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6 Unproduced Pixar Films and Sequels

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For more than 20 years, Pixar has dominated theatrical animated releases with high-grossing films and critical acclaim. Along the way, there have been a handful of ideas they haven't moved forward on. Here are six unproduced short films, feature films, and sequels from Pixar and Disney.

1. Monsters, Inc. 2: Lost In Scaradise

Before Disney acquired Pixar in 2006, Disney’s distribution deal with the animation studio included retaining the Pixar characters' sequel rights—so if Disney wanted to make a sequel to a Pixar film, they could without the involvement of Pixar. Disney opened an animation studio called Circle 7 whose sole purpose was to develop sequels to Pixar properties.

Enter Monsters, Inc. 2: Lost In Scaradise. The unproduced film’s storyline followed Mike and Sulley from the first Monsters, Inc. film as they drop in to surprise their friend Boo for her birthday in the human world. But when they discover that Boo’s family has moved away, Mike and Sulley go on an adventure to try to find her.

The sequel film was later scrapped when Disney closed down Circle 7 in 2006 as part of the Pixar acquisition, but not before Circle 7 developed unproduced sequels for Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo. Pixar followed up Monsters, Inc. with the prequel Monsters University, which hits theaters today.

2. A Tin Toy Christmas

In 1988, John Lasseter won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Pixar’s Tin Toy. Following the Oscar win, Pixar started getting more commercial and television work. In 1989, Pixar was commissioned to make a Christmas TV special called A Tin Toy Christmas. When funding for the project ran out, Pixar shelved the project to develop a feature film instead.

A Tin Toy Christmas eventually evolved into the first Toy Story film. Tinny the tin toy soldier became Buzz Lightyear, while the ventriloquist’s dummy became his friend Woody.

3. George and A.J.

After the success of the film Up in 2009, Pixar wanted to make a short film that followed the Shady Oaks Retirement Village employees George and A.J. The short film followed their misadventures after Up’s protagonist Carl Friederickson levitated his house with over 20,000 helium-filled balloons. The film was never finished, but because of Up’s popularity, Pixar decided to release the short film as a bonus feature.

The animation is crude and in a limited “storyboard/animatic” style, but in true Pixar fashion, the short film still conveys a lot of big laughs and touching moments.

4. Car Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales - Backwards to the Forwards

One of the most successful Pixar properties is, surprisingly, Cars. Although the films aren’t as successful as other properties like the Toy Story trilogy or Finding Nemo, Cars merchandise is one of the highest selling markets for Pixar, so spinning off the Cars characters is a top priority.

Pixar has made a number of short films surrounding Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen, but Backwards to the Forwards was one that Pixar abandoned. The short followed the Cars pair through a mysterious thunderstorm that opens up a time portal where Mater and Lightning become trapped. The short was a parody of the science fiction film Back To The Future.

Animator Scott Morse developed the story for the short film, but then scrapped the idea when it wasn’t coming together. Scott Morse also worked on Your Friend the Rat, which accompanied Ratatouille’s DVD release.

5. and 6. The Original Storylines for Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3

Toy Story 2 was originally supposed to be an hour-long direct-to-video sequel, but when Disney executives watched a few completed sequences, they wanted to open the film in theaters instead. So Pixar's artists and writers had to re-assemble the film’s storyline to make it longer for a theatrical release. Pixar executive John Lasseter took over the project and started the story process over again, with only nine months until the film was due to be released in theaters.

While Toy Story 2’s storyline always involved Woody being kidnapped so a toy collector could complete his set of limited edition toys, the original storyline incorporated different toys as part of “Woody’s Roundup” gang. The film introduced a Prospector, who was later developed to become Stinky Pete; Bullseye, Woody’s horse who could talk in the original version; and Senorita Cactus, the Prospector’s evil sidekick, who was eventually replaced with Jessie in the film’s final version.

Toy Story 2’s original storyline was expanded with the addition of Jessie the Cowgirl. Her character gave the final film much needed heart, along with the film’s theme of a toy left behind and forgotten by its owner.

During the film’s nine-month redevelopment, Toy Story 2 was almost completely erased from Pixar’s network and mainframe. Someone at Pixar mistakenly used a command keystroke that led to the film’s disappearance from the Pixar servers. With Toy Story 2’s backup files also corrupted, Pixar would have to start the animation process again with only a few months until its release date. Luckily, the film’s technical director made copies of the film on her home computer, so Toy Story 2’s production was miraculously saved.

In 2005, Disney’s Circle 7 animation studios developed a sequel to Toy Story 2 without Pixar’s involvement. Disney’s script for Toy Story 3 involved a worldwide recall of the Buzz Lightyear toy, so Andy’s mom sent Buzz back to Taiwan, where he had been manufactured, while Andy’s other toys planned a daring escape to save their friend. Tim Allen agreed to voice the character of Buzz Lightyear even if Pixar refused to return.

But in 2006, Disney acquired Pixar, and the original Disney storyline for Toy Story 3 was scrapped. Pixar developed their own version of Toy Story 3. Lee Unkrich was named director and Michael Arndt was commissioned to write a new screenplay. The film was released in 2010 and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

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5 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 2
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Netflix

Stranger Things seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of television's standout new series in 2016. Netflix's sometimes scary, sometimes funny, and always exciting homage to '80s pop culture was a binge-worthy phenomenon when it debuted in July 2016. Of course, the streaming giant wasn't going to wait long to bring more Stranger Things to audiences, and a second season was announced a little over a month after its debut—and Netflix just announced that we'll be getting it a few days earlier than expected. Here are five key things we know about the show's sophomore season, which kicks off on October 27.

1. WE'LL BE GETTING EVEN MORE EPISODES.

The first season of Stranger Things consisted of eight hour-long episodes, which proved to be a solid length for the story Matt and Ross Duffer wanted to tell. While season two won't increase in length dramatically, we will be getting at least one extra hour when the show returns in 2017 with nine episodes. Not much is known about any of these episodes, but we do know the titles:

"Madmax"
"The Boy Who Came Back To Life"
"The Pumpkin Patch"
"The Palace"
"The Storm"
"The Pollywog"
"The Secret Cabin"
"The Brain"
"The Lost Brother"

There's a lot of speculation about what each title means and, as usual with Stranger Things, there's probably a reason for each one.

2. THE KIDS ARE RETURNING (INCLUDING ELEVEN).

Stranger Things fans should gear up for plenty of new developments in season two, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters aren't returning. A November 4 photo sent out by the show's Twitter account revealed most of the kids from the first season will be back in 2017, including the enigmatic Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown (the #elevenisback hashtag used by series regular Finn Wolfhard should really drive the point home):

3. THE SHOW'S 1984 SETTING WILL LEAD TO A DARKER TONE.

A year will have passed between the first and second seasons of the show, allowing the Duffer brothers to catch up with a familiar cast of characters that has matured since we last saw them. With the story taking place in 1984, the brothers are looking at the pop culture zeitgeist at the time for inspiration—most notably the darker tone of blockbusters like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

"I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders, I like that it feels very different than Raiders did," Matt Duffer told IGN. "Even though it was probably slammed at the time—obviously now people look back on it fondly, but it messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film—that it really traumatized some children. Not saying that we want to traumatize children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder."

4. IT'S NOT SO MUCH A CONTINUATION AS IT IS A SEQUEL.

When you watch something like The Americans season two, it's almost impossible to catch on unless you've seen the previous episodes. Stranger Things season two will differ from the modern TV approach by being more of a sequel than a continuation of the first year. That means a more self-contained plot that doesn't leave viewers hanging at the end of nine episodes.

"There are lingering questions, but the idea with Season 2 is there's a new tension and the goal is can the characters resolve that tension by the end," Ross Duffer told IGN. "So it's going to be its own sort of complete little movie, very much in the way that Season 1 is."

Don't worry about the two seasons of Stranger Things being too similar or too different from the original, though, because when speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the influences on the show, Matt Duffer said, "I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”

5. THE PREMIERE WILL TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF HAWKINS.

Everything about the new Stranger Things episodes will be kept secret until they finally debut later this year, but we do know one thing about the premiere: It won't take place entirely in the familiar town of Hawkins, Indiana. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”

So, should we take "a little bit outside" as literally as it sounds? You certainly can, but in that same interview, the brothers also said they're both eager to explore the Upside Down, the alternate dimension from the first season. Whether the season kicks off just a few miles away, or a few worlds away, you'll get your answer when Stranger Things's second season debuts next month.

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Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in October
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NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Netflix subscribers are already counting down the days until the premiere of the new season of Stranger Things. But, as always, in order to make room for the near-90 new titles making their way to the streaming site, some of your favorite titles—including all of 30 Rock, The Wonder Years, and Malcolm in the Middle—must go. Here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in October ... binge ‘em while you can!

October 1

30 Rock (Seasons 1-7)

A Love in Times of Selfies

Across the Universe

Barton Fink

Bella

Big Daddy

Carousel

Cradle 2 the Grave

Crafting a Nation

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

Daddy’s Little Girls

Dark Was the Night

David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (Season 1)

Day of the Kamikaze

Death Beach

Dowry Law

Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief

Friday Night Lights (Seasons 1-5)

Happy Feet

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Hellboy

Kagemusha

Laura

Love Actually

Malcolm in the Middle (Seasons 1-7)

Max Dugan Returns

Millennium 

Million Dollar Baby

Mortal Combat

Mr. 3000

Mulholland Dr.

My Father the Hero

My Name Is Earl (Seasons 1-4)

One Tree Hill (Seasons 1-9)

Patton

Picture This

Prison Break (Seasons 1-4)

The Bernie Mac Show (Seasons 1-5)

The Shining

The Wonder Years (Seasons 1-6)

Titanic

October 19

The Cleveland Show (Seasons 1-4)

October 21

Bones (Seasons 5-11)

October 27

Lie to Me (Seasons 2-3)

Louie (Seasons 1-5)

Hot Transylvania 2

October 29

Family Guy (Seasons 9-14)

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