D23: Pixar Previews 'Finding Dory' and 'Toy Story 4'

Pixar also unveiled details for new film, 'Coco,’ about the Day of the Dead celebration.

By Carolyn Giardina

Disney and Pixar’s chief creative officer and Toy Story director John Lasseter said that Pixar Animation Studios is moving forward with Toy Story 4, which he will direct from a script by Will McCormick and Rashida Jones.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Toy Story’s release — which was Pixar’s first feature and the first computer animated theatrical release — and Lasseter noted on Friday at D23 that the wheels started to turn after director and screenwriter Andrew Stanton quietly wrote an “unbelievable treatment.”

“It is a love story between Woody and Bo Peep,” Lasseter said, noting that Woody and Buzz set out to find Bo. “It’s a very personal story for me, inspired by my wife, Nancy.”

Oscar winning songwriter and composer Randy Newman will be back for the film, and he joined Lasseter on stage, sitting at a piano to sing Toy Story classic “You’ve got a Friend in Me.”

Pixar also announced a new film, Coco, about Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration, helmed by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrichand producer Darla Anderson. They unveiled a first look at the film’s protagonist, a team named Miguel, and showed a film clip of a musical celebration.

Meanwhile, Ellen DeGeneres joined director Stanton (Oscar winner for Finding Nemo and Wall-E) and Pixar filmmakers to introduce Pixar’s Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo, slated for a June 17, 2016 release.

Returning voice cast members include DeGeneres (Dory) and Albert Brooks (Marlin) and join new cast members including Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy as Dory’s parents. “I’m so excited and I’m so proud of this film,” DeGeneres said.

Also appearing on stage were Ed O'Neill, who will voice an octopus, Hank; Ty Burrell, voice of a whale, Bailey; and Kaitlin Olson, voice of a shark, Destiny.

The story begins six months after Finding Nemo ends, and in the first clip, Dory remembers that she has a family and wants to set out to find them (flashbacks are 2D animation).

Pixar also previewed its upcoming Nov. 25 release The Good Dinosaur, directed by Peter Sohn (incidentally the voice of Emilie in Ratatouille), who described the film as “an adventurous, emotional story about self discovery.”

Its protagonist is a dinosaur named Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa), and the voice cast includes Frances McDormand and Jeffrey Wright, as Arlo’s parents.

As the Pixar segment of the presentation began, Inside Out director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera appeared to preview Riley’s First Date?, a well-received short that will appear on the Inside Out DVD this fall. In the short, directed by Josh Cooley, the emotions in the heads of Riley’s parents panic when a boy shows up at the door and asks to see their daughter.