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Cars 2 & A Ton More 'Toons
Updated: Disney's slate through 2012

09 April 2008  |  Written by Olly Richards  

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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 This film was originally being directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo and Stitch), but he's since been replaced by Chris Williams and Byron Howard following creative differences.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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


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Your Comments

Traditional Disney
I can predict there will be a vast number of twenty somethings, all brought up on the glory days of disney films, who will flock to the cinema in anticipation of Repunzel and The King Of The Elves. Beautiful, olden storytelling is their forté. Personally, I give a bold thumbs-up to a sequel to Cars. The original was genuinely funny, quirky, and sweet. And the Incredibles lacked any truly memorable lines or characters. I'm sorry, but Edna Mode just doesn't match up to, say, Dory or Franci More

Posted by Martha K at 21:32 on 12 August 2008 | Report This Post

Incredibles 2
I think you can definately make a sequel to Incredibles and it will stand up on its own! The ending was very open-ended and the storyline of the first doesn't conclude anything. If anything the world of the Incredibles was mostly devoid of superheroes (due to Syndrome) and the need was evident for more. Perhaps Mr. Incredible and family, along with Frozone can train the next generation of superheroes (with comedic effect). I remember thinking "What kind of story can you have about fish" More

Posted by direcrow at 01:19 on 12 April 2008 | Report This Post

Cars was, along with Finding Nemo, one of the worst films Pixar have ever and likely will ever make. Cars 2 is a gigantic money-drive. Having said that, I'm looking forwards to newt and Rapunzel so I'm a bit softy at heart too... More

Posted by Silvertouch at 23:31 on 11 April 2008 | Report This Post

agreed. Ratatouile and Incredibleas are amazing films; really... beautifully told stories and brilliant characters, yada, yada... but... after one or two times... that's it. they don't have the sense of fun that Cars does. or the little touches that you only notice on like... the 9th time you see it. (seriously... that must be one of the most in-joke/reference filled films there is) like the birds on the telegraph wire. or the car-shaped mountains. even down to the number-plates. Works of Brilli More

Posted by Adrian at 09:41 on 11 April 2008 | Report This Post

Always exciting to see what Pixar has to offer. My 2 year old is already in love with Wall.e from just the trailer! I will echo a number of people in defence of 'Cars' too and it seems like we all say the same thing. IT STANDS UP TO REPEATED VIEWING! in fact, my DVD is just about worn out! And lets face it, for 'family' films, this is a key factor. I don't know why it gets slated so much- it is utterly beautiful and the characters are lovely. Personally, I find Ratatouille and The Incredibles ra More

Posted by chargomp at 07:24 on 11 April 2008 | Report This Post

diluted material
dont get me wrong i love animationa dn am an avid fan and collector with (i like to thin) on e pretty extensive and impressive collection, BUT, so many films slated and all running in tandem, are we seeing Disney and pixar repeat the same mistakes of old. the reason disney fucked up last time was they had too many half baked ideas being approved before they were truely tested. i know studios plan years in advance and this is just them opening their doors to what they have in store but it still s More

Posted by miketang99 at 06:22 on 11 April 2008 | Report This Post

Looking GOOD!
I just pray that the Frog and Princess makes the money so more 2D can be made. Rapunzel is the one Im most looking forward to with Glen Keane directing, it will surely have the class that comes with films hes been associated with. All in all WOOOOOO!!!!! More

Posted by Simba at 18:13 on 10 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Cars 2 & A Ton More 'Toons
Having been repeatedly exposed to Cars on DVD courtesy of my son, it's an enjoyable film with some nice touches and great for car fans. I like the thought of Cars 2 going international, there's plenty of scope for ideas on  a global scale as Lightning does Formula One, although I hope the Veyron gets into the film for my lad's sake.   Bolt sounds like the core elements of Buzz's role in Toy Story 1 & 2 as a character who thinks they have powers. I'll leave that one unless More

Posted by piginapoke at 12:58 on 10 April 2008 | Report This Post

In Defense of Cars
I too really like this film and can say it does stand up to repeated viewings - I should know, my son watches it all the time. I even took him to see it on the cinema recently, his first big screen outing, and both he and I still sat through it and still enjoyed it. How anyone can say the hypefest Crapatouille is better than this I do not know, and as much as I liked The Incredibles, I couldn't watch it again. Don't even get me started on A Bugs Life or Monsters Inc. Cars does have engaging char More

Posted by Karl Crutchley at 12:41 on 10 April 2008 | Report This Post

I am in no way disappointed with any of these titles. I think they all look incredibly exciting. As ever I get bed-wettingly excited about any Pixar movie and I have a hell of a lot of faith that they will deliver, the summary of 'Newt' does sound limited but then again so does the concept of toys in a bedroom and look what they did there! As for the other Disney films it does genuinely sound to me like they are really turning around and making a conscious effort to improve the quality of their More

Posted by Angusto at 10:07 on 10 April 2008 | Report This Post

Incredibles 2
an incredibles sequel would ruin the first, the very nature of the film is built on its stand alone story. a 2nd would only surve to draw out the conclusion of the first movie in to 90mins and personal i dont see anythign really creative happening in that. More

Posted by BlueDragon21120 at 02:42 on 10 April 2008 | Report This Post

Re: Toy story 3
Jesus Christ, I can't believe I'm looking forward to watching a cartoon. I'm 38, for fuck's sake! More

Posted by xtro at 21:22 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Cars 2 - Yay??
I didn't think cars was as good as the other Pixar offerings and it is because of this that i personally think it is the best choice for a sequel. Here Pixar havce a chance to atone for any wrong doing from the first - while others won't enjoy the idea - i do!!!! More

Posted by plum bob at 21:00 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

i think a lot here are being... shall we say... somewhat sheeplike? in their judgement of certin titles. and incorrectly so even. i refer to those who condemn Cars. unless I'm muchly mistaken, Empire - and most other publications never said Cars is absolute dire crap. just that compared to the other works, it's not /quite/ up to the usual seemless blend of appeal for all-comers. it has 2 major fan groups. kids, and car lovers. only know what? it has many fans beyond these. so if you lot /must/ t More

Posted by Adrian at 20:24 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Some good, some not.
L: Acho L: theunwashedmass I thought Lasseter was gonna kill the straight to dvd shit? 's what I was thinking as I read the article. There was definitely some announcement recently, or it was said as part of a bigger interview/statement, that Disney would no longer be diluting their stuff by doing straight-to-dvd sequels. Someone like Steve Jobs said it I think. Although I'm probably horribly mis-remembering at this point.... Unless that promise excluded straight-to-dvd originals More

Posted by britesparc at 16:36 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

WALL•E UP THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG TOY STORY 3 RAPUNZEL CARS 2 The above all sound fantastic. The others, well, not so much. Some are good ideas, but not really feature length Disney. But i'll keep an open mind for these. The Bear and the Bow sounds absolutely terrible, and i'm Scottish. And as for BOLT, JT Miley Cyrus and a talking dog? Need I say more? More

Posted by Roll at 16:14 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

i think king of the elves will be the most fun, mainly cause it's Phillip freakin k. dick. all the others (part from tinker bell) look very promising More

Posted by maxthom at 15:45 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

where is ...
.... a sequel to The Incredibles??!! that was superb - better than Crap (i mean Cars) !! More

Posted by waltham1979 at 15:32 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

where is ...
.... a sequel to The Incredibles??!! that was superb - better than Crap (i mean Cars) !! More

Posted by waltham1979 at 15:32 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Cars is the best Pixar of the lot!
To feel you need to defend a film by bringing the merchandising into it kind of makes the point. Visually it is wonderful - story was awful and most voices kinda boring. I rejoice in my 5yos nephews dislike of it - gives me hope for his taste.   The intriguing one, for me, is the one we won't see till 2012 - Disney doing Philip K Dick isn't the most natural of combinations, I think. SOmeone over at AICN said there were initial drawings of them as well and it didn't look too bad. &n More

Posted by elab49 at 15:30 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Cars is the best Pixar of the lot!
The reason there's no sequel to rediblest Brad Bird doesn't have a story for one - it's as simple as that. More

Posted by Dirty Hartigan at 15:22 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

All sounds good.
Wall-E will be a classic; it has all the looks of one and the trailer is brilliant and hilarious (ah Wall really has human characteristics if he repeated hitsting the button a hundred times even though it doesn't work) Cars wasn't great but it had it's moments and Cars 2 should exist only for more of Jeremy Clarkson doing a jewish accent as Lightning McQueen's agent. More

Posted by Taz69 at 15:20 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Cars is the best Pixar of the lot!
Having watched Cars many many times with my kids, I feel compelled to defend Cars. From a kids point of view it is tremendously entertaining especially when you bring the toys / merchandising into it. But I also think the story and the characters really hold up well. It is also by far the most beautiful and detailed visually. More

Posted by MyPOV at 14:57 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Tell Uwe Boll to stop making things.
I don't understand why this hasn't made Empire's news, but it'd be brilliant if it happened; Uwe Boll stupidly said that if one million people sign a petition that he stop making films, he will comply. It's been up since about Friday and there's already over 130,000 signatures, sign it if you hate Uwe Boll and/or are concerned for the welfare of cinema in general! 888 More

Posted by sowasred2012 at 14:10 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

all look great and typically original/ambitious (apart from tinkerbell and cars 2) - cars was easily their worst film. Up in particular looks great. More

Posted by spikespiegel at 13:48 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Some good, some not.
L: theunwashedmass I thought Lasseter was gonna kill the straight to dvd shit? 's what I was thinking as I read the article. There was definitely some announcement recently, or it was said as part of a bigger interview/statement, that Disney would no longer be diluting their stuff by doing straight-to-dvd sequels. Someone like Steve Jobs said it I think. Although I'm probably horribly mis-remembering at this point.... Unless that promise excluded straight-to-dvd originals. Which I gu More

Posted by Acho at 12:36 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: I'm the awkward bastard that LOVED Cars...
They all sound fantastic, PIXAR are nothing but genius. But, if any of the films deserved a sequel, its the Incredibles. I cant wait for any of these films! i dont know what it is abuot pixar, how do they do it?! More

Posted by kumar at 11:51 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

I'm the awkward bastard that LOVED Cars... I'm pleasantly surprised by the sequel announcement, though I can't lie; it IS a strange choice of project, and I can't immediately see a logical place for that story and those characters to go. I have faith in Pixar, so I'll see how it turns out. Their other stuff all sounds very promising, and I'm impressed by its diversity and eclecticism; Toy Story 3 is a given, Up sounds very nice, and The Bear and the Bow really sounds like something new for Pixar. I'm most excited about Newt, tho More

Posted by LeChuck at 11:45 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Wow go Disney! I'm really looking forward to "Up" (bizarre titile though). The storyline caught my eyes and it looks a bit like a tear-jerker but definitley sounds good! Not to sure about the Tink films...looks like a wste of time and money but lets wait and see. More

Posted by mozzy_gal at 11:40 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Cars 2?!
Noooooooo!!!! Rapunzel looks amazing though, if you google it you should come across some lovely work from them. Can't wait to see it. More

Posted by Seamie at 11:26 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

That sounds rubbish, tbh. The other pixar stuff looks ok though, I reckon they picked cars because it is quite similar to toy story, and the incredibles was a one off, because otherwise it might become just another team of superheros movie. I think they should stick to doing one-offs, with occasional shorts in that world, eg, a second ratatouille would be rubbish, thoughthe first was great, and an occasional 5 minute reminder that this is why that film was good could also be good. More

Posted by chrysalisloall at 11:25 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Cars was okay....
.....but not great. Pixar's most mediocre film, I'd say, and much more kiddy-oriented then Pixar's usual balance of child and adult pleasing.  If they were going to do a sequel to anything, I'd agree with others here and say why the hell aren't they going for The Incredibles? That's just begging for one. As for the other films, some of them sound pretty interesting. Wall-E's a given, but Up sounds like it could be classic Pixar. More

Posted by the ageless stranger at 11:00 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

All sound good
Apart from tinkerbell and Bear and Bow. Love the more comedic ones but really didn't like Beauty and beast or Mulan. More

Posted by bigmurds1 at 10:18 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Some good, some not.
I thought Lasseter was gonna kill the straight to dvd shit? Does the world really need ONE Tinkerbell film, let alone 3? Why a cars sequel? It was the weakest pixar film; not funny, preachy, syrupy sentimental shite that stretched the pixar formula to a gratingly illogical bursting point ("What if CARS were like PEOPLE!?!?"). Glad to see that some of the upcoming Pixar films break from the formula, except for that Newt thing: "What if NEWTS were like PEOPLE!??!". Also we More

Posted by theunwashedmass at 10:11 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Actually, I'm amazed Cars didn't get a sequel sooner. I mean, sure not Pixar's biggest success, but first, as you say.. the merchandising = $$$$$, but also is that.. well... the story possibilities for the world they created there is almost endless. I mean... pick a form of motorsport, and there's a new story. More

Posted by Adrian at 10:07 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Wow, that's a terrific line up! REALLY looking forawrd to Newt now, and The Bear & the Bow sounds really interesting too. Like others, I'm amazed the merely-above-average Cars is getting a sequel; I wonder if it's coz it's a Lasseter dream project? He runs the studio, he calls the shots I guess! I'd much rather see Incredibles 2 because there's more they can do with that world, but as is often the case with Pixar, it's the original films that look the strongest. More

Posted by britesparc at 09:53 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Would have preferred an Incredibles 2. There was obvious potential for sequels there. More

Posted by steveg66 at 09:51 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

I'm hoping that the reason for Cars 2 is not just a quick buck money maker (because I too would like to believe that Pixar is better than that) but instead is Pixar trying to make up for their misfire by proving there is a story worth telling with these characters and that they can make up for past mistakes. More

Posted by Roland Deschain at 09:41 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

No Incredibles 2?
Don't get me wrong,these all sound fine(well,with the exception of Tinkerbell)but if you're really going to do a sequel from Pixar,then It's got to be The Incredibles(but only of directed by Bird),Cars is a good movie but not as deserving of a sequel as other Pixar titles. Still,Toy Story 3 is good news and UP seems great. More

Posted by rams at 09:35 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Wow, That's So Cool!
Well, Disney is going to be a busy company in the next few years. Looking forward for the Princess and The Frog as it's going back to the cartoon which I love more than Pixar. Some of them sound really good, very funny about the Tinkerbell movies (why the hell is there three or four of them?!) but in all, very cool. Thanks Empire for the news! More

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:30 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Cars 2 & A Ton More 'Toons
I'm looking forward to Bolt. More

Posted by Timmy_Brisby_05 at 09:21 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

Yeah Baby!!!
Bring 'em on!! More

Posted by gambit01 at 08:44 on 09 April 2008 | Report This Post

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