Pixar took some big chances from 2007-2009. Ratatouille starred a rat (not a cuddly animal), WALL-E spent its first act in a quiet and abandoned Earth, and Up had a geriatric as an adventure hero. They’re all great movies, and none of them came close to matching the $1 billion worldwide pulled in from Toy Story 3 (it’s worth noting that of the 2007-2009 movies, only Up was in 3D). And while Cars 2 grossed only $559 million worldwide, its merchandising sales were probably through the roof. These movies and have hopefully put enough into the company’s coffers that they can have the creative freedom to pursue the original features The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, and the Untitled Dia de Los Muertos movie. The sequels will begin again in November 2015 with Finding Dory, and it looks like a sequel to another Pixar movie might be in the works.
Hit the jump for more.
On a recent conference call with shareholders, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the following [via Bleeding Cool]:
On the animation front, Pixar continues to create great value for our company too. We are very excited about Monsters University which opens next month. Pixar’s slate of films for the next five years includes fantastic original stories as well as some great sequels to their previous hits. And as we recently announced, we are in production on one of those sequels, Finding Dory, featuring Ellen DeGeneres once again as the voice of Dory, one of the most beloved characters from Finding Nemo which was one of the most popular and profitable movies to date.
The key phrase is “one of those sequels”. It’s possible Iger means Planes, but Planes is a spin-off and it’s not from Pixar. Of everything Pixar has, Toy Story 4, seems the likeliest candidate. Back in 2011, Tom Hanks said the studio was working on it, the franchise is the most successful of Pixar’s work, there’s plenty of room for more stories, and it can generate the merchandising dollars of Cars (or close to it) without carrying the stink of those movies. Personally, I’d love to see The Incredibles 2, but that feels like director Brad Bird‘s baby whereas Toy Story has always belonged to the whole studio.
I’m glad Pixar is about to break their sequel streak, but I also acknowledge that their owner, Disney, is a business, and that there is some give and take. Hopefully, the upcoming slate original features will be as daring as the 2007-2009 movies.