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Sick of (re)watching Frozen with the kids? Here's what Disney has planned next

Who will be the new Elsa?

PastedImage-29051 Source: Disney

A MESSAGE TO parents suffering Frozen fatigue: Disney has more talking animals and singing princesses on the way, according to a sneak preview of its animation slate given to journalists in Cannes this week.

The pictures scheduled to come out of Disney Animation Studios – which made the mega-hit Frozen, the biggest-grossing cartoon feature of all time – and sister unit Pixar, include sequels to Finding Nemo and Toy Story, as well as a friendly dinosaur odyssey and a tuneful South Pacific adventure.

Here are the features unveiled by John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, who was in Cannes for the premiere of Pixar’s latest, “Inside Out”, which opens worldwide next month.

- The Good Dinosaur -

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Pixar imagines an Earth where an asteroid didn’t impact the surface 65 million years ago, killing all the dinosaurs. Instead, the story follows a young green talking dinosaur, Arlo, who sees his father killed and gets swept away from the rest of his family. He ends up befriending a caveman boy who acts more as a puppy dog than a sentient human.

“It’s a boy and a dog story – but the roles are reversed,” said Lasseter.

The short scenes that were shown revealed a detailed world, nearly photo-realistic, so advanced is the computer animation, and populated by dinosaurs certain to get kids’ attention: T-Rexes, velociraptors and pterodactyls.

The Good Dinosaur will be rolled out worldwide from 25 November.

- Finding Dory -

Yep, Dory, the memory-deficient blue fish who helped find young Nemo back in 2003 is the star of the upcoming sequel to Finding Nemo due out mid-2016.

“We are so excited to dive back into this underwater world,” Lasseter said, adding that US actress Ellen DeGeneres would return to voice the hypomnesiac Pacific Regal Blue Tang in the English version.

26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards - Los Angeles Source: Associated Press

Nemo and his father accompany Dory as she sets out to find her own family in a story set six months after the Pixar original. Along the way they encounter new seascapes and new creatures, including a giant squid, Hank the octopus, Destiny the whale shark (confused about whether she’s a whale or a shark), and Bailey the beluga whale.

- Toy Story 4 -

Toy Story was the movie that shot Pixar to fame, and its sequels have also been critical successes. No surprise then that the fourth in the series will be released in 2017, directed by Lasseter himself.

There were no snippets available on this one, with the Disney animation creative officer saying it’s “in its early stages but it’s shaping up nicely”.

Buzz Lightyear Source: David Cheskin/PA Wire

- Zootopia -

PastedImage-8189 Source: Disney

From the venerable Walt Disney Animation Studios which made Frozen is this smart-alecky original feature about a city populated by animals that interact, dress, drive and talk just like people do. They live in a species-diverse metropolis, Zootopia, where newsstands sell copies of the Wall Street Gerbil and Vanity Fur.

Judy Hopps, a bunny police officer, is forced to team up with a hustling fox, Nick Wilde, to track down a missing mammal within 48 hours, but their investigation uncovers a much bigger plot that challenges prejudices.

The excerpt from this animation, scheduled to start its rollout in February next year, garnered the biggest laughs from the audience when it showed a scene in a vehicle registration office where long lines of animals had to deal with counters staffed by… sloths.

- Moana -

Source: NerdAlert/YouTube

This picture is set in the South Pacific and stars a young islander princess who belts out songs with tribal beats reminiscent of Disney’s 1994 The Lion King, while venturing across an ocean in the company of a despondently defeated god, Maui.

Lasseter insisted on Disney’s on-location research for the movie, and the respect it sought to attach to the myths and culture of populations on Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii.

“It will be a musical in a classic Disney way,” but with music inspired from that region, he said, presenting one of the drum-thumping tunes to appear in the movie, due out in time for Christmas next year.

“Music and Disney go so hand-in-hand,” Lasseter said — a truism that is anchored in many a parent’s head after endlessly repeated viewings of Frozen and other Disney hits.

- © AFP 2015

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