Disney's animation slate

I love animated movies. Granted the 1980s were a dark time for animation, with only The Secret of NIMH, The Fox and the Hound, An American Tail, The Land Before Time and Basil: The Great Mouse Detective sustaining me until Disney refound its groove and unleashed the awesome foursome of The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King on audiences.

Well into my teens I flirted with the idea of becoming an animator. So naturally I pay attention when Disney, the studio that started it all - elevating animation into a serious, acclaimed art form - holds a press conference to announce their upcoming projects for the next 4 years - many of which will be in 3D (a gimmick I personally have yet to warm towards).

Anyway, I'm especially keen to see how Disney's one sole return to the 2-D animated musical, The Princess and the Frog, turns out. Otherwise, as one of the few people who seemed to enjoy Cars, I'm excited for its sequel. Although, naturally, I would be far more ecstatic about the announcement of The Incredibles 2.

Such wishful thinking aside, here's what we have to look forward to on the big screen:

2008

WALL•E
CGI-animation
From Pixar

After hundreds of lonely years doing what he was built for, determined robot WALL•E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL•E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most incredible comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen.

Release date: June 27th, 2008


Bolt
CGI-animation
From Walt Disney Animation Studios

For super-dog Bolt (voiced by John Travolta), every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue -- at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the canine star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet -- a cross-country journey through the real world. Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and with the help of two unlikely traveling companions -- a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (voiced by Susie Essman), and TV-obsessed hamster in a plastic ball named Rhino -- Bolt discovers he doesn't need superpowers to be a hero. Miley Cyrus ("Hannah Montana") brings her vocal talents to the role of Penny, Bolt's human co-star on the television series.

Release date: November 26th, 2008



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2009

Up
CGI-animation
From Pixar

From the Academy Award®-nominated team of director Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc.") and co-director Bob Peterson comes "Up," a comedic adventure taking off (and lifting spirits) in summer 2009. Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. "Up" takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures. When seeking adventure next summer -- look "Up."

Release date: May 29th, 2009


Toy Story in 3D
CGI-animation
From Pixar

Originally released by Walt Disney Pictures in 1995, "Toy Story" was the first feature film from Pixar Animation Studios and director John Lasseter. The film went on to receive Oscar® nominations for Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Original Screenplay, and earned Lasseter a Special Achievement Award (Oscar®) "for the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film." The 3-D version of this landmark film is being personally overseen by Lasseter with his acclaimed team of technical wizards handling all the necessary steps in the conversion process.

Release date: October 2nd, 2009


The Princess and the Frog
2D traditional animation
From Walt Disney Animation Studios

A musical set in the greatest city of them all, New Orleans, "The Princess and the Frog" marks Disney's return to the timeless art form of traditional animation. The film teams Ron Clements and John Musker, creators of "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin," with Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman to tell the most beautiful love story ever told ... with frogs, voodoo, and a singing alligator.

Release date: Christmas 2009



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2010

Toy Story 2 in 3D
CGI-animation
From Pixar

Originally released in 1999, "Toy Story 2" went on to become one of the most popular animated features of all time. The film picks up as Andy is heading off to Cowboy Camp and the toys are left to their own devices. When an obsessive toy collector named Al McWhiggin (owner of Al's Toy Barn) kidnaps Woody, and Woody learns that he's a highly valued collectable from a 1950s TV show called "Woody's Roundup," the stage is set for a daring rescue attempt by the gang from Andy's room. The film introduced such other memorable characters from "Woody's Roundup" as Jessie the cowgirl, Bullseye the horse, and the Prospector.

Release date: February 12th, 2010


Toy Story 3 (in 3D)
CGI-animation
From Pixar

The creators of the beloved "Toy Story" films re-open the toy box and bring moviegoers back to the delightful world of Woody, Buzz and our favorite gang of toy characters in "Toy Story 3." Lee Unkrich (co-director of "Toy Story 2" and "Finding Nemo") directs this highly anticipated film, and Michael Arndt, the Academy Award®-winning screenwriter of "Little Miss Sunshine," brings his unique talents and comedic sensibilities to the proceedings.

Release date: June 18th, 2010


Rapunzel (in 3D)
CGI-animation
From Walt Disney Animation Studios

In this new telling of the classic fairy tale, "Rapunzel," audiences will be transported to a stunning CG fantasy world complete with the iconic tower, an evil witch, a gallant hero and, of course, the mysterious girl with the long golden tresses. Expect adventure, heart, humor, and hair ... lots of hair, when Rapunzel unleashes her locks in theaters for the 2010 holiday.

Release date: Christmas 2010



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2011

Newt (in 3D)
CGI-animation
From Pixar

What happens when the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts on the planet are forced together by science to save the species, and they can't stand each other? That's the problem facing Newt and Brooke, heroes of "newt," the Pixar film by seven-time Academy Award® winner for sound Gary Rydstrom, and director of Pixar's Oscar-nominated short, "Lifted." Newt and Brooke embark on a perilous, unpredictable adventure and discover that finding a mate never goes as planned, even when you only have one choice. Love, it turns out, is not a science.

Release date: Summer 2011


The Bear and the Bow (in 3D)
CGI-animation
From Pixar

A rugged and mythic Scotland is the setting for Pixar's action-adventure "The Bear and the Bow." The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father's kingdom and her mother's life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. Director Brenda Chapman ("The Prince of Egypt," "The Lion King") and the storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humor, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale.

Release date: Christmas 2011



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2012

Cars 2 (in 3D)
CGI-animation
From Pixar

All the world's a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with his best friend Mater in tow, to take on the globe's fastest and finest in this thrilling high-octane new installment of the "Cars" saga. Mater and McQueen will need their passports as they find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades around the globe. "Cars 2" is being directed by Brad Lewis, producer of the Oscar®- winning film "Ratatouille."

Release date: Summer 2012


King of the Elves (in 3D)
CGI-animation
From Walt Disney Animation Studios

Legendary storyteller Phillip K. Dick's short story (his only experiment in the fantasy genre) becomes the basis for this fantastic and imaginative tale about an average man living in the Mississippi Delta, whose reluctant actions to help a desperate band of elves leads them to name him their new king. Joining the innocent and endangered elves as they attempt to escape from an evil and menacing troll, their unlikely new leader finds himself caught on a journey filled with unimaginable dangers and a chance to bring real meaning back to his own life.

Release date: Christmas 2012

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