Things Get Animated During Animation Panel at D23 Expo

D23 EXPO 2017 – Friday, July 14, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)

In today’s D23 panel Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films, Hosted by John Lasseter, filmmakers converged on the Expo hall to unveil new details on the upcoming animated releases. It was a star-studded panel that introduced key talent from the future films, featuring Benjamin Bratt, Anthony Gonzalez, Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson, Huck Milner and Sarah Silverman. And in an unforgettable moment, Auli‘i Cravalho, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Kelly MacDonald, Anika Noni Rose, Irene Bedard, Linda Larkin, Paige O’Hara and Jodi Benson. 

John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios and host of the panel, teased the upcoming films by saying, “It’s a great mix of incredibly creative and surprising new worlds and characters and stories we love returning to. Our filmmakers are putting so much heart into these films – I can’t wait for people to see them.”.


Hitting theaters November 22, 2017, “Coco” introduces Miguel, a young boy who dreams to become a musician, but his family prohibited music long ago. In a desperate attempt to become like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, Miguel makes a life-changing decision and finds himself in the Land of the Dead, where he meets the lovable trickster Hector, voiced by Gael García Bernal, and they embark on an adventure to unlock Miguel’s true family history.

The voice of Miguel, Anthony Gonzalez, and the voice behind Ernesto de la Cruz, Bejamin Bratt, joined together for the first public performance of “Remember Me” written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The grand finale included more than 160 performers including the Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea and Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles under the direction of Kareli Montoya, and the Grammy®-winning Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band.

“Coco” contains an original score from Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“Up,” “Rogue One”) and features additional songs co-written by Germaine Franco (“Dope,” “Shovel Buddies”) and Molina. Joining from the music project Mexican Institute of Sound is musical consultant Camilo Lara.

All the fans in attendance received a “Coco” poster exclusive to the expo, depicting the film’s skull guitar.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

Kristen Bell, the voice behind Anna, introduced the audience to the “Frozen” holiday featurette that will premiere alongside “Coco” on November 22, 2017, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.” Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, delighted fans with a live performance of the all new song “That Time of Year,” from the featurette, written by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson.

Also returning for the “Frozen” featurette are Idina Menzel as Elsa, and Jonathan Gross as Kristoff.

The featurette is directed by the Emmy®-winning team Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (“Prep & Landing”) and produced by Oscar® winner Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”).

Incredibles 2

“Incredibles 2”, coming to theaters on June 15, 2018, will put the Incredibles family in an all-new universe, fighting never before seen villains. Though there will be a lot of action, it is truly a family film where the family happens to have powers.

Lasseter was thrilled to share a clip of real world fashion icons sharing thoughts on the famous super-suit stylist Edna Mode, who was introduced in Pixar Animation Studio’s 2004 Oscar®-winning feature, “The Incredibles”.

Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

The directors of the newest feature, Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, took to the stage at D23 Expo 2017, introducing Emmy®-winning actress and comedian Sarah Silverman, who returns as the voice of Vanellope von Schweetz. 

Fans at the panel were the first to see the debut of a scene from the upcoming feature that includes a hilarious tribute to Disney Princesses. Lasseter shared with the crowd that the original voices behind the Princesses were invited to return to reprise their roles, and in a moment that shocked the crowd Auli‘i Cravalho (“Moana”), Kristen Bell (Anna in “Frozen”), Kelly MacDonald (Merida in “Brave”), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in “Tangled”), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog”), Irene Bedard (“Pocahontas”), Linda Larkin (Jasmine in “Aladdin”), Paige O’Hara (Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”) and Jodi Benson (Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”) were welcomed on stage for the largest gathering of Disney Princesses in history. 

The sequel to the 2012 Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature “Wreck-It Ralph” takes the crew we’re familiar with, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz, joining with Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer) and Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch). The gang will also be joined by a new character, Yesss, voiced by Golden Globe®-winning actress Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”). Yesss will play an important role to Ralph and Vanellope’s journey, as Yesss knows about “everything cool and on trend” in the internet.

Produced by Oscar® winner Clark Spencer, “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018. 

Untitled Disneytoon Studios Film

Lasseter began the panel by revealing the new animated movie from Disneytoon Studios, “Untitled DTS Film.” The original feature will take on the future of aviation- and beyond. “Untitled DTS Film” is slated for release on April 12, 2019.

Toy Story 4

Pixar’s Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?” short) took to the stage, revealing that he had assumed full director responsibilities for “Toy Story 4.” Included in this announcement, was a behind-the-scenes look in a day of the director’s life at Pixar Studios in Northern California. Produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out”), “Toy Story 4” will hit theaters on June 21, 2019. 

Frozen 2 (Title TBA)

The feature-lenth sequel to 2013’s Oscar®-winning film “Frozen”, directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and produced by Peter Del Vecho, is slated for theaters on November 27, 2019. Bell, Menzel, Gad and Groff will all return for the feature. Lasseter, Bell and Gad shared a behind-the-scenes video displaying the filmmaker’s research trip to Norway, Finland, and Iceland for the upcoming film.

Untitled Dan Scanlon Movie

Dan Scanlon, who helmed Pixar’s “Monsters University”, was joined by Lasseter to share details of his newest project, an all-new original feature film. Scanlon, who was faced with losing his father at a young age, shared that the film is inspired by the question he has always dwelled on: who was my father? The story is set in a world without humans- only elves, trolls, and sprites. “… We’re going to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him. But thanks to the little magic still left in the world, the boys embark on a quest that will allow them a chance to spend one last magical day with their father.”

 Kori Rae (“Monsters University”) will produce. 


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