Next summer brings us Pixar’s first original fairy tale, Brave, and today brings a significant update. Entertainment Weekly got their hands on some very cool concept art and a couple announcements in regards to the voice cast and direction credit. First up, Reese Witherspoon will not be lending her voice to the lead character, Merida, because of scheduling issues. Instead, that character will be given life by Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire, Trainspotting) which is appropriate because the film is set in Scotland. The rest of the cast will also be from across the pond. Merida’s parents, King Fergus and Queen Elinor, will be voiced by Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson, a wise woman who plays an important role will be voiced by Julie Walters and three comedic lords will be voiced by Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane.

Also, while there had been some controversy surrounding Pixar’s first female director Brenda Chapman, who left the project last year, she’ll now officially receive a co-director credit with Mark Andrews, who is now finishing the film. Read some new plot details and see the concept art after the break. Read More »

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Did a cab driver really bring Hugh Jackman to the Georgia set of Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class this weekend? And is Brenda Chapman, once set to be the first female Pixar director, not only off of their summer 2012 film Brave but leaving the company entirely? Read more about each rumor after the jump. Read More »

Our friends at Cartoon Brew are hearing from their “reliable sources” that Brenda Chapman is no longer directing Pixar’s Brave (previously titled The Bear and the Bow).

We hear that she was pushed aside from full directing duties a while back, and that story artist Mark Andrews (who also co-directed the Pixar short One Man Band) has taken over directorial duties. We understand that the change officially happened last week, although it had been inevitable for some time.

Now don’t jump to any conclusions. This doesn’t mean that Brave is going to be a bad movie… 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.

Read More »

bono-edge-brave

Grand speculation time: The Pixar Blog has put together some tweeted info and discussions with undisclosed sources to come up with the theory that Bono and perhaps The Edge are writing a song or music of some sort for Brave, the in development Pixar film that was formerly titled The Bear and the Bow. Read More »

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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