Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brave Little Remake?

There's talk on the intertubes of remaking The Brave Little Toaster as a Pixarian Extravaganza:

... My own suspicion ... is that Brave [referenced by Pete Docter in an interviews about Pixar's projects in development] is a new adaptation of Thomas M. Disch’s The Brave Little Toaster.

Already adapted into an animated film - and two sequels - the original novel was billed by the author as “a bedtime story for small appliances” ....

The Brave Little Toaster is a terrific property and Pixar could do way worse than making a spiffy, c.g.i. feature out of it.

In case you don't know much about the original Toaster feature, it was bought by Disney, and preliminary story development was done by a small, young group of animation artists (Joe Ranft and John Lasseter among them.)

But The Brave Little Toaster fell victim to a turf war between the Old Guard of the Disney Animation department, and younger artists championed by then production head Tom Wilhite. Long story short: Development on the project halted, Wilhite departed taking TBLT with him, ultimately setting up the feature as a Disney Channel project.

The final budget was miniscule ($2.5 million), the animation was done in Taiwan with a core American crew (Joe Ranft doing story, Jerry Rees directing, and Brian McEntee working as art director.)

The feature never had much of a theatrical release, but has enjoyed a robust life in a variety of home video formats. I was always sorry the picture didn't get a bigger budget and full-bore roll out in multi-plexes coast to coast, but such is life.

So is Pixar going to redo this animated diamond-in-the-rough? Damned if I know.


Jimmy said...

Isn't it thematically to close to Toy Story 2 & 3? And it's so unlike Pixar to do adaptation, especially with previously animated property, not a greater one for that matter.

Their stories are in-house and I've heard the adaptations in development - John Carter of Mars and 1906 - are live-action and not bearing the brand Pixar, is that right?

If that's a personal issue of John Lasseter to make it his way, then it's another story. But I feel it's 35 years too late, he has this empire of many characters and worlds, why need to revisit a retro story which has been diluted through the years?

Steve Hulett said...

I tend to think "no", but I really have no idea.

Worth a post, however. Toaster is a fine little property.

Cody S. said...

There's been speculation that 'Brave' may also be a short. Which, at least to me, seems to fit better than an adaption.

Guess time will tell!

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Anonymous said...

PIxar is often mocked in pop culture for endlessly anthropomorphizing household items (anyone remember The Simpsons'- or was it Family Guy- Pixar spoof, "Forks"?) I dont think this would be a wise move for them in 2009, imho.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Lasseter will hire Jerry Rees to direct the new version?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if them scooping up BLT has anything to do with the fact that TS3 sounds like it might be using key elements of the BLT plot....?

Anonymous said...

It may not come true, but it could finally give BLT a lot of recognition, for the director, Ron Clements along with John Musker, (directors of ''The Little Mermaid'', ''Aladdin'', etc.) would be perfect for the job. And for the music, I would say Alan Menken. As for the voice of Kirby, he should be voiced by Lee Marshall since Thurl Ravenscroft died years ago.

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