You can't say the House of Mouse isn't tub-thumping for its upcoming product:
The Walt Disney Co. wowed an industry crowd Wednesday in a showcase of its upcoming films that included a sequel to its 1982 sci-fi flick "Tron" and a "Lone Ranger" remake with Johnny Depp as Tonto.
The daylong presentation at the Kodak Theatre, home of the Oscars, delivered repeated surprises as actors emerged onstage to tout animated 3-D movies, live-action thrillers and comedies — with animal co-stars ranging from guinea pigs and chihuahuas to humpback whales ...
Commenting on Disney's lengthy rollout, which included a full screening of the animated dog-hero movie "Bolt," [actor Jim] Carrey told out-of-town guests, "You can go back home and say these saddle sores came from Hollywood ...."
I got a call today from one of the c.g. artists who was bounced at the end of Bolt's production. The guy had been there ten years, but you know how it is: "You're last performance review was a little weak Charlie, here's your final check, and thanks for being part of the team."
And after a decade and five movies, the artist takes one for the team -- out the door and off to a rendezvous with unemployment benefits.
But I was amazed how non-bitter the ex-employee was, really more sad and resigned than angry:
"Disney Animation doesn't have a lot of development going on. I don't know what they're going to be doing after Rapunzel. There's the King of the Elves thing, but after that? One of the rumors going around was Robert Iger wanted to close Disney Animation and just have Pixar do the animation..."
I allowed as how that wouldn't seem to be a smart business move. The nameplate still means something, even if the last animation regime's final few movies tarnished it. The artist said:
"My friends that are still there say the main lot is expecting big things out of the picture. It's good."
My desires are simple. I want Bolt to be a mega smash hit. It helps the industry, it helps employment. Prosperity is what I'm about.
So here's to Bolt, and to the proposition that the movie marketplace will support two high-profile animated features at the same time, because Madagascar the Second will be out there alongside the doggie.
The last thing we need is 'toon cannibalization.