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Win Or Lose - What We Know So Far

The debate over whether Pixar Animation Studios has "still got it" seems to get renewed yearly ever since they became a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios in 2006. Some see Pixar's rapidly increasing productivity and growing proclivity for franchising as welcome developments, while others decry the supposedly diminishing returns of the "Pixar formula" and accuse Disney's commercialism of taking the shine off what was once the leading avant-garde force in American animation. Whichever side you're on, Pixar is no longer the unknown commodity it used to be.

Thankfully, all that controversy is not stopping the studio from continuing to try its hand at "the new," to quote Anton Ego. With Pixar as a key player in Disney+'s bid for dominance of the streaming world, the doors have been opened for a kind of Pixar production we truly, unarguably have never seen before: an original television series. And, by the looks of it, the series in question will be just as imbued with the adventurous, inventive spirit that has defined the studio's best efforts throughout its 35-year history. Here's everything we know so far about "Win or Lose," an upcoming Disney+ animated series created and directed by Michael Yates and Carrie Hobson.

What is the release date for Win or Lose?

We'd like to be able to tell you exactly when to make room in your schedule for "Win or Lose," but that's not possible quite yet. The show was only just recently announced at the 2021 Disney+ Day, and all the Mouse House has revealed so far is that the new Pixar animated series will be released sometime in the fall of 2023.

This being the first time Pixar is making an original TV series, it's hard to even speculate as to what rules of the past might apply. Usually, Pixar projects are announced once they're far enough along their production process to be more or less sure bets — a necessity imposed by the sheer amount of time it takes for animated films and TV series to get made. With that in mind, we'd guess "Win or Lose" may be coming sooner rather than later within its fall window, but that would be just speculation on our part.

We also don't know if the series will be released all at once or in weekly installments; Disney+ tends to favor the latter model, but there's precedent for the former as well, as evidenced with "Just Beyond."

Who will be the characters of Win or Lose?

Pixar productions are routinely talked up for their stellar animation and design, sophisticated storytelling, and ridiculous emotional impact, but an aspect of them that still somehow doesn't get enough credit is their mastery of characterization. You can always count on the Emeryville studio to give audiences a wealth of memorable, engaging characters, both leading and supporting, in all its projects — just think of the deep bench of scene-stealers in "Finding Nemo" and "A Bug's Life," or the impeccable ensemble balance of "The Incredibles" and the "Toy Story" franchise.

This makes us especially look forward to "Win or Lose," which is poised to be the studio's most ensemble-driven narrative yet. We don't have any official character names or descriptions to go on at the moment, but, with a rotating focus that will angle on one specific character's perspective each episode, the middle school softball team at the center of "Win or Lose" just might prove to be the richest, most varied collection of characters in Pixar's oeuvre so far. If they're all half as brilliantly-realized as Russell from "Up" or the main trio from "Luca," the kids will be alright.

What will Win or Lose be about?

Sports stories can be fertile ground for reflections on life, time, and the meaning of success — as Pixar itself has demonstrated before with, of all things, the touching passing-the-torch plot of the highly underrated "Cars 3." So we can't wait to see what they're going to do with the softball milieu of "Win or Lose," which will follow "a coed middle school softball team in the week leading up to their championship game" (via What's on Disney Plus).

Billed as Pixar's first original longform series, "Win or Lose" has been further described as a "comedy about love, rivalry, and the challenges that we all face as we struggle to win at life," and will reportedly make good use of its episodic format by going in a more experimental narrative direction than most cinematic Pixar fare. Each 20-minute episode will follow the same week's events from the perspective of a different character, and those perspectives will all coalesce to form a wide dramatic panorama by the season's end. The potential of such a format seems limitless; we can't wait to see what the world's most prestigious animation house will do with it.