Pixar Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee presented their upcoming titles today during the Disney Investor Day.
Pixar Animation Studios
“Today, I’m excited to introduce you to a bunch of fresh, new filmmakers,” said Docter. “Getting their voices on the screen is our key focus right now – while at the same time allowing our veteran filmmakers to continue to do their great work. And I think that’s what we do best at Pixar: Honoring tradition, while at the same time innovating for the future.”
Among the upcoming titles was Pixar’s first-ever long-form animated series Win or Lose, which debuts exclusively on Disney+ in Fall 2023. Also revealed for the first time were two brand-new feature films slated for 2022, including Academy Award-winning director Domee Shi’s Turning Red, and Lightyear, the definitive origin story of the hero that inspired the toy. Chris Evans will voice the hero on his journey to becoming the most famous Space Ranger ever.
Inside Pixar is a new documentary series that invites Pixar fans into the studio for an up-close, never-before-seen look at the artistry, craftsmanship and storytellers behind beloved films. The first five episodes are currently available on Disney+ with more scheduled to release soon.
Soul, available exclusively on Disney+ beginning Dec. 25, 2020, explores themes like appreciating the simple joys of life and finding one’s unique spark. Directed by Docter, the film introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx), a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth.
Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions. Soul is co-directed by Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami) and produced by Academy Award® nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a. (Pixar short Lou).
Burrow is part of Pixar’s collection of shorts called SparkShorts that are created by a diverse group of storytellers. Debuting exclusively on Disney+ on Dec. 25, 2020, Burrow features a young rabbit who embarks on a journey to dig the burrow of her dreams, despite not having a clue what she’s doing. Rather than reveal to her neighbors her imperfections, she digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble. After hitting (bed)rock bottom, she learns there is no shame in asking for help. The new short is directed by Madeline Sharafian and produced by Mike Capbarat.
Pixar Popcorn, coming to Disney+ in January 2021, is a collection of mini shorts featuring Pixar characters in all-new, bite-size stories created by Pixar’s talented animators.
Luca, a new original feature film opening June 18, 2021, celebrates the universal theme of friendship. Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, it is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface. Luca is directed by Academy Award nominee Enrico Casarosa (Pixar short La Luna) and produced by Andrea Warren (Pixar short Lava, Cars 3).
Dug Days, which premieres exclusively on Disney+ in Fall 2021, is a new collection of shorts that follows the humorous misadventures of Dug, the lovable dog from Disney and Pixar’s Up. Each short features everyday events that occur in and around Dug’s backyard, all through the exciting (and delightfully distorted) eyes of our favorite talking dog. The shorts are written and directed by Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Bob Peterson and produced by Kim Collins.
Turning Red, a new feature film opening in theaters on March 11, 2022, introduces Mei Lee, a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which for a teenager is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! Turning Red is directed by Academy Award winner Domee Shi (Pixar short Bao) and produced by Lindsey Collins.
Lightyear, slated to open in theaters on June 17, 2022, is a sci-fi action-adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans) – the hero who inspired the toy. The film reveals how a young test pilot became the Space Ranger that we all know him to be today. Lightyear is directed by Angus MacLane and produced by Galyn Susman.
Cars, coming to Disney+ in Fall 2022, is an all-new series that follows Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater on a cross-country road trip. These episodes are filled with lots of fun new characters, imaginative destinations as well as old friends checking in along the way. The series is written by Steve Purcell and produced by Marc Sondheimer.
Win or Lose, Pixar’s first-ever original long-form animated series, debuts on Disney+ in 2023. It follows a coed middle school softball team in the week leading up to their championship game. Each 20-minute episode highlights the perspective of a different character and explores the drama of bad calls made on and off the field.
Written and directed by story artists Carrie Hobson and Michael Yates, and produced by David Lally, Win or Lose is a comedy about love, rivalry and the challenges we all face in our struggle to win at life.
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Jennifer Lee made several announcements today, including the studio’s next feature film, its first foray into animated series and a first-of-its-kind collaboration with a Pan-African entertainment company. Upcoming projects will introduce audiences to all-new characters and worlds, as well as revisit some of the most beloved from Disney’s legacy of films.
Said Lee, “From Kumandra to Colombia, San Fransokyo to Zootopia, from New Orleans to the Pacific Islands, to a sci-fi world in Africa, the story possibilities for the near century-old Disney Animation are more limitless than ever.”
Lee shared new details about Encanto, an original film slated for theaters in November 2021, that includes new songs by Emmy, GRAMMY and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“For our 60th feature, magical realism sets the stage, and, yes, it is a musical stage, as we travel to Colombia, where a magical family — the Madrigals — live in an equally magical home,” said Lee. “Our film is called ‘Encanto.’ Why? Because an Encanto is a charmed place, born of its unique wonders, where life itself is wondrous.”
Raya and the Last Dragon, which will be released on March 5, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access, travels to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons lived together long ago in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well.
Raya and the Last Dragon features the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as Raya, a warrior whose wit is as sharp as her blade, and Awkwafina as magical, mythical, self-deprecating dragon named Sisu. Newly revealed characters from the film include a street-savvy 10-year-old entrepreneur named Boun, the formidable giant Tong, and a thieving toddler Noi with her band of Ongis. The feature film is directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada and produced by Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho.
Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal – every child except one, Mirabel. But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional family’s last hope.
The film features all-new songs by Emmy, GRAMMY and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Moana) and is directed by Byron Howard (Zootopia, Tangled) and Jared Bush (co-director Zootopia), co-directed by Charise Castro Smith (writer The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez) and produced by Clark Spencer and Yvett Merino. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto opens in theaters November 24, 2021.
Baymax, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first-ever animated series, takes place in the fantastical city of San Fransokyo and features fan favorite healthcare bot, Baymax. Created by Don Hall, the Oscar-winning director of Big Hero 6, Baymax premieres on Disney+ in early 2022.
Zootopia+ heads back to the fast-paced mammal metropolis of Zootopia in a short-form series directed by Trent Correy and Josie Trinidad. Zootopia+ dives deeper into the lives of some of the feature film’s most intriguing characters, including Fru Fru, the newly married arctic shrew; Gazelle’s talented tiger dancers; and the sloth full of surprises, Flash. The short-form series debuts on Disney+ in Spring 2022.
Iwájú is an all-new original series coming to Disney+ in 2022. The series is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pan-African comic book entertainment company Kugali and its founders Tolu Olowofoyeku, Ziki Nelson and Hamid Ibrahim. “Iwájú,” which roughly translates to “The Future” in the Yoruba language, is steeped in science fiction.
The long-form series is set in Lagos, Nigeria, exploring deep themes of class, innocence and challenging the status quo. Says director Ziki Nelson, “This show will combine Disney’s magic and animation expertise with Kugali’s fire and storytelling authenticity. Iwájú represents a personal childhood dream of mine to tell my story and that of my people.”
Tiana, coming to Disney+ in 2023, is a long-form musical-comedy series featuring the extraordinary entrepreneur who’s now princess of the kingdom Maldonia. The all-new adventures explore both Maldonia and Tiana’s beloved hometown, New Orleans.
Tiana is the first princess to have her own Walt Disney Animation Studios series.
Moana, The Series, coming to Disney+ in 2023, is a new long-form musical series that follows spirited voyager Moana as she ventures far beyond the reef.
The studio is once again connecting with storytellers from the Pacific Islands to help tell the stories of wayfinding and other traditions brought to life for generations through oral storytelling.