Walt Disney Studios Upcoming Slate of Films; Facts and Predictions

For those of us that like to keep up with the current Disney movie news, we know that there are some exciting movies coming up within the next few years.  Some will be live action and some animated, including Moana, Beauty and the Beast, and Toy Story 4, just to name a few.

So, what do we really know about these movies? Here is a list examining everything that we know about a few upcoming Disney animated movies, as well my own predictions and opinions for some of the missing pieces.



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Lets start with a movie coming out in just a few months. We have quite a bit of information about Moana and what it is about.


Moana is about a young, spirited girl in the South Pacific who goes on a quest to search for a fabled island. Moana will be going on her quest with Maui, the legendary demigod, and they will meet some fascinating characters along the way.

The characters in the film like demigods and spirits, are ones that are taken from real mythology. The cast includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is voicing Maui, and introducing Auli’I Cravalho, who voices Moana. She will be the youngest actress to ever voice a Disney princess.

Besides the characters and plot, we know a lot of other information about the animation, directing, and production, as well as music. The directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, have worked on many Disney movies in the past.

The pair is known for directing huge successes like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Hercules. However, through all of these movies, Moana is the first movie the pair has done with complete CG animation. The lone exception being for Maui’s moving tattoos, which took inspiration from the muses in Hercules.

Even though Clements and Musker are huge in the Disney sphere, one of the biggest names attached to this movie is a third of the music team, Lin Manuel Miranda, who is widely known for his musical, Hamilton.

The other people involved with the music include Mark Mancina, known from Tarzan and The Lion King, as well as Opetaia Foa’l, who founded the world music band Te Vaka.


We know a lot about this movie, since it is coming out in November, but we still are left with a few questions. Especially because we do not know too much about the plot, other than the fact that Moana is going on an adventure.

I can predict that this movie will be a success, however I do fear that Moana will go down the same path as Pocahontas and Mulan, and get minimal attention in the parks and media. As a big fan of both Pocahontas and Mulan, I am hopeful that this will not be the case.

The reason I am most excited for this movie is to get to see the South Pacific culture. Disney has put its heart into making a film that represented the South Pacific culture in everything from the cast, (most of which are from the South Pacific, or have South Pacific roots), the music, and seeing the culture first hand.

The directors took two trips out to the South Pacific while researching for the film. Musker said “Those trips have been revelatory and kind of life-changing in a way. In that it made us take our very simple outline and rework the whole thing.”

I predict that this film will have a cast of very likeable characters, and that Maui will be an outlet for humor in the film. I also predict that Moana will follow in Merida’s footsteps by having a movie that centers less on love and ball gowns and more on adventure and finding yourself.

It is also unclear on whether the film will have a clear villain, or it may follow in Frozen’s idea of revealing the villain at the end, which would make for an interesting plot twist.

Wreck-It Ralph 2


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Moving far into the future (2018), we have Wreck-It Ralph 2. This will be a sequel to the original film that was released in 2012. The official announcement for the film was made just this past June, in which we discovered that Rich Moore will be co-directing the film with Phil Johnston. Rich Moore was on the original Wreck it Ralph, but more recently directed the huge box-office success, Zootopia.

We know very little about the plot of Wreck-It Ralph, as the directors have kept it top-secret. What we do know is that the story will continue to follow Ralph, who leaves the arcade, and is now off wrecking the internet.

Moore also gave a few more details regarding Ralph’s and Vanellope’s relationship, saying: “We’re going to see their friendship tested by getting to the Internet. So everything you loved about the first one and a whole lot more,” (


Since we know so little about the plot, it leaves lots of room for predictions! In an interview, Moore discussed how the original film barely scratched the surface of the video game realm.  I anticipate a much deeper dive into video games, as well as the Internet in general.

Zootopia contained many references to real world brands, games, and issues, and I hope to see that same trend in this sequel. I do have some reservations, because the original film was not a huge success, but I hope that this sequel can stir some new excitement.

The video game world that Disney created was extremely creative, and deserves the opportunity to be explored more. There also have been rumors of cameos from popular Mario and Tron characters, which has a lot of fans excited.

Overall, I hope that this sequel will draw more attention than the original film did, and that it will take the amazing concept of exploring the internet, and run with it.



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Again, this is another film that is not set for release until November of 2018, so there is not much information on it. This movie will be loosely based off of the classic tale of Jack and The Beanstalk.

In this version, Jack will not just discover a castle, but a whole new world. The story centers on his interaction with one giant, and an 11-year-old girl named Inma. Nathan Greno, who directed Tangled, will be directing this film.

We also know that Frozen’s song writing duo Robert and Kristin Anderson-Lopez, will be scoring the film.

As for details of the movie, we know that it takes place in 15th century Spain, and the main characters will be Jack and Inma. Inma was inspired by a girl who Greno and his team encountered when he was scouting locations in Spain.

Inma will get her hands on Jack, and treat him as a toy rather than a man. We also know that Inma will have her own song, which the Lopez’s debuted last year at the D23 Expo.


I am very excited for this movie. When I originally heard of this movie, my biggest hesitation was that it was based on a tale that is so well-known, and well-told. However, Greno took the story of Rapunzel, and turned it into Tangled: which was another box-office success, so I believe he will do the same with Gigantic.

We know that this movie will have a musical aspect, but I am curious to see if it will be smaller, like Zootopia, or a full-blown musical like many original Disney films. I am hopeful for this movie as well, and as 2018 gets closer, I am sure we will learn more information as to what this movie is really going to be like.

There you have it! Those are a few of the Walt Disney Animation Studios upcoming movies, and some of my predictions along with them.

Let me know down in the comments which of these movies you are most excited to see!  Stay tuned for future articles where I will be looking at upcoming Disney Pixar films, as well as upcoming live-action films, and as always have a magical day!


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Marisa Recker

Marisa Recker

Marisa is 17, from Washington state and is currently studying in New York City. Although she travels to Disneyland every couple of months, she is a huge fan of anything and everything Disney, and you can catch up with her on Instagram (marisa_recker), and Twitter (@reckerwithane).
Marisa Recker

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