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Successive successful films and new universes Pixar is accelerating its production even more

After mixed years, Pixar is banking on a clever mix of original projects and the return of popular franchises like The Incredibles or Finding Nemo to regain its former glory.

At Pixar, the focus is on strategic thinking. After a few difficult years marked by the box-office failures of Lightyear in 2022 and Elementary in 2023, as well as the direct-to-streaming releases of Soul, Luca, and Red Alert during the pandemic, the famous animation studio is considering new directions to reconnect with success. And that could well involve the return of some of its most popular franchises like The Incredibles and Finding Nemo.

Soul, alerte rouge, luca - newsroom.disney
Soul, alerte rouge, luca – newsroom.disney

An ambitious new production pace

According to information reported by Bloomberg, Pixar President Jim Morris stated in an interview that the studio now plans to release three films every two years. The idea is to alternate between original projects and sequels or spin-offs of established brands, in order to rekindle public interest and remind viewers of what they loved so much about Pixar.

This fast pace has already begun with the highly anticipated release of Inside Out 2 on June 14, 2024, nine years after the original film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2016. This will be followed by Elio, a new project set for 2025, and then Toy Story 5 in 2026, proving that the Buzz and Woody saga is still at the heart of the studio’s concerns.

Vice versa 2 - newsroom.disney
Vice versa 2 – newsroom.disney

The Incredibles and Finding Nemo, highly anticipated returns

But the franchises that have Pixar salivating for potential new installments are The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. It must be said that both licenses had been box office hits worldwide:

  • Finding Nemo (2003): $940 million
  • The Incredibles (2004): $633 million
  • Finding Dory (2016): $1.029 billion
  • The Incredibles 2 (2018): $1.243 billion

The family of superheroes and the forgetful fish also received rave reviews, with scores above 90% on Rotten Tomatoes for each of the four films. Performance and love ratings that bode well for new installments.

However, Pete Docter, Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, is reassuring. Before diving in, the teams mainly want to make sure they have a good story to tell, whether it’s about Nemo or the Incredibles. “Where haven’t we been in the ocean yet? The ocean is a vast space. I think there are a lot of opportunities to seize. We’re kind of fishing left and right,” he explains mischievously.

Pixar’s future, between a return to its roots and new challenges

Elio - newsroom.disney
Elio – newsroom.disney

Beyond sequels, Pixar is also focusing on new characters and universes to attract the public. After Elio next year, an as-yet-unrevealed project by Domee Shi, the director of Red Alert, is in the pipeline.

The idea is to reaffirm the studio’s unique identity, as Jim Morris points out: “There’s a flavor of film that we make that’s a bit unique. These are small stories written on a big canvas, and when they’re at their best, they’ve given the audience something to laugh, cry, and think about a bit.”

On the small screen, while derivative series are in development for Disney+, including a spin-off of Inside Out, Pixar is clear about its priorities. “I hope we won’t release any more films directly on Disney+,” insists Jim Morris. The theatrical release remains paramount.

It is true that despite some recent setbacks, Pixar can boast a prolific 2010s decade in terms of creativity and boldness, with strong original films like Inside Out, Coco, Soul, or Luca. While reigniting the flame of the franchises that made its success, the studio intends to continue surprising and moving audiences with new singular stories.

Between nostalgia and novelty, Pixar seems determined to write a new chapter in its great story. Stay tuned in the coming months and years to discover what animated adventures the famous lamp has in store for us, on the big and small screens.

Header image credit: Pixar/Disney