Thursday 11 July 2013

Tonnes of New Details Revealed About Disney's Upcoming Slate!

Blue Sky Disney, who always have reliable tips and sources from inside Disney, have just spilled the beans on what we can expect from the Mouse House post-Big Hero 6!

We're getting the studio's 53rd animated feature this winter, with Frozen; next year we get their Marvel-adaptation, Big Hero 6, (or the year after if you're from the UK); beyond that, we had titbits about a Byron Howard animal comedy, a Ron Clements and John Musker Tiki/Rumpelstiltskin film which may or may not be animated in a Paperman style, and a few other irons on the fire. We also had some release dates with no films matched. But BSD's Honor Hunter just blew all that out of the water with some super exciting details about what we can expect all the way up until 2018! Check out the juicy details below.

Tangled and Bolt co-director Byron Howard was reported to be working on an animal comedy starring Arrested Development star Jason Bateman. Blue Sky Disney says the film is called Zootopia and says that Jason Bateman will be "very foxy" in it. WDAS are sitting 2015 out (while Pixar will be releasing two films that year, Pete Docter's Inside Out and Andrew Stanton's Finding Dory) and that film will be hitting cinemas in 2016, on, we assume, the 4th March slot.

Apparently Howard's fellow Tangled director, Nathan Greno, was working on Zootopia, before moving onto his own project, another non-standard fairy tale, this time called Giants. Jack and the Beanstalk-based maybe? That will be Disney's second film of 2016, on 23rd November.

The studio are sitting 2017 out too, to accommodate for as of yet unspecified summer and winter Pixar releases, but are back twice over the following year. The first release of 2018 will "likely" be Ron and John's next film, which, as rumoured, will it seems be a Pacific Tiki tale. BSD describe the film, which is called Moana, as "a Polynesian tale involving the island folk and the idols made famous the world over." Honor seems pretty sure the film will be animated in the CG-hybrid fashion of the studio's Oscar-winning short film, Paperman. Assuming this is the first 2018 release, it's set for 8th March.

Finally, the post says, "if story issues are worked out Dean Wellin's teenage space race animated film will rush to the screens [in late 2018]." Honor also adds that the film is as much a departure from the Disney norm as Big Hero 6 will be. So get hyped for that one!

So here's Walt Disney Animation's schedule for the next 5 years:

  • Frozen (dir.: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee) - 27th November, 2013
  • Big Hero 6 (dir.: Don Hall) - 7th November, 2014
  • Zootopia (dir.: Byron Howard) - 4th March, 2016
  • Giants (dir.: Nathan Greno) - 23rd November, 2016
  • Moana (dir. Ron Clements and John Musker) - 8th March, 2018
  • Untitled (dir.: Dean Wellin) - 21st November, 2018

We speculated as to what the films on Disney's upcoming slate might be on episode 2 of the A113Animation Podcast, but it's beyond exciting to get some actual blanks filled in! Honor also says the first full theatrical trailer for Frozen will appear around the time Sony's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is released - so next month.

Before all this, we have Frozen this winter, and Big Hero 6 next winter.

To say this is an unsubstantiated report would be foolish, Blue Sky Disney and Honor were the first to mention Big Hero 6 - months before any "official" word - and his tips are always golden. So, taking all this for gospel, this is an incredibly exciting slate! It's great to see Disney broadening their creative horizons even further: Zootopia promises to be quirky fun, Giants means we're still getting Disney fairy tales, Moana is Ron and John so will be awesome, and that final "teenage space race" film certainly sounds intriguing. Keep up the good work, Disney fellas!


Thanks, Blue Sky Disney!

UPDATE - 22/07/2013, 21:44 (GMT): Incorrect date of 4th April, 2016 changed to correct one of 4th March, 2016.


  1. I hope yer man Honor Hunter did not swear secrecy with anyone, and he wont get into trouble for this. So nothing on King of the Elves? Shame :(. Also, I hope someone spills the beans on Pixar's upcoming slate as well.

  2. Al of Pixar Corner11 July 2013 at 04:26

    As a die-hard Disney fan as well as a Pixar one, all this news absolutely thrills me.

    Every year it seems that Disney Animation takes another step further and becomes more and more like Pixar. And when I say that, I don't mean that they're simply becoming a mere copy of Pixar, no, they most certainly have their very own unique style, but they're integrating what makes Pixar's works so great into their own films and living out their full potential. Lasseter and Catmull are turning Disney back into what it once was, which is exciting and refreshing to see.

    Gone are the days of mediocre efforts such as Home on the Range and Chicken Little. Now we have masterpieces like Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, and I'm sure the best is yet to come. I don't know about you, but I think this could very well be the dawn of the Second Disney Renaissance.

    On that note, I end my little rant.

  3. Quick question regarding the release dates: did Blue Sky Disney list Zootopia as an April film or a March film? If it was April, then apparently Disney also shuffled its date since it was listed as a March 2016 film.

    I love the approach Disney Animation is taking now! Fantastic concepts for fantastic filmmaking!

  4. William Jardine11 July 2013 at 19:15

    Oh I doubt he'd have revealed anything if he wasn't sure it was okay to do so. Nope, none it seems :/ Pixar's slate will likely fill out a little around D23!

  5. William Jardine11 July 2013 at 19:16

    BSD didn't list the dates, that's just me matching them up with the release dates we got here:

    And yep! It's sure exciting!

  6. William Jardine11 July 2013 at 19:18

    Yeah! It's great to see John and Ed guide Disney to do their own stuff, rather than just imitating Pixar. Although the amount of people who I've spoken to who still genuinely believed Wreck-It Ralph was a Pixar film...

    Oh definitely! Heck, if this doesn't constitute a Golden Age, I don't know what will. And it seems, largely, that the best is yet to come!

  7. Box Office Mojo still lists Zootopia as a March 4, 2016 film, and Moana is a March 9th film. Just pointing out the correction!

  8. William Jardine11 July 2013 at 22:05

    Does it indeed? :O Have you got a link? Cheers!

  9. Oh my goodness! This is all so exciting. I'm definitely most excited for 'Giants' being a disney fairytail fan myself, and hopefully there are elements of Jack and the Beanstalk in there :) I am also interested to see how Big Hero 6 turns out! I wonder what happened to King of The Elves/The Mickey Mouse feature film ?

  10. William Jardine19 July 2013 at 15:16

    It's most certainly an exciting slate! But yeah, sad to see that KotE, the Mickey Mouse film and Wreck-It Ralph 2 aren't on the agenda any time soon. :/ Hopefully they'll be back some time not too far in the future.

  11. what type of animation will all the upcoming animated films be animated in?

  12. William Jardine1 August 2013 at 22:19

    CG. Apparently there's no hand-drawn films in development at Disney right now. But, as stated above, Moana is apparently being done in the same CG/hand-drawn hybrid way that Paperman was.

  13. Hello everyone! I need help. So I live in the Northern Marianas Islands. It's located in the Pacific. It's a U.S. territory.
    Anyways, I was wondering if there was any way I could be a part of the casting of Moana. I have the island spirit and I can forge an amazing island Polynesian accent if I can. I am part Chamorro, Pohnepeian and Samoan. All island traits and ethnicity. How do I get a hold of the directors or the studios. I tried, but I can't seem to find a single email. Help?