Pixar Boss Confirms Studio Is Still Committed to Original Stories

Pixar will continue working on both original films and sequels.

Pixar has no plans to stop making original movies, even as sequels and franchise seems to be in higher demand. Inside Out 2 is now in theaters and a fifth Toy Story movie is on the schedule for 2026. Some recent comments from longtime studio vet and current Pixar chief creative officer Pete Docter made it sound like there are even more sequels on the way, but that's not exactly the case. Pixar will be exploring some familiar franchises, yes, but also going after stories that feel familiar and accessible, hoping to reach a wide range of audiences.

"One thing that I think was maybe slightly misinterpreted was the idea that we have to deliver more of what people know and maybe lean away from the personal. All of that's true to some degree, but I think what we're always trying to do is find what are the universal things that everybody believes, both in terms of concepts and in terms of life experience," Docter told EW in a recent interview. "So, for example, I thought [as a kid] my toys came to life. I thought there were monsters that lived in the closet. We're looking for those kinds of big, universal things that people go, 'I already know that it's an original idea, but it's a concept that I had, too.' So it's kind of a sequel in that way. You know what I mean? There's a limited number of those, so they each have to be done in a very unique way through a specific lens. We want to hold onto that, but we want to make sure that they speak widely."

Docter went on to back up that sentiment by confirming that only one of the next few films on the slate after Inside Out 2 is a sequel. Toy Story 5 hits theaters in 2026, but there will be two original films before that (Elio being one of them) and more originals after.

"We have two originals coming out next," he confirmed. "We have two original films coming out, and then Toy Story, and then some more original. We still have a little bit of work to do to get to the balance that was talked about in the Bloomberg article one to one, which is exciting. We can talk again in a couple of years. We have a lot of stuff that is in the works now that I'm pretty excited about."

Pixar is still focusing on original movies, but sequels and spinoffs are inevitable. For Docter and the studio, it's about finding original stories within franchises, not just making sequels to every box office hit.

"Even in sequels, the worry is that you're going to end up just repeating either plot lines or themes that we've dealt with before," said Docter. "We had early versions of Inside Out 2 where they're going after the core memories again, and we gotta shake this up. So we made a lot of decisions based on the desire not to repeat ourselves."

Inside Out 2 is now playing in theaters.