Contrary to what many thought, Disneytoon Studios isn’t throwing in the towel. In fact, it’s doing the opposite. Buried in Deadline‘s huge Disney announcement earlier this week (which included news for The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4) is word that Disneytoon will release a new film theatrically on April 12, 2019.
The Glendale-based extension of Walt Disney Animation Studios specializes in spinoffs and re-imaginings of classic Disney and Pixar franchises and has cranked out sequels to the majority of the Disney animated library since 1990. Following a disappointing box office for 2014’s Planes: Fire & Rescue and the conclusion of the straight-to-Blu-ray Tinker Bell series earlier this year, Disneytoon’s future didn’t look bright. With Disney closing Pixar Canada (essentially Pixar’s equivalent of Disneytoon) in 2013, it wasn’t out of the question to think they might do the same with Disneytoon. And with next to nothing in terms of Disneytoon’s future plans, it seemed they might had already quietly done so. This announcement discards that rumor.
However, it’s a huge gap in the studio’s usual feature film turn-around. The project (whose title, story, and even franchise origin is still under wraps) will be released four years after the most recent Disneytoon production. In the previous four years before that, Disneytoon produced five films. Giving time for the project to percolate could indicate a major change of leadership of direction that we don’t know about yet, though that is purely speculation.
Before jumping to conclusions, though, it is important to point out that Deadline‘s schedule only lists Disney’s theatrical releases. For all we know, Disneytoon could have an unannounced project in the works that is slated to premiere on Blu-ray.
What’s your reaction to this news? What franchise do you hope Disneytoon will tap into next?
Edited by: Kelly Conley