There are a lot of Disney animated movies releasing after Lightyear coming from Walt Disney Animation Studios, 20th Century Animation, and Pixar. The Mouse House has long been synonymous with the animated movie industry, and even as IP franchises, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars become bigger focuses, Disney is still a significant player in Hollywood’s animated movie space. Pixar’s Lightyear is the latest effort from Disney’s various animated studios and an attempt to reinvent the Toy Story franchise with Chris Evans voicing Buzz Lightyear.
Debuting in theaters in 2022, Lightyear marks the first Pixar movie to release exclusively in this format since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Soul, Luca, and Turning Red all had their theatrical release plans scrapped in favor of exclusive releases on Disney+. With the backing of the Toy Story franchise, Lightyear was given the wide theatrical release the previous original stories were not. The end result will be another big hit for Disney and Pixar, as Lightyear‘s positive reviews, high box office projections, and sequel setup signal that this is the start of a new Pixar animated franchise.
Lightyear marks the fourth major Disney animated movie of 2022 to come from one of its three animation studios. Pixar’s Turning Red kicked off the year, while Disney Animation Studios was then involved in the CGI/live-action hybrid Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers reboot. 20th Century Animation also released The Bob’s Burgers Movie in theaters only a few weeks before Lightyear. Disney not only has more animated movies releasing in the rest of 2022, but there are also plans for several other films. All in all, Disney is releasing 10 animated movies after Lightyear in theaters and on Disney+. Here’s a complete guide to Disney’s upcoming animated movies.
Strange World – November 23, 2022
First movie after Lightyear is Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Strange World. Directed by Big Hero 6‘s Don Hall, the upcoming Disney animated movie follows the Clades, a legendary family of explorers. Jake Gyllenhaal voices the main character, Searcher Clade. Other Strange World cast members include Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union and Lucy Liu as other members of the Clades. Strange World releases exclusively in theaters on November 23, 2022.
Night At The Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again – 2022
Disney is planning to continue the Night at the Museum franchise in animation. Instead of rebooting the Ben Stiller-starring family franchise in live-action, 20th Century Animation is working on a CGI-animated continuation. As evident by the title, Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again is about Hank Azaria’s Kahmunrah returning for revenge. The story shifts focus from Stiller’s Larry Daley to his son Nick, played by Skyler Gisondo. Franchise veterans like Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, and Rami Malek will voice their characters in the Night at the Museum reboot as well. Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again is expected to debut exclusively on Disney+ sometime in 2022.
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – 2022
Disney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid animated movie franchise is going to continue after Lightyear. Author Jeff Kinney wrote the script for the original 2021 animated movie that debuted on Disney+. The streaming service is confirmed to host a sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, in 2022. No official release date has been given, but Kinney has plans to turn all of his Diary of a Wimpy Kid books into animated movies as long as the films continue to succeed.
Untitled Carlos López Estrada Movie – 2023
Raya and the Last Dragon‘s co-director Carlos López Estrada is confirmed to be working on another animated movie for Disney. Plot details are not yet confirmed for Estrada’s new story, but Walt Disney Animation Studios previously confirmed the untitled film will debut sometime in 2023. Following the very positive reviews for Raya and the Last Dragon, there is reason to be excited about what Carlos López Estrada will do next, even if hardly anything is known about it.
Elemental – June 16, 2023
The next Pixar movie after Lightyear has long been a mystery, but Disney finally revealed details about Elemental in 2022. The movie is directed by Peter Sohn, who previously directed The Good Dinosaur. He also voiced Lightyear‘s scene-stealing cat robot, Sox. Sohn’s new movie Elemental is set in a city where people made of fire, earth, air, and water elements live together. The story revolves around a fiery young woman and a go-with-the-flow guy as they discover they aren’t so different. No voice actors for the main characters have been announced. Pixar’s upcoming animated movie releases exclusively in theaters on June 16, 2023.
Two Untitled Pixar Movies
Disney’s upcoming animated slate also includes two mystery Pixar movies after Lightyear. Both movies have set 2024 release dates of March 1, 2024, and June 14, 2024. There are currently no details known about either project, as Pixar’s long development cycle keeps these titles a secret until much later. Due to the secrecy, these mystery Pixar movies could ultimately be sequels to earlier films or new ideas with Pixar’s magic touch. Some sequel possibilities include Toy Story 5, Lightyear 2, Turning Red 2, and Luca 2. With the studio mostly veering away from franchise movies after Toy Story 4, these two untitled Pixar movies could also continue to explore new worlds and ideas.
Disney is also planning to revive 20th Century Animation’s Rio franchise. The first two movies have combined to make nearly $1 billion at the box office. Following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century, it was confirmed in early 2022 that Rio 3 was officially in the works. Jim Hecht is writing the Rio 3 script, but no story details have been revealed. It was previously reported that Disney+ was also in early development on a Rio spinoff for Jamie Foxx and will.i.am’s characters. Whenever Rio 3 happens, it is expected that Jesse Eisenberg’s Blu and Anne Hathaway’s Jewel will return. There is no release date for Rio 3 at this time or confirmation on if it will be released in theaters or on Disney+.
Untitled Seventh Ice Age Movie
Following the release of The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild on Disney+ in 2022, Disney’s animated plans also seemingly include a seventh Ice Age movie. Jim Hecht is also responsible for writing the script for the untitled Ice Age 7. It is not known if the seventh installment of the franchise will return the focus to original characters like Manfred, Sid, and Diego. Considering the franchise’s recent shift with The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, the next chapter in this series could continue focusing on Buck Wild, Crash, and Eddie.
Family Guy Movie
Nearly 25 years after Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy debuted on TV, the long-running animated sitcom is going to have a movie too. MacFarlane confirmed in 2019 that a Family Guy movie is in development. It is unclear if this is the same live-action/animated film Fox announced plans for in 2018. If the Family Guy movie happens and follows in the Bob’s Burgers movie or Simpsons movie steps is very much up in the air. MacFarlane has talked about making a film featuring the Griffin family since 2007, but it has never materialized. Should it eventually come to fruition, it is not clear if the movie will debut in theaters like Lightyear or have a streaming launch on Hulu or Disney+.
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