Toy Story Sequels in Play

New York Newsday reports that Walt Disney Co. plans to produce two back-to-back sequels to its hugely successful Toy Story franchise. Pixar, the creative force behind the first two films, will not be involved since its partnership with the House of Mouse ends with the 2005 release of the CG feature, Cars.

Disney CEO Michael Eisner, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia Conference in Manhattan on Tuesday, said the new Toy Story installments will be developed simultaneously, following a trend made popular by producers of the Lord of the Rings and Matrix trilogies. DreamWorks also announced plans to produce two Shrek sequels in a similar fashion.

Eisner also mentioned that Disney’s first in-house produced 3D animated feature, Chicken Little, is budgeted at half the cost the average studio CG pic. Chicken Little will be an early litmus test for Disney’s viability in the CG feature market without Pixar.

The Incredibles, the second to last toon to be produced under the Disney/Pixar partnership, arrives in theaters on Nov. 5.