It figures the moment I post an article about how Walt Disney Animation Studios is becoming more secretive about their upcoming slate, Disney announced that there's four untitled productions of theirs coming and the release dates have been secured! Their Emeryville comrades, Pixar, have locked dates for four films of their own.
The news broke this morning thanks to /Film, who got the confirmation from tweets by Exhibitor Relations' Twitter...
The Mouse House dropped some big cheese--UNTITLED DISNEY ANIMATION films are set for 3/4/16, 11/23/16, 3/9/18, 11/21/18.
— Exhibitor Relations (@ERCboxoffice) May 29, 2013
Animation domination! UNTITLED PIXAR FILMS are now set for 6/17/16, 6/16/17, 11/22/17, 6/15/18.
— Exhibitor Relations (@ERCboxoffice) May 29, 2013
Will you look at that... This slate goes up to 2018!
Okay, first off... Walt Disney Animation Studios...
Notice how 2015 and 2017 are out of the question? Notice how Pixar has two films coming out those years? I guess Disney Animation might end up sitting it out during those two years, making up for it with two films in another year. How unexpected!
March 2016's film could very well be Byron Howard's film or the Ron Clements/John Musker film. There is one little dilemma, DreamWorks' Mumbai Musical is currently on track for a March 18th release that year... I think DreamWorks may end up moving their film back a few weeks... For November 2016, March 2018 and November 2018... Who knows? It could be projects that have never been attempted at Disney before, or they can be ones that were announced a while back but ended up not working out (King of the Elves comes to mind). The feature-length Mickey Mouse film could be one of them as well...
I guess the plan is this: Whenever Pixar has two films ready for a certain year (both summer and autumn), Disney Animation will not have something out that year (which is kind of disappointing because a Disney Animation film every year is something worth looking forward to...) instead putting out two of their own in another year... Seems fair enough.
Disney made sure to get the pre-Thanksgiving spots and the early weeks of March, maybe to warn competition like Illumination or Blue Sky to back away. This is a smart strategy that could work for them, because March is a good time to release animated family films despite the fact that kids will be in school, but hey... The Lorax was able to make $200 million. (Well that was mostly due to a big opening...)
Anyways... This is nonetheless exciting. Walt Disney Animation Studios will still probably be very secretive on what's coming, but we know that Byron Howard's film and Ron & John's project are next in line...
Now, moving on to Pixar...
It seems like Pixar won't gravitate away from the mid-June spot these days, one that's worked in their favor. But like their plans for Finding Dory, they have another film that's tentatively slated for an autumn release... And the second in its respective year! Years ago, Pixar used to be the ones with the autumnal/pre-Thanksgiving releases, with Disney releasing their hits during the summer. But it looks like Pixar may go back to those days... So, what will be released?
If Finding Dory will definitely come out in November 2015 (I still have a feeling that it might move to summer 2016 to make room for Walt Disney Animation Studios' film), then the June 2016 film will probably be Dia De Los Muertos, even though that's a couple of months before the actual Day of the Dead holiday. Maybe Pixar will give it a release here in the summer, but a late October release in Mexico to coincide with the holiday... But according to the tweet, the film will be released the 17th... You know what comes out on the 17th? DreamWorks How To Train Your Dragon 3! Will there be a head-to-head animation battle? Or will one of them move? I'm thinking the latter... Dragon 3 may end up moving to the first week of June or something.
June 2017? Well, that could be the Teddy Newton film. Or the Mark Andrews one. It depends on what's ready...
November 2017? That sequel, maybe? Supposedly one more after Finding Dory is in the works, but we need to take Iger's recent comment on that with a grain of salt. However, if it is a sequel... Could Brad Bird return to deliver a powerhouse sequel to The Incredibles? Or will Disney have Pixar milk the anthropomorphic autos franchise with a Cars threequel? Or will the November 2017 release be another all-original film? (What film is Buffy writer Marti Noxon working on? What about that mystery film Giacchino is scoring?) Will Pixar finally start regularly releasing more than one film a year starting with 2015?
June 2018? Probably another original... Newt perhaps? Okay I know, I'm probably being too optimistic! If anything, it'll either be the Andrews film or the Newton... Again, which ever one is ready, assuming that the 11/2017 film is the sequel.
What are your predictions? Do you think Disney should keep releasing their own animated films every year? Or are you okay with their new strategy? Do you think Pixar will actually release two films a year? Or not? Sound off below!