5:25 pm EDT, June 27, 2013

Pixar pulling back sequel releases, promises one original story a year

One common complaint about Disney Pixar over the past few years concerns their reliance on sequel/prequel ideas.

Today, they’re admitting it’s become an issue and are pledging to change course.

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Speaking to BuzzFeed, Pixar President Ed Catmull revealed that the animation studio now plans to release one original story a year.

“For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year,” says Catmull. “Every once in a while, we get a film where we want or people want to see something continuing in that world — which is the rationale behind the sequel. They want those characters, which means we were successful with them. But if you keep doing that, then you aren’t doing original films.”

Later in the interview Catmull admits that they won’t depart from sequels entirely. Pixar’s plan is to release “one and a half” movies a year, meaning that there will be one original film a year and a sequel every other year. In other words, every other year we will be treated to two movies in that 365 day period.

Pixar’s plan is already in action. The studio has just one sequel in their upcoming slate: the Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory. The follow-up is due out November 2015, which is two years (in other words, “every other year”) after 2013’s Monsters University. That same year they will release Inside Out, an original story.

Beyond Dory, Pixar has plans for releases in June 2017, November 2017, and June 2018. The projects set for these dates are not yet known, but we’d put our money on November 2017’s film being a sequel. The most likely sequels are either Toy Story 4 or The Incredibles 2.

Next year Pixar will unveil The Good Dinosaur, an original story set in an alternate version of Earth where dinosaurs never went extinct.

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