It’s been a year of great things for The Walt Disney Company. There have been many changes at the Disney Parks, including the removal of the FastPass+ system and the addition of Genie+ and Lightning Lane.
Disney’s CFO scored a renewed contract through 2024, and veteran Disney-ite and former CEO Bob Iger has finally relinquished any role with the company, formally effective December 31.
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But one thing that has stayed endearingly the same for The Walt Disney Company is the continued production and release of live-action and animated features that keep us coming back for more time and time again.
This year 2021 saw the release of several films from the Production House of Mouse, including Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella, Luca, Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Marvel’s Eternals. This was also the year that saw the release of the highly-anticipated Encanto with music by the uber-talented Lin Manuel Miranda–a film which had audiences standing up and cheering (in the theater and in their living rooms). Encanto breaks all the molds of Disney Animation’s usual storytelling techniques and showcases a wide array of musical, writing, and artwork abilities on the part of the creators of the film.
The mid-December release of Spider-Man: No Way Home blew everyone away, and it’s the first pandemic-era film to break the $1 billion threshold at the global box office.
But 2022 and beyond are also wildly promising when it comes to Disney’s offerings at the theater and on the Disney+ streaming platform. In this post, we’ll look specifically at Disney and PIXAR films (with a dash of Star Wars here and there as well). There are many, so let’s look at some of the most anticipated upcoming films.
COMING IN 2022
Walt Disney Studios seems very interested in live-action remakes and sequels lately, and the trend looks to continue well into the future, beginning with a remake of sorts of Disney’s Cheaper By the Dozen in March 2022, starring Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union. Tom Hanks will play Gepetto in Disney’s live-action Pinocchio, directed by Robert Zemeckis, set to be released on the Disney+ platform in the fall next year.
In March 2022, PIXAR Animation Studios will release Turning Red, the story of a little girl who turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets overly-excited or overwhelmed. There’s been a lot of “buzz” over PIXAR’s Lightyear movie, which has a release date of June 17, 2022. Contrary to what many fans believed, Lightyear is not the backstory of Buzz Lightyear, but rather the story of the man who inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure, explaining why PIXAR Animation Studios commandeered the voice talents of Chris Evans over Tim Allen.
Walt Disney Studios will also release the second installment of Enchanted, simply called Disenchanted, next fall (or perhaps next spring, depending on who you talk to; both seasons have been offered as having potential for the release of the film that stars Amy Adams as Giselle.) Hocus Pocus 2 will debut in the fall next year and will be, of course, the sequel to Hocus Pocus, which was released in the 1990s but has grown into superstardom over the years and now enjoys a pop culture following wholly unique to the film itself.
Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers, with the voice talents of SNL’s Andy Samberg, is slated for a 2022 release, but the exact date alludes everyone at the moment.
Next year will also bring fans Peter Pan & Wendy, a spin-off from Walt Disney Studios’ Peter Pan, inspired by J. M. Barrie’s children’s book. It will find its home on the Disney+ platform, and Disney’s Strange World will see a theatrical debut on November 23, 2022.
COMING IN 2023
Madame Leota has consulted her crystal ball, and we have consulted with her, and she says that in 2023, fans of the Haunted Mansion will have yet another offering within the realm of the iconic Disney Parks attraction in the form of a remake of the 1990s-era film that starred Eddie Murphy, this time around with the likes of Owen Wilson and Danny DeVito keeping company with the 999 happy haunts. It’s slated for release on March 10 that year.
Then (finally) we get to see the live-action version of Disney Animation Studios’ The Little Mermaid. This installment will star R&B star Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as the evil sea witch Ursula. Catch that one as it swims by on May 26, 2023. Later that year on August 11, 2023, Walt Disney Studios brings fans a Snow White-themed film–live-action, mind you–starring Rachel Zegler, who was also cast in Steven Spielberg’s recently-released (though terribly-flopped) remake of West Side Story.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron will also be released just before Christmas that year on December 16.
PIXAR Animation Studios has an untitled project set for a theatrical release on June 16, 2023, but of course, the “untitled” part means we can’t give you much more than that. Stay tuned.
2024 AND BEYOND
Beyond what we know so far about titled releases at this time, Walt Disney Studios, PIXAR Animation Studios, and LucasFilm all have untitled projects in the works for release in 2023, 2024, and even beyond that.
Disney Animation Studios has a project in the works with a release date of November 22, 2023, followed by a live-action film set to debut on March 22, 2024, and one on July 5, 2024, which is rumored to possibly be a Lion King-themed prequel.
PIXAR Animation Studios has an untitled project slated for a June 14, 2024 debut, and LucasFilm has two films slated for debuts on December 19, 2025 and December 17, 2027, respectively.
Among Disney films in the works with no title and/or no release date yet are the following:
- Flight of the Navigator directed by Bryce Dallas Howard
- Cruella 2 starring Emma Stone, for which Disney is paying an 8-figure security deposit
- Jungle Book 2, a sequel to the 2016 remake with Jon Favreau at the helm
- a live-action version of Lilo & Stitch for Disney+
- Aladdin 2
- a remake of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a live-action endeavor, with Josh Gad in the reserves with music by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz
- 2 different Pirates of the Caribbean films, one starring Margot Robbie
- a live-action version of the story of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm, which promises NOT to be a remake of Disney’s Tangled
Which of these are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!