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Arts and Entertainment

Disney And Pixar Tease Upcoming Animated Movies At D23 Expo

John Lassetter on stage at D23 to present "Coco". (Photo by Jesse Grant / Getty Images)
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The bi-annual D23 Expo is well under way in Anaheim this weekend, with Disney and Pixar pulling out all the stops to cater to their biggest fans. Panels, merchandise, and cosplay abound, but most of the weekend is only available to members of D23, Disney's official fan club. Fortunately for the rest of us, though, Disney teased its upcoming slate of Pixar and Disney animation films Friday afternoon, giving everyone a taste of what's to come for the movie giant.

Frozen 2
It's been almost four years since Frozen came out and cast the whole world under its spell of sisterhood and friendship, so the time is ripe for a follow-up to the deliriously catchy film. The sequel doesn't have an official name yet, but John Lasseter confirmed it won't be called "Fro-Yo" or "Thawed," according to ABC. The team also took the opportunity to tease Olaf's Holiday Adventure, the 21-minute holiday short set to premiere in front of Pixar's Coco in November. Josh Gad was on hand to perform one of the songs from the film, and he was introduced by none other than Kristen Bell, according to Vanity Fair. Frozen 2 be directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and will premiere on November 27, 2019.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Disney showed some footage of the follow up to 2012 animated movie Wreck-It Ralph, and in it, Ralph and Vanellope have a new world to navigate: the internet. In the film, the protagonists end up going against satirized versions of Disney's famous princesses. Most of the original voice actors will be reprising their princess roles for the film, and several of them appeared on stage Friday, including Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Linda Larkin (Jasmine), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Kelly MacDonald (Merida), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Jodi Benson (Ariel), Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), and Paige O’Hara (Belle). Ralph and Vanellope are not well-versed in the internet, though, so a trend-savvy character (a.k.a. an algorithm) named Yesss will be guiding the characters, according to Nerdist. Yesss will be voiced by Taraji P. Henson. Wreck-It Ralph 2 will premiere on November 21, 2018.

The Incredibles 2
The Incredibles, arguably Pixar's best work, came out a whopping 13 years ago in 2004. The sequel has been in the works since 2014, and won't premiere until June 15, 2018. The sequel will focus more on Elastigirl, and the whole cast will reprise their voice roles (including Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone). The only exception is Dash, who will be voiced by an older actor, according to Nerdist. Lasseter & co. didn't have a lot of footage to show, but they did have an update on the movie's most iconic character: Edna Mode. The studio produced a retrospective of her fashion influence, where fashion industry heavyweights exalt her power and vision.

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Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4 has a lot to follow up on the massively successful and critically-acclaimed Toy Story 3 from 2010. Pixar didn't have a lot of footage to show, but John Lasseter said he was going to step down as director and is giving Josh Cooley the full directing credit. Cooley started as a Pixar intern, according to Vanity Fair. Cooley co-wrote the Inside Out script and has directed a couple Pixar shorts. He was originally co-director with Lasseter on Toy Story 4. The panel teased a few new characters, like a non-white doll named Lulu, and hinted that it may involve a family RV road trip. Toy Story 4 will premiere on June 21, 2019.

Untitled Disneytoons Studios Film
The studio gave a tiny peek at an upcoming film from Disneytoons studios, doing an animation test for seat-shaking ride through outer space. The film will be directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway, and is about "the future of aviation and beyond," according to ABC. The film will premiere on April 12, 2019.

Untitled Dan Scanlon Film
Dan Scanlon of Monsters University is set to direct a forthcoming Pixar movie set in a fantasy suburban world. Of the story, Scanlon said, "[t]his film is based on a personal story. When I was a year old, my father passed away. I don’t remember him and neither does my brother, who was three at the time," according to Nerdist. The world will be a modern fantasy where technology has replaced the use of magic. Pixar did not announce a timeline for the film.

Pixar saved its biggest show for last, giving a huge presentation and performance around their upcoming film Coco. Cast members performed songs from the film, which were written by Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez, and Pixar showed Benjamin Bratt's screen test for his role as an iconic singer named Ernesto de la Cruz. They also showed clips from the film, which is about a young musician named Miguel who aspires to be as successful as de la Cruz. He ends up exploring the Land of the Dead in an attempt to prove his talent. The film was embroiled in some controversy during its development, when Disney attempted to trademark "Día de Los Muertos," the traditional Mexican holiday around honoring the dead. The backlash to the trademark attempt led Disney to adopt a new name for the film. Still no word on if the film itself is any good, but we only have to wait until November 22 of this year to find out.

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