Big Disney Investor Day Announcements

Big Disney Investor Day Announcements

Disney provided an Investor Day presentation and many announcements were made by the company during this time. We’ll look at these announcements coming from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and LucasFilm. Over 100 titles were announced, and we did our best to capture them. While many will go to theater, much of what was discussed is coming to Disney+. Still, Hulu, ESPN and Star were also showcased. Overall, some 100 new films and shows were announced.

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The Investor Day presentation showcased developments with Disney+, Star, Hulu and ESPN. Here are some highlights around those issues.

  • A new report indicates that Disney has met its performance goals for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers, 38.8 million Hulu subscribers, and 11.5 million ESPN+ subscribers. These results have bolstered the aspirations from those programming the streaming services.
  • Disney+ will soon launch across Eastern Europe, South Korea, and Hong Kong, among other places. 
  • Hulu since 2008 has doubled in just the last three years.
  • Hulu partners with ABC now to bring live news. Nearly a million people observed election returns when they occurred.
  • Hulu will launch exclusive films from 20th Century and Spotlight.
  • ESPN subscribers will be access content directly through Hulu.
  • Hulu has over 92 million ad-supported viewers.
  • ESPN and the SEC (South Eastern Conference) reached a new 10-year agreement. Solidifies ESPN as exclusive media rights holder for all SEC sports, beginning in 2024-25

Bob Iger then introduced the slate of entertainment offerings. His message is that quality–not quantity is the surest path to success. Still there are a lot of films:

Unique Hulu, & Star, Star+ and Disney+ Hotstar Offerings:

Here are some shows happening for Hulu and Star:

  • Only Murders in the Building brings together Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez. This will only release only on Hulu.
  • Nine Perfect Strangers stars Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy and Regina Hall. These two will only release on Hulu.
  • Handmaid’s Tale is coming back for Season 5 and is Hulu’s biggest hit.
  • Adult animation has an enormous offering for Hulu such Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy
  • FX was once just another cable channel, but they feel it has strongly rated programming. It has found a new streaming home in Hulu. They premiere the day after they show on TV. They announced that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been renewed for four seasons.
  • They have also announced a new TV show based on Alien.


Kathleen Kennedy showcased Lucas film and an enormous upcoming offering. She notes the response to Mandalorian has been overwhelming.

The “stagecraft” technology utilizing impressive LED screens has brought on-site locations into soundstage, while preserving the cinematic culture. This has created efficiencies as well as improvements in quality. Kathleen Kennedy. An even larger volume was built for Season two and three more are being created.

These technologies have ushered in an entirely new era for Disney+. A significant expansion has been announced:

  • Rangers of the New Republic is a spin off series from Mandalorian.
  • Ahsoka Tano will have her own series, spun off of Mandalorian
  • Andor is an intense spy thriller coming to Star Wars. Rogue One’s Diego Luna will star. There are twelve episodes coming. The same care and attention has been given to this series as is given to any film project.
  • Ewan McGregor comes back for a unique Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Hayden Christensen will be returning to the role of Darth Vader. It will be directed by Debra Chow, who did work with Mandolorian Series.
  • The Bad Batch is Star Wars new animation series. The quality looks pretty good.
  • Star Wars Visions will celebrate the galaxy through anime shorts.
  • The younger Lando Clarisssian is to be created into a new series.
  • The Acolyte is another series being developed.
  • A Droid Story involves R2-D2 and C-3PO. It will be an animated series.
  • Willow is being developed for a series and will take the film several decades past the original. Warrick Davis will be a part. It will debut in 2020 on Disney+
  • Theatrically, the last installment of Indiana Jones is underway with Harrison Ford. Indy will shoot late Spring of 2021 and be released in 2022.
  • Children of Blood and Bone will be brought to life by LucasFilm. They will partner with 21st Century Studios to do so.
  • Taika Waititi is writing a new adventure for Star Wars yet to be announced.
  • The next Star Wars feature will be Rogue Squadron, moving people into a future era of the galaxy. It will go to theaters in 2023.

National Geographic

There are 1500 shows now available on Disney+

A new slate of shows is being prepared for Disney+

  • Jaques Cousteau will be a new documentary series with new, never-before-seen footage.
  • Genius tells the stories of individual brilliant people.
  • From James Cameron comes Secrets of the Whales.
  • A Real Bugs Life uses innovative micro camera technology.
  • America the Beautiful will showcase wild life and wild places.
  • Limitless with Chris Hemsworth about the human body. It is one part science, one part action series.
  • Welcome to Earth features Will Smith who guides people on an exploration of extreme places on the planet, like inside a volcano.

No comment about The Right Stuff.

Disney Television Studio Offerings on Disney+

  • The Mighty Ducks Game Changers with Emilio Estevez
  • Turner and Hooch will do a reboot of the 1986 film that originally starred Tom Hanks.
  • Big Shot stars John Stamos and is about a temperamental basketball coach who coaches at a girl’s private high school.
  • LaFou and Gaston return with new music in a Beauty and the Beast live action follow up.
  • Swiss Family Robinson is a re-imagined story of the original classic film.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians. That announcement drove 1,000,000 tweets in the first hour.
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society is the story of four gifted children who sent to investigate an institution run by a man named Ledroptha Curtain.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production

  • Hocus Pocus 2 is being prepped for Disney+
  • Three Men and a Baby is aiming for a 2022 release with Zac Efron
  • Safety is based on Ray Rathy who played for Clemson
  • Chris Paul has a deeply rooted story about his rise in basketball
  • Flora & Ulysses is about the a girl and a squirrel
  • Cheaper by the Dozen involving a multi-racial blended family
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid was an instant NY Times seller, and will have an animated look
  • IceAge Series 3.2 billion over its 5 films. There is spin off called Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild.
  • Night at the Museum will do a twist as it is animated.
  • Jungle Cruise comes in July of 2021.
  • The Lion King is doing a prequel of Mufassa.
  • The Little Mermaid is still on slate with Holly Bailey.
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers
  • Pinocchio will star Tom Hanks and directed by Roger Zemeckis
  • Peter Pan and Wendy is a live action offering like Pinocchio
  • Enchanted sequel with Amy Adams as Giselle
  • Sister Act 3 with Woopi Goldberg starring and producing
  • Cruella dives into the early days with Emma Stone starring as Cruella-de-Ville

Walt Disney Animation Studios

Jennifer Lee announced the following:

  • Raya and the Last Dragon is coming with Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as a dragon. Chairman of the Media and Entertainment Distribution division of The Walt Disney Company Kareem Daniel announced the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon will be coming to Disney+ Premier Access alongside its theater release on March 5, 2021. It was created in everyone’s home.
  • Baymax the series is for Disney+. It deals with his original purpose as a caretaker. It comes in early 2022.
  • Zootopia+ takes a look at the animals met in The original series of Zootopia. It is set for Spring 2022.
  • Princess Tiana of Princess and the Frog will come back in a long form musical series, where she will be a princess in a land we have not met. This is a part of a series that will focus on many of the princesses.
  • A long-form musical series is coming for Moana. It will utilize talent from the South Pacific region.
  • Three comic book artists created a company called Kugali. In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Disney Animation and Pan-African entertainment company Kugali will team up to create an all-new, science fiction series called Iwaju, which means the future.
  • Disney’s 60th Feature film being released in 2021 has not been announced until today, as there is a musical and magical animated film called Encanto. It is set in Colombia and features the music of Lin Manuel Miranda.


Pixar has done 23 films thus far. Pete Doctor showcased Soul and then shared the following:

  • Dug Days centers around the canine from Up
  • Cars goes on a road trip in the Fall of 2022
  • In a long-form animated series you will see a co-ed soft ball series from two different perspectives called Win/Lose. It is Fall of 2023.
  • Luca comes summer of 2021 and is a coming of age story on the Italian Riviera between a boy and his secret best friend, a sea monster.
  • Spring of 2022, the director who did Bao, will do a film called Turning Red. It’s about a girl named Mei who transforms into a giant red panda when she gets excited.
  • A science fiction movie called Lightyear, is the film that the toy was based on. It is the definitive origin story. It is voiced by Chris Evans.
  • There is a number of shorts series also announced, one of which is called Popcorn.

Marvel Studios

Marvel has done 23 feature films to date. But Disney+ offers new options for them as well. They showcased the following:

  • WandaVision is the first Marvel series.
  • Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It comes this next March.
  • Dr. Strange the Multiverse of Madness is coming in 2022. It will connect to WandaVision and Spiderman.
  • Black Widow comes to theaters in March 2020.
  • Loki will step out of his brother’s shadows and will go to Disney+. He is in the center of his own crime thriller.
  • Marvel’s first animated series is What If? It takes moments and asks the question of what if the plot went differently. It’s kind of a Spiderman Multiverse style experience, to include Agent Carter and just about every other super hero, with the original actors voicing the roles.
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This film is the first of the Phase Four and is set to release in theaters on July 9th.
  • Ms. Marvel is a new kind of super hero. It offers a young Pakistani in the role. It will connect to the wider MCU. Her idol is Captain Marvel.
  • Captain Marvel 2 is currently in the works with Brie Larson.
  • Eternals is a new ensemble of super heroes that spans thousands of years
  • Hawkeye will be on Disney+ and will team up with Kate Bishop, another archer.
  • She Hulk is coming to Disney+. It will include Tim Roth and Mark Ruffalo. Other characters will pop up.
  • Moon Knight is an Indiana Jones style experience.
  • Secret Invasion includes Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos and is coming to Disney+.
  • Iron Heart is about genius inventor who has created a better set of armor. Dominique Thorne becomes the first Bback female lead of a Marvel series. Her character, Williams, aka Ironheart, is the creator of the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man.
  • Armor Wars is about what happens when Tony Stark’s technology falls into the wrong hands.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy is doing a Holiday Special for Disney+, It is irreverent and is being shot while filming the third film.
  • I am Groot will be new shorts on Disney+.
  • January will begin filming a new Thor film with Christian Bale being the villian.
  • Blade is is a Dhampir, a human with vampire strengths but not their weaknesses, who together with his mentor Abraham Whistler and hematologist Karen Jenson, fights against vampires.
  • Black Panther II is forthcoming but will not recast Chadwick Boseman.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts will direct Fantastic Four
  • Antman and the Whasp: Quantumania is also in production.

Final Observations

In summary, here are some final thoughts:

  • For what seems like an un-ending number of announcements about layoffs and closures, the future of Disney looks not only bright, but aggressive.
  • Disney is trying to be very flexible about how they are ultimately releasing all things. Many were announced for Disney+, but many were presently being looked at for the theater.
  • The diversity of offerings, actors, and investment day presenters was very positive.
  • It builds on the heritage of Disney, but it also stretches well beyond the boundaries of Disney.
  • The Investor Day session was over four hours, and yet it only covered media, and nothing about parks, retail or other venues. Even ABC and network activity was not discussed. That was disappointing.
  • Notwithstanding, there is an abundance of IP that can fuel synergy for years to come.

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