Disney Traditonal Animation Coming Back?!

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Disney Traditonal Animation Coming Back?!

Postby CoryMitchell » April 25th, 2005, 12:15 pm

Jim Hill has the list of things that have to happen first.

http://www.jimhillmedia.com/mb/articles ... hp?ID=1407

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Postby GeorgeC » April 25th, 2005, 3:02 pm

Cory,

I'm convinced that the vast majority of Hollywood executives are DIMBULBS and have no idea what they're doing! They're too short-sighted and unfortunately pay attention to the bottom-line a bit too much.

Walt Disney was one in a million. He was a true visionary, honest, AND patient... 3 qualities that the people running Disney and other studios today lack.

It's not surprising to hear that the same SOBs that closed down traditional animation are panicking. What IS surprising is to hear them think that the current box-office numbers are horrible and the fact that they are overlooking video sales which goes to show they STILL don't see the overall picture!

Had any of these guys known how to do math with regards to merchandizing and video sales, I doubt these shleps would have closed down traditional animation in the first place.

Another thing that they don't take into account is that perhaps audiences DON'T want to see the same kinds of animated films repeated 5-6 times a year. I was always concerned that audiences would get tired of 2-3 films PER year from the same studio as opposed to a film every 2-3 years. I think the push to increase production output has had an enormous effect on the quality of films and I wish they would go back to the old production frequency.

My own personal preference is to keep people employed doing shorts and original video animation in-between the full-length theatrical releases so that the studios don't lay fallow between the big projects. There IS a marked difference in quality between domestically-produced and outsourced animation but the Eisner-philes/execu-speaks at Disney could never be bothered to notice the difference which the home video audience HAS picked up on!

The big thing that needs to be accomplished at Disney is to wipe out the Board of Eisner cronies and a top-to-bottom clean-out of the executives who are going to impede any new CEO at the Company. If you read "Disney War" by James Stewart and pay close attention to the chapters on Michael Ovitz, you'll see what COULD happen to a new Disney CEO if they don't clean out the executives and Board members beholden to Michael Eisner. We could still be going through a big mess if they don't make a clean sweep.

As it is, Eisner is the second-largest shareholder in the Disney Company and will probably exert an influence on that company like-it-or-not until the day he drops dead or somebody else buys out his shares. The day either of those situations occur can't happen too soon enough for most people. He is the worst thing that has happened to the Disney Company since the day Walt Disney died...!

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Postby Christian » April 25th, 2005, 3:05 pm

Another thing that they don't take into account is that perhaps audiences DON'T want to see the same kinds of animated films repeated 5-6 times a year. I was always concerned that audiences would get tired of 2-3 films PER year from the same studio as opposed to a film every 2-3 years. I think the push to increase production output has had an enormous effect on the quality of films and I wish they would go back to the old production frequency.


This is what I talked about in my article.

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Postby GeorgeC » April 25th, 2005, 3:55 pm

I can't stress this enough...

Disney needs a near-communist-style PURGE of executives and board members before things can go forward! If they leave the majority of Eisner-hires and Eisner-phile Board members in-place, those people are going to sabotage and circumvent whoever comes after Eisner. These people are either A) loyal to Eisner to a fault because of a Faustian deal, or B) hate Eisner so much for being overlooked on their own promotions that they'll sabotage whoever gets picked for the new CEO!

This is EXACTLY what happened to Michael Ovitz, like the guy or not.

And yeah, regardless of whoever said it first -- and a million other people have said this -- if you keep repeating the same storylines or structure all the time, people WILL get sick of your films. The Piper's coming to town on Pixar on this one soon enough, folks. I predict "Cars" could be Pixar's first bomb...

I also still think it wouldn't hurt to slow down Disney feature film production a bit and release an animated film every two to four years like Disney used to... Make the films more of a special event again as opposed to a routine. When things become routine, even good films get overlooked!

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Postby Christian » April 25th, 2005, 4:20 pm

I also still think it wouldn't hurt to slow down Disney feature film production a bit and release an animated film every two to four years like Disney used to... Make the films more of a special event again as opposed to a routine. When things become routine, even good films get overlooked!


Just what I said.

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Postby Kinoo » April 25th, 2005, 7:37 pm

I predict "Cars" could be Pixar's first bomb...


I remember the days when this sentence was applied to the Incredibles!

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Postby ShyViolet » April 25th, 2005, 9:59 pm

This is EXACTLY what happened to Michael Ovitz, like the guy or not.


Exactly--that's why Sandy Litvack (the COO then) hated him so much--jealousy. When Ovitz finally found out he was fired it was Litvack who told him: "Michael doesn't want you in the company." Litvack did everything he could to destroy Ovitz.

BTW Huy, one of the "Court Magicians" in Prince of Egypt (the short fat one) is modeled on Litvack. (I didn't read this anywhere, just figured it out. It's soooo obvious if you look up both pictures.)

Litvack's not in the company anymore though...Eisner turned on him or something. No surprise there. :roll:
Last edited by ShyViolet on April 25th, 2005, 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby GeorgeC » April 25th, 2005, 10:01 pm

The Incredibles ultimately grossed a lot less than Finding Nemo or Shrek II did.

It's funny that Pixar pushed Cars back to summer 2006. It was supposed to be out this fall.

Out of all the Pixar films, that's the one that's had the most pooh-poohing yet. It's only a matter of time before one of the Pixar films fails to click... You can only have so many successes before there's a setback.

As far as The Incredibles was concerned, there was far more positive buzz about that film at the same point in time relative to where we are with Cars.

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Postby ShyViolet » April 25th, 2005, 10:10 pm

Out of all the Pixar films, that's the one that's had the most pooh-poohing yet. It's only a matter of time before one of the Pixar films fails to click... You can only have so many successes before there's a setback.


I totally agree. And everyone always writes about how stupid Eisner was to say that Nemo was going to bomb, but the film we eventually got to see was VERY different from the one they'd been working on. There were a lot of problems with the characters as I understand it, especially with that worn-out "buddy -comedy-opposites" shtick they'd been doing since Woody met Buzz.

Remember that early Nemo clip that was on the Monsters Inc DVD? That scene of "asking for directions" with Dory and Marlin was substantially different then the finished scene that we saw in the film. (and this was less than a year before Nemo was released) Dory was a lot ditzier, she barely noticed anything, she was like totally brainless. Marlin would just be like "Oh, great, I can't believe I"m stuck with her." They must have done some serious script work to make that relationship a little less cliche. So you can't exactly blame Eisner for what he said. It's the same concept being used again and again--characters as foils of each other--Cars, Monsters, Fish, Bugs. They definetely need a new outlook.

Plus I noticed that Randy Newman didn't write a song for their last two films like he always does. That makes sense, how much longer can he keep doing that? :roll:
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Postby ShyViolet » April 26th, 2005, 12:22 am

Walt Disney was one in a million. He was a true visionary, honest, AND patient... 3 qualities that the people running Disney and other studios today lack.


I believe Jeff K is all these things. Well, that's just me. :roll:
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Postby Christian » April 26th, 2005, 1:59 am

I can kind of see that but he is nowhere near the same stature as Disney creatively. Not even close. But I'm not being mean to Jeffrey because I'd say the same thing about every other person living on the planet.

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Postby Ben » April 26th, 2005, 7:50 am

Randy Newman - is is absolutely great - is writing for Cars, which I agree will be Pixar's first "disappointment" (I won't say bomb as I don't think it will be a stinker, financially).

However, when you have the director out justifying his creative decisions as early as this, then something's up!

I agree that Iger needs to clean the slate, but Eisner being the second largest shareholder could cause big problems, especially if he keeps buying up stock.

BTW, who's the biggest? Still Roy Disney? If so, then I wouldn't put to much worry into Eisner's wishes - being the biggest didn't really help Roy, even though Iger may be a lesser tough-guy than Eisner was...

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Postby GeorgeC » April 26th, 2005, 9:32 am

The biggest shareholders in Disney right now are the Bass Brothers from Texas. The remaining Disney family shareholders, while they might have somewhere in the area of 8-10% shares (I believe Diane Disney Miller sold all her Disney shares years ago) are nowhere NEAR the percentages of Eisner and the Bass Brothers.

Eisner got his shares as a result of the generous compensation packages the Disney Board voted in for him. I believe he's also used his enormous income ($500 million or more some years!) to buy even more stock. Note again that he has a Faustian deal with some of the Board members which is why they have to go when he does, too, for real change to occur.

Just like anybody else can, I read a lot about this through various news articles. For all its faults, the Disney War book by James Stewart is also VERY enlightening about all the politics and lies Eisner has used to gain power at Disney. He is by far the biggest mistake that Roy Disney and the Disney Board ever made.

I had a feeling that even before reading Disney War that Eisner had to have control of the Board to survive all the dumb mistakes he's made the past 10 years. There's no question the Board is still indebted to him and in his thrall. The Board may have thrown the public and Wall Street a few bones to make people believe "real change" has been made, but the fact that Iger was elected the next CEO is not reall encouraging news even if it seems he's a thousand times less venal and a fairly decent man. The Disney Board never seriously looked outside the Disney Company for a successor CEO candidate.

On the other hand, it may be very difficult for any outsider CEO to make a difference at Disney while the Eisner corporate structure of VPs and other underlings stays in place. Look what they did to Michael Ovitz! Again, read the Disney War to get the side of the story they DIDN'T tell you in the news. It's shocking and actually makes you feel for Michael Ovitz. They completely plucked his feathers and sc***d him over at Disney. It was an orchestrated power-play act by Eisner.

It's amazing that Eisner called Ovitz a pathological liar, psychopath, and someone you couldn't trust when Eisner was the one behaving that way!

The Disney artists never had a chance against Eisner... They let the corporate executive structure at Disney call the shots because they got comfortable with the system that was set up by Walt Disney. As long as there was a paternal figure in charge at the Company, they were safe. When they got the stepfather/"uncle figure" Eisner in-charge, then they were sc***d. They were naive and never believed that the typical Hollywood hire-and-fire structure could ever come to Disney even after the typical Hollywood executive (Eisner) arrived!

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Postby PatrickvD » April 26th, 2005, 2:55 pm

ShyViolet wrote:Remember that early Nemo clip that was on the Monsters Inc DVD? That scene of "asking for directions" with Dory and Marlin was substantially different then the finished scene that we saw in the film. (and this was less than a year before Nemo was released) Dory was a lot ditzier, she barely noticed anything, she was like totally brainless. Marlin would just be like "Oh, great, I can't believe I"m stuck with her." They must have done some serious script work to make that relationship a little less cliche. So you can't exactly blame Eisner for what he said.


That was a teaser. It was never intended to be in the final film. Monsters Inc. had a teaser of the two of them entering a room where there was no kid they could scare. Then, there was a teaser for A Bug's Life where all the characters fell off a leaf. And the well known Mr Incredible trying to get into his suit. The stuff we've seen from Cars so far is most likely just promotional animation as well. None of it iss in the final film. What Eisner referred to was the final film. I can see where he came from. But he has a different view on things. He wouldn't recognize a hit movie if it ran him over.

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Postby Ben » April 26th, 2005, 4:48 pm

Thanks for saying what I wanted to earlier but didn't have time to!

I think the dialogue stuff in the Cars teaser is just for that, but that the circuit stuff/changing the wheels/the racing are shots from the movie.


BTW, swap the first and last letters of Eisner's name with a D and a Y. I love that he thinks that about himself.