Disney's D23: Pixar goes joyfully weird with two new animated movies

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Image Credit: Disney-Pixar

Pixar announced two very peculiar animated features, both of them what-if concepts that immediately raised more questions than the studio was ready to answer.

“We’re going to announce two new films no one has ever heard about. Original films,” emphasized Pixar and Disney animation chief John Lasseter, rousing cheers from the auditorium at Disney’s D23 fan convention, where the news was revealed. “You’re the very first group anywhere in the world to hear what these are about. But I’m not going to tell you about it. I’m going to let the filmmakers tell you.”

So are we…

First up was director Bob Peterson (also known as the voice of grouchy secretary Roz in Monsters Inc. and Doug the squirrel-distracted dog in Up) who revealed he is overseeing The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs! (That’s what the jokey title card said on the screen above him.) It’s due in theaters around the holidays in 2013.

It has an unusual twist that sets it apart from other dino-animations like, say, The Land Before Time and Disney’s own prehistoric CG-fest Dinosaur. It’s a contemporary dinosaur tale, but also not similar to Jurassic Park. Peterson explains: “Science tells us that an asteroid put an end to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. In our movie the asteroid missed the Earth and dinosaurs continued to live.”

He then showed a piece of early concept art featuring what looked to be a leaner kind of brontosaurus, backlit at sunset in a golden field with a little, fuzzy-haired, human-looking child riding on the nape of its neck. “The inspiration for this came from when I was a little kid, and my mom and dad took me to the New York World’s Fair and I got to see something amazing — the animatronic dinosaurs created by Walt Disney. It made a big impression on me,” Peterson said.

Next up was a new project from Up and Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter, who had an even higher-concept film to announce, aiming for Summer 2014.

“At Pixar we love to explore new worlds,” Docter said. “We’ve taken you from the depths of the ocean, to the mountains of South America, from Monstropolis to outer space. We’re excited to take you somewhere everyone has been to, but no one has ever seen.”

All right … Docter paused while the audience tried to solve that riddle, then tapped his temple: “The world inside your own mind.”

That brought another (temporary) title: The Untitled Pixar Movie that Takes You Inside the Mind.

“Do you ever wonder how people make decisions? Why we remember, or how we forget? Why we dream? Why do songs get stuck in our heads?” Docter asked. “Most of us have had the experience of being around someone and thinking what is going on in their head!? This film will attempt to answer those questions.”

“We can’t wait to tell you more about it,” said producer Jonas Rivera. “As soon as we’re out of psychotherapy.”

For more movie news, follow Anthony Breznican on Twitter: @Breznican.

Read more:
Pixar’s 25th anniversary: How the studio changed animation


Comments (61 total) Add your comment
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  • Jose

    Awesome

    • richrxzz

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      Sounds awesome. Wondering why Pixar is pushing to have two movies come out in 2013? If only they could have pulled it off this year. Then we would not have been left with just the mediocre Cars 2.

      • Jose

        You are nurses?
        Is this like Legion where you’re many?

      • Chuck

        Tara Gregson?

  • 4k4k

    All right!!!! Both seem to have lots of potential. Still too early to tell. Just glad they are too original ideas. And even though i Love everything about Toy Story, I am glad neither are a fourth film.

    • BG 17

      Hey 4k4k, I know you meant ‘two’ original ideas, but you might have been right by TOO original – time will tell…

    • MarcHon

      I want an Incredibles sequel. Bring on Cliff Clavin’s Mole People!

      • Hope

        Yes! I want more Incredibles! Why more Cars? Why more Toy Story? More Incredibles! Age them about a year or so. Jack Jack would be a toddler, and could get in even more trouble.

  • kyle

    Pixar is back on track

  • k2

    Sounds awesome. Wondering why Pixar is pushing to have two movies come out in 2013? If only they could have pulled it off this year. Then we would not have been left with just the mediocre Cars 2.

    • forrest

      one is holiday 2013, the other is summer 2014…..

      • Andrew M

        I think k2 was talking about how Monsters University and the dinosaur movie are both coming out in 2013.

  • Henri M.

    Cars 2 finally seems like a slight bump in the road for Pixar. With Brave coming up and these two movies on the horizon. I think Pixar is going to reach new and better heights.

    • Ana

      Cars 2 wasn’t a bad movie. It wasn’t one of their best but it hardly deserves the bashing it’s getting. It just irks me that Transformers 3 got better reviews because it didn’t suck and Cars 2 gets bashed because it wasn’t a masterpiece.

      • Laundry

        Hey, that’s a good point. Expectations matter a lot to how someone will interpret a movie.

      • SC

        No, it was a bad movie. Not as bad as “Transformers 3″, by any means, but it was still a mess.

      • Darrin

        I agree with Ana – Cars 2 was a lot of fun, but because people expect absolute perfection from Pixar, the slightest drop in genius-ness (yes, I know it’s not really a word) is considered a dud. Looking at the film on its own, both visually and in terms of storytelling, it’s still better than nearly every other non-Pixar CG-animated movie.

      • co.lor.ful

        I agree completely. Transformers & Cars 2 are on different planes of filmmaking

      • Ryan

        Completely agree. Cars 2 was wonderful, and that’s from someone who find’s Larry the Cable Guy’s voice the most annoying of any pixar character easily. Transformers actually got better reviews? No wonder I only listen to a select few critics. Talk about a group of bitter, failed filmmakers (most critics literally are failed film makers, Netflix ratings are usually more accurate)

    • Tom

      Might I remind everyone Cars 2 beat Green Lantern at the Box Office. And Green Lantern was touted as the action film of the year.

  • RazzleDazzle

    A movie where dinos and kids live together.

    Awesome. The wet dream of every creationist.

    • Peter

      The dinos existed 65M years ago in this, so no.

      • Rob

        It’s a contemporary dinosaur tale

      • Peter

        Yes, but clearly not a creationist one.

    • Tom

      History schmistory as long as I’m rich.

    • Abhijeet

      I hated Toy Story 3 and not for a sngile one of the reasons the writer stated. His assertion that the movie sucked jsut because of its portrayal of gays and latinos is just plain ridiculous. At no point in the movie did the Hispanic Buzz Lightyear do anything even remotely sexual and on top of that, the Ken doll you complain about wasn’t even gay. He lived in his house with a Barbie doll not another Ken doll. Also, the idea that Pixar can not make sequels is untrue as well. Toy Story 2 was a great sequel to the first Toy Story. In Toy Story 2, there was a great deal more comedy than in Toy Story 3. That is really my main objection to Toy Story 3, it starts out mildly depressing with the fact that some of the toys are gone, then just continues on a downward path where the movie gets more and more depressing with little comic relief. Even the so called happy ending was not all that happy. It’s actually pretty funny, this guy talks about how much the movie sucked and then at no point says anything regarding the plot or the animation. Instead he just banters about side notes like the 3D or pixar having other movies that are better. From what this writer has written I am fairly confident that he did not actually watch the movie. The only things from the movie that he mentions are from the previews.

  • Andrew M

    I wonder if the mind movie will be more like Eternal Sunshine, where we go into the persons memories and conscience, or it will be a world inside the mind, a little like Inception.

    • Laundry

      I don’t suppose it’ll be more like Fantastic Voyage, where people travel into someone’s body by spaceship…

      • Tony

        I’m guessing it’s more like the old show “Herman’s Head”.

    • Woot

      As long as it’s not like Osmosis Jones, I think it will be intriguing.

      • m1

        The animation half of Osmosis Jones was ten times better than the awful live action portion.

      • C

        I immediately thought of that movie, Woot. I hope it’s a different concept.

  • Elizabeth

    Incredibles 2 – pleaseandthankyou

    • Laundry

      Ratatouille 2? Rata-two?

      • Ozides

        no, it can’t be that tall. I think the actor’s head is down about where Sulley’s chin is, and it has arm extensions, so the hands can’t move. I just can’t tell how tall the peosrn might be :/VA:F [1.9.11_1134]please wait…VA:F [1.9.11_1134](from 0 votes)

  • al

    I am thinking maybe they are going the route of the old Fox show titled Herman’s Head. I know a lot of people don’t remember it but it wasn’t that bad of a show and the scenes that took place inside of his head were really good.

    • marymary

      That’s what I was thinking, like the world inside the head. Kind of like the underrated Osmosis Jones that took place inside the body. We really enjoyed that movie.

      • Lauren

        Haha I immediately thought of Osmosis Jones! Which I actually really enjoyed.

  • Zeke

    So now, when will The Muppet Show S4 & S5 be coming out on DVD?

    • Mindy

      LOL! Yeah! I want these! Are these ever going to come out?

  • DeeJaye

    The second movie reminds me a lot of the early 90s TV show with William Ragsdale called “Herman’s Head”. Imaginary people inside the head of a regular working stiff pulling him mentally in multiple directions before making a decision. Original is only a state of mind, not a state of fact in TV and movie making (or in books for that matter).

  • co.lor.ful

    WOW they sound like really great concepts – I hope everything goes well in development and none of the ideas get shelved somewhere along the way (I’m still a bit crappy at Disney shelving King of the Elves)

    • Wha’ever

      King of the Elves is currently in development !! They “un-shelved” it.

  • me

    Sweet!

  • redvector

    The dinosaur movie, let me guess the dinos are all inteligent the humans are all stupid and treated like pets. Or the human’s habitat is being destroyed by the excesses of the intelligent dinos. Yatta, yatta, yatta, either way it sound doesn’t very original to me.

    • Woot

      Name one movie that has been released this decade that is completely original in every way.

      • Skip182

        Transformers 3.

      • Levi

        Tree of Life. And Rango was pretty original.

      • m1

        Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Midnight in Paris.

  • Davie

    They should do a movie about the world of boogers.

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