Toy Story 4

Features, Shorts, Live-Action and Direct-To-Video
AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: September 27th, 2007, 2:06 pm

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby EricJ » April 26th, 2018, 2:46 am

ShyViolet wrote:Not to bring up the extremely old Chris Sanders/American Dog issue, but AD being altered by Lassetter after firing Sanders because AD was a “bad” movie was somewhat ridiculous in my opinion. I know I wasn’t there and never saw Sanders’ work in progress,


What, really? http://jimhillmedia.com/editor_in_chief ... /5733.aspx

Like or hate Bolt, the un-missed AD did rather become prosecution's evidence for the opinion among some of the other animators that "Visionary genius" Sanders was too scattered and self-indulgent, was too in love with his own "quirkiness" to craft a coherent story, and basically couldn't direct pi...er, his hat to the floor without collaborator Dean DeBlois to provide the central story and character focus.
Like he did on their next movie you've no doubt heard of.

User avatar
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 18048
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 1:27 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby Ben » April 26th, 2018, 10:35 am

Going back to Vi's points, the first thing one does when they take over another company is...remove all the people that could command the kind of power and respect that might undermine your authority. Hence Hahn, Menken, Keane, etc, out...and let the new empire building commence...

Animated Views Staff
Animated Views Staff
Posts: 5098
Joined: February 8th, 2005, 5:54 pm
Location: The US of A

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby Dacey » April 26th, 2018, 12:19 pm

That makes it sound as though JL was making enemies from the beginning.

Which in a way I suppose he was. There was some talk of people being "frustrated" over JL trying to take over Meet the Robinsons when it was nearly finished, but those were rumors that I don't think were ever verified?

Either way, he's not going to have many people rushing out to defend him.
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: September 27th, 2007, 2:06 pm

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby EricJ » April 26th, 2018, 4:46 pm

Dacey wrote:That makes it sound as though JL was making enemies from the beginning.

Which in a way I suppose he was. There was some talk of people being "frustrated" over JL trying to take over Meet the Robinsons when it was nearly finished, but those were rumors that I don't think were ever verified?
Either way, he's not going to have many people rushing out to defend him.


The ancient 00's Jim Hill article I quoted was back from those charming post-transition late 00's days when there was an active vocal group of in-house animators among the Animation Guild blog (and Jim, like a Russian-colluding president, lapped up every one of their "news updates" with a silver spoon because he was so pleased he had "inside sources" who "agreed" with him over that "They spent $7.4 billion!" thing) that for five years was determined to painfully, deliberately and unspontaneously Fox-News spin EVERY SINGLE new Disney/Pixar project and even Iger Parks decision into a "disaster" and "mistake" that might "turn out to sink the company".

And why were they so determined? In the hopes that Disney might reconsider all that money that Pixar and Tangled was making, reconsider the wisdom of hiring Lasseter, and realize they should have hired that nice, energetic visionary Jeffrey Katzenberg back to the studio away from Dreamworks, who was so much more freehanded and easygoing with his employees. (Yeah, ask John Musker and Ron Clements about that one...)

Still, they do have a point--Good to see things worked out so well for that nice Mr. Katzenberg's career.
We wouldn't want anyone whose decisions might singlehandedly sink major animated studios, after all. :lol:

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 7609
Joined: October 25th, 2004, 8:53 pm
Location: Binghamton, NY

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby ShyViolet » April 26th, 2018, 5:44 pm

Ben wrote:Going back to Vi's points, the first thing one does when they take over another company is...remove all the people that could command the kind of power and respect that might undermine your authority. Hence Hahn, Menken, Keane, etc, out...and let the new empire building commence...


Also Mark Dindal was axed almost immediately, if I’m not mistaken, despite the fact that Groove was definitely a hit and, despite all the executive interference, Chicken Little was as well. (At least financially.).

In addition, let’s not forget the 32 Circle 7 employees who were all laid off when Pixar made a big show about closing down the studio that had “kidnapped their children” or something. :? I know that the other 136 employees of C7 were all transferred to then-WDFA, lucky
them—and were given the opportunity to take their chances under a new regime that only offered temporary work for every feature they put out. :roll: (This is still how it works over there.) When Lasseter and Catmull arrived at the studio in 2006 the C7 employees all assumed that Pixar would participate in the Toy Story sequel they had been developing under the old regime, but no, keeping the film C7 been working on since 2004 was apparently a deal breaker for Pixar. (Even though they obviously had the power to re-work it as much as they wanted.)


Here’s a link to SlashFilm which discusses this.

http://www.slashfilm.com/secret-history ... xar-films/

Oh, and... guess which long-running animation site they reference??? :) (And praise a whole lot!)
Last edited by ShyViolet on April 26th, 2018, 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: September 27th, 2007, 2:06 pm

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby EricJ » April 26th, 2018, 6:10 pm

ShyViolet wrote:despite all the executive interference, Chicken Little was as well. (At least financially.).


But not critically--hoo boy, was it ever not--which put blame for which head to roll first in one very quick, convenient and easy-to-reach spot...And the second was even easier. Eisner had given Dindal the troubled project because Dindal could "do anything" after pulling Emperor's New Groove out of the fire and making it funny, and after the bomb hit, the smell of "One-hit wonder" was in the air. Sort of like You-Know-Who. :wink:

Also, it was doing well "at least financially" in 3-D, which was still a new, hard-to-find last-ditch novelty for saving bad CGI (only a few chain theaters had digital-projection), with only Polar Express and the annual Nightmare Before Christmas revival as the only other titles to pack them in around that time. Otherwise, like Polar, it was pretty much accepted that Chickie was tanking royally under its own power in the flat 2-D theaters.

When Lasseter and Catmull arrived at the studio in 2006 the C7 employees all assumed that Pixar would participate in the Toy Story sequel they had been working on under the old regime, but no, keeping the film C7 been working on since 2004 was apparently a deal breaker for Pixar. (Even though they obviously had the power to re-work it as much as they wanted.)


And they did have to rework it: Authorship is a very tangled issue when reworking scripts, and you either credit sources, or scrap completely from scratch (if you at least own the rights TO make Sequel X, whatever it's ultimately called or looks like), if you don't want big fat lawsuits. A similar issue Walt faced on whom to credit years of development storyboards for "Lady & the Tramp".
Lasseter brought the axe down on anything that might trip over Legal, and declared that all to-be-completed C7 sequels would have to be original in-house stories with only one studio as daddy--Which is why the storylines for Monsters University and Finding Dory seemed so off the beaten path and not what audiences might have come up with.

Oh, and... guess which long-running animation site they reference??? :) (And praise a whole lot!)


TBF, Hill's site was THE professional-strength go-to site on the history of projects, history of parks, and what was really happening with the '05 changeover and all those (deservedly) abandoned storyboards. The fact that I still search-engine articles from '05-'06 when I have to discuss Bolt or Meet the Robinsons gives you some idea of the valuable source we had at the time, and how no one's taken up the gauntlet since.
Although, granted, it took years--no, years--for the readers to finally slap Hill out of that TAG-Putin thing (every, no, every single article contained a reference to "$7.4 BILLION!", and I remember that number because he always typed it in all-caps) and convince him he'd been played for a big fat patsy-pawn for five years.
Last edited by EricJ on April 26th, 2018, 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Animated Views Staff
Animated Views Staff
Posts: 5098
Joined: February 8th, 2005, 5:54 pm
Location: The US of A

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby Dacey » April 26th, 2018, 6:22 pm

Polar Express had an IMAX 3D release, not a standard theatrical one.

The Nightmare Before Christmas didn't come out in 3D until 2006, an entire year after Chicken Little.

Chicken Little was doing well until the release of Harry Potter 4. It wouldn't have been number one two weeks in a row based only off of the handful of 3D screens it was playing on.

The Polar Express didn't "tank royally" and was an extremely leggy film in 2004.

Do I even need to go on? ;)
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 7609
Joined: October 25th, 2004, 8:53 pm
Location: Binghamton, NY

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby ShyViolet » April 26th, 2018, 7:35 pm

Oh, and... guess which long-running animation site they reference??? :) (And praise a whole lot!)


TBF, Hill's site was THE professional-strength go-to site on the history of projects, history of parks, and what was really happening with the '05 changeover and all those (deservedly) abandoned storyboards. The fact that I still search-engine articles from '05-'06 when I have to discuss Bolt or Meet the Robinsons gives you some idea of the valuable source we had at the time, and how no one's taken up the gauntlet since.
Although, granted, it took years--no, years--for the readers to finally slap Hill out of that TAG-Putin thing (every, no, every single article contained a reference to "$7.4 BILLION!", and I remember that number because he always typed it in all-caps) and convince him he'd been played for a big fat patsy-pawn for five years.


Um...actually, I was referring to Animated Views!! :) :)

Also, from what I remember (I could be wrong) Lasseter/Catmull fired Rob Minkoff at the same time they fired Dindal? (I think they were partnering on a Haunted Mansion movie?). I know Minkoff eventually went over to DreamWorks (shortly after leaving WDAS if I’m not mistaken.)
"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 7609
Joined: October 25th, 2004, 8:53 pm
Location: Binghamton, NY

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby ShyViolet » April 27th, 2018, 1:05 am

This small snippet of what morale was like at WDAS was posted by Steve Hulett at the TAG blog in February of 2010, right after Princess and the Frog came out. The post is brief but pithy: the people Hulett talked to apparently said: “Morale is what it is.”

Anyway, the comments that follow (164 of them) are extremely interesting; since they’re all anonymous there’s quite a lot of unguarded opinions about how Catmull and Lasseter were running the place. (At that point they’d been there for four years.).

http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... h-hat.html

I know that we have no way of knowing exactly how accurate these descriptions are, but there’s definitely a common theme reflected in almost all of them: That despite Lassetter’s constant assurances to the media that he’d transplant to WDFA “the Pixar culture” of giving directors and animators creative freedom without an environment colored by intimidation and fear, none of that had come to pass.

The artists that posted all protested that they were terrified of expressing any criticisms to management for fear of being laid off. (Apparently about a year after their arrival the new regime let go of 170 WDFA animators.) Most importantly, perhaps, quite a few posters stated that right from the start Iger had given Lasseter and Catmull free reign to do anything they had to do to make WDFA profitable again. Which, eight years later, I suppose they did. Frozen, Zootopia, Moana, Ralph and Tangled were all tremendous hits. All very, very good films. But maybe if those in charge had provided an infinitely more supportive, nurturing environment, they could have been as breathtaking as Inside Out. :?


This comment was particularly telling:

Anonymous said...
In the 1st animation meeting with John Lassiter where they closed the doors and asked us to speak freely. As animators, what was wrong with the studio, how things could be better?

Hearing that John was for the artists, him being one himself, one animator spoke up and told him that the company is using fear as a motivator. The crew is constantly worried about being laid off instead of spending their time being creative in a positive way.

His response was , and whats wrong with that ? He did laugh, as did others, but it did get very quiet.
The animator who asked the question was the first animator to be told that he was to be laid off { along with 170+ other artists in march 07 }

They don't want our suggestions. They only want to know who will keep quiet.
And still being in the building today, it hasn't changed.
"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: September 27th, 2007, 2:06 pm

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby EricJ » April 27th, 2018, 6:27 am

...Do you have some central point to make besides the obvious Draggie-girl "Nobody should EVER fire Saint Christopher!", and digging up the Taggie-spinners from '06 to "prove" it?

My favorite Lasseter quote also came from Steve Hulett via the Blog, around the early studio work for Gnomeo & Juliet:
http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... uliet.html
Insiders say a well-known Pixar executive asked last week at a meeting: "Why are we making this?"
After a long silence (SFX: crickets), the exec said "Well, we're not." .


There's a reason morale was low between '05-'10, and not just because they had to cancel that CGI redo of Peter Pan that Eisner wanted to make.
Some fans born at the wrong time think that Lilo & Stitch is the greatest animated film since The Lion King (I'm being ironic about both, can you tell?), and some, like me, look at it and say "...Why did they make it?"

Under Stainton & Eisner after the 90's Renaissance burned out, there was NO studio identity to the productions. None. One half of the production let animators pursue pointless pet projects while reigning them in at the same time, the other was too busy trying to "reinvent" the studio into something that passively-aggresively hated and mocked itself, to apologize for the PC dogpiling they were taking from a population still in love with a big green ogre who hated princesses. It was no longer a matter of "Waking Sleeping Beauty", it was a matter of Waking Ariel.
(I remember when the Florida studio used to give animation tours, and when the guide said that the animators were in '03 production on Brother Bear, and believed lil' Koda would be, quote, "The next Great Disney Character", at that moment, you could actually feel everyone on the tour thinking the same awkward "...Dear lord, he's actually serious. Should we say anything, or just smile? :shock: ")

What Lasseter brought, with a whip or without it, was a sense of story and emotion to the productions, and Chicken Little was just about the biggest edge-of-the-cliff sign that that was what the productions were sorely lacking--If he installed a little too much "discipline", well, just take a look at what a story looks like when you write one without it. If Pixar taught Lasseter the strategy of how to get the team to write a coherent, sympathetic story "or else", well, you got a better one?
Stainton and Lasseter were both ready to give up on Meet the Robinsons, but watch it today if you want to understand 00's Disney: Before & After.

Animated Views Staff
Animated Views Staff
Posts: 5098
Joined: February 8th, 2005, 5:54 pm
Location: The US of A

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby Dacey » April 27th, 2018, 10:28 pm

Speaking as someone who took that tour, I can assure it didn't feel "awkward" at all around the crowd.

But seriously, Eric, might be time to take a chill pill.
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: September 27th, 2007, 2:06 pm

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby EricJ » April 28th, 2018, 12:37 am

Dacey wrote:But seriously, Eric, might be time to take a chill pill.


(Yes, but by now, I can be excused for not being the only one on the board driven past the edge of saying "Vi, Katzenberg is retired and Dreamworks is OUT OF F***IN' BUSINESS, just buy Dragons on Blu-ray, be done with it, and stop trying to retro-canonize or rewrite animation history to fit it! What the hell do you think it is anyway, 'Cat's Don't Dance'?? :lol: "
Or was she just worried that Sanders would never get another job, because Dreamworks was the only one that wanted to hire him after Disney fired him?)

User avatar
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 18048
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 1:27 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby Ben » April 28th, 2018, 3:13 am

Maybe Eric didn’t like being reminded about those TAG posts...where the guild members kicked his fanboy butt? Em-bar-ras-sing!

It's DreamWorks. You know that. Not Dreamworks, but DreamWorks.

And Cats Don’t Dance doesn’t have an apostrophe in Cats. You know that. Cats.


Yeah...seriously Eric, take that chill pill. Like, for every board you frequent. Your voice may be prolific and easily identifiable, but it’s also started, for a while now, to sound like the grumpy spoiled kid in the corner who doesn’t get his own way. I wanted to say grumpy old man, but your posts here and wherever I come across them online, show that you’ve never really matured that far.

And, honestly, they also show that you really are just a fanboy, who has no idea how this business - not just animation but the whole movie business - works, from the way decisions are made to the day to day hard slogging that goes on on sets, in post houses and marketing.

You have a lot to say, and amazingly not all all of it is always horsedung, but instead of pushing an authoritative agenda, you come off as rude, abrasive and...worst...unable to get over yourself and your pent up anger (are you an animation grad who got kicked out?) so as to trip over the very things you are trying to say, ineloquently stumbling to the point that you become incoherent.

You may be full of yourself, and good for you if it helps you overcome whatever other shortcomings you’re dealing with, but to us that fullness is just a lot of hot air. And, to be frank, that air has been stale for a very long time. Maybe it’s starting to affect you yourself. Whatever it is you’re going through right now...and clearly there’s something bothering...please don’t come here to rant and rave your royal crapness at other longtime regulars.

But, hey, thanks for playing. Maybe now it’s time to take a break before we decide you need to take one and make the decision for you...

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 7609
Joined: October 25th, 2004, 8:53 pm
Location: Binghamton, NY

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby ShyViolet » June 8th, 2018, 8:07 pm

Re: Front page Top Story

They did the right thing. (Iger/Disney). Letting him stay on would have been such a slap in the face to all the women colleagues he’s hurt.

The whole situation’s so crazy though. :shock: I wonder how Lasseter’s place in Disney history will now be portrayed by the company in future books/docs/biographies? They’d need to walk a fine line between praising him/apologizing for his behavior, that’s for sure. :?
"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."

User avatar
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 18048
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 1:27 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Toy Story 4

Postby Ben » June 9th, 2018, 2:34 am

It’s a soft comedown. His place is secured. As with Eisner, his contributions won’t be overlooked or dismissed, but they perhaps won’t be praised as much either. Any unwanted "attention" is wrong, but it’s not like he was Harvey here. Obviously we don’t know the whole story, but it’s a bit of a shame that he wasn’t reprimanded and given a lesser role...although that may have been offered and declined by him. Pretty hard for people like that to have to accept they’re not the boss anymore.

A tough choice for Iger's Disney, but he couldn’t have let Rosanne go over a single tweet (however inflammatory) and then not addressed this situation in the same way. He’s now set a precedent that any kind of inappropriate behavior, be it racist, sexual or socially biased in any way, won’t be tolerated by the Mouse.

Some "fans" (the kind that love some things so much they kill them) might not like these attitudes and how they affect a company's output (SJW stuff and the like) but Disney is heading in the right direction and largely doing the right thing. It may all feel a little "overkill" right now, but in time this will smooth itself out and real change will have occurred.

Despite the fact that I don’t like how Disney isn’t really "Disney" anymore, and its priorities have altered considerably, I’m still pleased with Iger's moves and how he has positioned Walt's company to thrive and survive in this every-changing world in which we live in. Whatever else, he’s proving that it’s still a moral company at heart, with positive values.

Pretty excited that Pete Docter looks to be the guy to take on Pixar, although that probably means less screen goodness from him, although I’m less jazzed about Jennifer Lee doing the same for Disney. I’m still not sure I see where the steak of inspiration is there. And it’s clear that Lasseter will essentially be retained for the next six months as a handing over exercise, so he’s sure to use that time to line up his soldiers: maybe a return to directing is on the cards, or a bigger role at Imagineering? We haven’t seen the last of him, for sure. And not, frankly, that we should have (although, again, we don’t know the full story).

Interesting times ahead...!