Pixar revealed its upcoming slate of films at D23 Expo 2022, and it was capped by the announcement of a sequel to the film “Inside Out.”
Pixar’s Pete Docter took the stage to share the all of the news, saying, “These last few years have been a time of great change in the world, and it’s led us at Pixar to think about the future. Or, if I’m channeling my inner Joe from Soul, I’d ask: ‘Why are we here? What’s our purpose?’”
“Well, for us, it’s to tell great animated stories. Whether those are theatrical feature films, streaming series, or shorts, we think telling stories is foundational to who we are as people. They really define us. And we believe in the power of animation to capture and reflect the stories of our own lives.”
Let’s look at all the upcoming releases:
Filmmakers Peter Sohn and Denise Ream were the first to join Docter on stage to discuss “Elemental,” an all-new, original feature film releasing theatrically on June 16, 2023.
Sohn, who directs the film, shared the personal inspiration behind the film: “The idea started with my parents. As immigrants to the U.S. from Korea in the ’70s, they had no family, nothing. But they managed to create a life here in New York.”
“And just like them, many people have left their people and families to a new land, with hopes and dreams, all mixing into one big salad bowl of cultures, languages and neighborhoods.”
Ream went on to describe the story as one “about anyone who’s ever made a sacrifice or taken a risk, set it in the hustle and bustle of the city, but with a twist.”
The filmmakers then introduced the characters in Elemental, which is set in a city where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together.
Ember is a tough and fiery young woman, and Wade is a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy.
Helping bring them to life are Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie, who were warmly welcomed to the D23 stage with some pyro and water effects.
Audience members also got an exclusive look at the film, which hasn’t been released online yet, and received a mini-poster featuring Ember and Wade.
Win or Lose
“Win or Lose” directors Carrie Hobson and Michael Yates provided a closer look at Pixar’s first-ever long-form series, and what inspired it.
The series follows the Pickles, a co-ed middle school softball team, in the week leading up to their championship game. It’s a comedy about love, rivalry, and the challenges of both.
Each episode takes place that same week, highlighting the perspective of a different main character: players, their parents, the umpire…each reflected in a unique visual style.
Hobson and Yates revealed that actor Will Forte (Disney’s “Lab Rats,” “The Last Man on Earth”) will voice Coach Dan in the series and shared a shout-out Forte recorded for the occasion, followed by a special clip just for those in attendance.
“Win or Lose” was first announced at Disney+ Day 2021, and will stream on Disney+ in Fall 2023.
Following flickering lights and an ominous message reading “Bring Us Your Leader,” Docter then welcomed to the stage Annie Award-winning director Adrian Molina (“Coco”) and producer Mary Alice Drumm to showcase for the first time ever plans for the original feature film “Elio.”
In the story, 11-year-old dreamer Elio is artistic, creative, and an avid indoorsman who finds it hard to fit in. Meanwhile, Mom Olga, who runs a top-secret military project, is working to decode a strange signal from outer space.
But it’s Elio who makes contact, gets beamed into space, and is subsequently mistaken for an intergalactic Ambassador for Earth.
America Ferrera (“Superstore,” “Ugly Betty”), the voice of smart and super-confident Olga, was invited on stage, and said of the role, “She’s a character who speaks to me in so many ways as a mother.”
She was joined by Yonas Kibreab (“Obi-Wan Kenobi”), who lends his voice to Elio.
“Elio” is set to release theatrically Spring 2024.
Inside Out 2
Before Docter could wrap Pixar’s portion of the show, he heard a voice from inside his head.
Fortunately, it was actually the voice of Joy, aka Amy Poehler, who arrived on stage to huge applause, which got louder when she informed the audience that “Inside Out 2” is in the works at Pixar.
Director Kelsey Mann (taking over from Docter who directed the original), producer Mark Nielsen, and writer Meg LeFauve are hard at work on the all-new adventure inside the head of now-teenager Riley…who Poehler says may or may not be feeling all kinds of new Emotions.
Did they push the puberty button on the new expanded console??
A critical success, “Inside Out” won best animated feature at the 2016 Oscars and received a nomination for original screenplay. The film was also financially successful, grossing over $800 million at the global box office.
“Inside Out 2” is slated for theatrical release by Pixar in Summer 2024.
Which of these Pixar projects are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.