After an incredible year for Disney in 2015, we’re excited to carry the excitement on in 2016 – and boy, do we have a lot to look forward to over the next 12 months!
Across the year, we’re bringing you host of brand new movies, great television shows and glittering live events in the UK. 2016 is going to be immense, take a look.
1. The Lion Guard coming to Disney Junior (22 February)
‘The Lion Guard: The Return of the Roar’ continues the epic storytelling of Disney’s ‘The Lion King’. The TV movie follows the adventures of Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, as he assembles the members of his ‘Lion Guard’. The Guard are a fun but inexperienced group of young animals that learn how to solve problems in order to maintain balance within the Circle of Life.
As well as lion cub Kion, you will be introduced to Bunga, a fearless honey badger; Fuli, a confident cheetah; Beshte, a friendly and good-spirited hippo; and Ono, an intellectual egret. We can’t wait for you to meet the gang!
2. Zootropolis (25 March)
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest animation is set in a world of intelligent, anthropomorphic, technologically advanced animals. Who wouldn’t want to live there?! It’s in this world that a plucky young bunny named Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) teams up with a sly fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve the mystery of a missing otter. This movie is wild, madcap fun that combines big ideas with real heart.
3. The Jungle Book (15 April)
Disney’s much-loved 1967 animated classic has had a live action face-lift. The movie uses the latest visual effects to recreate an incredibly realistic setting for the animated feature and has brought together a whole host of A-list stars as the voices of the iconic characters.
Newcomer Neel Sethi stars as Mowgli, the man-cub left to be raised by wild animals, with the legendary Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Christopher Walken as King Louie and Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha. Impressive cast list, isn’t it? We highly anticipate that the film will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, as it combines photo-real environments and character designs in a way that looks both fantastic and realistic.
4. Aladdin the Musical (27 May)
The musical, based on the 1992 animated film and features songs from the film, will make its West End debut in 2016. More than one million people have seen the Disney show in the two years it has been on Broadway and we imagine there are plenty of people in the UK (us included!) who can’t wait for the curtains to open on the show.
5. Alice Through the Looking Glass (27 May)
This adventure-fantasy film, directed by James Bobin and produced by Tim Burton, is based on Through The Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll and is the sequel to the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. The strong cast remains, with stars including Mia Wasikowska (Alice), Johnny Depp (The Mad Hatter), Helena Bonham Carter (The Red Queen), Anne Hathaway (The White Queen) remaining and actor Sacha Baron Cohen taking on the role of Time, a half-clock, half-human who has the ability to travel back and forth through different time periods. Sounds fun, right?
6. Mickey and the Magician (02 July)
The mouse that started it all takes centre stage at this brand new production at Disneyland Paris. Mickey, alongside a host of other much-loved Disney characters take part in this all-new adventure oozing with magic. Starring the Genie from Aladdin, Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother, the stars of Beauty and the Beast and even Rafiki from The Lion King, this is an unmissable show for all the family!
One of the most anticipated sequels of the year, Finding Dory is set six months after the events of the original and focuses on lovable Dory (Ellen Degeneres) and her quest to reconnect with her long lost family. With a brand new cast of underwater creatures, including Hank (Ed O’Neill), a seven-limbed octopus and Bailey (Ty Burrell), a Beluga whale, this one is a film that’s definitely going to make a splash!
8. Pete’s Dragon (2016)
Pete’s Dragon – originally released in 1977 – is back. This charming live-action/animation hybrid is co-written and directed by indie film sensation David Lowery and stars Oakes Fegley as the child who befriends the dragon, with Bryce Dallas Howard co-starring as a concerned park ranger and Robert Redford as her father (who believes in similar creatures).
9. Moana (2016)
Ron Clements and John Musker have been responsible for some of the most unforgettable animated features of all time, including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Princess and the Frog. Moana is their latest for Walt Disney Animation Studios and it feels like another classic in the making. Set in ancient Oceania, it follows a young navigator named Moana (newcomer Auli’i Cravalho), who teams up with demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson), as they set off on an adventure.
10. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
In Rogue One, it’s time to have some fun with the smaller anthology films in between the bigger ‘episodes.’ Rogue One is the first Star Wars Story and is set during an event mentioned in the first Star Wars film: The Rebels’ efforts to steal the plans for the Death Star.
The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk. We cannot wait!