John Lasseter Previews FINDING DORY, TOY STORY 4 and More at Cannes

     May 20, 2015


Inside Out premiered at Cannes a couple of days ago, but John Lasseter hung around a bit longer to deliver a two-hour presentation on Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ line-up for the next two years. He showed off images and footage from The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory, Toy Story 4, Zootopia and Moana, and Variety and THR were both on hand to check it all out. Here’s a brief recap of what the outlets saw and their assessment of the footage.

The Good Dinosaur


Image via Pixar

Variety described the clips shown as a cross between Tarzan and Lilo & Stitch. Director Peter Sohn said that the film is “striving for a very unique tone, unlike any animated film made.” He added, “I think our next movie asks the biggest what if of all. What if the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs actually missed earth?”

The main character is an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voiced by Lucas Neff). He loses his father, falls into a river and wakes up far from home. While trying to make his way back to the Clawed-Tooth Mountains, he bumps into a cave-boy named Spot. Lasseter noted that it’s a reverse boy and his dog story and further explained, “Arlo, the dinosaur, is the boy in the story and Spot is the dog.” Apparently Arlo is capable of standing and speaking whereas Spot crawls on his hands and feet and grunts. The duo will also be joined by a supporting cast of dinosaurs that includes three T-Rexes, Pterodactyl and a feathered Velociraptor.

Both outlets noted how real the footage looked. In fact, Variety even said that one clip Lasseter revealed of Arlo and Spot chasing fireflies in a forest looked “more real than any scene from a Pixar production.”

Finding Dory


Image via Pixar

Finding Nemo came out back in 2003, but Finding Dory will begin just six months after the events of the original film. This time around Dory, Nemo and Marlin set out to track down Dory’s family, including her parents voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy. According to Variety’s report, the trio will make their way through an area of the Pacific Ocean littered with shipping containers, travel through a kelp forest and also make some new friends including an octopus and a whale-shark named Destiny. Lasseter explained, “She thinks she’s a whale, but she’s actually a shark.”

Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 isn’t due in theaters until June 16, 2017, so it isn’t much of a surprise that this was the only portion of the presentation that didn’t feature any clips. Instead, Lasseter just teased, “We’re in the early stages of the film, but it’s shaping up nicely. It’s funny. The story is not as much a continuation of the past films, but a brand new chapter in the ‘Toy Story’ world.”



Image via Disney

The first concept art and synopsis for Zootopia arrived back in 2013, so we’ve known the basics of the story for quite a while now. The movie takes place in the title city where there’s no humans, just animals who walk and talk. The narrative centers on a Fox named Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman) who’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. He goes on the run and tries to evade Zootopia’s best cop, a rabbit named Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin). However, when Judy becomes a target of the conspiracy herself, they’ve got no choice, but to team up and work together. Variety’s Cannes report adds that initially, Judy has to write parking tickets because she’s the first rabbit to join the police force. The outlet also notes that together, Judy and Nick are trying to crack a “missing mammal case.”

Variety graded each portion of the presentation (minus Toy Story 4 because there were no clips) and Zootopia scored the lowest of them all, a B-. Apparently some of the footage did earn laughs, but it’s still unclear whether the narrative will be great or “something out of Disney Afternoon’s Duck Tales or Darkwing Duck.”



Image via Disney Animation Studios

Again, we’ve known a bit about Moana for a while now. According to the film’s synopsis, the title character is a born navigator who sets sail in search of a fabled island. Along the way, she teams up with the demi-god Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson. Variety notes that the film will open with Moana’s birth and a song that’s reminiscent of The Lion King’s “The Circle of Life.” The outlet also specifies that the story is set 2,000 years ago. When Moana’s grandmother passes away, Moana and her buddies, a pig named Pua and a rooster named Hei, sneak off on a boat even though Moana’s father specifically tells her not to. Maui steps in when the group becomes stranded on an island. The character has tattoos that come to life as well as a magical sea hook, whatever that means.

The Good Dinosaur hits theaters on November 25th, Zootopia debuts on March 4, 2016, Finding Dory comes out on June 17, 2016, Moana will hit theaters on November 23, 2016 and lastly, Toy Story 4 is set for a June 16, 2017 release.

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