Speaking in London’s Leicester Square this morning, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar COO John Lasseter gave a thorough presentation of Disney’s upcoming films. Among the highlights: plot details about “Toy Story 3” and “Cars 2.” Pixar normally shies away from sequels and I think that policy has proved to be one of their strengths so I have been very curious to know what makes these movies worth the risk. Lasseter has talked about wanting to make another Toy Story ever since the second one came out which makes me think that the impetus behind “Toy Story 3” and the reason for its lengthy development is his genuine love of the characters and a desire to revisit their world, even if that meant waiting years to do so.
“Cars 2,” on the other hand, does not have such a warm and fuzzy backstory. The original came out in 2006 and, since Pixar takes about four or five years to make a film, the sequel was clearly fast-tracked to the top of the queue. I guess roughly $462 million will do that, especially considering its characters are much more ripe for new adventures than, say, the robots from “Wall-E.” Hit the jump to find out what new games Woody is playing and where Lightning McQueen will be racing next.
Ten years is a long time, even longer in toy-years, but that is how long it has been since “Toy Story 2” was released. Not to say I did not love “Finding Nemo” or the equally superb “Up” but you never forget the first toy that took you to infinity…and beyond. Or, if you are Andy, the owner of Woody and the gang in the first two films, maybe you do. We know that in “Toy Story 3” Andy is heading off to college and, with the exception of Woody, is leaving his toys behind. When the toys are accidentally kicked to the curb they wind up in a daycare centre and it is up to Woody to save them from the most abusive toy-owners on the planet: five-year-olds.
Empire is reporting the big news of the introduction of hedgehog toy with
Shakespearean aspirations with the voice provided by Timothy Dalton (a.k.a. Simon Skinner, James Bond). Whether the appropriately named “Mr. Pricklepants” will be a new friend or a dangerous enemy remains to be seen but either way I cannot wait for a new trailer to hit.
“Cars 2” takes Lightning McQueen around the world for the Race of Champions and, for better or worse, he brings his new pit boss Mater (inimitably voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) along for the ride. At some point among the races in Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and England, Mater saves the life British secret agent Finn McMissile, an Aston Martin of course, and finds himself plumb in the middle of some serious international espionage. Everything leads to a finale at London’s Buckingham Palace as McQueen tries to win the Race of Champions and Mater tries to save the day.
“Cars 2” is actually the Pixar-directing premiere of “Ratatouille” producer Brad Lewis and he has certainly expanded the digital canvas for the film. When “Cars 2” was first announced I was surprised as it had gained a bit of a reputation as being the weakest Pixar movie. Though the sequel will sadly be without Paul Newman, expanded scope and complexity of the plot does bode well for it.
Both films will be released in Disney Digital 3-D; “Toy Story 3” on June 18, 2010 and “Cars 2” in time for Summer 2011.