D23 Expo 2022 unveils exciting slate of Lucasfilm’s animated and live-action series

The D23 Expo continues to excite fans by announcing the upcoming slate of Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios and more animated adventures of the Star Wars franchise.

Lucasfilm revealed new looks at several of its next releases, along with premiere dates, never-before-seen images, and more. In a special showcase led by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, fans were treated to sneak peeks at everything from Andor to the Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures, with appearances from cast and creators, as well as a few surprises.


Following a special in-room recap video and chat about the series, Andor star Diego Luna revealed a new trailer for the highly-anticipated show, arriving 21 September on Disney+ with a three-episode premiere.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Clone Force 99 is back. Executive producer Dave Filoni confirmed that the second season of the animated series will arrive on 4 January 2023, with a two-episode premiere on Disney+.

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi

Announced at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is a six-part animated short series coming to Disney+. Dave Filoni confirmed at D23 that the series will arrive 26 October 2022, and debuted its first trailer, featuring looks at young Ahsoka Tano, an early Qui-Gon Jinn tale, and more.

The Mandalorian

Our favorite clan of two will return! The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau, executive producer Dave Filoni, star Pedro Pascal, and more talked about the Disney+ series, premiering a teaser trailer for the long-awaited season three, premiering in 2023.

Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures

In a separate panel, Jamaal Avery Jr. and Emma Berman were announced to voice Kai Brightsar and Nash Durango in the upcoming series Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures. Kai Brightstar is a Jedi youngling who hopes to grow in the ways of the Force and follow in the footsteps of Master Yoda. Nash Durango is a pilot who befriends Kai and company, joining them on adventures across the galaxy. The animated series, set during the High Republic era, will arrive in 2023.

The studio also unveiled the trailer of a new Disney original documentary featuring Mickey Mouse.

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse will premiere globally on Disney+ on 18 November, Mickey Mouse’s birthday. The film is directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeff Malmberg and produced by Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, Meghan Walsh and Chris Shellen.

The documentary was executive produced by Caitrin Rogers, edited by Jake Hostetter, Aaron Wickenden, cinematography by Antonio Cisneros, sound design by Lawrence Everson and music by Daniel Wohl.

The film had its World Premiere at SXSW earlier this year and also screened at the Sun Valley Film Festival and Newport Summer Film Series.

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates 50 Years of Disney Archives

June month marks the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney Archives. To celebrate the occasion, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will premiere the new documentary Adventure Thru the Walt Disney Archives. This documentary will bring viewers behind-the-scenes for a first look at rarely seen treasures from the Archives’ founding.

Adventure Thru the Walt Disney Archives, hosted by producer, Don Hahn, who is known for his work on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Maleficent, will premiere on D23 official website on 27 June.

“Making this film was my Disney ‘fanboy’ dream come true,” Hahn said. “The Walt Disney Archives is packed with hidden treasures, and I had incredible access to them all.”

The Summer 2020 issue of Disney twenty-three, the quarterly publication exclusively for D23 Gold Members, also celebrates the Archives’ milestone with a story written by Leonard Maltin, a selection of classic Disneyland merchandise from the Archives collection, and an archivist-curated list of some of the best films to watch on Disney+ including The Sound of Music, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Captain Marvel and The Princess and the Frog.

D23 will be featuring exclusive content from the Walt Disney Archives throughout the month, including videos, interviews and galleries of artwork. The club is also bringing weekly sweepstakes in honor of this milestone. These sweepstakes will include exclusive and rare items which come directly from the Archives staff, including, a check signed by Walt Disney, Minnie’s Yoo Hoo sheet music, an original program from Fantasia (1940), a copy of The Walt Disney Studios: A Lot to Remember book signed by author Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney Archives

Disney reveals live-action ‘Aladdin’ cast : Will Smith to play The Genie

Walt Disney Studios revealed the star-cast of its live-action adaptation of the 1992 classic animated feature film Aladdin at D23 Expo. According to the official announcement by the studio, Mena Massoud (The 99, Jack Ryan) will play the kind-hearted Agrabah thief Aladdin. Naomi Scott (Power Rangers)  will be playing princess Jasmine. It was also confirmed that Will Smith of Men in Black fame will play Genie.

Guy Ritchie will direct the film with Jonathan Eirich as the executive producer. John August whose credits include Charlie’s Angels, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish and many more has written the script of the live-action version. Dan Lin, who produced Ritchie’s both Sherlock Holmes films for Warner Bros. is producing Aladdin through his company Lin Pictures.The live-action adaptation will borrow plot elements from the original animated movie as well as from its basis, 1,001 Arabian Nights. The film will keep the musical elements of the 1992 hit.

Aladdin (1992) has five Academy Award nominations out of which it won two- for original score and original song, three Golden Globe awards, an Annie Award for best animated feature and various more.Based on the folktale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp from One Thousand and One Nights, Disney’s 1992 animated feature Aladdin was co-directed, produced and written by Ron Clements and John Musker. It featured Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Robin Williams as The Genie, Linda Larkin as Jasmine, Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, Frank Welker as Aladdin’s pet monkey Abu, Gilbert Gottfried as Iago and Douglas Seale as The Sultan.

Several fans have been disappointed with the lack of star power in the cast barring Will Smith. However it will be interesting to know who will be playing the villanious and power hungry Jafar. We are also curious about the casting for the kind Sultan and who will be voicing for Iago and Abu. Let us hope it cheers up the fans.

Mena Massoud to play Aladdin

Naomi Scott to play Jasmine

Will Smith to play Genie

‘The Lion King’ takes its place at the Walt Disney Signature Collection

On 16 July, it was announced at D23 Expo that in August, one of the biggest animated films in history – The Lion King – joins the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection.

The coming-of-age masterpiece, filled with humour and heart, breathtaking animation and soul-stirring Academy Award winning music (1994, Best Original Score and Best Original Song, Can You Feel the Love Tonight), arrives on digital on 15 August and on Blu-ray and DVD on 29 August.

The Walt Disney Signature Collection release includes over three hours of classic bonus material and exclusive, brand new features inviting viewers to sing along with the film’s award-winning music, observe recording sessions, step inside the story room, witness the evolution of a villain and join Nathan Lane (voice of Timon) and Matthew Broderick (voice of Adult Simba) for an extended conversation regarding the legacy of The Lion King.The Lion King follows the adventures of Simba, a feisty lion cub who cannot wait to be king, as he searches for his destiny in the Circle of Life.

In 2019 a reimagined live-action film helmed by Jon Favreau will delight audiences with the thrilling retelling of the original tale utilising groundbreaking technological advances.The Lion King is the fifth title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio and Bambi.

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