Thursday, November 6, 2014

Okay, 'Toy Story 4,' But What About 'Incredibles 2' and 'Cars 3'?

John Lasseter discusses Toy Story 4 with his story team.
John Lasseter discusses Toy Story 4 with his story team.
Today's announcement that Pixar will release a fourth Toy Story movie directed by John Lasseter in 2017 has raised a lot of questions, the biggest one being "do we really need a fourth Toy Story movie?" I'll give Pixar the benefit of the doubt on this one for the time being because, let's face it, they have a pretty decent track record when it comes to movies. Even their rare disappointment (*cough* *cough* Cars) is still better than most animated films. It is concerning that Pixar wants to go to the well one more time for a franchise that was so beautifully wrapped up in Toy Story 3, but we still have plenty of time to speculate on what possible new story could arise from Woody, Buzz and little Bonnie.

Which brings up another question: What's going to happen with Pixar's other announced sequels, Incredibles 2 and Cars 3?

Here's a theory.

Pixar's release schedule is set for the next two years. Pete Docter's Inside Out comes out on June 19, 2015 and The Good Dinosaur, held back from 2014 because of story development issues, will hit theaters on November 25, 2015. Finding Dory, the follow-up to Finding Nemo is slated for June 17, 2016 with Toy Story 4 coming out almost exactly a year later.

Now it gets tricky.

Walt Disney Animation Studios has no announced films for 2017 making room for the two Pixar releases. Disney's Zootopia and Moana will hit theaters in 2016 with the revisionist Jack and the Beanstalk tale Giants expected to bow in March 2018 (no word yet on the inevitable follow-up to Frozen--Christmas 2018 perhaps?). An untitled Pixar release was previously announced for November 22, 2017 and will probably be Lee Unkrich's long-awaited Dia de los Muertos movie. That leaves one summer 2018 slot open for Pixar, which I hope will be Incredibles 2, a way more anticipated film than Cars 3, which would be bumped to a not-yet-announced 2019 release date. Those dates also fit into the schedules of their expected directors. Brad Bird will be done with Tomorrowland following its summer release next year. Assuming he doesn't take on his often-rumored 1906 project, Incredibles 2 will fit nicely into his schedule. Likewise Lasseter, who directed both of the Cars films and we can only guess will want to direct Cars 3, would be free to do so upon the completion of Toy Story 4.

This is all speculation, of course, subject to change without notice, blah, blah, blah. What are your thoughts?

Walt Disney Animation/Pixar anticipated release dates:

Inside Out (Pixar) - 6/19/15
The Good Dinosaur (Pixar) - 11/25/15
Zootopia (Disney) - 3/4/16
Finding Dory (Pixar) - 6/17/16
Moana (Disney) - 11/23/16
Toy Story 4 (Pixar) - 6/16/17
Dia de los Muertos (Pixar) - 11/22/17
Giants (Disney) - 3/9/18
Incredibles 2 - 6/15/18
Untitled Disney (Frozen 2???) - 11/21/18
Cars 3 - 2019

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