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Feature FilmPixar

Pixar Announces ‘Suburban Fantasy’ Film With Trolls, Elves, And Sprites

Today at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, Disney-Pixar announced its next original animated film to follow Coco: an untitled “suburban fantasy” film to be directed by Monster University’s Dan Scanlon.

Scanlon, who lost his father at a very young age, spoke to the audience about the film, explaining that it was inspired by a question he’s always asked: Who was my father?

The film, however, will push Pixar into a human-less universe it has never explored, filled with elves, trolls, and sprites. Scanlon joked that the cast of characters is basically “anything that would be on the side of a van in the ’70s.”

“In the film, we’re going to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him,” added Scanlon. “But thanks to the little magic still left in the world, the boys embark on a quest that will allow them a chance to spend one last magical day with their father.”

Kori Rae (Monsters University) is producing the film, which is currently in production at Pixar’s Emeryville campus. A release date for the film has not been announced yet, though it has three potential release slots that it has previously announced: March 13, 2020, June 19, 2020, and June 18, 2021.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful ideas and artwork but they still don’t have a story.

    • Mesterius

      I think the basic story was spelled out pretty clearly in this paragraph:

      “In the film, we’re going to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him,” added Scanlon. “But thanks to the little magic still left in the world, the boys embark on a quest that will allow them a chance to spend one last magical day with their father.”

      • Thalesourus

        Wasn’t that the plot of “Contact”?

        • Manikinesque

          Not really. More like A.I., but still it’s begging similarities.

        • raucous cat

          It also reminds me of Spielberg’s A.I.

      • Bobby Wilson

        Pixar’s Incendies

        • raucous cat


      • RCooke

        That’s not a story–even a basic one. It’s a concept–which you could apply to virtually any film.

  • Not really a fan of the concept, but we’ll see. Maybe this will surprise me.

  • Since Inside Out, and with The Incredibles 2 coming soon, this is the most intrigued I’ve been for a Pixar film. Hopefully it delivers.

  • Cameron Ward

    I think this sounds amazing. I like when an animated film can be very personal and emotional.

    I know Trey Parker was blasting about how not every animated film needs to be a tear jerker, but not ever animated film needs to be a stupid gigglefest. Especially when he was the only one keeping that movie afloat.

  • Chicken McPhee

    Not your typical Pixar film. Interested in seeing how this develops.

  • Elsi Pote

    Pixar gives a shot to a DreamWorks like movie while DreamWorks…. They are still around after the brain drain right?

    • Dusty Ayres

      Yes, otherwise they wouldn’t be making Voltron: Legendary Defender.

  • James

    So Pixar can not find a better director for this film than Dan Scanlon? The guy who made Monsters University? Really? MU was NOT a good movie, had no heart and was full of cheap gags. Why not give it to someone who actually has a vision?

    • Fredster

      I think its a bit unfair to accuse the guy of having no vision when he only got a shot of directing a prequel of someone else’s property. This entire thing was his idea, and based on his unique experience of losing his father, I think its pretty great that he gets to tell his own story

    • Cameron Ward

      i also wouldn’t put the blame on him for Monster’s U. A lot of directors sometimes get a bad movie under their belt. Terry Gilliam took on Brothers Grimm because he needed the work, but he knew the film was terrible.

      I wouldn’t put full blame on him when the writers weren’t smart enough to take advantage of the task of making a prequel/follow up to Monster’s Inc.

  • Andres Molina

    Hey, A full out Pixar Fantasy? Pixar is really going out there with this one. Thats freaking wonderful. The concept of a fantasy world full of magical creatures reforming into a modern society with modern technology sounds both bizarre, yet intriguing, and really does look like Pixar has a wonderful idea for a film. Now who knows if it is for 2020 or 2021, but either way, the premise deserves enough time to flourish into something brilliant and innovative.

    Now as far as The Incredibles 2 as I’m concerned, while I’m honestly rather surprised with the direction he’s going with with Elastigirl as the star and Mr. Incredible being the deuteragonist, I’m still very hopeful and intrigued with what Brad Bird has in store, and considering how long he pushed back against the idea of producing a sequel, so I’m sure Brad truly is putting his all on this film.

    As for Toy Story 4, I’m honestly a bit surprised with the announcements this year. To be honest, I was very shocked to hear that John Lasseter has stepped down and have Josh Cooley direct Toy Story 4. First it’s really surprising when you consider this is a sequel John Lasseter himself wanted to direct since 2014, the same sequel he thought has such good ideas, so to see him step down on a sequel to one of the greatest trilogies ever made and pass the torch to another director was rather shocking to me. Now I’m both hopeful and happy, and disappointed. John stepping down was disappointing because I really was looking forward to seeing him return to director’s chair and make the final Toy Story film, and I really am eager to see him go back to directing films of his own, with his pals back at Pixar. But at the same time, Josh Cooley is just as capable of producing a stellar sequel is Lasseter is, besides, Lee Unkrich directed Toy Story 3 and that film turned out incredible. I mean Lasseter isn’t just simply passing the torch with a sequel, he’s passing the torch with a Toy Story film, their most important and influential franchise, so that must mean Josh Cooley has what it takes.

    So far he has yet to announce why he stepped down, but it really comes down to 2 very different scenarios.

    Scenario 1: His role as Chief Creative Officer of both Disney and Pixar, makes it that much harder to direct his own films, and it takes a lot of his time and resources to oversee the all the works of both companies.

    Scenario 2: Assuming he found a way to preserve his time, maybe John Lasseter stepped down to begin work on a new, original project for Pixar that could see a release date for 2021 or 2022. If that ends up being the case, then who knows what it will be, but only time will tell. Either way, if John really is keeping his word with stepping down, then I fully support his decision, but mostly, Josh Cooley has my blessing.

    For all those who began doubting the studio and their “over-reliance” on sequels. It’s amazing to know that they never really gave up on originality, just simply, stretching their muscles and taking a break before returning into what looks like a new golden age for the studio, with brilliant new films, new worlds, new characters, that not only honors, but continues their legacy in new ways.

    • About John Lasseter and TS4

      Remember that CB post about a famous animation director being removed from a film?
      I didn’t think it was possible at the time, but I’m starting to think it was John Lasseter. Maybe it’s for the best that Cooley is taking over.

      • Andres Molina

        I don’t think it was John. First. John is practically the heart and soul of Pixar. He is Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar and Disney, so yeah, maybe he might be busy, and the film had two delays, which could signal some production problems, but ere are a few things to point out. First, that article points out that a male director has been removed as director/writer, but he’s not writing the screenplay, and considering his role as CCO at Pixar, it would more likely be that he stepped down by choice, not removed by obligation or force. I’m guessing it’s How to Train your Dragon 3, because while Toy Story 4 got delayed twice from 2017 to 2019, HTTYD 3’s also got delayed twice too, and consider Dreamwork’s being purchased by Universal, as they announced massive layoffs, and corporate restructuring.

        • Mesterius

          Remember what that post said at the end, though: “The studio will spin it as he was stretched too thin.” That’s EXACTLY how Lasseter is spinning it in his own, official explanation for why he is no longer directing Toy Story 4:

          • Andres Molina

            Sure, he’s stretching himself too thin, but John in this new article said that he stepped down from Toy Story 4, he wasn’t REMOVED. from the film. But either way, I really hope John’s not the “famous animation director” who got removed, “following a harsh internal review”.

          • Mesterius

            Yes, again; that is the OFFICIAL explanation. But it wouldn’t be the first time an official explanation – even one from the director himself – diverges from the truth.

  • Axolotl

    An animated film about daddy issues! Groundbreaking!

  • Rae

    Oh boy, I can’t wait to see more fetishistic rep of middle-class, “simpler times” America
    But with a magical twist!!

    (Unless this features some very Frank Frazetta heavy art influence, I really don’t think I care)

  • Inkan1969

    “Suburban Fantasy” sounds like a good title.

  • Strong Enough

    once the original brain trust steps down its a wrap for Pixar