Pixar Considering ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Incredibles’ Sequels, ‘Inside Out’ Disney+ Series Coming in 2025

Shannen Ace

Split image: the left side shows Pixar's "Finding Nemo" movie poster with underwater characters, and the right side features Pixar's "The Incredibles" movie poster with a superhero family in action poses.

Pixar Considering ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Incredibles’ Sequels, ‘Inside Out’ Disney+ Series Coming in 2025

Pixar Animation Studios executives are considering more sequels and reboots of their most popular films as they try to right the studio’s reputation as the best of the best. In a new report by Bloomberg, Pixar President Jim Morris, Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter, and Senior VP of Development Lindsey Collins spoke about the studio’s struggles and their plans for the future.

Pixar’s Struggles

Joe Gardner from "Soul," Luca from "Luca," and Mei from "Turning Red"

Pixar’s downturn in success started after former Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter left amid accusations of sexual harassment and COVID-19 hit the industry. Pixar’s “Onward” was released in early March 2020 and experienced barely any time in theaters. Their next three films — “Soul,” “Luca,” and “Turning Red” — were released on Disney+ in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Docter said Disney’s decision to stream the movies instead of hold them for theaters “felt a little like a death.”

The Disney+ releases proved to have an impact on audiences, making them less interested in seeing Pixar’s films in theaters. “Toy Story” spinoff “Lightyear” and Pixar original “Elemental” both had unsuccessful theatrical runs. “Lightyear” suffered from bans in some countries due to a same-sex kiss and “Elemental” had Pixar’s worst box office numbers ever.

“We were all kind of gut-punched, and it was tough on morale,” Morris said. “I thought it was a good film with a Pixar feel, so when it didn’t work, that was like, ‘Whoa.’ I was thinking, ‘Do people just not want to see the kind of film we make anymore? Is that done?’”

Docter said, “There was a real and intense period of self-scrutiny and feeling like we messed up in some way.”

Pixar’s Future

Split image: the left side shows Pixar's "Finding Nemo" movie poster with underwater characters, and the right side features Pixar's "The Incredibles" movie poster with a superhero family in action poses.

These disappointments sparked Morris to shift the studio’s strategy by balancing original movies with sequels and spinoffs, hoping to remind audiences why they love Pixar movies. “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles” are reportedly at the top of the list for potential reboots or sequels.

Morris wants Pixar to make three movies every year instead of one. Every other title will be a sequel or spinoff.

The stories will also be less focused on autobiographical stories like “Luca,” “Turning Red,” and “Elemental,” which were all inspired by the directors’ families. They’ll instead be developing concepts with “clear mass appeal,” which have already been proven with films like “Finding Nemo.”

I don’t think we can ever let ourselves off the hook of making sure that we deliver the best possible and most relatable films.

Pete Docter

The executives are aware of the risks that come with sequels. Lindsey Collins has been with Pixar since 1997. She was appointed Senior Vice President for Development in 2022 to help Morris and Docter determine which Pixar stories they should revisit.

Collins is advising on the development of movies to be released in 2027 and later, so most of her work is under wraps. But she runs hypotheticals by her teenage son, Cash.

The other day, I was like, ‘What if I told you we were making an Incredibles 3?’ And he was like, ‘Money grab.’ And I was like, ‘F—.’ Sequels are a double-edged sword, because the audience can be brutal and so quick to judge. Unless they’re worthy.

Lindsey Collins

This report comes right after Pixar announced they would be laying off 14% of their workforce — about 175 employees. The layoffs are part of Disney CEO Bob Iger’s “mandate to return to a focus on quality, versus churning out content for streaming” (via The Hollywood Reporter). They follow significant layoffs in nearly every other segment of Disney since Iger’s return as chief.

“Inside Out 2,” “Elio,” and Disney+

Colorful cartoon emotion characters in Inside Out 2

The highly-anticipated “Inside Out 2” hits theaters on June 14. The first “Inside Out” grossed $858.8 million and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Pixar is giving the sequel about 100 days in theaters and it’s already expected to be a big success, perhaps the first film of the year to gross $100 million in its opening weekend.

With a sequel, if you put something out there that doesn’t have the goods, then you will be punished for it. Having had the doldrums we did, it will certainly be a good test with ‘Inside Out 2’ for us to see: Does this stuff still work, or does it not?

Jim Morris

“Elio,” an original story idea directed by “Coco” writer Adrian Molina, was originally set to be Pixar’s first film in 2024. However, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes forced Disney to delay it until 2025. “Inside Out 2,” which was further along, took priority.

“It may have been serendipitous for us that it worked out that way,” Morris said. “’Elio’ seems like it’s a good film, but with ‘Inside Out 2,’ at least we’ll get to see if a dyed-in-the-wool Pixar film with known intellectual property still works.”

Although they’re hoping to lean away from the autobiographical, “Inside Out” and “Inside Out 2” are both inspired by the directors’ experiences with their children. Docter, director and co-writer of “Inside Out,” based the story on his experiences with his young daughter. When making the first, he didn’t consider a sequel. But after its success, Kelsey Mann pitched a follow-up inspired by his experiences with his own daughter. Mann directs “Inside Out 2” from a screenplay by Meg LeFauve and Dave Holstein.

There’s a flavor of film that we make that’s a little bit unique. They’re small stories written on a large canvas, and when they’re at their best, they’ve given the audience something to laugh about, cry about and think about a little bit. I’m optimistic that ‘Inside Out 2’ will tell us that there is still a place for those kinds of films.

Jim Morris

Pixar is also developing a Disney+ series based on “Inside Out” called “Dream Productions,” inspired by the section of Riley’s mind that creates dreams. It will stream next year, along with “Win or Lose,” an original series. Pixar will see how these shoes perform before committing to more.

I hope that we will not release another feature film on Disney+. If we do more stuff for Disney+, it should be a series, and then that makes a clean demarcation between what we do for theaters and what we do for streaming.

Jim Morris

Docter specifically expressed his interest in another sequel to “Finding Nemo” (2003). The first film, directed by Andrew Stanton, was released in 2003 and grossed over $940 million. “Finding Dory” (2015) grossed $1.029 billion.

Where else have we not gone in the ocean? The ocean’s a big place. I think there’s a lot of opportunity there. We’re kind of fishing around—ha-ha.

Pete Docter

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