The John Lasseter saga

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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by EricJ » January 11th, 2019, 4:14 am

James wrote:I don't think Skydance actually has an animation studio. I believe they outsource the actual animation. Is that going to change I wonder? Seems like Lasseter is the type of guy to want that in-house.
Is this the same Skydance that hired Brad Bird to direct one of their Tom Cruise Mission:Impossibles?
If so, they may be going back to their ex-Pixar well in trying to jumpstart Paramount's failed attempt at a non-Nickelodeon animated label--Then again, Bird couldn't save Warner's animation studio in the 90's, either.

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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by Ben » January 11th, 2019, 5:33 am

No, it’s the same Skydance that sometimes co-finances Paramount's slate, including the last two Missions, but they are basically a silent funding partner: any director and casting choices are made by producer Tom Cruise on those films.

The relatively new Skydance Animation is a self-funded, independent company with less than 70 US-based creative people: it outsources its animation production to Spain's Ilion Animation (Planet 51) and has a distribution deal with Paramount, which still doesn’t actually have its own in-house animation division.

It’ll be interesting to see how Lasseter fits in here after "owning the store" at Pixar. He’s obviously found himself a pretty cushty deal that’s seemingly come out of nowhere, but already his comments of "building" Skydance into something akin to Pixar sounds as if James is right and he’ll want to expand and bring things in-house.

It’s certainly a come-down for him, though, what with now working on two ex-DreamWorks directors' projects already instigated by the previous head that he’ll have to basically have minimal input over (though he’ll take Exec Prod credit as per usual), so it’ll be a while before we see any really new Lasseter-led material, if he stays that long: reaction hasn’t been good among the industry and he himself may find it not what he expects without the Pixar bubble around him.

Interesting, if sudden, developments, though...!

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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by EricJ » January 11th, 2019, 4:13 pm

Ben wrote:It’s certainly a come-down for him, though, what with now working on two ex-DreamWorks directors' projects already instigated by the previous head that he’ll have to basically have minimal input over (though he’ll take Exec Prod credit as per usual), so it’ll be a while before we see any really new Lasseter-led material, if he stays that long: reaction hasn’t been good among the industry and he himself may find it not what he expects without the Pixar bubble around him.
Well, IIRC, that's how Lasseter's last job started, trying to find an earthly excuse for how to salvage "American Dog", "A Day with Wilbur Robinson", "Rapunzel" and "Reboot Ralph", and not finding one for "Gnomeo & Juliet"...And the ones he fixed didn't turn out too badly. We only had one genuine Lasseter-led project in the first few years of Disney's 00's Renaissance, but the '11 "Winnie the Pooh" probably wouldn't have caught fire, Harry Potter or not.
It'll probably be lost on the other studios trying to find their Marketable Franchise Animation House-Label, but Pixar/WDFA's secret was in the sauce--They had talented people who had the instinct to know characters and story when they saw it, and weren't as concerned about marketing "concepts" to imitate some more successful house's style. After all, Pixar was the "other studio", who did they have to imitate?

(And Lasseter was right, they could have cut Heihei the chicken out of "Moana", until they found an actual use for it--He initially had the same reaction about the Bowler Hat Guy in "Robinsons", before that movie got a story overhaul.
Imagine telling a Sony, Illumination or Warner movie like "Ferdinand", "Smallfoot" or "Secret Life of Pets 2" that "We don't need this comic-business relief character; he has no point, he's spoiling the tone and he's dragging down the story". There would be tears and/or exploding heads aplenty. :shock: )

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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by Ben » January 11th, 2019, 7:47 pm

He forgetting that princess and her frog...

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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by EricJ » January 12th, 2019, 3:25 am

Ben wrote:He forgetting that princess and her frog...
Oh, thanks--FIVE stalled Stainton projects that Lasseter had to salvage, silly me.

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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by Ben » January 12th, 2019, 4:06 am

EricJ wrote:We only had one genuine Lasseter-led project in the first few years of Disney's 00's Renaissance, but the '11 "Winnie the Pooh" probably wouldn't have caught fire, Harry Potter or not.
You’re still forgetting that Princess And The Frog was not a rescue job...that was the first "Lasseter-led project", before Pooh.

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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by EricJ » January 12th, 2019, 4:19 pm

Ben wrote:
EricJ wrote:We only had one genuine Lasseter-led project in the first few years of Disney's 00's Renaissance, but the '11 "Winnie the Pooh" probably wouldn't have caught fire, Harry Potter or not.
You’re still forgetting that Princess And The Frog was not a rescue job...that was the first "Lasseter-led project", before Pooh.
I...thought the story was lying around the studios since the pre-Lasseter We-hate-princesses Eisner/Stainton days of "Enchanted" and "Rapunzel Unbraided"?
(Hence the rather overwrought emphasis on "No, really, she's not a princess, honestly; the prince's a jerk and she wants to WORK for a living, don't hit!!" that we didn't see much of later on after Tangled. Which, as noted, also was a Lasseter rescue, but at least we didn't get the two Unbraided teenagers...Well, in a way, we did.)

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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by LotsoA113 » January 12th, 2019, 5:06 pm

Just jumping in to say that I am really really uncomfortable with Lasseter getting this gig. A person who behaved like he did getting put back into a position of leadership right after all of his disgusting behavior was publicly revealed is just appalling to me. Really hoping the outcry from Skydance employees on this see's Lassetter getting the boot, there's plenty of other qualified people who can run Skydance Animation who don't have a history of abusive behavior.
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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by Dacey » January 13th, 2019, 3:12 am

Skydance wouldn't have done this without very carefully considering their options.

This gives them a "name," which going forward may be exactly what they're looking for, and JL after everything that happened is definitely going to "behave himself" for want of a better term.

Not saying if I agree to disagree with the situation. Just that I can see their logic in hiring him. JL was the "golden goose" for the biggest animation company in the world for more than 20 years. And as previously noted, it's not like the accusations against him reached Harvey Weinstein-level horror levels (again, not saying if I agree to disagree, just what they might be wanting from this, which is a freshly available "name").
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Re: The John Lasseter saga

Post by Randall » January 13th, 2019, 10:18 am

Right, not just for his creative contribution but also for the publicity. And though reaction has not been positive, the old saying goes that "no publicity is bad publicity." Skydance has automatically made a name for itself. And if they fire him later, that's just more news for the gossip mill, right?

However, subjecting your new studio staff to this move is another matter. I could see giving the poor slob a job--- I can have compassion even for idiot creeps, and he obviously has some talent to bring to the table; but giving him a leadership role seems quite tone-deaf in this day, not to mention inconsiderate to their staff.

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