Pixar State of the Union: Sequels, Threequels and ‘Good Dinosaur’ Drama

Cropped image from the teaser poster for The Good Dinosaur; JPosters


Not since 2005 has a summer passed without the release of a Pixar film, starting with Cars in 2006. Each June (or May, in the case of Up) has been their official month, all the way up until the release of Monsters University last year, bringing us to 2014: the summer without Pixar. In case this absence has caused you to fall behind on your upcoming Pixar trivia, or you’re just used to obsessing about Pixar each June, we’ve assembled a list of pretty much everything there is to know about the projects they have in the works.

Read on for the official facts and an unsolicited theory or two:

Inside Out

Concept art for Inside Out; Disney/Pixar

Inside Out will follow two stories: that of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, whose family has just moved from the Midwest to San Francisco, and that of Riley’s personified emotions, who live at “Headquarters” in her mind. Director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.; Up) has clarified in interviews that this means there will be two intertwining plots in these two very different worlds. Riley’s voice casting has yet to be announced, but the voices behind her primary emotions have been aptly chosen. Joy will be vocalized by Amy Poehler, Fear by Bill Hader, Anger by Lewis Black, Disgust by Mindy Kaling and Sadness by Phyllis Smith.

Docter and Ronnie del Carmen will be co-directing, with Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) writing the script. This will be Del Carmen’s first time directing a Pixar film, though he’s served as story supervisor on many, even working with Docter on Up. Additionally, Michael Giacchino (The IncrediblesUp, and more) will be scoring the film. This is the movie that will bring back the June tradition with a release date slated for June 15, 2015.

The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur; Disney/Pixar

Concept art of The Good Dinosaur; Disney/Pixar

The Good Dinosaur asks what would have happened if dinosaurs never went extinct by following an awkward, teenage Apatosaurus (aka Brontosaurus) named Aldo, who befriends a little human boy, named Spot. That’s pretty much all we know about the plot, except for a few details shared by Pixar’s chief creative officer John Lasseter in an interview with Bleeding Cool. Lasseter vaguely describes how Aldo is on a quest when he meets Spot, adding that the story is “a very special, very emotional story but it’s [also] so quirky and nutty.”

Casting-wise, Arlo the Apatosaurus will be voiced by Lucas Neff, and the rest of the dino family — father, mother, older brother and twin siblings — will be respectively portrayed by John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, Bill Hader (again!), Neil Patrick Harris and Judy Greer. No announcements have been yet about who might be the voice actor for Spot. Perhaps the little boy doesn’t talk? Musical Pixar veteran Thomas Newman (Toy Story trilogy and more) will be composing the film’s score.

The history of Good Dinosaur is a bit more complicated than that of Inside Out, and in fact, Good Dinosaur was supposed to be released last month, in May 2014. The film’s original director, Bob Peterson, was let go from the project in August 2013, to be temporarily replaced with a small team of Pixar regulars. No new director has been officially named since, but the makeshift team does include story artist Peter Sohn (Finding NemoIncredibles), who was initially announced as co-directing with Peterson and who is listed as “co-director” on Pixar’s official website.

Shortly after, the release date was pushed to November 15, 2015. Apparently things just kept getting worse, because a couple of months after that, Pixar laid off 5% of its workforce due to delays on the film. There unfortunately hasn’t been much of any news on Good Dinosaur in 2014 since that decision. Hopefully all is well, and Good Dinosaur will make its next release date of this Thanksgiving.

Emily is a freelance contributor at Film School Rejects, while also producing content for other entertainment websites. She falls in love with television shows and plays too many video games that are designed for children.

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