Walt Disney Animation Studios is going to have its hands full these next few years. Directors and producers came together at the D23 Expo held this past weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center in California to discuss some of the new and upcoming animated films that will be hitting the big screens in the next few years.
It is hard to think about the next year, two to three or even more couple of years from now since it sounds like a long time from now. However, with the days passing up by in a blink of an eye, that time will come sooner than we think. With the reveal of some of the new films to be released, Disney is making their fans on the verge of biting their nails with all the excitement.
The first of these new films includes “Gigantic” which will be directed by “Tangled’s” Nathan Greno. Oscar winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who wrote the music for Disney’s “Frozen,” will also write the music for “Gigantic.” The film is considered to be Disney’s unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk.”
Disney is known for making its own unique versions of the classic fables most of us, if not all, grew up with. Each film released by Disney is unique in its own way. It will be interesting to see the uniqueness of “Gigantic” in comparison to other versions Disney made of the classics especially the 1947 film “Mickey and the Beanstalk.”
“Gigantic” is set in Spain during the Age of Discovery. We follow Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden in the clouds. During his adventure, he befriends a 60 foot tall and 11-year-old friend, who is also a giant, by the name of Inma and helps her find her way back home.
The second of the many films to be released is an animated musical “Moana” which will also be Disney’s 56th animated film. The man known for his big muscles, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, made a surprise appearance on stage along with directors John Musker and Ron Clements. Johnson has been casted as the voice of the demi-god Maui who can change shape and is covered in tattoos. During the expo, Johnson made it clear that one of his goals was to be a part of the Disney family.
The film follows 16-year-old Moana Waialiki who is living in the South Pacific nearly 2,000 years ago and sets out on a dangerous sea voyage with her pet pig Pua. It is a story of how people from the South Pacific became great navigators. Here is quick synopsis of the film:
“’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 and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage.”
During the expo, the audience was in for a special treat when the directors and people involved in the animated film shared some details about it. For example, the audience was able to see how Moana would like look, that she will be Disney’s twelfth princess and first Polynesian princess and much more. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast has not been announced yet. I sure look forward to finding out who will be the voice of the beautiful Moana.
Some might say, like myself, that “Moana” may have quite the feel to Disney’s Pocahontas which, of course, has a different storyline and is set in a different period of time. Between Inma in “Gigantic” and the main character in “Moana,” it seems like Disney is trying to introduce many more female characters and princesses to its films.’
With all these fun and new films coming our way, Disney really set its own bar high with the latest animated film “Frozen.” It is the top-grossing animated film after it brought in $1.2 billion in theaters alone. However, it looks like Disney is up for the challenge and only time will tell if Disney can out do itself again.
Despite the direction Walt Disney may be going in their films, they never disappoint their fans and audiences. There is no official release date for “Gigantic,” it is set to be released in 2018 so be sure to keep an eye out for more updates! In the meantime, mark your calendars for November 23, 2016 for the premiere of “Moana.”