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Pixar's seventeenth movie, Finding Dory, continued a trend that looks to power Pixar for the next few years (at least). How so? Well, Dory is a sequel to an existing Pixar property (Finding Nemo, in this instance), so it delivered familiarity to a fan base that has come to expect an animation studio that pushes the envelope. There's something to be said about revisiting popular Pixar worlds. We wouldn't have Toy Story 2 and 3 if Pixar avoided sequels altogether. But the dangers of Cars 2 are a reality, and should not be ignored.
With all of this in mind, Pixar has three sequels on the horizon and one original film in the pipeline. Not the best ratio of comfortable to edgy, but animated movies take a very long time to produce, and can be a risk. Expect Pixar's slate to stay set in stone, and we'll continue to add features as the animation giant looks beyond 2019 and greenlights -- hopefully original -- new ideas.
Ka-chow! Lightning McQueen and the Radiator Springs gang get a second chance at success after the unfocused Cars 2 limply spoofed the spy genre and put too much focus on goofy side character Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). Cars is a merchandising machine for Pixar, so you knew the studio wouldn't leave these characters on the shelf for too long. Not when they belong on the toy store shelf, where kids can grab new versions of classic characters. From what we can tell, the new story will center back on Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), who's now a veteran race care driver -- and not the rookie he was in the first film -- taking place in a race around America with a new protégé named Cruz Ramirez and a new antagonist named Jackson Storm.
Release Date: June 16, 2017
Hungry for something original from Pixar Animation Studios? Then feast your eyes on Coco, because it's going to be the last original story we see from the creators for a little while. To be fair, Pixar did recently deliver both Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, though only one of those likely will stand the test of time. As for Coco, it comes to us from Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, and it will follow a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who triggers a centuries-old mystery that may reunite him with lost family members. This is the project inspired by Mexico's Day of the Dead that Pixar has been working on for years.
Release Date:__November 22, 2017
The Incredibles 2
While Pixar is sequel happy, the one sequel fans have been clamoring for has eluded them... until now. Brad Bird's The Incredibles didn't really re-invent the superhero genre, but it took everything that we tend to love about it and practically perfected it. We were introduced to a family of super-powered beings, who had to fight to prove to the world why they are still relevant, then band together to stop an evil villain who was born of his own superhero infatuation. The themes of The Incredibles resonate, even today. Bird didn't rush into a sequel, even though the final scene in his first movie set up the next natural story. Instead, we're getting The Incredibles 2 in 2018, with (we assume) most of the original cast back. Bird has been mum on the details up to this point, so stay tuned. But we know that it's coming... and earlier than expected!
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Toy Story 4
You've got a friend in the Toy Story gang... but after the spectacular emotional finale that came with Toy Story 3, is it wise to re-open the toy box for a fourth Toy Story? At this point, it's safe to assume that creator John Lasseter wouldn't risk the reputation of the Gold Standard Pixar series just to grab more cash from fans of Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen). Right? We have heard that Toy Story 4 will be a romance, but we don't necessarily know between who. The Toy Story franchise has remained relevant in the years following Toy Story 3 as Disney and Pixar put the famous characters in short stories and prime-time television programs. We expect fans to flock back to theaters for Toy Story 4, but we're really anxious to find out what the story in this latest Toy Story will be about.
Release Date: June 21, 2019
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