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12 Animated Movies from Disney and Pixar (2015-2018)

Inside Out (2015)

Pixar's Inside Out

Pixar's Inside Out

2015 will be a good year for Pixar-fans. In 2014, the studio did not release any films (due to the fact that The Good Dinosaur was moved from 2014 to late 2015), so now we have two to look forward to in 2015. Inside Out is directed by Pete Doctor, the man behind Monsters Inc. and Up. It takes place inside the head of Riley, a young girl who is moving from a sleepy town in the Midwest of America to San Francisco, when her father starts a new job there. This takes a lot of adjusting, which we will see from the inside of Riley's mind. Five emotions, Anger, Fear, Disgust, Sadness and Joy try to work together to help Riley through this period, but Riley's primary emotion, Joy, has some trouble keeping the other emotions in check.

This is one of the wonderfully original concepts that Pixar is known and loved for. It's no surprise that this movie is coming from the man behind Monsters Inc. and Up, as those are also both highly original movies that really connected with audiences. Disney animation chief John Lasseter gushed about the movie and the concept in an interview with Bleeding Cool: Pete [Docter] has this way of constantly trying to figure out something that we’re all familiar with in some way... he's constantly looking for these kinds of things. You look at people oftentimes and they do something to make you go "What are they thinking?" or it's like how a song gets stuck in your head and you just can't get it out. Little quirky things like this that we all do. Certain emotions just seem to take us over, anger or happiness, where you start giggling and laughing and you can't stop. He thought "I want to take a look at that, explain that." His idea is that the emotions of this little girl are the characters and it takes place in the head of this little girl, and shows how they control things that go on. It's very, very clever and it's truly unlike anything you've ever seen, yet it explains things you've seen." Inside Out will be released June 19, 2015.

The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Pixar's The Good Dinosaur

Pixar's The Good Dinosaur

If all had gone according to plan, Disney/Pixar would have released The Good Dinosaur in the summer of 2014. The movie would have gotten Pixar’s standard rave reviews, and would have been on the list of 20 animated movies considered for the Oscar for Best Animated Movie (and hey, it probably would have won it as well). However, things did not go as planned, and so, there was no Pixar movie at all in 2014.

Thing is, the people at Pixar weren’t fully happy with The Good Dinosaur. In an LA Times-article, it is said that the creative heads at Pixar thought that original director Bob Peterson’s movie was a perfectly fine animated movie, and it could have been released on time. But, well, Pixar doesn’t really like perfectly fine movies, and so Peterson was kindly asked to step down (he didn’t leave the company). His role was taken over by co-director Peter Sohn, who had pitched a new direction for the movie that the Pixar-heads was the right way to go.

Now, The Good Dinosaur is on track for a release at the end of 2015, which makes 2015 that rare year when we get two Pixar movies. The Good Dinosaur tells the story of our world, but it’s different than the world we know. The meteor that wiped out all dinosaurs didn’t hit the earth, meaning that at a certain point in time, people and dinosaurs lived together. The main characters in The Good Dinosaur are a teenage Apatosaurus, and a wild young human boy named Spot. The Apatosaurus one day finds the boy and takes him under his wing.

“When Bob was taken off, I was supporting the film as best I could,” Sohn said in an interview with LA Times. “It felt like, this child, this film still needs to be raised. It was just about how to take care of the thing at that time. … Trying to keep the original vision of this film intact and trying to plus it as well.”

Zootopia (2016)

Walt Disney Animation's Zootopia

Walt Disney Animation's Zootopia

In 2016, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar will together release three movies, so it looks like a great year for animation fans. First up is Zootopia, a movie which takes place in the animal city of the same name. It's a wondrous city, divided up into parts that are called Burrowborough, Tundra Town and Sahara Square. In this city there lives a fox, Nick Wilde, goes on the run when he's framed for a crime he didn't commit. Zootopia's top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, named Lt. Judy Hops, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they're forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends.

Sounds like a cool 'buddy cop goes animation' type of thing. The concept of the city sounds like fun, and the idea of a fox and a bunny banding together is an original one. The movie is directed by Byron Howard, the man behind Bolt and Tangled. Combine this with Disney's current hot streak and you have a movie that is looking great already.

Finding Dory (2016)

Pixar's Finding Dory

Pixar's Finding Dory

It's a funny thing really. People complain about Pixar releasing sequels to their biggest movies, but when the movies are released, they go and watch the movie anyway. And why shouldn't Pixar release sequels? People loved the original movies and would love to see more of them, while the people at Pixar have new stories for these characters that would be a shame to leave in a cupboard somewhere.

Not much is known about the sequel to the wonderful Finding Nemo yet. From the title, we can take the fact that this movie is going to center more on Dory, the forgetful fish that stole hearts in the first movie. All we know apart from that is the fact that Finding Dory is set one year after the original movie, takes place off the coast of California, and centers on Dory's search for her own family. The director of the original Finding Nemo returns for this sequel, so we shouldn't be too worried about this being just as wonderful.

Moana (2016)

Walt Disney Animation's Moana

Walt Disney Animation's Moana

Moana is the first computer animated movie directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the duo behind classic Disney pictures like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Their last movie together was Disney's last hand drawn movie, The Princess and the Frog. Originally, the duo wanted to make an animated movie based on the Terry Pratchett book Mort, but couldn't get the rights situation sorted out. So instead, they pitched three new ideas to Disney and Moana is the one that is getting made. It's a new chapter in the things they do best: make epic adventure stories.

The movie takes place in the south pacific, where a young girl called Moana, the only daughter of a chief, in a long line of sea navigators, sets out on an epic journey to find a fabled island. She teams up with a demigod named Maui, and together they encounter sea creatures and spirits from Polynesian mythology. Sounds like the perfect subject matter for a wonderful animated movie. It will all be drawn in a new, painterly style of computer animation, which has me looking forward to it even more.

Toy Story 4 (2014)

Pixar's Toy Story 4

Pixar's Toy Story 4

In what can be safely called a very unexpected move, Pixar announced that there will be a fourth Toy Story movie. It makes sense, of course, since Toy Story 3 was a huge success, and a fantastic movie to boot. But the thing is that Toy Story 3 felt like a perfect ending to a trilogy, so some fans have spoken out against a new movie coming out in the series, doing away with all that. Then again, it's John Lasseter directing a new Toy Story movie, so how can you really complain?

In an interview with LA Times, Lasseter had this to say about the upcoming movie: “A lot of people in the industry view us doing sequels as being for the business of it, but for us it’s pure passion. We only make sequels when we have a story that’s as good as or better than the original. “We don’t just, because of the success of a film, automatically say we’re going to do a sequel and then figure out what we’re going to do.”

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Here's some more things we know about the movie:

It’s going to be a love story! Pretty sure that means two other characters than Ken and Barbie though.

They’ve actually been working on it for two years already. In 2012 Lasseter invited Unkrich, Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton into his office for a lunch where they came up with ideas.

The movie will be co-written by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. The duo have written Celeste and Jesse Forever in 2012. Lasseter wanted to involve a female writer for a female angle to the story.

This is going to be the 9th the characters appear in a movie or TV-special. 4th movie, but there were also 3 short films and two TV specials.

This does not mean Lasseter is going to stop his other jobs, like running Pixar, Walt Disney Animaton and Disneytoon. One of his demands when he took the job of studio head, was that he could continue directing.

He’s not going to fire anybody who tells him his movie sucks. “We work really hard to create an atmosphere where people feel like they can be honest without retribution,” he told LA Times.

Giants (2018)

Director Nathan Greno is directing this movie, a new take on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. And that's really all that's known about it right now.

The Incredibles 2 (TBA)

Pixar's The Incredibles 2

Pixar's The Incredibles 2

While fans have been complaining about the amount of sequels Pixar has made or announced, they were all wondering why Pixar couldn't make a sequel to their fantastic superhero movie The Incredibles. Well, fear not, a sequel is announced, and as it looks now, Brad Bird is returning for the sequel. No date, or even a year, set yet, but we can probably expect it somewhere in 2018 or 2019, as Pixar has announced that they will make one original movie a year, as well as one sequel. And with that...

Cars 3 (TBA)

Pixar's Cars 3

Pixar's Cars 3

...Here's the sequel nobody is surprised about. Since Cars is the biggest money machine in all of animation (together with Frozen), it was only a matter of time until a threequel was announced. There are people who dislike Cars, but if you take away the fact that Disney makes billions of dollars selling merchandise for these movies, you have to admit that they are actually quite fun movies to watch. No word yet on a storyline for part three, but lets hope they leave the spy story behind this time, and focus a bit more on the small town quirkiness that made the first one so much fun.

But there's more

Looking in the schedule, there are two spots in the Pixar schedule and one in the Walt Disney Animation schedule that are dates when a new movie by one of the studios is going to be released, but without anybody knowing what movies these are going to be. Pixar is working on a movie based on the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, with Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich apparently directing, but not a lot is known about that at the moment. We do know that there was a movie based on Day of the Dead released this year (Book of Life) and there's another one coming next year, so there is a chance that Pixar is axeing the idea.

And then there is Disneytoon Studios. This is Disney's third animation studio, which focusses more on animated movies with a lower profile, as well as direct to DVD sequels to Disney's classics.. They are the people behind the Tinkerbell movies, as well as Planes 1 and 2. We know that a Planes 3 is coming, and there is also a new Tinkerbell movie on the schedule. That last one, however, is going to be released straight to DVD.


aisha h on March 10, 2019:

incredibles 2 is one of the best disney movies ever

Rudra from India on June 20, 2016:

Incredibles 2 waiting for it desperately

VJG from Texas on December 31, 2014:

Yup, I'm stoked. Ready for Pixar's and Disney's next animated features. I was really impressed with Big Hero 6. I feel sorry for people who didn't stay through the end of the end credits for BH6.

Patrick Rijnders (author) from The Netherlands on November 30, 2014:

Indeed, and there are also plenty of interesting movies coming from other studios.

HK from London on November 30, 2014:

That's an interesting article. Looks like 2015 is gonna be lot of fun..

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