So Much Disney News!

Right on the heels of yesterday's Winx disaster, Disney swooped in to save the day with a barrage of new announcements about their upcoming content. Just when I had made a video wondering what there was to look forward to in the coming years, Disney answered my question to the extreme. Not only are there two new princess cartoons coming out within the next couple of years, but we also now have concrete release information about a number of movies that Disney has been teasing us with. If you're not already subscribed to Disney+, you'd better do it soon, or you're going to miss out on a lot.

Logos for four new original animated Disney+ series--Baymax, Zootopia, Tiana, and Moana

The biggest and possibly most surprising of the announcements is that after a complete dearth of original animated content on Disney+, Disney's premiere streaming service is working on not one, not two, but four exclusive animated series based on popular Disney film franchises, two of which are princesses. I'm particularly excited to see Tiana join the ranks of Ariel, Rapunzel, and Jasmine with her own series after Disney paid so little attention to her over the years. When they announced that they were using her to refurbish an old ride, it felt like a slap in the face considering how many new things they could have done to continue her story. This series is exactly the type of special treatment the hard-working princess deserves, especially today, on the anniversary of The Princess and the Frog. I'm incredibly excited to return to the bayou and see how Tiana and Naveen will fare at running their new restaurant.

Moana, the other princess to receive her own series on Disney+, is full of potential for new stories now that her people are free to explore more islands. The ending of her movie felt like the beginning of a brand new story of adventures at sea uncovering new civilizations. There was even an episode of Tangled: The Series where Rapunzel discovered a magical remote island. Maybe Moana will have a crossover episode where she finds the same one. Who knows? It's going to be a while before we can stream either of these passionate princesses, though. Tiana is set for release in late 2022, while Moana has to wait until 2023 to sail the sea again.

Full cast and logo for Disney's upcoming live-action Little Mermaid movie

Disney also made a ton of new movie announcements, though the word "new" is relative. The entire cast of the live-action remake of Disney's The Little Mermaid had been announced in bits and pieces over the last year. Now we have a complete cast list and logo for the film. After a brief hiatus due to covid, Halle Bailey is back to work with her portrayal of everyone's favorite redheaded little mermaid. Another not-so-new announcement is that Disenchanted, the sequel to Disney's 2007 hit, Enchanted, is still under production. After so many years of silence, it wouldn't have been a stretch to assume the project had been canceled. I bet even the production company was having their doubts before Disney launched their streaming service. Sequels rarely get a theatrical budget. Now we know that this movie is still happening, and that Amy Adams will reprise her role as the lovable and occasionally neurotic Giselle. Like Godmothered, Disenchanted will be streaming exclusively on Disney+.

As for the animated theatrical release that Disney was planning for the spring of 2021, Raya and the Last Dragon will be pulling a Mulan with a limited release in theaters and an additional fee to stream it early on Disney+. This is understandable considering how few theaters are open and how much work clearly went into this beautiful film. For the price of two adult theater tickets, you will be able to stream Raya's adventure into your home on March 5, 2021. If that's not something that interests you, you can wait three months and stream it with a regular subscription. Additional details about the movie were released as well, such as a "street-savvy entrepreneur" named Boun, a "formidable giant" named Tong, a "thieving toddler" named Noi, and our first look at the cursed dragon, Sisu. She looks different than I would have pictured her with her fuzzy blue mane and unicorn-style horn. This movie is shaping up to be a unique experience.

Raya and Sisu, a fuzzy blue dragon resembling a giraffe

Some less princessy updates include a number of new live-action remakes that will stream exclusively on Disney+ including Pinocchio and Peter Pan and Wendy. This version of Pinocchio will be in addition to the one Guillermo del Toro is working on separately with Netflix. Remember that year when three different versions of "Snow White" came out? It'll be kind of like that. Also in the works is a Maleficent-inspired version of 101 Dalmations called Cruella, where we will see the story from the perspective of the greedy fashionista. Lin-Manuel Miranda has been overwhelmed with Disney projects ever since he composed the music for Moana. In addition to the new songs he penned for the remake of The Little Mermaid, he wrote new music for Disney's original animated movie, Encanto, an enchanting magical adventure in Colombia, which is set for release next fall. If you don't want to wait that long for a new animated Disney movie, don't forget that Pixar's Soul is premiering on Disney+ this Christmas, free of charge as Disney's gift to their loyal subscribers.

That about covers Disney's release schedule for the next three years or so. I'm particularly excited about Raya because it's the first original female-driven animated feature that I've seen from them in a long time. Of all of these announcements, Tiana's series is the one that excites me the most. I relate so much to her character and am excited to finally see Disney do something new with her. Which of these announcements are you the most excited about? Maybe it's something I didn't even mention. There were so many! Let me know in the comments below!

Comments

One thing I find about the upcoming shows like Moana, Tiana, and so forth, is that they're produced by Disney's feature, and not Disney Television Animation. It'll be interesting to see how well animated they turn out since it means a budget closer to a theatrical movie than a tv show.

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