Last year, we didn’t get a Pixar film. Instead we enjoyed Warner Brothers’ The LEGO Movie, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Disney Animation’s Big Hero 6. There were a bunch of other animated films released last year, but those were my most memorable, and all three of them were great fun with emotional moments. I credit Pixar with inspiring everyone to make animated movies that are so accessible to adults and children alike. Movies that do the essential things that movies should do, make you laugh and make you cry.
This year will be the first time we get two Pixar movies within the same calendar year. Both of these movies have the potential to move us, for different reasons.
This is a movie the deals with human emotion. And it has characters that represent each of the basic human emotions. Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Sadness. (The only one missing is surprise. Hmmm, could there be a character called “Surprise” that we have yet to meet?)
What’s it about? A girl named Riley moves to a new city with her mom and dad. Riley is trying to adjust to her new surroundings, new school and new people. Meanwhile, inside her head is the “Headquarters” where the five emotions reside. They don’t control her thoughts, but rather how she responds to things, based on how she feels.
It’s a movie that I’ve been looking forward to for many years now, and seeing as Pete Doctor (Up) is the director, I think we’re in for a special movie experience.
Originally scheduled for May 30, 2014, it was pushed back a year and a half due to production problems. The director was moved off of the project, though he still works at Pixar. It just wasn’t a good fit for him. This isn’t the first time Pixar has made shifts like this, and it’s always resulted in fantastic movies, which is their goal.
The premise of the film is this: imagine that a huge asteroid is what killed the dinosaurs. Now imagine that asteroid missed the earth and the dinosaurs lived on. That’s where the story begins. When I heard about this at the D23 Expo, it had a buddy adventure with a huge dinosaur and a human friend that he found. Dinosaurs were also doing jobs like farming. The question is, how much of what I saw at the expo is still in the movie? I’ve read that the farmer aspect was removed, which is kind of sad. The art looked stunning.
What’s it about? An Apatosaurus named Arlo, a teenaged dinosaur with a big heart, sets out to restore peace and tranquility to his community after it is rocked by a traumatic event. Along the way, he meets a human child called Spot.
I’m expecting great things from Pixar on both of these. With the many sequels released every year, it’s always good to know that Pixar is willing to regularly take some chances on original stories, and we’re getting two this year.
What’s next for Pixar? Finding Dory, the long awaited sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo. It will release on June 17, 2016 (meaning that within one year’s time, we’ll have three Pixar movies). The inspiration for the story came from one part of the first movie, when Dory says “I suffer from short-term memory loss. It runs in my family… At least I think it does… hm. Where are they?”
Until I heard what inspired the story, I was quite certain that I didn’t want to see a sequel. With that emotional kick-start to the story, I was immediately invested, and I want to see what the answer to that question is.
A year after that, on June 16, 2017 we’ll return to Bonnie’s room in Toy Story 4. Of the first three, Toy Story 3 is my favorite. John Lasseter will be returning to the director’s chair for this one. If you’re wondering if this is a good idea, check out both Toy Story of Terror! and Toy Story That Time Forgot, and enjoy. Of the film, John Lasseter said, “Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew [Stanton], Pete [Doctor], Lee [Unkrich] and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.”
And unscheduled sequels to other Pixar films include Cars 3 and The Incredibles 2.