Earlier this year, Disney completed its acquisition of Fox, which means that in addition to Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, Disney now also owns Fox film and TV properties. This may not sound relevant to Pixar, given that each Disney subsidiary mostly functions independently. However, all of these studios will be sharing a packed release calendar and Disney will be spacing out all of its films so they do not cannibalize each other.
Last year, Disney announced that there would be five Pixar films scheduled for release within the 2020-2022 window. That still has not changed. However, given that Disney’s purchase of Fox was recently finalized, the mega company has been in the process of shuffling films’ release dates to, again, allow each film time to breathe at the box office. Although Disney dropped some fairly dramatic news with its planned film release calendar through 2027(!), such as how there are three new Star Wars films headed our way, the previously announced Pixar films’ release dates remained untouched.
When I say announced, these Pixar films are just barely announced. That is because, other than next year’s Onward, all of the other films are untitled. We don’t even have confirmation of the stories or directors we will be seeing. Below is the list of Pixar films that Disney shared with the press yesterday morning:
- Toy Story 4 (06/21/19)
- Onward (3/6/20)
- Untitled Pixar Animation (6/19/20)
- Untitled Pixar Animation (6/18/21)
- Untitled Pixar (3/18/22)
- Untitled Pixar (6/17/22)
Onward will be Pixar’s first March film. There are a number of reasons why we are seeing this happen. First, as noted earlier, Pixar now has to share the same calendar year with a rapidly growing number of films. Not only do Marvel and Star Wars films have to have some distance between themselves and Pixar’s films, but Pixar is on track to release two films in a year several times in the next few years. After Toy Story 4 hits theaters this year, there are five Pixar films on the calendar for the next three years. That is incredible. More astounding is that we know nothing of almost all of those films.
Most of what we know about Onward was shared by Disney last year:
Set in a suburban fantasy world, Disney•Pixar’s “Onward” introduces two teenage elf brothers who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there. “At Pixar we try to create stories that come from some kind of personal truth,” said Scanlon. “This film was inspired by my own relationship with my brother.”
The film has a cast comprised of Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer and is being directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, who last collaborated on Monsters University. The film was first announced at the 2017 D23 Expo, where we learned that the film would combine the worlds of fantasy and suburbia.
Speaking of the D23 Expo, we will no-doubt hear more about Pixar’s upcoming films at this summer’s iteration, which is scheduled to take place in August. We may not learn of the titles1 of these untitled projects, but we are almost guaranteed to hear who the directors and producers will be for at least the 2020 and 2021 projects, in addition to brief details on the films’ synopses. We should know way more a few months from now!
- Pixar has developed a bit of a habit of announcing films that are untitled. We often hear about the story ideas far in advance of the final films’ title. ↩