Television & Film

D23 Expo: The Animation Report


At this year’s D23 Expo, Pixar and Walt Disney studios announced details about films coming out in 2016, and some new promotional posters for those films.

Walt Disney Animation Studios talked about their next films Zootopia, Gigantic, and Moana. 

Zootopia will be released on March 4, 2016. Judy Hopp, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, is a bunny who aspires to be a police officer, but once she gets her badge she gets stuck doing traffic duty. Then things get interesting when she meets a fox (Jason Bateman). Shakira will be voicing Gazelle, and will be singing an original song for the film – only time will tell if it’s as popular as “Let It Go.”

Gigantic is Disney’s version of Jack and the Beanstalk. In the world of giants, there are many different cultures, and the antagonists in this film will be the “Storm Giants.” Comic Book Resources quoted Director Nathan Greno as saying, “Spain had this Age of Discovery — this age of exploration. If you look at a ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ story, that’s kind of what happens there, too. What if we set the film during the Age of Discovery, and have Jack go up the beanstalk and make the greatest discovery of all time?” Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez will write the songs for Gigantic. 

The film will be released in 2018.

Moana is scheduled for release on November 23, 2016. John Musker & Ron Clements will direct the film, and Dwayne Johnson will be the voice of Maui. The film is about Moana, a young and strong willed woman who sets sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui. The band Te Vaka will provide the music for the film.

Disney exec Alan Horn also made sure to tell everyone that the studio is working hard on the Frozen sequel, but no more details were given out.

Pixar Studios came next with their announcements.

Inside Out director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera came out to show the crowd an exclusive look at the animated short. It’s Riley’s First Date? with the boy who picked up her water bottle, so headquarters has an interesting new challenge. The short will be available to watch on the Inside Out DVD.


Peter Sohn is the director of The Good Dinosaur, with writers Enrico Casarosa and Bob Peterson.

The Good Dinosaur is a film that asks a big “what if” question: What if the meteor that killed all the dinosaurs missed Earth? An Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) makes a human friend and must learn to confront his fears in a planet full of danger. Arlo’s human friend is named Spot (Jack Bright) and Anna Paquin, Jeffrey Wright, and Steve Zahn are also part of the cast.

The film comes out on Thanksgiving of this year.

To the excitement of Ellen DeGeneres, Finding Dory will be coming to theaters on June 17, 2016.

Andrew Stanton and Agnus MacLane are the directors, and Stanton also wrote the film with Victoria Straus. Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks will reprise their roles as Dory and Marlin, and Diane Keaton as Jenny, Dory’s mother, Eugene Levy as her father, Charlie, and Hayden Rolence as the new voice of Nemo. The film reunites Dory and Marlin and Nemo to find the answers to her past.


Coco is a Dia de los Muertos inspired film directed by Lee Unkrich and produced by Darla K. Anderson, who worked together on Toy Story 3. Miguel is a 12 year old boy growing up in rural Mexico, and his actions lead him to an ancient mystery that changes his fate forever. No release date has been announced yet.


The Incredibles 2 logo has also been released, and Brad Bird will be directing the film. No details were talked about at D23. In an interview with Zap2It, John Lasseter said, “We didn’t talk about it today at the D23 Expo because we have another D23 Expo before that one comes out,” and, “You’ll hear about it in two years.” Many are already speculating what the story could be about, but nothing has been confirmed. Fans will just have to stare at this logo for the next two years:

To everyone’s excitement, Pixar released more news about Toy Story 4. The film will be a love story between Woody and Bo Peep. John Lasseter and Josh Cooley are directing the film, and Galyn Susman is producing. Andrew Stanton wrote a treatment of the film, and then he and Lasseter brought in Rashida Jones and Will McCormack to write the screenplay. The two worked on Celeste and Jesse Forever together, and both are excited to work on Toy Story 4. Jones calls it a “dream come true” and McCormack joked that he is “most excited to meet Woody.”

IGN did an interview with John Lasseter in which he talks about the films announced during D23, and how his wife inspired him for Toy Story 4. 

Disney World will be adding some new Toy Story attractions, as well:

Oversized building blocks, buckets, and game board pieces inside of Toy Story Land will make visitors feel like they’ve been shrunk down to the size of action figures, Tech Times reports. Two new attractions will be added, and in the tweet from Disney Parks above, you can see concept art of the new family friendly roller coaster. The second will be the Alien Swirling Saucers from the famous claw machine scene. A giant claw will be dangling above the riders’ heads. Finally, Disney Parks will be expanding Toy Story Mania.

This is all news just from the first day of D23. Disney and Pixar have always been known for their ability to pull any emotion from their audience, and at the D23 Expo they got all the fans excited. Finding Dory and The Incredibles 2 are especially exciting for fans, because it has been so long since the originals were released. However, Disney and Pixar never seem to disappoint, so audiences have learned to be patient. The D23 Expo will come back in 2017.


Alley Ulrich

Alley Ulrich is a student at the University of Kansas majoring in Film and Media Studies and History. She likes reading, looking at pictures of rabbits, and the color blue. Fell in love with science fiction after watching PACIFIC RIM.

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