What’s next from Pixar? Costumed crusaders and anthropomorphic autos. Brad Bird, a Pixar newcomer who made The Iron Giant at Warner Bros., is helming a superhero-family comedy, The Incredibles, for a Nov. 5, 2004, release. And Toy Story’s John Lasseter returns to directing with the Route 66 tale Cars in 2005. But they’ll have plenty of competition.
Robots (March 11, 2005) Mechanical characters designed by William Joyce (Rolie Polie Olie), voiced by Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry. From Blue Sky, the makers of Ice Age. Shrek 2 (June 18, 2004) Julie Andrews and John Cleese join the original all-star voice cast as Princess Fiona’s parents. Sharkslayer (November 2004) DreamWorks’ underwater Mob spoof, which was just forced to back off its release date by The Incredibles, stars Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, and Martin Scorsese. Chicken Little (2005) Disney’s fractured fairy tale comes from the director-producer team behind The Emperor’s New Groove and was reportedly in flux as of April. Sean Hayes was mentioned to play an ugly duckling, but the character’s now a girl. Madagascar (spring 2005) Shipwrecked zoo animals: Ben Stiller (a lion), Jada Pinkett Smith (a hippo), Chris Rock (a zebra), David Schwimmer (a giraffe). DreamWorks. Angel and Her No Good Sister (2005) Disney’s bluegrass project mixes CG with 2-D work. Early reports said James Carville was involved, but Disney says he’s not and will confirm only Dolly Parton. Valiant (2005) The adventures of an RAF carrier pigeon in WWII; a lower-budget Disney effort under way in London from Vanguard Films. Over the Hedge (late 2005) A comic-strip adaptation with Jim Carrey as a con-artist raccoon, and Garry Shandling as a mild-mannered turtle. DreamWorks.
Brother Bear (Oct. 24, 2003) Joaquin Phoenix plays a Native American transformed into a grizzly, with Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas as a moose duo, and songs by Phil Collins. Disney. Home on the Range, formerly Sweating Bullets (April 2004) From Disney, a country musical (songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater) about dairy cows (one played by Roseanne) saving a farm.
Wallace & Gromit in The Were-Rabbit (2005) From DreamWorks, a horror spoof spun by Academy Award-winning writer-director Nick Park, who made the well-received Chicken Run.
ANIMATION WITH LIVE ACTION
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (Nov. 14, 2003) Joe Dante mixes Warner’s ‘toon biggies (Bugs, Daffy, etc.) with Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, and Timothy Dalton. Garfield (spring 2004) From Fox, the comic-strip cat in CG, voiced by Bill Murray, with Breckin Meyer as his human owner, Jon.