|By Lindsey Allmon|
Disney has made the executive decision to both excite and agonize us by releasing their movie plans all the way up through 2017, with Marvel extending to 2019. While we now have plenty of movies to look forward to, we now have to play the tormenting waiting game as we anticipate and speculate about what is to come. Continue after the break for a look at what we know about the new Disney films arriving on the big screen...
Note: I will be focusing on the non-Marvel films since there are plenty of stories going around about those.
Tomorrowland (May 22)
With this movie already being released this month there isn’t much more speculation to be done, but it is exciting none the less. While Disney has already created films based on attractions and attractions based on films, this is the first time that Disney is tackling an entire concept that lives within the parks. Personally, I think that this film is coming at the perfect time. Disney has come under fire for the lack of original ideas after announcing remakes of our classic fairytales. While this idea isn’t new, it is an original story and promises to be just as enthralling as the concept of Tomorrowland lends itself to be. Add to the original concept a new age in computer graphics and the wild imagination to come with the idea of “tomorrow,” this is sure to be an exciting change from the norm.
Inside Out (June 19)
Pixar’s newest film boasts fresh, new characters and a star studded hilarious cast of Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, and Lewis Black. The film focuses on the emotions of Riley, a teenage girl struggling with her family’s move from the Midwest to San Francisco. Her five main emotions (Joy, Disgust, Fear, Sadness, and Anger) are all conflicted on how to handle the new environment, and thus causing turmoil in Riley’s life. This is one of Disney’s films I’ve been looking forward to, particularly because I think it will have a positive effect on anyone and everyone who goes: Little kids will love the funny characters, adults will recognize the emotional war that they themselves went through as teens, and teens will have a frame of reference, if not a realistic one, an identifiable one that makes the transition into adulthood easier to understand. And let’s not forget, the trailer has already informed us that there will be some adult jokes which I always appreciate in a “kids” movie.
The Good Dinosaur (November 25)
Speaking of a star studded cast, The Good Dinosaur boasts the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Hader (again), Judy Greer, John Lithgow, and relative newcomer Lucas Neff (Raising Hope) starring as Arlo, an Apatosaurus. The premise explores the idea of what would have happened if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs had missed earth completely? After a mystery event disturbs Arlo’s family, he embarks on a journey of adventure and self-discovery while finding a surprising friend in a human boy. This Thanksgiving Pixar film reminds us why Pixar is so incredible; Magical, original films that are innovative and stand the test of time.
The Finest Hours (January 2016)
The first film on this list that is not coming directly from the minds of Disney’s creative staff. Based on the 2009 book of the same name (cover featured above), this film tells the true story of the 1952 Coast Guard rescue mission off the coast of Cape Cod after a blizzard destroyed two oil tankers. The film promises to be a glorious disaster film, and the fact that it is based on a true story adds the bonus of real life emotional ties. Add to that the blockbuster power of Chris Pine and Eric Bana, this is sure to be a winter hit.
Zootopia (March 2016)
From the same studios as Bolt and Tangled comes a new anthropomorphized film that combines a relatively adult storyline with a whimsical animal world. The film follows Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a bunny policewoman determined to prove herself as the first bunny on the animal police force. She is trying to solve a crime that Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a fox scam artist, has been framed for, and the two end up joining forces when they both fall victim to conspiracy. With an adult story line and kid-friendly characters, this is slated to be a family favorite, but the most impressive aspect of this film is the setting itself. In previous films, animals have either replaced humans in our modern world or we are following their story in their natural habitat. Director Byron Howard, however, proposed a modern universe created by animals. Much like human imaginings of the future, this metropolis is what a modern New York would be if it housed animals from all over the Earth, a veritable melting pot of wildlife. It’s sure to be an interesting and creative atmosphere that viewers can dive into.
The Jungle Book (April 2016) and Beauty and the Beast (March 2017)
The next two Disney classics slated for remakes need no story recap, but we must talk about the mega stars who have signed on to recreate the classic films. The Jungle Book stars film newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli, but he is backed up by a tremendous cast including Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Christopher Walken (King Louie) and Bill Murray (Baloo). It takes little effort for me to close my eyes and hear Kingsley as snide Bagheera or Murray as fun, light hearted Baloo. But when it comes to a perfect cast, the upcoming remake of Beauty and the Beast takes the cake. From book loving Hermione to book loving Belle, Emma Watson will have no trouble becoming my personal favorite princess. Lucy Bevan, the casting director, was not done yet. She took a childhood favorite of, well, everyone born in the late 80’s through the 90’s, and produced a live action cast that is, well, perfect. Luke Evans (Vlad in Dracula Untold) takes the role of Gaston while Josh Gad (Olaf from Frozen) becomes his side kick Le Fou (my favorite casting choice). Kevin Kline will play Belle’s inventor father, Maurice, while Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) will play the Beast. A slew of Hollywood and Broadway alum bring voices to our favorite animated furniture: Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Audra McDonald as Garderobe, and Stanley Tucci as Cadenza. The best part? This cast boasts accomplished singers, especially McGregor, McDonald, Gad and Thompson, which inspires hope that this version will keep our favorite songs in the film.
Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 2016), Finding Dory (June 2016), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (July 2017), and Toy Story 4 (June 2017)
In the next few years plenty of films are gaining sequels, some which have been long awaited for (I’m talking to you, Finding Dory). Here’s a quick rundown of what we can expect.
Alice is embarking on a new adventure with much of the same cast as before. Mia Wasikowska will be reprising the role of Alice and costars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman will be back as well. The film will introduce a new character, Time (played by Sacha Baron Cohen). Alice must steal a magical scepter to stop him from turning the clock forward and destroying Wonderland. There also is a plot to return the Queen of Hearts to the throne, so we’ll see how that plays out.
The long awaited sequel to Finding Nemo will center on reuniting Dory with her loved ones. The wonderful Ellen DeGeneres will reprise her role as Dory (along with Albert Brooks as Marlin), and will be joined with Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy playing her parents and Ty Burrell playing a character named Bailey. No, I have no idea who Bailey will be, but I can only hope it’s a love interest for Dory, because that’s just adorable.
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is at it again in the next installment of the successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. This time he is on the hunt for the Trident of Poseidon after ghost pirates lead by Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) escape from the Devil’s Triangle to kill every pirate at sea. The Trident would give Captain Jack the power to control the seas…meaning Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and a slew of others will have something to say about that.
After the perfection that was Toy Story 3, it’s hard to imagine what they could put into a new film. And yet, it’s been confirmed that our favorite characters are returning to the big screen. While it’s pretty self-explanatory that Andy is no longer a part of the story, what can we expect from the film? The truth is, we really have no idea. It’s been said that the film will be a romantic comedy of sorts and it has been confirmed that Rashida Jones will be a part of the writing team. It is rumored that Tom Hanks has already signed on to the project, so it’s possible that a new love interest for Woody is in store, but this film is truly the most speculative. Pixar is keeping tight lipped and after the perfect close that was Toy Story 3, there are no real loose ends to cling to in an attempt to predict a story line. We will just have to wait and see.
The BFG (July 2016)
Also known as The Big Friendly Giant, Roald Dahl’s classic story has had a hold on the hearts of children (and adults) for generations. Cosgrove Hall films already released an animated version back in 1989 which was one of my favorites as a kid, so this is not the first time this story has made it to the screen. However, The BFG is making history for the Disney Company in one big way: Steven Spielberg. This film will be Spielberg’s film debut working under the Disney brand and it’s a rather odd film for him to choose. We’ll see what he decides to bring to the story, but no matter what becomes of the BFG, it’s sure to be interesting.
Pete’s Dragon (August 2016)
The name Pete’s Dragon may not spark the memory of some younger Disney fans, but the older generation, and the diehards, will recall the 1977 mix of animation and live action that Walt himself experimented with. For those who were fans of the original, don’t walk into the theater expecting the usual. The producers have said they are revamping the core story and will be cutting the music (that means no “Candle on the Water” for fans of the film). The film will remain live action with a CGI dragon, similar to the original set up, but it’s safe to say this will be entirely different from the original. Only time will tell if that is a good or bad thing.
The last film to share is one I am particularly excited about, Moana. The next Disney princess film is set in Oceania 2000 years ago and will be a musical. A 14 year old Moana teams up with her hero Maui, a legendary demi god, to traverse the seas on an epic adventure, complete with massive sea creatures, ancient folk lore and breathtaking scenery. The film boasts the directors of Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and The Princess and the Frog and one of the composers on The Lion King, Tarzan, and Brother Bear. Are you kidding me? This film has all the makings of being incredible. While the details are still being ironed out, one thing is for sure: Dwayne Johnson (AKA the Rock) will be voicing Maui, tapping in to his Samoan heritage that he is extremely proud of. Oh, and Johnson sang on the soundtrack to Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, so we may get to hear his vocal talents in this new film.
The coming years will be huge for the Disney company and there is certainly a lot to look forward to. I can’t wait to hear more about what we can expect from these new films and I especially can’t wait to see them. See you at the movies!
Lindsey Allmon is a great lover of all things Disney and has been from the moment she was born. Lindsey is eager to share her knowledge of Disney with all of you. She is twenty one years old and hails from a suburb just southwest of Columbus, Ohio. Recently Lindsey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University with hopes of becoming a screenwriter. Her hobbies include reading, baking, singing obnoxiously loud in her car and shower, perfecting her Pinterest boards, and watching movies. In addition to that, she is planning her Tangled and Paperman themed wedding to her wonderful fiancé, Colby. As far as her Disney history goes, Lindsey's first trip was before she was a year old and she has made a trip nearly every year since, both as a basic family vacation and as a performer during Magic Music Days and the Magic Kingdom parade prior to the fireworks spectacular Wishes. She has been through countless park changes and stayed at approximately 10 different Disney Hotels. Her favorite character of all time is Maleficent. As a general rule Lindsey tends to love villains the most as she thinks they have some of the best lines, and who can resist a diabolical laugh? Her favorite Disney movie is easily Mary Poppins. When Lindsey was little all she wanted to watch was Mary Poppins over and over again, and as she grew older she realized the perfection that is Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Lindsey's favorite Disney Park is the World Showcase section of Epcot. She loves traveling and the World Showcase is a great way to experience so many different cultures at once. Fun Fact: Every year her parents buy her an oyster at the Japan Pavilion. The pearls from these oysters have all been saved and will be strung into a necklace that Lindsey will wear on her wedding day. Her favorite ride is Splash Mountain. Lindsey's articles will focus on navigating Disney World as well as providing some great insider info about the history of the company and the parks.
You can find all of Lindsey's articles here.
You can find all of Lindsey's articles here.