Thursday, February 17, 2011


Now with flavor-enhanced Add On.

Disney has a few announcements.

1) Pixar will release two new short films starring Woody and pals by year’s end.

Which leads to the following prognostication ...

The shorts will be followed by the (eventual) announcement that ... by golly ... the Emeryville team has come up with a slam bang storyline for a fourth Toy Story feature. Then there will be a number of breathless announcements and news stories built around the new picture.

When the third one collects over a billion dollars, it puts insurmountable pressure on the Disney subsidiary in Emeryville to create a fourth one.

Particularly if the next couple of Pixar features under-perform at the box office.

And though the news has been out and about on the internets for a while now, and though I've been looking at artwork for the movie for at least a year, the Mouse has finally announced this:

2) Disney announced a direct-to-DVD spin-off of “Cars,” with airplanes as the main characters. “Planes,” undoubtedly accompanied by related merchandise, will arrive in spring 2013. ...

The designs for the new picture are beguiling. This item from Disney Toons will end up making a lot of money, both in merchandise and DVD sales.

Lastly. I'm thinking that DreamWorks will be making another Shrek installment before its all over. The media was moaning about the fact that #4 under-performed at the American box office, but worldwide the feature collected three quarters of a billion dollars.

Companies don't walk away from franchises that rake in that kind of loot. After Puss in Boots gets released near the end of this year, I'll wager that there will be deep, deep consideration given to making another Shrek.

We'll see if I'm right or not.

Add On: Yesterday the Mouse's high command gave a pretty good indication of how they feel about multiple segments of their tent-pole properties:

Walt Disney Co. chief Bob Iger has been preaching the power of franchises for the Mouse House for years. On Thursday, he and other Disney execs spent the day outlining to investors -- with a slew of facts and figures -- how the focus on cross-platform properties like "Toy Story," "Cars" and its newly acquired Marvel characters will bolster the Mouse House's bottom line for years to come. ...

Anyone seriously believe the boys and girls will walk away from a billion-dollar property? I don't.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I have "inside information" that Mr. Potatohead is getting his own spinoff feature.

Anonymous said...

yep... here comes Toy Story 4.

I would think that JL and company wouldn't be too into this but maybe not. 3 was such a good way to wrap it up.

Anonymous said...

Of course a TS4 is in the thinking. When I watched TS3, I saw the finale as a direct lead in to another feature.
New owner - a girl. The toys will have to get used to her.
New environment. New toys, new trouble and new hilarity.

Anonymous said...

I read that Disney's putting one of the Toy Story shorts in front of the new Muppets movie. Seems a smart move. However:

1. Audiences have had their fill of Toys. I doubt a short starring some of the most overexposed cartoon characters in history will entice audiences to see a movie they're not interested in.

2. And audiences have good reason not to be interested in the Muppets movie. It sucks. (Yes, I've seen parts of it).

Steve Hulett said...

1. Audiences have had their fill of Toys.

And you base this observation on what, exactly? The billion dollar box office?

Anonymous said...

^Just logic, Steve. After 3 movies that told essentially the same story, you don't think audiences might not be just a *little* tired of them?

Tired or not, nothing will help that Muppet movie. Bleh.

Anonymous said...

This is undoubtedly the anonymous poster who uses every opportunity to trash the Muppets. The film is still in production. It doesn't come out until November! There is no way you've seen finished scenes. You are obsessed with the Muppets, man. Enough already. What happened to you as a child? Didn't you get the Kermit birthday cake you asked your Mommy to get you? CS, a fan of the Muppets

Anonymous said...

^The primary filming is already finished. I haven't seen the whole thing, just fragments. They suck. The movie had a bad script to begin with. Too bad. I had high hopes. Sorry to ruin your day.

Steve Hulett said...

^Just logic, Steve. After 3 movies that told essentially the same story, you don't think audiences might not be just a *little* tired of them?

Oh, logic. Right. I guess that allows you to ignore all the high-grossing evidence to the contrary.

Let's see. By your logic, it's the same story for three movies, with the audience increasingly bored, correct? So what explains each movie making more than the one before?

What does your logic tell you about when the pendulum swings the other way and the tall grosses start to come down?

Eager minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm saying that after 3 movies that told the same story (toys get lost, must find Andy!) it's going to be tough to keep audiences stoked. Especially since the last one actually had something like an end to it, one that essentially completed the Andy era. I'm not slamming the Toy Story movies, they're dazzlingly successful, and deserve to be. But there's such a thing as oversaturation. I hope I'm wrong, that audiences really do want more - it'd be great for Pixar/Disney...on the other hand, do we really want another TS trilogy? Think Phantom Menace. Do we really want anything like *that* to happen to Woody and company?

Didn't mean to strike a nerve, Steve. Just speculating.

Jay said...

"After 3 movies that told essentially the same story, you don't think audiences might not be just a *little* tired of them? "

One word: kids.
Kids don't tire of things. I've watched some of the same movies at my kids' request over 50 times now.

And the thing about kids is there is always a fresh batch of them. If/when TS4 comes out in 5 years there will be a new generation of kids ready to see new Toy Story films. And today's kids will be preteens and still want to see them, the preteens will see them as teenagers, on up until today's college kids (who grew up with TS1) are taking their kids to see the film.

In the end: kids don't care, the just want more. Its the parents you have to convince to see it, and with Toy Story that has not been a problem.

Anonymous said...

^Okay, I do agree with the above. If TS4 comes out 5 years from now, with new toy characters based on what's popular then (as an adjunct to Buzz and Woody), I can see it succeeding, and big time. I just sense a current audience fatigue with TS right now.

Could be wrong. Wouldn't upset me if I am.

Steve Hulett said...

No, I'm saying that after 3 movies that told the same story (toys get lost, must find Andy!) it's going to be tough to keep audiences stoked.

No nerve has been struck (I have little skin in this game.)

I react because you make these sweeping statements with not only no supporting evidence, but evidence that points in the opposite direction.

Your argument would be fine for, say, Shrek. Grosses have declined. But for Toy Story it's just bizarre.

Floyd Norman said...

You don't buy a gold mine and shut it down. We sure don't need a TS4, but I have no doubt they'll be producing one.

The cartoon short is really fun, however.

Anonymous said...

Where'd you see the new TS short, Floyd?

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