No, no one was clamoring for a Cars sequel. Yes, it’s happening anyway.
I know, you want to get your calendars lined up for all the Disney Pixar releases for the next few years, right? Well, the studios are glad to oblige.
The plans, according to Variety, basically include a Pixar release every summer and a Disney Animation studios release every Christmas, except in 2011 when Pixar gets two releases and Disney gets the year off. In between, DisneyToon Studios, the direct to DVD unit is also gearing up, with four Disney Fairy movies, starring Peter Pan sidekick Tinkerbell, set to be released starting in October. The ‘Toon DVDs will, btw, concentrate on spinoffs and originals, rather than sequels (in other words, The Lion King 14: Simba Returns…Again is out).
In other general news, starting with this fall’s release, Bolt, all Pixar and Disney animated films will be in 3D, with the exception of Disney’s 2009 release, The Princess and the Frog. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Dreamworks Animation had previously announced their plans to go all 3D. There are currently about 1000 3D capable screens in the US, but by May 2009 there are expected to be as many as 4000.
Here’s a rundown of future Disney and Pixar releases, courtesy of SlashFilm:
May 29th 2009: From the Academy Award®-nominated team of director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) and co-director Bob Peterson comes Up, a comedic adventure taking off (and lifting spirits). Here is a brand new plot synopsis direct from the studio: Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. Up takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures. When seeking adventure next summer – look Up. Christopher Plummer voices the villian. Up will be released in Disney Digital 3-D™.
October 2nd, 2009: TOY STORY in 3-D
February 12th, 2010: TOY STORY 2 in 3-D
June 18th, 2010: The creators of the beloved Toy Story films re-open the toy box and bring moviegoers back to the delightful world of Woody, Buzz and our favorite gang of toy characters in Toy Story 3. All we know is that Andy grows up and is leaving for college. Lee Unkrich, co-director of Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo) directs this highly anticipated film, and Michael Arndt, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Little Miss Sunshine, brings his unique talents and comedic sensibilities to the proceedings. The voice talent confirmed includes: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Ned Beatty. Composer Randy Newman returns.
Summer 2011: newt marks the directing debut of multiple Academy Award winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, who made his Pixar debut with the short film Lifted, which premiered in front of Ratatouille. What happens when the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts on the planet are forced together by science to save the species, and they can’t stand each other? Newt and Brooke embark on a perilous, unpredictable adventure and discover that finding a mate never goes as planned, even when you only have one choice. Love, it turns out, is not a science. Will be released in Disney Digital 3-D™.
Christmas 2011: The Bear and the Bow is Pixar’s first fairy tale, from acclaimed filmmaker/writer Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt). Chapman began as an additional animation artist on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and contributed story for The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Fantasia 2000, Chicken Run and Cars. A rugged and mythic Scotland is the setting for Pixar’s action-adventure “The Bear and the Bow.” The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father’s kingdom and her mother’s life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. Director Brenda Chapman and the storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humor, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale. Will be released in Disney Digital 3-D™.
2012: Cars 2 will be directed by Brad Lewis, the producer of Ratatouille and Antz. All the world’s a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with his best friend Mater in tow, to take on the globe’s fastest and finest in this thrilling high-octane new installment of the “Cars” saga. Mater and McQueen will need their passports as they find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades
Additional films include:
- Bolt (formerly American Dog) about a TV action-adventure dog star who gets lost and proceeds to try to live while under the impression that his “TV powers” were real. John Travolta voices the lead dog, and Miley Cyrus is on hand to add a big selling theme song no doubt.
- The hand-drawn musical “The Princess and the Frog,” from “Aladdin” and “Little Mermaid” helmers John Musker and Ron Clements, who were lured back to Disney by Lasseter. It’s set for a Christmas 2009 release. Stills were shown, and star Anika Noni Rose performed a song live, as did Randy Newman and his eight-piece New Orleans combo.
- Disney’s long-in-development CG version of “Rapunzel” finally has a release date: Christmas 2010. It’s directed by studio vet Glen Keane and Dean Wellins.
- Last release on the slate for Disney Animation Studios is Christmas 2012′s “King of the Elves,” directed by Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker, based on the short story by sci-fi scribe Dick.
So find your nearest 3D theater and get ready to see…whichever of these appeal to you.