Spoiler alert: The Marvel / Pixar Ant-Man rumors flying around are purely that ... rumor. That's according to John Lasseter, who headlined an enormous Disney Animation / Pixar presentation this morning. We spoke with him at a press conference afterwards, where he squashed the Ant-Man rumors, and wouldn't comment on possible sequels to The Incredibles or Monsters, Inc. He also said they have no plans to reopen the closed Disney Orlando animation studios, and when we asked him how they'll handle Doc's (Paul Newman) absence in Cars 2, to which he replied "You'll see."
Plus he had no news whatsoever of any Disney/Pixar/Marvel plans, although I guess that's hardly surprising since the ink is still drying on that contract.
That's the big news about what he didn't clue us in on. So what did he tell us? We found out that Rapunzel will feature the voice of Mandy Moore as Rapunzel, and Zachary Levi as a roguish bandit named Flynn Rider who becomes Rapunzel's love interest. It will be Disney's 50th feature animated film, their first computer-animated fairytale, and the first CG musical. "There's a lot of girl power in this movie," according to Lasseter. Which isn't odd considering that it's about a young girl with 70 feet of hair. Read on after the break for more.
They showed us some storyboarded sequences with very short bits of completed animation, featuring Rapunzel using her hair as a whip like Indiana Jones, a rope to shimmy down, and an acrobatics tool. None of the musical sequences were shown, so we'll have to wait and see how Moore's singing voice holds up ... and if Levi can carry a tune.
They also showed off a new Toy Story 3 trailer (in full 3D) featuring home videocam footage of a young Andy, and it finally dissolves into his high school graduation picture. Andy goes off to college, and his toys get donated to a day care whose kids make the bad neighbor in the original Toy Story look like a cuddly hamster. Brief snippets include Buzz getting reset and changing to a Spanish language only setting, a quip from Hamm (John Ratzenberger, the pig) about checking their value on eBay, and of course ... a sappy song by Randy Newman.
Joining the already announced voice cast of Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton as Barbie's Ken, and Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, a lederhosen-wearing porcupine thespian, are John Morris, the original voice of Andy, Jeff Garlin, Bonnie Hunt, and Whoopi Goldberg. They didn't tell us what toys they'll be voicing, but they did show us a hilarious "Groovin' With Ken" shot film that has him storming off the set when the interviewer only wants to know what it's like being a "girl's toy" and second banana to Barbie.
While we don't know how they send Doc off to the graveyard in the sky, he did talk Cars 2 plot points. The whole gang (minus Doc) is returning, and they go on a race around the world through Tokyo, Germany, Paris, Italy, and London. The subplot is a "Hitchcockian thriller" according to Lasseter, and involves Mater being mistaken for a spy, and he teams up with super spy car Finn McMissile on adventures that the rest of the Cars cast doesn't believe, much in line with the Cars Toons shorts Disney shows online and on The Disney Channel. They're bringing three more out, which John Lasseter is directing, and they showed us two of them. Funny stuff, but extremely short.
They also talked a lot about Winnie the Pooh, which was previously announced, as a fully hand-drawn movie that will be made to mimic the style of the two original Disney movies. Veteran Disney animator Burny Mattinson (the only surviving animator who worked under Walt Disney himself) is on the production team, and the developers put a storyline together consisting of five plots pulled from the original A.A. Milne books. The movie will be out in Spring of 2011.
We'll pass along more info as we stumble into it. Disney has a very busy next few years, and we'll see how they handle the increased workload plus the addition of Marvel.