Worried that the wizards at Disney and Pixar are fresh out of ideas after Wall-E? Well, I can’t imagine why you would be but if you are, allow me to quickly put that fear to rest. Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, and John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios sent out a press release yesterday of their queue of future projects all the way through 2012.
After Wall-E, which arrives in theaters on June 27th, we will start hearing about Bolt. In fact, you can probably expect to see a trailer for this film during Wall-E. That’s just speculation of course because that was not mentioned in the press release, but that’s the way it usually works. Bolt features the voice talents of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus and is set to be released on Nov. 26 in Disney Digtal 3-D.
Next up is a series of direct-to Disney DVD Tinker Bell movies. Tinker Bell will be released on Oct. 28, followed by Tinker Bell North of Never Land in 2009 Tinker Bell and a Midsummer Storm (working title) in 2010 and Tinker Bell: A Winter Story in 2011.
Next summer we should be looking forward to the next Pixar project, which is titled Up and is helmed by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) and features the voice of Ed Asner!
For those of you wondering about the next Toy Story, it looks as if Disney is planning a minor celebration to get you pumped for the third installment. The original will be re-released in 3-D on Oct. 2, 2009 and Toy Story 2 will do the same on Feb. 12, 2010. That should hold us over until Toy Story 3 hits the scene on June 18, 2010.
Jon Musker and Ron Clements, who have directed such Disney classics as Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Hercules, will be returning to the big screen with the Princess and the Frog, to be released in Christmas of 2009. Disney will also adapt the classic story of Rapunzel into a film to be released the Christmas of the following year.
Now we jump to 2011 where we can anticipate the summer-released Newt. This one is from the Pixar team and it particularly caught my eye after reading the plot synopsis which is about the last two newts on the planet forced by science to procreate and save the species, even though they can’t stand each other. Sounds interesting but it also sounds like adults will get more out of it than kids and some adults will surely bitch and moan about having to explain the birds and the bees to their seven-year old. I suppose I’m letting some of you parents get a head start on ranting.
Pixar will follow that up with The Bear and the Bow. Set to be released in Christmas, 2011, the film stars Reese Witherspoon and is directed by Prince of Egypt helmer Brenda Chapman.
Okay, now comes probably the biggest breaking announcement out of this press release. Are you ready for it?…
Cars 2 will be made and distributed by Summer, 2012 and presented in Disney Digital 3-D. There you have it, Mater will return.
The final project that has been announced is King of the Elves. From the directors of Brother Bear, the film is an adaptation of a Phillip K. Dick story (Minority Report) expected to hit theaters Christmas, 2012.
“This is an amazing time for animation at Disney and Pixar,” said Lasseter, who directed the first two Toy Story installments, “and it’s a thrill to be working on such a diverse and original group of films with such an all-star team of filmmakers. The thing I love best about my job is that I get to work at both Disney and Pixar with filmmakers who are passionate about their projects and who are the absolute best in the business. We’re excited to be pushing the boundaries of 3-D and computer technology to tell our stories in the best possible way. At the same time, we’re drawing on our past to emphasize memorable characters, original edge-of-your-seat stories, and believable worlds. Walt Disney and his creative team taught us how to blend comedy, powerful emotion, and action-filled excitement in our films, and this group of incredible filmmakers is bringing their own originality and sensibilities to the process.”
Sound Off: Which of these films are you most excited for?