series What If...? shows alternate versions of MCU heroes and will arrive in summer 2021. The series features many of the stars of the MCU reprising their roles in voice form and will feature the final appearance of Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa. Get your first look at the series, below.

 

Among a slate of other new series, animated character Baby Groot will star in a series of new shorts in I Am Groot.

LucasFilm will bring new animated Star Wars series The Bad Batch to Disney Plus. A spin-off featuring characters introduced in The Clone Wars, the series will take place after the events of this series. The first footage was previewed.

 

One of the biggest surprises of the whole presentation has to be Star Wars Visions. The new series will bring an anime spin to the saga and will feature 10 shorts from some of Japan's top anime studios.

LucasFilm and Industrial Light and Magic will collaborate on a new adventure film A Droid Story. It will introduce a new hero who will be guided by Star Wars icons R2D2 and C3PO. It's a little unclear if this will be a fully animated feature or a hybrid.

After years of adapting animated films into live-action, Disney is now finally trying it the other way around. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and Night At The Museum are both getting adapted into animated films for Disney Plus. 

More (mostly) live-action adaptations of Disney classics are also headed for the streaming service. Musical adaptation Pinnochio will star Tom Hanks and will be directed by Robert Zemeckis. Peter Pan and Wendy comes from Pete's Dragon remake director David Lowery. The film will star Jude Law as Captain Hook and Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell.


 

Disney Afternoon favourite Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers is being adapted as an animated/live-action hybrid, set to arrive spring 2022. The Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer will direct, with John Mulaney and Andy Samberg voicing the titular chipmunks. The casting very much implies that this will be a comedic adaptation (although I'm not sure how you could even adapt it seriously) that will appeal to the millennial/Gen X viewers who grew up on the original. 

Blue Sky's first project for Disney Plus was also announced. The Ice Age Adventures Of Buck Wild will arrive early 2022. This spin-off from the Ice Age series will feature Simon Pegg's weasel character Buck and possum brother Crash and Eddie.

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