Pixar Plans 'Toy Story' Short In Front Of 'The Muppets' & Direct-To-DVD 'Cars' Spinoff 'Planes'

by Kevin Jagernauth
February 18, 2011 3:20 AM
5 Comments
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Diluting the brand much? One of the great things about Pixar when they first came onto the animation scene is that they abandoned the very practices that watered down the once mighty Disney. Story came before merchandising, and more importantly, the up-and-coming studio didn't diminish their quality features by churning out sub-standard straight-to-video features. Until now. With Pixar now firmly under the Disney umbrella, the merchandising machine is going into overdrive and with good reason. "Cars" alone brings in literally billions a year thanks to branding; last year, combined with box office and merchandising "Toy Story 3" brought in $10 billion. That's no small potatoes.

First up, Pixar will deliver "Planes" in 2013, a straight-to-video feature that is a spin-off from "Cars." The film will tell the story of Dusty, a "small town dreamer" who, despite his fear of heights (tough break for a plane), longs to enter the most epic around-the-world air race. With the help and support of a bunch of new characters, Dusty will face his greatest fear and challenge. Yawn. "Cars" is already somewhat of the black sheep of the Pixar family, and "Planes" sounds well -- exactly like a spinoff. Uninspired and dull.

As for "Toy Story," the franchise is far from over, after the third and "final" feature last summer. With the "Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation" short already set to unveil in front of "Cars 2" this summer, Pixar already has another brand new short in the pipeline for "The Muppets." No word yet on the story of plot, but it's another shot for Disney/Pixar folk to show off the beloved characters and get them in front of the eyes of kids right around Christmas time. Savvy.

Pixar is no longer the new kid on the block. They are a bona fide corporate machine at this point and with "Monsters Inc. 2" already set for 2012, the sequels and spinoffs won't be stopping any time soon. [HitFix/Variety]

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More: Films, Film Studios, Animated Films, Pixar, Planes

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5 Comments

  • Ruth in Carmel | March 26, 2011 5:03 AMReply

    @ skierpete, you say "I am one of the few that quite enjoyed cars" Um...really? So the hundreds of millions it made were from people who didn't like it? And BTW, the sequel machine is Disney, Pixar was not this way until they were bought by Disney, not just working with them.

  • Haywood Jablome | February 18, 2011 7:13 AMReply

    Sloppy reporting, Pixar isnt actually making the "Planes" movie, DisneyToon studios is.

    Although it is undoubtedly a Pixar spin-off and I'm sure Luxo Jr. will show up before the title credits, its not a Pixar picture.

  • jimmiescoffee | February 18, 2011 4:38 AMReply

    'cars 2' and fucking 'planes'

    the worst and only thing approaching average from pixar and they continue to milk it. unreal.what happened to 'newt' ????!?

  • rotch | February 18, 2011 4:15 AMReply

    My thoughts exactly skier_pete!! Only I didn't like Cars.

  • skier_pete | February 18, 2011 4:00 AMReply

    I am sure I am not the only one disappointed in Pixar's recent turn into a Sequel machine. Of biggest concern to me was the uninspiring Toy Story 3. While it was a very good movie, it lacked the depth of the previous TS features, and didn't approach the sublime charactizations of Up and even WALL-E. Yeah, it made us all cry at the end - but really - how hard was it to come up with THAT as an ending for the characters. Points for having probably the most Evil villian in Disney history, but the characters all completely coasted on their personalities developed in the previous films, no personal growth at all. (Look at TS1 - both Woody and Buzz grew as characters, TS2 it was more Woody and Jessie. Who in this movie? No-one.)

    Enough ranting...I am one of the few that quite enjoyed cars, and since my Daughter likes it, I'm sure we'll see the sequel, but I can't think of a single Pixar film I've looked forward to less than Cars 2. It makes me worry - plus Monster's Inc are the characters I'm second least interested in revisiting. (Heck, I'd rather spend more time with Remy and Linguini!)

    C'mon PIXAR - bring on "Brave". At least we got that late next year, right?

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