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Disney’s D23 Expo Highlights (Animation): TOY STORY 4, FINDING DORY, & More

D23 Expo Animation

Disney releases new information and announces films at the 2015 D23 Expo. This past weekend was the biggest three days for Disney fans everywhere as The Walt Disney Co. presented their bi-annual D23 Expo, an event held at the Anaheim Convention Center, showcasing what’s to come from the company with their movies, TV shows, theme park attractions, games, merchandise, etc.

When the event began, Pixar founder John Lasseter took center stage for the animation panel and discussed everything that will come out in the following years from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. There were many things discussed and revealed during that time, and it can be hard to keep track of everything.

To make things a little simpler, I have made a cliff note version of what was announced during that event in the order of the movies’ release dates. This may not reference everything that happened in the panel, but it will mention important details about upcoming animated features by Disney.


  • Zootopia: Directors Bryon Howard and Rick Moore, producer Clark Spencer and Ginnifer Goodwin (the voice of Judy Hoops in the feature), discussed more about the plot and the background of the feature. They also revealed that Shakira will be in the feature, providing the voice of Gazelle. The film is set to be released on March 4th, 2016
  • Moana: Disney veteran directors John Musker and Ron Clements talked about the plot of the film and the inspiration of the South Pacific, while also revealing some new concept art for the film. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made a special appearance to talk about his character, Maui. The film is set to be released on November 23rd, 2016
  • Gigantic: The long-rumored animated feature of Disney’s interpretation of Jack and the Beanstalk turns out to be true! The only things that were revealed about the feature were a little synopsis about Jack who climbs up the beanstalk and meets a 60-foot 11-year old girl. It will be directed by Nathan Greno, who co-directed Tangled, and the songs will be written by Frozen songwriters Robert & Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The film will be scheduled for a 2018 release.


  • The Good Dinosaur: Since this movie is set to be released on November 25th, director Peter Sohn decided to treat the audience with several clips of the movie.
  • Finding Dory: The voice of Dory, Ellen Degeneres, helped director Andrew Stanton to reveal that Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neil will be voicing new characters for the sequel of the 2003 blockbuster. The film is set to be released on June 17th, 2016.
  • Toy Story 4: While simultaneously celebrating the 20th anniversary of the original film, John Lasseter, who is also directing the fourth installment, revealed that the rumors are true that it will be a romantic comedy, but it will be about the love of Woody and Bo-Peep, whom the ladder was absent in the last movie. The film is set to be released on June 16th, 2017.
  • Coco: Like Gigantic, this is another confirmed rumor that tuned out to be true. Nothing much had been revealed about the project other than Lee Unkrich will be directing the Day of the Dead movie and that it’s scheduled to be released on Fall 2017.

Interestingly enough, the panel did not mention three other animated sequels that have been highly anticipated; Frozen 2, Cars 3 and The Incredibles 2. I do have a theory of what could happen to them. At D23, Pixar had a poster lineup of their upcoming features in chronological order. Cars 3 and The Incredibles 2 were the last two. I believe it likely that Cars 3 will be released in 2018, while The Incredibles 2 will be set for 2019. As for Frozen 2, I’ve all ready written about how Chris Buck said that they’re “just starting”, so it would probably be best to have a story locked down before setting a release date.

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About the author

Mathieu Brunet

My name is Mathieu Brunet (it's French) and I have been an independent film critic for the past 5 years. My passion is animation and I've been writing and making my own video reviews of animated features on my YouTube channel (ElectricDragon505), which now has about 55,000 subscribers, housing videos with total views over 20,000,000. I am the creator of Electric Dragon Productions which includes AniMat's Reviews and AniMat's Classic Reviews.

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