The Walt Disney Studios had their largest D23 Expo today and they had plenty of announcements and surprise guests to share some great news with fans. There were some amazing new details announced in the animated film department, including several new projects lined-up for 2013 and 2014.
One of the new films “Zootopia” (working title) is straight from Walt Disney Animation Studios, and a brand new project was revealed in Disneytoon Studios’ Disney Fairies franchise. Fans got to hear straight from the newest voice-cast members from new Disney•Pixar titles including Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, and Diane Keaton, and many more to be announced at a later date.
“It’s a fantastic, exciting time for animation at Disney and Pixar,” John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, says. “The filmmakers at our three studios are so talented—their films are all so touching and beautiful, but so different. I am truly excited to share these films with everyone.”
We reported that Pixar is releasing “Toy Story OF TERROR!” A new film that has the original cast reunite for a road trip that “takes an unexpected turn for the worse when the trip detours to a roadside motel.” It’s then a toy goes missing, and the others find themselves caught up in a “mysterious sequence of events that must be solved before they all suffer the same fate in this Toy Story OF TERROR!” Disney announced that it will bring director Angus MacLane and producer Galyn Susman on the project and it will premiere on ABC October 16, 2013.

Frozen is Disney’s next big animated feature directed by Chris Buck (Tarzan) and Jennifer Lee (Wreck-It Ralph- screenplay by), and produced by Peter Del Vecho (Winnie the Pooh, The Princess and the Frog). Fans got to see never-before-seen film footage, and the event was introduced by Frozen stars Kristen Bell, voice of Anna, and Josh Gad, voice of Olaf.
Disney describes the film saying that “fearless optimist Anna (voice of Bell) teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Gad) in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa (voice of Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.” That film will hit theaters November 27, 2013.
Another new project is “Get A Horse!” and that made its U.S. premiere at the D23 Expo. This features Walt Disney himself as the voice of Mickey Mouse and is a black-and-white, hand-drawn theatrical short that follows Mickey and Minnie Mouse (with their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow) in musical haywagon ride. Soon bad-news Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road. The project was directed by Lauren MacMullan (TV’s The Simpsons) and produced by Dorothy McKim (Prep & Landing trilogy, Meet the Robinsons), Get A Horse! opens in front of Frozen on November 27, 2013.
The Pirate Fairy is the newest adventure in the Disney Fairies franchise. Director Peggy Holmes (Secret of the Wings) introduced Christina Hendricks, who gives voice to Zarina, and Tom Hiddleston, tapped to voice a young James aka Captain Hook. Disney states that the story will introduce a “misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina,” who steals Pixie Hollow’s all-important Blue Pixie Dust, and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock. It’s then that Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must “embark on the adventure of a lifetime to return it to its rightful place.” The Pirate Fairy sets sail Spring 2014.
The Good Dinosaur is a Disney & Pixar project that brings co-director Peter Sohn and producer Denise Ream (Cars 2, Up – associate producer) together. The voice cast announced includes Lucas Neff, voice of Arlo; Bill Hader, voice of Forrest; Judy Greer, voice of Ivy; Neil Patrick Harris, voice of Cliff; John Lithgow, voice of Poppa; and Frances McDormand, voice of Momma.
Neff and Greer appeared on stage, alongside Hader, whose voice was also heard in Disney•Pixar’s Monsters University. In The Good Dinosaur Disney explains “What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct?”
The project hits theaters May 30, 2014. “The film is a humorous and exciting original story about Arlo, a lively 70-foot-tall teenage Apatosaurus with a big heart. After a traumatic event rattles Arlo’s tranquil community, he sets out on a quest to restore peace, gaining an unlikely companion along the way—a young human boy named Spot” Disney explains in a press-release.
Mike and Sulley will return and they are throwing their first party, (but no one’s showing up) of course. That’s when the duo come up with a plan to make sure Party Central is the “most epic party the school has ever seen.” That will premiere in theaters May 30, 2014, with The Good Dinosaur.
Planes: Fire & Rescue is from Disneytoon Studios’ starring Dane Cook, the voice of Dusty in Disney’s Planes. Cook and the director Bobs Gannaway (Secret of the Wings) were on hand to meet fans at the event. Julie Bowen was announced as the voice of Lil’ Dipper.
Disney explains the story of planes as “a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from a raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of wildfire air attack. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous air attack team, including spirited super scooper Lil’ Dipper (voice of Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers.” Planes: Fire & Rescue hits theaters on July 18, 2014.
Big Hero 6 was briefly talked about earlier this year and is from Walt Disney Animation Studios. It will be directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh).
Big Hero 6 features brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated Big Hero 6 hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.
Legend of the NeverBeast is yet another project from Disneytoon Studios and comes from director Steve Lote. This is another project for the Disney Fairies. “Fun and talented animal fairy Fawn believes you can’t judge a book by its cover—or an animal by its fangs—so she befriends a huge and mysterious creature known as the NeverBeast. While Tink and her friends aren’t so sure about this scary addition to Pixie Hollow, the elite Scout Fairies set out to capture the monster before he destroys their home. Fawn must trust her heart and take a leap of faith if she hopes to rally the girls to save the NeverBeast.” This will be directed by Steve Loter, and “Legend of the NeverBeast” comes to children in Spring 2015.
Inside Out is one of the larger productions that were announced today. The voice cast includes Amy Poehler as the voice of Joy, Lewis Black as the voice of Anger, Mindy Kaling as the voice of Disgust, Phyllis Smith as the voice of Sadness, and Bill Hader as the voice of Fear. The audience met two of the film’s five starring emotions, Sadness and Fear, when Smith and Hader appeared on stage to greet fans and fuel excitement for the 2015 film.
From director Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up), Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out takes you to a place that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen: the world inside the human mind. Riley, an 11-year-old girl who recently moved with her family to San Francisco, is not the main character but the setting for the film. Moviegoers will go inside her mind to explore how memories are formed and how a mixture of five emotions—Joy, Disgust, Anger, Fear, and Sadness—defines life experiences. In theaters June 19, 2015.
Finding Dory is from director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL•E) and producer Lindsey Collins (co-producer WALL•E) shared exciting voice cast announcements for Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory. Joining Ellen DeGeneres, who provides the voice of Dory, are Albert Brooks as the voice of Marlin, Diane Keaton as the voice of Dory’s mom Jenny, Eugene Levy as the voice of Dory’s dad Charlie, and Ty Burrell as the voice of Bailey.
The all-new big-screen adventure dives into theaters November 25, 2015, taking moviegoers back to the extraordinary underwater world from the original film. Finding Dory reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way.
Zootopia is from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ director Byron Howard (Tangled) and writer Jared Bush shared plans for the upcoming comedy adventure Zootopia (working title). In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who’s trying to make it big goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends. In theaters in 2016.