Disney’s D23 Convention Introduces ‘Zootopia’; Promotes New Pixar Productions

By Will Ashton


Disney’s D23 Convention, which is essentially Disney’s Comic-Con, was happening today, and through it, the Mouse House was able to shed some light on what’s going to happen in their animation departments for the next couple years.

One of the biggest pieces of news to come out of the convention is the announcement of the animated project Zooptia, which is set to be released in 2016. The film, directed by Byron Howard (Tangled) and written by Jared Bush (All of Us), is “a buddy action comedy set in a world where humans never existed.”

Howard and Bush have apparently been working on this project for the past year and a half, inspired by their love of Disney’s adaptation of Robin Hood. Howard wanted to do a movie where animals wear human clothing, but ultimately hopes to continue “Disney’s amazing legacy of animal-based animated films.” Slashfilm broke the news on the film.

Also, the convention centered heavily on Pixar’s new upcoming projects. First, Pixar’s next film The Good Dinosaur, directed by Bob Peterson (Up), has been known about for a couple years now. The film centers on the question, “What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct?”

But today, it was revealed that the primary characters of the film will be centered on a family of farming Apatosaurs, which will feature the voices of John Lithgow as the father, Frances McDormand as the mother, Bill Hader and Neil Patrick Harris as brothers Forrest and Cliff, along with Judy Greer as a character named Ivy and Lucas Neff as Arlo, the lead character. The film will be in theaters on May 30, 2014, and it will feature a Monsters University-themed short film titled Party Central.

Next, Pixar revealed more details on their film Inside Out, directed by Pete Doctor (Monster’s Inc.), which will centered on the mind of an 11-year-old named Riley. The characters of the film will be her emotions, which includes Anger, voiced by Lewis Black, Digust, voiced by Mindy Kaling, Fear, voiced by Bill Hader, Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith, and, the lead character, Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler. The film will focus on how all these emotions are impacted when Riley’s family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, and her life changes completely.

John Lasseter called the project “one of the most unique films I’ve ever been associated with–a magical, wonderful, original film.” The first footage from the film was released today at the convention. Inside Out will be in theaters on June 19, 2015.

The focus then shifted to Finding Dory. The most interesting thing that was revealed about the film was that, according to the Los Angeles Times, the film decided to change its ending after Pixar was screened the documentary Blackfish, which looks at the mistreatment of sea animals at water parks like Sea World.

Louie Psihoyos, director of The Cove, said the following to the newspaper:

“At the end of the movie, some marine mammals are sent to an aquatic park/rehab facility — a SeaWorld-type environment. After seeing Blackfish, they retooled the film so that the sea creatures now have the choice to leave that marine park. They told Gabriela they didn’t want to look back on this film in 50 years and have it be their Song of the South.”

Also, it was revealed that Euguene Levy and Diane Keaton have been added to the project as the voices of Charlie and Jenny, who will be the parents of the title character. Ty Burrell has also been added to the project as voice of Bailey, a beluga whale that, according to Slashfilm, will the comedic sidekick character of the film. Even though Dory was the comedic sidekick character of the original film. So, essentially, there will be two comedic sidekicks in the movie. Well, that’s not going to cause any problems.

The plot of the film will center on how a traumatic event sets off Dory’s “homing instinct” which causes her to go in search of her family. Nemo and Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) will be featured in the movie looking for her. Finding Dory will be released on November 25, 2015.



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