Disney's 'Magic' ride - Theme park to star in film
Silas Lesnick wrote:For Disney fans, Don Hahn's name is instantly one of animation legend, responsible for the studio's creative rebirth near the end of the 20th century. Hahn, who began working with Disney in 1976, quickly became one of animation's foremost film producers, delivering classics like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.
Hahn's Disney contemporaries ranged from John Lasseter to Tim Burton and the era of creativity they brought forth is the subject of Waking Sleeping Beauty, a feature-length documentary directed by Hahn chronicling the studio story beginning in the mid-1980's. Careful not to shy away from controversy, the film, for the first time, offers a frank, insider's look, backed by vast amounts of behind-the-scenes material and newly-recorded interviews with the men and women who brought forth Disney's animation renaissance.
Hitting DVD this Tuesday, Waking Sleeping Beauty arrives the same day as Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 (on Blu-ray for the first time). Hahn, who also produced and directed scenes in Fantasia 2000, spoke with ComingSoon.net about his lifelong career and where he sees himself and the studio heading in the future.
Brian Lowry wrote:Disney is about to bet a small fortune on rebooting "Tron," an artifact from what accepted lore has painted as a black hole in the studio's history. Much like a Disney fairy tale, however, the temptation to focus on heroes and villains in such instances tends to eradicate shades of gray.
In 1984, Michael Eisner and Frank Wells swept in as Disney's management team, triggering more than a decade of prosperity before that magic touch (due in part to Wells' untimely death) began losing its luster. At the time, Eisner and his key staff were portrayed as saviors -- dramatically boosting Disney's stock price after a period of mismanagement as the studio sought to find its place in a post-"Star Wars" era, shackled by a "What would Walt do?" mantra.
Yet the group preceding Eisner and company -- largely perceived, as documented in James B. Stewart's book "Disney War," as a hidebound gang that couldn't shoot straight -- did enjoy notable successes. As is so often true in entertainment, though, some weren't readily apparent until a good deal of time had passed.
Disney's conspicuous failures during that stretch are well documented. Lowlights included twin doormats "The Black Hole," a misguided 1979 stab at a space epic; and 1985's "The Black Cauldron," widely perceived as the nadir of Disney animation. The original "Tron" was also a box office disappointment, having the misfortune of opening not long after Universal unleashed "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial."
But "Tron" -- whose esteem within entertainment circles grew as those who were youths at the time of its release came of age in the business -- wasn't the pre-Eisner regime's only legacy.
The same year the movie premiered in 1982, Disney opened the Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla., establishing the "second gate" strategy that helped transform one-day visits to its theme parks into more lucrative multi-day stays.
The Disney CEO preceding Eisner was Ron Miller, Walt Disney's son-in-law. At his urging, Disney also created the Touchstone Pictures label -- "Splash," a hit starring a young Tom Hanks, was released in 1984 -- expanding the company's brand beyond the family audience.
While "Black Cauldron" flopped, its producers found some of the animators (among them Andreas Deja, brought over from Germany) that helped jumpstart its resurgence. Disney also began work on what became "The Great Mouse Detective," a first-rate animated feature prior to "The Little Mermaid," which formally inaugurated the renaissance at the company's animation wing.
Now age 77, Miller lives in the Napa Valley, where he and his wife, Diane Disney Miller, own a winery and last year opened the Walt Disney Family Museum in nearby San Francisco.
"They got credit for a lot of things that they shouldn't have," Miller said in an interview regarding those who succeeded him. "But I accept that. … You move on."
As for perceptions that the studio had been overly mired in its tradition, Miller says it was "only natural" -- given Walt Disney's iconic status -- for those guiding the company after his death to question what he might have wanted.
"In time, we moved on and became our own men," Miller says, adding that he's confident Disney also recognized the need to broaden the profile beyond the confines of family entertainment.
"We were all very careful in our thinking when it came to expanding to another level … (because) everything had to be a G-rated film," Miller says. "And it turned out to be a damn good decision." Indeed, Disney enjoyed considerable success with more adult fare over the next quarter century, before retrenching since its latest management shift to a narrower, more targeted theatrical profile.
Miller -- whose 1984 departure came in part due to maneuvering by Walt's nephew, Roy Disney -- hasn't seen the new "Tron" but still thinks the original was "something special" and ahead of its time. In that respect, he adds, the latest version seems well-suited to capitalize on today's digital, computer-based technology.
That said, Miller notes that he generally hasn't been impressed by remakes derived from Disney's live-action library, including updates of "Escape to Witch Mountain," "Freaky Friday" and "The Absent-Minded Professor."
Whatever "Tron: Legacy's" fate, Miller sounds gratified -- in Disney's bet on the concept a generation later -- to see another note of vindication for his tenure.
Then again, his experience isn't unusual. Hollywood is famous for its arcane bookkeeping, which can require teams of accountants to decipher. In assessing a stint running a studio or network, it can be equally difficult -- even with the benefit of hindsight -- to decode a legacy.
Note: The writer's wife works for a division of Disney.
Steven Lisberger wrote:
I am frequently asked how we used today's cutting-edge technology to make "Tron: Legacy" just as revolutionary as "Tron" was in its time. One of my roles as a producer on the film has been to provide some historical perspective between the two films.
Certainly, the new advanced tools have changed film, but they have changed us as well.
The smart phone in your pocket or purse now has more computing power than all the computers combined on the first "Tron" -- from the perspective of the early '80s, we are all "nerds" now. Back then, I dreamt up a laser that scanned Kevin Flynn to bring him inside a computer. When making "Tron: Legacy" we used a real laser to scan Jeff Bridges and watched his likeness appear on the Grid in real time.
If Joe Kosinski had to go back to the '80s and direct "Tron" the way I made it, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like it. Could I master the technical world of "Tron: Legacy" behind, and in front of, the full-35mm-chip cameras with the command and ease he brings to all this? Shooting in 3D? No.
For a while, I thought these new filmmakers didn't know what they were getting themselves into. And at times I missed the smell of raw stock in the morning, or the sight of huge 70mm Super-Panavision cameras. On the animation side, I missed paint brushes in the sink and the aroma of cedar from the pencil sharpeners.
But I have learned not to worry about the next generation. Joe Kosinski and my producing partner Sean Bailey have proven that to me in real time, too. With "Tron: Legacy" their challenge was to make Flynn's world real, because what was a fantasy for me has come true for them. The new reality is our "digital others" must never sleep if we are to survive. The first "Tron" built a bridge from the world of the analog to the digital -- and these guys had no trouble blasting their light-bikes right across it. I have gone back to worrying about my own generation.
I have also learned that the future usually doesn't come from the places or the people the world expects. The first vision of the digital dimension that went global didn't emerge from a cyberpunk novel or Silicon Valley. The digital frontier was rendered in glorious Technicolor for the first time in Walt's animation building at the corner of Dopey Drive and Mickey Avenue. In 1982, it was the last place anyone expected or wanted to be that edgy. If "the future" arrives where everyone expects it to, looks like they think it should, speaks like it, acts like it, then it probably isn't the future.
It turns out that people change in scripts, but in real life they are fearful of change. That is why it happens generationally. The next generation grows up and embraces the innovations that their parents feared. Only in movies do people totally transform in two hours.
The new tools demand that we be ever more efficient, more perfect. Some of these demands seem crazy -- to constantly be linked to everyone everywhere, to hand over all our information and money, to accept that everything we communicate or photograph will be around forever, to endure the anonymity and bad manners of the hive, to update our cameras and projectors every year instead of every decade.
And what do we get in return? We get to see things never seen before or to render what we think is eternal from a totally new perspective and make it relevant again. It's true that we have divided the world in two electronically, but I believe we will also never stop finding new ways to make it whole again through story and art. That is how we will give the future meaning.
The key is to resist becoming a program yourself, to resist treating one another like information even when it's so tempting. We must remember we are Users and are above that.
Steven Zeitchik wrote:Disney theme-park attractions couldn't be hotter as Hollywood source material. "Pirates of the Caribbean" is about to crank out its fourth installment. Jon Favreau is turning "Magic Kingdom" into a family-friendly extravaganza. "Haunted Mansion" will be an on-screen spookfest courtesy of Guillermo del Toro.
In fact, they're so hot that even an attraction that was never built could become a movie.
The Museum of the Weird, an idea that Walt Disney liked back in the 1960's but that never got off the ground, looks to be headed for the development pipeline.
Disney is in discussions for a movie based on the museum with screenwriter Ahmet Zappa, according to a source close to the project. (Zappa, son of Frank, is also developing a movie for Disney that may or may not be inspired by its Enchanted Tiki Room attraction.)
A half-century ago, well-known Disney theme-park creators Rolly Crump and Claude Coats designed the Museum of the Weird with the idea of spotlighting a parade of ghostly organists, magic carts, talking chairs and other surreal exhibits. Walt Disney wanted to use the museum as an adjunct to the Haunted Mansion, complete with its own restaurant. But the museum was never built, though some of the more ambitious pieces were incorporated into the mansion itself.
Zappa's idea is for the museum to be refashioned as a film — given the kinds of whimsical creations Crump and Coats planned, it's hard not to think of "Night at the Museum" or "The Mummy" — with an attraction to follow. It's still very early development, though, so don't expect it in multiplexes anytime soon.
Under its new leadership, Disney seems to be taking a two-pronged approach to movies. It's getting into business with top-tier filmmakers (add David Fincher and Tim Burton to Del Toro and Favreau) even as it's putting chips down on seemingly as many theme-park attractions as possible, and trying to merchandise more than ever. The net effect: a studio slate that's a strange combination of stubbornly visionary and explicitly marketing-driven.
— Steven Zeitchik
Randy Lewis wrote:WELCOME TO THE MACHINE: The new Disney film “Tron: Legacy” picks up the story of the 1982 movie “Tron,” which was neither a critical nor a commercial success but somehow still echoes in pop culture as an early signpost of the digital era’s glowing frontier. “Tron” is remembered more for its ideas and images (and its namesake video game) than for its story or characters, and that is a challenge presented to this new film, which stars Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde.
The standard line about why the original “Tron” film failed at the box office back in 1982 is that it was a cinematic mess, a glorified video game that director Steven Lisberger failed to transform into a coherent movie. I always felt there was more to it than that, which is why, three years after it tanked, I jumped at the chance to sit in on a UC Irvine-sponsored screening of the movie and an exploration of its themes by a USC literature professor who also happened to be a practicing psychoanalyst.
Jay Martin, who in 2000 was given a USC Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award, provided a fascinating interpretation of what Lisberger accomplished in “Tron,” and why film critics and the public reacted so negatively. In short, he said the film perfectly re-created what happens within the schizophrenic brain, something that profoundly disturbed those who saw it. After the article came out, I received an appreciative note from Lisberger, saying he felt that Martin’s analysis was spot-on.
Last week, as momentum was building toward the theatrical release of “Tron: Legacy,” I reconnected with Lisberger, who also is a producer on the new film, and he said he thinks the problem Martin outlined two decades ago shouldn’t be an issue today.
“There’s been a strange shift in the zeitgeist,” he told me. “The current generation has grown up split between the real world and the digital world. I think people are more open to that division today than people were when ‘Tron’ came out.” Here’s the story I wrote after that evening; it was published Jan. 19, 1985, in The Times:
Films by acknowledged masters of symbolism and surrealism like Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini are always ripe subjects for psychological interpretation.
So it’s no surprise that Bergman’s “Wild Strawberries” and Fellini’s “Satyricon” are included in a lecture series titled “Psychoanalytic Investigation of the Creative Process in Film, Art, Literature and Music” being offered by the UCI Psychiatry Service.
But Steven Lisberger’s “Tron,” screened Thursday in Irvine as the third in the six-film series, seems to be the odd entry on a list rounded out by Fred Hains’ “Steppenwolf,” Lewis Carlino’s “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea” and Franco Zefferelli’s “La Traviata.”
After all, “Tron,” Walt Disney Productions’ massively promoted 1982 showcase for computer graphics and animation, was a commercial and critical failure. Most reviewers drubbed it as little more than a technologically dazzling love letter to Silicon Valley in which computer programmers — “users” in the film’s terminology — are treated as gods.
But according to lecturer Jay Martin, who is a practicing psychoanalyst and a professor of literature at USC, ” ‘Tron’ does offer a lot to think about.”
Martin said he chose “Tron” for the series because it is an excellent study of the schizophrenic process, and much of his commentary to the audience of about 125 centered on that thesis.
He said that “Tron” accurately reflects the way the schizophrenic mind often works, citing psychiatric reports in which patients see themselves as being at the mercy of machines or computers.
As early as 1919, Martin said, German psychiatrist Viktor Tausk “first characterized schizophrenia as a mental process which is experienced by the schizophrenic as if it were imposed upon him through the diabolical activity of some external force induced by a mysterious machine. The patient’s disordered impulses feel as if they are not his own, but are pushed inside from an alien outside.”
In “Tron,” Martin said, the film’s central character of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) exhibits symptoms of paranoia — evidenced by the names of the video games he created, such as Space Paranoids — and schizophrenia after he is “absorbed” into a computer and must grapple with the computerized manifestations of his own programs.
Interestingly, Martin suggested that director Lisberger may have been so effective in presenting schizophrenia that it made critics and audiences uncomfortable with the feelings the movie stirs. “The senses of fragmentation, alienation and danger as a way of life; the film’s representation of a primitive, paranoid schizophrenic process lying just beneath the surface of behavior, into which we might fall at any time — these are what made ‘Tron’ so hard for audiences to take,” he said.
“Two weeks after release, following elaborate publicity, receipts plummeted by 40% and Disney scrapped plans for ‘Tron II.’ It is still a disturbing film, for it touches upon impulses and old fears that we would all prefer to push away.”
He cited complaints by some reviewers about the rapid oscillation in the first part of “Tron” between the external world of reality and the interior world of the computer.
“They said there was no motivation for that. But what I think they were really complaining about was that it is very disturbing to be pushed in and out like that continuously. I think the reviewers were reflecting not an artistic judgment in that case, or psychologically successful operation, but their own disturbance at that,” Martin said.
Is the new film any less schizophrenic? Arguably not, but 21st century audiences are far more accustomed to digital displacement, altered states and ghosts in the machine. Perhaps that’s the true legacy of “Tron.”
– Randy Lewis
Brendon Connelly wrote: BYRON: We pitched six movies to John Lasseter. We had this meeting in the middle of the Tangled production schedule and John walked in to this meeting and said “Oh , I thought there was a mistake I’m making on the calendar… you’re pitching ideas but you’re still making Tangled” and we were like “I know, but we’ve seen people go through this where they wrap up their film and they don’t know what they’re doing, they go into this development process and we have a friend in the studio who was for a year and a half developing ideas and pitching them and those weren’t right so he went through this whole thing, so we though we’d just try and get something going early, so that when we go on these trips we can look around the world, see different cultures, maybe be inspired, and add to this project that we’re working on.
John looked at the six ideas and there were two, actually, that he thought were great and he said “Why don’t you combine those two?” and that’s the genius of Lasseter is he can always see things like that. And we thought “Wow, that would be a really wild, different concept of a film, so totally weird and different”.
NATHAN: I will tell you it’s a big action movie. It relates to Tangled in that will have a ton of action but it will have that ton of heart. It will feel like a Disney movie yet feel very different to Tangled. It will be really funny. Tangled is a good example of the type of movies we like to make, if you look at that, so the next movie will have more of the same in a different package.
Brendon Connelly wrote:The future of Disney animation
The same animators that did Tangled are going on to do the next Disney films, so you have a staff that is very seasoned and mature. Disney is an interesting place: the power of the animator there is phenomenal, in terms of his influence, her influence. And you bring those people on to a film and they demand certain levels of acting and performance from the story, and that’s what’s going to happen with those films too. They’re still in development.
The animators are doing right now a Prep & Landing short, in between films. The thing is, everybody has seen the potential of what this crew is capable of and no one wants to do less. The goal is to challenge them on whatever film.
The challenges of Reboot Ralph are entirely different to those of Tangled. There are so many different styles of characters in that movie going from one video game to another to another to another that it’s going to be phenomenal. And I’m telling the team “It’s going to be a whole different challenge for you guys to stretch and expand and become much more versatile than you are right now, so there will be new ways in which we’re going to be growing”.
For my next project I have some ideas in my mind. I really believe that the fairy tale has to be a big part of the future of Disney animation for us to continue to grow and be strong and to be who we are.
Borys Kit wrote: While Universal and Relativity duke it out to see who will be the first out of the gate with a Snow White movie, Disney is taking the stealthy road to its more elevated project, Snow and the Seven.
Michael Arndt, who just last week received an Oscar nomination for his work on Toy Story 3, is in negotiations to work on the script. Production designer John Myhre, an Oscar winner for his work on Memoirs of a Geisha and Chicago who’s working on Disney’s new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, has been brought on board to begin creating the worlds of the fairy tale, which is set in 19th century China.
The unique project, which Disney has been developing since 2002, centers on a 19th century Englishwoman who returns to her Hong Kong home for her father's funeral, only to discover that her stepmother is plotting against her. She escapes to mainland China, finding solace among a rogue band of seven international warriors.
Francis Lawrence has been on board to direct since early on, even as writers such as Michael Chabon, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, and Jayson Rothwell took cracks at the script, originally written by Scott Elder and Josh Harmon. Andrew Gunn is producing.
With all systems go for Snow, the big question is Natalie Portman’s involvement. Since last year, Portman has been circling to star, but her pregnancy now raises questions of whether she will be ready to undertake such a physically intense tentpole, which will feature several different fighting styles. Whether she’s in or not, Disney will easily attract another top star.
On the competition front, Universal’s Snow White movie, Snow White and the Huntsman, was galloping along but Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal is looking to pull the reins on many of their projects. According to sources, while 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves is moving ahead with a March start, other projects are getting a review by the new owners before seeing which ones will proceed.
With Tangled continuing to hold its own at the box office and earning a lot of love in the process, it’s not surprising that there is speculation on what Disney will do to top its 50th animation. The Daily What has picked up on Disney animator Heidi Gilbert‘s plea to Stephen Schwartz that his creation, Wicked, will be No. 51.
There has been talk that there will be no more princess movies from Disney, a pity in my book, and Bleeding Cool believes that Disney will turn next to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, in particular Mort, for inspiration. Personally, while film genres do indeed come and go, there is something about a fairy tale that exists beyond all that mundane stuff and the day that Disney turns gritty will not be a magical one.
For a reminder of the magic that is Tangled, do take a look at Bleeding Cool’s interview with the film’s animator Glen Keane. Glen had this to say:I really believe that the fairy tale has to be a big part of the future of Disney animation for us to continue to grow and be strong and to be who we are.
Dear Stephen Schwartz,
I know you can relate to the plight of loving a story, loving a medium, and trying to convince someone in power to see your vision! You did it with Marc Platt when you convinced him to make it a stage musical. I’m just approaching you with the same sincerity. Is it possible to talk you out of doing a live action movie adaptation? Would you consider doing a traditionally animated adaptation? In my heart I think the musical needs the medium, and I think the medium needs your musical. I just love them both so much and hopefully that shows through in the story reel.
Heidi Jo Gilbert
Paul Bond wrote:Company CFO Jay Rasulo said at Thursday's conference that the studio will allot just 20% of its resources to standalone projects; also will strive to get Interactive Media Group out of the red.
Moviegoers shouldn't expect too much from Disney during the next few years beyond what they're already familiar with.
Company CFO Jay Rasulo said Thursday during an all-day investor conference in Anaheim that the film studio would focus 80% of its resources on franchise properties, up from about 40% last year.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has been emphasizing franchises and brand names since he took the job six years ago, but Rasulo put an exclamation point on the strategy with his pronouncement that Disney's film studio will allot just 20% of its resources to unknown, standalone projects.
It could be a lucrative strategy indeed if franchises perform anything close to the way Toy Story has. The third installment will bring in about $10 billion when video games and other consumer products are factored in, Rasulo said.
Rasulo, in fact, defines a "franchise" fairly loosely to include anything coming from Marvel or Pixar, for example, or any project that has the potential to move from film to other media.
Also at the conference, Disney's new co-presidents of its Interactive Media Group, John Pleasants and James Pitaro, said their money-losing unit will continue in the red for another two years even as it sheds employees and figures out other ways to reduce costs by 25%.
Iger has made it a priority to earn money in that division, which includes video games and Internet initiatives, and told investors Thursday that technology is only "a threat if we fail to adopt it, or try to will it away."
In that regard, distribution president Bob Chapek talked up Disney Studio All Access, a system coming by year's end that lets consumers access their Disney digital content on multiple devices.
Chapek also confirmed details of a new arrangement with Netflix and Redbox, giving them DVDs for $18 each the day they go on sale to the public, then for $10 apiece six weeks later. Other studios have shut out Redbox and Netflix for the first four weeks of a new DVD release.
ESPN president George Bodenheimer also gave a such a rosy assessment of that particular business that Iger joked he'd like to swap jobs with him.
Disney shares were flat Thursday at $43.70 and didn't budge in the after-hours session either.
John Young wrote:In many ways, Pixar’s 13th feature-length movie Brave (out June 22, 2012) ventures into new territory for the animation studio: The Scotland-set adventure film will be Pixar’s first fairy tale, its first picture starring a female protagonist, and its first film co-directed by a woman. EW.com has the first look at some of the concept art for the project, and we can also confirm that Reese Witherspoon will no longer voice the movie’s heroine, a tomboyish princess named Merida, due to scheduling issues. Instead, the character will be played by the (appropriately) Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men, Boardwalk Empire).
Brave is set in the mystical Scottish Highlands, where Merida is the princess of a kingdom ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). An unruly daughter and an accomplished archer, Merida one day defies a sacred custom of the land and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom. In an attempt to set things right, Merida seeks out an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) and is granted an ill-fated wish. Also figuring into Merida’s quest — and serving as comic relief — are the kingdom’s three lords: the enormous Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), the surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson), and the disagreeable Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).
Brave is directed by Mark Andrews (the Oscar-nominated short One Man Band) and Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt). Chapman conceived of the project, which was initially titled The Bear and the Bow, and was supposed to be its sole director — and Pixar’s first female director. But last October, it was reported that Pixar had replaced Chapman with Andrews. Now, although Andrews is presently in charge of guiding Brave across the finish line, both Andrews and Chapman will be credited as the movie’s directors, according to a Disney spokesman.
Honor Hunter wrote:After "Tangled," Walt Disney Animation Studios is looking to prove that lighting will strike again...
Originally 2012 was going to be a hole in the production schedule for the Mouse's animation division, but with Pixar's "Monster University" being pushed out to 2013, we got a little bonus. "Reboot Ralph" got bumped up to November 2 2012 to fill that void.
Now, Disney has announced a name change as well. No longer will it be Reboot, but instead "Wreck-It Ralph." I don't know about the name, but all the buzz I've been hearing about the story sounds good. Walt Disney Pictures has even provided a synopsis of the film:WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS INTRODUCES WILDLY FUNNY NEW CG COMEDY ADVENTURE “WRECK-IT RALPH”
Directed by Emmy® Winner Rich Moore, Hilarious and Wildly Imaginative Animated Movie to Feature the Voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch
BURBANK, Calif. (June 13, 2011) – Some of us are born to be bad, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore (TV’s “The Simpsons,” “Futurama”) take moviegoers on a hilarious, video-game-hopping journey in “Wreck-It Ralph,” the story of an arcade game Bad Guy determined to prove he can be a Good Guy. Produced by Clark Spencer (“Lilo & Stitch,” “Bolt”) and featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch, the CG comedy adventure will hit theaters on Nov. 2, 2012, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
Says Moore, “I love the idea of a very simple 8-bit video game character struggling with the complex question: ‘isn't there more to life than the role I've been assigned?’ In his quest for the answer, we journey with our hero through three visually distinct video game worlds. It's unlike anything anyone's seen before, and I'm thrilled to be to creating it here at Walt Disney Animation Studios.”
Wreck-It Ralph (voice of Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game’s perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (voice of McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes… so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan—win a medal—but soon wrecks everything, and accidently unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph’s only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Silverman), a young troublemaking “glitch” from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it’s “Game Over” for the entire arcade?
From all I've been told, this is a very different film for Disney, both in tone and character. I can't wait to see where they go with it...
Rebecca Keegan wrote:After "Cars 2," Lasseter said he will be busy overseeing — but not directing — the forthcoming Pixar films "Brave," a Scotland-set adventure tale about a little-girl archer, and "Monsters University," a prequel to 2001's "Monsters Inc.," plus the Disney Animation comedy "Wreck-It Ralph" as well as others in development. He'll be putting the finishing touches on Cars Land and a Toy Story amusement park in Hong Kong. "I will direct again, but it'll take a few years for me to get going," he said.
Disney's next Pixar pic is November 27, 2013. It's an original project, not a sequel -- and it doesn't have a title yet. And that's all Disney is saying. Now who knows more info? Meanwhile, Pixar's Cars 2 opens Friday.
Honor Hunter wrote:The Lamp has scheduled it's next animated film...
And for all those out there that are screaming about too many sequels, it's an original story. As per their Modus Operandi, the gang up in Emeryville have been very cryptic. No plot details and no information on who is directing or writing it, only the release date: November 27, 2013.
From what I've heard, it's likely the next animated feature from Pete Docter since he's not helming the sequel/prequel to his "Monsters Inc." film. It probably won't be too long before we'll be hearing about the next release of the Mouse's other animation house in Burbank. The one that's coming in 2014.
It'll be interesting to see when that happens...
Marc Graser & Jeff Sneider wrote:"King of the Elves" is rearing its head again at Walt Disney Animation Studios, with "Horrible Bosses" scribe Michael Markowitz tapped to pen the latest script for the toon.
Project is an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story about a band of elves and one dwarf living in the Mississippi Delta who tap a human as their king after he saves them from an evil troll.
Chris Williams, co-director and writer of "Bolt," is shepherding the project.
The Mouse House originally wanted to produce the pic for a 2012 release, under the helm of Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker (both behind "Brother Bear"), but the project was put back into development to flesh out the story further shortly after Pixar's John Lasseter took the reins of Disney's toon division as chief creative officer in 2006.
Project was unveiled in 2008, alongside "Wall-E," as an upcoming animated feature on Disney's sked. "Rapunzel," retitled "Tangled," was also introduced at the time, as was Pixar's "The Bear and the Bow" (now "The Brave") and "Newt" (which has since been shelved).
With "Wreck-It-Ralph" now on Disney's slate for Nov. 2, 2012, "King of the Elves" is being eyed for a holiday 2013 bow, after "Monsters University" aims to scare up box office that summer.
Lasseter is producing the pic with Chuck Williams.
In addition to "Horrible Bosses," which Warner Bros. releases July 8, Markowitz has written for the TV sitcoms "Becker," "In-Laws," "It's All Relative" and "Bob Patterson," on which he also served as a supervising producer.
Markowitz is repped by CAA, Heroes and Villains Entertainment and attorney Michael Gendler.
The Walt Disney Co. announced two new original Pixar feature films at D23 on Saturday, an untitled movie about dinosaurs directed by “Finding Nemo” screenwriter Bob Peterson due in 2013 and an untitled movie about the inner workings of the brain directed by “Up” and “Monsters Inc.” director Pete Docter due in 2014.
Disney and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter introduced the two new projects at the media company’s three-day fan event in Anaheim, in a demonstration that the animation studio best known lately for the sequels “Toy Story 3″ and “Cars 2″ is still committed to original stories.
Pete Docter (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times) and a scene from "Up," which Docter co-wrote. (Disney/Pixar)
Peterson showed a single piece of concept art of a dinosaur walking in tall grass with what appeared to be a small child riding on it. The movie, he said, was about what would happen if “the asteroid missed the Earth and dinosaurs continued to live here.”
Docter said his movie is about “Somewhere everyone has been to, but no one has ever seen…. The world inside our minds.” He showed no concept art–except a photograph of the top of his own distinctive head.
“We can’t wait to come back and tell you more as soon as we get out of psychotherapy,” said the film’s producer Jonas Rivera.
The new films were introduced in a panel that also revealed footage from next year’s “Brave” and 2013′s “Monsters University,” with appearances by the cast members of those films, including Billy Crystal and Kelly MacDonald.
Lasseter also showed footage from “Wreck-It Ralph,” a 2012 Disney Animation movie about a conflicted video game villain voiced by John C. Reilly and “Planes,” a 2013 movie from home entertainment studio Disneytoons about a crop duster voiced by Jon Cryer.
In honor of Pixar’s 25th anniversary, the panel closed with confetti raining down on the audience members in the Anaheim Convention Center’s packed 4,000-seat arena as servers handed out cupcakes to the crowd.
– Rebecca Keegan
Borys Kit wrote:Pixar is deep in development of two new movies, including one directed by Oscar winner Pete Docter (Up).
The announcement came during Disney's D23 convention in Anaheim on Saturday. The confab, Disney's version of Comic-Con, draws Disney enthusiasts from around the world.
Pixar has had a remarkable box office and critical streak since its first full-length feature, 1995's Toy Story.
The new Pixar projects are untitled but they are original creations and will follow upcoming releases Brave and Monsters University, according to Disney/Pixar chief John Lasseter.
In addition to Docter's project, the Untitled Pixar Movie about Dinosaurs will be directed by Pixar veteran Bob Peterson and produced by John Walker.
The movie is aiming for a holiday 2013 release. The story is set in a world where an asteroid didn't hit the Earth, thus allowing the creatures to keep living and evolving.
An image of concept art shown to the hall was of a small humanoid silhouette on top of the head of a brachiosaurus.
Peterson said he was inspired by a World's Fair he attended as a child where he saw animatronic dinos created by Disney.
Docter's project is the Untitled Pixar Movie that You See Inside the Brain, which is being produced by Jonas Rivera.
It's eyeing a summer 2014 release and is in the early stages of work. Docter said the story will take the audience inside the head, "how we forget, why certain songs get stuck in our heads."
"It's a place that we've all been to but have never seen," he said.
Pixar also offered exclusive footage of next summer's Brave and concept art for Monsters University, the sequel to Monsters Inc. Executives trotted out voice actors Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd for the former and Billy Crystal for the latter. (Crystal received a standing ovation when he came out.)
Lassetter also showed off a Cars spin-off titled Planes, revealing that Jon Cryer is voicing a crop duster with a lot of courage named Dusty. The feature is from the DisneyToon Studios label.
Kevin Hall (The Simpsons) is directing.
Lasseter also previewed a toon called Wreck It Ralph, unveiling a voice cast that includes John C Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman.
Silverman, known for her ribald comedy, kept it family-friendly for the Disney crowd, but still generated plenty of laughs. "I've always wanted to come to Anaheim and not go to Disneyland," she said.
Lasseter and Disney Studios head Rich Ross ended the animated portion of the presentation by bringing out many of the creators at Pixar, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. As confetti rained down, they announced, "Cupcakes for everyone!" Dozens of staffers then began distributing baked goodies to those packed into the 2,500-person venue at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Drew Taylor wrote:The other, more mysterious project is from Pete Docter (the co-Director is Ronnie del Carmen) and scheduled to arrive on May 30, 2014. This is the mystery project that Pixar teased a few months ago. We reached out to our contacts in the animation world recently and we can fill you in on what we know.
According to the official statement, the movie will be produced by Jonas Rivera and directed by Docter, but what they aren’t telling you is that, according to our source, the script is being supplied by “Little Miss Sunshine”/”Toy Story 3” writer Michael Arndt. The current logline provided at D23 says that the film takes place “inside the human mind,” but we were told, more specifically, that it’s about the formation of ideas. It’s being described to us as “wildly ambitious” (even by the admittedly high Pixar standards) which means, hopefully, that all that cash being brought in by “Cars 2” pajamas can be funneled into producing something truly wild and unique. We wish we could have shared this info earlier, but here it is now.
Keep in mind that both of these movies will follow the already announced “Brave” (next summer) and “Monsters University” (summer 2013), and those looking for some fresh, super genius Pixar product after the recent sequel-heavy slate, will be very, very happy.
Disney, Hasbro, Viacom, Haim Saban, and Entertainment One are expected to be among the bidders when debt-ridden childrens entertainment firm Chorion sells off its assets. Included will be rights to Noddy, Mr. Men, Paddington Bear, the estate of writer Raymond Chandler, and the Agatha Christie franchise. Private equity firm 3i owns a majority stake in Chorion but the three biggest lenders — Bank of Ireland, GE Capital and Lloyds — have pushed for the business to be broken up and sold after recent attempts to renegotiate its debt failed. ”There is no rush, no time pressure,” an insider today told The Guardian.
Brendon Connelly wrote:Reports are bobbing around the internet that Pixar’s Untitled Dinosaur film has been titled Frozen.
Well, it hasn’t. The confusion comes from the fact that Frozen has been given the date previously earmarked for the Dinosaur film – November 27th, 2013. That project has now been shunted aside though it will, I’m sure, will find a new place on the calendar soon.
Frozen is, in fact, an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. You heard it here first.
Disney have been trying to adapt this story from some time, and it seems that they’ve finally cracked it. (The concept art I’ve used is some years old and could be very out of date. I really don’t know)
I was told about the film’s progress and its title earlier this week. At that time I was assured that the film was going to be hand drawn, but I just traded e-mails for clarification and was told “Don’t put your name to that…not quite yet.”
UPDATE NOTE: Another e-mail from another source, but well placed. They’re telling me that they’re certain the film is now set for CG.
Either way, the film is being released in 3D. Disney have proven that this is an option for hand-drawn pictures with their Lion King and Beauty and the Beast re-releases.
The title reflects that of Tangled, suggesting some relationship between the films. Perhaps this is a hint that it will now be made in CG, though again, wait for clarification.
What we can assume, though, is that the boy-friendly technique of running away from anything with girly words like “Princess” and “Queen” in the title is going to be a recurring Disney trick.
Well, whatever gets ‘em in the seats, I suppose.
TheButcher wrote:From Deadline:
Longtime Disney Animator Glen Keane Quits
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