Once upon several years ago, Pixarphiles could defend their favorite company against DreamWorks fans by saying "DreamWorks sucks, Pixar doesn't do all the sequels DreamWorks does!"
Well, they've quickly lost those bragging rights.
Sure, there was "Toy Story 2" - but Pixar never chose to do that. Disney began to produce the film as a direct-to-video sequel to the original "Toy Story" without Pixar's blessing. Pixar rushed in, and under the watchful eye of John Lasseter, turned the film around in a fraction of the time Pixar films are normally made, and made it theatrical quality. The rest is history - and "Toy Story 2" is considered one of the best film sequels ever, one of the few that matches (perhaps, even, surpasses) the original.
Between all the original films Pixar was doing, it seemed concrete that they weren't going to produce any more sequels.
Let's take a look at their film-lineup versus DreamWorks.
1995 - Toy Story
1998 - A Bug's Life
1999 - Toy Story 2
2001 - Monster's, Inc.
2003 - Finding Nemo
2004 - The Incredibles
2006 - Cars
2007 - Ratatouille
2008 - WALL-E
2009 - Up
2010 - Toy Story 3
2011 - Cars 2
2011 - The Bear and the Bow
2012 - Newt
...Three sequels in their history of animated features. Only one released as of me writing this.
1998 - The Prince of Egypt
2000 - The Road to El Dorado
2000 - Joseph: King of Dreams
2002 - Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
2003 - Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
1998 - Antz
2001 - Shrek
2004 - Shrek 2
2004 - Shark Tale
2005 - Madagascar
2006 - Over the Hedge
2007 - Shrek the Third
2007 - Bee Movie
2008 - Kung Fu Panda
2008 - Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
2009 - Monsters vs. Aliens
2010 - How to Train Your Dragon
2010 - Shrek Forever After
2010 - Oobermind
2011 - Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom
2011 - The Guardians
2012 - Puss in Boots
2012 - Madagascar 3
...Two spin-offs and six sequels in their history of animated features. Three of the sequels and one of the spin-offs released as of me writing this.
So, Pixar still isn't as bad as DreamWorks in terms of milking their franchises (yet), but could Pixar's fourth sequel be on its way?
Pixar is known for having an elite ilk of directors oversee all their films. While their has been a host of co-directors assisting them - John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Brad Bird have been the leading men behind Pixar's currently released ten films.
However, their futures are largely tied up. Andrew Stanton and Brad Bird are both working on live-aciton films - "John Carter of Mars" and "1906" respectively. John Lasseter now busily oversees the outputs of Walt Disney Animation Studios, ImageMovers Digital, and Pixar Animation Studios as the Chief Creative Officer - he has no time to direct.
Lee Unkrich, previously only a co-director, is heading "Toy Story 3". Gary Rydstrom, who directed the short 'Lifted' will direct "Newt". Brenda Chapman, director of "The Prince of Egypt", will also direct, "The Bear and the Bow".
So that leaves Pete Docter - he's the only one not accounted for out of Pixar's top four directors.
Well, that may not be the case anymore.
The Liscensing Exposition at Las Vegas first brought us news of a new 2011 Winnie the Pooh film. However, that was publicly announced. A private , closed-doors meeting was held with liscensees about future, currently secret projects.
All attendees were sworn to secrecy (in writing), but nothing is sacred today in the entertainment world.
Reportedly, various attendees emerged from the private meeting buzzing about - "Monster's, Inc. 2".
Various sites are reporting the news, notably Jim Hill Media. Keep in mind, Jim Hill is notorious for his mistakes. Here is the quote from his site:
Well, though the buyers who attended these particular preview sessions were first sworn to secrecy by Disney officials, several immediately reached out to me afterwards to say how thrilled they were to learn that Pete Docter will be following up "Up" with a sequel to "Monsters, Inc."
John Lasseter once said, "If we have a great story, we'll do a sequel." Even so, Pixar fans and animation fans alike are not too excited about these sequels. "Cars", considered Pixar's worse film in the story department, is getting a sequel over the much more critically acclaimed, "The Incredibles", or the number one Pixar film at the box-office, "Finding Nemo".
Can we trust the report from Jim Hill? Maybe not.
However, Blue Sky Disney is generally an accurate site that breaks Disney news before other websites and turns out to be correct. Without revealing their sources, they simply stated the rumors are true:
The rumors are true...It appears that Pete Docter has settled on his next directing gig and the film project is a familiar one. While he likely won't be talking about it until his press junkets are through for "Up," the feature that he'll be working on(and has been for a while) is the sequel to "Monster's Inc." with tentative plans for it being Pixar's 2013 release.You heard it here guys...
Other 'proof' that has amounted in recent months includes an MTV interview where Docter, asked about a sequel, stated:
When I followed up with Doctor about [the ideas for a sequel being considered] all he would say is "I can neither confirm nor deny". (And he did it in a nervous voice).
The Pixar Blog uncovered what sort of web searches were coming out of the Pixar studio, itself, and found the string 'monsters 2013 pixar' - in various combinations - was being Googled at Pixar.
At Comic-Con 2008, Docter said:
We’ve thought about it… We’ve got a couple ideas.
The Pixar Blog tried to ask Peter Sohn (director of 'Partly Cloudy) but were cut off by a Pixar publicist.
When I interviewed Peter Sohn last month I asked him about Monsters, Inc. 2 at the end of the call. He was about to say something —I can't...— but the Pixar publicist listening in made sure he didn't finish the sentence!
What do you think? Is there enough evidence to make it a fact in your eyes, or is there still room for doubt?
Let us know what you think in the comments!