Today at the Walt Disney Studios presentation at the D23 Expo, Disney announced two new movies from Pixar Animation Studios. Both films, yet to be officially titled, will be released in the slots following the announced Monsters Inc prequel Monsters University, which hits theaters on June 21st 2013. Learn more about the first of the projects, which involves dinosaurs, after the jump.

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Monsters Inc

After over a year of speculation, yesterday it was finally officially announced that Pixar is working on a Monsters Inc sequel. Not only that, but Monsters Inc 2 even has a release date: November 16th 2012.But the one thing absent from the announcement was any mention of a writer or director. Who is writing Monsters Inc 2? What is Pete Docter‘s mystery project? We delve into these questions and more, after the jump.

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tom mccarthy up

Many people don’t know that Joss Whedon was one of the screenwriters on Toy Story. Pixar often brings in “a stranger from the outside” to help with various aspects of development. Sometimes they are credited, sometimes they aren’t. Some might remember that eight-time nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins was wrought in to help develop WALL-E’s real-life visual aesthetic.

I thought I’d bring up a little trivia tidbit about the creative team behind Pixar’s new film because most people don’t know this yet (it isn’t even on IMDb). BAFTA Award winning screenwriter/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor) worked on Pixar’s latest movie Up.

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Do Pixar Movies Tell The Story of Life?

up

I just received The Art of Pixar’s Up in the mail from Amazon (the book is amazing by the way, but don’t read it until you’ve seen the movie – tons of spoilers). I was flipping through the pages when I came across a passage that theorizes that when taken as a whole, the 10 Pixar feature films can be viewed as serialized chapters in a single life. I liked the interpretation and thought I’d pass it along (warning: possible first act Up spoiler):

“From sibling rivalry, early attachment (Toy Story) and socialization (A Bug’s Life), to maturation (Monsters, Inc.) separation, and parenthood (Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo); from protecting the nuclear family (The Incredibles), shifting out of the fast lane (Cars), and rekindling passion (Ratatouille), to planning for future generations (WALL-E) and finally, accepting death (Up).”

Some of the associations are a bit of a stretch, but overall you can definitely see a progression. When asked about the theory, Up co-director Bob Peterson (and voice of Doug the Dog) explains that Pixar animators and directors are getting older, developing families, and “you write what you know.” Which makes sense.

Pixar’s Up Featurette: Unlikely Heroes

up unlikely heroes pete docter

Disney has released a new featurette for Pixar’s Up titled “Unlikely Heroes.” Director Pete Docter, co-director/co-writer Bob Peterson, and producer Jonas Rivera talk about the unlikely pairing of Carl Fredrickson and Russell, the young wilderness explorer. John Lasseter says that he believes that the comedy which results makes this “the funniest Pixar film we’ve ever made.” Very strong praise from the guy who made Toy Story. Watch the featurette embedded after the jump.
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Pixar’s Up Teaser Trailer #2

Disney has released a second teaser trailer for Pixar’s Up. The first third again attempts to sell the film based on the animation studio’s past achievements. I think the marketing guys at Disney are probably still unsure on how you go about selling a film like this. I love the fantastical imagery and bright colors. The character of the grumpy old Carl Fredricksen has been growing on us the more and more we see him. Tell me what you think in the comments below.

Watch the trailer in High Definition on Disney.com: 480p, 720p, 1080p.

From the Academy Award®-nominated team of director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”) and co-director Bob Peterson comes UP, a comedic adventure taking off (and lifting spirits) in summer 2009.

Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. UP takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures. When seeking adventure next summer—look UP.

Pixar’s Up hits theaters on May 29th 2009.

New Poster: Pixar’s Up

Yahoo! Movies has a look at the theatrical teaser poster for Pixar’s Up. As unsure as I am about Pixar’s next film (I want to love it, but nothing I’ve seen so far has me sold), there is no denying the fantastical color scheme used in the early marketing is beyond beautiful. I had previously assumed that the trailer would premiere attached to Bolt in November, but the early release of the theatrical one-sheet has me thinking that it might happen sooner. May-be attached to High School Musical next week?

Official Plot Synopsis: From the Academy Award®-nominated team of director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) and co-director Bob Peterson comes Up, a comedic adventure taking off (and lifting spirits) in summer 2009. Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate, and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell, gives him a new lease on life. Up takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures. When seeking adventure next summer — look Up.

Up hits theaters on May 29th 2009.

Pixar

Big news on the Disney/Pixar front, the mouse house has revealed Pixar’s future animation slate:

Pixar's Up

May 29th 2009: From the Academy Award®-nominated team of director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) and co-director Bob Peterson comes Up, a comedic adventure taking off (and lifting spirits). Here is a brand new plot synopsis direct from the studio: Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. Up takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures. When seeking adventure next summer – look Up. Christopher Plummer voices the villian. Up will be released in Disney Digital 3-D™.

October 2nd, 2009: TOY STORY in 3-D

February 12th, 2010: TOY STORY 2 in 3-D

Toy Story 3

June 18th, 2010: The creators of the beloved Toy Story films re-open the toy box and bring moviegoers back to the delightful world of Woody, Buzz and our favorite gang of toy characters in Toy Story 3. All we know is that Andy grows up and is leaving for college. Lee Unkrich, co-director of Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo) directs this highly anticipated film, and Michael Arndt, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Little Miss Sunshine, brings his unique talents and comedic sensibilities to the proceedings. The voice talent confirmed includes: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Ned Beatty. Composer Randy Newman returns.

pixar's newt

Summer 2011: newt marks the directing debut of multiple Academy Award winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, who made his Pixar debut with the short film Lifted, which premiered in front of Ratatouille. What happens when the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts on the planet are forced together by science to save the species, and they can’t stand each other? Newt and Brooke embark on a perilous, unpredictable adventure and discover that finding a mate never goes as planned, even when you only have one choice. Love, it turns out, is not a science. Will be released in Disney Digital 3-Dâ„¢.

The Bear and the Bow

Christmas 2011: The Bear and the Bow is Pixar’s first fairy tale, from acclaimed filmmaker/writer Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt). Chapman began as an additional animation artist on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and contributed story for The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Fantasia 2000, Chicken Run and Cars. A rugged and mythic Scotland is the setting for Pixar’s action-adventure “The Bear and the Bow.” The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father’s kingdom and her mother’s life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. Director Brenda Chapman and the storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humor, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale. Will be released in Disney Digital 3-Dâ„¢.

Cars 2 Logo

2012: Cars 2 will be directed by Brad Lewis, the producer of Ratatouille and Antz. All the world’s a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with his best friend Mater in tow, to take on the globe’s fastest and finest in this thrilling high-octane new installment of the “Cars” saga. Mater and McQueen will need their passports as they find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades around the globe. Will be released in Disney Digital 3-Dâ„¢.

The big news is that all of the announced future Pixar releases will get the Digital Disney 3-D treatment. I remember the days when Brad Bird was preaching that Pixar would only do 3D if it complimented the story. But I understand that 3D is the newest trend, and the result is bigger box office, so Pixar must go with the flow. I just wonder if Pixar would have made this choice if they weren’t owned by Disney. Bird also said that Sequels aren’t in the Pixar business plan and they also just announced Cars 2, the second sequel to be released by the studio in the next four years. The other big news is that it appears that Pixar will now be taking on two films per year starting in 2009. I hope this doesn’t result in a loss of quality. The Bear and the Bow and Newt sound, at least on the surface, more like films that Disney would make. But We’ll have to wait and see.

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