Disney * Pixar is readying a whole new batch of animated classics and none of them involve cars or toys. In fact, the next batch of Disney * Pixar blockbusters focus on a feisty redhead, a dinosaur, a monster sequel/prequel and a celebration of the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos.
So what will the folks behind “Toy Story,” “Cars,” “Up,” and “Finding Nemo” be thrilling us with at movie theaters for the next few years? We called up our connections at Disney to find out:
Release Date: June 22, 2012
Why It Will Be Awesome: The Pizza Planet Truck – a fixture of every Pixar film, with the exception of “The Incredibles” – makes an appearance here, too. Look for the truck in the Witch’s Hut. Touches like this will make this another Pixar favorite.
The Back Story: Originally titled “The Bear and the Bow,” Pixar’s latest effort, “Brave,” went through many changes before it finally made it to the big screen. The film tells the story of a young fiery red-headed princess named Merida who must trust her archery skills and bravery to fight a dreadful curse. Set in Scotland (“Brave” is also the first period film for Pixar), the film promises to add a new face to the Disney Princess lineup.
The official movie trailer for “Brave”:
Release Date: June 21, 2013
Why It Will Be Awesome: The film will be the first in 8 years for Frank Oz (he also provided the voice of Yoda and The Muppets’ Fozzie Bear), and is the very first prequel for any Pixar film.
The Back Story: Announced last year, “Monsters University” is the story of how Mike and Sulley met at the University of Fear – when they weren’t exactly the best of buddies. The film is in production now and will be helmed by Pixar’s Dan Scanlon. “Monsters University” will be also be Scanlon’s first time directing a full-length animated film – although Pixar fans shouldn’t worry too much; Scanlon does have experience bringing computer generated characters to life onscreen - he also directed the Pixar short “Mater and the Ghostlight.”
“Monsters University” re-unites the original cast of Billy Crystal (who again voices the one-eyed Mike Wazowski) and John Goodman (the voice of Sulley) and introduces new characters, too, including The Abominable Snowman (voiced by John Ratzenberger) and Fungus (voiced by Frank Oz). Think “Animal House” (Mike and Sulley are in a fraternity together, Mike wears a retainer) meets “Freaks and Geeks” in Disney Digital 3D – and with monsters.
“The Good Dinosaur”
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Why It Will Be Awesome: Two words: Pixar. Dinosaurs.
The Back Story: Originally titled “Frozen” and “Pixar’s Untitled Movie About Dinosaurs,” the film tells the story of how Earth is missed by an asteroid, and instead of the dinosaurs becoming extinct, they thrived and kept evolving. Dinosaurs have always been a Disney favorite – both in its theme parks and movies – so it’s going to be very interesting to see what kind of take Pixar will have on the subject matter.
The film will be directed by Bob Peterson (co-director/writer of “Up,” writer of “Finding Nemo”) and Peter Sohn. Pixar is promising a “heartfelt and original” story but honestly, would you expect anything less from the studio that turned a bitter old man with a passion for balloons (“Up”) into an Oscar winner?
“Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind”
Release Date: TBD
Why It Will Be Awesome: It’s a pet project for Pete Docter.
The Back Story: From director Pete Docter (the guy behind “Up” and “Monsters, Inc.”) comes a film that promises to take us on incredible journey inside the human mind. Disney Studios hasn’t released much more information beyond that, although considering the title, we’re reminded of the long-forgotten Walt Disney’s Adventures Through Innerspace attraction at Disneyland.
“Untitled Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Movie”
Release Date: 2015
Why It Will Be Awesome: Director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson are driving it creatively – and they’re the team behind the Academy Award-winning “Toy Story 3.”
The Back Story: The vibrant Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead festival, as it’s also known) is a time for celebration – a celebration of the dead. While not many details have been released, the potential of this movie has us dying to see concept art, a trailer, anything! The film, which was announced recently at CinemaCon and is slated for sometime in 2015, promises to feature the skeleton-ish characters that are a hallmark for the festival. It is the movie we’re most looking forward to on this list…
Pixar and Hollywood special effects artists bring characters to life by spending years learning to use Maya, the industry standard for 3D character creation (although Pixar also uses its own proprietary tools). But creating computer characters and bringing them to life is something Pixar mastered many films ago. We can’t wait to see the next batch of Pixar creations. How about you?
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