Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Anime, cartoons and 3D. Animated shorts and features. And don't forget the animation genius in Bulgaria.

Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Postby blake on Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:45 pm

Just got back from Brad Bird getting the first ever Texas Avery Animation Award via the Deep Ellum Film Festival (http://www.def2.org). Some brief notes and some of the pics are below. I have a many more notes and like one or two other pics I can post if anyone is interested in more.

Tex Avery's daughter spoke beforehand and she said if Tex was still alive "he would have loved the Incredibles but asked why the hell they removed the scene with the girls in bikini's." William Joyce spoke mainly on the greatness of animation and how it is overlooked as a legit work of art. That it unfairly was always considred lesser than a live action film by default. They showed two animated cartoons (MGM - Wild and Wolfy, Warner Bros. - Tortoise Beats Hare) from Tex and Brad Bird came up and did a long Q&A with a local movie critic.

Brad Bird mentioned Warner Bros. finally put their logo back in to Iron Giant (instead of Bugs in a tux), wouldn't talk at all on his next projects other than to say he's also helping a friend with a film while he nurses one idea). Mentioned one of Warner Bros. ideas they presented him with while making Iron Giant was to make Ken a space alien, have it set in modern time and have some hip hop music in it. When asked about his favorite animated film of all time, he didn't have one definitive one but many depending on feeling, how funny, etc. He did mention "Pinocchio" and he really dug the design of "Yellow Submarine." Live action films he liked were - "Stranger Than Paradise", "Jules et Jim", "Seven Samurai", "Hard Day's Night", "Amadeus", "Spinal Tap", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

He was asked about Linklaters "Waking Life" and said he loved Linklaters work but wasn't a fan at all of rotoscope. He said he could picture his earlier mentor at Disney named Milt on rotoscope "it's godda*#& lazy is what it is." Brad prefers animation where he has complete control over the performance versus rotoscope where you are letting someone else do it.

He has alot of futuristic themes in his works, because when he was growing up he saw all these cool things like jetbacks that he figured by the time he was an adult "everyone's gonna have a jetpack."

On the Incredibles he talked about modeling the family Archetype's through their superpowers and most of the good super powers were already taken or trademarked, so he was almost left with jack jack's super powers being saliva bubbles.

On the subject of sound designers he said you could name any movie made and he'd instantly know the sound designer that worked on it. He said of "Apocalypse Now" you can just close your eyes and listen to it... and it's "a great masterpiece of psychological use of sound."

Throughout the Q&A Brad would on a dime break into character. When Brad breaks into character, he is fully into them. Amazing to see him suddenly turn into an old man, complete in voice and mannerisms. He joked back with the audience very quickly, quickly adlibbing answers like he was writing his next script. Telling one guy who said he had waited a long time to ask him an "I Robot" question, which someone said William Joyce went to the bathroom. I guess nobody realized the guy asking the question wasn't talking about "Robots." Brad then went into a quick adlib about how he should run to the bathroom and hide in the last stall and put his hand over his mouth and make a creepy voice and go "William... William I have been waiting 9 years to ask you this question... in fact I haven't moved from this stall either, waiting for the day you arrived."

My digital camera sucked taking pictures in the dark, so I had to wait until afterwards to get any decent pics of Brad (some pics below). Someone getting their Iron Giant auto'd was pretty cool. Some of the people in the audience opted to congratulate him for "I-Robot", doh! One of the girls had him sign a full frame Incredibles DVD. I could see Brad just wince in pain. He took this girl aside and literally went into why she should only buy widescreens and never full frame and gave her examples of it.

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Postby ONeillSG1 on Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:14 pm

Brad Bird = COOL BEANS!!!

Brad Bird should have done FF but alas, it wasn't to be.
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Postby The Garbage Man on Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:49 am

Great report, blake. That's some seriously cool news.
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Postby Flumm on Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:06 am

You're on a roll blake, keep this momentum of quality up, and you'll put us all to shame. Nice one.
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:14 am

I hadn't even heard of this event before I read the article, but I'm glad I decided to check it out anyway. Thanks for the report blake. Good read, juicy tidbits re: the world of animation and a glimpse inside Brad Bird's geeky head. That is cool news.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:10 am

From da Zone comes a report on BRAD BIRD getting his Texas Avery Award!
Hey folks, Harry here -- There's a secret void that none would believe, and from there I pulled this report that Blake posted.


Yeah Blake!

2 Posts, and 1 of them makes da' main page.

Congrats...
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wow

Postby blake on Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:20 am

Second time I've made the main page this year (other time was when I sent them a huge list of links to all their past Tarantino Film Fest coverage). I never thought I'd make it once. Amazing. Wish I had some tequila shots to celebrate with.

I'm still laughing thinking about the girl with the full frame DVD. It's like when Brad Bird saw that, he immediately called a timeout and took her to the sideline where he gave an Abe Lincoln-like stirring speech for never ever buying a full frame DVD.

The female in the bottom image is Tex Avery's daughter.

A couple of other things Brad Bird mentioned. For the Superbowl halftime, instead of the Timberlake drama, he said both team mascots should fight it out in hand to hand combat.

He also mentioned this one animated feature Tex Avery did where he on purpose put in a hair at the bottom of the film frame wiggling around through most of it. Projectionists typically see these and immediately try and blow or pull them out. Brad Bird was imagining all these pissed off projectionists trying for their lives to get this hair out, not realizing it was actually drawn there on purpose to look real. When they showed it, you could probably hearing them cursing in the booth not able to get rid of it. Suddenly one of the characters in the feature reaches down and pulls the hair out and gets rid of it.

If I can dig anything up on Brad Bird's next I'll be sure to post it. I had a strong suspicion of why he might not be able to say anything... though I didn't want to spill anything about this theory as I could be dead wrong.
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Re: wow

Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:29 am

blake wrote:He also mentioned this one animated feature Tex Avery did where he on purpose put in a hair at the bottom of the film frame wiggling around through most of it. Projectionists typically see these and immediately try and blow or pull them out. Brad Bird was imagining all these pissed off projectionists trying for their lives to get this hair out, not realizing it was actually drawn there on purpose to look real. When they showed it, you could probably hearing them cursing in the booth not able to get rid of it. Suddenly one of the characters in the feature reaches down and pulls the hair out and gets rid of it.


HA!

Reminds me of a story Gilliam (I think) told 'bout how he wanted to turn the sound mix down on Python, forcing people at home to turn up their volumes. Then they would turn the mix all the way up, thus blowing out peoples speakers!

He said in retrospect it was better off that they didn't do it.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:29 am

"There is a secret void that none would believe" lol - Ha<i></i>rry cracks me up sometimes.

Great report, Blake
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Re: Brad Bird's RAY GUNN

Postby TheButcher on Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:29 am

Interview: 'Ghost Protocol' Director Brad Bird Hopes Earthquake Epic '1906' Is Next, Would Like To Revive Sci-Fi Noir 'Ray Gunn'
Drew Taylor wrote:One movie we wondered about was a project he had been developing at Warner Bros. Feature Animation called "Ray Gunn," a traditionally animated movie he described as being "an action movie film noir with a sci-fi edge, but it was the future as imagined in the 1930's" at a recent special event at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He doesn't rule out the possibility. "It's not like I can do them without Warner Bros.' cooperation, but I would say that regimes change and one of the nicest things about making movies is that hopefully you un-scare people," Bird said, about gaining the trust of the establishment. "There's a lot of fear in the movie industry because of the amount of money and resources that are involved and your goals are as elusive as what's going to entertain people of all different shapes and sizes. If you think about it in a logical way, it's an impossible job. You just kind of go forward and say, 'I'm going to make a movie that I want to see, and I hope people will join in'. [Then] I think you have a chance at doing something." He sounds optimistic, though. "Hopefully I've un-scared people about handling a live action film and I would dearly love to have more opportunities to make them."

Someone who was unafraid of what people would think was the dearly departed Steve Jobs, who funded Pixar in its early days (buying it away from George Lucas) and later sold it to Disney for unheard of amounts of money and stock options. Bird reflected on his relationship with Jobs: "I was just really grateful that I got to know him and work with a guy who is such a visionary. Talk about a guy who paid no heed to focus groups," Bird said. "He had done so many things that applied to both Apple and Pixar and it was all about not asking people what they want but showing them something that you think is great and believing that they're going to see it that way also." He said that working at Pixar when Jobs was still there was nothing more than miraculous. "I think that at any company you're very lucky to get to work with one visionary in your lifetime. But Pixar is this rare instance where there were three visionaries that collaborated – Steve, Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter. They're all visionaries in their own way and the fact that they got together, it's kind of like The Beatles. It was one of those things that happened almost by accident and was this rare perfect storm of creativity and I was very happy to get to know Steve. I have so much respect for him."

And what of Bird's former home? We wondered how involved is the director with the animation juggernaut, and he confirmed that he is still on the vaulted Brain Trust ("I try to make as many meetings as I can"), he gets there as much as he can but that he's not there everyday. Bird added: "I love that studio. I love those guys and working with them. As long as it's doable I'd like to keep doing it."

When we asked what the most promising sounding movie in development over at Pixar was, Bird joked, "I can't talk about it. You're trying to get me to divulge state secrets, under penalty of torture." But it was a segue into an interesting conversation about the nature of Pixar's ideas and how the commercial world views those ideas.

"If you explain the basics of any one of these ideas, they probably will sound as nutty as a cooking French rat or a silent film starring robots in a post-apocalyptic world," Bird said. "Each one of those films, when we were in preparation on them, the financial community said each one of them stunk and none of them had the ability to be a financial success. And then the film would come out and they'd go, 'Well, they did it that time but the next one sounds like a piece of crap.' " This is true. Everytime there's a new Pixar property coming out, whether it's "Up" or "WALL-E" or whatever, there's an accompanying Wall Street Journal ad questioning its ability to sell toys (watch, there'll be another one just before "Brave" opens this summer).

Bird went on: "The truth of the matter is Wall Street is only interested in you repeating yourself. If you want to do something that sounds a little odd, the financial community is all about a feeling of predictable success. And the only thing that fits that model is something similar to what you've done before. Everyone was very enthusiastic about Pixar doing 'Toy Story 3' but they weren't excited about the idea of 'Up.' So if I told you about the ideas of various Pixar films, you and I might get excited about them, but the financial community would say 'Oh that sounds crazy.' But that's probably why Pixar films are the way they are, because they're films that the storytellers are excited to be getting on the screen. They're not some sort of focus group. So because Pixar comes from a very pure place, it's why I'm interested in staying involved with them as long as I can."
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Re: Brad Bird at the Annie Awards 2011

Postby TheButcher on Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:31 am

From Wired February 8, 2011:
Toon Tragedy? Brad Bird Leaves Animation (at Gunpoint)
Scott Thill wrote:Is Ratatouille director Brad Bird leaving feature animation? Not if Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg take their guns out of his face.

The moviemaker dropped a bombshell in his videotaped acceptance speech (embedded above) last weekend after he took home a Winsor McCay lifetime achievement honor from the controversial Annie Awards.

“My involvement in the world of animation … comes to an end today,” said Bird, who helmed such standout animated features as The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. “As much as I value my time spent dabbling in cartoons, I’ve moved onto bigger and, let’s face it, better things. I am of course talking about live action. If I’m honest with myself, it’s where I’ve always secretly wanted to be and, truth be told, I’m a lot happier for it. Compared with animation, live-action movie-making is a stress-free, care-free world of creativity without compromise.”

But Bird’s mechanical speech was quickly unmasked as one of the year’s most excellent pranks, once the camera panned out and revealed that Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise, stars of Bird’s first live-action film Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, were holding pistols to his head.

“Some say actors are paranoid that they might find themselves made obsolete by advances in animation technology, but that really is absurd,” Bird quaked. “If some nerd with a paintbrush or computer could replace the likes of award-winning international superstar Tom Cruise and the similarly award-winning British comedy genius Simon Pegg, such notions are absurd, and anyone that thinks that is an idiot and a communist.”

Ghost Protocol arrives this December and Bird’s second live-action film, 1906, is slated for release a year later. The animation industry might turn into a wasteland if Bird truly decided to stick to live-action film. Let us know in the comments section if you can imagine a toon universe without Bird’s singular vision.
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Re: Brad Bird's RAY GUNN

Postby TheButcher on Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:34 am

From Michael Barrier February 27, 2005:
Barrier:
You've laid the groundwork in The Incredibles for a more mature sort of animated film, but I haven't seen anything about what you have in mind for your next feature. Are you thinking of something that's more specifically adult than anything that's been done before, or is this simply too big a leap even now for animated films to make?

Bird:
I don't know. It's never moved fast enough for me, and yet I can't complain, because the two films I've made are the films I wanted to make. The Iron Giant was a film where I was essentially given a completely dysfunctional unit and a very short amount of time to turn it around. I had nine months to prepare the film from my twelve-page outline to handing out scenes, with an animation department that was completely screwed up. We had half the time and a third of the money and a dysfunctional department, but there was a certain amount of freedom, too. They were shutting down the division as we were making the film, so, as long as we produced on time and on budget, we were left alone, which is a great advantage. And it turned out that there was a great deal of talent at the Warners feature animation division, it just needed to be completely reorganized.

I'm getting off the subject. Before Iron Giant, I spent years on projects that were too big a leap for investment people to make. I developed "The Spirit" for years. I had a project with Turner Animation called Ray Gunn, which was an animated film-noir science-fiction thing. It was funny and action-packed, but it was a little darker than most mainstream animated films, so it never got cleared for takeoff. I feel like Iron Giant was a step in the direction I wanted to go, in that it brought things like the Cold War in, and it didn't have songs, but it had a boy protagonist. Studio people could understand that, and there was the appeal of a giant robot. I feel like Incredibles was a little further step. I do think quality adult animation is going to happen, but I don't know how far you can push it. The further you want to push the stories, the lower your budget is going to have to be. If you accept that, in animation it means you have to give up certain the quality of the movement itself. It's not like a live-action film where you have to scale down the number of locations (although that can be affected, too). It's more about compromising how much your character actually moves and expresses itself. More expressivity—in hand-drawn, especially—means more drawings, means more money.
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Re: Brad Bird's RAY GUNN

Postby TheButcher on Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:37 am

From AICN Dec 01, 2003:
The future of 2D Animation' Apparently not Disney or Dreamworks... then where'
Harry wrote:The first film? Well, Brad Bird, who is wrapping up work on THE INCREDIBLES for Pixar is apparently going to be the goto guy on this to kick it all off. RAY GUNN!!! What is RAY GUNN? Here's what Moriarty gleamed from Brad Bird - 5 Years Ago!

MORIARTY

What can you tell me about RAY GUNN, and is there any chance we'll ever see it?

BRAD
Well, uh, I hope so. I think it could be a really great film. Essentially, for a long time I've believed that there is an audience for animation that Hollywood has been very slow in recognizing is there. The success of SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL say that there is an older audience for animation, but Hollywood tends to be very myopic, and it's change is slow. You can make the arguments for more distinctive, more adult animated projects on TV now, but you've still got all these preconceived notions to overcome trying to get it to features. IRON GIANT basically represents a halfway step for me between what Hollywood can understand about feature length character animation and where I think animation can go. It has enough of the stuff that Hollywood traditionally recognizes as being in a children's film, but hopefully we've been able to kind of squeeze some adult stuff in there in a way that doesn't put kids off. There was so much misinformation about RAY GUNN...

MORIARTY
It was one of those projects that I kept hearing the name of over the years, so it's sort of taken on a life of its own if you know the animation community.

BRAD
Well, it's two things that are hard to sell in Hollywood. Part of it is sort of film noir, even though to me it's only that in the surface details. Really, it's more of an action movie, and it had a substantial amount of comedy in it. I see it as being very mainstream, but Hollywood saw it as being almost experimental, like, "Whoa, what the heck is this?" In animation, you're always fighting against, "Well, that might upset a 5-year-old." My feeling is, "Well, then, the 5-year-old shouldn't go. Come on, can't we make some other things?" RAY GUNN was not it was PG, you know? Maybe PG-13.

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Re: Brad Bird's RAY GUNN

Postby TheButcher on Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:40 am

From AWN Thursday, October 29, 2009:
Brad Bird Talks Iron Giant 10th Anniversary
http://www.awn.com/users/bdesowitz wrote: This year marks the 10th anniversary of Iron Giant (how time flies!) A week ago, ASIFA hosted a reunion with director Brad Bird and various crew members, so we thought we'd have our own celebration honoring his brilliant feature debut. We start off with an exclusive interview with the Oscar-winning director, followed next week by a crew reminiscence or two.

Bill Desowitz: How did you get involved with Iron Giant and what originally attracted you to the project?

Brad Bird: Iron Giant was brought to Warner Bros. by Pete Townsend of The Who, and Des McAnuff, who directed the stage version of Tommy. They wanted to do an animated musical. Pete had already done a musical adaptation of the original Ted Hughes story (The Iron Man) for the stage play as well as an album based on those songs.

I was at Turner developing Ray Gunn when Warners and Turner merged. Warners had even less interest in Ray Gunn than Turner did, and since there was three months left on my Turner contract, Warners asked me if I was interested in any of the projects they already had in development. They had a ridiculous number of projects "in development," but I picked three to read and one of them was Iron Giant.

I'd read the Ted Hughes book and loved it for its poetic simplicity... but I also had some new ideas of my own on what the film could be about. I'm a huge fan of Pete Townshend's work, but I really didn't see Giant as an animated musical. The meat of the story, to me, was the relationship between this little boy and the Giant. My main problem with the book was that it veered away from that relationship about halfway through, and became a contest between the Giant and this Giant Space Bat flying back and forth to the sun.

I came back to Warner Bros., said I was interested in IG, but wanted to a go a different direction with it. Then I asked them: "What if a gun had a soul and didn't want to be a gun?"

That kind of stuck with them, so I went further and pitched them my new storyline. Rather than setting the film in a timeless England, I wanted to set the film in America in 1957-- at the height of the Cold War. I added the beatnik character Dean and the government character Kent Mansley and the army and such-- none of which are in the book.

The Maine setting looks Norman Rockwell idyllic on the outside , but inside everything is just about to boil over; everyone was scared of the bomb, the Russians, Sputnick-- even rock and roll. This clenched Ward Cleaver smile masking fear (which is really what the Kent character was all about). It was the perfect environment to drop a 50- foot-tall robot into.
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Re: Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Postby TheButcher on Thu May 16, 2013 8:26 pm

Brad Bird on 'Incredibles' Sequel: 'I Would Probably Wanna Do That' (Q&A)
The helmer, who tells THR he has thought of "many, many elements that I think would work really well," also reveals why he turned down "Star Wars: Episode VII."
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Re: Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Postby TheButcher on Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:22 am

The Incredibles Getting 3D Release And Maybe Ratatouille Too, Finally
No exact timeframe, but they must be on their way soon, especially given how successful Disney re-releases have proven to be in the past few years.
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Re: Brad Bird's Incredibles

Postby TheButcher on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:39 am

Disney makes it official: 'The Incredibles' is finally getting a sequel
Now we just need confirmation that Brad Bird is the man in charge
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Re: Brad Bird's THE IRON GIANT

Postby TheButcher on Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:17 am

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Re: Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Postby TheButcher on Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:46 pm

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Re: Brad Bird's THE IRON GIANT

Postby TheButcher on Mon May 11, 2015 5:36 pm

Is THE IRON GIANT Going to Be Re-Released in Theaters?
Director Brad Bird hints that the animated classic might be flying back to cinemas.
BRAD BIRD wrote:Listen, Warner Bros. and I have danced on and off for the last decade. There was going to be a 5-year-thing; there was talk about it being in 3D at one point. Then there was talk about reformatting it for IMAX or whatever. Discussions keep happening, but I think something will happen fairly soon. They know that people have a fondness for it. They don’t know exactly how to deal with that beyond maybe a Blu-ray or something like that. And I keep saying, “You know, you did it for Wizard of Oz and you did it for Blade Runner. I think you actually can do it.” And I think they’re kind of coming around to that idea. I’m trying to find the best way to support something like that.
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Re: Brad Bird's THE IRON GIANT

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:41 pm

“The Iron Giant: Signature Edition”
Burbank, CA, July 8, 2015 – Warner Bros. Pictures is proud to announce that the animated action adventure “The Iron Giant” will be re-released this fall, remastered and enhanced with two all-new scenes as “The Iron Giant: Signature Edition.” It will be released in theaters for a limited engagement through Fathom Events. “The Iron Giant: Signature Edition” arrives to theaters for a special event screening on Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00PM local time, with an encore event in select markets on Sunday, October 4 at 12:00PM local time.

Following the re-release of the film in theaters, a high-definition version of “The Iron Giant: Signature Edition” will be available to purchase from digital retailers in the fall of 2015.
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Re: Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Postby Ribbons on Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:56 pm

I so want one of these:

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Re: Brad Bird's THE IRON GIANT 2?

Postby TheButcher on Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:16 am

Vin Diesel Teases The Iron Giant Sequel
As the Brad Bird-directed animated classic The Iron Giant re-enters theaters with a new edition, star Vin Diesel teases the possibility of a sequel.
I have been very lucky to have played so many interesting characters… one of the first and one of my favorites is… the Iron Giant.

P.s. Don’t be surprised when you hear WB announce the sequel.
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Re: Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Postby TheButcher on Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:29 pm

Brad Bird Hopes to Make another Hand-Drawn Animated Film
‘The Iron Giant’ may not be the last hand-drawn animated film we see from the director.
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Re: Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:31 am

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: BRAD BIRD TALKS IRON GIANT, TOMORROWLAND FLOP, & MORE!


‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ Director Confirms He Won’t Return for Third Movie: ‘Two is Enough’
Despite the film’s record-breaking September opening, Genndy Tartakovsky tells TheWrap, “I have a lot of other ideas, and I kind of have to express them”
Beatrice Verhoeven wrote:Tartakovsky’s comments are surprising, as both films starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi and David Spade have grossed an estimated $200 million thus far domestically, and the sequel has been in release a total of four days. But Tartakovsky wants to focus on other projects, such as the animated film “Can You Imagine?”

What happened with “Popeye?”
We made a version that we were happy with, and the studio didn’t like that version. It’s still a mystery for me that they didn’t like that version. They wanted to do “Popeye” for the brand recognition and I loved the character and grew up with it, so there was a tug of war. They wanted it really updated, and I can only update it a little before it isn’t “Popeye” anymore. To be truthful, it was in the middle of the Sony hack and the studio was really struggling. It was just really bad timing.
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Re: Brad Bird at the Texas Avery Animation Award

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:09 pm

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