New Walt Disney Animation Studios film in the making

The next Disney animated feature film in production will arrive in the fall of 2022 and will be directed by Don Hall and written by Qui Nguyen. This will mark Disney’s 61st film in their canon of animated features and will likely fill the 22 November slot that was previously announced, as reported by Discussing Film. It will be Walt Disney Animation Studios’ next project after Encanto.

The director-writer duo worked together on Walt Disney Animation’s latest feature, Raya and The Last Dragon, which released earlier this year in March in select theaters that were open at the time and on Disney+ premium access.

Don Hall has been working at Disney for decades, although he only has three directing credits outside of Raya and the Last Dragon, those being the co-director of Moana as well as the director of Big Hero 6 and 2011’s Winnie the Pooh. He has worked as a story artist and supervisor on various Disney films including The Emperor’s New Groove, The Princess and The Frog, and Ralph Breaks the Internet. He also worked on the scripts for Meet the Robinsons and 1999’s Tarzan. After all his years at Disney, he finally brought home an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature with Big Hero 6 in 2015.

Raya and The Last Dragon was Qui Nguyen’s first film screenwriting credit, though he is more known for his work on TV and as a playwright. His TV credits include work on Syfy’s Incorporated, Netflix’s The Society, and AMC’s Dispatches from Elsewhere. Nguyen won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program for PBS’ Peg + Cat.

The main character in the upcoming new film is Ethan, a bi-racial (Caucasian/African-American) 14-year old. The studio is looking for voiceover talent 18 and older to play the role. According to the logline, Ethan “sounds very typical as far as teenagers go. Playful and quick-witted, but can also retreat. He can be a wise-ass, but he isn’t particularly tough. The actor voicing him should be funny, likable, & sound like a 14-year old, but also possess the ability to quickly turn inward and show us a soft emotional side.”

Roy Conli will produce the untitled film for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Conli has been working at the animation studio since 1996 as a co-producer on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Since then, he’s produced Treasure Planet, Tangled, and Big Hero 6. Roy most recently worked as studio and creative leadership alongside Don Hall and Qui Nguyen on Raya and The Last Dragon.

Walt Disney Animation Studios have a large number of projects in the pipeline. The company is planning to release two films this year, Encanto and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.