Friday, July 03, 2009

Chris Wedge Speaks

Marshall Fine interviews Chris Wedge, the Big Man of Blue Sky:

...“The differences [between Pixar and Blue Sky features] are pretty apparent to the audience,” Wedge says. “It all depends on what audience you’re making the film for. With the first ‘Ice Age,’ we were making it mostly to entertain ourselves. When we saw the audience was into it, we fine-tuned it. But still, the things we like best are the ideas that entertain me and my buddies.

... “Pixar has a well-understood internal development paradigm. It was started by animators who were influenced by the tradition of animation at Disney. On the other hand, we started on our own." ...

Blue Sky is, to my mind, the third studio in the triad of "Blockbuster Animation Houses" (the other two being Pixar and DreamWorks.)

There are those who snipe at Wedge, but anybody who has produced as much high quality work that is also highly commercial is in rare company. I can only think of two others with equivalent track records who began their working lives as artist/creators.

So here's to Mr. Wedge, and congratulations for seeing Ice Age Three off to a roaring start.


Anonymous said...

I still cant get over the film critics this year, especially targeted at Ice Age 3. Its such a fun, cute, adventurous thrill ride of a movie, that doesnt take itself seriously. It doesnt try to be an Oscar contender, or make you cry, it just entertains you and shows you a good time. Whats so wrong with that? But if you read through the critics on Rotten Tomatoes, nearly all the "rotten" ones mention Pixar or Up, and how overwhelmingly inferior IA3 is in comparison. This, in my mind, is confusing, unfair, and missing the point completely. Certainly if Blue Sky wanted to take you for an emotional ride, they certainly have the capacity to do it.

Ryan Summers said...

Further proof that animation isn't a category, but just another way to tell a story. As Pixar gets more and more experimental that point becomes clearer and clearer. Not sure why Blue Sky gets maligned so often for doing what DW's gets celebrated for quite often. They know their audience and make movies for them. The aim isn't as "high" as Pixar but they succeed in their set-out goal more often than not.

And more often than not, I enjoy their work way more than the DW's flicks.

Anonymous said...

I like Blue Sky films. But they have the capacity for emotional rides? No, all the "emotional" moments in their films fall flat, except for the final scenes of the original Ice Age. 5 films and they still can't mature as storytellers, whereas even DreamWorks is getting more sophisticated with their stories: leaner, simpler, not too much pop refs and butt jokes. Ice Age 3 still has all that and so boring compare with the first 2.

But it has Scrat, the greatest squirrel on earth, so...

Anonymous said...

"Every studio is making sequels to films they’ve had in the past. Even Pixar has come out with them." - in the same article.

The difference is, 3/5 BS movies belong to a franchise. For comparison, Pixar only has 3/11 counting next year's Toy Story 3, and they still manage to have the highest money averages with their original films.

Even DW is not that lazy coming up with original stories, while not as successful as Pixar without the sequels. That's why BS is always behind Pixar and DreamWorks, they have only one franchise to rely on and too much of that (no doubt there'll be Ice Age 4).

And that's why, barring no double standard, the Pixies hate Cars 2. It one step closer to finally bring Pixar to the same level of everyone else.

Anonymous said...

I think Pixar is concerned enough about their brand to not shovel out a piece of crap just to have something to call "Cars 2".

There was a lot of room for improvements in the original "Cars". They might make them.

Anonymous said...

On a side note, Pixar is Blue Sky's #1 recruiter (BS to Pixar), according to Linked In.

Mephistopheles said...

I got news for you...Pixar IS at the same level with everyone else.

Not only that, but Pixar has like twenty years of history before the other studios (when it comes to 3d)except for Disney, so in my view they should be far, far ahead. Instead, the rest are catching up very kickly.

just my not so humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Mephistopheles, really? Catching up on what? Money? Reputation? Quality? Technology?

Look at Disney, they're playing catch up now despite being the first EVER animation studio. At least Pixar now isn't suffering the same fate, yet. Cars 2 will bring it to them. And Monsters Inc 2 will be the final nail.

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