Home CultureEvents TCA22: NatGeo and Disney Announce Key Projects

TCA22: NatGeo and Disney Announce Key Projects

by Neil Bui

During the Television Critics Associations’ Winter Press Tour, NatGeo (National Geographic) and Disney leadership unveiled upcoming content slates.

NatGeo Content President Courteney Monroe revealed that NatGeo’s programming will be available on Disney+, while Disney Branded Television’s Ayo Davis announced projects across live-action, unscripted, and animated formats.

Documentaries to look forward to include Edge of the Unknown and Explorer: The Deepest Cave, as well as the summer special event Sharkfest 10th Anniversary. One program I’ll be keeping my eyes out for will be Jaws vs. Boat.

Filmmaker and climber Jimmy Chin is interviewed in Los Angeles, CA. (photo credit: National Geographic/Teague Wasserman)

From Academy Award®-Winning executive producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, EDGE OF THE UNKNOWN WITH JIMMY CHIN takes audiences inside the minds of elite adventure athletes through transformative stories of confronting fear, devastating personal loss and Mother Nature at her harshest. Through intimate interviews and self-shot archival footage from surfers, climbers, snowboarders, polar explorers and kayakers, we witness the mental, physical and emotional toll of their high-stakes endeavors. On this panel, you’ll hear from pioneering elite adventure athletes featured in the series as they give you a front-row seat to adventure — and what it takes to adapt when something goes catastrophically wrong.

Edge of the Unknown premieres July 2022 on Disney+.

Caver Witek Hoffman stares through a tiny crack between boulders at Cheve Cave. (National Geographic/Pablo Durana)

Renowned caver Bill Stone is on a lifelong quest to go deeper beneath the earth than any human has ever ventured. Deep in the unexplored depths of Cheve Cave in Mexico, his goal is to set a new world record by finding a passage beyond a depth of 7,208 feet, proving once and for all his theory that Cheve is the deepest cave in the world. The expedition has been compared to climbing Everest — but in reverse. The three-month underground journey is a dangerous and highly technical adventure through over 12 miles of tight, twisting passages. The pressure to conquer the cave will push Bill and the team to the absolute limits of survival and sanity.

Explorer: The Deepest Cave premieres May 19, 2022 on Disney+.

Sara Casareto photographs a shark underwater. (National Geographic/Mike Heithaus)

This summer National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD make a splash with its 10th annual SHARKFEST event, filled with action-packed, shark-infested programming that takes viewers up close and personal with one of nature’s most feared and often misunderstood predators. This year, viewers can sink their teeth into hours of original programming, featuring captivating science and stunning cinematic visuals of the iconic apex predator. For a decade, SHARKFEST not only shined a light on the science of sharks, giving audiences a better understanding of the ocean’s top predator, but also features their true beauty, power and mystery.

Sharkfest begins Summer 2022 on Disney+.

During the Television Critics Associations’ Winter Press Tour, Disney Branded Television’s President/Chief Creative Officer Ayo Davis kicked off the DBT (Disney Branded Television) panels with several key content announcements.

Major highlights include:

  • over 231 million views for Spidey and His Amazing Friends
  • the addition of a second episode when the The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder premiers on February 23rd
  • Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be adapting Judy Blume’s best-selling children’s novel Superfudge into an animated film

Now this piece of news had me most excited, and that is the addition of Michelle Yeoh to the upcoming American Born Chinese series, with Shang-Chi’s Destin Daniel Cretton directing the first episode.

A genre-hopping action-comedy series, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese tells the story of Jin Wang, an average teenager juggling his high school social life with his home life. When he meets a new foreign student on the first day of the school year, even more worlds collide as Jin is unwittingly entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods. The action-packed coming-of-age adventure explores identity, culture and family. The newly announced international cast includes stars Michelle Yeoh, Ben Wang, Yeo Yann Yann, Chin Han, Daniel Wu, Ke Huy Quan, Jim Liu and Sydney Taylor.

Following Davis’s remarks, executive producers and cast members of upcoming projects were featured in panels for Alice’s Wonderland Bakery, Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and a modern-twist on Cinderella called Sneakerella.

ALICE’S WONDERLAND BAKERY – Disney Junior’s “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery,” a fantastical animated series for preschoolers and their families inspired by the world of “Alice in Wonderland.” (Disney)

Disney Junior’s new series Alice’s Wonderland Bakery is inspired by the original 1951 feature film Alice in Wonderland and puts a unique and diverse spin on a classic that is representative of today’s young audiences.

Alice’s Wonderland Bakery premieres February 9, 2022 on Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney+.


Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius Lunella Lafayette and her 10-ton T-Rex, Devil Dinosaur. After Lunella accidentally brings Devil Dinosaur into present-day New York City via a time vortex, the duo works together to protect the city’s Lower East Side from danger.

Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur premieres Summer 2022 on Disney Channel.

The upcoming Disney+ original movie Sneakerella is a high-energy, contemporary musical set in the avant-garde street-sneaker subculture of New York City. This modern twist on the classic “Cinderella” fairy tale is the aspirational journey of a burgeoning sneaker designer finding the courage to pursue his dreams, learning lessons, and finding love along the way.

Sneakerella is coming Soon to Disney+.

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