Lee Unkrich

Boardwalk Round-Up: Zootopia Isn't Getting Two Sequels, Toy Story 4, and Lee Unkrich

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The Boardwalk Round-Up is back. Disney starts off 2019 with a bang. This is only in month one. We are in store for a wild year.

Opinion: Zootopia In All Honesty Isn't Getting Two Sequels

First Look at Disney's 'Zootopia' Set for March 2016 Release
First Look at Disney's 'Zootopia' Set for March 2016 Release

Earlier this week reports started to float around that Zootopia would be getting two sequels. Not to crush anyone's hopes and dreams but Disney doesn't usually announce two sequels in a row unless it is Star Wars or Marvel. Especially for their animation studio. The reports were started because a voice actor for Zootopia, Tommy Lister revealed Disney had plans for two sequels.

Lister even said the budget would be $300 million. That would be a $100 million more than Incredibles 2. The second Zootopia film has been rumored for a while. It's in the early stages of development. We may find out about it at D23 this summer. One thing is for sure is that Disney would've announced that they were making two Zootopia films a lot earlier.

Even as a side note, Zootopia made tons of money but so did Frozen? Not to mention there was more of a Frozen fever then there was for Zootopia. If Disney was ever bold enough to announce two sequels wouldn't it be for their most successful franchise in animation right now? Frozen was almost immediately interjected into Disney Parks, as for Zootopia it took Disney three years to announce it would be getting its own themed land at Shanghai Disneyland.

Until more trusted sources report on the matter. I'm going to place this in the "false" column.

'Toy Story 4' Hypes The Return of Bo Peep

Toy Story 4, which looks to destroy everyone's emotions is marketing hard. Toy Story's latest marketing tactic is showcasing the return of Bo Peep. A character that was a big part in the first two Toy Story films. The teaser showcases her new look. We knew Bo Peep was going to be in Toy Story 4 back in 2015. When then-director John Lasseter announced it.

Pixar claims that Toy Story 4 isn't a continuation of Toy Story 3 and that it is its own story. Yet, it seems like they are making this sound like the end. What emotional ending could we be in store for? Especially after that perfect ending in Toy Story 3.

Read my piece on my website at Boardwalk Times about Toy Story 4.

Lee Unkrich is leaving Pixar after 25 years

Lee Unkrich
Lee Unkrich

Well, Pixar is going through changes. Co-founder John Lasseter is out but has landed a gig at Skydance Animation. Co-founder Ed Catmull is retiring at the end of the year. Now, Lee Unkrich is leaving Pixar. So the OG Pixar brain trust has shrunk. Now a new generation of creatives will be at the helm lead by Pete Docter, who is now the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar. Lee Unkrich leaving Pixar is sad for Pixar lovers.

Lee Unkrich helped shape Pixar into an elite animation studio. Unkrich was an editor on the original Toy Story and A Bug's Life. Unkrich would be the co-director on Toy Story 2 along with Ash Bannon assisting John Lasseter with his main directing duties.

He would continue his co-directing duties with Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. Unkrich's first directing gig would come in 2010 with Toy Story 3. He was also an executive producer for Monsters University and The Good Dinosaur. Unkrich then went on to write and direct Coco along with Adrian Molina. Lee Unkrich was also part of the brain trust group that developed the story for Toy Story 4.

"Lee has left an indelible mark on the world of film, and we are so grateful for the passion and talent he has brought to each movie he has worked on. He'll always be part of the Disney-Pixar family, and we will miss him," said Chairman of Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn.

"If you look at the sweep of contemporary cinema, it would be difficult to find someone more brilliant in the filmmaking arts than Lee Unkrich," said Pixar president Jim Morris. "He has been a key player in elevating virtually every one of Pixar's films."

Lee Unkrich is an Oscar award-winning director. His influence on Pixar and the animation industry will be missed. Unkrich's last film at Pixar became a fan-favorite and was applauded for its treatment of Mexican culture. Lee Unkrich also directed Toy Story 3 which arguably has one of the greatest and most emotional endings of all time.

Lee Unkrich is now pursuing new adventures. I wish him luck and I hope he enjoys the next chapter of his life.

Disney taps 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' as its next remake

Disney is continuing the animated to live-action strategy. This time with Hunchback of Notre Dame starring Josh Gad. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz will write the music. David Henry Hwang is penning the script. There is no director currently attached to the project.

Speaking of Josh Gad, The Muppets Are Back... Again!

Speaking of Josh Gad! The Muppets Live Another Day is coming to Disney+ in 2020. The series will take place in the 1980s taking place after the events of The Muppets Take Manhattan. Josh Gad will be teaming with Once Upon a Time creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis for the series. Maybe this series will pave the way for a second Muppets series on Disney+ or another cinematic, big screen outing.

Video: Frozen II Goes For A New Audience

Frozen Teaser Trailer

Frozen II is going for the Game of Thrones vibe. Smart marketing for the "burnout from Frozen" crowd. (Wow, Josh Gad is really dominating this round-up. Also, should we be worried about Olaf's fate from this trailer?)

Disney's Oscar Chances

The Oscars
The Oscars

Disney earned 17 nominations for the Oscars. Black Panther was nominated for Best Picture. Ralph Breaks The Internet and Incredibles 2 were nominated for Animated Feature Film. Black Panther's Ruth Carter and Mary Poppins Returns Sandy Powell were nominated for Costume Design. Mary Poppins Returns Marc Shaiman and Black Panther's Ludwig Göransson notched nominations for Original Score. "All The Stars" from Black Panther and Mary Poppins Returns “The Place Where Lost Things Go” were nominated for Best Original Song. Production Design nominees include Black Panther Hannah Beachler and Mary Poppins Returns John Myhre. Pixar's Bao was nominated for Best Animated Short Film. Black Panther also earned nominations in Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Avengers: Infinity War, Christopher Robin, and Solo: A Star Wars Story all got nods for Special Effects.

Now, how will Disney fare on Oscars night? Black Panther could be a sneaky pick for Best Picture. Bao seems like a lock in Animated Feature (short film). Disney should pick up an Oscar for special effects either from Solo or Avengers: Infinity War. All the other categories are toss-ups. Disney could end up having a very good night.

Final Thoughts: Maybe ABC Should Go After 'Fuller House'

Brett White wrote a piece for the Decider a while back with this suggestion. Now after the official announcement that Fuller House would end after Season 5. Disney's network ABC could make a major move to bring the show back to its original home. As Brett White's Decider article acknowledges that this move would be an unprecedented reversal of the normal where traditional television cancels a show just to watch it be revived by a streaming service. It even happened to ABC this past year with Designated Survivor which is now heading to Netflix.

So, ABC should try to bring Fuller House to its network. The cast didn't want the show to end. Not to mention the show has a loyal fan base. It could also help with ABC's overall slate. If we want to get even crazier Disney should court the series for Disney+ because the service is going to need content. I'm sure the deal with Netflix would be hard though because it is a Netflix Original.

In recent years ABC has made some questionable slate changes. Like the canceling of Designated Survivor although it was cited in a quarterly call that the show helped advertising revenue over at ABC. Also, ABC's extremely lousy decision to cancel Tim Allen's Last Man Standing came back to haunt them as the show would go to Fox and become a hit. It's crazy that ABC didn't consider their relationship with Tim Allen before blindsiding him with the canceling. The move looks even dumber when ABC cites the reason was due to the fact they no longer want to outsource shows from different studios. The studio that makes Last Man Standing was purchased in the Fox deal. So if ABC wants to make a splash they should at least consider bringing in the Fuller House crew.

The show was extremely popular on Netflix and it was one of their first original series that picked up serious mainstream momentum. The show also paved the way for network's and streaming services to revive and reboot older television shows and movies as TV series. A plethora of reboots started to occur NBC brought back Will & Grace, ABC brought back Roseanne (which would lead to another whole network blunder), and CBS brought back Murphy Brown. The reboot rage is in large part due to Fuller House. The show even inspired Cobra Kai for YouTube Premium.

ABC could end up winning if they swing for the fences on this one.

Thanks for reading the Boardwalk Round-Up.

Cultjer's one and only Disney Reporter. Expert in Disney and Pixar films. I cover all things related to the Walt Disney Company.