Disney's upcoming slate is more heavily shrouded in secrecy than Pixar's at the moment. Frozen, their first fairy tale film since 2010's Tangled, hits cinemas this winter; after that, Disney are set to release Marvel-adaptation Big Hero 6 in 2014. Beyond that, there's the long dormant King of the Elves, and we heard whispers of a possible Mickey Mouse/Roger Rabbit team-up last month (rumours, that have since been seemingly shot down).
|John Musker (left) and Ron Clements (right)|
Amidst all of that, we've been told to expect a new film from John Musker and Ron Clements, the team behind The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Princess and the Frog, we'd been told it might use the animation techniques pioneered on last year's Oscar-winning Paperman, and that it took Ron and John on an exploratory trip to the south pacific. Today, we've got reports that confirm, deny and ultimately offer little concrete assurances either way. But they're interesting...
|Rumpelstiltskin as he appears in DreamWorks' Shrek Forever After (2010).|
IndieWire's The Playlist claims that John and Ron's next project is called The Name Game and is "a bold reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale". This certainly sounds like an interesting premise, and it's one of the few mainstream fairy tales which Disney haven't yet explored yet - though DreamWorks did touch on it in their fourth Shrek film.
A few days back, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Walt Disney Animation Studios were not currently "developing a 2D or hand-drawn feature animated film". We purposely didn't post about the story at the time because of the ambiguity of the statement; namely, previous reports seemed to have indicated that future hand-drawn Disney features would be done with the partially-CG techniques used on Paperman - Paperman director John Kahrs has even confirmed he's further experimenting with the aesthetic. Iger's comment provided little clarity on the subject. The Playlist article claims that The Name Game is not using that style though, and assumes it to be a CG animated film.
On the flip-side of things, Bleeding Cool cites a source that says the directing-duo's next film isn't this one. The article claims that they're working on something "fresh and original, not a fairytale movie", which is apparently set in the south pacific, with a Tiki carving as a character. Crucially, Bleeding Cool stresses that Ron and John's film is using a variant of the Paperman techniques.
There's always the chance that both sites could have their wires crossed a bit and the film could be a "bold reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale" that's "fresh and original", perhaps set in the south pacific with Tiki infusions. Or they could be two completely different films. Expect to see Ron and John's film around late-2015, and to hear very little about it in the immediate future.