The Good Dinosaur

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The Good Dinosaur

Post by ShyViolet » September 2nd, 2013, 6:25 pm

Ed Catmull's statement on the director change:

http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... e.html?m=1
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Dacey » September 18th, 2013, 4:16 pm

Pushed back more than a year. Not surprising, I guess.

I will say, though, that a comment I read on article somewhere from a while back was more or less on the money, sadly...

There is a HUGE problem going on here. The last four Pixar movies have seen their original director replaced. If that isn't bad upper management I don't know what is. I don't want to hear the crap about how Lasseter isn't willing to put out a movie that isn't the best it could be. Pixar's last four movies have not been masterful pieces of work. They have hovered around being average animated films with a superb touch of animation, design, and sound work because of the team of talented artists behind the movies.

Pixar was able to attract such talent because of their stance as a "director driven studio". It was Lasseter who said, "I want someone who has this burning desire to tell a story that they want to tell". Well Lasseter, you will NOT get people to share with you their burning desires if you continuously take them off their project because you don't agree with the way they want to tell the story. Lasseter of all people should know how it feels to be kicked off a project he believes in. I have heard him tell the story more then once of his experiences at Disney and being kicked off of "The Brave Little Toaster". He called the time after he was kicked out of Disney the lowest part of his career.

What the last few years of director changes shows about Pixar and John Lasseter is a lack of belief in it's artists and a fear that they will fall off their pedestal. You can not be creative in an environment like this. The more Lasseter and the other authorities at Pixar try to control the storytelling at their studio, the more great storytellers with their "burning desires to tell a story they want to tell" will go someplace else.
ttp://www.cartoonbrew.com/pixar/john-lasseter ... 87856.html
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by ShyViolet » September 18th, 2013, 5:55 pm

Yes, even though it was years and years ago I still wish we could have seen the real American Dog. :|
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » September 18th, 2013, 7:17 pm

Sadly, I don't think these "storytellers with burning desires to tell a story they want to tell" will be able to this at any of the big American animation studios at the moment. Pixar may not be what it used to be, but the other studios are still behind--some vastly so. Disney has been getting better, but again, they still have Lasseter at the helm. And I've been personally underwhelmed by Laika's output, even if you put aside the fact that their films so far haven't exhibited much variety in feeling and tone.

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by ShyViolet » September 18th, 2013, 7:26 pm

I think Brenda Chapman said in an interview that DW is giving more freedom to directors now which is why she chose to go back. I know she's directing her own movie now, plus Jennifer Yuh Nelson is doing KFP 3.
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » September 19th, 2013, 6:43 am

I had high hopes for Brave, from way back when it was called The Bear and the Bow (I still remember that 2008 press release, which promised Newt and The Bear and the Bow in 2011 and Cars 2 and WDFA's King of the Elves in 2012). I thought it turned out OK, not great, and we still have yet to see a pure, soup-to-nuts Brenda Chapman movie. I hope that DW will stay true to its word and that Chapman will deliver. I would rather see talents like Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Chris Sanders, and Dean DeBlois work on original projects rather than sequels (though I am looking forward to HTTYD 2). Even Andrew Stanton over at Pixar isn't immune.

If I can rant for just a bit longer... Even though DW has undoubtedly gotten better, I still have mixed feelings about most of their films aside from HTTYD and maybe KFP. I've always felt that while DW had good artists, they were lacking in the story/directing department. The recent influx of talent in this area seems promising, but the fruits borne so far have largely not been to my taste. And do I really want to see Sanders devoting his talents to The Croods 2, especially when I found the first underwhelming? Then there's Me and My Shadow, which got the Lasseter treatment, albeit on a less severe scale, when Mark Dindal got booted, and then got sent back to development for good measure.

I know I'm being harsh, and I do expect DW to create at least one gem in the near future, even it it's just HTTYD 2 (which will be one more gem than Pixar has created since 2011). But just as I think that Pixar isn't lost yet despite its disconcerting woes, I also think that DW is not going to start churning out masterpieces on a regular basis or become the creative haven that Pixar used to be.

If Brad Bird joins DW, though....
Last edited by Vernadyn on September 19th, 2013, 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by EricJ » September 19th, 2013, 7:17 am

and we still have yet to see a pure, soup-to-nuts Brenda Chapman movie.
...Instead of the "nuts" one we got. :roll:
From what I've seen, most of the replaced directors NEEDED to be replaced (you can see the artificial ingredients added to Brave to make it a "real" Pixar film at the last minute), and it may rankle some directors to say it, but Pixar make better movies as a group studio than the directors do on their own. They, at least, know what their films look like.

Joining the rant:
Then there's Me and My Shadow, which got the Lasseter treatment, albeit on a less severe scale, when Mark Dindal got booted, and then got sent back to development for good measure.
(Booted again, huh? Getting to be a habit. Still sentimental for the Cute Warner-Martyr Movie, or are we starting to put it in historical context now?)
I also think that DW is not going to start churning out masterpieces on a regular basis or become the creative haven that Pixar used to be.
For all of what it thinks it's "gained" trying to get away from its past formula, what DW still doesn't have, in an overused word, is "heart". It really doesn't seem to LIKE people all that much.
We go gushy over Pixar movies because they try to yank our heartstrings by giving every characer his moment of redemption or sympathy, while DW still learned everything it needed to know about filmmaking from TV sitcoms, and depicts even its nameless extra characters as quick-gag losers or annoyances. Even its "sympathetic" heroes tend to be loser-dreamers whose self-fantasies are supposed to be just as comic as they are as plot points, and guess which of the two gets sold louder in trailer money-gags: Are we supposed to like Po in KFP1 because he has a dream, or because he wants to learn "Kung fu-uuuuuuuuuuuuu?"
The rot starts from the top, and ask yourself which charismatic up-with-people charmer you'd rather invite over to dinner, John Lasseter or Jeffrey Katzenberg?

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » September 19th, 2013, 7:44 am

...Instead of the "nuts" one we got.
Walked right into that one, didn't I?
(Booted again, huh? Getting to be a habit. Still sentimental for the Cute Warner-Martyr Movie, or are we starting to put it in historical context now?)
Out of Mark Dindal's three directorial features, the only one I liked was The Emperor's New Groove. Didn't really warm to Cats Don't Dance as much as others seemed to and Chicken Little may be the nadir of Disney Feature Animation.

I'm curious. What else was Dindal booted off of?

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Ben » September 19th, 2013, 6:50 pm

Um...nothing? Cats was his end to end, he replaced Roger Allers (well, went from co-director to director on Groove) and took Chicken through a bumpy production, but was never booted. His Sherlock Holmes movie never happened, so he wasn't booted from that either. I didn't know he was at DreamWorks, but far as I know he's still on Shadow, it's just in development again...

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by ShyViolet » September 19th, 2013, 7:42 pm

EricJ wrote: For all of what it thinks it's "gained" trying to get away from its past formula, what DW still doesn't have, in an overused word, is "heart". It really doesn't seem to LIKE people all that much.
We go gushy over Pixar movies because they try to yank our heartstrings by giving every characer his moment of redemption or sympathy, while DW still learned everything it needed to know about filmmaking from TV sitcoms, and depicts even its nameless extra characters as quick-gag losers or annoyances. Even its "sympathetic" heroes tend to be loser-dreamers whose self-fantasies are supposed to be just as comic as they are as plot points, and guess which of the two gets sold louder in trailer money-gags: Are we supposed to like Po in KFP1 because he has a dream, or because he wants to learn "Kung fu-uuuuuuuuuuuuu?"
The rot starts from the top, and ask yourself which charismatic up-with-people charmer you'd rather invite over to dinner, John Lasseter or Jeffrey Katzenberg?
What about the quieter moments in Kung Fu Panda, like Po's bonding with Shi Fu or even his own dad, or the love/hate tragedy between Shi Fu and Tai Lung? What about the sweet moments in HTTYD when Hiccup gets Toothless to trust him? I'd say those are definitely a cut above "TV sitcoms." What about the sweet relationship in The Croods between Eep and her father? Then there's the heart-tugging moments in KFP 2 when Po overcomes his past and finds inner peace, when he finally faces the memories of his mother leaving him. Or when his father recalls his first moments with baby Po? Those hardly seem like "quick gag loser moments" to me.

*Also, Rise of the Guardians may have had its flaws, but there were some amazing emotional moments too, particularly Jack remembering his past. Real "typical DW fare"? :?
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by ShyViolet » September 19th, 2013, 7:52 pm

EricJ wrote: From what I've seen, most of the replaced directors NEEDED to be replaced (you can see the artificial ingredients added to Brave to make it a "real" Pixar film at the last minute), and it may rankle some directors to say it, but Pixar make better movies as a group studio than the directors do on their own. They, at least, know what their films look like.
But Pixar has said for years that they place a very high value on a director's vision: hence the respect given to Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, Pete Doctor and of course Lassetter. Is it the director's vision they trust in, or only certain directors' visions?
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » September 20th, 2013, 4:07 am

Um...nothing? Cats was his end to end, he replaced Roger Allers (well, went from co-director to director on Groove) and took Chicken through a bumpy production, but was never booted. His Sherlock Holmes movie never happened, so he wasn't booted from that either. I didn't know he was at DreamWorks, but far as I know he's still on Shadow, it's just in development again...
I guess I misunderstood. I thought that
Booted again, huh? Getting to be a habit.
meant that Dindal had been taken off something else as well.

So he's still on the Me and My Shadow? Before it went back into development, the latest news was that Alessandro Carloni was the new director.

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/cgi/me-and-m ... 66844.html

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/biz/new-dist ... 69608.html

Or maybe Carloni's off now and Dindal's taken the reins again? (Apologies for straying so far from the topic, by the way).

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by EricJ » September 20th, 2013, 12:07 pm

Vernadyn wrote:I'm curious. What else was Dindal booted off of?
Well, the Disney lot, after Chicken Little.
(Eisner and Stainton were already going, and they wanted to make sure ENOUGH heads rolled.)

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by ShyViolet » September 20th, 2013, 5:28 pm

From what I can remember, I'm pretty sure he left on his own. And Chicken Little wasn't his fault, but Disney executives desperate to keep up with Pixar. He was forced to make the film the way they wanted. (Also, I never really thought CL was all that bad. A lot of the jokes were stupid, but I still think it had heart.) Groove was hilarious, and CDD was sweet and a lot of fun.
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Ben » September 21st, 2013, 3:03 am

Ok, well enough said here. Bottom line: Dindal does not have a reputation for being booted anywhere.

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