Poor Mater and McQueen: After a 35% Rotten Tomatoes score gave Cars 2 the unhappy distinction of becoming the worst-reviewed Pixar movie of all time, it is now tracking to earn Pixar’s lowest domestic gross since 1998′s A Bug’s Life. Read on after the jump.

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John Lasseter Is A Character In ‘Cars 2′

This is by far the coolest addition to the Cars 2 cast yet. John Lasseter, head of Pixar, director of the first film and co-director of the sequel, will be making a cameo appearance in Cars 2 as a “hefty yellow pick-up truck” who serves as a pit crew chief for one of the racing teams. Lasseter was surprised when he found out that his team had created the character, named John Lassetire, as a nod to Pixar’s 25th anniversary. Read more about his reaction and get a full look at the character after the jump. Read More »

Every year, Pixar seems to outdo themselves. We all thought the beauty of Wall-E couldn’t be matched, until Up showed us its balloons. Then we all thought the first 20 minutes of Up was as emotional as animation could get, until we saw the last 20 minutes of Toy Story 3. And when it comes to commercial successes, it’s tough to beat Toy Story 3‘s title as not only Pixar’s biggest film yet, but the most successful animated film of all time.

Next up is Cars 2, which comes out June 24, and it certainly won’t have an easy road ahead of it. Co-directed by Pixar main man John Lasseter (who directed the first Cars) as well as Brad Lewis, who produced Ratatouille, all we’ve seen so far is a short teaser trailer and a bunch of concept art. Now we’ve got the first official image, poster and plot description straight from the Mouse’s mouth. Will the film live up to its Pixar predecessors? Read more about it after the break. And check back Tuesday morning for the first official trailer. Read More »

John Lasseter Now Officially Co-Directing Cars 2

cars_colour_script

In February, ComingSoon reported that the Walt Disney Company revealed during their first quarter earnings call yesterday that Pixar’s Cars 2 has been pushed back to a December 2011 release. Disney quickly contacted us claiming that no release date change announcement was made. At the time we just assumed it was a screw up in the transcript of the conference call… But something fishy was definitely going on.

Less then a week later Blue Sky reported a rumor the John Lasseter, director of Toy Story 1 & 2, A Bug’s Life, Cars, and now the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, has been spending most of his time at Pixar Animation Studios in Emmeryville, instead of his usual office in Southern California. Rumor had it that Cars 2 was having massive story problems, and that Lasseter had been brought back to Pixar to help fix the issues. At the time we had heard rumblings that he was co-directing the film, helping out Brad Lewis, who is making his directorial debut with the film. At the time it was rumored that Lasseter would not be credited as co-director on the final film. Jim Hill now reports that Disney reps have officially confirmed that Lasseter will be the credited co-director of Cars 2 when it is released in June 2011.

Now don’t jump to any conclusions. This doesn’t mean that Cars 2 is doomed. Any employee of Pixar will be the first to tell you that every movie they’ve made has been a disaster at one point, that the key to their success is reworking and reworking a project until it becomes something great. In fact, this is what happened with Ratatouille and Toy Story 2.

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Pixar’s Cars 2 NOT Pushed Back to December 2011

cars_colour_script

Update: Disney says that the ComingSoon report is false and that the film will come out in Summer 2011 as originally scheduled.

The Walt Disney Company revealed during their first quarter earnings call yesterday that Pixar’s Cars 2 has been pushed back to a December 2011 release. This si the third release date change for the Cars sequel. The film was originally announced with a 2012 date, which was changed to June 24th 2011, and now it is being pushed back to December 2010. Disney had originally planned to release their first fairy tale story, The Bear and the Bow, in December 2011. So I assume that Bow has been moved back to sometime in 2012.

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Cars 2 Concept Art

cars_colour_script

The first concept art for Brad Lewis and Pixar’s upcoming Cars 2 has been unveiled. That’s it above. Okay, I say concept art – it’s probably, to be more specific, a panel from a colour script. Already we have a great feel for how thise scene is going to look, what kind of emotional texture it is going to radiate.

Content wise, it looks to me like we’re wathcing Lightning McQueen and a new character on a race track, Mt. Fuji looming in the background. The film takes place on a round the world trip and seems to have shades of North By Northwest about it.

From The Disney Annual Report via Pixar Planet

Easter Eggs in Pixar’s Up

Up

Pixar loves to hide Easter eggs in their films, little references to movies and characters from the animation studio’s past and future. Last year we put together a compilation of WALL-E easter eggs, so I thought we’d do the same thing for Pixar’s new film Up. If you haven’t seen the film, be warned that this article references scenes from the film which may be considered spoilers.

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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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