Yesterday, Pixar used the annual CinemaCon convention to announce some release date shuffling, and a title for their previously untitled dinosaur film. That would have been big news in itself, but Pixar wasn’t finished – the biggest news to come out of yesterday’s Disney presentation at the show was easily the announcement of the new film that Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich has recently started working on. The film is set around Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday. When can we expect to see it in theaters? There is no definitive answer as of yet, but find out what the most likely choices are after the jump!
The release dates for The Good Dinosaur and Pete Docter’s Untitled Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind were provided, but no set date was given for the Día de los Muertos film. Steven from Collider and Alex from First Showing, who attended the presentation, both confirmed to me that Disney did not give an actual release date. This should clear up a bit of confusion, as some sites have noted that a 2015 date was provided.
We know that Unkrich’s film is heading to theaters after the Pete Docter film, which is arriving on June 19, 2015. That leaves either late 2015 or summer 2016 as the two choices. For the past few years, Disney has scheduled two Pixar films to be released in one year, but has had to push one of the two back each time. To this day, there has never been more than one Pixar feature film released in one year. Could the Día de los Muertos film be the one?
First, let us take a look at the timeline. Lee Unkrich began work on the project in September 2011. Pixar films usually take about four years, including pre and post-production, before they make their way to theaters around the world. That certainly gives this Day of the Dead film the production time it needs. However, a few things need to be taken into account, chief among them being the unpredictability of the schedule. Toy Story 3 is often described as the only Pixar film that did not really face any challenges during production. Every other Pixar film, though, faced at least one major hurdle (often concerning the story), which slowed down the production process.
Also, we have oft-heard about the studio’s determination to “plus” a story until the filmmakers are satisfied. Brave, which is an extreme case, will have gone through a production cycle that lasted about seven years. The lesson here is that Pixar works hard at releasing what it thinks will be a superior product. From its point of view, while a November 2015 release date may be workable (a feat that Disney would love), there is no reason to rush. A May or June 2016 release date would provide additional breathing room, allowing Lee Unkrich and the rest of the team the extra time to give us something special.
Verdict? I would say we are looking at Summer 2016. Looking at the studio’s philosophy and track record, that release date is the one most likely. That may seem like a long time away, but remember that we have four new Pixar feature films (three of which are brand new properties) to keep us occupied until then.
Here is the film’s brief initial synopsis:
From director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson, the filmmaking team behind the Academy Award®-winning “Toy Story 3,” comes a wholly original Pixar Animation Studios film that delves into the vibrant holiday of Día de los Muertos.
Image Credit: Wikipedia