The barrage of sneak peeks continues as the studios share stills, key art, title treatments, and other tidbits from 7 new animated projects that also include ‘Win or Lose,’ ‘Elio,’ ‘Iwájú’, ‘Strange World,’ and ‘Wish.’
The reveals keep on coming from D23! As part of the veritable tsunami of new content, Pixar’s Pete Docter and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee took the stage to showcase seven upcoming animated features and series.
“These last few years have been a time of great change in the world,” said Docter. “Whether [through] 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.” On the Pixar side, films, art, and imagery were shared for Elemental, Win or Lose, Elio, and Inside Out 2. For Walt Disney Animation Studios, imagery, film stills, and title treatments were revealed for Iwaju, Strange World, and Wish.
Let’s dive in!
Elemental debuts June 16, 2023.
Filmmakers Peter Sohn and Denise Ream discussed the all-new, original feature film. Director Sohn shared the personal inspiration behind the film: a story of immigrants pursuing dreams in beautiful neighborhoods where language and cultures come together. The film is set in a city where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together. Ember (Leah Lewis) is a tough and fiery young woman, and Wade (Mamoudou Athie) is a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy.
Directors Carrie Hobson and Michael Yates provided a closer look at Pixar’s first-ever long-form series and what inspired it. Win or Lose follows the Pickles, a co-ed middle school softball team, in the week leading up to their championship game. Each episode takes place in that pivotal week, highlighting the perspective of a different main character in a unique visual style. Hobson and Yates revealed that Will Forte will voice Coach Dan in the series, followed by a special clip for the audience.
Elio releases Spring 2024.
Director Adrian Molina and producer Mary Alice Drumm took the stage to showcase plans for the original feature film. In the story, 11-year-old dreamer Elio (Yonas Kibreab) is artistic, creative and an avid INdoorsman who finds it hard to fit in. Meanwhile Mom Olga (America Ferrera), 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.
Inside Out 2 is slated for a Summer 2024 release.
Amy Poehler, the voice of Joy, arrived on stage to huge applause as she announced that Inside Out 2, the follow-up to 2015’s Oscar and Golden Globe-winning feature film, is in production. This time, the film features a now-teenager Riley, who has all kinds of new Emotions to work through. Director Kelsey Mann, producer Mark Nielsen, and writer Meg LeFauve are hard at work on the all-new adventure.
Iwájú flies to Disney+ in 2023.
A love letter to Lagos, Nigeria, Iwájú is an all-new original long-form series created in collaboration with Pan-African comic book entertainment company Kugali. Kugali filmmakers Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, Hamid Ibrahim and Tolu Olowofoyeku shared first looks and described the world as a futuristic depiction: a world bursting with color, unique visual elements and technological advancements inspired by the spirit of Lagos, which is physically divided into an island and a mainland separated by both water and socio-economic status. The coming-of-age story introduces Tola, a young heiress from the wealthy island, and her best friend Kole, a self-taught tech expert and loving son from the mainland.
Strange World debuts in theaters November 23, 2022.
A family must get past their differences to save a strange world full of danger and surprises. Voice cast members Jake Gyllenhaal (Searcher Clade), Dennis Quaid (Jaeger Clade), Jaboukie Young-White (Ethan Clade) and Lucy Liu (Callisto Mal) joined the festivities to show glimpse at an action-packed sequence from the film. Produced by Roy Conli and directed by Don Hall and co-director/ screenwriter Qui Nguyen, Strange World also features the voice of Gabrielle Union (Meridian).
Wish is set to release Fall 2023.
The animated musical is inspired by the legacy of Disney films and asks the question: “How did the wishing star, upon which so many characters wished, come to be?” The film is set in Rosas, the kingdom of wishes where wishes can literally come true. Asha (Ariana DeBose), an optimist with a sharp wit who cares endlessly about her community, makes an impassioned plea to the stars, which is answered by a cosmic force; a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Alan Tudyk joined filmmakers on stage to share an animation test for his newest character, a goat named Valentino. Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn will direct, with Peter Del Vecho and Juan Pablo Reyes producing. Julia Michaels will pen all songs for the musical.
Which animated project are you most excited for?