Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Disney Experience

I spent part of my day inside the hat building on Riverside Drive for the first time in weeks. Work is humming merrily along on Wreck-It Ralph. A couple of artists said ...

"The script for Frozen had a good table read. Management liked it, and we're putting it up in story reels. They want a screening in the next couple of months ..."

"We're gonna make Frozen in about a year. That's what we seem to always get, a year. Every time we make the tight deadline, we make sure we'll get a tight deadline the next time ..."

Maybe Diz Co. is more focused on schedules and budgets these days. Because they seem to be keeping a lid on spending. Maybe because of this:

"John Carter," the $250 million sci-fi epic ... may be the biggest studio gamble since "Avatar." The film doesn't hit theaters until March, but reports are rampant that "John Carter" has gone over budget and required costly reshoots. ...

"How does something like this get green lit?" one film financier told TheWrap. "It's insane. The only people who could justify a budget like this are true superstar filmmakers like Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and George Lucas. Guys who have a proven history and who have created billions." ...

If Carter opens and sustains interest, then everything is roses and lollipops and the Mouse goes on to its next triumph. And if not, then Richard Ross points his finger at (the departed) Dick Cook and hopes that Wreck-It Ralph and Brave are major hits.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, do you know if "Frozen" is still planned to be a musical or not?

C. K. said...

Anonymous, you can rest assured that "Frozen" will adhere as closely as possible to the "Tangled" template.

As we can already see from the name change.

Anonymous said...

John Carter follows that grand Hollywood tradition of taking something successful (i.e. Avatar) and basically copying it.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, but the difference is that JC is more or less the source material for Avatar. This is something we haven't really seen before.

Anonymous said...

No surprise with doing another movie in a year, after years and years of development costs. It always hits the artist when the unrealistic deadlines are finally presented and its after millions of dollars and years have been spent in already. Then the actual final images that the public will see forever are rushed out. Its a bad cycle to get into.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous 5:28 AM

Hey dumbass, John Carter was published in 1912. A large number of sci-fi/fantasy movies have ripped that book off in some capacity, especially Avatar. Next time take 30 seconds to read up on something before you make idiotic statements.

Anonymous said...

I'm also amazed at the money Disney has allowed to be spent on John Carter, but selfishly, it's exciting that something as rich as Burrough's Carter writings will get a full-out effort. Stanton has referenced movies like Ben Hur, as far as the scale of the movie and the way he wants 'Carter to seem like a real, true historical piece.

A recent screening supposedly only allowed people to see the film if they brought a 10-15 year old with them. Disney knows action/sci-fi geeks in their 30's-40's (like myself) will flock to the film, but are likely gearing the film to suit the younger crowd as well. Interesting also that the film will be PG-13, keeping younger families away, but also making it more attractive for older teens who would think they're above seeing a PG film.

Based on things I've read recently and the newest trailer (the one they ran during the Championship football game had a few new tidbits in it), I think it's gonna be a real crowd-pleaser with very like-able characters and a sense of humor...maybe almost Star Wars-like in some ways.

Anonymous said...

Despite 'John Carter' being the source material for many sci-fi/fantasy movies over the decades, I think the general public won't see that and they will find the plot unoriginal and formulaic.

If you add to that the underwhelming trailers and the March release date, it seems very unlikely that the movie will be a hit.

Anonymous said...

Here are some pointers for marketing people on the JC trailer.

- Crappy rendition of classic song... lame.
- Said song... completely incongruous.
- Highlighting clunky dialog... bad, dumb.

Next time please create a sense of mystery and wonder.

el diablo curioso said...

"Ahhh, but the difference is that JC is more or less the source material for Avatar. This is something we haven't really seen before."
Interesting. When 'Avatar' was in theaters,it was compared to "Dances with Wolves", and "Pocahontas" and even "Fernguly".
First time hearing that JC was published in 1912. While that may be true, it does not mean it was a source for "Avatar" necessarily, I guess the only one who could give a definite response would be James Cameron himself.

Anonymous said...

"It's insane. The only people who could justify a budget like this are true superstar filmmakers like Peter Jackson, "


Okay, wait. WHAT proven superstar history did Peter Jackson have before they gave him the money to make Lord of the Rings? Did Meet the Feebles and Dead Alive make more or less than Finding Nemo? Cause I forget.

Anonymous said...

"Ahhh, but the difference is that JC is more or less the source material for Avatar. This is something we haven't really seen before. "

Well, it has been, kinda. Star Trek pretty much ripped off a lot of Asimov's Bicentennial Man for Data's storyline (he even has a positronic brain).

When the film got made, it seemed... reeeeely familiar.

Star Trek ripped off Forbidden Planet. If you watch Forbidden Planet now, it seems reeeeaallly old and familiar.

The Batman Begins trilogy wouldn't even have been POSSIBLE if wholesale changes in comic books hadn't happened because of Watchmen. Heck, all the X-men movies are basically like Watchmen-light. But when a Watchmen movie came out, it seemed old, dated and 'meh seen it all before'.

It doesn't matter what really did come first sometimes. It just matters what you've already seen.

It's new when it's new to you.

Connesseurs may know the difference, and enjoy the original. But when you make a film for a bazillion dollars, it better attract the masses.

Anonymous said...

I remember back far enough to remember the old timers complaining about how Star Wars was just a rip off of Flash Gordon.

Then they rushed a "Flash Gordon" movie into production right after Star Wars, because, of course, people would really respond well to the ORIGINAL! Right!?

Anyway, Flash Gordon, the original space opera serial blew Star Wars out of the water, and nobody ever mentions that rip-off Star Wars anymore.

That said, I'm REALLLY looking forward to John Carter of Mars. If anyone can pull it off, it's Andrew Stanton. That guy knows STORY better than just about anyone alive. Writer of Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Writer and director of Nemo, Writer and director of Wall-E. Who was the fool who said he didn't have a proven history?

Anonymous said...

The evidence is clear: John Carter = JC = James Cameron = Jesus Christ. The military-industrial-entertainment-religious complex exists, and this is its latest manifestation. Case closed.

Meanwhile, it's great to know that work proceeds on Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. Tight deadlines can be a boon to creative process. Show us what you got, Disney.

Anonymous said...

That guy knows STORY better than just about anyone alive. Writer of Toy Story, Toy Story 2,

Unbelievable hyperbole. For a start he was FAR from "the writer" of those projects. They were both totally GROUP EFFORTS. Much of what was in them was contributed by many other story hands than his.
He had a lot to do with Wall E which I think speaks for itself. Not that he doesn't have any talent but "knows story better than just about anyone else alive"? No Way in hell.
Happy stanning!

Anonymous said...

I dont think Pixar put Stanton on Nemo just because he was at the right place at the right time. He has proven he can hold his own. Wall E may not be your liking but it was still a good movie and box office wise it did well. I dont see why everyone is bashing on Andrew and John Carter. I think Andrew can pull it off and the trailers look promising. Stop being so bitter, I know we work in the film industry but dont let it get you to hating everything. Maybe this posting can get back to whats going on at Disney.

Anonymous said...

Comments on this blog are fucking retarded.

(this one included)

Anonymous said...

Listen, if the Anonymous person three above has been on the writing team or directed a bigger film than Finding Nemo, I'll back the fuck off.

It's pretty undenyable that the guy's got a track record. Unless you're completely an idiot.

Meg said...

Hi, my name's Meg, I'm 14 and a Disney fangirl. I was wondering if I could ask a few questions. Please don't be mad at me.

Is "Frozen" going to be a musical? If so, will Alan Menken be writing the songs and score? Is Glenn Slater going to be the lyricist?

Is Musker & Clements' movie moving along? Will it be hand-drawn or CG?

Is the 'Mickey Mouse' feature still in development or has it been shelved?

Are there any hand-drawn shorts in development at the studio or are all of them CG?


Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Stanton was only CO-director of Finding Nemo with Lee Unkrich. And it was written by Pixar story artist Bob Peterson.

Anonymous said...

This is not a fansite, nor is it appropriate to mine for inside information here.

You'll just have to wait and see how "Frozen" and Ron&John's projects turn out, like the rest of the public.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope both Ron and John and Chris Buck's projects are cg and take full advantage if it! Fantastic!

el diablo pissed off!! said...

"I was wondering if I could ask a few questions...."

"This is not a fansite, nor is it appropriate to mine for inside information here."


she has every right to digg up for some answers. I'd say your lack of respect for other people (anon 7:23), especially fans, is appalling and shows you lack any class!
She wont find answers here, just snarky attitude...like I said before, this industry is full of inmature douchebags....

el diablo

Anonymous said...

El Diablo's right, but I suspect the "14 year old fangirl" is a fake anyway.

PS) Every industry is full of immature douchebags. In fact, compared to the financial industry where I used to work, our people are practically saintly...

but it did said...

"Anyway, Flash Gordon, the original space opera serial blew Star Wars out of the water, and nobody ever mentions that rip-off Star Wars anymore."


flash gordon sucked!

Anonymous said...

Flesh Gordon on the other hand awesome SFX and Animation!

P. Rex anyone?

Anonymous said...

http://www.slashfilm.com/disneys-frozen-the-snow-queen-cg-handdrawn/

Bob and Rob Professional American Writers said...

Whew...fun, fun, fun times here at The TAG Hang!

I'll weigh in on the Stanton "conversation"...He is, in my opinion, a very, very good story teller. Not all home runs, but he has a strong foundation in screenwriting AND translating that to boards. Some great animation directors can't or simply don't do both, and I'm not saying one way is better than the other.

Stanton, in "Carter" has put himself out there in a very big way...kudos to him for not knocking out another Pixar film and pretty much guaranteeing a bulletproof product.

But, most of us know, a LOT of things have to come together to make a film that is as exceptional as say, Nemo. (even that film would have been quite different had they not replaced William H. Macy with Albert Brooks!)

Great films are most times a "perfect storm of everything good"...remove one piece and the whole thing collapses. (i might add, William H. Macy is one hell of an actor...just hard to imagine him driving that second act the way Brooks does).

I'll be interested to see if Stanton was able to have everything line up for him the way so many of his past films have. I will say, I spent some time on Mars a few years back and found it to be a very harsh, dusty planet;-)

Peace, Bob (not Rob)

Anonymous said...

"Stanton has referenced movies like Ben Hur,..."

As did Georgie Lucas in that pod-race sequence. So it seems then that Stanton is folding in multiple sourced "references."


"Star Trek ripped off Forbidden Planet. If you watch Forbidden Planet now, it seems reeeeaallly old and familiar."

Not when Shakespeare wrote the first draft of the script and called it The Tempest, it wasn't familiar.


It's all a symptom of that ubiquitous post-modern collapse and the end of originality. Raise a person on media, and media-vomit is all that they can make in return.

It's not stealing! It's an HOMAGE!

Anonymous said...

"l Alan Menken be writing the songs and score? Is Glenn Slater going to be the lyricist?"

Menken wrote Snow Queen for the Broadway Stage years back. Not sure if Slater wrote the lyrics, but if they're as inane, pedantic, and witless as the ones from tangled, let's hope not.

John Clayton said...

^

If only we could be spared the "inane, pedantic, and witless" comments. Scamper on back to Ain't It Cool News, now.

Anonymous said...

"Not when Shakespeare wrote the first draft of the script and called it The Tempest, it wasn't familiar."

You're just not familiar with who Shakespeare was ripping off. The guy wrote a lot of adaptations and what today we'd call 'remakes' and 'remixes'. He didn't come up with The Tempest out of whole cloth either.

A lot of Prospero's dialog is lifted verbatum from Ovid, for example.

Great artists steal!

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping that the beautiful song Alan and Glenn wrote, "Love Can't Be Denied" is still part of the movie...

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