Disney’s Cook Talks Toon Slate

Speaking a the Walt Disney Studios Showcase event on Thursday, Walt Disney Studios chairman Richard Cook revealed details of animated features in the Mouse House pipeline beyond this fall’s Chicken Little, the studio’s first in-house CG feature, and next year’s Cars, perhaps the last Disney/Pixar joint effort.

Sharing the 2006 release calendar with Cars is an animated flick titled A Day With Wilbur Robinson. Steve Anderson, head of story on The Emperor’s New Groove and Brother Bear, will adapt the book by William Joyce (Rolie Polie Olie), in which a boy genius invents a time machine and meets a futuristic family whose survival depends on his ingenuity.

The following year goes to the dogs as American Dog gets set to bow-wow in 2007. Lilo & Stitch creator/director Chris Sanders is helming this toon about a famous canine TV star who, after leading an extremely sheltered on-set life., finds himself stranded in the Nevada desert with an over-sized rabbit and a testy cat. Also being coiffed for the frame is Rapunzel Unbraided, a spoof of the classic fairytale as imagined by master Disney animator Glen Keane (Tarzan, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid).

Shakespeare is also on the hit list as Gnomeo & Juliet goes into development. After composing and performing songs for such toon features as Disney’s The Lion King and DreamWorks’ The Road to El Dorado, Sir Elton John is taking a producer credit on this comic tale of forbidden romance between indoor and outdoor garden gnomes. John is also composing original songs for the film.