Pixar Announces Dinos and Brainy Movies at D23

As part of the D23 Expo festivities in Anaheim yesterday, Pixar announced that Bob Peterson (Up co-director) will helm a comedy in which dinosaurs evolve hand in hand with people (Nov. 23, 2013), and that Pete Docter’s follow-up to Up will go inside the human mind (May 30, 2014). Co-directed by Pete Sohn (the Partly Cloudy short) and produced by John Walker (The Incredibles), the dino movie contains the tag: What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct?

In fact, when I last saw Peterson at the cocktail reception for Cars 2, he was positively giddy about prepping his next movie and gave me a high-five when he overhead me discussing how glorious The Wizard of Oz looked on Blu-ray. Oz, you see, is his all-time fave, and we proceeded to chat about the importance of continuing to make fantastical films. So this is great news for Peterson, who finally gets his crack at directing and playing in the animated sandbox with all the department heads at Pixar. At D23 he said he was inspired by a childhood visit to the World’s Fair in New York, where he saw animatronic dinosaurs created by Walt Disney, which obviously made a big impression.

Meanwhile, Docter will explore heady stuff: a world that comically explains how decisions are made, including why we remember, how we forget, and “how certain songs get stuck in your head.” Co-directed by Ronnie del Carmen (Dug’s Special Mission short) and produced by Up’s Jonas Rivera, the project, according to The Playlist, will be scripted by Toy Story 3′s Michael Arndt. For Docter, this is just the kind of wacky and ambitious project that would’ve tickled his mentor, Disney great, Joe Grant.

And for those complaining that Pixar has been mired in too many sequels lately, this truly confirms that the Disney-owned studio continues to lead the industry in imaginative and risky animated storytelling.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Events, Movies

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