Disney Investors Day 2020: Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation, Pixar
Disney’s 2020 investors day was a 4-hour marathon of announcements, sizzle reels, and some big surprises. Our own Robbert de Koeijer was there virtually. He’s broken down the big takeaways into this four part series.
In this part of the Disney Investors Day 2020 article series we go into what series and movies the Walt Disney Studios will bring us, as well as which series and movies Walt Disney Animation and Pixar have in store for us.
Disney+ Original Series
- Disney+ original series: The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is a sequel TV series set decades after 1996’s kids ice hockey movie D3: The Mighty Ducks. Currently the only returning character is Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay. He is joined by a cast of young actors and Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) as the mother of 12-year-old Evan who comes to Bombay to start up a hockey team. It’s produced by ABC Studios. Currently there is no release date, but given that Disney showed a trailer, sometime in 2021 is a good guess.
- Disney+ original series: Turner & Hooch is a TV series reboot of the 20th Century Fox movie from 1989 starring Tom Hanks. Josh Peck (the Ice Age series) is Scott Turner, in this iteration not a police detective but a U.S Marshall, who gets teamed up with the unruly French Mastiff Hooch played by a team of dogs called Arnie, Hammer, Obi, Cyd and Mya. The series comes from Scott Nix (Burn Notice, The Gifted) and is produced by 20th Television. No release date has been given.
- Disney+ original series: Big Shot is a sports drama series from Dean Lorey (iZombie) and David E. Kelley (Nine Perfect Strangers), based on an original idea by Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond). The series stars John Stamos (The Little Mermaid Live!) as a basketball coach of the team of an elite girl’s private high school. The series also stars Jessalyn Gilsig (Vikings) and Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) among others. It’s produced by ABC Studios. No release date is given, but expect it in 2021 as they have shown a trailer.
- Disney+ original series: A six-part musical prequel series to the live action Beauty and the Beast movie. Luke Evans (The Hobbit) and Josh Gad (Frozen) will reprise their roles of Gaston and Lefou, respectively. Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Once Upon A Time) are writing the series that will expand the world of the movie and give its main characters more backstory. Produced by ABC Studios, no release date is yet given.
- Disney+ original series: The Mysterious Benedict Society, originally made for Disney’s other streaming service Hulu, is now coming to Disney+. It’s an adaption of Trenton Lee Stewart’s young-adult adventure novel series about four gifted orphans who are recruited by the eccentric Mr. Benedict. The group is placed undercover in the boarding school called The Institute to stop an evil plot. The series comes from Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay (R.I.P.D.) and stars Tony Hale (Harley Quinn, Veep) and Kristen Schaal (The Last Man on Earth) among others. We can expect the series sometime in 2021.
- Disney+ original series: Swiss Family Robinson, a TV series reboot of Disney’s 1960 adventure movie based on Johann David Wyss’ 1812 novel. The series will give us a new take on the Swiss family who escape the Napoleonic Wars for a New Guinea colony but who are shipwrecked on an uninhabited island. Ron Moore (Outlander, Battlestar Galactica) is writing the series. Director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, the Willow TV series) is attached as producer via production company Bravery Lake in a cooperation with 20th Television. The series might very well give new live to Disney’s Swiss Family Treehouse attractions in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland. No release date for the series has been given.
- Disney+ original series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Rick Riordan and his wife Becky are currently hard at work developing a TV series based on his Greek mythology young-adult adventure series. Season 1 will adapt the first novel, The Lighting Thief. Riordan was shut out of the production of the two 20th Century Fox movies and was heavily disappointed by them, so we can probably expect a faithful and true adaption. No release date has currently been given.
- Disney+ original movie: Hocus Pocus 2 is finally coming after years and years of speculation! The movie will see the return of the infamous trio of Salem witches, the Sanderson Sisters. Actresses Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are all set to return. Jen D’Angelo (Workaholics) is currently writing the screenplay and Adam Shankman (Hairspray (2007)) is set to direct the sequel to the 1993 Halloween classic.
- Disney+ original movie: Three Men and a Baby, a reboot of the Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek) directed 1990 comedy movie, itself a remake of the 1985 French movie Trois hommes et un couffin. The American original starred Tom Selleck (Blue Bloods), Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy), and Ted Danson (The Good Place). Zach Efron (The Greatest Showman) is set to star in the 2022 scheduled movie from a script penned by Will Reichel.
- Disney+ original movie: Safety is a biographical movie based on the story of Ray McElrathbey, played by Jay Reeves (All American), a student at Clemson University and American football player who after a family tragedy takes his younger brother to secretly live at his dorm. The movie is directed by Reginald Hudlin (Boomerang), written by Nick Santora (The Sopranos) and was released the day after the Disney Investor Day 2020. You can now see it on Disney+.
Disney+ original movies: Greek Freak is a basketball biopic based on the life of NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family. The movie is directed by Akin Omotoso (The Ghost and the House of Truth), with a script by Arash Amel (Grace of Monaco). No release date yet given.
Disney+ original movies: Greek Freak isn’t the only sports biopic in the works for Disney+. Also coming is a NBA star player Chris Paul biopic, and a UCLA football analyst Keanon Lowe biopic, who disarmed a student with a shotgun at Parkrose High School in Portland in May 2019. No further details are given for both movies.
- Disney+ original movie: Flora & Ulysses is an adaption of Kate DiCamillo’s Newberry Award-winning children’s book Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. It tells the story of 10-year-old comic book fan Flora who saves the squirrel Ulysses. It’s superhero powers will throw Flora’s life upside-down. The Lena Khan (The Tiger Hunter) directed movie is written by Brad Copeland (Spies in Disguise) and will be released on February 19. It will star Matilda Lawler (Evil) and Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother) among others.
- Disney+ original movie: comedy Cheaper By the Dozen will be the third movie adaption of Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey’s semi-autobiographical book from 1948. Gail Lerner (Black-ish) directs the movie written by Kenya Barris (The Witches (2020)) and Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry (Grown-ish). The reboot starring Gabrielle Union (Bad Boys TV spin-off L.A.’s Finest) is expected for 2022.
- 20th Century Studios Disney+ original movie: Diary of a Wimpy Kid will go 3D animated after four live action movies under 20th Century Fox. The animation will be based on the illustrations in the books series. Beyond a release in 2021 further details about titular Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley’s next teen adventure are few.
- 20th Century Studios Disney+ original movie: The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild will be one of animation studio Blue Sky Studios under Disney after the buyout of 21st Century. The sixth Ice Age movie will be a spin-off starring the possum brothers Crash and Eddie and the returning Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs character Buck Wild. Details are few but Simon Pegg (Star Trek) will return to voice Buck Wild, and we can assume Seann William Scott (Lethal Weapon (2016)) and Josh Peck (the Turner & Hooch reboot) will also return to voice Crash and Eddie, respectively. A release date is given as early 2022.
- 20th Century Studios Disney+ original movie: A fourth Night at the Museum will not be live action but animated. Details are few, but director of the first three movies, Shawn Levy, will be attached as producer. A release date is expected for 2021.
- Disney+ original movie: Chip ‘n ‘Dale: Rescue Rangers, based on the 1989 cartoon TV series, will be a live action/animation hybrid. John Mulaney (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) will voice Chip and Dale, respectively. Akiva Schaffer (The Lonely Island) will direct the movie. A release date was not yet given, but investors could already see test footage.
- Disney+ original movie: The live action remake of Pinocchio, directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) and starring Tom Hanks (Greyhound) as puppet maker Geppetto, will premiere on Disney+ at an unspecified date.
- Disney+ original movie: Peter Pan & Wendy, another Disney take on J.M. Barrie’s classic story and live action remake of the 1953 animation, is also going straight to Disney+. The movie will be directed by David Lowery who also writes the movie with his Pete’s Dragon (2016) partner Toby Halbrooks. The movie will star Alexander Molony as Peter Pan, Ever Anderson as Wendy Darling and Jude Law as Captain James Hook, among others. No release date has yet been given.
- Disney+ original movie: Disenchanted is the long awaited sequel to 2007’s musical fairy tale comedy Enchanted. Under direction of Adam Shankman (Hocus Pocus 2) Amy Adams returns as fairy tale princess Giselle. We can only assume Patrick Dempsey will also reprise his role. Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) write the songs accompanying the story from Shankman. No release date has been given.
Disney+ original movie: Sister Act 3 is also coming to Disney+. Whoopi Goldberg returns as Deloris Van Cartier and has said to hope to bring back as many other nuns as possible. Tyler Perry will produce, but other details are few.
- Disney original movie: The Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man) starring Cruella is expected to land on Disney+ in 2021. The prequel to (1996’s live action?) 101 Dalmatians will chronicle the rise of the evil fashion mogul Estella “Cruella” de Vil in 1970s London. Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) directs the movie executive produced by former live action movie Cruella Glenn Close. A sizzle reel of the movie was shown only to investors.
- Disney movie: The movie adaption of Disney’s pun-tastic theme park ride Jungle Cruise is planned to be released in theatres on July 31, 2021. Yes, there are still theatrical movies on this list. The movie directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (The Commuter) and starring Dwayne Johnson (Fast and Furious) and Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place) was shot all the way back in 2018! The screenplay is by Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049), Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Smallfoot).
- Disney movie: A theatrical prequel to 2019’s “live action” The Lion King remake is coming from Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). Details are few, but Jeff Nathanson’s story is said to be about Mufasa’s younger years. The curveball here is that the movie might also be some sort of sequel too. No release date is currently known.
- Disney movie: Director Rob Marshall’s (Mary Poppins Returns) live action remake of The Little Mermaid got another mention during the presentation. The movie will be written by Jane Goldman (Kingsman) and David Magee (Finding Neverland), and star Halle Bailey (Grown-ish) in the titular role. No theatrical release date as of now.
Walt Disney Animation
- Walt Disney Animation’s 59th feature film, Raya and the Last Dragon, will go to both cinemas and Disney+ Premiere Access on March 5th.
- Disney+ original series: Baymax!, sequel series to Big Hero 6, will be Walt Disney Animation’s first ever TV series. Unlike Big Hero 6 the Series this series will be animated in 3D. In the series robot Baymax will focus more on his original role of a nurse robot. The series is expected in early 2022. By the way, this technically is also a new Marvel TV series for Disney+, as Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel comic.
- Disney+ original series: Zootopia+ is a short form series that will expand the world of Zootopia and its inhabitants. The series is expected for Spring 2022. No word on if the series will be called “Zootropolis+” in the areas the movie carried that title. By the way, around Spring 2022 the Zootopia land at Shanghai Disneyland will likely also be finished construction.
- Disney+ original series: A sequel TV series to Princess and the Frog, Tiana is a long form musical series, of course set in New Orleans. Expected for 2022, it wouldn’t be surprising if the series would launch around the same time as the re-theming of Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom’s log flume ride Splash Mountain from Song of the South to Princess of the Frog is finished.
- Disney+ original series: Currently simply known as Moana, this sequel to the movie Moana will be a long form dramedy series that is a sequel to the adventures of the Polynesian heroine. Expected for 2023 we again wouldn’t be surprised if the series would coincide with the opening of Walt Disney World’s Epcot’s Moana area. Currently there is no word on if the series will be named “Vaiana” or “Oceana” in the areas the movie and character carried that name.
- Disney+ original series: Iwájú will be a co-production with pan-African entertainment company Kugali. “Iwájú” means “the future” in the Yoruba language and from the image they have released it will be a sci-fi series set in Lagos, Nigeria with an Afro-futuristic design akin to Black Panther. The series is expected for 2022 and will be about “class, innocence and challenging the status quo”.
- Disney movie: Encanto will be the 60th Walt Disney Animation feature. The movie is directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush (Zootopia), co-directed by Charise Castro Smith (Sweetbitter) and written by Bush and Castro Smith (The Haunting of Hill House episode “Eulogy”), with songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana). The movie will be a Columbia set English-Spanish bilingual musical about a girl who is the only non-magical member of her family. The movie is expected for November 24, 2021. Footage was shown to investors only.
- Theatrical movie: Soul will now be coming to Disney+ this Christmas. The movie is directed by Pete Docter (Inside Out) and co-directed by Kemp Powers, and written by Docter, Powers (Star Trek: Discovery), and Mike Jones (Luca).
- Disney+ SparksShort: Burrow is a short 2D animated movie about a burrowing young rabbit that would have accompanied Soul in theatres, but is now also coming to Disney+ this Christmas.
- Disney+ original series: Inside Pixar, the behind-the-scenes series, was mentioned as having its first five episode now available on Disney+, with more on the way.
- Disney+ original series: Pixar Popcorn will be a series of short movies starring characters from previous Pixar movies. We can expect the series in January.
- Disney+ original series: Dug Days, is an Up sequel series centred around golden retriever, Dug. The character will again be voiced by Bob Peterson. The series will launch in the Autumn of 2021.
- Disney+ original series: A series based on Pixar’s franchise Cars will be coming in the Autumn of 2022. Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy are to be expected to reprise their voice roles of Lightning McQueen and Mater, respectively.
- Disney+ original series: Win or Lose will be Pixar’s first long-form TV series with 20 minute episodes. The series follows a middle school softball team in the week leading up to their championship game, each episode will be told from the perspective of a different character. The series will come to Disney+ in the Autumn of 2023.
- Theatrical movie: Luca is Pixar’s 24th movie and tells a coming-of-age story of one boy’s Summer in with his newfound best friend, which is threatened by sea monsters. A trailer of director Enrico Casarosa (La Luna) and writers Mike Jones (Soul) and Jesse Andrews (Every Day) was not shown publicly. The expected premiere date is June 18, 2021.
- Theatrical movie: Turning Red is a movie about 13-year-old Mei, who turns into a red panda when excited. Domee Shi’s (Bao) movie is expected for March 11, 2022.
- Theatrical movie: Lightyear will be the epic sci-fi movie on which the Buzz Lightyear toy from Toy Story is based. Chris Evans will take over from Tim Allan as the voice of Buzz. Angus MacLane’s (Finding Dory) movie is expected for June 17, 2022.