Disney and Pixar unveiled their complete animated movie line-up from 2008 to 2012 today at a press conference in New York. Featured in their announcement is a diverse and ambitious slate of 13 new animated feature films, most of which will be featured in 3D. As has been the case recently, Disney will be releasing two major animated movies per year - one Pixar and one Disney. Starting in 2009, however, we'll be treated to 2 Pixar movies per year: 3D versions of Toy Story (in '09) and Toy Story 2 (in '10) as well as Up (in '09) and Toy Story 3 (in '10) and Newt and The Bear and the Bow (in '11). In addition, Pixar also announced a new movie - Newt - for 2011. Disney also has a promising line-up of their own, including an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story titled King of the Elves.
The Philip K. Dick based movie King of the Elves, which everyone seems to be interested in the most, is about a gas station attendant in Mississippi who befriends a group of elves who can hide in the trees because they're covered with leaves and foliage. He allows them to seek shelter from the rain and they thus dub him their king. Anything Philip K. Dick is usually quite interesting, and based on that alone, I'm excited. Unfortunately they're probably going to change the focus to be more family friendly, but oh well. You can read more about the film at the very bottom.
Disney and Pixar's Complete 2008 to 2012 Line-up:
Pixar's Wall-E - June 27th, 2008
Directed by: Andrew Stanton (A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo). After hundreds of lonely years doing what he was built for, WALL•E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL•E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL•E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most incredible comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen.
Bolt - November 26th, 2008 (In 3D)
Directed by: Chris Williams and Byron Howard. For super-dog Bolt (voiced by John Travolta), every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue — at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the canine star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet — a cross-country journey through the real world. Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and with the help of two unlikely traveling companions — a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (voiced by Susie Essman), and TV-obsessed hamster in a plastic ball named Rhino — Bolt discovers he doesn't need superpowers to be a hero. Miley Cyrus ("Hannah Montana") brings her vocal talents to the role of Penny, Bolt's human co-star on the television series.
Pixar's Up - May 29th, 2009 (In 3D)
Directed by: Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc) and Bob Peterson. 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) in summer 2009. Carl Fredricksen 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."
Pixar's Toy Story in 3-D - October 2nd, 2009 (In 3D)
Originally released by Walt Disney Pictures in 1995, "Toy Story" was the first feature film from Pixar Animation Studios and director John Lasseter. The film went on to receive Oscar nominations for Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Original Screenplay, and earned Lasseter a Special Achievement Award (Oscar) "for the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film." The 3-D version of this landmark film is being personally overseen by Lasseter with his acclaimed team of technical wizards handling all the necessary steps in the conversion process.
The Princess and the Frog - Christmas 2009
Directed by: John Musker (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules) and Ron Clements (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules). A musical set in the greatest city of them all, New Orleans, "The Princess and the Frog" marks Disney's return to the timeless art form of traditional animation. The film teams Ron Clements and John Musker, creators of "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin," with Oscar-winning composer Randy Newman to tell the most beautiful love story ever told … with frogs, voodoo, and a singing alligator.
Pixar's Toy Story 2 in 3-D - February 12th, 2010 (In 3D)
Originally released in 1999, "Toy Story 2" went on to become one of the most popular animated features of all time. The film picks up as Andy is heading off to Cowboy Camp and the toys are left to their own devices. When an obsessive toy collector named Al McWhiggin (owner of Al's Toy Barn) kidnaps Woody, and Woody learns that he's a highly valued collectable from a 1950s TV show called "Woody's Roundup," the stage is set for a daring rescue attempt by the gang from Andy's room. The film introduced such other memorable characters from "Woody's Roundup" as Jessie the cowgirl, Bullseye the horse, and the Prospector.
Pixar's Toy Story 3 - June 18th, 2010 (In 3D)
Directed by: Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo). 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." 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.
Rapunzel - Christmas 2010 (In 3D)
Directed by: Glen Keane and Dean Wellins. In this new telling of the classic fairy tale, "Rapunzel," audiences will be transported to a stunning CG fantasy world complete with the iconic tower, an evil witch, a gallant hero and, of course, the mysterious girl with the long golden tresses. Expect adventure, heart, humor, and hair … lots of hair, when Rapunzel unleashes her locks in theaters for the 2010 holiday.
Pixar's Newt - Summer 2011 (In 3D)
Directed by: Gary Rydstrom (Lifted). 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? That's the problem facing Newt and Brooke, heroes of "newt," the Pixar film by seven-time Academy Award winner for sound Gary Rydstrom, and director of Pixar's Oscar-nominated short, "Lifted." 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.
Pixar's The Bear and the Bow - Christmas 2011 (In 3D)
Directed by: Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt). 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 ("The Prince of Egypt," "The Lion King") and the storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humor, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale.
Pixar's Cars 2 - Summer 2012 (In 3D)
Directed by: Brad Lewis. 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 around the globe. "Cars 2" is being directed by Brad Lewis, producer of the Oscar-winning film "Ratatouille."
King of the Elves - Christmas 2012 (In 3D)
Directed by: Aaron Blaise (Brother Bear) and Robert Walker (Brother Bear). Legendary storyteller Phillip K. Dick's short story (his only experiment in the fantasy genre) becomes the basis for this fantastic and imaginative tale about an average man living in the Mississippi Delta, whose reluctant actions to help a desperate band of elves leads them to name him their new king. Joining the innocent and endangered elves as they attempt to escape from an evil and menacing troll, their unlikely new leader finds himself caught on a journey filled with unimaginable dangers and a chance to bring real meaning back to his own life.
It's very interesting to see how Disney and Pixar grows its people. All of the directors have been with Pixar and Disney for at least 10 years and have been working in animation or special effects or sounds on numerous movies. It's also very interesting to see Pixar developing so many sequels when they used to say that was never in their consideration. Either way, I'm very excited for almost all of these. I'm looking forward to seeing Disney return to hand-drawn animation with The Princess and the Frog and, of course, anything Pixar does I'm always looking forward to!