What’s Disney working on right now? The answer is lots of sequels, lots of talking animals, and maybe even one Vince Gilligan inspired Jack and Beanstalk movie. Here are the next 10 Pixar and Disney movies and everything you need to know about them:
Release Date: June 17, 2016
In 2012, it was announced that Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton was developing a sequel to the film titled Finding Dory. Stanton will write and direct the sequel alongside co-director Angus MacLane. In July 2013, Stanton spoke to the Los Angeles Times about a Finding Nemo sequel, “There was polite inquiry from Disney [about a Finding Nemo sequel]. I was always ‘No sequels, no sequels.’ But I had to get on board from a VP standpoint. [Sequels] are part of the necessity of our staying afloat, but we don’t want to have to go there for those reasons. We want to go there creatively, so we said [to Disney], ‘Can you give us the timeline about when we release them? Because we’d like to release something we actually want to make, and we might not come up with it the year you want it.'”
Finding Dory will take place six months after the first film and will tell the story of amnesiac Dory’s attempt to be reunited with her family. Dory, Nemo, Marlin and the “Tank Gang” will all make their return. The film’s ending (which featured some characters in a SeaWorld-like marine park) was reportedly revised after the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish.
In 2013 Ellen Degeneres announced that she would be reprising her role as the eponymous character. At the 2015 D23 Expo, Disney announced that Hayden Rolence would replace Alexander Gould as the voice of Nemo and Modern Family co-stars Ed O’Neill and Ty Burrell joined the stage to announce roles in the film.
Studio: Walt Disney
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Directors Ron Clements and John Musker (the duo behind The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules among others) are working on a computer-animated musical film, Moana, described as a “mythic adventure set around 2000 years ago and across a series of islands in the South Pacific.” In the film, Moana (played by newcomer Auli’i Cravalho) sets off a seafaring adventure to find a mysterious legendary island. Moana is joined in her journey by a stowaway rooster, a Pacific demigod named Maui (Dwayne Johnson), and her black-and-white spotted piglet, Pua.
Alan Tudyk has also joined the film as an unannounced character and at the 2015 D23 Expo it was announced that the songs for the film will be written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mancina, and Opetaia Foa’i (of Te Vaka).
It was initially rumored that Moana would utilize the hand-drawn/computer-animated technique featured in the short film Paperman, but director John Musker shot down that rumor, saying it’s far too early to apply the Paperman hybrid technique to a feature film because of a host of production issues.
Release Date: June 16, 2017
Pixar has announced that Cars 3 is set to release the summer of 2017 and while details about film remain vague, Cars 3 will reportedly return to Route 66 and explore Route 99.
Release Date: November 22, 2017
At the 2015 D23 Expo, Pixar confirmed that their Dia de Los Muertos inspired film, Coco, will be directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3). Coco is about Miguel, “a spirited 12 year-old growing up with a big family in rural Mexico,” who uncovers a family mystery that “forever changes his fate.” During the development of the film, Unkrich began to think about relatives who had passed away and thought, “What if I could meet them, what would I ask them?”
In order to help craft the characters and establish the world of Coco, the Pixar team made several trips to Mexico. Director Lee Unkrich said, “I’d seen it portrayed in folk art. It was something about the juxtaposition of skeletons with bright, festive colors that captured my imagination. It has led me down a winding path of discovery. And the more I learn about Día de Los Muertos, the more it affects me deeply.”
Studio: Walt Disney
Release Date: March 9, 2018
In April 2015, Deadline reported that Disney had acquired the rights to Beanstalk, a Jack and the Beanstalk inspired film outlined by Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) and fans eagerly anticipated a Gilligan directed Disney film with a Heisenberg styled anti-hero. However, at the 2015 D23 Expo, Disney announced that Nathan Greno (Tangled) will direct Gigantic, Disney’s definitive take on the Jack and the Beanstalk story.
Gigantic will follow Jack as he explores the world of giants hidden in clouds. During his adventure, Jack befriends Inma, a female giant who is “11 years old, 60 feet tall, fiery, feisty and a lot to control,” and agrees to help her find her way home. The film will be set in 15th Century Spain and husband and wife duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen) will provide the music.
Toy Story 4
Release Date: June 15, 2018
In 2014, it was announced that John Lasseter will direct and Rashida Jones and Will McCormack will write the screenplay for the fourth installment in the Toy Story franchise. For years, Toy Story 4 was such a closely guarded secret that Jim Morris (the President of Pixar Animation) and Edwin Catmull (the President of both Pixar and Disney Animation) did not even know it was being discussed until Andrew Stanton produced a polished treatment for the film.
Lasseter said that the film would center on the romance between Woody (Tom Hanks) and Bo Peep, who was noticeably absent in Toy Story 3. In Toy Story 4, Woody and Buzz (Tim Allen) will attempt to find Bo Peep and bring her home. According to Lasseter, “Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.” Lasseter also announced that Randy Newman will return to compose the soundtrack for the film and Kristen Schaal will reportedly reprise her role as Trixie.
The Incredibles 2
Release Date: June 21, 2019
The Incredibles director Brad Bird will return for the sequel and Germain Lussier from io9 speculates that The Incredibles 2 could either take place immediately following the events of the first film or following a ten year time skip “that would allow Bird to explore the Parrs in a whole different way, both thematically and visually.”
Wreck-It Ralph 2
Studio: Walt Disney
Release Date: TBD
In October of 2012, Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore mentioned that he had talked to Disney about the possibility of a Wreck-It Ralph sequel, but it wasn’t until a 2014 interview with the film’s composer, Henry Jackman, that a sequel was confirmed. Moore stated that the cast and crew of the film were open to another film, believing that they “barely scratched the surface” of the video game world, “We talked about arcade games. Imagine if we went into home systems and other kinds of platforms or online, or mobile games or something like that. We can’t end with just arcade cabinets from the 1980s. There is huge interest on the creative side.” Wreck-It Ralph 2 is supposedly going to explore online and console gaming and Moore has said that he hopes to include both Mario and Tron in the film. In July of 2015, John C. Reilly confirmed that he will reprise his role as Ralph.
Studio: Walt Disney
Release Date: TBD
On March 12, 2015, Disney officially announced Frozen 2, at a shareholders meeting in San Francisco. Chis Buck and Jennifer Lee will return to direct the sequel. John Lasseter explained that, “as with Pixar, when we do a sequel, it is because the filmmakers who created the original have created an idea that is so good that it’s worthy of these characters.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, there was “considerable internal debate” at Disney over whether to proceed with a Frozen sequel, but JP Morgan analyst Alexia Quadrani believes that the unprecedented success of the first film must have swayed Disney executives, “Frozen is in its own category, in the sense of breaking all records for animated films and having incredibly long-lasting success. That would make anybody revisit a historic policy.” Co-director Chris Buck acknowledged the challenge of producing a sequel to the groundbreaking film, “How do we live up to the phenomenon of the first one? There’s a lot of pressure. And we’ll put that on ourselves too; we’ll be very demanding about how good this one has to be.”
All the principal actors will return and at the moment, there are rumors circling about the plot of the film including the possibility of a royal duet, a snow-girlfriend for Olaf, and maybe even Elsa dying, but for now this is just speculation.
Which upcoming Disney movie are you most excited about? Personally, we’re still waiting for a Vince Gilligan version of Jack and Beanstalk.
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