Three of Disney's most popular animated series are getting new installments. Sequels in the "Frozen" and "Zootopia" series are both in the works at Walt Disney Animation Studios, while a fifth film in the "Toy Story" series is in the works at Pixar.
During Walt Disney Corporation's earnings call for the first quarter of 2023, Bob Iger revealed the following.
“Today I’m so pleased to announce that we’re working on sequels to some of our most popular franchises, like 'Toy Story,' 'Frozen,' and 'Zootopia,'” Iger said during the interview. “This is an excellent example of how we're leaning towards our unrivaled brands and franchises.”
The announcement of these three sequels followed Iger's announcement that 7,000 employees would be laid off at the company. Earlier, the company's earnings report revealed a 2.4 million loss in subscribers from the Disney+ streaming service.
No additional information about the upcoming films, including the creative teams for the previous three films, and the anticipated release dates, were provided during the interview. The "Frozen" sequel will be the third in the franchise after the original 2013 film and the 2019 sequel, "Zootopia," which will be the first followup to the 2016 film.
The fourth entry, despite being underperformed, is still the 47th highest grossing film of all time.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, Disney animated films have struggled to make an appearance in theaters. "Strange World" grossed $73.4 million at the domestic box office in 2017, causing a $147 million loss for the company. "Encanto" performed below expectations in 2021, though the film eventually became a word-of-mouth hit when it premiered on Disney+.
The "Frozen" franchise focuses on Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell), the fictional kingdom of Arendelle, and the adventures they are thrust into by Elsa's magical ice-making abilities. Both films were directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, with music from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
Ginnifer Goodwin plays Judy Hopps, a police officer/rabbit who teams up with foxy con artist Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve crimes in the titular city. The original film, directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, won the 2017 Best Animated Feature Award.
The first four films in the "Toy Story" franchise focus on toys that are made to last when their owners aren't looking. Both characters ended their friendship, leaving it unclear if both will reprise in the next film. Josh Cooley directed the fourth film, which — along with the third — won the Best Animated Feature Award.