On Friday August 14th, we were privileged to view the Walt Disney Animation and Disney Pixar presentation at the D23 Expo, hosted by John Lasseter.

JOHN LASSETER (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering)

Lasseter was like a kid in a candy store when he kicked off the panel by firing off a t-shirt cannon loaded with his signature Hawaiian shirts. He remained jubilant as he announced each of the upcoming films (including the very brief confirmation of Frozen 2), and introduced their creators with pride, as if they were his own children.


Due to be released March 4 2016, “Zootopia” is the story of a small town bunny, Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) trying to prove herself as a police officer in the big city. During her journey, she is given a case who’s prime suspect appears to be a con-man fox named Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman).


[To be released in 2018]

This film will be a retelling of the classic story “Jack and the Beanstalk” where Jack discovers not only one giant, but an entire village of them. “Gigantic” will contain magical music created by the couple who is responsible for the soundtrack of ‘Frozen’, Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, who performed an early version of one of the songs from the film.


[Release Date: November 23rd, 2016]

This will be Disney’s first film featuring a princess from the South Pacific. Moana is the journey of the titled character, and the restoration of the traditions of her people. During this presentation, not only were we joined by one of the voices of the film, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who was absolutely elated at the crowd’s response to the film, there was an explosive performance by Te Vaka.

“The Good Dinosaur” 

[Release Date: November 25th, 2015]

The Good Dinosaur follows the journey of Arlo, a young dinosaur that has been separated from his family. During his travels, he meets an unlikely companion in the form a young human boy named Spot, and discovers they have more in common than he would have ever thought possible.

[Bring your tissues for this one, folks. I couldn’t make it through the snippets without ugly crying.]

“Riley’s First Date”

[Short film to be released on the ‘Inside Out’ blu ray]

The team from Inside Out spoke briefly about the film & it’s success, and were joined by Josh Cooley who directed the short Riley’s First Date. The short is about Riley’s parents attempting to decipher whether or not Riley & Jordan’s “hang out” is a date, and their emotions running wild in the process. With approval from Lasseter, Joy & Sadness, the crowd was allowed to watch the short film, and it was absolutely hilarious.


 [To be released in 2017]

Coco is the story of Miguel, a 12 year old boy growing up in rural Mexico, whose discovery of a family mystery revolving around Dio De Los Muertos will “forever change his fate.” Lee Unkrich discussed the importance of heritage & family history, and what adventure can be uncovered while discovering the roots of tradition.

“Finding Dory”

[Release Date: June 17th, 2016]

The discussion of this long-anticipated film was joyfully welcomed by the crowd, whose cheers exploded with the surprise appearance of Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O’Neil, Ty Burrell, & Kaitlin Olsen. Finding Dory will be the tale of our favorite forgetful fish (Dory) as she starts to regain memories of her family and goes on an epic journey to find them.

“Toy Story 4”  

[Release Date: June 16th, 2017]

According to John Lasseter, he, Andrew Stanton, Pete Doctor, and Lee Unkrich agreed after finishing Toy Story 3 that, unless the PERFECT story arose, and it felt right, they would not make a fourth Toy Story film. Toy Story 4 will be the love story of Woody & Bo Peep (inspired by Lasseter’s wife), as well as Buzz & Woody taking on one more mission to find Bo.

John Lasseter closed the presentation by celebrating the 20th anniversary of  Toy Story with a special performance by Randy Newman, and some familiar characters.

We cannot wait to see all of these! Which film are you looking forward to most?


Special thanks to D23 for the use of their images.

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