Sunday, February 21, 2010

Can't Keep a Good Director Down

As there is life after Disney, so is there life after Pixar:

Chris McCoy and Jan Pinkava are writing the animated film "Little White Lie" for Laika Entertainment, the company behind the Oscar-nominated "Coraline."

"Lie" stems from an original idea by Pinkava, who has a story credit on Pixar's "Ratatouille," which he co-directed. Pinkava also will direct "White Lie."

Laika needs a replacement for Henry Selick, and now it's got one in Dr Pinkava. Here's hoping White Lie is a thundering success.


Anonymous said...

Definitely hoping this and Dragon will be huge successes just to prove that the Lasseter way is the the be-all end-all way to do animation. Having Pinkava and Sanders succeed wildly after butting heads with the Pixar leader and eventually having to leave would be the ultimate redemption.

I just look at how Katzenberg is now the clear winner in his struggles with Eisner, and imagine Sanders and Pinkava giving interviews after being hailed as premiere animation directors and saying stuff like, "yeah, Lasseter just didn't get me, but obviously he just used bad judgment there, especially now that all his studio is producing is sequels."

Lilo and Stitch is one of the most beloved movies in Disney's recent history and it is one that the Pixar folks did not like. Out of touch much? If American Dog or Pinkava's vision of Ratatouille was anything like L&S, then we missed out... Nothing against Brad Bird's vision of Remy, but I still would have loved to see Pinkava's story on the big screen... Geri's Game I think is still one of the top 2 shorts in Pixar's history, better than most of the stuff JL churned out in the early years; not just for the technology but for its charm and story.

...whatever happened to "it's a director driven studio?"

Anonymous said...

"it's a director driven studio" is a euphemism for it's JL is the directo and it's his studio so you better kiss his ass.

Anonymous said...

Good news about Pinkava and McCoy. I'm anxious to see what they come up with.

Speaking of Laika... anyone know what Lou Romano is currently working on there?

Anonymous said...

Just to keep this clear : Jan Pinkava does in fact have a Co-Director screen credit on "Ratatouille" , as well as the story credit you mentioned.

That's a bit different than the total retooling of American Dog into Bolt and the total expunging of Chris Sanders' name from the project.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed a co-director on "Ratatouille" but no longer at Pixar.

This probably tells us something, along with his "no comment" when asked about the directorial changes on the movie.

Pixar, "director driven." It's sure nice to think so.

Anonymous said...

There's plenty of room for other Directors and studios.... In fact, the more this goes on, the more work for Animators, so thats a good thing...
What gives you the impression that Pixar folk dont like Lilo and Stitch?

Anonymous said...

We'll never know what Lasseter might have thought of L&S, since it came during Stainton's era of offbeat projects, where it didn't seem to matter what directors had started as long as they finished it--
But it's safe to guess at a "Meet the Robinsons" situation, where Lasseter would have either dropped plot baggage, changed directors, or let S&D stay if they salvaged good characters by getting their darn plot/emotional motivations focused already.

Anonymous said...

"We'll never know what Lasseter might have thought of L&S, since it came during Stainton's era of offbeat projects"

Lilo was not greenlit during Stainton's time. Lilo was started during the Tom Schumacher era.

Anonymous said...

"If American Dog ... was anything like L&S, then we missed out."

It wasn't and you didn't.

You're leaving out a key player in the success of Lilo & Stitch: co-director /co-writer Dean DeBlois (who was not on American Dog)

Anonymous said...

"If American Dog ... was anything "like L&S, then we missed out."

It wasn't and you didn't.

You're leaving out a key player in the success of Lilo & Stitch: co-director /co-writer Dean DeBlois (who was not on American Dog)"

couldn't agree more with this!

Anonymous said...

Jan is a great guy. As for Ratatouille he really wasn't butting heads with Lasseter (at least not in the way Sanders was). He was just in over his head a likely nearing a nervous breakdown if he kept up his work hours.

At the time (2004-05) Ratatouille had A LOT of pressure on it as it was the first film to be released without Disney after their contract expired on Cars. The movie had to be PERFECT and a huge success, so Lasseter could thumb his nose at Eisner. Jan was a new director and it was too much for him. When the brain trust saw what was happening to Jan health-wise and still were not sold on the movie's viability they brought in Brad to help. Jan probably could have stayed at Pixar and continued, but he was likely too emotional and close to it all and needed to leave for personal reasons. Glad to see he is ready to get back in the game.

Ironically, in late 2005 Eisner was kicked out of Disney and then Pixar "bought" Disney (yea, I know) and now they are inseparable. Suddenly the pressure for Ratatouille to succeed was lifted (well to a more manageable level). But it was too late for Jan. And in the end Ratatouille was better for it (in my opinion) with the changes Brad made.

At least this is what a little mouse told me. I could be mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Dean DeBlois--the sober Yin to Sanders' raging Yang.

Floyd Norman said...

That's exactly the kind of directing team I would like if I ran a big studio. The perfectly balanced combo. A sober man - and a crazy man.

That's a winning combination, if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Careful what you say here Floyd, I wouldn't want you getting your head bit off like it's been over at the comments section of Blue Sky Disney!

Anonymous said...

Yeah---he might start spilling some more confidential information.

Fairy Hunter said...

Oh give me a break!

Like what? Lasseter is directing Cars 2? Rapunzel's name change? The only think he's commented on are the comments. Dude, respect the man and quite gripping cause he has an opinion.

The only think he's revealed is the obvious.

Anonymous said...

that's just it -

Floyd Norman needs to respect his fellow colleagues and shut up.

and QUIT with the "back in my days, you kids, the young whippersnappers..." the old man babble is wearing thin.

Anonymous said...

Respect is a two-way street. Quit hating on the man and show some respect yourself.

As for Floyd's stories, I love 'em. "Old man babble" is Cheney attempting to maintain any relevance while desperately rewriting his failed history. Floyd's stories are timeless and thoroughly entertaining.

Keep 'em coming, Mr. Norman. There are those of us on this blog who appreciate your tales and professional experience. Maybe Steve can move the temper tantrum tots to the kids' table, so we adults can continue this discussion in peace.

Anonymous said...

"Keep 'em coming, Mr. Norman. There are those of us on this blog who appreciate your tales and professional experience."

Could not agree more!

Anonymous said...

Me too. Im a Floyd supporter. Anyone who tells him to shut up is a fucking loser and probably wont even do a tenth of what he has done in his career.

I love how on Blue Sky Disney someone said he "isnt a disney legend" and someone else immediately linked to


Anonymous said...

Is this going to turn into a giant internet circlejerk? I swear to God stuff like this is why the comment section should be disabled.

Floyd Norman said...

I disagreed with practically everything Michael Eisner did during his tenure at Disney. However, I always spoke to the man respectfully. It’s something my parents taught me. It’s called civility.

Disagree with me all you will. I’ve no problem with that. My opinions are likely as worthless as yours. However, personal attacks are “over the line” and they reveal more about the attacker than the one being attacked.

I’m not sure what I did to earn the wrath of Mr. Anonymous, but I whatever it was I’m willing to apologize. Life’s too damn short for such foolishness.

Anonymous said...

Just ignore the anonymous negativity, they fall into the John Gabriel theory of:
Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total @$$whole
(and that is toning it down from the actual theory found here-

Keep the great insight coming. We may not agree with it all but many of us enjoy reading it!

Anonymous said...

"Is this going to turn into a giant internet circlejerk?"

What you call circlejerk, we polite people call, "respecting your elders."

Maybe you should try it. Unless, that is, you're older and more experienced than Mr. Norman.

If so, please enlighten us to your identity. By remaining anonymous (like me) it allows everyone to correctly assume Im not worthy to criticize the man.

Anonymous said...

Its probably some hippie kid that has no concept of what it is to have a life of accomplishment. Probably thinks his parents shouldn't get health care after 60. Just a dopey kid. Don't apologize for 'Jack', Floyd.

Hannah Barbontana said...

Speakng of Henry Selick, Blue Sky Disney is reporting that he has been sited on Pixar's campus of late and there is talk of him possibly directing a film for them. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if JL has decided who he'll replace Selick with when he doesn't conform enough.

King Louie said...

I wouldn't care who he replaces him with as long as it worked.

There are three films that Pixar has made so far that have had directors replaced and I loved them all. If what I got in the final product was what he wanted the audience to see then I applaud the firings.


Anonymous said...

What are the three? I can only think of Ratatouille.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Eggleston was removed as a director from Monster's Inc., and possibly David Silverman as well. Ash Brannon was also removed from directing Toy Story 2 I think.

Anonymous said...

Why are some of you here writing on a blog intended for union animation pros?
You're obviously not professionals in the business but fans. Over-invested, prejudiced fanboys.

Please go away and sit amongst your ilk at BlueSkyDiswad or wherever.


Dysitopic Enuciator said...

Yeah, that's it. Piss off those that are your fans anonymous.

If they annoy you so much then don't reply to them unless you're simply trying to prove how big an ingrate you are.

And btw, I work in the biz and happen to be a fan, so you can be both.

Anonymous said...

This is NOT a blog for fans.

It's SUPPOSED a place for us animation union(and industry) members to communicate with each other, and I continue to access it for that reason. So do others. Fan discussions are all over the net elsewhere.

Please go there where you're among others who feel free to insult us, our films and make assinine statements about matters they know nothing about.

I guarantee if you actually worked in animation 99% of you wouldn't write the crap that you do here.

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