3:07 pm EDT, August 20, 2011

Pixar announces new ‘Brave’, ‘Monsters University’ details, two entirely new films

It was a big day for Pixar at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Loads of information was revealed including new looks at Brave and Monsters University as well as two ENTIRELY new films for Holiday 2013 and Summer 2014!

Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter MC’d the event. No electronic devices were allowed inside which is why we could not live blog it.

– John Lasseter says the film is ‘unlike any we’ve made, the first fairytale for Pixar.”
– Crews took two trips to Scotland to do their research for authenticity.
– The forest is Merdia’s (the main character’s) second home. Merida and her mother do not see eye-to-eye.
– In the story she must marry into one of three Lords’ families. The three candidates do not get along with one another and each has their flaws.
– In this fantasy world, there are things called “wisps” which can either change your fate for the better or make it hell.
– Looking for help to figure out a better direction in life, Merida follows a trail of these wisps to the home of a witch. The witch puts a spell on her which screws up her life further. Now in trouble, Merida must find a way to break the spell.
– Director and producer play a scene from the film: The lords are competing for Merida’s hand in marriage. She gets to select which game they compete in. Being a skilled archer, she chooses archery. The first candidate is far off the target. The second is closer but not quite (he throws a tantrum once he misses the bullseye). The third doesn’t know how to shoot but nails the bullseye perfectly, to which the father of the third candidate brags to the other two fathers and goes so far as to flash his rear to them (this got huge laughs in the audience). Merida is not impressed by any of the three. She comes into the game area and decides to shoot “for my own hand in marriage.” Her mother isn’t happy with this and tries to get her to stop. Merida shoots at all three targets and nails each bullseye perfectly. On the third she shoots through the arrow that had already hit the bullseye by the third candidate.

Kelly Macdonald (Merida) and Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin) take the stage and discuss what it’s like to be involved with the film. “It was like I was asked to play Woody,” said Macdonald.

Monsters University

– “When we do a sequel we do it because it’s a good or better story than the original,” says Lasseter.
– “It’s the first animated college movie,” Lasseter says to great laughter and applause.
– In a feature video we see school concept art. Mike and Sulley both went to Monsters University and really wanted to become scarers. There is a school at the University specifically for learning how to scare. They are at odds because they are competing to become better than one another.
– We see young (18 year old) Sully and Mike for the first time. Sully is shaggier and thinner than his Monsters Inc self. Mike is smaller and is wearing a retainer.
– At the University we will see all types of monsters including cool ones, nerdy ones, and goth ones.
– The creative team did research by going to big schools including Harvard and Berkley.
– They want the college buildings to look collegiate but also fit for monsters.
– We see concept art of the quad and sororities at Monsters University. Huge, colorful place.
– We see concept art of the Scaring School which has a dome at the top with spikes on it similar to medieval horns. It is one of the oldest buildings on campus.
– Lead voice actors Billy Crystal and John Goodman record a video greeting for the D23 audience to say hello. They tease each other like their on-screen characters. Crystal says he’s going to one-up Goodman by actually appearing at D23. The video ends and he comes out on stage.
– Crystal can’t stop talking about how funny the film is – it’s all he says, really.

Two new Pixar films
– Film 1: Dinosaur film (untitled) for Holiday 2013. Produced by Bob Walker (The Incredibles), directed by Bob Peterson (Pixar voice actor, writer). “Unlike any dinosaur movie you’ve seen. History tells us an asteroid hit the earth and made dinosaurs extinct. In our film, the asteroid misses the earth and the dinosaurs continue to live”. We see concept art with a huge dinosaur being ridden by a small boy. Both silhouetted by the sun so we can’t see many details.
– Film 2: A story that takes place inside your head (untitled) for Summer 2014. Directed by Pete Docter (writer, Up and Wall-E).

Pixar panel ends with a celebration for their 25th anniversary. Buzz and Woody take the stage with all of the Pixar presenters, everyone in the audience gets a Pixar cupcake (see a photo below).

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