Disney is one of the most consistently fantastic studios that Hollywood has to offer. And from now though 2019, we are once again going to watch the powerhouse turn out movies left and right, including animated features, the continuation of the Star Wars franchise and numerous Marvel comics films that we’ve been waiting to see for a long time.
Because there are so many Disney films to look out for over the next three years, this list will leave out the Marvel and Star Wars films, not because they aren’t much anticipated, but because the two universes are so vast they require their own list. So while Captain America: Civil War is just around the corner, and we’re practically chomping at the bit waiting for Rogue One, this list brings front and center the films that may have slipped through the cracks during all the Marvel/Star Wars excitement. Pixar movies, however, will be included, even though they're not produced "in house," the animation company is owned by Disney, and it produces very similar movies.
So without further ado, here are 12 Most Anticipated Disney Movies.
12 Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27, 2016)
Following the large success of Tim Burton directed, live-action Alice in Wonderland (2010), Alice Through the Looking Glass will bring the heroine (Mia Wasikowska) back to Wonderland to time travel in order to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Though Burton has been replaced by James Bobin – known for his work with The Muppets as well as his future directorial work on the upcoming 21 Jump Street/Men in Black crossover – the second film is sure to have the same, whimsical feel.
And with the introduction of new character, Time (Sacha Baron Cohen), as well as old favorites the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and the Blue Caterpillar (voiced by the late Alan Rickman), this film is sure to be a well-received sequel.
11 Beauty and the Beast (March 17, 2017)
Perhaps one of the most anticipated on this list, the live action Beauty and the Beast film starring Emma Watson as Belle has received a significant amount of buzz, and rightfully so. There isn’t a better actress to play the part, and we’ve all been giddy with excitement since we first heard the news.
The film will also star Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. This adaptation of the classic “don’t judge a book by its cover” love story, following in the footsteps of last year’s live action Cinderella starring Lily James, might just be exactly what the Disney-loving population needs.
10 The BFG (July 1, 2016)
The newest Steven Spielberg creation follows young Sophie and the new friend she’s encountered: the Big Friendly Giant. Though all giants eat young boys and girls, the Big Friendly Giant is different: he’s much more loving and compassionate than his size may indicate. This lonely outcast befriends the young girl and the two undergo a series of events that result from their unlikely friendship.
The BFG, based on the beloved Roald Dahl novel, promises to be a heartwarming, emotional story about the importance of friendship and inclusion. Starring recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance (the BFG) and Ruby Barnhill (Sophie), The BFG is probably going to bring on the tears, so be prepared.
9 Cars 3 (June 16, 2017)
With only Larry the Cable Guy rumored to reprise his role as the lovable tow truck, Mater, it’s difficult to say how well received the third installment of the Cars series will be. While many weren’t all that impressed with the second film, Disney is more than capable of turning things around.
Though the plot is unknown at this point, and the cast hasn’t yet been announced officially, there has been a directorial switch, which will hopefully trigger some good reviews. John Lasseter, who has directed both previous Cars films, is rumored to be replaced by Monster’s University (2013) director, Dan Scanlon. If that’s the case, based on the success of the Monster’s Inc. (2001) sequel, We’d say this film is in good hands.
8 Finding Dory (June 17, 2016)
Since the initial release of Finding Nemo (2003), fans of the animated fish have been waiting for a sequel to do it justice, and it sounds like we’re about to get it. What’s more perfect than a film centered around one of the cutest, most lovable Disney animated characters?
Finding Dory will follow the blue tang (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) as she is separated from her loved ones and must find her way. Again, this is expected to be a Disney tear-jerker, especially since we’ve been waiting so long to see the big blue world up on the big screen again.
7 Gigantic (March 9, 2018)
It’s a bit far in the future, but we can’t help but feel excited. Gigantic is set in Spain during the Age of Exploration. In this twist on Jack and the Beanstock, a young boy named Jack discovers the world of giants up in the clouds and, befriending one of them, the adventure-seeker undergoes a journey that’s a bit more than he bargained for.
So far, very little is known about the plot and cast. However, we do know that it will be directed by Nathan Greno, who directed a little Disney film you probably know as Tangled (2010). That in itself is promising, so it’s easy to be pretty optimistic about this one.
6 The Incredibles 2 (June 21, 2019)
At this point in time (as we still have a few years to go), the plot, cast and any other pertinent information regarding this sequel is relatively unknown. While rumor has it Spencer Fox (who voiced Dash in the first film) will not return for the sequel due to the change in his voice over time, we, as moviegoers, question what other casting changes will be made and if any will negatively impact the film.
However, with a Disney/Pixar collaboration, that’s pretty unlikely. Plus, the film’s director/writer is slated to be Brad Bird, also known for directing Ratatouille (2007) and the original The Incredibles (2004). So again, though little is known about the film at this time, it’s safe to say the sequel we can’t wait to see is in good hands.
5 The Jungle Book (April 15, 2016)
How do you make a live action film about talking animals? We’re about to find out. Now just a month away from the release of Disney’s live action retelling of The Jungle Book, we’re more antsy than ever. The story will follow the life of Mowgli (Neel Sethi) as he’s raised in the jungle by a variety of wild animals including wolves, a bear and a black panther.
But perhaps the part of the film we’re most excited for is the casting – because it’s spot on. The cast includes Bill Murray (Baloo), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Christopher Walken (King Louie) and Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha), just to name a few. The film is bound to be unlike anything Disney’s created before, and luckily, we don’t have to wait much longer to watch.
4 Moana (November 23, 2016)
Getting perhaps the most buzz of any films on this list, Moana is not only a Disney film largely centered on real, mythical stories of gods and demi-gods, but the lead character has also been the first Hawaiian inductee into the hall of Disney princesses, and she’s perhaps the most unique addition yet.
The film will follow Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) as she sets out to discover a fabled island with her impressive navigational skills. The demi-god Maui (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), who just happens to be Moana’s hero, will also be joining her on the journey. The film will cover new territory and perhaps open doors for others like it in the future.
3 Pete’s Dragon (August 12, 2016)
This Disney remake is bringing back to life the story of orphaned Pete and his dragon friend, Elliott, from the 1977 film and reimagining it in August of this year. The film will be an obvious update from the original just in terms of visual effects, and because this is one of the most easily forgotten Disney films, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
Pete’s Dragon will star Oakes Fegley as Pete as well as Jurassic World’s leading lady, Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace. The original was an emotional tale of a lost boy, and so the remake is most likely going to revive that plot in a new, more imaginative atmosphere and tug those heartstrings as much as possible.
2 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26, 2017)
The fifth installment of the Pirates franchise will bring back the beloved pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) while also reintroducing Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) to the series, now as the captain of the Flying Dutchman. Fans can also expect to see Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).
The fifth film will follow Jack as he searches for the Trident of Poseidon to help save his life from the deadly ghost pirates that have just escaped from the Devil’s Triangle, led by Jack’s nemesis, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem). With the duo of Jack and Will back together again, this might just be the fresh breath the Pirates franchise needed.
1 Toy Story 4 (June 15, 2018)
Everyone thank Disney for not ending the Toy Story films with that heartbreaking goodbye to Andy. And while we’re at it, we might as well thank them for the fourth movie's plot, because it’s perfection. Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) are on a mission to save the one toy that they lost: Bo Peep (Annie Potts).
With the budding romance between Jessie (Joan Cusack) and Buzz, we couldn’t help but feel bad for Woody as he mourned his lost love. Every Toy Story film has been as perfect as the last, so to say hopes are high for the fourth one would be an understatement. Still, we have faith in Disney and hope that they’ll knock another one out of the park.
Are you looking forward to any of these films? Let us know in the comments!