Monday, January 23, 2006

Disney + Pixar = New Age of Animation?

I Don't hardly EVER write about politics in the entertainment/film world, but i have to admit THIS story has me by the throat! Just this morning I read on Cartoon Brew's website (www.cartoonbrew.com) about the possibility of Disney buying Pixar. You can read all about it for yourselves, but essentially what is happening is that today, this very day the Disney board and the Pixar board are meeting to either agree or disagree on a particular price tag for Pixar (notably 7 Billion buckeroo's). Now, when i read this i immediately thought of 2 likelihoods: either Pixar will have a profound influence on Disney for the better, or Visa Versa and Pixar will be brought down the tubes with Disney.
Now, personally i believe the first option is most likely. Why? For one thing, Pixar's Steve Jobs will have a prominant place on the board of directors. Given the success of Pixar's films, and being that Job's would have the largest amount of stock in the company would make is influence very very strong. Also, Jobs is similar, very very similar to Walt! He is a man who has built a company (apple) up based on instinct and quality. Tha is an over-simplification, but essentially he has vision of something much greater than making money! Walt always said making money bored him, i believe Jobs is the same way. He's a visionary that respects the creative process, thus, having sucha visionary with a very important voice on the Disney Board would be a huge influence. Lets not forget too that Roy Disney is also back with the company and has since gotten rid of a few people that we "bad blood" from the Eisner days.
The other part of the coin is that with Jobs and Pixar being apart of Disney it is very likely that Lasseter would become the head of Feature animation. Do you know how long it has been since an artist has been the head of animation? Not since Walt DIED... now, selfishly i must admit, this gives me knots in my stomach to think about (from excitement). Lasseter HAS NOT said that he would bring hand drawn back to disney, or that he would even take the helm of feature animation but, i have a strong inkling that he would. Lasseter LOVES animation... in ALL forms, and i think it would be a very smart business and artistic move to make Burbank the Hand Drawn unit and Pixar the CG unit. There IS room for both! but with Lasseter at the helm of both there is no telling where the art-form could go! just no telling!!!
Nothing is final, nothing has happened yet, for all we know the meeting today could go very poorly and things completely colapse. but imagine would COULD happen if things were to evolve in such a way. Maybe then my dreams of working on earth shattering films like INcredibles, Lord of the Rings, and Pinnochio could finally come true. Your thoughts?

12 comments:

Benjamin De Schrijver said...

I would love the idea of disney going back to handdrawn. However, I wouldn't want to stop them doing CG eather. Cause it seems to me they're taking a very different road with CG than Pixar. They're really aiming to get a handpainted type of look, especially with American Dog and Rapunzel, while Pixar is going more for a stylized realism type of thing. And I'd love it if they both pushed things forward in their direction.

But I'm a student doing handdrawn animation (inspite of the lack of drawing skills... just doing everything rough), so I really like the thought of handdrawn returning.

Matt Williames said...

I just learned that in fact John Lasseter WILL take over Feature Animation in Burbank if Disney buys Pixar which is very good indeed! I was able to also unofficially confirm a little while ago that part of Johns plan would be to have Disney go back to hand drawn. Pixar is a buzzin' today!

Bobby P said...

If that is true , holy balognas.

Lee said...

please bring back hand drawn animation!

Doron Meir said...

If indeed Mr. Lasseter and Mr. Jobs become prominent figures in Disney, and if they are able to weed the company of all the lousy attitude it's been having for years now, then animation may indeed have a bright future. I don’t think it’s going to be easy though. Disney is a huge ship with lots of people aboard, and making a U turn is going to be tough. Times will tell, but I allow myself a careful optimism.
May we all live to see better times for animation, especially hand-drawn.

Andrew Shek said...

Really liking the monkey pencil test....great design and animation.

awesome blog

Matt Williames said...

It's official, John Lasseter and Ed Catmul are now the official heads of creative affairs, and presidents of Disney Feature animation! You can let out your war cry now! hand drawn animation, here we come!

Jason C said...

Man... This totally re-ignites the dream of working on a Hand draw feature. i Have alot of faith and hope in lasseter and Co.. It'd be nice to see disney as the crown jewel of animation again.. The old dreams of working at a disney where stories are protected and left to grow might still be a possibility.. WOOOOOOO!!!!

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