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‘Frozen 2’ Honors Mom, Plus Sneak Peeks of ‘Soul,’ ‘Onward,’ and ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ at D23

Walt Disney Studios revealed more of its animated film slate at the D23 Expo.

"Frozen 2"

“Frozen 2”

Disney

“Let it go?” As if! The long-awaited sequel to 2013’s modern Disney classic “Frozen” is due in theaters Nov. 22. Once again directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, this installment follows the gang as they set out on a journey to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.

Idina Menzel, who plays Queen Elsa, is reunited with Kristen Bell, who voices Queen Anna. Josh Gad is back as snowman sidekick Olaf, with Jonathan Groff as iceman Kristoff, and Santino Fontana as Hans, also in tow. New additions to the film, which picks up three years after the original, include Evan Rachel Wood as the siblings’ mother, and Sterling K. Brown.

In an extensive clip from the first act shown at D23 on Saturday, the sisters, Olaf, and Sven are playing a game of charades but Elsa is distracted by a mysterious voice that she hears singing. Meanwhile, Sven tries to propose to Anna, but she follows Elsa and sings the lullaby that their mother used to sing to them.

“Frozen” broke the animated film record with a $1.29 billion worldwide gross, and sold 11 million DVD copies in 2014 alone — more than any other movie that year and three times as many discs as the next highest-grossing title. It was followed by two shorts, along with video games, and a Broadway musical.

Check out the official poster for “Frozen 2”:

"Frozen 2" poster

“Frozen 2” poster

Disney

“Soul”

That panel moved on to Pixar, which gets metaphysical with its newest original animated film “Soul,” about Joe (voiced by Jamie Fox), a middle-school band teacher who plays jazz in his off hours. The film posits that there is a You Seminar where your soul gets trained up, and after a life-changing incident, Joe has to start all over again at You and finds out what it means to have a soul.

Additional cast were announced at the presentation: Tina Fey as Joe’s sidekick, Daveed Diggs as Joe’s nemesis Paul, Questlove as Curly, and Phylicia Rashad as his mother. Jon Batiste will write original jazz music for “Soul,” while Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will score the film.

Take a sneak peek at “Soul,” which will be released in 2020, below.

"Soul"

“Soul”

Pixar

"Soul"

“Soul”

Pixar

"Soul"

“Soul”

Pixar

“Onward”

For Pixar’s second offering, “Onward” was inspired by the death of director Dan Scanlon’s father and a yearning to have known him better. Marvel stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland stay in the Disney family by contributing their voices to two elf brothers, Barley and Ian, respectively. The siblings try to use a spell to bring their death father back for a day, but naturally things go the spell goes awry when only dad’s bottom half comes back. A gem is required to fix it, and a quest is begun. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the elf matriarch, while Octavia Spencer voices the Manticore.

Check out a first-look image of “Onward,” which also will be released in 2020, below.

"Onward"

“Onward”

Pixar

Raya and the Last Dragon

Switching back to Disney, this tale was written by “Crazy Rich Asians” screenwriter Adele Lim and is inspired by Southeast Asian culture. The fantastical world of Kumandra is made up of five distinct clans dealing with a sinister force in the land that has driven out dragons. Raya, voiced by Cassie Steele, is determined to find the last dragon Sisu, who’s voiced by Awkwafina.

Check out a look at Sisu and the “Raya and the Last Dragon” concept art below.

“Raya and the Last Dragon” will be released in November 2020.

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