Along with announcements from the creative leaders at Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Animation, Pixar Animation Studios chief creative officer Pete Docter shared news about the new projects fans can look forward to from the studio.
“Pixar started in 1986 with the dream to take the wonderful tradition of animation and transform it using state-of-the-art computer technology,” Docter said. “It’s hard to believe Pixar’s been around 34 years, but the truth is we’re just getting started.”
Among Pixar’s upcoming titles is the studio’s 23rd feature film “Soul,” which will debut on Disney+ on Dec. 25, 2020. Debuting on Christmas Day along with “Soul” is “Burrow,” the newest in the collection of Pixar SparkShorts that follows a young rabbit as she tries to build the home of her dreams.
“‘Soul’ is set in two distinct places: one is familiar, and one you’ve never seen before,” Docter (the film’s director) explains. “The film looks into what makes us who we are and what we do with our limited time here on earth, like appreciating the simple joys of life and finding the spark that makes you ‘you.’ The themes of ‘Soul’ feel so timely to us right now that we’re happy that this movie with be shared this year with audiences around the world.”
Another Pixar original feature film, “Luca” (June 2021), is the first feature from director Enrico Casarosa (“La Luna”) and is set in the Italian Riviera.
“‘Luca” is a love letter to Enrico’s home country of Italy and a celebration of the universal themes of friendship,” Docter says. “This original film is a heartfelt story about a young boy named Luca and his best friend Alberto, who experience an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides.”
Slated for theaters in 2022 are two brand-new feature films. “Turning Red” from Academy Award-winning director Domee Shi (“Bao”) is the story of a 13-year-old girl who occasionally “poofs” into a giant red panda – “kind of like the Incredible Hulk but cuter,” Docter says.
In Summer 2022, “Toy Story” fans will finally get to see the origin story of the hero that inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy: “Lightyear,” starring Chris Evans as the voice of a hero on his journey from young test pilot to the most famous Space Ranger ever.
“Back when we created the very first ‘Toy Story,’ we created Buzz Lightyear with the idea that he was a toy based on some really cool character from an epic blockbuster film [and] all these years later we decided it’s time to make that film,” Docter said. “You don’t get more Pixar traditional than Buzz, and we’re excited to have Chris’ help in bringing a new twist to this iconic character.”
Pixar Original Series for Disney+
Docter also shared details about several new series made exclusively for Disney+, including the documentary series “Inside Pixar,” which offers an up-close look at the storytellers at Pixar. The first five episodes of “Inside Pixar” are already available, with more scheduled in the coming months. January 2021 marks the Disney+ debut of “Pixar Popcorn,” which Docter describes as a collection of mini shorts featuring favorite Pixar characters in all-new “bite-sized” stories.
Also among the all-new series from Pixar is a spin-off from “Up” called “Dug Days” (Fall 2021). Written and directed by Bob Peterson (the voice of Dug), “Dug Days” picks up where “Up” left off with everyone’s favorite talking dog trading the dangers of the South American jungle for life with Carl in suburbia where he faces challenges like fireworks, puppies, and of course, squirrels.
Debuting on Disney+ in Fall 2022, “Cars” is an all-new series that follows Lightning McQueen and Mater as they head on a road trip across the country. Docter promises that each episode will be filled with fun, new characters, imaginative destinations, and even a few old friends.
Last but certainly not least is “Win or Lose,” debuting exclusively on Disney+ in Fall 2023. The first-ever original long-form animated series was written and directed by two Pixar story artists.
“While working together on ‘Toy Story 4,’ these two often noticed that they had very different impressions of the very same meeting – one would think it went great; the other thought it was a disaster,” Docter said. “That developed into an original series […] that follows a co-ed middle school softball team and the week leading up to their championship game. Each 20-minute episode follows the same week, but from the perspective of a different character. It’s not so much about softball as it’s a comedy about love, rivalry, and the challenges we all face at our struggle to win at life.”
After 34 years, 23 feature films (and counting), and many, many shorts, Pixar Animation Studios continues to re-imagine old characters and introduce new ones.
“I think that’s what we do best at Pixar,” Docter notes. “We honor tradition while at the same time, innovating for the future.”