Disney-Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter gave an in-depth, two hour presentation on the studios’ upcoming features slate at the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday morning. Highlights included new clips and plot details for Pixar’s Finding Dory and Disney’s Moana. He also pointed out that this is the first year Pixar will release two films — Inside Out, which premiered at Cannes earlier this week, and The Good Dinosaur, coming at the Thanksgiving holiday. He also cited the bolstered morale at Disney Animation thanks to the success of Frozen and Big Hero 6.
- The Good Dinosaur (Pixar; Nov. 25, 2015) centers on an Apatosaurus named Arlo (Lucas Neff) who, after losing his father in a terrible accident, gets knocked out by a river rock and wakes up in a far-off land. On his journey to return home, he takes on an unusual companion: a young human cave-dweller named Spot.“This is a boy and a dog story, but the roles are reversed,” Lasseter said. “Arlo, the dinosaur, is the boy in the story and Spot is the dog.” He also gave a glimpse of a cast of supporting dino characters and talked up the film’s advanced visuals.
- Zootopia (Disney; March 4, 2016) is set in a city inhabited exclusively by highly anthropomorphic animals, divided into classes and prejudiced by assumptions about their species. The film follows bunny cop Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) — the much disrespected sole rabbit of the force — who teams up with a fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to crack a case.
- Finding Dory (Pixar; June 17, 2016) is set just six months after the events of the 2003 hit Finding Nemo, and finds Dory and Nemo teaming up again on a quest to find the forgetful fish’s family. Lasseter unveiled images of Dory’s parents, to be voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy. Ellen DeGeneres will once again voice the titular heroine. This time around, the adventurous duo will encounter fallen shipping containers, a giant squid, a Nor Cal kelp forest, and new friends like a whale-shark with a conflict of identity.
- Moana (Disney; Nov. 23, 2016) will follow the Mouse House’s musical princess flick tradition. Set 2,000 years in the past, the movie introduces 16-year-old Polynesian princess Moana, who longs to set sail as an explorer. After the death of her grandmother, she disobeys her father’s instructions and sneaks away in a boat with two critter cohorts: a pig named Pua and a rooster named Hei. When she becomes stranded on an unknown island, she encounters Maui (Dwayne Johnson) — a mythical hero with tattoos that come to life and a magical sea hook.
- Toy Story 4 (Pixar; June 16, 2017) got just a small tease from Lasseter during the presentation: “I am very excited to be directing again … We’re in the early stages of the film, but it’s shaping up nicely. It’s funny. The story is not as much a continuation of the past films, but a brand new chapter in the Toy Story world.”
[Quotes sourced from Variety]