Fans of Disney might want to sit down and get comfortable. During a two-hour presentation at Cannes Film Festival, Disney president John Lasseter talked through five of its upcoming feature films. If the presentation and the critics reception is anything to go by, Disney will continue to ride the crest of its Frozen wave of success.
Lasseter acknowledged that prior to Frozen‘s release, morale at the studios was low. However, the success of the film, as well as the wonderful Big Hero 6, has reinstated confidence and belief in their brand, and great things are to come.
The Good Dinosaur (November 2015)Described as a “classic boy and dog story but with the roles reversed,” The Good Dinosaur tells the tale of Arlo, and Apatosaurus, who, after losing his dad, falls into a river and finds himself whisked away to a faraway land. On his trek back home, he meets a human cave boy named Spot.
Arlo is meant to be the ‘boy’ in the story and Spot the ‘dog,’ meaning that Arlo is upright and talks while the primitive Spot walks on all fours and grunts.
There is a large supporting cast of dinosaurs, whose animation apparently makes them look like they are straight out of Jurassic World, only friendlier. Journalists at the presentation have been raving about the exceptionally realistic animation.
Zootopia (March 2016)
Lasseter described this film as “classically Disney” which certainly sounds promising. It aims to present animals that talk and act like humans (think The Wind in the Willows). No humans exist in Zootopia, where the animals live in social classes where they struggle to battle prejudices based on preconceived notions about their species- so really not all that different to humans, then.
The plot focuses on bunny rabbit Judy, pushed into a boring mind numbing job role just because she is the first rabbit in the police force. She teams up with a fox named Nick to solve a missing mammal case.
Finding Dory (June 2016)
The long awaited sequel to Finding Nemo focuses on Dory, and Ellen DeGeneres will once again be providing her voice. Dory embarks on an adventure to find her parents (voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy), and along the way encounters a terrifying giant squid, a kelp forest and a shark that thinks she’s a whale.
This sounds like it’s going to be a must see, especially after DeGeneres’ epic voice performance the first time.
Moana (November 2016)
Following Disney’s first Polynesian Princess, Moana tells the tale of a 16-year-old girl who wants to explore the nearby islands. After the death of her grandmother, she sneaks away, sailing out onto the ocean with the aid of her sidekicks Pua (a pig) and Hei (a rooster). She meets mythical hero Maui who comes to life to share in her adventure.
Maui is voiced by Dwayne Johnson and this film takes the traditional Disney format of an animated film musical.
Toy Story 4 (June 2017)
Lasseter didn’t give too much away here but said it is a joy to be directing again. “We’re in the early stages of the film, but it’s shaping up nicely,” he said. “It’s funny. The story is not as much a continuation of the past films, but a brand new chapter in the Toy Story world.”
So it looks to be a jam-packed few years for Disney/ Pixar. As Lasseter points out, with the release of Inside Out this summer and The Good Dinosaur in November it will be the first time Pixar have released two blockbusters in the same year. Inside Out has also premiered at Cannes, to rave reviews all round. It seems that right now, Disney/ Pixar keep scoring massive hits with their movies. Long may it continue.
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