With that, the D23 Expo is underway and John Lasseter, CFO of Pixar and Disney, released some new stuff for their feature films.
First up is The Good Dinosaur. A film about what happened if the meteorite that hit earth 65 million years ago missed the earth, and dinosaurs and humans had to co-exist. Director Bob Peterson who is the co-director on Up and voice of Roz in Monsters, Inc. and Dug in Up, and Co-Director Peter Sohn have said that the dinosaurs are living farming vehicles, with they themselves being farmers. The main dinosaur protagonist will mean a young, fearless toddler for the first time, and their adventure starts. The voice talent will include John Lithgow, Neil Patrick Harris, Frances McDormand, Bill Hader and Raising Hope's Lucas Neff.
When I first heard this, I wasn't overly excited about the film, but as I started to acquire more info, I started to get more excited about it. I admit that WALL-E or Up didn't really grab my attention when they were first announced, but now they are both in my Top 5 favourite Pixar films. I firmly believe that The Good Dinosaur will bring Pixar back.
The next film they will be making is called Inside Out. This one is about the inner workings and different emotions going on in the brain of an 11-year-old preteen. She will be making a big change in her life, as she is going to be moving from her humble origins of Minnesota to the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. We follow her feelings, all individual characters, and follow their struggle to keep her functioning. Pete Docter, who directed Monsters, Inc. and won the Oscar for directing Up is taking the helm for this film. It will have the voices of Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith and Bill Hader (again).
This one I am actually the most excited about of all the forthcoming Pixar films. It is original, daring and just what one expects from a Pixar film. Even if The Good Dinosaur doesn't turn out to be a welcome return to form for Pixar, I will bet actual money (hypothetically, of course) that Inside Out will be a huge hit, for audiences and critics.
The final feature that they will announce (not Final as in LAST EVER, but last one they announced at the expo thus far) is Finding Dory, the sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo. It will involve Dory, where we find out about her origins, her roots and see her wacky family. Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks both return as Dory and Marlin respectively, and new cast members include Diane Keaton as Dory's mother, Eugene Levy as Dory's father and Ty Burrell as Bailey, a beluga whale. Andrew Stanton, who directed both WALL-E and the original Finding Nemo is back in the director's chair, directing off of unknown Victoria Strouse's script.
Let me be perfectly frank. This is a step in the wrong direction for Pixar. And you guys are probably going to hate me for this, but I think that Finding Nemo is a little overrated. I do really like the film and enjoy it's script and it's fun and it's beauty, but I still feel that it is not as brilliant as everyone thinks it is, one reason being that the Dory character is just okay, but as hilarious or memorable as some people say. It's actually somewhere in the middle for me in terms of Pixar efforts. And the same feelings that I experienced when they announced Cars 2 have resurfaced here. I feel like this is not a really "original" film. Frankly, I didn't wonder or even care why Dory was swimming out in the open when she found Marlin, or where her family was. So, why bother? To make lots of money. Until Toy Story 3, Nemo was Pixar's highest grossing film. And I am not going to assume anything, Dory will make a whole heap of movie on it's opening weekend, maybe even a possible record for an animated movie (I would also say it may break The Avengers' $200 million record, but I think that even that's a bit of a stretch). That being said, I also felt a little weird about Monsters University, but I really liked that movie, so who knows. Release a trailer first, then I can really give my opinions.
Other than that, that's pretty much it. They have other things, but it is not really far enough into development to garner a lot of attention. Like Lee Unkrich's Dia de los Muertos film. Teddy Newton's unnamed film, and Mark Andrews' unnamed film. But they also had some stuff on Toy Story of Terror, the 30 minute Halloween special coming to ABC in October. That might be fun.
All and all, Pixar has a good slate of stuff coming up later. I will most likely see all three of those movies in the theatres as I've seen every Pixar film from Ratatouille on in the theatres (except for Cars 2), usually on opening day.
What will the future hold in store for Pixar? Will more fans turn on it? Well, they finally lose that coveted spot on top of the animation tower? I doubt it, I still believe that they will never lose it fully and will still be high on the totem pole for many years to come. But I feel that more fans will jump back onto the bandwagon now more than ever after three "meh" films in a row Pixar released.