Walt Disney Animation Studios Present Upcoming Slate of Films and Series at D23 Expo 2022

Walt Disney Animation Studios Present Upcoming Slate of Films and Series at D23 Expo 2022

Today at D23 Expo presented by Visa®, Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation, and Pixar unveiled exciting new trailers, debuted exclusive sneak peeks, and dazzled guests with spectacular live performances previewing what’s to come for The Walt Disney Company.

Fans in Hall D23 were among the first to see a brand-new logo introduction of the iconic Disney castle—now platinum in honor of Disney’s 100 Years of Wonder celebration. Created by Disney Studios and Industrial Light & Magic—and featuring an all-new arrangement of “When You Wish Upon a Star” by award-winning composer Christophe Beck—the new Disney castle introduction will play in front of all Disney theatrical and streaming releases starting this fall. Cynthia Erivo gave a breathtaking performance of “When you Wish Upon a Star,” from Disney’s all-new live-action version of Pinocchio, now streaming on Disney+. Erivo portrays the Blue Fairy in the reimagining of the Disney classic.


Hocus Pocus 2

Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, introduced the stars of Hocus Pocus 2—Disney Legend Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker—via video, who brought in a little magic themselves before debuting a new trailer. It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th century Sanderson sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve. The Disney+ Original Movie also stars Sam Richardson, Doug Jones, Hannah Waddingham, Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham, Froy Gutierrez, and Tony Hale. The film is produced by Lynn Harris, with Ralph Winter, David Kirschner, and Adam Shankman serving as executive producers. Hocus Pocus 2 premieres Friday, September 30, exclusively on Disney+.


First up, filmmakers Peter Sohn and Denise Ream joined Docter on stage to discuss Elemental, an all-new, original feature film releasing on June 16, 2023. Sohn, who directs the film, shared the personal inspiration behind the film—a story of immigrants pursuing dreams in beautiful neighborhoods where language and cultures come together. Filmmakers introduced the characters in Elemental, which is set in a city where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together. Ember is a tough and fiery young woman, and Wade is a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy. Helping bring them to life are Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie, who were warmly welcomed to the Hall D23 stage. Audience members got an exclusive look at the film and received a mini-poster featuring Ember and Wade.


In the finale moment of the presentation, Lee returned to the stage to officially unveil Disney Animation’s next original feature film, Wish, set to release Fall 2023, during the Studio’s 100th year. A film that could only come from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the epic animated musical is inspired by the legacy of films from the studio and asks the question: “How did the wishing star, upon which so many characters wished, come to be?” Directors Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn outlined the story, which is set in Rosas, the kingdom of wishes where wishes can literally come true. Attendees were introduced to 17-year-old Asha—an optimist with a sharp wit who cares endlessly about her community. In a moment of desperation, Asha makes an impassioned plea to the stars, which is answered by a cosmic force, a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, they face the most formidable of foes to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen. Disney Animation good-luck-charm Alan Tudyk joined filmmakers on stage to share an animation test for his newest character, a goat named Valentino. Buck, Veerasunthorn, and Lee then introduced the voice of Asha, Academy Award® winner Ariana DeBose, who brought down the house singing an all-new original song written by Julia Michaels, who’s writing all of the songs for Wish. DeBose’s captivating performance of “More for Us” closed the showcase in signature Disney style. Lee is a writer on the film, Peter Del Vecho produces and Juan Pablo Reyes co-produces.

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