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Disney is heading to space.
After an emotional ceremony honoring this year’s Disney Legends, D23 continued in earnest Friday with the company’s animation panel — where it announced the next chapter in its Cars universe.
John Lasseter came onstage, using a merch gun to whip the crowd into a frenzy, and he showed off footage from a new Disneytoon project he dubbed “the speed test.”
The footage was something akin to Top Gun on steroids, with planes that go all the way into space. The planes had faces, like those seen in the two installments of Cars spinoff Planes, which hail from the Disney division, although Lasseter made no direct mention of that franchise.
In the footage, after showing two planes zooming through a desert landscape, a third plane rocketed down from above, showing that no matter how fast that duo was flying, it was no match for this plane.
And as that plane hurled through the stratosphere, a title card came up, reading, “SPACE.” But that proved not to be the title of the film, as other words came up around it, saying that “this SPACE will be filled with a title in the future.”
The film will be released theatrically, with Lasseter revealing a debut of April 12, 2019.
Next up during Friday’s animation panel, Frozen stars Kristen Bell and Josh Gad teased the new short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, with Gad (Olaf) singing a song from the project live.
The pair also revealed Frozen 2 will get a new title, but they aren’t yet ready to reveal what it will be, although Lasseter, Bell and Gad had fun onstage going through possibilities such as Frozen Assets, Fro-Yo and Thawed, among numerous others. Then Disney showed off a sizzle reel demonstrating the research the team was doing to get ready for the sequel’s release, including a trip to Norway.
Idina Menzel is also returning for the project, and once again, co-directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee are at the helm.
Frozen 2 is scheduled for a Nov. 27, 2019, release.
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New York Film Festival
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures