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Highlights from the Marvel Studios Animation panel at Comic-Con 

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

On July 22, 2022, at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calif., the Marvel Studios Animation panel shared news (and a few surprises) about the exciting lineup of new series on Disney+ featuring original stories for favorite Marvel superheroes.

Marvel Studios Animation panel at SDCC
Images courtesy of Marvel Studios

Comedian, actor, and writer Paul F. Tompkins moderated the presentation that included Marvel Studios Head of Streaming Television and Animation Brad Winderbaum; Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding; Director (“What If…?”) and Executive Producer (“Marvel Zombies”) Bryan Andrews; Writer and Executive Producer (“What If…?”) AC Bradley; Writer and Executive Producer (“X-Men ’97”) Beau DeMayo; Writer, Director, and Executive Producer (“I Am Groot”) Kirsten Lepore; and Writer and Executive Producer (“Spider-Man: Freshman Year”) Jeff Trammell. 

The following projects were featured during Marvel Studios’ Animation panel:

“I Am Groot”

Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel, who voices Groot in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise) takes center stage in a collection of five original shorts that explore the little tree’s experiences growing up – and getting into trouble – among the stars.

Marvel Studios Animation panel - I Am Groot Key Art

During the panel, Lepore answered questions about the series and shared the trailer, new key art, and a surprise screening of one of the shorts, “Groot Takes a Bath.” She also announced a second collection of shorts. Additional Executive producers are Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, and James Gunn.

“I Am Groot” launches exclusively on Disney+ on Aug. 10, 2022, with all five shorts available for viewing.


I Am Groot | Official Trailer | Disney+

“Spider-Man: Freshman Year”

This animated series follows Peter Parker on his way to becoming Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with a style celebrating the character’s early comic book roots. Executive producer Jeff Trammel serves as head writer.

Marvel Studios Animation panel - Spider-Man Freshman Year Key Art

Trammell teased the show with the cast of characters – including that moderator Paul F. Tompkins will be playing a character in the series – and Meinerding showed off the new Spider-Man suit designed for the series. In addition, a second season was announced, appropriately titled “Spider-Man: Sophomore Year.”

“Spider-Man: Freshman Year” comes exclusively to Disney+ in 2024.

“What If…?”

The highly anticipated second season of the popular series continues with The Watcher as our guide through the vast multiverse, introducing both new and familiar faces throughout the MCU. The animated series questions and twists classic MCU moments with a voice cast that includes stars reprising their iconic roles. Executive Producer Bryan Andrews directs the series with Executive Producer AC Bradley as head writer.

Marvel Studios Animation panel - What If Season Two Key Art

Andrews and Bradley discussed the Emmy-nominated series, showed the trailer for Season Two, and surprised the audience with a screening of one of the new episodes. A third season was also announced.

Season two of “What If…?” launches exclusively on Disney+ in early 2023.

“Marvel Zombies

This animated series reimagines the Marvel Universe as a new generation of heroes battle against an ever-spreading zombie scourge. Directed by executive producer Bryan Andrews and written by executive producer Zeb Wells.

Marvel Studios Animation panel - Marvel Zombies Key Art

During the Marvel Studios’ Animation panel Andrews shared background on the series (that originated from an episode of “What If…?” Season 1) and concept art.

“Marvel Zombies” will stream exclusively on Disney+.

“X-Men ‘97

This animated series explores new stories in the iconic 1990s timeline of the original series (“X-Men: The Animated  Series”). Beau DeMayo is the executive producer and head writer.

Marvel Studios Animation panel - X-Men 97 Key Art

Winderbaum spoke to the audience about the legacy of “X-Men: The Animated  Series” and presented a “sizzle reel” featuring the cast and creatives from the popular ’90s animated show. Writer and Executive Producer DeMayo then spoke about the new series, shared artwork and presented an animatic AV piece. DeMayo also mentioned the show will use the original “X-Men” theme music. A second season was also announced.

“X-Men ’97” will begin streaming exclusively on Disney+ Fall 2023.

Marvel Entertainment also tweeted some extra great news for X-Men fans:

Click here to stay up-to-date on all the latest Marvel news.

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