Cars 2 & A Ton More 'Toons

Updated: Disney's slate through 2012

Now updated with filmmaker quotes and frontline details from our editor Mark Dinning who is on a bit of a jolly fact finding mission at the Disney presentation in the Big Apple.

At a New York press conference yesterday, Walt Disney announced a pretty packed slate of animations that it plans to release by the end of 2012. Some of these we already knew about and some are straight to DVD, but there are some interesting surprises in there too. Also, all Disney animated theatrical releases after Wall-E, aside from The Princess and the Frog, will be released in 3D. The full list is as follows (all release dates are US, unless otherwise stated):

WALL•E (June 27, 2008 in US; July 18 in UK)
The story of a very cute robot left to clean up Earth on his lonesome. Sigourney Weaver was announced as the voice of the computer on the ship that Wall-E eventually heads to. You can read more on that here.

BOLT (November 26th, 2008)
Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is the canine star of a TV show in which he plays a pooch with super powers. When he's accidentally shipped to New York, he has to make his way back home to Hollywood. Problem is he thinks his TV powers are real and his only aids in his journey are unwanted housecat Mittens and TV-obsessed hamster Rhino. Miley Cyrus also lends her voice. This film was originally being directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo and Stitch), but he's since been replaced by Chris Williams and Byron Howard following creative differences.
{Disney Slate - Bolt}

TINKER BELL (October 28th, 2008)
Disney's favourite fairy gets four straight-to-DVD, and Blu-ray, movies. Brittany Murphy has previously been announced as providing her voice (Yes, Tink now speaks), but her name was not mentioned in the announcement and their are stories that her voice may not be used. The second, Tinker Bell North of Never Land, is out in 2009; Tinker Bell A Midsummer Storm in 2010; and Tinker Bell A Winter Story in 2011. All titles are subject to change.
{Disney Slate - Tinkerbell}

UP (May 29, 2009 in US; July 17, 2009 in UK)
Pixar's big film for 2009, directed by Pete Docter (Monsters Inc) and Bob Peterson, concerns a 78-year-old man who abandons his quiet life and embarks on a series of adventures with an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer that take them to exotic and bizarre locales. The footage shown on this one made the collective hard-hearted journalists at the press conference go a bit misty-eyed.
{Disney Slate - Up}

Walt Disney returns to traditional animation (yay!) for the first time since Home on the Range. Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) seem the perfect pair to bring about its new life, with this twist on The Frog Prince that takes place in New Orleans. Anika Noni Rose, the first African American Disney princess, provides the lead voice.
{Disney Slate - The Princess And The Frog}

TOY STORY 3 (June 18, 2010)
“At the end of Toy Story 2, Woody and Buzz had accepted the concept that they were toys, things that would some day become expendable to their owner,” director Lee Unkrich told us at the presentation. “And that’s all well and good. Until that some day becomes that day – when Andy finally goes to college. That’s what we’re exploring here.” Little Miss Sunshine's Michael Arndt scripts and we're told that Barbie's long-term beau Ken will be a new character. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 will also get 3-D cinema releases in October 2009 and February 2010.
{Disney Slate - Toy Story 3D}

RAPUNZEL (Christmas 2010)
The directing debut of master animator Glen Keane (responsible for brilliant work on Tarzan and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, among others). This is a take on the story of the girl with the very long hair and employs a CG look that has the appearance of being an old master painting. Co-directed by Dean Wellins.
{Disney Slate - Rapunzel}

NEWT (Summer 2011)
The seven-time Academy Award winner sound designer Gary Rydstrom – “in fact he’s been nominated for 14 Academy Awards,” says John Lasseter, “so we prefer to call him the seven-time Academy Award loser” – will make his feature directing debut (he directed Pixar short Lifted) with this tale of the last two remaining, male and female blue-footed newts, put together in a science lab to mate. The problem? They can’t stand each other. “Newt is smart but he’s never had to think for himself and is pampered,” says Rydstrom. “Brooke [his proposed partner] on the other hand is streetwise and not to be messed with. It’s fair to say it’s about as bad as first dates can get.”

THE BEAR AND THE BOW (Christmas 2011)
A second Pixar film for 2011? We are truly spoiled. This one takes place in a "mythic Scotland" where a young royal (Reese Witherspoon) decides that she'd rather be an archer than sit around a castle. She makes a choice that unintentionally unleashes peril on her father's (Billy Connolly) kingdom and her mother's (Emma Thompson) life, and puts her up against the forces of nature, magic and an ancient curse. Brenda Chapman, a writer on Cars and Beauty and the Beast, makes her directing debut and becomes Pixar's first female director.
{Disney Slate - The Bear And The Bow} - - - - - -

CARS 2 (Summer 2012)
Lightning McQueen and Mater return in a sequel to the hit movie, to be directed by Ratatouille producer Brad Lewis. No details on plot, but John Lasseter says "I asked the cast this time to make sure all their passports were up to date. because this time we’re going international.” No word either on which other characters might return. Cars wouldn't have been the Pixar project most people would expect to get a sequel, since it was the least well reviewed of the studio's work. We'd never suggest that Pixar would be driven by profits over good story, because we genuinely consider them much better than that, but Cars was one of the studio's most profitable movies based on the enormous merchandise sales, so we can imagine Disney was keen for a sequel.

KING OF THE ELVES (Christmas 2012)
Philip K. Dick's only fantasy story is the basis of this tale of a man in the Mississippi Delta who tries to help a group of elves – whom production art showed as covered in leaves that help them hide from humanity – and winds up being named their king. He becomes embroiled in an attempt to escape a fearsome troll and finds big meaning for his life through the lives of these little people. Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker direct. No word on whether this is traditional animation or CG, but it's not a Pixar project. Crypticly, Lasseter said "I’m really excited because I think this movie could change everything.”
{Disney Slate - King Of The Elves}

And that's, as another animation studio says, all, folks.