D23 Expo: Upcoming Pixar, Disney Animation Studios, Live-Action, Lucasfilm and Marvel Films Recap

Our D23 Expo weekend was a busy, fun-filled, magical weekend full of SO many big announcements and happenings! We already shared updates on the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (you can read here), but have even more to share about Friday and Saturday’s biggest announcements!

D23 Expo: Day 1 – Friday, July 14, 2017

We had the best time taking over Visit Anaheim’s Instagram on Friday to share our fun D23 Expo day with everyone! A few highlights from our day included seeing the extremely detailed 1/2-inch scale model of Star Wars Land aka “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” meeting legendary animators/directors/producers/screenwriters of some of the best Disney films of all time, John Musker and Alan Menken, and listening to John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, share about upcoming films in an auditorium full of 8,000 people!


Star Wars Land aka “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge”


Upcoming Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Films

Since the Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios announcement was one of the biggest of the weekend, we wanted to share a little bit more about what we heard.

Pixar has a couple of very exciting films making their way to the theaters between now and 2019! We were lucky enough to see sneak peeks of the films as well as a few of the actors and actresses from the movies (we weren’t star struck or anything…okay, we totally were, ha!). Some of the actors and actresses we saw from upcoming Pixar films included Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, and Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson.

The Walt Disney Studios and Pixar films we heard about include COCO (coming to theaters November 22, 2017 – will include the new short, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”), Incredibles 2 (coming to theaters June 15, 2018), Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2 (coming to theaters November 21, 2018), Toy Story 4 (coming to theaters on June 21, 2019), Frozen 2 (title to be announced – set to hit theaters November 27, 2019) and an untitled film set in a modern day, magical world where no humans live, only trolls, elves, unicorns and creatures alike! The story for this untitled film is actually based off of directer Dan Scanlon’s personal story – he and his brother sadly lost their father at a very young age and have always wondered who he was. We got to hear a very special recording that Scanlon’s aunt saved of his father saying “hi” and then “bye” – the only words he’s ever heard him speak! This film will tell the story of two boys who set off on a journey to spend one last day with their father – we know, tear jerker, but so amazing – we can’t wait to see it!

The best moment of the announcement was when a clip of “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2” featuring Disney princesses was shown on the big screen – the whole crowd was roaring with laughter! This portion of the movie shows Vanellope von Schweetz (played by Sarah Silverman) in the presence of the Disney Princesses. A hilarious conversation ensues as the princesses try to figure out if Vanellope is actually a “princess” – seriously, it was all so clever and funny. After the clip of the movie ended, the biggest moment of the announcement happened – the original voices of some of the most beloved Disney princesses started to make their way out onto the stage, one right after the next! We saw Paige O’Hara (Belle), Jodi Benson (Ariel), Linda Larkin (Jasmine), Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Auli’i Cravahlo (Moana) and Kristen Bell (Anna) and of course, Sarah Silverman who plays Vanellope von Schweetz all on the stage in a line – it was a pretty magical, jaw-dropping Disney moment!

We’ve got a lot of movies we’re looking forward to seeing with our kids in the next couple of years!

D23 Expo: Day 2 – July 15, 2017

Day 2 of the D23 Expo was once again, jam-packed full of so many exciting things! We took over Disney Family’s Instagram to share all the Disney fun happening around the Expo, but not to worry if you missed what we posted that day – we’re sharing all the details from Saturday’s biggest announcements right here! We were able to sit in on the “Disney, Marvel Studios & Lucasfilm – Live Action at the Walt Disney Studios,” and “Walt Disney Parks and Resorts” announcements – lots of amazing things coming our way, friends!

Upcoming Live-Action Films

A Wrinkle in Time is an adventure-filled movie based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 classic novel. The story is set in another dimension of time and space where Meg Murry and her brother Charles Wallace embark on a journey to find their missing father. We were very excited to listen to some of the cast of the movie speak about the film and why they decided to take on the roles they did. It was surreal to see talented actors and actresses such as Oprah Winfrey (named “Disney Legend” on Friday!), Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine and Storm Reid all up on stage. The film is set to hit theaters on March 9, 2018!


Each guest got to take home this teaser poster for the movie!

Mary Poppins Returns – we have always loved Mary Poppins, so this was one of the highlights of the list of announcements for us – we were a little misty-eyed! Hearing director/producer Rob Marshall and actress Emily Blunt talk about the film was really special. Emily said, “No one will ever out-Julie Julie Andrews” and that her version of Mary Poppins is more similar to the way in which she was portrayed in the original series by P.L. Travers – “odd and vain.” Our favorite quote from Emily Blunt was when she proclaimed that the film is a “big old musical!” We love musicals!

This sequel to the beloved 1964 Mary Poppins is set in London during the Depression where grown-up Jane and Michael Banks are once again visited by the practically perfect nanny! The film also brings back the familiar and lovely Cherry Tree Lane (so happy about this!). We especially love that Dick Van Dyke will be in the movie as “Mr. Dawes Jr.”

After hearing all the exciting information about the movie, the audience was treated with a never before seen compilation of scenes (Emily Blunt had never even seen it!) from the film while the Disney Orchestra performed live – completely magical!

mary poppins

Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins

Nutcracker and the Four Realms was a very exciting announcement for us because we grew up loving the Nutcracker (basically wanted to BE Clara)! The film will take place in a strange and mysterious world made up of four realms – the Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, Land of Sweets and a dark fourth realm where Clara will take on the Mouse King, made up of a gang of mice instead of just one mouse like in the traditional story. The film stars Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger and Morgan Freeman as godfather Drosselmeyer and is set to be released on November 2, 2018.

Dumbo directed by Tim Burton – so excited about this! We know this might sound strange to some, but we think it’s going to be amazing! In our opinion, Tim Burton is the PERFECT person to bring this story to life. The live-action version of Dumbo will be about a former circus star and war-veteran who is charged with caring for a baby elephant who, as we all know, has oversized ears. We learned that they are using “state-of-the-art visual effects to portray the big-eared elephant.” The cast includes Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Eva Green and Michael Keaton – projected release date is March 29, 2019.


Teaser photo for Dumbo

More live-action film announcements with little detail:

  • Mulan
  • Jungle Cruise featuring Dwayne Johnson – based off of the beloved Jungle Cruise attraction in Adventureland
  • Aladdin directed by Guy Ritchie, with Will Smith as the Genie, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin.
  • The Lion King – set to arrive to theaters on July 19, 2019. The film stars Donald Glover as Simba and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is set to open in theaters on December 15, 2017. Unfortunately, we missed this part of the announcements, but we do know that the audience was treated with a special sneak peek and behind-the-scenes look at the film!

Avengers: Infinity War – We are also SO sad that we missed this part of the announcements because first of all, an epic grand entrance was made that included everyone’s favorite Avengers stars like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff AND the audience got a first look at the film! The film is set to hit the theaters on May 4, 2018.

YAY FOR MOVIES! Hope you all enjoyed reading our updates! We’re excited to learn more about all of these films over the next couple of years!


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