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.