Upcoming Disney Animated Movies: List Of Titles And Release Dates

Strange World concept art
(Image credit: Walt Disney Animation Stduios)

While Disney's live action films from Marvel and Lucasfilm might be the biggest players at the box office for the company, as Walt Disney said, it was all started by a mouse. Animation is still a big part of what Disney does, and Walt Disney Animation Studios continues to release massive hits one after another. It's like Marvel Studios, just a bit smaller. Whether it's popular films like Zootopia or recent pop hits like Encanto, animated Disney films are still incredibly popular. When you put them together with the billion dollar success of films like Frozen II, the last few years have been incredible for Disney.

We can only imagine what the studio is going to do next. Well, in many cases we have to imagine what is going to come next because we don't really know and details are still mostly under wraps... Although, in other cases, we know exactly what is being planned.

Walt Disney Animation Studio as well as Pixar, have several films announced to be coming over the next couple  years. Some of them are still fairly secret, but we have a few hints about what might be coming, and then of course, there are the big movies that we know for sure are on the way. Here's all the details we have about what we know is coming, and what seems quite likely, in the future of Disney animation.

Searcher Clade in Strange World

(Image credit: Disney)

Strange World - November 23, 2022 

Thanksgiving weekend is a popular release date for animated Disney movies and 2022’s contribution to this will be Strange World. The movie has put together an impressive voice cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu. Strange World borrows its vibe from the classic pulp adventure stories of the early 20th century and follows a family of adventurers as they travel to a mysterious world underneath the surface of the earth. Directed by Don Hall, who previously brought us Big Hero 6 and Raya and the Last Dragon, expect this one to be an action heavy Disney adventure. 

Concept art for Pixar's Elemental

(Image credit: Disney / Pixar)

Elemental - June 16, 2023 

If Pixar has one particular theme that it likes to tackle again and again, it’s the question, “what if this thing that is not alive, were actually alive?” We’ve seen it with toys, cars, and even emotions. We’ll see it addressed once again with Elemental, a movie that personifies the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. The elements all live in a bustling city together, and the story will follow two characters, fiery Ember and watery Wade as they meet and begin a relationship despite their differences. Peter Sohn, director of The Good Dinosaur, will helm the film.  

Walt Disney logo

(Image credit: Walt Disney)

Untitled Disney Animation - November 22, 2023 

The next feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios after Strange World is currently unknown. Rumors have indicated the movie could be called Foster, but even if the title is correct, nobody knows what it means or what the movie itself will actually be about. We may get some details about the new movie at the 2022 D23 Expo, if not then, then around the release of Strange World.

Pixar logo

(Image credit: Pixar)

Untitled Pixar Animation Movies - March 1, 2024, June 14, 2024 

In 2022 Pixar gave us two great movie releases in quick succession with Turning Red and Lightyear both within just a few months. 2024 will give us a similar schedule, with one Pixar feature set for March, and another in June. The only other thing these two movies currently have in common is that we don’t know anything about either of them. They could be original ideas like Turning Red, sequels to existing franchises, or maybe they’ll follow the Lightyear model and be something familiar, but also different.

Previously Released 

Buzz Lightyear in Lightyear

(Image credit: Pixar/Disney)

Lightyear (June 17, 2022)  

In the summer of 2022 Pixar released what was possibly the studio’s most risky film, despite that it wasn’t entirely an original story. Lightyear purported to be the action-adventure movie that the Buzz Lightyear toy from the Toy Story movies had been based on. Chris Evans voiced the title character instead of Tim Allen. It was by far one of Pixar’s most ambitious films and a pure science fiction adventure.

Still of the Belcher kids in Bob's Burgers.

(Image credit: Fox)

Bob's Burgers (May 27, 2022)

After years of representing the competition, Bob’s Burgers eventually joined the Disney family after the merger with Fox. The complexities of the merger, combined with the global pandemic that followed after, delayed this project for some time, but it was finally released in theaters in early summer 2022 and among fans there was no better news.

Mei and her girls at the end of Turning Red.

(Image credit: Disney+)

Turning Red (March 11, 2022) 

Pixar’s Turning Red on paper sounds like a modern adaptation of Teen Wolf what with its lead character who transforms into a red panda when she becomes emotional, but this breath of fresh air is actually a great deal more, especially if you are a lover of boy bands, and it may be the most fun movie Pixar has ever made. 

Mirabel in Encanto

(Image credit: Disney)

Encanto (November 23, 2021) 

People were already excited for Encanto before they even knew what it was. When it was revealed that Lin-Manuel Miranda, who had already worked with Disney on the soundtrack for Moana, and Byron Howard, director of Zootopia, were combining forces on a new animated musical. That movie became Encanto, and  while the movie had a solid box office release, when more people saw the film on Disney+, and more importantly, heard Encanto’s incredible soundtrack, this one became one of Disney’s most popular recent films. 

Ron and Barney in Ron's Gone Wrong

(Image credit: Locksmith Animation)

Ron's Gone Wrong (October 22, 2021)

Ron’s Gone Wrong, not unlike the Bob’s Burgers movie, was a film already in production at Fox when Disney picked up the studio, a holdover from a partnership between Fox and U.K. animation studio Locksmith. A tale of a young boy and his malfunctioning robot pal, the movie was largely overlooked by virtue of being a family movie released at a time when families weren’t really going to the movies. Still, it’s a cute little movie that’s worth checking out now if you have the time. 

Luca and Alberto in Pixar's Luca

(Image credit: Pixar)

Luca (June 18, 2021) 

Luca was a movie that took a lot of fans on a very emotional journey, The story of two young boys, who are actually sea monsters exploring the surface world, the film is beautiful in every sense of the word. The setting on the Italian Riviera makes for some of the most lovely scenery ever animated by Pixar, while the relationship between the title character Luca and his friend Alberto was one that many fans were able to connect to on a personal level.  

Raya and the Last Dragon poster art

(Image credit: Disney)

Raya and The Last Dragon (March 5, 2021)  

Raya is a human warrior searching for the last dragon, and Sisu just happens to be a water dragon that holds that distinction. Together, they became friends in Raya and The Last Dragon. While the movie wasn’t a runaway smash, largely due to being Disney’s second theatrical/Disney+ Premiere Access release during the pandemic, it is the best pure action movie released by Disney, and it doesn’t sacrifice a moment of its heart to get there. 

The future of Disney Animation may be largely secret, but you can be sure that with the success the studio has had in recent years, Disney has every intention of keeping that train moving.  While there are many questions regarding Disney’s future release plans for animated features, whether they’ll remain in theaters or see more projects shuffled directly to Disney+, what is clear is that Disney Animation isn’t going anywhere.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.