D23 – Pixar’s plans revealed

Pixar has made some of the greatest animated genre films ever, and this weekend the famous studio offered a glimpse into the future at D23. 

Pixar’s track record is marred only by a few titles dropping their audience age-level a bit too far for a universal demographic (I’m looking at you, Cars 2), so it’s always exciting to see what they are looking towards in what must be a long list of possibilities.

Lately, some loud complaints have been heard about Pixar being mired in its own sequels, but with this weekend’s announcements, it’s clear the studio plans to change this.

The D23 panel centered around the showcasing of teaser trailers for two upcoming releases, Brave and Monsters University.

Brave is a Celtic-themed fantasy tale about the consequences of impetuous actions. A flame-haired Scottish princess endangers her entire kingdom when she puts an arrow through some kind of ancient bear spirit (or something like that).

Monster University is the only announced film which falls within an existing Pixar franchise. This is a prequel to Monsters, Inc. which depicts the origin of the relationship between Mike and Sully when they were still learning to be scary monsters at Fear University.

The Pixar team also discussed films which are not yet far enough along to have footage.

First, as an image appeared on scene showing a child riding a dinosaur, Bob Peterson (screenwriter for Finding Nemo) announced that he is directing a film about an alternate world where the mass extinction event of 65 million years ago never occurred, but where the evolution of man still did (an unlikely pair of events to be sure). 

Afterward, Pete Docter (co-writer for Up) confirmed he is writing an engimatic film which takes place inside of the human brain. “We can’t wait to come back and tell you more as soon as we get out of psychotherapy,” quipped the film’s producer Jonas Rivera to a laughing crowd.

Planes is a spin off of the Cars franchise staring a crop duster voiced by Jon Cryer, but not much else is known. Likely it will suffer from some of the same ills as Cars 2.

Similarly Wreck-it Ralph is still a bit under wraps. It’s about a video game villain who feels that fate has dealt him the wrong hand, and so sets out to prove to the arcade (his world) that he’s not such a bad guy.

I’m particularly curious to see what the animation is going to look like for this film, but so far all we have is a title poster. 

Wreck-It Ralph and Brave are all due out in 2012, Monster University and Planes are coming in 2013, and the unnamed films about dinosaurs and brains are set for 2014.