The Walt Disney Studios turned up the wish fulfillment in Hall D23 during the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, September 9, 2022, where thousands of DisKids and Disney Adults alike gathered at the D23 Expo 2022 to get hear big announcements, see sneak peeks, and catch a glimpse of their future favorite Disney princess, or goat (?), from Disney Live Action, Pixar, and Walt Disney Animation Studios. One of the biggest announcements of the two-hour presentation came in the final moments when Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios introduced fans to the company’s next original feature film, Wish, starring “Disney Animation good-luck-charm” Alan Tudyk as Valentino Hall, a small talking goat in a yellow romper.
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Tudyk’s first role with Disney Animation was 10 years ago when he played King Candy in Wreck-It Ralph, a role for which he won an Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production. Since then, the actor has played Alistair Krei in Big Hero 6, Duke of Weselton in Frozen (not to be confused with the Duke Weaselton from Zootopia), and many more roles in Disney films. During the Hall D23 presentation, Disney Animation’s good-luck-charm joined Lee and Wish directors Chris Buck (Frozen) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (Raya and the Last Dragon) to share an animation test for his newest character Valentino.
Wish Set to Release in Fall 2023
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ next original feature film, Wish, is set to release in Fall 2023, during the Studio’s 100th year. “A few years ago, my fellow directors and I started talking about 100 years and our legacy,” said Lee, who also announced that she is one of the writers on Wish. “We thought what better way to celebrate a century of storytelling than to tell an original story with original characters inspired by our legacy of films,” and that is how Disney Animation’s next epic animated musical came to be inspired by the question: “How did the wishing star, upon which so many characters wished, come to be?”
Wish directors Chris Buck, who directed the Oscar-winning Frozen, and Fawn Veerasunthorn, who was head of story on Raya and the Last Dragon, outlined the film’s story for the Hall D23 audience. Wish will be set in Rosas, the kingdom of wishes where wishes can literally come true. Attendees were introduced to 17-year-old Asha—an optimist with a sharp wit who cares endlessly about her community. In a moment of desperation, Asha makes an impassioned plea to the stars, which is answered by a cosmic force, a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, they face the most formidable of foes to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.
Attendees were introduced the voice of Asha, actress Ariana DeBose, who sung an all-new original song written by Julia Michaels, who’s writing all the songs for Wish, “More for Us.”