Disney/Pixar to release 10 features through 2012

Earlier today, Disney and Pixar announced their theatrical line-up through 2012. This is the lengthy press release with story details and release info. Your thoughts?

Pixar’s line-up is as follows:

June 27, 2008
Wall-E directed by Andrew Stanton

May 29, 2009
Up directed by Pete Docter

June 18, 2010
Toy Story 3 directed by Lee Unkrich

Summer 2011
Newt directed by Gary Rydstrom

Winter 2011
The Bear and the Bow directed by Brenda Chapman

Summer 2012
Cars 2 directed by Brad Lewis

Meanwhile, on the Disney side, there is:

November 26, 2008
Bolt directed by Chris Williams and Byron Howard

Christmas 2009
The Princess and the Frog directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (Note: this marks the return of hand-drawn animation to Disney)

Christmas 2010
Rapunzel directed by Glen Keane and Dean Wellins

2012
King of the Elves directed by Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker

It’s interesting to note that all of the Pixar films have one individual with top billing as director, while the Disney features are structured to have two directors per film. That certainly can’t be coincidence. As Disney regains its footing, hopefully they’ll discover individuals within the organization whose personal vision is strong enough to carry a film by itself.

Also, it was apparently important enough to merit being put into this announcement that Disney has four direct-to-dvd features starring Tinkerbell and friends: Tinker Bell (Oct. 28, 2008), Tinker Bell: North of Neverland (2009), Tinker Bell: A Midsummer Storm (2010) and Tinker Bell: A Winter Story (2011).


  • http://escapistcartoons.blogspot.com Behonkiss

    Wait…Cars 2?!?

    AAAAAAGH

  • chris george

    Did I miss a Brad Bird film?

  • http://amymebberson.blogspot.com Amy Mebberson

    Interesting how in the wake of Enchanted’s success, Disney has slated all their own features for Christmas release. Question is whether Bolt or Rapunzel will be able to clear out the half-baked/not ready/badly re-worked stench about them in time.

    So which features will be the first ones done completely under Lasseter? (which weren’t already in progress when he took over). Disneytoons is basically the Tinker Bell shop now. Still, no more sequels which should be consolation enough for a lot of people.

  • Paul N

    There were plenty of late 80′s/early 90′s Disney features that had co-directors. For example: Ron & John, Kirk Wise & Gary Trousdale. But all they did was direct The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast…

  • Tom Pope

    What is Steve Anderson, a classmate of mine and director of “Meet the Robinsons” working on? I’m a little out of touch with him lately.

    Also, if I’m not mistaken, Bob Peterson is listed as Pete Docter’s co-director of “Up” in the press release. I’ve known Pete Docter since his second year at CalArts. He’s more than capable, and I’m sure he and Mr Peterson will do a great job together, as will any two directors on the Disney films.

    PS – “Pinocchio”. Directed by Hamilton Luske AND Ben Sharpsteen. But who’s to say…

  • Graham

    Four successive years of DTV Tinker Bell movies? Disney, don’t you think that’s a bit overkill?

    Holy crap! Musker and Clements return! I really miss those guys. I didn’t know they were making The Princess and the Frog. This should hopefully be interesting.

  • robiscus

    Cars 2?

    you’ve got to be kidding me…

  • Baron Lego

    I too, must voice my horror/disappointment/shock/bafflement at the announcement of said sequel to “Cars”.

  • Ryan

    “What is Steve Anderson, a classmate of mine and director of “Meet the Robinsons” working on? I’m a little out of touch with him lately.”

    Last I heard he was pitching some ideas to Lasseter for feature films. I don’t know if he’s directing anything currently.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    Cars 2 because Cars 1 generated a gi-normous amount of licensed merchandise sales.

  • http://awprunes.wordpress.com/ Larry Levine

    Four Twinkle Bell direct-to-DVDs? I thought Disney stopped producing ‘sequels’ to their classic features.

  • Ira Owens

    “Story is King” but that didn’t change the fact that Cars was boring…zzzzz.z.z.z.z.z…..

  • http://www.abelboddy.com C. Edwards

    Three Questions:
    I always thought Pixar was against the one movie a year/assembly line release schedule?

    How long has “Rapunzel” been in production??

    What 80′s Michael J. Fox film will Cars 2 be ripping off???

  • http://www.optionjoe.blogspot.com Joe Apel

    “What 80’s Michael J. Fox film will Cars 2 be ripping off???”

    Maybe Doc Hudson will make Lightning McQueen into a time machine and go back in time and stop them from making Cars 1 (actually I like Cars, but I thought that was a good joke).

  • Dave

    Can’t see who would really want to make a sequel to Cars , except the merchandising people. Four Tinkerbell films ? Ok… Whatever .

    King of the Elves sounds interesting (Phillip K. Dick story … that’s different for animation) .

    I was a little surprised to read the The Princess and the Frog would feature “a singing alligator” . Another animated film set in New Orleans had a singing ‘gator. That didn’t turn out so well … maybe Disney can do better.

    Remember the singing gator ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5iZE6-a9jU

  • Pedro Nakama

    But the real question is how much will John Lasseter weigh in 2012?

  • http://www.rauchbrothers.com Tim Rauch

    Sooner or later we’re gonna wake up and either there will be an American studio capable of taking big budget animated features in a new direction or the French are gonna do it for us. Can’t blame Disney and Pixar for sticking with what works, they’ve certainly made great films before and this list will probably include more than a few winners. Just hoping we aren’t stuck with the animated-feature-as-family-fare handicap forever. Anyone else wanna start a revolution or is it just me?

  • haha

    “As Disney regains its footing, hopefully they’ll discover individuals within the organization whose personal vision is strong enough to carry a film by itself.”

    I disagree. Do you really want to split up Ron & John?

  • James P. Sullivan

    I don’t understand why Disney found it important to announce all of this. Haven’t they learned that things constantly change? Other than fueling more boring internet comments about how much a particular movie or series sucks, I wonder why they’re showing their hand so early. Pixar was notorious for keeping things quiet and their stock holders respected that. I guess Disney’s can’t do the same.

  • Josh

    Am i late to the party?

    Just found out Pixars next short in front of Wall-E will be called Presto and be about a magician. Is this news months old? it’s the first time I’d heard it last week.

  • Joe

    It looks like quite a strong line-up. Yes, I’m not wild about another Cars movie, but the fact that it was probably one of if not the highest grossing Pixar film worldwide, I’m not surprise this was pushed forward. Also, I think a Cars sequel could have some potential if done right.

    Also, those Tinkerbell DVDs are pretty much guaranteed to sell well within their respective demographics (under 12 yr old girls).

    @Tim, I agree, but I certainly don’t expect Disney/Pixar to be that studio. Their foundations in family friendly entertainment is simply too well-rooted.

  • http://collideoscope.blogspot.com/ Adam

    I was shocked when I saw a Tinker Bell trailer on the Enchanted Blu-ray Disc. I thought that John Lasseter and Steve Jobs used an early version of it (Tinker Bell, not Enchanted) to convince Bob Iger to effectively shut down DisneyToon studios and put an end to direct to video animated movies.

    And now I learn that there will be not one, but four Tinker Bell movies.

    Has no one at Bob Iger’s Disney learned a lesson from Michael Eisner’s Disney running Winnie the Pooh into the ground? Quick’n’easy money grabs damage the brand in the long run.

    Also, I don’t think that having two directors on each Disney movie means anything. (Though this is the first time that I have heard that Bolt and Rapunzel will have two directors each.) Multiple directors on a Disney animated movie is hardly a new thing, and I doubt that it will change any time soon.

  • Gary Pearson

    I might be alone in this, but I’d like to see a really well made, hand drawn feature starring Mickey, Donald and Goofy. Those characters have merit beyond their ability to sell plush toys.

    I wish there was room for modest mid range animated features. One of the reasons Cars was so disappointing was because the expectations surrounding it…huge budget…years in the making…one of the few offerings of the year. I’d rather see 4 or 5 good cartoons with fun stories and characters than one over wrought bloated snoozer like that. As for the desire to see animated films go in a more adult direction, to me one of the main problems with Cars and Ratatouille were that they were trying to sell adult ideas about nostalgia (Cars) and gourmet cooking (Ratatoullie) to kids who live in the now and think a good meal is mac and cheese with ketchup. It seems Pixar wants to do adult themes, but is afraid to actually design and market specifically to people over 12. I say let’s make cartoons for everyone, but it shouldn’t be the burden of any specific feature that it be for everyone.

  • http://www.davemackey.com Dave Mackey

    I don’t think Disney has had a sole director on a feature since the days of Ben Sharpsteen… and even then, it was mostly “sequence directors” doing all the work.

  • Some Guy

    CARS 2????

    Is this a biopic?

  • http://btouch.typepad.com Brandon Cordy

    “Cars 2″? Ugh. Well, trying to look at the situation optimistically, I guess you could say there’s plenty of room for improvement with a sequel.

  • Andrew

    Aside from which film everyone ELSE is inevitably going to talk about (rhymes with “Jars”), there appears to be a LOT of sequels on this list. Only the Bear and the Bow, and NEWT are films I’ve never heard of before in their slate of projects, which makes this pretty much old news.

  • Rev. Woodrow Pace

    The slate looks potentially great to me. I’m even looking forward to CARS II and all its characters’ shiny, reflective only slightly squash and stretchable metal surfaces. In this world of excessive CG fur, I have missed them.

    I do, however, think I’ll still be waiting ’til the next slate for my dream to have Pixar make me cry like Disney has. The last real great catharsis came during Brother Bear. Therefore, I’m glad to see Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker back on this slate.

  • J

    Not an animator, not in the business, just a fan…

    Concerning Cars 2: I’d like to think that maybe, merchandising aside, they’ve come up with something to atone for the shortcomings of the first one. One of my issues with the film is that I simply couldn’t connect with talking cars, and I doubt that they get rid of talking cars in the sequel.

  • The Obvious

    When I first saw Cars in the theater I didn’t enjoy the story at all, but I thought the visuals were (as usual) beautiful. I also couldn’t stop thinking about how those cars were polluting that beautiful landscape! At the time, I had twin 6 month old babies. Now my kids are almost three, and they are absolutely crazy about Cars and Thomas the Tank Engine. Rumor has it that my children are not a unique phenomenon. Among young kids, Cars is huge. I’m not making an argument for the film as cinematic perfection, but Cars is a massive source of revenue for Disney/Pixar.

    The same thing is true for the fairies line Disney is doing. My niece is 6 and she is obsessed with the books Disney has released about the characters. I’m almost certain that they are not exceptional literature.

    I think for a lot of us who long for animation to push boundaries and see Disney return to what it was under Walt, and perhaps what it achieved in the 90′s, news about sequels to films that did not tell the best stories or derivative concepts are frustrating. That being said, I think it’s possible that what many of us long to see occur in animation won’t come from Disney or Pixar anyway.

  • Alex

    …Cars 2?
    …of all the movies to do a sequel to… ah, who knows, maybe its amazing.

  • http://www.rauchbrothers.com Tim Rauch

    I’m not so much one for separating “children” and “adults”. Some of my favorite movies as a kid were Breaker Morant, Glory and Biko. Kids can handle strong dramatic themes and should be exposed to them at a young age. When a kid watches a movie like that, it goes a long toward forming their morality and social conscience. When I say “a new direction” I’m thinking of things like adapting Theophilus Conneau’s memoirs into a feature. He was a slave trader in the mid 1800s who was, at times, conflicted about his profession…

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=Wq4BAAAAQAAJ&dq=theophilus+conneau&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=9LfUfrK3aV&sig=jnC56b0qC6ZpgO1niY2YFQUC_NA#PPP1,M1

    This was the movie I really wanted to do when I was 12. I’m sure the day will come when you can say “animated feature about the Middle Passage” and no one will bat an eyelash. Many thanks to Ralph Bakshi, Miyazaki and Marjane Satrapi for moving the ball further down the field. Oh yeah, and many thanks to that Disney guy for proving you could even make an animated feature in the first place. He faced a bigger struggle than any of us ever will and will always be the Father of Animation in my eyes.

  • http://powet.tv Joshua

    I can’t speak for all of the Disney directors, but John Musker & Ron Clements always direct together, so I think that is just mere coincidence, not Disney trying to stabilize itself.

  • http://trnorton.com Tennessee

    Well there goes the dream of a Stop Motion feature version of Frankenweenie directed by Tim Burton… guess it was to good to be true that Lasseter would bring back both handdrawn animation and stop motion to Disney… sniff… single tear

  • http://inducks.blogspot.com/ Fernando Ventura

    I prefer a “The Black Cauldron 2′!

  • http://awprunes.wordpress.com/ Larry Levine

    Isn’t Eric Goldberg back at Disney? I’m a big fan of his work & was surprised not to see him listed among the directors.

  • Annie-Mae

    Cars 2?! I want an Incredibles 2, that’s the only movie I’ve ever wanted to have a sequil.

  • Gobo

    Not surprised about Cars 2, frankly, considering that Disney’s California Adventure is getting its own CARS LAND area… and I can’t think of any other Disney park that has an entire ‘land’ devoted to a single film’s universe.

  • http://afrokids.com Floyd Norman

    Welcome to the “Fan Zone.”

    Apparently everyone has forgotten that animation is a business, and what do businesses do? They make money.

  • GF

    Well, not ALL businesses make money.

  • greg m.

    I’m glad Brenda is getting a chance to shine! I wouldn’t mind if they gave ole’ Ralphie a chance to Direct a feature as well!

  • Killroy McFate

    I just like the fact that a Pixar family film shares a title with a Russ Meyer nudie. (“Up”. Google it.)

  • http://www.autodaddy.blogspot.com tom

    Rrrr. Cars 2 not a movie I was looking forward to at all.

  • RODAN

    Isn’t it a well known fact that animation is a collaborative effort? And that there is no shame in having more than one director credited. I do think that Pixars guru’s are in denial of that.

  • http://www.nicholastam.ca Nicholas Tam

    I worry about the release schedule being oversaturated in a slumping animated feature market where supply already outstrips demand (even when we’re counting dollars in nine figures). Then again… remember when we were still expecting Rapunzel in 2008?

    The optimist in me says that Pixar is stingy enough that they wouldn’t have gone ahead with a Cars sequel unless they were absolutely convinced that the story had room to expand. And if that’s what they believe, well, they sure know something we don’t. (Full disclosure: I liked Cars quite a lot, though it suffered in comparison to Pixar’s other releases this decade by being so… orthodox Lasseter.)

    Then again, who knows what kind of decision-making culture came out of the Pixar/Disney merger? We have yet to see its impact unfold, and this release schedule is just about our only piece of evidence about the consequences.

    I remember a time when I couldn’t see how a Toy Story 2 could possibly work, and right now, I’m still completely unconvinced that Toy Story 3 is at all necessary – what are they going to do with it, work in a Vatican conspiracy and kill off Sofia Coppola’s character at the opera? But again, Pixar wouldn’t have fought Disney over sequel rights, then gone ahead with a third Toy Story _anyway_, if they weren’t certain it would work, or at the very least not besmirch the name of the storied franchise that created the CG feature industry.

    That’s the optimist in me. The pessimist will hit up the nearest Disney Store, die with the most toys, and win.

  • http://www.pegbarproductions.com Simon Stahl

    Why is Cars 2 being directed by the producer of Ratatouille? Usually directors come from a story or animation background…

  • Kelly Tindall

    Cars 2? Really? Huh.

    I guess I’m still waiting for “Rata2ille:The Rattening”.

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    I’m not hot on the sequels either… none of them actually. But the schedule looks good to me.

  • David D

    Seems to me they’d better get that Paul Newman VO done pronto.

  • http://drgrantz.deviantart.com/ revned

    According to this article on Yahoo! by Reuters, all but two of the ten movies will be presented in digital 3-D.

    http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/va/20080408/120770918200.html

    Aside from that, I’m really looking forward to seeing Disney’s interpretation of Philip K. Dick. Looks like I have some time to read the original story.

  • tom d.

    RE: The Princess and the Frog – hasn’t this “hand drawn” feature been in production for a long time?

    i seem to recall having heard about it years ago. the big deal was that it was the first disney cartoon featuring an african american princess.

  • http://www.jessica-plummer.com Jessica Plummer

    There’s no way Pixar is wearing thin already…so why Toy Story 3, and Cars 2? Is it really for the money? I’d be ashamed of myself if I was there.

    But I’m glad one Pixar film up there looks to be a female director, and that Rapunzel still seems to have a chance at Disney. I was afraid its outlook had been totally botched.

  • Mario G

    Just for fun’s sake, I’ve got to comment that John Musker’s kids (twins) were a year ahead of me in high school (I graduated class of ’04). The Musker twins were intensely intelligent kids, and they were getting into claymation at the time, though I don’t know if they kept it up.

    John came to give a presentation during one career day. He’s a great guy, and it’s nice to see him getting work again now that hand-drawn is getting back in business. I remember him talking about Treasure Planet, both giving the Disney line as well as his personal commentary that 3-D might be a mistake.

  • Steve Gattuso

    On a case-by-case basis:

    Wall-E – Already established as a frontrunner for classic status.
    Up – New and unusual, I have high hopes for it.
    Toy Story 3 – This has been kicking around for a while, and I think there’s room enough for a final film to achieve closure with these characters.
    Newt – That one just looks weird. But we have many years ahead before the film releases, and like “Up,” I’m willing to give it a chance.
    The Bear and the Bow – Pixar’s first film that I’d call a fairy tale. As with other items, I’ll take a wait and see position.
    Cars 2 – OH NOEZ! TEH SKY IZ FALLING!! WE MUST ALL GET ON OUR HIGH HORSE AND PROCLAIM THE DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE!!!! Honestly, folks, relax. The original was a fun film, the characters are all worth paying another visit to, and it’s not like Pixar has decided to crap one out every other annum like another well-known animation studio does with a big green guy. Besides, by 2012 Larry the Cable Guy is going to need a job.

    Bolt – Looks a bit of a mess at this point, but without seeing much detail, I won’t try to pass judgment. (Though if the main character says ANYTHING about the evils of psychiatry, I’ll throttle the casting clown who picked Travolta.)
    Princess and the Frog – I’m very excited about this one, and it’s either going to be a total disaster or a modern classic. Glad to see the risk being taken.
    Rapunzel – This one is anyone’s guess. But there’s still time to either tighten it up or make it trash. Once again, wait and see.
    King of the Elves – And again, who knows what will happen. But I can see the headline in Variety: DISNEY DOES DICK

    Tinkerbell DVDs – Whatever. They don’t feel to me like sequels to anything, but instead more of a spinoff. The way Jiminy Cricket spun off of Pinocchio.

    3D – Until the technology works without having to put on those stupid glasses, forget it. It’s a non-starter.

  • Scott Harpel

    The WDFA slate is a little two fairytale for my taste, but hey they need to start again somewhere. The last time they went more adult we got Atlantis and Treasure Planet which while the latter is immensely underrated on all levels is still bombed at the Box Office.

    I assume since we have not heard anything but I assume they have found a way to make Stearns FA building work at present???

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tim Drage

    Disney making a Philip K Dick movie!? I knew the Mayans were onto something with all the 1012 stuff!

  • http://www.coveringthemouse.com Kurtis Findlay

    I thought Disney was bringing back 2D. Besides the Princess and the Frog, why are there no 2D features planned in the upcoming future?

  • Rick Farmiloe

    As a 2D animator, I’m disappointed there was no mention of a 2D feature other than PRINCESS AND THE FROG in development, or on the release schedule. I guess that can change…..I sure hope so. John and Ron are the perfect team to help revive 2D. The pre-production looks amazing, so I have really high hopes for PRINCESS AND THE FROG.

    As for Eric Goldberg, he is at the studio animating on PATF.

  • http://awprunes.wordpress.com/ Larry Levine

    Rick, Thanks for the Eric Goldberg update.

  • tom d.

    There is nothing on this list that makes me say, “Wow, i really want to see THAT!”

  • Dinsey Clone

    Great! Nice line-up! Cars 2…?$$?

    Presto looks very interesting. Magician, great animation, humour =Pure Pixar material. Honestly there is an even better magician film coming your way America. Sylvain Chomet’s: The Illusionist.

    It is looking great and will stand out like an animation gem from all these plastic, formula driven, main stream cheese fest flicks. No offence but how original do Cars 2 get or Bolt for that matter after Sanders departure. Lets not forget Toy Story 3 for an extra dosage of cg plastic. Wall-E looks fantastic and may actually blow Chomet’s illusionist out of the water. Keep an eye out for The Illusionist and it may even surprise you if you have the patience and an open mind. Than get ready for Cars 3 and Shrek 7. ;)

  • http://johnbludwickmac.com John Ludwick

    What’s the worst way to enjoy a good thing? Get too much of it.

    Currently, seeing a Pixar film is an event; it doesn’t happen that often, so it’s special and there’s every guarantee I’ll see it. But every year?

    And very sad to see no Brad Bird movies coming out. In a recent interview, Bird said he, “wasn’t ready to leave the [protective] womb of Pixar just yet”. So what’s he doing for the next 4 years besides ’1906′?

    Lastly, who expects their post to be read when it’s so far down and oh so late? :)

  • Mark

    Well I read it. ;)