Is there a better candidate for the Movie Romance of 2015 than Pixar's Lava lovers? The two pining planetary ruptures had their moment in the spotlight when they appeared before showings of Pixar's summer feature, Inside Out. Unlike its full-length sister film, Lava does not have Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, or even Bing Bong, so far my movie character of the year. What it does have is an aggressively catchy theme song and universal themes of loneliness and longing. Pixar recently announced its full list of upcoming projects at the D23 convention in Anaheim, so will a full Lava movie version be on the list?
While Pixar may return to the characters in the future, there are no current plans to continue the Lava story. The studio has been known to adapt stories to new formats, but usually, it's a feature film being continued as a short. (Cars, Monsters, Inc., Wall-E, and more have been continued as shorts, released either digitally or in theaters.) Still, there are exceptions — the 1988 short Tin Toy helped inspire Toy Story, which wasn't released until seven years later. So while a Lava movie is not likely, it also can't be completely ruled out.
It definitely won't be soon, though. Pixar's upcoming schedule is focused far more on the sequel; tons of familiar stories are set to be revived, some long-awaited by fans. Here are the returns that Pixar fanatics can look forward to over the next couple of years.
Ellen DeGeneres better be brushing back up on her whale-speak. The sequel to Pixar's oceanic tale of family and friendship will hit movie screens in 2016, almost 13 years after Finding Nemo debuted. DeGeneres is obviously back for the film, since the focus is on the amnesiac fish. Her pal Marlin (Albert Brooks) will be there too, as well as new characters voiced by Ed O'Neill, Diane Keaton, Ty Burrell, and Kaitlin Olson.
Toy Story 4
It's almost like Pixar is daring its audience to get bored with Woody, Buzz, and friends; as long as the quality maintains, it's doubtful they ever will. The fourth Toy Story film is due in 2017 and according to Pixar president Jim Morris will be a "romantic comedy." Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack penned the screenplay about Woody and Buzz's search for Bo Peep, closing the loop on her absence in Toy Story 3.
The Incredibles 2
When the first Incredibles movie took audiences into the everyday lives of superheroes, Marvel had yet to take over the cinema universe. So hopefully the film's sequel (out in 2017 or 2018) will capitalize on the preponderance of modern comic book movies and show us something about heroes that those stories don't. Director Brad Bird promised Cinema Blend that the domestic tone of the story won't change. "For me, the interesting thing was never the superhero part of it. It was more the family dynamic, and how do superhero things play into that."
The Cars franchise is arguably the most kid-friendly of the Pixar properties, and definitely the lightest. The third in the series does not even have a release year yet, but rest assured, children will demand to see it and parents will reluctantly sit through it.
Sequels aside, Pixar is also working on a new slate of original stories, including the Dia de los Muertos-themed Coco and its next release, The Good Dinosaur, so there are many films for fans to look forward to, even if Lava: The Movie isn't on the list.
Images: Walt Disney Studios; Giphy (4)