The Walt Disney Company has finalized its release slate for 2019, and as usual, animation will play a significant role in the company’s output.
Among Disney’s ten releases will be two animation sequels — Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4 — and three remakes of animated films — Dumbo, The Lion King, and Aladdin.
The entertainment conglomerate is hoping that the slate will help it recreate its magical 2018 when three of its releases hit the billion-dollar mark globally — Avengers: Infinity War ($2.05 billion), Black Panther ($1.35 billion), and Incredibles 2 ($1.24 billion) — and the company earned $7.325 billion in global box office, its second-biggest year ever behind 2016, when the studio earned $7.605 billion.
Here’s the slate with the company’s official synopsis for each film. Which Disney releases are you most looking forward to this year?
March 8 – Marvel Studios
Set in the 1990s, Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows the journey of Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes. While a galactic war between two alien races reaches Earth, Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom.
Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace; with Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Jude Law.
Produced by Kevin Feige. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Executive produced by Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Patricia Whitcher and Stan Lee. Story by Nicole Perlman and Joe Shrapnel & Anna Waterhouse. Screenplay by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson Dworet and Jac Schaeffer.
March 29 – Disney
From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the all-new grand live-action adventure Dumbo expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Hold learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.
Directed by Tim Burton. Screenplay by Ehren Kruger. Produced by Justin Springer, Kruger, Katterli Frauenfelder and Derek Frey.
April 17 – Disneynature
“Disneynature’s all-new feature film Penguins is a coming-of-age story about an Adelie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner, and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind Bears and Chimpanzee, Disneynature’s Penguins opens in theaters nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.”
April 26 – Marvel Studios
Further info TBA
May 24 – Disney
A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, Aladdin is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. The film stars Will Smith as the larger-than-life Genie; Mena Massoud as the charming scoundrel Aladdin; Naomi Scott as Jasmine, the beautiful, self-determined princess; Marwan Kenzari as Jafa, the powerful sorcerer; Navid Negahban as the Sultan concerned with his daughter’s future; Nasim Pedrad as Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s free-spirited best friend and confidante; Billy Magnussen as the handsome and arrogant suitor Prince Anders; and Numan Acar as Hakim, Jafar’s right-hand man and captain of the palace guards.
Directed by Guy Ritchie. Written by John August. Produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, with Marc Platt and Kevin De La Noy as exec producers. Score by Alan Menken, with new recordings of original songs by Menken and Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and new songs by Menken and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Key creative team also includes DP Alan Stewart, production designer Gemma Jackson and costume designer Michael Wilkinson.
Toy Story 4
June 21 – Disney-Pixar
Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy.
Directed by Josh Cooley and produced by Jonas Rivera and Mark Nielsen.
The Lion King
July 19 – Disney
Director Jon Favreau’s all-new The Lion King journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother — and former heir to the throne — has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
Starring Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen and Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon.
August 9 – Disney
Disney’s Artemis Fowl, based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient underground civilization — the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan — so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.
Starring Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, Nonzo Anozie; with Josh Gad and Judi Dench.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh and produced by Judy Hofflund and Branagh with Angus More Gordon and Matthew Jenkins as executive producers. Screenplay by Conor McPherson.
November 22 – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Arendelle heats up in 2019 when Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf return to the big screen in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2013’s Oscar-winning Frozen — the highest grossing animated film of all time. Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad reprise their roles. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee return as directors.
Star Wars: Episode IX
December 20 – Lucasfilm
More info TBA. J.J. Abrams is director, producer and co-writer (with Chris Terrio).