Woody & Buzz Back in ‘10


Toy Story 3 with Hanks and Allen is finally official.

From IGN – – Pixar and Disney Animation’s John Lasseter revealed to shareholders of the Walt Disney Co. yesterday that Toy Story 3 is in production at Pixar with a 2010 release date planned. The sequel to the hugely popular series had previously been in doubt before Pixar was acquired by Disney in 2006.

The film was formally announced last month, though at that time details on the project were sketchy (and a 2009 release date was tendered). The Hollywood Reporter has the news on the new release date, adding that Tom Hanks and Tim Allen have now been both confirmed as returning to their roles as the voices of Buzz Lightyear and Woody in the picture. Michael Arndt (the Oscar winning writer of Little Miss Sunshine) is scripting the film.

The studio will also be working on hand-drawn animation projects, including the previously announced The Frog Princess, which is in production as well. Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid) are spearheading that project, which will take place in New Orleans and feature the first African American “Disney princess” as well as a, ahem, “soulful singing alligator,” according to Lasseter. Musician Randy Newman, a mainstay of Pixar’s films, will be writing the tunes for Frog Princess and also was on hand for the shareholders meeting to perform a song from the film. (Berg – i thought Menken was working on the music to this? Hmmmmm….)

Lasseter also discussed Pixar’s “Wall-E,” a futuristic sci-fi project written and directed by Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo). Set 700 years from now, the film is about a robot named Wally who is charged with cleaning the garbage-covered Earth after the human race has long since abandoned the world.

American Dog, directed by Chris Williams (a writer on Mulan and The Emperor’s New Groove), also came up at the meeting. That film will be about a dog “with superpowers who suddenly realizes he is only a TV character and must learn to live in the real world.”