Update: Disney has confirmed that Dan Scanlon (Mater and the Ghostlight) will direct Monsters University.
With Cars 2 looking like a guaranteed cash cow but potentially a critical flop for Pixar, many of us are already looking ahead to see what the acclaimed animation studio can do to redeem themselves next year. They actually have two projects slated for release in 2012, one of which is Brave, about a Scottish princess named Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire), who accidentally puts her father’s kingdom in jeopardy. The other is the long-rumoured Monsters Inc. 2, which we now know will be a prequel called Monsters University. Great, a Shrek clone and another sequel? Somehow this isn’t making me feel any better about Pixar’s future.
Disney confirmed this week at CinemaCon in Vegas that Billy Crystal and John Goodman have signed on to once again voice Mike and Sully in Monsters University. The story will explain how the two met at university, where they did not get on well initially but eventually became the best of friends. Not much else is known about the project as of yet, and in fact, a director still hasn’t been announced. Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter will not be returning.
As for Brave, it is being directed by Mark Andrews, who previously co-directed the short One Man Band. It could have potential, but from the description it sounds more like a Disney movie in the vein of Tangled than a Pixar movie. While I am certainly interested in revisiting the characters and the world of Monsters Inc. (much more than Cars, at any rate), it’s still a bit disheartening to see Pixar lose the spark of originality. What do you think, will Pixar deliver the goods with Brave and Monsters University?