Disney and Pixar Animation News From D-23

[Tune in tomorrow between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pacific time for updates from D23’s live-action movie panel, featuring Marvel and probably not much Star Wars. I’ll do a proper weekend thread after that, but until then, consider this it.]

The first bit of information we have is that Shakira will be playing a gazelle named – creatively – Gazelle in the anthropomorphic animal movie Zootopia, sure to be a fave at future Furry conventions. Yes, of course she’ll sing a song.


Concept art for a new Jack and the Beanstalk movie called Gigantic.


Things are looking up at Walt Disney Animation Studios – way up. “Gigantic,” Disney’s unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” will feature music from Oscar?-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who greeted D23 EXPO fans in signature style–in song–alongside director Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and producer Dorothy McKim (“Get A Horse!”). Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s “Gigantic” follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality–and who knew giants were so down to earth? “Gigantic” hits theaters in 2018.


It’s pronounced “Moe-AH-na,” which will totally not confuse little kids who just learned “Ohana” from Lilo and Stitch. It’s set 2000 years ago.

“Moana” introduces a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. She meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”) Grammy?-winning composer Mark Mancina (“Speed”, “Tarzan” “The Lion King”) and Opetaia Foa’i (founder and lead singer of the world music award-winning band Te Vaka) blend their diverse and dynamic talents to help tell the tale of a spirited teenager who sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder. “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.

Here’s a scene from “Riley’s First Date,” a bonus Inside Out short for the Blu-ray. So if Dad ever shaves, do all those inner voices find themselves dragged by an invisible force to the internal sink too?


Three T-rexes from The Good Dinosaur, voiced by AJ Buckley, Anna Paquin & Sam Elliott.


Dory meets Hank the Septapus (Ed O’Neill) in Finding Dory.


Joining [Ellen] DeGeneres: Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), who lends his voice to Hank, a cantankerous octopus; Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), the voice of Bailey, a misguided beluga whale; and Kaitlin Olson (“Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), who voices Destiny, a kind-hearted whale shark. Oscar?-winning director Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL?E”), co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL?E”) offered new details of the all-new story, which reunites Dory with friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale? Also featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy [the latter two as Dory’s parents], Disney?Pixar’s “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

Coco is the name of the Pixar Dia de los Muertos movie, a la The Book of Life.

Director Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”) and producer Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”) revealed the title of their upcoming film today at D23 Expo 2015. Disney?Pixar’s “Coco” is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion.

“As artists and filmmakers, we couldn’t help but be drawn to the striking visuals of Dia de los Muertos,” said Unkrich and Anderson. “But it was the celebration’s core themes of family, remembrance and connection across generations that resonated within and truly inspired us. Dia de los Muertos is as singular as the Mexican culture, while at the same time completely universal in its message.

“In our story,” they continued, “the celebration of Dia de los Muertos serves as the perfect backdrop for our main character to ask where he comes from, what his place is within his family, and how families stay woven together across time through the simple act of remembrance.”

Jesse Grant, Getty Images for D23

And Toy Story 4 will be a love story between Woody and Bo Peep. Yeesh.