Can't get enough of Pixar? It's your lucky day. The Disney-owned animation studio just unleashed a slew of details about its next three major projects: The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out and Finding Dory.
Pixar legend and head of Disney animation John Lasseter took to the stage at D23, the Disney fan convention in Anaheim, to reveal what he could about the forthcoming movies. He began by explaining that the making of every Pixar film begins with the same question: What if? What if toys came to life when you weren't looking; what if monsters really did live in your closet?
The Good Dinosaur, Lasseter said, was sparked by "the biggest what-if question ever." He then rolled a short animated introduction that showed a giant asteroid heading for the dinosaur-ridden Earth 65 million years ago and missing the planet altogether.
65 million years later, it turns out, dinosaurs have become farmers. Another delightful video clip showed them hard at work: brontosauruses digging furrows; stegosauruses doing the threshing; triceratopses acting as bulldozers.
The plot of The Good Dinosaur revolves around Arlo, a 70-foot tall apatosaurus, who discovers the first human being ever seen by dinosaur-kind: a boy hunter named Spot.
Disney and Pixar announced that Arlo will be voiced by Raising Hope actor Lucas Neff, while his apatosaurus family is star-studded: it features John Lithgow and Frances McDormand as Arlo's parents, and Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer and Bill Hader as his siblings.
(Hader, who just left the SNL cast, appeared on stage multiple times during the presentations. He aimed to convince Disney to let him appear in every single Pixar movie but was rebuffed by John Ratzenberger, who has appeared in every Pixar film to date).
The audience also got to see the short movie that will be shown prior to The Good Dinosaur. Called Party Central, it features the return of Monsters University stars Mike and Sully.
Inside the Mind
Previously known only under the working title The Pixar Movie that Takes You Inside the Mind, the second movie on Pixar's slate is called Inside Out. Lasseter joked that Disney's marketing department had saddled him with the title.
Inside Out, set for 2015, follows a teenage girl called Riley, who becomes a fish out of water when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, Calif. More precisely, it follows five emotions inside her mind (above): Anger (played by Lewis Black), Fear (played by Bill Hader), Sadness (played by The Office's Phyllis Smith), Disgust (played by Mindy Kailing, also formerly of The Office) and Joy (played by Amy Poehler).
Pixar showed off the "head quarters" where these emotions operate; they spend their days viewing events on the Consciousness Screen and deciding which ones get to be stored as Short-Term Memories. But Joy and Sadness are forced out of head quarters on a hunt for missing Core Memories.
They take the Train of Thought, which passes through locations such as Riley's Dream Production Factory (run by an improv team). Then there's Imaginationland, which looks a little like Disneyland, but happens to be deserted and set for demolition.
With Anger, Fear and Disgust left at the helm of Riley's brain, we see her turning in to a typical teenager. In one scene, we get to see the five emotions in her parents' brains responding to this crisis.
Second Helping of Fish
Finally, Pixar unveiled more details about its Finding Nemo follow-up film, which focuses on the fish with the short-term memory played by Ellen DeGeneres. (The sequel, one of the most anticipated movies for the D23 crowd, was announced on Ellen's show back in April).
Finding Dory will be set one year after the original film, when a tragic event forces our favorite blue fish's "homing instincts" to kick in. Director Andrew Stanton said that he'd often been asked about a Nemo sequel, but that there was only one question left hanging from the original movie that interested him: where was Dory's family, anyway?
We saw concept art of a few of them, and Pixar revealed that Dory's mother, Jenny, will be voiced by Diane Keaton. Her father Charlie will be played by Eugene Levy. But that's not all. Stanton said Dory's family turns out to be "bigger than she imagined," and featured a number of sea creatures including an otter, and a beluga whale voiced by Modern Family actor Ty Burrell.
Pixar fans, which of these three movies are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.
Image: D23 EXPO/Richard Harbaugh