"It is impossible to know, when we start a project, how the creative process will evolve and, a few times, regardless of the passion that inspires us, or our love of the topic, it simply does not work". Yet, this is exactly what has happened with very big, ex-Giants, the new film from Nathan Greno, director of the excellent Rapunzel.
Apparently the studio got to the point where the creative process has hit a wall and they are "ending active development for now".
Ever since the release of Tangled, it seems that Walt Disney Animation has found a new Renaissance what with the successful releases of films like Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, and Moana.
Yet, on paper, big seemed to contain all the necessary elements for a new classic, with its variation on the fairy tale Jack and the Giant Bean, located in Spain in the old, where good old Jack had to help a giant teenager to return home. Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez had signed on to write the music for big, and the husband-wife duo even sang one of the songs during D23.
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Catmull also mentions that Disney will be focusing on "another project that has been in the works, which we'll be sharing more about soon, now set for Thanksgiving 2020".
Big was originally scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 21, 2018 and was subsequently pushed back to the 2020 slot. The film would have seen Jack meet a female giant.
In the Catmull-Lasseter era, both Disney and Pixar have publicly announced films and subsequently shelved them. The animated comedy wound up grossing $330 million worldwide, the lowest total for a Pixar title. Later down the line, the studio will debut Frozen 2 on November 27, 2019.