Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) will head up Pixar’s next film after Toy Story 4, an original, as-yet untitled “suburban fantasy adventure” that has deep personal meaning for the director. And yes, there are definitely going to be dragons involved.
The film, produced by Kori Rae (Up, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles), is inspired by a meaningful moment in Scanlon’s childhood. His father died when he was very young, so he and his brother didn’t have many memories of him; the best they could do was watch old home movies, but those didn’t have sound. Then, one day, they got sent an audio tape, which allowed them to hear their dad’s voice for the very first time (all he said was “hi,” and “bye,” but the recording still made a huge impact on the young Scanlon).
Fast forward to now, and Pixar’s new film. It also tells the story of two young boys who lost their father and want to learn more about him. But in this world, there once was magic—though over the years, it kind of went away as machines were invented to take its place. Still, the world of the film still sounds like there’s a lot of magical potential. There aren’t any humans; instead, the characters are elves, trolls, and sprites, and unicorns are everywhere. (They’re like rodents.) Mushroom houses line the streets, but they have satellite dishes on top and minivans in the driveways. It’s described as both modern and familiar, but also fantastic.
The news was announced at the D23 Expo, where the art to represent the untitled film was a seemingly normal-looking suburban town at sunset, with a dragon flying on the horizon:
Reporting by Germain Lussier.