PixarTOY-STORY

As they’ve already mapped out their lineup through 2015, Disney and Pixar have announced a game plan to release eight new animated films starting in 2016 and ending in 2018. It’s an aggressive number of films that shows Pixar has become the more dominant of the two companies, but leaves room for Disney’s animation side to make just as many movies.

Here are the release dates, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

  • UNTITLED DISNEY ANIMATION now dated on 3/4/16 wide in 3D
  • UNTITLED PIXAR ANIMATION now dated on 6/17/16 wide in 3D
  • UNTITLED DISNEY ANIMATION now dated on Wed 11/23/16 wide in 3D
  • UNTITLED PIXAR ANIMATION now dated on 6/16/17 wide in 3D
  • UNTITLED PIXAR ANIMATION now dated on Wed 11/22/17 wide in 3D
  • UNTITLED DISNEY ANIMATION now dated on 3/9/18 wide in 3D
  • UNTITLED PIXAR ANIMATION now dated on 6/15/18 wide in 3D
  • UNTITLED DISNEY ANIMATION now dated on Wed 11/21/18 wide in 3D

There will be a Pixar film every summer for those three years, Disney animation gets two of the three Thanksgiving releases and Pixar the other, while Disney’s other two pictures are scheduled for a March release. That might be a sign that they are weaker, but we’ve seen a number of March titles make $300-$400 Million at the box office, so they have flags planted in all the best release locations.

There are two things to say about this schedule. One is that calling your release dates is going to be a more common occurrence as the industry evolves. Much of 2015′s summer is already plotted, and though we’ve seen movies change release dates all the time (like The Great Gatsby) calling your weekend ahead of time means other studios know to stay away. And with the massive amount of pre-production that often goes into animation, it’s possible that they’ve already got most of their ideas mapped out.

But the other thing to note is that we’ve been in what feels like “phase two” of Pixar for a while now. It’s not that they make bad movies now, or anything like it, but they used to make masterpieces most of the time. Whatever that animating spirit (excuse the pun) was, it’s definitely not the same now.

Also, considering their more recent output, we’d guess at least one of these films — if not more — is a sequel/prequel. And we’d bet on a Wreck-it Ralph 2.

What’s your favorite Pixar movie?