It’s officially a new year and for cinephiles, that means a whole new slate of movies to look forward to watching over the next 52 weeks. But as you find yourself looking at the list of movies being released in 2019, you may notice that Disney is taking its cinematic dominance to new heights this year. Seriously, nearly every highly-anticipated movie on the schedule is under the Disney umbrella, including live-action remakes, several new Marvel movies, and, of course, another episode of the Star Wars saga. But while it may be easy to shake your first at the sky and curse Disney for owning every beloved movie property, perhaps it’s easier to just embrace our cinematic overlords and celebrate the fact that they seem intent on churning out really great movies at an increasingly high rate. Here are 10 movies to look forward to in the year of the Disney Movie Takeover.
Even more than Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven to be the most bankable movie franchise in Disney’s repertoire. And the MCU shows absolutely no signs of slowing down in 2019, as three new movies will be released this year, including what might be the most anticipated movie of all time.
Captain Marvel (March 8)
The character was first teased during the post-credits scene of Infinity War, as a disintegrating Nick Fury is able to transmit a signal that appears to be reaching out to Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel). Now, she is getting her own movie (the first female-led MCU film) which will be set in 1995 and will likely end with Danvers getting connected to the larger MCU universe. Don’t be surprised if this movie ends up containing the key to Tony Stark and the remaining Avengers getting their friends back and defeating Thanos.
Avengers: Endgame (April 26)
A year after Infinity War shocked everyone by having half of the Avengers (along with half of the earth’s general population) seemingly fade from existence, Endgame comes as a part-two and perhaps a finale of sorts. As its name suggests, Endgame appears to be the final chapter of the first generation of the MCU, with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and a few others banding together to take down Thanos and rescue the second generation of heroes. With Infinity War earning over $2 billion worldwide, don’t be shocked if this movie shatters every box office record in the known universe.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 5)
The MCU isn’t exactly known for tear-jerking moments but we were all reaching for a tissue when a young Peter Parker literally fades from existence in the arms of Tony Stark, his beloved mentor. However, it’s hard to get too heartbroken when we all know that Parker’s role in the MCU is far from over. In fact, he has another solo movie coming out this summer, which is rumored to take place in Europe. Can Tom Holland officially overtake Tobey Maguire as the greatest film Spider-Man of all time? Only time will but based on Marvel’s track record, it’s probably not wise to bet against him.
From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the live-action adventure, Dumbo, expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished, and dreams take flight. Dumbo soars home on Digital, Movies Anywhere, Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD June 25
The Live-Action Remakes
We are living in the Golden Age of remakes and perhaps nobody has struck remake gold better than Disney, which has made a fortune taking beloved animated films, such as Cinderella and Beauty & the Beast, and reimagining them in live-action form. The trend will reach new heights this year, as three cartoon classics are getting remade in the real world.
Dumbo (March 29)
Dumbo is perhaps the biggest bummer in the Disney animated universe, so it makes perfect sense that the film is being directed by Tim Burton, who loves nothing more than wallowing in all things melancholy. Will Dumbo end up as Burton’s best film since Big Fish or will this be another aggressively terrible remake, ala Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Either way, it will probably end up making hundreds of millions of dollars.
Aladdin (May 29)
Why explore a whole new world when you can enjoy a return trip to Agrabah and introduce your kid to a juvenile delinquent with a heart of gold. The new Aladdin has faced some criticism (primarily aimed at Will Smith’s Genie looking like he belongs in a Kazaam remake nobody asked for) but if there’s one thing Disney loves, it’s making us all feel dumb for doubting their ability to exceed all of our expectations.
The Lion King (July 19)
They say save the best for last and to many, the best of the Disney animated canon is undoubtedly The Lion King. And after years of speculation, we are finally getting a live-action remake featuring a killer cast and some of the most ground-breaking CGI since Avatar. The teaser trailer, which is basically a shot-for-shot remake of the animated film’s iconic opening, has been viewed more than 50 million times already, so it’s safe to say people are pretty excited to see the return of Simba, Scar, and, of course, Zazu.
The New Franchise
Artemis Fowl (August 9)
A big part of Disney’s longevity is its ability to never take its success for granted, which is why it’s not a surprise that the mega-studio is already trying to develop the next Harry Potter level movie franchise with Artemis Fowl. The film is based off of a series of children’s books by Irish author Eoin Colfer which tell the story of a 12-year-old criminal genius. The movie is apparently only going to cover the events of the first book, meaning that this could just be the beginning of this beloved anti-hero’s journey onto the silver screen.
The Animated Sequels
Disney built its massive film empire by creating an endless array of animated classics, so it should come as no surprise that a two of these beloved film franchises are getting sequels.
Toy Story 4 (June 21)
Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang are coming back much to the delight of pretty much everyone. Not much is known about the upcoming sequel though a trailer introduced a new character named Forky (voiced by Tony Hale), who appears to be home-made instead of store-bought. Considering that the third Toy Story film managed to land a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars, the hype for this movie could not be higher.
Frozen 2 (November 22)
The crown jewel of non-Pixar Disney Animation is undoubtedly Frozen, as the movie managed to earn more than $1 billion worldwide and drive countless parents crazy thanks to the impossibly catchy “Let It Go.” Now, six years after the first comes Frozen 2. Disney has kept all information about the sequel under wraps but we do know that Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Olaf (Josh Gad) will all be returning.
Episode IX (December 20)
Solo may have experienced some unexpected turbulence but it’s hard to imagine fans won’t come out to see the final film in the newest Star Wars trilogy. Episode IX doesn’t even have an official title yet but it’s already the most anticipated film of 2019 outside of the MCU. Is Rey now officially a Jedi Master? Has Kylo Ren fully embraced the Dark Side? Will Force Ghost Luke make an appearance? We can’t wait to see the answer to all these questions and more.
Special Mention: Television
With the massic success of Netflix, it was only a matter of time before Disney decided to join the world of streaming because cinematic dominance isn’t enough, right? Disney’s unnamed streaming service is expected to be launched in late 2019, meaning that the TV takeover likely won’t really occur until 2020. But once it arrives, expect a variety of shows based on these existing properties, including the MCU and Star Wars.