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Wanna peek at the plot for "Pirates III"? How about "Ratatouille"?

Jim Hill

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Wanna peek at the plot for "Pirates III"? How about "Ratatouille"?

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When it comes to surprises, I'm not the most patient person.

I mean, back when I was a kid ... As early as October, I was already tearing my family's house apart. Trying to find out where exactly my parents had hidden the presents. Just so I could know in advance whether or not I was getting something good for Christmas that year.

And that urge, this compulsion of mine to know well in advance about surprises ... Well, it's even stronger today.

Take -- for example -- what happened back on the evening of July 16, 2005. Where I absolutely horrified my daughter as we stood in line at Walmart. When I cracked open our copy of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and turned to the last 50 pages. Just so I could know what happened to Dumbledore.

I know. I'm an awful person. The bad habit that I've just described shows a complete lack of character. But I can't help myself. I like knowing in advance what's about to happen. In plays, books, films & TV shows.

And a lot of you folks who regularly come by JHM ... I know that you like to know about stuff in advance too. You enjoy that rush that comes from knowing something that you're really not supposed to know. Something that hasn't been officially announced yet. Be it a new attraction that's about to added to a Disney theme park and/or an old favorite that's about to be shut down.

But -- that said -- I know that there are also a number of you who don't enjoy having surprises spoiled for you. And if that's really the case ... Well, you'd best bail out of JHM ASAP.

Why For? Because I'm about to reveal the plotlines of four films that the Walt Disney Company will be releasing in 2007. And I'm not talking about direct-to-video stuff like "Little Mermaid III." But big budget, highly anticipated motion pictures like "Pirates of the Caribbean III."

And given that no one -- outside of the folks who are still struggling to complete all of the effects for "Dead Man's Chest" -- has actually seen a finished version of "Pirates of the Caribbean II" yet ... Well, the information that I'm about to share with you sort of redefines the term "spoiler." If you know what I mean.

And -- yes -- before you ask: This information is legit. Someone fairly high up at the Mouse House sent along these plot descriptions yesterday afternoon. Just to prove that -- even though 2006 still looks somewhat shakey (At least from the studio's point of view) -- Disney is coming back strong in 2007.

Based on these brief story outlines ... Well, I have to admit that it really does sounds like the Mouse has some great motion pictures in the works for next year. And even though 2007 will be the year of "Shrek the Third" and "Spiderman III," Disney is still going to rake in plenty of dough. Thanks -- in large part -- to the four films that I'm about to describe.

So again -- just to review here -- there are HUGE spoilers just ahead. I'm about to reveal key plot points for "Meet the Robinsons," "Pirates of the Caribbean III," "Ratatouille" and "Enchanted." And if you really don't want to know anything about these Walt Disney Studios releases prior to their arrival at your local multiplex next year ... NOW would be an excellent time to bail out of JHM.


Still with me?


Okay. You can't say that I didn't warn you.

Copyright 2006 Disney Enterprises LLC

"Meet the Robinsons"
Release Date: March 30, 2007

"Meet the Robinsons" is about Lewis -- a brilliant twelve-year-old with a surprising number of clever inventions to his credit. His latest and most ambitious project is the Memory Scanner, a machine that will help him find his birth mother so that they can then become a family. But before he can find her, his invention is stolen by the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy and his diabolical hat -- and constant companion -- Doris. Lewis has all but given up hope in his future when a mysterious boy named Wilbur Robinson whisks our bewildered hero away in a time machine and the two travel forward in time to spend a day with Wilbur's eccentric family. In a world filled with flying cars and floating cities, they hunt down Bowler Hat Guy, save the future and uncover the amazing secret of the Robinson family. Based on the book "A Day with Wilbur Robinson" by William Joyce.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: World's End" (Tentative title)
Release Date: May 27, 2007

Summer 2007 will be action packed as the third installment from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise comes ashore. As the age of piracy comes to a close, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle. Our heroes must face Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and Admiral James Norrington (Jack Davenport) in a titanic showdown that could eliminate the freedom-loving pirates from the seven seas -- forever.

Copyright 2006 Disney/Pixar

Release Date: June 29, 2007

Pixar, the creators of "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles" and "Cars" now cook up "Ratatouille," a delicious new animated-adventure centering on an ambitious French Rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a great chef. Because of his passion for cooking, Remy accidentally uproots his family from the French countryside to the sewers of Paris, and finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. When Remy helps create a soup that wins rave reviews from the world's most powerful food critic, he sets in motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that wreaks havoc on the entire city, allowing him to achieve the impossible and pursue his true gift. The screenplay, written by Academy Award-winning Brad Bird ("The Incredibles"), is flavored with a colorful cast of characters and exquisite French backdrops making "Rataouille" a tantalizing recipe of imaginative fun and unexpected delight.

Release Date: November 2, 2007

A classic Disney animated fairy tale meets with the modern, live-action romantic comedy in Walt Disney Pictures' "Enchanted." Featuring an all-star cast, the film follows the beautiful princess Giselle (Amy Adams) as she is banished by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon) from her magical, musical animated land and find herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment that doesn't operate on a "happily ever after" basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment. But when Giselle begins falling in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) who has come to her aid-- even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale prince (James Marsden) back home -- she has to wonder: can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?

Okay. I know. Those are just bare bones plot descriptions. But -- that said -- don't these sound like four strong films? Four motion pictures that movie-goers will be going out of their way to see next year?

Oh, and while I'm dishing out spoilers here, I guess that I can pass along that comic Patton Oswalt is reportedly voicing the title character in "Ratatouille," while "Everybody Loves Raymond" vet Brad Garrett is supposedly doing the voice of the chef in this same Pixar film.

And according to Tom Hollander (Who plays Lord Cutler Beckett, the new villain of the "Pirates" trilogy, who will be introduced in "Dead Man's Chest"), Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards will be making a cameo appearance in "Pirates of the Caribbean: World's End."

Okay. That's a pretty exciting way to end the week here at JHM, don't you think? Sooo ... Do you have any comments about the projects that I've listed above?

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: It appears to be Cranky Pants Friday here at JHM. With at least a dozen readers already chiming in this site's talkbalks about how lame all of the spoilers that are contained in today's column supposedly are.

This is one of those "can't win for losing" situations, folks. If I had just posted today's article without including that elaborate "There-be-spoilers-ahead" intro ... Well, I'd have had JHM readers writing to me saying "You ruined that movie for me." And I honestly didn't want that to happen.

Which is why I made the "Opt Out" portion of today's article as large as I did, as long as I did. So that there'd then be this enormous buffer between the story's intro and the actual information that this piece contains. So that no one could then just click on JHM and accidentally see some information that they didn't really want to see about "Ratatouille."

Speaking of which ... Today's article reveals the basic plot of Pixar's 2007 film, the name of the protagonist & the antagonist of the picture ... And -- to my knowledge -- this is the very first time that this sort of detailed information about "Ratatouille" has appeared outside of the Walt Disney Company. So how is that not a spoiler?

Trust me, folks. Based on the angry e-mails that I've already received from folks who work in Emeryville, the people at Pixar think today's column is a HUGE spoiler. A spoiler that can be seen from space.

And as for "Pirates III" ... Given that most people aren't yet aware of what actually happens at the end of "Dead Man's Chest" ... Well ...

Tell you what: In three weeks time, go catch "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" on its opening day. THEN re-read the plot description of "Pirates III" that I've posted on the site today. Once you've got all the information that you need ... Well, I think that you'll then realize that there are at least two significant spoilers casually thrown away in that rather bland-sounding paragraph.

Sorry. I don't mean to sound defensive here. It's just that ... Well, I wanted to try & explain why I did what I did with today's article. I honestly wasn't trying to over-hype this piece. But -- rather -- just make sure that these upcoming films weren't accidentally spoiled for those who really didn't want to know about "Meet the Robinsons," "Pirates of the Caribbean: World's End," "Ratatouille" and "Enchanted."

And as for the rest of you jaded Disney insiders who already know how the full-blown plots for these upcoming releases actually play out ... Hey, I'm always looking for additional information here at JHM. So if you've got a juicy tidbit that you'd like to share, my e-mail address is [email protected]. So be sure and send that info along.

Okay. That completes the groveling portion of today's column. I'll let you guys get back to bashing me in the talkbacks now.

Which (Believe it or not) I'm actually okay with. I'm a big boy. I can take it.

But -- that said -- having the stuff that you write regularly get savaged on discussion boards is honestly one of the more bizarre aspects of working for the Web. Seeing a story that you carefully researched, spent hours working on ... suddenly get treated like a pinata? Where everyone gets to take a whack at it? That aspect of this job can get pretty amusing at times.

That's why I always tell anyone who asks me for advice about writing for the Internet that you really need three things before you can get started:

  • A very healthy ego
  • Incredibly thick skin
  • Most importantly, a strong sense of humor. One that actually allows you to laugh at yourself.

Without those three things, I don't think that you can honestly have a career on the Web. I mean, you can't get allow yourself to get excited & go on the attack every time that someone criticizes you and/or something that you wrote.

You have to have the ability to "take it." When people go after something that you've written and/or make fun of you ... Well, you can't allow yourself the luxury of taking it personally. You just have to suck it up, take your lumps and then move on to the next story.

And as for today's column ... Okay. Maybe I did really over-sell the whole "Huge Spoilers" aspect of today's column. If I did, then I apologize.

But I honestly did what I did because ... Well ... I just wanted to make sure that I didn't accidentally spoil those four films for JHM readers who didn't want to have "Meet the Robinsons," "Pirates II," "Ratatouille" and "Enchanted" spoiled for them in advance.

Alright. That's enough with the explanations now. I'll go back to taking my lumps now. You folks have a great weekend, okay?


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  • What about Chow Yun-Fat's role in Pirates III?
  • Huge spoilers?  More like a gentle tease.  
    With all the build up, I expected more than that.

    Keith Richards has been on-again off-again with a POC cameo for quite some time.  Looks like this is an on-again moment.  It would be sweet if it actually happens, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • WOW! Talking about Anticlimaxes! Jim, this really hurts! Don't give us two third lengths of build-up and then not to deliver ANYTHING in the last third. I know, we call the summertime cucumber time, because there is nothing to write about except for the cucumbers.
    But I have a question too: what is Disney's animated Christmas film this year? Or do we have to wait till March 30 for another dull and boring Chicken Little-like excuse of a movie (sorry guys this was – together with Home on the Range – the only Disney movie where I almost fell asleep). I know it's stupid to still expect QUALITY from Disney, but hey, I grew up with it.
  • So wait, is this confirmation that Bowler Hat Guy WILL be in the movie (and hasn't been cut out by Lasseter)?
  • Yikes ... I don't know that you "redefined the word spoiler", but you certainly redefined the word "disappointment"! That was weak ... I got more than that from the trailers I saw for these films before watching Cars.

    And I totally disagree on Enchanted. That movie sounds like a piece of crap. The other three, yeah ... but that one? I'd rather choke on a chicken bone.
  • "Chicken Little ... was – together with Home on the Range – the only Disney movie where I almost fell asleep"

    You did better than I did. I actually DID fall asleep during Chicken Little (in between bouts of nausea, that is) and I never even bothered to watch Home on the Range.
  • First off, I need to defend "Home on the Range".  It's a fun movie.  And, YAY, if Bowler Hat Guy is still in MTR.  He's going to be a great villain, I can tell!  And, I already knew most of what you wrote; some stuff in the "Ratatouille" blurb was new; I thought his name is Ratatouille...it's Remy?  And I didn't know they relocated.  I love the visual look of MTR, and am hoping that cheap jokes (Grampa lost his teeth) will be kept to a minimum.  Sorry about that "spoiler".
  • Ha!  I avoided the battlefield, Jimbo! I scrolled down, just glanced at the pics, and here I am!  I'm going to stay as spoiler-free for Ratatouille as possible (at least, til' the first major trailer comes out).
  • @blackcauldron85:
    Yeah maybe for Americans it was nice because it was set in the West, but for the rest of the world it was just a dull uninspired movie like CL. And I am very afraid of what Cars will be like. No signs it is coming to Europe soon, anyway.
    And I agree with WDWacky about Enchanted. Sounds very dumb.
  • Correction: Maybe for SOME Americans. Don't want to sound snobbish
  • Talking about dull movies: Did Jim ever do an article about how Treasure Planet came to be such a STRANGE movie? With beautiful animation, an –objectively looked at – interesting plot, great character desig, but nevertheless an unsatisfying experience.
    Jim help us out here, please!
  • I have to agree - I love your site, Jim, but this was a little disappointing. These were so much spoilers to the movie, but certainly spoilers to the press releases.

    None of this really sounds like much more than Disney employees already have access to...
  • Well, I enjoyed the spoilers, FWIW. And I have to say I'm looking forward to "Ratatouille". When I saw "Cars" there was a BUTTLOAD of trailers for CGI movies, including "Open Season" and "Monster House". But "Ratatouille" got the ONLY laughs from the theater audience. And it was easily the best-looking of the bunch, even if it did star rats ;) .

    And I must defend "Chicken Little". I enjoyed it. Far more than I did "Ice Age 2" which nearly put ME to sleep. In fact I liked it more than "Over The Freaking Hedge", so there!

    As for "Enchanted", well, that could be a good movie, depends on how it's done. I'm looking forward to the 2-D animated parts, and I'll bet your average CGI-drenched moviegoer will share my enthusiasm. But it's a damn shame it's got that pop-eyed political pinhead Sarandon in it. What a stupid broad. At least she's typecast as the evil queen (lol). Hope she gets offed. That'd be worth the ticket price alone.
  • So who is the voice of Remy?!?!  I couldn't tell from the trailer, but it does kind of sound like David Cross, which be oh-so-awesome.  I was hoping to read something along those lines, but I think I'll somehow manage.
  • OK, scratch that.  Patton Oswalt is cool too.  Next time I shall read everything when presented with a plot summary in italics!
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