Disney/Pixar Updates From D23

Disney’s D23 fan convention kicked off on Thursday in Anaheim with all sorts of news and titbits flying out about both the Mouse House and Pixar’s upcoming projects. Along with premieres of new trailers for upcoming Disney titles like “A Christmas Carol,” “Prince of Persia” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, there was some breaking news pieces. Here’s a summary of what we’ve learned thus far:

Yellow Submarine
Following on news from a month ago, Robert Zemeckis is locked in to direct a 3D performance capture remake of The Beatles 1968 animated cult hit. Zemeckis will incorporate the 16 Beatles songs and recordings from the original motion picture, while the designs will stick quite close to the original.

John Carter of Mars
The first live-action feature (with “intense special effects”) that Pixar is working has been set for a Summer 2012 release date. Despite their involvement, the film will go out through the Walt Disney Pictures label.

The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made
Yep, that’s the official title for the new Muppets movie that comedic actor/writer Jason Segel has been penning for some time now. No further dates for production or release have been announced. The title refers to an unproduced idea for a film Henson had in 1985 in which Gonzo becomes a film director and quickly blows out the film’s budget.

Toy Story 3
Former James Bond star Timothy Dalton will voice a spiky character named Mr Pricklepants. Also the storyline sees Andy’s toys being given to a daycare centre where they are horribly abused by the little kids. They team-up to break out and find a new owner who’ll treat them right.

Cars 2
John Lasseter told Empire a breakdown of the plot: Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), his pit team and new pit boss Mater head around the world for the Race of Champions, to take place in five different countries and involve the champions of different disciplines like Formula One and rally driving. Settings will include Tokyo and Mount Fuji in Japan, Germany’s Black Forest, Italy, Paris and London. A major subplot has Mater saving the life of British secret agent Finn McMissile (an Aston Martin) and being mistaken for him Hitchcock-style (ala “North by Northwest”).

Winnie the Pooh
The writers are combining the plotlines of five of A.A. Milne’s original stories that had never been filmed to create a feature-length story. A Spring 2011 release is planned.

The Bear and the Bow
Story details wise this is the first real female-lead Pixar film that focuses on Merida (Reese Witherspoon), a princess in 10th century Scotland. Something of a wild girl who’s alienated from her family, the main thrust of the plot deals with her mending her relationship with her mother than finding love. Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson play her parents while Julie Walters is the witch villain.