Sneaks peaks of Disney and Pixar announcements at D23 EXPO 2022

On Friday, at the D23 Expo Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar unveiled exciting new trailers, debuted exclusive sneak peeks, and dazzled guests with spectacular live performances previewing what’s to come for The Walt Disney Company.

PIXAR

Pixar chief creative officer Pete Docter took the stage to share the upcoming slate for the animation studio. Docter said, “These last few years have been a time of great change in the world. And it’s led us at Pixar to think about the future. Or, if I’m channeling my inner Joe from Soul, I’d ask: ‘Why are we here? What’s our purpose?’ Well, for us, it’s to tell great animated stories. Whether those are theatrical feature films, streaming series, or shorts, we think telling stories is foundational to who we are as people. They really define us. And we believe in the power of animation to capture and reflect the stories of our own lives.”

Elemental

Filmmakers Peter Sohn and Denise Ream revealed the details of Elemental, an all-new, original feature film releasing on 16 June 2023. Sohn, who directs the film, shared the personal inspiration behind the film—a story of immigrants pursuing dreams in beautiful neighbourhoods where language and cultures come together. Filmmakers introduced the characters in Elemental, which is set in a city where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together. Ember is a tough and fiery young woman, and Wade is a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy.

Win or Lose

Win or Lose directors Carrie Hobson and Michael Yates provided a closer look at Pixar’s first-ever long-form series and what inspired it. The series follows the Pickles, a co-ed middle school softball team, in the week leading up to their championship game. Each episode takes place that same week, highlighting the perspective of a different main character—players, their parents, the umpire—each reflected in a unique visual style. Hobson and Yates revealed that Will Forte will voice Coach Dan in the series. Win or Lose streams on Disney+ in fall 2023.

Elio

Director Adrian Molina and producer Mary Alice Drumm to showcase for the first time ever plans for the original feature film Elio. In the story, 11-year-old dreamer Elio is artistic, creative and an avid indoorsman who finds it hard to fit in. Meanwhile, Mom Olga, who runs a top-secret military project, is working to decode a strange signal from outer space. But it’s Elio who makes contact, gets beamed into space and is subsequently mistaken for an intergalactic Ambassador for Earth. The voice of smart and super-confident Olga, America Ferrera, was invited on stage alongside Yonas Kibreab, who lends his voice to Elio. Elio releases in spring 2024.

Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee discussed the opportunities Disney+ has created at Disney Animation, reviewing the slate of shows heading to the streamer, including new series like Zootopia+, launching on Disney+ 9 November.

Wish

Disney Animation’s next original feature film Wish, set to release fall 2023, during the Studio’s 100th year. A film that could only come from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the epic animated musical is inspired by the legacy of films from the studio and asks the question, “How did the wishing star, upon which so many characters wished, come to be?” Directors Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn outlined the story, which is set in Rosas, the kingdom of wishes where wishes can literally come true. Attendees were introduced to 17-year-old Asha—an optimist with a sharp wit who cares endlessly about her community. In a moment of desperation, Asha makes an impassioned plea to the stars, which is answered by a cosmic force, a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, they face the most formidable of foes to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.

Asha will be voiced by Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, who brought down the house singing an all-new original song written by Julia Michaels, who’s writing all of the songs for Wish. Lee serves as writer on the film, Peter Del Vecho produces and Juan Pablo Reyes co-producers.

Strange World

Lee then set the tone for Disney Animation’s next feature film, introducing the filmmakers behind Strange World. Director Don Hall and co-director screenwriter Qui Nguyen revealed their personal connections to the film about an incredible family who must get past their differences to save a strange world full of danger and surprises. The audience was treated to an all-new trailer from Disney Animation’s 61st feature film before voice cast members Jake Gyllenhaal (Searcher Clade), Dennis Quaid (Jaeger Clade), Jaboukie Young-White (Ethan Clade), and Lucy Liu (Callisto Mal) joined the festivities. Fans also got a glimpse at an action-packed sequence from the film and received an exclusive poster. Produced by Roy Conli, Strange World also features the voice of Gabrielle Union (Meridian). The film premieres in theaters 23 November 2022.

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