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Disney Pixar Unveils Future Animated Film Lineup


Filmmakers from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios introduced D23 EXPO 2015 fans to an array of new stories and characters. The audience of 7,500 was treated to sneak peeks, musical performances and appearances from stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Ginnifer Goodwin, Dwayne Johnson, Randy Newman and Ty Burrell, among others. John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, led the presentations, calling on a host of filmmakers from both studios to introduce the upcoming slate of films. Following are the films presented on behalf of both studios.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR. Anticipation for Disney·Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” was amplified when director Peter Sohn and producer Denise Ream shared breathtaking sequences with fans, including never-before-seen footage of a trio of T-Rexes in action. In theaters very soon on Nov. 25, 2015, the film introduces audiences to Arlo, a sheltered Apatosaurus who finds himself far from home, and Spot, Arlo’s unlikely human friend.

ZOOTOPIA. International superstar Shakira is lending her voice as Gazelle, the biggest pop star in “Zootopia,” D23 EXPO fans learned via a taped message from Shakira. Ginnifer Goodwin, the voice of the film’s rookie rabbit officer Judy Hopps, saluted fans alongside directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore, and producer Clark Spencer. Hilarious new scenes from the film were unveiled, plus a tease of the all-new original song, “Try Everything,” written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate, and performed by Shakira.

FINDING DORY. Ellen DeGeneres, the voice of everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, took a dip with D23 EXPO attendees, celebrating Disney·Pixar’s upcoming film “Finding Dory.” Joining DeGeneres on stage this afternoon were Ed O’Neill who lends his voice to Hank, a cantankerous octopus; Ty Burrell, the voice of Bailey, a misguided beluga whale; and Kaitlin Olson, who voices Destiny, a kind-hearted whale shark. director Andrew Stanton, co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins offered details about the all-new story, which reunites Dory with friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale? “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

MOANA. Dwayne Johnson, who lends his voice to the mighty demi-god Maui in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana,” hit the stage at D23 EXPO. Renowned directors John Musker and Ron Clements, and producer Osnat Shurer shared dazzling early test footage and revealed plans for the film’s inspired music and the extraordinary team behind it. Tony®-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, Grammy®-winning composer Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i blend their diverse and dynamic talents to help tell the tale of a spirited teenager who sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder. Foa’i and his band Te Vaka capped the presentation with a show-stopping performance illustrating the magic of the movie’s music. “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.

TOY STORY 4. Pixar Animation Studios marks the 20th Anniversary of “Toy Story” this year. Said Lasseter, "All the characters from ‘Toy Story’— especially Woody and Buzz —are so close to us. They seem more like family members than just creations. Not only do we dearly love the characters, but we also love the world of ‘Toy Story’—the world where toys come to life when people are not in the room has always been rich with many story possibilities...I’m very proud of our films,” said Lasseter. “When we made the first three ‘Toy Story’ films, we didn’t realize what we had done was to change the genre of each of the films’ story. For ‘Toy Story 4,’ we are doing a type of story we have not done before: a love story. It’s a story about a relationship between Woody and Bo Peep." “Toy Story 4,” which will be directed by Lasseter and produced by Susman, is slated for release on June 16, 2017.

GIGANTIC. Things are looking up at Walt Disney Animation Studios – way up. “Gigantic,” Disney’s unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” will feature music from Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who greeted D23 EXPO fans in signature style—in song—alongside director Nathan Greno and producer Dorothy McKim. Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s “Gigantic” follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality—and who knew giants were so down to earth? “Gigantic” hits theaters in 2018.

COCO. Director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson revealed the title of their upcoming film: Disney·Pixar’s “Coco” is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion. "As artists and filmmakers, we couldn't help but be drawn to the striking visuals of Dia de los Muertos,” said Unkrich and Anderson. “But it was the celebration's core themes of family, remembrance and connection across generations that resonated within and truly inspired us. Dia de los Muertos is as singular as the Mexican culture, while at the same time completely universal in its message. “In our story,” they continued, “the celebration of Dia de los Muertos serves as the perfect backdrop for our main character to ask where he comes from, what his place is within his family, and how families stay woven together across time through the simple act of remembrance."

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