Pixar has a pretty stellar track record when it comes to feature films, and at the D23 Expo the studio pulled back the curtain on the next three, as well as revealing a first in the company’s history: a TV series.
The biggest news was that the company is making a sequel to Inside Out called, you guessed it, Inside Out 2. It’ll once again take place in Riley’s mind and Amy Poehler, Joy herself, was on hand to make the announcement. There was no news on additional cast (rumors are Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling may not be returning), but Poehler mentioned that Riley, who is now a teenager, will have new emotions in her head and the film will be out summer 2024. Kelsey Mann directs from a script by Meg LaFauve.
Pixar’s other big news was that it was developing its first long-form, episodic story for Disney+. It’s called Win or Lose and it follows a co-ed middle school softball team in the week leading up to the championship game. Each episode will take place in the same time period, but all told from a different character’s perspective. Some will be the players, one might be the coach, one is the umpire, and each one has a unique visual style to show how that character truly feels. (One example they showed was the umpire putting on “emotional armor” to deal with the screaming parents.) Will Forte will voice the team’s coach, Dan. That’s coming to Disney+ in 2023 and was created by Michael Yates and Carrie Hobson.
But that’s not all. Pixar’s next theatrical film, Elemental, is out June 2023. Up until now we knew it had something to do with elements, but that’s about it—so director and Pixar voice extraordinaire Pete Sohn explained what he had in store. Inspired by his own upbringing, he wanted to make a film about a big city melting pot, only this city is made of people who are literally elements like Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. The story is about a fire woman named Ember (voiced by Leah Lewis) who falls in love with a water man named Wade (voiced by Mamoudou Athie). But what are the two elements that really can’t go together? Yup, fire and ice, and so what happens when people fall in love but could literally destroy each other? The footage looked excellent and had some really clever uses of this idea of elements as characters—like at a sporting event, water people doing the wave means they do that quite literally.
Finally, Pixar’s other big theatrical anncoument was its spring 2024 film, Elio. Elio is a shy 11-year-old boy who, somehow, is the first person to make contact with aliens who send a strange message to Earth. Think the movie Contact, but Jodie Foster’s character is a shy 11-year-old boy. Elio is then transported into space to a planet described as a intergalactic United Nations filled with unique creatures of all shapes and sizes. Then, because he was the person who made contact, he becomes the human representative for the galaxy. America Ferrara was announced as the voice of Elio’s mom, Olga.
So it’s Elemental summer 2023, Elio spring 2024, and Inside Out 2 summer 2024, with Win or Lose sandwiched in the middle. Pixar’s got some very cool stuff on the horizon.
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