Disney reveals upcoming movies at D23 Expo


courtesy of Disney

Popular Disney characters including Mickey and Donald Duck welcome D23 fan club members to this year’s expo. Photo from Official D23 Fan club on d23.com.

Jennifer Sheng and Jack Ke

The Walt Disney Studios provided Disney fans with exclusive insiders of upcoming films such as live action remakes of “The Little Mermaid” and “Peter Pan & Wendy” at the D23 Expo held at the Anaheim Convention Center from Sept. 9 to 11. 

The D23 Expo is a three day event that hosted approximately 65,000 members in which The Walt Disney Studios shared insights on new Disney live action, Pixar, Disney+ and animation movies that are planned to be released by 2024. Official Gold tier members of D23, who enrolled for the D23 membership fee of $99.99 a year, are considered the official Disney fan club for The Walt Disney Company and have access to this event. 

The Walt Disney Studios shared insights on new Disney live action, Pixar, Disney+ and animation movies that are planned to be released by 2024.

On Friday, The Walt Disney Studios presented the new projects of Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Live Action. Upcoming Marvel and Lucasfilm movies and shows were revealed on Saturday, and updates on the Disney parks were presented on Sunday. 

Live Action

Disney Live Action dropped a teaser for “The Little Mermaid”, the live action remake of their 1989 Oscar-winning animated musical classic. “The Little Mermaid” cast includes Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. Director Rob Marshall elaborates on a detail that he had particularly focused on during filmmaking.  

“There are things I’ve learned about how you have to work to integrate songs into story, and how it has to feel earned … And so as we’re working on, in a way, fleshing out The Little Mermaid — Ariel has one song in the animated film — and so we’re looking for maybe more material,” Marshall noted in an interview with ComicBook. “[It’s] exciting, to sort of take what was there, which is so beloved, but also find a way to create a live-action version of it.”

“The Little Mermaid” will be released in theaters on May 26, 2023.

Fans also got a title reveal for Barry Jenkins’ upcoming film “Mufasa: The Lion King.” The film takes the audience through the story of Mufasa and his reign, highlighting his rise to power despite not coming from a royal lineage. Jenkins reveals his connection to the main character at the D23 Expo.

“Mufasa is who he is because of the people he has around him, and I saw that in myself,” Jenkins said.

DVHS senior Krish Jain has grown up watching the 2019 animated classic “Lion King” and expresses his excitement to see a rendition. 

“I think it’s going to be interesting on how Mufasa’s growing up story parallels Simba’s coming of age story,” Jain noted.

The tentative release date for “Mufasa: The Lion King” is July 5, 2024.


Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios Jennifer Lee as well as filmmakers Chris Buck and Fawn Beerasunthorn and actor Alan Tudyk announced the upcoming animated musical film “Wish,” a musical featuring songs written by Grammy-nominated artist Julia Michaels. The movie star Ariana DeBose plays Asha, a 17-year-old who looks to the wishing star to help save her kingdom. In addition to focusing on the power of wishes, the 3D CG animation is of a watercolor style that embraces classic and contemporary. DeBose explains the relatability that many people have with her character Asha. 

“This story is about our dreams and the work and love we put into them. In a way, Asha is a leader that doesn’t know that that’s what she is yet, and there are many young people like that,” DeBose said.

“Wish” will be released in November 2023 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Animation Studios. 

The Walt Disney Studios plans on releasing more exciting content for Disney fans in the coming years, expanding on previous stories and creating new ones for fans to enjoy.