Walt Disney Animation Studios rolled out a long list of new originals heading to both the big screen and to Disney+ today, revealing no fewer than six fresh animated projects — including a continuation of the Big Hero 6 universe bounding onto Disney+ as a long-form series.
Baymax! the series will come to the platform in "early 2022," according to Disney, under the creative guidance of Big Hero 6 director Don Hall. Hall shared during Disney's Investor Day event that Baymax! will give the franchise fresh room to stretch its legs in the streets of San Fransokyo, evolving (rather than reimagining) its link with Big Hero's big-screen inspiration.
As the tweet above suggests, Baymax! is one of several new Disney Animation Studios projects heading straight to streaming, including new takes on Zootopia, Tiana, and Moana. But Disney also used the occasion to unveil its next theatrical project: Encanto, the studio's previously-unannounced 60th feature-length animated film.
Set in Colombia and following the magical adventures of a magical family, Encanto is billed as an animated musical, and it's recruiting a raft of heavy-hitting talent, beginning with directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush, who teamed up in 2016 for Disney's Zootopia. Featuring music from Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda, Encanto will be co-directed by Charise Castro Smith, who's also credited as a co-writer.
Disney's brief tease doesn't reveal much, but it does give us our first glimpse at Encanto's color-saturated, lush subtropical wonder world. Featuring songs in both Spanish and English, Encanto is slated for a Fall 2021 release.
Disney also teased that Moana's journey won't end on the big screen, revealing a newly-announced, long-form musical comedy series based on the 2016 blockbuster. Heading straight to Disney+, Moana the series will recruit regional talent from the Pacific islands to set off on more oceangoing adventures (with Pua and Heihei, of course), beginning in 2023.
Another Disney movie hero set to make the small-screen jump is Tiana, with the studio teasing a new long-form animated musical series set to stroll the steamy New Orleans streets at Disney+ sometime in 2022. Also making the leap is a new series based on animal caper Zootopia, rounding out the studio's first wave of Disney Animation Studios originals heading to Disney+ with a 2022 premiere date.
Finally, Disney shared that it's collaborating with African production company Kugali to create an all-new sci-fi series titled Iwájú. Billed as a first-of-its-kind pairing for the studio, the comics-based series will be set in Lagos (via Deadline), and will tackle "deep themes of class, innocence, and challenging the status quo." Watch for Iwájú to bolster the overall animated sci-fi lineup at Disney+ beginning in 2022.