NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Studios previewed 10 animated movies on Monday that it will release during the next four years, including further installments in the “Toy Story” and “Cars” series and two new fairy tales.
With the exception of “Wall.E,” a robot love story opening on June 28, and “The Princess and the Frog,” a hand-drawn animated fairy tale set in New Orleans and due to open Christmas 2009, the remaining eight movies will be made in digital 3-D.
“We’re excited to be pushing the boundaries of 3-D and computer technology to tell our stories in the best possible way,” said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.
Digital 3-D still requires moviegoers to wear geeky glasses, but the left- and right-eye images are calibrated so finely that most viewers experience no headache or eyestrain.
The first Disney digital 3-D movie for release is “Bolt,” the story of a dog of the same name who thinks he has superhero powers. John Travolta gives voice to Bolt while hit teen singer/actress Miley Cyrus is voicing Bolt’s owner Penny in the movie, due to open on November 26.
“Up,” the story of an unlikely 78-year-old adventurer and his 8-year-old sidekick, is due to be released on May 29, 2009. “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” are due to be re-released in digital 3-D on October 2, 2009 and February 12, 2010 respectively, while “Toy Story 3” is due to hit screens on June 18, 2010.
All the original cast from the previous “Toy Story” films, including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack, are returning for the third film, which picks up with Andy grown up and about the head off to college.
The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Rapunzel,” about a girl trapped in a tower whose long golden hair is the only way for anyone to climb up to her, will be released at Christmas 2010.
Next comes “Newt,” a story of the last two blue-footed newts on the planet that aims to show that love is not a science, which is due to hit screens in summer 2011.
Another new original fairy tale, “The Bear and the Bow” — an action-adventure about a royal family in rugged and mythic Scotland — is slated to open Christmas 2011 starring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson.
“Cars 2,” in which Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater bid to take on the world’s fastest cars, is due for release in summer 2012. “King of Elves,” based on a 1953 short story by Phillip K. Dick, will hit screens at Christmas 2012.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols