The young and young at heart have been sitting down in packed movie houses around the world to take in the treasured films from Disney for the better part of a century. Over the years, we’ve been dazzled by spellbinding animated treasures like SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE LION KING, and more, while also trembling in our seats watching HAUNTED MANSION. Each of those classics will all soon be adapted by Disney either as a live-action movie remake, a long overdue prequel, or reimagining with star-studded casts. And that’s just the beginning…
Over the course of the next two years, no fewer than nine Disney movies will premiere at AMC Theatre locations nationwide, and once again take us to fantastical worlds with extravagant creatures, and stories that will take up permanent residence in our hearts, minds, and memories for days to come. Let’s explore those highly anticipated movies now…
One of the most anticipated family-friendly movies on the horizon, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ STRANGE WORLD will open in AMC Theatres starting November 23, 2022, when it will take audiences on a wild and dangerous adventure on an alien planet. The movie will center on the Clades, a family who sets out to traverse uncharted lands no one has ever seen or imagined. Directed by Don Hall, who won an Oscar® for his work on BIG HERO 6, the animated adventure film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu, Jaboukie Young-White, and Dennis Quaid.
The Little Mermaid
On May 26, 2023, audiences will go back under the sea once again for THE LITTLE MERMAID, Rob Marshall’s highly anticipated live-action adaptation of the 1989 classic animated musical. With Halle Bailey set to portray Ariel, the movie will follow the youngest daughter of King Triton (Javier Bardem) as she grows even more fascinated by humans living above the surface, and falls in love with Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, and Jacob Tremblay will also show up throughout the movie.
The first of three Pixar titles to show up on the list, ELEMENTAL is slated to open in AMC Theatres on June 16, 2023, at which it will take moviegoers young and old to a city where fire, water, land, and air intersect. Along the way, characters from each of the four elements will be forced to work together as they discover they have more in common than they originally thought. Peter Sohn directs a voice cast that includes THE HALF OF IT’s Leah Lewis and JURASSIC WORLD’s Mamoudou Athie.
The next chapter in Disney’s tradition of turning its parks’ various themed rides into live-action movies with engaging stories and massive ensemble casts will debut in theatres on August 11, 2023, when Justin Simien’s HAUNTED MANSION arrives on the scene. Set for release 20 years after the ride was last adapted into a movie, the new version stars Rosario Dawson as a single mom who starts a new life with her young son, played by Chase Dillon, only to discover their new home is filled with all kinds of ghosts and spirits.
Families with busy schedules who like to fill up their calendars as early as possible will probably want to put a big circle around November 22, 2023, as the new animated Disney film WISH is slated to open on the big screen on Thanksgiving Eve. Though a new story, the film is connected to a very crucial element of Disney lore: the “When you wish upon a star” celestial entity. The movie will center on Asha (Ariana DeBose) whose wish upon the star sends her on an epic journey through a magical kingdom in this musical origin story.
On March 1, 2024, moviegoers will embark upon another epic journey through the cosmos when the Pixar film ELIO makes its big-screen debut. Directed by COCO’s Adrian Molina, the space-time adventure is set to follow Elio, an 11-year-old boy, voiced by “Obi-Wan Kenobi” actor Yonas Kibreab, as he is thrust onto the galactic scene after being mistaken for Earth’s intergalactic ambassador.
Disney’s theatrical dominance got underway in December 1937 with the release of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, and 87 years later, the iconic animated film will receive the live-action treatment with the long-awaited reimagining of the classic tale. Starring WEST SIDE STORY actress Rachel Zegler as the titular character, Marc Webb’s SNOW WHITE will also feature Gal Gadot as The Queen and is expected to arrive in theatres on March 22, 2024. Similar to other recent live-action adaptations, SNOW WHITE will have musical elements, which will put Zegler’s talents to good use.SNOW WHITE
Inside Out 2
The third and final Pixar movie on the Disney release schedule for the time being is INSIDE OUT 2, which is currently set to premiere on June 14, 2024. The movie, which will serve as a followup to the 2015 smash hit about the various emotions that live within each of us, will see the return of Amy Poehler’s Joy, as well as some new characters in Kelsey Mann’s highly-anticipated sequel. Expect to hear much more on INSIDE OUT 2 in coming months and years.
Mufasa: The Lion King
In June 1994, Disney released one of the biggest movies of all time with THE LION KING, which took William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and turned it into a beloved animated musical comedy about a young lion cub trying to find his place in the world. The animated musical comedy got a “live-action” remake of its own in 2019, and now that movie is getting the prequel treatment. Directed by Barry Jenkins, MUFASA: THE LION KING arrives on July 5, 2024 and will focus on stories from the ill-fated king’s upbringing and struggles before standing atop Pride Rock.
With these nine Disney animated and live-action movies set to take to the big screen at AMC Theatres locations nationwide, it’s going to be a very busy next couple of years at the movies…