Bolt

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Post by ShyViolet » June 20th, 2007, 1:52 pm

Willaims yes, Sanders no.

:(



Well, that's the thing, I don't think were suppose "get" anything. Things didn't work out, and now its different. Not a bad thing, and certanly not unusual.

I get what you're saying Dan, and sure, it's not unusual for a film to get "re-shaped" like Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast were. But Bolt is not American Dog re-done, or "American Dog after story problems were handled." American Dog was canceled. Bolt is the new film. A producer or executive or "creative" giving notes, advice, input is not the same as firing a director and canceling his film.

(Case in point: Emperor's New Groove is not Kingdom of the Sun after story problems were tackled. Why did an otherwise promising film like KOTS get reworked the way it did? Because of major, major problems and interference at the executive level, for one. Sound familiar? :roll:)

My theory: The far-out quirky original plot was no doubt very much disliked by Lassetter or he would not have canceled the film. He either didn't take to it because he believes all films should be Pixar or--more likely (just my opinion) he felt threatened by Disney going in new directions, things they haven't done before, things Pixar hasn't done before.

If you were Lassetter, wouldn't you rather that Disney stick to commercially successful but also extremely tired formulas that have been making them money but leaving them in the dust creatively for years, while your Robot movie is the only "bold new animated film" to come out in 2008? I could just see the reviews of Bolt now:


"While the film has some charming moments and humor, the tired plot and wise-cracking CGI animal characters drag it down. Despite the fast pace and snappy punchlines, this film is further proof that while Pixar pursues bold new ideas such as this year's stunning WALL-E, Disney is still in a creative funk from which it might not ever emerge."


Of course, this is only my theory. I don't know how Lassetter really feels about Walt Disney Feature Animation. I only know what I've seen of his actions so far. Other than the whole American Dog thing, his nearly 24-7 cheerleading of Ratatouille in contrast to his silence towards Meet the Robinsons is the biggest indicator. John Lassetter LOVES Pixar, Pixar is his life, and that's where his priorities lie.

Sure, he took the Disney job, but there were other factors here. What Steve Jobs wanted for one. Steve Jobs wanted the money, period. (Steve Jobs does not care about Disney Feature Animation one iota.) John Lassetter wanted Pixar to stay independent but knew he needed Disney to distribute them. Iger wanted the Pixar name and the status of having "fixed" WDFA by putting them in charge.

All these factors conspired together and somehow Jobs wound up on the board, Lassetter and Catmull at WDFA, and Iger all happy because Disney's stock went up and he bought Pixar because Michael Eisner couldn't. I really don't think there was much thought beyond that, or any thought given to the Walt Disney Feature artists or what they wanted. Like I said, just my theory, but it's also based on what we've seen. :?
Last edited by ShyViolet on June 20th, 2007, 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Jeroen » June 20th, 2007, 2:22 pm

he felt threatened by Disney going in new directions, things they haven't done before, things Pixar hasn't done before.
If you were Lassetter, wouldn't you rather that Disney stick to commercially successful but also extremely tired formulas that have been making them money but leaving them in the dust creatively for years.
Then why would he remove Alan Menken from The Frog Princess?

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Post by ShyViolet » June 20th, 2007, 2:28 pm

That's the whole point though. Those Alan Menken princess films WERE VERY successful, on the whole, and Disney hasn't done a full-fledged THEATRICAL princess film (and 2d at that) in like 15 years. In a world of wisecracking CGI animals, and Alan Menken fairy tale is DIFFERENT.

It could overshadow Pixar, as they've never done fairy tales, ever. Pixar came into the forefront when the Broadway thing was at its peak, and by the time they came out with Bug's Life (1998) princesses were out. It's been almost ten years now, and there are MANY people (just check IMDB) who want something NEW, not just CGI animals/toys/bugs/fish.
In 2007, princesses are new again. Fairy Tales, real ones, not knock-offs, are radical.


Putting Randy Newman on the project removes it even further from its original traditional outline. It dilutes it away from what Ron and John wanted and makes it much more like a Pixar film. In other words, much less competition.


I think Lassetter would rather Disney just stick to decently profitable but not widly original films.
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Post by Meg » June 20th, 2007, 4:54 pm

Hey, instead of doing a musical fairy tale or a funny animal comedy, how about they do a genre that's never been approached before in American animation? I'd really love to see something that they haven't done 15 times already. :wink:

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Post by ShyViolet » June 20th, 2007, 4:59 pm

It would be cool to see a "pure drama" with only human characters. :)
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Post by Meg » June 20th, 2007, 5:09 pm

Hey, aren't there a bunch of sci-fi flicks coming out that are a little more on the serious side?


...In fact, is it just me or are there a TON of sci-fi animated movies coming out in general?

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Post by Ben » June 21st, 2007, 7:54 am

All good points.

I only say that a huge pointer to the differences between Disney and Pixar is the way the staff are treated at both. There's a huge devide there.

And, essentially, Pixar films "grew" out of the Disney ethos...it just doesn't make sense for them both to be making animated films, full stop. They are their own competition.

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Post by cboy666 » June 21st, 2007, 10:13 am

I was just wondering, since part of the disney/pixar deal was for John Lasseter to become Chief Creative Officer of both disney and pixar, what would hapen if he was fired?
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Post by ShyViolet » June 21st, 2007, 2:29 pm

I've thought about that: I do know that if he decides to leave on his own, neither he nor Pixar have any say over what happens to all of their artistic properties, as they all belong to Disney now.


You might say that Steve Jobs could "object", and pull his shares out of the company or something, but seriously, IMO: even though technically Steve Jobs is on the board and all, he doesn't really have any more interest tied up in Pixar as it's not his company any more.

He sold it, got the 7 billion. It's over. He's all about Apple now, and "steering Disney in the right direction" (whatever that means :roll:) I guess making sure that Disney films are on itunes and ipods. Beyond that, I have no idea.


John Lassetter being fired? Hmmm. He is an employee of Disney now, so I think technically he can be fired or possibly just relegated to doing Pixar and Pixar only, not Disney.
Although he probably has a contract or something with them, so..... I'm sure he has a GIGANTIC parachute waiting just in case things don't work out.)


However, his "new Walt Disney" persona/reputation is very well known and the fallout of Disney doing this could be major, unless they provide some "mutual interest" story to cover the whole thing. (What, Disney STILL can't work with Pixar?? What's wrong with them anyway? :?)


And if Disney pays him a ton of money to go away....HUGE PR problem. Think the "Mike Ovitz" thing, PLUS Jeffrey Katzenberg, plus Roy Disney. Only ten times worse. :?


You could see from that Business Week story I posted above that the general media--even those who are supposed to "know" about Disney don't understand the first thing about animation or even the company. If something like this actually happened, they'd have to be very, very well educated on the reasons why.


Most importantly, John Lassetter would have to ADMIT that Disney is just not where he wants to be at the moment and that he's devoted his life to Pixar. He's have to make a statement that it's what he wants and that it was mutual, and be very clear about it.


The thing is, though, would he be transferred back to Pixar exclusively, or leave Disney altogether with the rest of the Brain Trust and start their own studio apart from Disney? What would happen to all the current Pixar employees? Would Disney "take over" Emeryville if Lassetter and Catmull are gone? Would they assimilate it into Glendale/Burbank? There are MANY questions here to think about. It could be a long haul until things are stable again, which makes it doubly difficult, as everyone thought that with Lassetter at Disney everything would magically begin to work again. But it can't work, IMHO. At least not the way it is now. Not with two companies with competing interests supposedly functioning as one. I'm anything BUT an MBA/business expert here, but PLAIN COMMON SENSE should tell you that something is just fundamentally wrong about the way things are run now. This is a great big mess here. It's got to be fixed somehow.

I only say that a huge pointer to the differences between Disney and Pixar is the way the staff are treated at both. There's a huge devide there.

Exactly. This is one of the things I'm most concerned about.
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Post by Ben » June 21st, 2007, 2:46 pm

Really, we need to wait and see.

At this point, The Frog Princess is the stick against which to measure things. Since animated films take three-four years to make, we won't really see the results of Lasseter and company until then.

Meet The Robinsons, Enchanted, American Bolt...these were all films in various stages of development that they had to take on and "fix" the best way they saw how.

The Frog Princess (or whatever it's dumb name is) is their Statement Movie - the one that says, "right, we're here and this is what you're going to see from us". It is both a return to truly classic Disney, and the first of a new Pixar-tinged Disney.

<I>That's</I> the film that's going to be most interesting. American Bolt, as I'm calling it, is going to be a bit of a mixed up mess, probably with no originality at all. :(

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Post by ShyViolet » June 21st, 2007, 2:49 pm



Meet The Robinsons, Enchanted, American Bolt...these were all films in various stages of development that they had to take on and "fix" the best way they saw how.

The Frog Princess (or whatever it's dumb name is) is their Statement Movie - the one that says, "right, we're here and this is what you're going to see from us". It is both a return to truly classic Disney, and the first of a new Pixar-tinged Disney.
I see what you're saying Ben. I suppose it's a bit early to make any judgments on the "new feature animation" from WDFA. (Or WDA :wink:)
I just really wish they'd stayed separate is all. :?

John Lassetter would be great if only he'd stick to Pixar. :?
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Post by cboy666 » June 21st, 2007, 9:43 pm

ShyViolet wrote:
John Lassetter would be great if only he'd stick to Pixar. :?
My thoughts exactly
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Post by ShyViolet » June 22nd, 2007, 1:15 pm

Image




Or





Image




:P

:wink:
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Post by Daniel » June 22nd, 2007, 1:56 pm

Uhuh.... I'm surprised you didn't use this.

Image

I should watch this today, its been a while!

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Post by Rob Somers » June 26th, 2007, 9:33 pm

Hey everyone,

So when I originally heard that Lasseter threw Sanders off of his own "pet" project (I love that pun, sorry!), I was pretty upset. As much as I love Pixar and Lasseter, Sanders was the best thing in my eyes that Disney has had in recent years. So does anyone know what the beef between John and Chris is? I think I read somewhere that John didn't like Shrek (presumably for it's tongue-in-cheek Disney bashing), but with Sanders I'm kind of lost at to why he doesn't like him: either they have a personal problem, or Lasseter really doesn't like ANYTHING irreverant in his animated movies!

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