Disney has announced a release slate for 2019 to 2022 that's packed with animated movies, so here's a guide to everything that's on the way. Following the recent acquisition of Fox, Disney is expected to continue dominating the bx office for the foreseeable future. With Avengers: Endgame still firmly at the top of the box office charts, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker still to come later on in 2019, it's almost easy to forget that Disney is still an animation studio.
However, Disney definitely hasn't forgotten, with three animated movies on the way this year - including the highly-anticipated sequel Frozen 2. In fact, Disney has earmarked Thanksgiving weekend as its annual animated release date for the next 3 years, at least, though we still don't know exactly which movies will feature in that release slot beyond 2019.
Between Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation, and new acquisitions like Blue Sky Studios, Locksmith Animation, and 20th Century Fox Animation, Disney has a busy slate of upcoming animated films. Here's a handy guide to what to expect over the next few years.
The sequel to 2013's smash hit, Frozen 2 catches up with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and of course, Olaf and Sven. With all the original voice cast returning to the project, as well as directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (who is now also head of Walt Disney Animation), Disney will be hoping for a return of "Frozen fever" which gripped the globe the first time around. Frozen grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide, with Elsa and Anna fast becoming two of the most iconic and best loved Disney characters. Frozen won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as well as Best Song (for "Let it Go"), and given its widespread popularity, and the addition of a smash hit Broadway musical version, it's little surprise that Frozen 2 is highly anticipated.
The plot for Frozen 2 is a closely guarded secret, but its thought that it will focus on the now older Anna and Elsa trying to discover what happened to their parents, who died in a shipwreck when they were children. Frozen 2 will release on November 22nd, 2019, which is the week before Thanksgiving in the US. Going forward, Disney will release a new animated feature every Thanksgiving for the next 3 years.
Lin-Manuel Miranda Untitled Project
With Frozen 2 grabbing the 2019 Thanksgiving slot, we move onto 2020 and beyond. Although Frozen 2 actually arrives the Friday before the holiday, from 2020, Disney has laid claim to each Wednesday before Thanksgiving for 2020-2022. At present, all future Disney animated features are untitled, but we can speculate on what might fill those slots. After his success with the music for Moana, and his acclaimed performance in Mary Poppins Returns, Lin-Manuel Miranda is said to be working on a new Disney animated movie, alongside Zootopia director Byron Howard.
There's not a lot of information surrounding the project, but neither have we heard that it's been shelved, so it could be that Miranda and Howard's feature takes one of the 2020-2022 slots. At present, Miranda is busy making a film version of one of his musicals, Into the Heights, he has the BBC's adaptation of His Dark Materials arriving sometime this year, and he's also said to be working with veteran Disney composer, Alan Menken, on the music for a live-action Little Mermaid retelling - so who knows when this animated feature will arrive?
Upcoming Disney Animated Movie Release Dates
The release dates of all listed Disney Animation releases are as follows:
- November 22nd, 2019: Frozen 2
- November 25th, 2020: Untitled Disney Animation Studios movie
- November 24th 2021: Untitled Disney Animation Studios movie
- November 23rd 2022: Untitled Disney Animation Studios movie
Upcoming Pixar Movies Disney Is Releasing
Disney also has a lineup of movies from Pixar Animation, starting with Toy Story 4 this year. According to producer Mark Nielsen, there are no more sequel movies in development at Pixar beyond Toy Story 4, which means we can look forward to several years of original stories from the studio. Here's when they'll release:
- June 21st, 2019: Toy Story 4
- March 6th, 2020: Onward
- June 19th, 2020 Untitled film
- June 18th, 2021: Untitled film
- March 18th, 2022: Untitled film
- June 17th, 2022: Untitled film
Fox Animated Movies Disney Is Releasing
Finally, Disney's acquisition of Fox means a new collection of animation studios, each of which has at least one release on the way. Here are the release dates for Disney's upcoming Fox animated movies:
- December 25th, 2019: Spies in Disguise (Blue Sky Studios)
- July 17th, 2020: Bob's Burgers: The Movie (20th Century Fox Animation)
- November 6th, 2020: Ron's Gone Wrong (Locksmith Animation)
- March 5th 2021: Nimona (Blue Sky Studios)
- Frozen 2 (2019) release date: Nov 22, 2019
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019
- Spies in Disguise (2019) release date: Dec 25, 2019
- Bob's Burgers Movie (2020) release date: Jul 17, 2020
- Nimona (2021) release date: Mar 05, 2021