Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Apparently there is some troubling news surrounding Pixar yet again… And that particular troubled film of theirs that's been in the works for a while…
Pixar's website seems like it's barely updated from time to time, as last fall's Toy Story of TERROR! is still the main attraction on the site. Recently, it's been discovered that The Good Dinosaur is no longer on their "Upcoming Movies" page… Just Inside Out and Lee Unkrich's Day of the Dead film, which still carries no release date or any idea of one. (No TBD 2016 or anything.)
This indicates something to me…
No, it's not catastrophic. I don't think The Good Dinosaur is going the way of Newt…
Instead, I think Pixar's slate is going to be reshuffled a bit. This happens a lot in the world of animation, Pixar is certainly no stranger to it. For a while, I've been thinking that The Good Dinosaur just wouldn't be able to make its currently planned Thanksgiving 2015 release. From what I've heard, it actually won't. No new director has been named, and Bob Peterson was removed from the director's chair last summer… Ed Catmull then recently said that the project was being "restarted", so I believe it's definitely not being shelved.
I simply think The Good Dinosaur is going to be delayed again, like I had predicted recently. Summer 2017…
Others wonder why Finding Dory is not on the Upcoming Movies page, it never was on there to begin with. We must remember that Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Day of the Dead were officially announced before Finding Dory. The first three were announced as untitled projects in 2011: Untitled 'Inside the Mind' Film, Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs, and Untitled Lee Unkrich Pixar Film. We didn't even know what Unkrich's film was going to be about until their 2012 CinemaCon presentation in April 2012.
Finding Dory? That wasn't officially announced until this very day a year ago. There were rumors floating around in summer 2012, and a vague snippet of an Andrew Stanton interview (the full one was not available to read or listen, leading me to believe it was kind of fake) was all over the web at the time. But after April 2013, maybe Pixar just didn't bother to update that section of their site… Why wouldn't they? I don't know, you'd think something as big as a Finding Nemo sequel would be on that page.
My gut feeling is that Pixar is slowly but surely changing their upcoming movies page, and they saw this coming as far back as early 2013, because their slate has changed a lot recently. Maybe it already has but Disney hasn't made an official announcement yet, maybe in May they will, because last May, Disney announced release dates for four Disney Animation films and four Pixar films.
Anyways, like I predicted, I think this what will end up happening…
Inside Out - June 19, 2015
Finding Dory - June 17, 2016
Day of the Dead - October 7, 2016 (like I said, I can't see it being a summer/holiday season release)
The Good Dinosaur - June 16, 2017
Or Pixar will move Good Dinosaur out of 2015, swap Finding Dory with "Untitled" and leave everything else undetermined. In that scenario, they won't be telling us what will come out when, while also relieving the teams of any pressure. They could just do this…
Undetermined - June 17, 2016
Undetermined - June 16, 2017
Undetermined - November 22, 2017
Undetermined - June 15, 2018
At the same time, they can say on their site, "Our upcoming movies include Finding Dory, The Good Dinosaur and Day of the Dead!" We readers simply say, "I wonder which one of those will come out first? What will hit theaters on June 17, 2016? What order will they be in?" They got the dates locked, so there's no problem right there. Again, getting those four dates - alongside Disney Animation - last May was such a smart idea; they warn the competition to back off very early on. Remember, getting dates early is important.
Disney Animation officially unveiled Zootopia at D23 last summer, which we all know will follow Big Hero 6 and be their March 4, 2016 release… But Disney never officially said that it's coming out on March 4, 2016. Both of their 2016 slots just say "Untitled", it doesn't say "Zootopia on 3/4/2016" and "Giants on 11/23/2016". It's almost as if it's still not determined what will come out on those dates, but I think that's what they want us and the people at the studio to think. Zootopia will be the March 2016 release, but they're not telling us that. They won't for a while, I presume. I presume they also won't say when Giants or Moana will come out when they are officially announced. (Disney has never made an official statement on these two films yet.) That way, the people working on those films can work at their own pace, without some deadline/exact release date lurking in the shadows.
Maybe Pixar will do the same, we'll just have to guess when those films will come out. The different teams can work hard on the films, getting them in suitable shape rather than racing to meet a deadline and possibly hurting the film in the process. The public will know the titles/plots of a couple of the films, but not when they'll hit theaters. I'd say that's a happy medium… Then we get those three films whenever we get them, and they turn out to be great films in the end.
We shall see… What do you think?
Update (4/4/2014): Reader Pantufla Ocho pointed this out, Pixar recently changed their Upcoming page. It looks different now…
It now says The Good Dinosaur is set for 11/25/2015 and Finding Dory is set for 6/17/2016. "Untitled Pixar Movie About Dia De Los Muertos" is now listed as "Untitled Lee Unkrich Film"… Odd. I still think a slate change is coming, though…