First, Rapunzel became Tangled, when Disney’s marketing department panicked and imposed a title change on Disney Animation Studios. Then, more recently, The Bear and the Bow was re-announced as Brave because… well, who knows, actually. Now it looks like the still-officially-unannounced-once-canceled-but-now-alive-with-a-different-director-project-that-won’t-die Joe Jump is going to be called Reboot Ralph. Because, ya know, the kids love to reboot. According to Deadline Hollywood, the story of an 8-bit videogame character in a quad-core world will debut on March 22, 2013.
Meanwhile, while all these semantic shenanigans were afoot, we’ve lost King of the Elves and The Snow Queen. This week, the internet got all aflutter with the shocking news that Pixar had pulled the plug on Gary Rydstrom’s newt. To which I say, well, yeah.
So with all this bloodletting, what do we have? Lined up on the Disney side of the fence there’s Rapunzel, Winnie-the-Pooh in 2011, and Reboot Ralph in 2013. Pixar is now sequeltown (next door to Pigs With Pigs Junction) with Toy Story 3 (2010), Cars 2 (2011), Monsters Inc. 2 (2012) and Brave (2012). Brad Bird is AWOL and headed to Paramount to film Mission: Impossible IV (potential subtitle: “The First Good One”), Andrew Stanton’s John Carter of Mars isn’t out until 2012, and Pete Docter is doing… something. But he won’t say what.
Then there’s all the mid-level talent creeping out the doors; with only two releases per year, directorial power has remained in the hands of a select few and there’s nowhere for rising stars to go but to other studios. Will the sequels take over, or is there still room for new ideas?
So after the much-ballyhooed slate of a few years ago has been picked apart, and the much-ballyhooed return of traditional animation has been pretty much relegated to W.T. Pooh, and the much-ballyhooed shorts program is nowhere to be seen, one has to ask… what’s up?
One last thing – I don’t typically do this but I’m feeling particularly saucy tonight. From February:
Who wants to bet that newt’s summer 2012 release spot goes to another Pixar rehash, Monsters, Inc. 2?
OK, so I got the season wrong (Monsters 2 be a fall release, not a summer release), but next time, Disney, prove me really wrong.
UPDATE: It looks like the Reboot Ralph announcement was official. No word on if Rich Moore is still slated to direct.