From ‘Inside Out 2’ to ‘Incredibles 3,’ These Are the Pixar Sequels We Still Want to See

Don’t expect any new Pixar sequels for a while.

For the past 25 years, Pixar Animation Studios has been a beacon of creative, original stories. In an industry so often criticized for falling back on the same ideas, Pixar delivered a string of high-concept family films that proved to be both commercially and critically successful.

However, over the years, Pixar has dipped into sequel territory several times. Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Cars have all grown beyond one-off projects. In fact, they’ve all become franchises of their very own.

While we won’t deny Pixar is at its best with original stories, we still hope the studio gets around to continuing or completing some of its past stories.

Ed O'Neill at the AOL Build Speaker Series
Ed O’Neill at the AOL Build Speaker Series | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Pixar is taking a break from sequels with ‘Onward’ and ‘Soul’ in 2020

Pixar previously confirmed 2019’s Toy Story 4 would be the company’s final sequel, at least for the time being. And Pixar’s upcoming slate confirms that. For the first time since 2017, the studio is releasing two movies in 2020. It’s also been that long since Pixar’s last non-sequel.

The first of these, Onward, might be doing great with critics ahead of its March 6, 2020 release. But according to early tracking, it could be fated to become a box office underperformer. Thankfully, positive buzz might save it. But still, Onward lacks the built-in appeal of 2018’s Incredibles 2, the studio’s highest grosser to date.

It’s too early to tell how Soul — which hits theaters on June 19, 2020 — will do, as we’ve barely seen any footage. But it’s not difficult to imagine a world in which both of these films fail to cross the much-desired billion-dollar benchmark. In that case, Disney might want to pepper some more Pixar sequels into its upcoming slate.

These Pixar sequels could further flesh out fan-favorite characters

For the record, we’re not actively rooting for either Onward or Soul to fail. But it’s a proven fact that audiences are more naturally drawn to the familiar. We certainly don’t want to see too much focus placed on Pixar sequels — enough with the Toy Story and Cars series please — but we do have some thoughts if the studio decides to give us a new sequel or two.

The most obvious choice here is to bring writer/director Brad Bird back for Incredibles 3. After making audiences wait 14 years between installments, the Parr family deserves to complete its trilogy. Moreover, since the second film made $1.2 billion, it’s easily the top of the studio’s list of potential Pixar sequels.

Speaking of commercial hits, Finding Dory is the only other non-Toy Story Pixar film to cross $1 billion worldwide. Just as that film was a spin-off of Finding Nemo, we’d love to see the spotlight shift to Ed O’Neill irascible seven-legged octopus Hank. The character was a standout — visually and narratively — and Finding Hank continues the series’ fresh approach. Just make sure director Andrew Stanton sticks with the series.

Beyond those two Pixar sequels, we’d love to see director Pete Docter return to two worlds he created.

For instance, we’re still waiting for a sequel to 2001’s Monsters Inc. Pixar prequel Monsters University lacked the same emotional punch and failed to pay off the first film’s heartwrenching final scene. Likewise, we’ve love to see Inside Out 2 explore how Riley’s emotions continue to evolve throughout her adolescence. Essentially, we just want more films from Docter — who also directed Soul — please.

But the studio shouldn’t touch some of its perfect standalone stories

As much as we think Pixar still has some untapped potential for a few more sequels, we certainly don’t want the studio to “sequelize” films that work better as standalone stories. For example, WALL-E is a masterpiece and one which could only be tarnished by an attempt to make a sequel. The same goes for Up, which features an ending so perfect we don’t want Pixar to touch it.

Coco and Ratatouille too work perfectly as one-off stories. The main characters in both films achieve exactly what want to. So there’s no need to stretch their tales out into subsequent features. As much as asking for more Pixar sequels seems like a misstep on our part, the studio will wind up revisiting old stories again at some point. Consider our wish list simply an attempt to steer their attention to the characters we want to see more of.