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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What's on Deck for Pixar and Disney

So, here we are, counting down the days to Pixar's next film, Wall-E, which looks 100% kick-ass. And along with this countdown, Pixar has unveiled their complete schedule of films from now until 2012. And all I can say is, "Wow!" I've NEVER seen this kind of long-term planning from Pixar! This is what we have to look forward to over the next four years from the inventors of computer animated films. We know that Wall-E is what's slated for 2008, so let's look ahead to 2009.

2009: Up
A very quirky tale of a 78-year old man and an 8-year old Wilderness Explorer going on a series of globetrotting adventures and learning to live life to the fullest. This one comes from Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, the duo responsible for Monsters, Inc.

2010: Toy Story 3
The plot for the next adventure of Woody, Buzz and the gang is being kept tightly under wraps, but the strongest rumors say it's about little Andy growing up and heading off to college, and the toys accepting that they have reached their end. Lee Unkrich, long time Pixar editor and co-director of Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo gets his first shot directing a film solo.

Summer 2011: Newt
Well, let's see.... Toy Story is about toys, Cars was about cars, and A Bug's Life was about a bug's life. Guess what Newt is about? The last two blue-footed newts in existence are brought together by scientists in the hopes that they'll breed and continue the species. But you know what happens? The two newts can't stand each other! Sounds like every lame romantic comedy ever. The one comes to us from Gary Rydstrom, the long time Pixar sound designer who made his directorial debut with the Pixar short film Lifted.

Christmas 2011: The Bear and the Bow
Hey, you know what we haven't had in a while? An animated film about a plucky princess who defies convention and dreams of a life out there. Pixar finally tries their hand at the formula that dominated animated films in the 1990s. Based on an ancient Scottish folk tale, The Bear and the Bow follows the tale of the Princess Merida, who wants to abandon her destiny as a princess to become the world's greatest archer. But her attempts to do so unleash a terrible curse upon the land, and she must go on a quest to set things right. The director on this is Brenda Chapman, who was one of the co-directors on Prince of Egypt, and also had a hand in writing The Lion King and Cars

2012: Cars 2
Really? Out of all the things Pixar can make a sequel to, they choose Cars? No offense, I liked Cars, but I believe it's one of Pixar's lesser efforts. Apparently, Lightening and Mater go global! The director on this is Brad Lewis, who was a producer on Ratatouille.

But that's not all! As we all know, Pixar is owned by Disney, so Disney also unveiled their slate of animated films for the next four years. Does Disney have what it takes to reclaim animated film domenance? Well, let's take a look at what's coming up....

2008: Bolt
The adventures of Bolt, a dog who stars on a TV show where he plays a superpowered dog. But when Bolt gets stranded in the middle of the desert, he has to team up with a kitty and a hamster to get back to civilization. But get this...Bolt thinks he's a superhero for real!

2009: The Princess and the Frog
Now HERE'S the one I'm looking forward to! Disney's long-awaited return to traditional, hand-drawn, 2D animation! John Musker and Ron Clemments, the duo behind The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules, were wooed out of retirement to give us this story of magic, romance, and jazz music, set in New Orleans. Plus Keith David does a voice!

2010: Rapunzel
Disney does their rendition of this classic fairy tale. This one has been in development for EVER, so I hope the wait is worth it.

2012: King of the Elves
Based on sci-fi author Phillip K. Dick's only foray into fantasy, King of the Elves is about a man in the Mississippi Delta who fights to save a tribe of elves, winds up becoming their king, and has to save them from some evil trolls.

Looks like Disney is trying some interesting things.

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