Pixar Animation President Ed Catmull wants everyone to know the studio has a renewed focus on original features. Of the past five films from the beloved animation house — Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University — three have been sequels or prequels. But while Monsters U is performing well, with a worldwide gross to date of nearly $180 million, Catmull tells BuzzFeed the company is going to focus more on new projects.
“For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year,” he says. “Every once in a while, we get a film where we want or people want to see something continuing in that world — which is the rationale behind the sequel. They want those characters, which means we were successful with them. But if you keep doing that, then you aren’t doing original films.”
With that in mind, Catmull lays out the basic plans moving forward. “We’re going to have an original film every year, then every other year have a sequel to something,” he says. “That’s the rough idea.”
Catmull goes on to explain how important it is for Pixar to bring in fresh talent in an effort to not repeat others’ mistakes. “How do you figure out how to pass the baton onto other people?” he says. “In some places they don’t do that. When Walt [Disney] died, he didn’t pass the baton to anybody else, and so they went downhill after that. So John and I take very seriously the fact that we need to get people up to the level where they can tell original films.”
The next original Pixar offering, The Good Dinosaur, exemplifies this idea. Bob Peterson is helming that one after co-directing Up with Pete Docter. That film is scheduled for a May 30, 2014 release, while the Finding Nemo follow-up Finding Dory will bow Nov. 25, 2015.