The new issue of TIME magazine talks about what's ahead for Pixar Animation Studios, including new details on the company's next three films after Ratatouille, opening on June 29. Here is what you can expect:
The studio synopsis: "The year is 2700. WALL• E, a robot, spends every day doing what he was made for. But soon, he will discover what he was meant for." Andrew Stanton, writer-director of "Finding Nemo" (still Pixar's biggest box-office hit), describes this metallic love story as "R2-D2 meets City Lights," with WALL• E meeting a cute robot named Eve. Those who remember the 1931 Charlie Chaplin film, about a blind girl wooed by a tramp she mistakenly believes is a rich man, can transpose the story to a lonely planet and guess from there. The main roles will be "voiced" electronically by Ben Burtt, the wizardly sound designer behind Star Wars.
Up (June 12, 2009)
Pete Docter, the Pixar lifer who made "Monsters Inc.," and co-director Bob Peterson are preparing this "coming-of-old-age story" about a seventysomething guy who lives in a house that "looks like your grandparents' house smelled." He befriends a clueless young Wilderness Ranger and gets into lots of alter kocker altercations. Says Pixar: "Our hero travels the globe, fights beasts and villains and eats dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon."
Originality is a Pixar hallmark. None of the company's films have been based on fairy tales or novels, and only "Toy Story" has spawned sequels. Why a third adventure for Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen)? "We got an idea we thought would be really great," says Lee Unkrich, who co-directed "Toy Story 2" and "Finding Nemo" and graduates to full director status here. "We're just starting to write the story," he confides, adding, "I wake up every morning hoping for a eureka moment." He and the Brain Trust have already had one inspiration: they've asked Randy Newman to write the score. Or was that a no-brainer?