Pixar Updates: Mr. Pricklepants, Cars 2, & Winnie the Pooh
The legendary John Lasseter stopped by London earlier today for a special Disney Animation Showcase and made a handful of exciting announcements related to upcoming Disney and Pixar projects. First off, he revealed that ex-James Bond actor Timothy Dalton would be providing his voice in Toy Story 3 for the character of Mr. Pricklepants, a hedgehog toy with thespian tendencies (via Empire). If you've seen Hot Fuzz, you'll know Dalton is usually a brilliant addition to any movie these days, and I can't wait to hear his voice in this. Lasseter made a few other exciting reveals, including plot details for Cars 2, so read on!
Empire also got to see some footage from Toy Story 3 and confirmed that the storyline now involves Buzz and Woody's owner Andy leaving for college and the toys being dumped at a day care center. I believe the trailer is due out in just a few weeks in front of Toy Story 1 & 2 in 3D, so we'll just wait for that to arrive.
Speaking of plots, Empire also got some new story details about Cars 2, which hits in 2011. Former producer Brad Lewis is directing the sequel, which will see Lightning McQueen, his pit team and new pit boss Mater, heading around the world for the Race of Champions, to take place in five different countries and involve the champions of different disciplines like Formula One and rally driving. Apparently "Mater gets involved in a 'Hitchcockian' case of mistaken identity, saves the life of a British secret agent called Finn McMissile (who looks a lot like an Aston Martin) and becomes embroiled in a huge spy thriller. Only no-one believes him. That too comes to a head at Buckingham Palace." I'm actually really digging that plot.
Lastly, another fairly big change of pace, as Lasseter announced that they're reviving Winnie the Pooh by developing a feature animated film (via Rotten Tomatoes), making it the first time in more than 35 years that a feature film about Pooh has been produced at Disney. We already knew that this new Winnie the Pooh movie was in development, as it was announced back in June. Lasseter showed some of the new artwork, which was "in the classic style of Winnie the Pooh," and stressed that the "new film wouldn't just appeal to small kids and their parents, but rather would offer an entertaining adventure for the whole family."
Being a huge Disney fan, who is sadly missing the D23 Expo, I'm excited by pretty much all of this news. With Lasseter now running the animation side of things there, they really can do no wrong. Thoughts?