Disney hearts Fairytales
- “Up,” set for release May 29, 2009, will be Pixar’s first 3-D title, and thereafter every Pixar toon will be produced in 3-D. Disney has been an early proponent of the format, starting with 2005’s “Chicken Little,” and all its own toons going forward will use the format as well. Lasseter noted he is such a fan that his wedding pictures were done in 3-D. Along with its new pics, Disney is also releasing Pixar classics “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” in digital 3-D in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
- Larry the Cable Guy, who voiced Mater in “Cars,” took the stage to announce that “Cars 2” is going into production, with a planned release date of summer 2012. It’s being directed by “Ratatouille” producer Brad Lewis and is the first sequel for Pixar outside the “Toy Story” franchise. Though “Cars” didn’t do as well at the box office as some other Pixar titles, it has been a licensing bonanza for the Mouse House.
- Miley Cyrus will be a lead voice opposite John Travolta in Thanksgiving’s “Bolt,” formerly titled “American Dog.” About 15 minutes of footage of the pic screened to some of the heartiest applause of the day.
- “Toy Story 3” will be released June 18, 2010. Plot details for the third part remain under wraps, though the filmmakers said it begins with Andy (owner of Woody and Buzz) about to head off to college. A Ken doll will be the franchise’s newest toy.
- Anchoring the Disney side of things is the hand-drawn musical “The Princess and the Frog,” from “Aladdin” and “Little Mermaid” helmers John Musker and Ron Clements, who were lured back to Disney by Lasseter. It’s set for a Christmas 2009 release. Stills were shown, and star Anika Noni Rose performed a song live, as did Randy Newman and his eight-piece New Orleans combo.
- Disney’s long-in-development CG version of “Rapunzel” finally has a release date: Christmas 2010. It’s directed by studio vet Glen Keane and Dean Wellins.
- Pixar will have two original films in 2011: “Newt,” a romantic comedy directed by Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, and “The Bear and the Bow,” a magical tale set in Scotland and helmed by Brenda Chapman, who previously directed “The Prince of Egypt” for DreamWorks. The first Pixar feature from a femme helmer will star the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson.
“I love sincere fairy tales,” Lasseter said.
- Last release on the slate for Disney Animation Studios is Christmas 2012’s “King of the Elves,” directed by Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker, based on the short story by sci-fi scribe Dick.
I LOVE SINCERE FAIRY TELLS TOO!!!!!!!! I’ve said time and time again– I miss the Disney fairy tales. I know, I know, there’s a certain connotation of “damsel in distress” from such films, but look at Enchanted, she had a bit of damsel in distress, but also a lot of empowerment. And she saved her love, after he saved her, after she saved him, etc. See? Heroism is a shared event, and can work on both sides.
I CANNOT WAIT for “The Bear and The Bow” – Scotland? Le dreamy sigh.
And I’m uber-eager to hear more about King of the Elves. As for “Rapunzel” – it feels a bit, I dunno… Barbie CGI direct to home video. Oh wait. That’s cos it WAS. It would have rocked to see an adaptation of “Rupelstiltskin” yeah? And I have a strong feeling that good ole Rapuny won’t have any blinding or birthing of illegitimate twins, or however the original tale will go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy there isn’t any necrophilia in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (as was in the original tale) or foot mutilation in Cinderella, but I do know that it’s caused some discrepancies in the way we interpret fairy tales (the Disney versions seem to overcast the traditional).
Then again – a friend of mine who is a teacher for second grade was appalled to find out that her class doesn’t really know what traditional fairy tales were (she asked, “Anyone know any fairy tales they would like to share?”). Instead members of her class contributed show titles like “Hannah Montana” and “Back to the Barn Yard”, and yes, even “Shrek” (which is partially right, or at least on the correct path, just not traditional, or folklore-correct).
BTW, you know what is a GREAT but underrated movie for girls who like fairies and stories of possibilities? Fairy Tale: A True Story. It’s a couple years old now, but timeless.