I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Disney way to make a Toy Story sequel starts with...

I've been here at Pixar a few years and I've seen how movies are made here. And it's not a secret. In fact it's in all the Pixar "making of" books. The director has this story that he/she wants to make and it all goes from there. Other studios have their own tried and true ways of making movies.

Though exact details of the script were being kept under close wraps, Stern's new take is expected to advance the "Toy Story" franchise by taking the characters on the road and out of Andy's room. Stern is also understood to have invented a couple of new characters for the next installment.

The studio is expected to hire another* screenwriter to write a polish on the script.

(* my bold. I does what I likes)


Blogger Azzamckazza said...

NO! I'm totally torn with the idea of another sequel without Pixar. Part of me is interested just to see how badly Disney will screw it up and the other half wants nothing to do with it, preferring to not let the Pixar universe that exists be tainted in my head.

Oh, my names Arran by the way. I've been reading your blog for awhile now. Good to have someone on the inside at Pixar giving a perspective.

3:35 PM

Blogger Chad Kerychuk said...

You hit it right on the head Ronnie. They don't mention a team effort. Obviously something quite useful (and proven) at Pixar. The fact they don't realize that, shows they not only don't care for the characters, the story, or the existing brand-name of 'Toy Story,' but that they also don't care to use any past production methods. Cheap, fast, and pump that sucker out. Let's make some money!

If Disney does end up making Toy Story 3 without Pixar, hopefully Pixar has enough 'brand name pull' now that many will stay away. Sadly, I feel this may not be the case and a fair number of 'mom and pop' families will rush to see Toy Story 3 regardless.

Whether or not Iger comes in as the new Disney Chief, or somebody externally does, I would hope that they can re-envision the ways of quality back into the company. If, as rumors suggest, talks will resume between Pixar and Disney, and things get worked out, Pixar can lead the charge of quality production again - excluding the great Lilo and Stitch and some other quality animated features. If Eisner does stay on the board in some capacity, as has been hinted, hopefully, his powers will be limited. He may have started out to revitalize Disney, but all one has to do is to look at the enormous amount of companies Disney owns or has aquired since his entry, to see an example of too many divested interests and lack of focus.

Disney used to stand for 'quality entertainment.' Now it's all about 'quantity entertainment.' Today's economy is so CEO / shareholder / profit based rather than employee / shareholder / quality based that many companies have failed to keep to high production standards. Jobs are lost to overseas companies and production schedules are tightened. I commend Pixar for defying the current standards and sticking by the quality-first ideology.

As for 'taking the characters on the road' concept, I'm sure this is a logical step and not an original thought by Stern. Pixar has already had them at home, and on a 'journey' of sorts, but a 'road trip' hasn't been done fully. However, 'Cars' may take that angle from what I can gather. Possibly, and I say it with trepidation, if Disney was at least attempting to really make a quality film, they might have some of the support of Pixar and those who were previously involved. But as it stands, it seems they're only shunning those that got them the recognition - and enormous profits - in the first place.

I really hope Pixar knocks things out of the park in the next few years. It would be great to see Buzz, Woody, Flick and company reunited at Pixar, but if Pixar has to go at it without the beloved characters, I hope the new ones can give Disney a run for their money.

3:03 PM

Blogger Ronnie said...

Arran--I know what you mean. If I weren't working here I'd have the same ambivalence. I know that it means jobs and learning for the animation community so there are benefits to this. The leadership at Disney seems to be in a transition so there is still a glimmer of hope that all this is just posturing. One can hope. Thanks for being a Tirade reader.

Chad--every studio is its own tribe. The leadership and its members determine its process and course. They can't effectively bring the same magic to their version of Pixar characters even with the most luckiest of breaks. They will have to put their organization to work to the best of its ability to make their kind of movie. That may be the sad note there since lately Disney cannot seem to find its story soul--and it's been a while now.

All I can say is that Pixar takes on this risk: Let the director tell his story. Let him find his way through his story and help him when he's getting tired or stymied (must qualify that I say "he" meaning both genders and anything in between). That's a gamble. So far it's paid off in goodwill and story coherence and story satisfaction from the audience. If there is a winning formula that Pixar has it's that. No executive glut to gum up the process. The director is where the buck stops.

If I were to be lucky some day to direct a feature I would wish it only under this philosophy. The closest harmony of art and commerce in feature animation that I've seen.

Thanks for the post.


4:35 PM


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