Animation fans rejoice at the exciting news we received at the D23 Expo Animation Panel! In this post we are going to focus on the news out of Pixar and DisneyToon Studios. In another post we will cover Walt Disney Animation Studios.
We had one update out of DisneyToon Studios. Host John Lasseter said they are working hard “reimagining and reinventing the studio”. Then he introduced a “new film to celebrate new heights of aviation” with a clip called “Speed Test”. This appears to be a new entry in the Planes franchise as the speed planes had eyes and appear to be the characters of the film as opposed to being flown by the characters. I do not know if Dusty or any of the previous Planes characters will appear. It will be released April 12, 2019.
The first film for Pixar was The Incredibles 2. Many are eagerly anticipating this sequel and director Brad Bird gave us our first taste. First, we got a clip of Edna Mode’s influence on high fashion and then they got into the story.
As previously announced, we learned the sequel will start right where the original film left off.Where the original focused on Bob’s journey, this is going to be about the entire family including Jack Jack. However, the family doesn’t know Jack Jack has powers yet.
New technology will allow the characters to be more expressive. They also get a new high tech house full of sharp corners for Jack Jack. There are going to be new heroes with a variety of powers and Elastigirl is going to be at the forefront while Bob stays at home with the kids. We saw a clip of Jack Jack fighting with a raccoon he thinks is a thief, which was pretty funny.
Toy Story 4
We got a little bit of information about Toy Story 4. It was announced John Lasseter will no longer be co-directing the film but Josh Cooley will be the lone director. Next, they presented a behind the scenes look at Pixar Studios and got a few peaks at some new characters like a bunny and a girl doll named Lulu. They also mentioned something about them doing research on an RV trip so that could be hint!
Original Suburban Fantasy Film
The most exciting announcement of the panel was a new film in the works with director Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) at the helm. It is a world with no humans- only elves, trolls and sprites- but still like our own in many ways. 2 elf brothers whose father died when they were toddlers go on a journey to try and reconnect with him somehow. This mimics Scanlon’s own experience losing his father at a very young age and will probably be very heartfelt.
He said the society is similar to ours because they created machines to do magic because it is easier. That is a fascinating idea- that even magic can’t keep up with technology.
The final Pixar film discussed is their upcoming film Coco. We didn’t get a whole lot new on it but the themes of honoring our ancestors and the bonds of family were emphasized. We saw some images of the plot and met the cast. However, the highlight was a performance by Benjamin Bratt of a song called “Remember Me” written by Frozen‘s Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.