BuzzFeed recently posted an interview with Ed Catmull, president of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. In the interview Catmull discussed information about Pixar’s film release strategy, Pixar’s dedication to creating original films, and what they’re doing to maintain the revered animation studio’s legacy.
Catmull shared that Pixar’s plan is to release “one and a half films a year,” meaning that an original (aka non-sequel) film would be released once a year from the studio and that a sequel to a previous Pixar film would be released “every other year.”
According to Catmull:
“For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year…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.”
While many are interpreting this as a reduction of sequels of films that Pixar is producing, Honor Hunter, the blogger behind the Disney news and rumor site Blue Sky Disney, stated:
“Now, everyone is saying that they’re going to slow down with the production of sequels. There have been 14 Pixar films and four of them are sequels. Now if you do the math it turns out that the number you come up with roughly is a little less than a third of films are sequels. Now, look at where Catmull is talking about a new film once a year and a sequel every other year. That would add up to ten new films in a decade and five sequels in the same decade. Out of fifteen films, that would mean a third would be sequels. Does that seem like they’re going to pull back on making sequels? No, it looks like almost the same amount of new verses sequel films as what has been made over the past two decades. It’s simply a continuation of what has gone on for a while explained by one of the men responsible for it. The only difference is that the production has ramped up to a film a year.”
As we’ve previously reported, now that Monsters University has been released, the only announced sequel currently on Pixar’s slate is 2015’s Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo. Given that there are two Pixar releases scheduled for 2017, it looks like the next Pixar sequel would be most likely be arriving then.
Another interesting thing Catmull discussed in the interview was continuing Pixar’s legacy of excellence, particularly with original films. He said:
“How do you figure out how to pass the baton onto other people? In some places they don’t do that. When Walt [Disney] died, he didn’t pass the baton to anybody else, and so they went downhill after that. So John [Lasseter] and I take very seriously the fact that we need to get people up to the level where they can tell original films.”