Some of Disney's animated originals, such as the recent Strange World, haven't performed quite as well as the studio would have liked (to say the least), so it was probably only a matter of time before the Mouse House returned to some of its biggest animated hits.
CEO Bob Iger announced (via Toonado.com) that sequels to Toy Story, Frozen and Zootopia are officially in the works during today’s Q1 earnings call.
"We'll have more to share about these productions soon," Iger told investors, "but this is a great example of how we're leaning into our unrivalled brands and franchises."
These latest instalments will mark the third film in the Frozen franchise, the fifth Toy Story movie, and the second Zootopia adventure.
Prior to the big announcement, Iger shared some not-so-great news for Disney staff, as the company is set to let go of 7,000 employees (roughly 3% of its workforce) in an effort to cut $5.5 billion in overall costs.
“We will be reducing our workforce by approximately 7000 jobs,” Iger said on the call. “While this is necessary to address the challenges we’re facing today, I do not make this decision lightly. I have enormous respect and appreciation for the talent and dedication of our employees worldwide. And I’m mindful of the personal impact of these changes. on the content side, we expect to deliver approximately $3 billion in savings over the next few years, excluding sports."
Iger also announced some major restructuring of the company, with Alan Bergman and Dana Walden becoming co-chairmen of Disney Entertainment.
“Alan Bergman and Dana Walden will be co-chairmen of Disney Entertainment, which will include the company’s full portfolio of entertainment, media and content businesses globally, including streaming. Jimmy Pitaro will continue to serve as Chairman of ESPN, which will include [linear] ESPN networks, ESPN+ and our international sports channels. And Josh D’Amaro will continue to be chairman of Disney Parks experiences and products, which will include our theme parks, resort destinations and Cruise Line as well as Disney’s consumer products, games and publishing businesses.”
While Frozen 3 and Zootopia 2 were pretty much inevitable, we're not sure fans will be quite so supportive of another Toy Story movie. The third film was generally seen as a perfect conclusion to the story, and even though Toy Story 4 did turn out to be good enough to get audiences on board, a fifth adventure with Woody, Buzz and co. might be seen as pushing it.