Friday, August 15, 2014

Getting Ahead? [UPDATE]

A little peak at a recent TAG Blog post seems to imply that a certain Walt Disney Animation Studios project might come out sooner than expected…

Based on what we knew (thanks to Honor Hunter at Blue Sky Disney), Ron Clements and John Musker's next big epic for Disney Animation was a Polynesian-set folk tale called Moana. It would later be confirmed elsewhere (TAG Blog, the film's composer, etc.), Disney hasn't said a word about it. They also haven't said a word about Giants, their next big fairy tale adaptation - Bleeding Cool and others leaked details on that project.

A little while back, it seemed likely that this would end up being WDAS' definitive 2016-2018 slate. This was all thanks to information that Honor Hunter of Blue Sky Disney leaked to us:

Zootopia - 3/4/2016
Giants - 11/23/2016
Moana - 3/9/2018
Untitled Sci-Fi - 11/21/2018

The untitled sci-fi film, as reported by Blue Sky Disney, ran into production problems in September. We haven't heard anything about it since then, as Honor Hunter now posts from time to time at another website and hasn't (to my knowledge) mentioned it since. In a recent post about Disney Animation, he left it out though it could be one of those surprises he mentioned. Recently, we found out from Wreck-It Ralph composer Henry Jackman that a sequel was being written, so maybe it's now the 11/21/2018 release if the Zootopia, Giants and Moana fill the spring 2016, fall 2016 and spring 2018 spots respectively…

Now, that aforementioned TAG Blog post from Steve Hulett happened to say this…

"Walt Disney Animation Studios

Big Hero 6 -- In the last couple of months of production.
Zootopia -- In development
Moana -- In development."

But also this…

"Feel free to chime in regarding non-union or union studio projects that I've missed, because I know I'm not up to speed on all the stuff out there…"

Pixar is nowhere to be seen on the list… Right now, that is… (EDIT: Being a Northern California-based studio, they wouldn't be on this list since they are focusing on the LA area. I wonder if they'll put out a post that focuses on non-LA American animation studios.)

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but… Has Moana moved up? Why that order? I'm guessing Zootopia is still set for 3/4/2016, and now Moana is set for 11/23/2016 with Giants possibly following in spring 2018. Or maybe fall 2018, to keep it in line with Tangled and Frozen being Thanksgiving releases… I don't know!

If that's indeed true (again, this is all pure speculation), then that proves my point about Walt Disney Animation Studios not outright saying that Zootopia, Giants, Moana, et al fill those exact four release slots they claimed last year in that order. I've been saying that it was incredibly smart of them (and Pixar) to not immediately fill those slots. That way, there's less pressure on the creative teams to make deadlines, rushing may compromise the story and quality - whatever is ready, is ready. Zootopia seems to have been a steady production, and that's the only post-Big Hero 6 film Disney Animation or Disney themselves have officially announced. They never officially said anything about Giants or Moana, heck they didn't even mention Wreck-It Ralph 2 being a possibility. Honor Hunter may have said last summer that Zootopia would be followed by Giants, which would be followed by Moana… But sometimes things change.

If Moana does indeed hit theaters during the holidays of 2016, I'll be a happy camper… But again, take this speculation with a grain of salt. Anything's possible…

Update (8/16/2014): As expected, someone commented on Hulett's article and asked about Giants being absent under Walt Disney Animation Studios…

Fine print that I and presume many others have missed. Rushed straight to the list…

However, this doesn't change a thing. Like I said, Disney didn't officially put Zootopia, Giants and Moana in the 3/4/2016, 11/23/2016 and 3/9/2018 slots (those still remained untitled/undetermined) for a good reason. What if one film is ready before another? What if a future film needs more time? Blue Sky Disney's details of the WDAS slate from last summer may very well turn out to be true, but we shall see… You never know, the Polynesian-set epic might arrive before the trip up the beanstalk…

P.S. Ignore what you might've heard a few days ago about Moana coming in 2015. Some "SUGA Magazine" put it out there that Ron & John's film would arrive next year, with a piece of fan-art and the fake Moana logo from last year… Gotta love it when some publication or whatever that you've probably never heard of all of a sudden says "New Disney film about so-and-so, coming next year! OMG!" I get the sense that the editor or whatever heard about a Polynesian-set Disney film and assumed that would be next, not knowing that a little movie called Zootopia exists.

They fixed it now, but the status still uses that piece of fan-art… The complaints over it are hilarious, from people thinking it's a legitimate "first look" at the movie.


  1. That TAG report is only for the Los Angeles area. Pixar and PDI/Dreamworks are up in Northern California, they're not included. (Could this explain why four DreamWorks projects that will be releasing *before* Croods 2 *aren't* listed? They're being done in Redwood City, not Glendale?)

    1. True, though I did assume that the report would add Northern California-area studios. As for DreamWorks, I wouldn't be surprised if they were being handled north of the LA area.

    2. It says "in and around Los Angeles." It's only talking about Local 839 (Los Angeles) union work - the Northern California studios are not part of that.

    3. Right. I'm just hoping the blog puts out a follow-up post focusing on Northern California and other studios, union or non-union - it's because I really would like to get a hint of what Pixar is really up to.

  2. Actually, perhaps Boss Baby/Trolls/Captain Underpants/whatever that Bollywood monkey musical is called now are among the "various Chinese DWA" films mentioned at the end?

    1. Maybe. I heard DWA's Chinese studio is only handling local films and 'Kung Fu Panda 3'. Maybe they're being done at the India unit, or like you said, the northern California one.

  3. Can't wait to see Moana. I'm sure it will be incredible.