Monday, September 27, 2010

Directors on the Animation Highway

As long-time animation director Brad Bird travels to the land of Mission Impossible, live-action director Guillermo del Toro is going in the opposite direction.

Guillermo del Toro has fallen under the spell of animation and is setting up "Trollhunters," a feature project he will write and direct at DreamWorks Animation. ...

Del Toro said he was especially struck by what the studio accomplished with "Dragon." "They took risks with that movie with pathos and imagination and structure. It made me pay attention ..." he said.

There is, of course, a long history of cartoon top-kicks leaving animation and traveling to the verdant uplands of live-action film-making. (Tashlin, Minkoff, Reed, Burton, etc.)

It's nice to see that the passage isn't just one way. But I think that has a lot to do with animation becoming increasingly potent at the box office over the past twenty years.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

-Awesome for Guillermo del Toro

-What a waste of time/talent for Brad Bird

Anonymous said...

Agreed with above.

Though if Bird does have live action aspirations, it's the studio execs who probably said to him that he would have to prove himself first with this sequel before they give him free reign of an original project. But that is only a guess.

Anonymous said...

Bird has worked in live action before, writing several episodes of Amazing Stories for Speilberg, aside from his own Family Dog. I'm only surprised it's taken him this long to get a live action film made. But I'm looking forward to it, and looking forward to more animation from him as well--which we'll no doubt see.

Anonymous said...

Del Toro said he was especially struck by what the studio accomplished with "Dragon." "They took risks with that movie with pathos and imagination and structure.

And particularly how they accomplished it...by bringing in more talented ringers who never worked at the studio before.
(Which explains why they also want his genius to "consult" on last-minute doctoring for Megamind. Just in case.)

Though if Bird does have live action aspirations, it's the studio execs who probably said to him that he would have to prove himself first with this sequel before they give him free reign of an original project. But that is only a guess.

Although it still sounds like Paramount trying to "insert" name directors into a McFranchise, and wishing they could get The Incredibles Guy to do it for them...
(With the usual envy that most live-action studios have for how-Pixar-does-it.)

Anonymous said...

wasn't Guillermo del Toro suppose to be doing these animated films at disney under Double Dare You?

did that deal fall through or is this in addition to that?

Anonymous said...

Seeing as how that awful owl movie only about $3000. per screen this weekend (5300 screens, $16 million total), I doubt the wonderful director del Toro will ever make this film. His sensibilities are great, and very dark. Katzemburg's aren't. Nor are his shareholders.

Anonymous said...

wasn't Guillermo del Toro suppose to be doing these animated films at disney under Double Dare You?

did that deal fall through or is this in addition to that?


The Disney deal is off.

Matt J said...

Didn't Bird write the script for Batteries Not Included?

Apparently he has gotten to know legendary screenwriter Robert Towne of the past few years who gave him pointers on his 'Chinatown' like script for 1906. Sounds like a much more tantalising project than MI:4 but as stated above he robably has to make that to get support for his passion project. And no doubt he will make a heck of an action film with Cruise & co.

Anonymous said...

Yes. And Captain Eo, too.

Anonymous said...

The Disney deal is off.

Boy, they really must not want to do animation projects huh. You would think they'd jump at the chance to get him right away since they've got nothing in the pipeline. Brilliant move, Ross and Lasseter.

Is Haunted Mansion in trouble then?

Anonymous said...

There's 4 features and 2 shorts in the animation pipeline at Disney.

I dont think anyone at WDAS had anything to do with del Toro opting for Dreamworks, I think he made that decision on his own.

Anonymous said...

Is Haunted Mansion in trouble then?

Reportedly still going ahead, as that one necessarily has to remain attached to Disney.

Anonymous said...

I know squat all about any project at Disney, but the title Haunted Mansion screams unoriginality. I feel bored already.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here believe that JK will let Del Toro do what he wants?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely not. As an above anon said, JK and his army of shareholders are afraid of the dark.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the evidence of that is overwhelming, isn't it? I mean, How to Train Your Dragon was a carbon copy clone of Kung Fu Panda, which was itself identical in every way to Shrek.

Sometimes the anonymous comments on this blog are as edifying and accurate as the comments one might hear at an Arkansas Tea Party rally.

Anonymous said...

^ Said the anonymous person.

Anonymous said...

An anonymous person who actually knows how JK works, and how much freedom he actually DOES give to his directors now compared to the early days of DW.

Anonymous said...

Read The Men who Would be King by Nicole LaPorte to see JK's evolution. Yes, he used to be a micromanager, but he has always had the best intentions in letting artists rule his studio. He is definitely someone you want on your side and I think he's realized over the years that giving the artists more control leads to more success. The proof is obvious these last few years.

I really think Dreamworks Animation is on its way to becoming the leading animation studio from the way they are keeping their artists happy and giving them more control and just keeping them working with more movies. And obviously they are a money making machine. I really can't think of any other studio providing this triple threat right now and I think it is paying off in spades.

Just wait until Dragon beats out Toy Story 3 for the Oscar this year.

Anonymous said...

As much as Im rooting for Dreamworks as a company, and as much as I liked Dragons, theres no way TS3 is losing the Oscar race.

But its no big deal. Its just a dumb award. Honestly.

Anonymous said...

Let Pixar lose to DW again and see how dumb JL thinks the award is...

pappy d said...

At least JK can handle a little risk. He can turn on a dime as soon as he senses he's over-meddled. Disney & del Toro would have been a complete disaster.

God knows we need real directors in this business!

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, ha! Wednesday, September 29, 2010 2:13:00 PM Anon. If JK is less involved, please let me know about how much of a hand Billy D has and how much he is king... or not. Please let us know :(

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