There's really no way Pixar can be expected to make the best animated movie released every year (in fact, for me, already "Kung Fu Panda" was better than "Wall-E" and "Rio" was a good bit better than "Cars 2.") If they simply get back to making some movies based on fresh ideas - and wild ones at that - they will still, however, have a starting-out leg up on all the competition.
But just before we get into all that, and some big announcements at this week's D-23 Disney event, the photo above released at the confab shows Chris Cooper, who plays the big bad in "The Muppets," finally set to come out Nov. 23. Bring it on, already!
Also at D-23, the Pixar arm of the animation giant added details to its upcoming slate that fleshes out what the studio will have to offer for its next four flicks, and there's definitely some interesting stuff in the pipeline.
Next up will be "Brave," starring definite Reel Fanatic fave and "Boardwalk Empire" star Kelly Macdonald as the voice of the young Scottish princess Merida. What's been described as Pixar's "first fairy tale" will, of course, since its set in Scotland, also by force feature the voices of Billy Connolly and Colin Ferguson, and be released June 22, 2012.
Unfortunately, after that Pixar will get back into the sequel (well, actually prequel) game with "Monsters University," which brings back the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman, and adds Dave Foley, for a follow-up to "Monsters, Inc." The new movie will focus on Sully and Mike's early days at the University of Fear, and is set to come out June 21, 2013.
It's after that, however, that things start to really get interesting, with two new movies announced at D-23.
The first one, to be helmed by "Up" co-director Bob Peterson, is about dinosaurs, and is described by the following question: "What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct?" Hopefully with echoes of my single favorite animated movie, "The Iron Giant," this one will be about a particular young boy and his dino friend, and is tentatively set for Nov. 27, 2013.
So, two Pixar movies in 2013? Bully. And after that, things should really get fun, as fellow "Up" co-director Pete Docter will "take you to a place that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen: the world inside the human mind." It's coming May 30, 2014.
For a long time now, when it comes to quality animation, it's really been Pixar's world, and we're just visiting, but at least (with the possible exception of "Monsters University) for the next few years it should be a world full of interesting flicks that will make it worth the trip.