John Lasseter, the man behind the hugely successful series of Toy Story films has decided to step down from his position as director of Toy Story 4 to make room for some new blood. Josh Cooley has taken over the direction of the fourth film in the series though Lasseter will remain on board as an executive producer.
Franchises don’t end, they just go on hiatus. To prove that once again, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios are going back into the vault and developing a new film based on some fan favorite characters. Or maybe we mean toy box. Yes, just four years after the release of the last movie, and nearly 20 years after the release of the first one, Toy Story is coming back to a theater near you. In a surprise announcement, Toy Story 4has been set for a 2017 release under the direction of Pixar founder John Lasseter. Who else is involved, and how Toy Story ended up back on the studio’s radar, is revealed below. (more…)
This was inevitable. When a major animation house like Disney buys a company like Marvel it was only a matter of time before the two would work together on an animated film featuring Marvel characters. What they’ve chosen, though, wouldn’t have been my first guess. Expected for release on November 7th, 2014 is Big Hero 6, an animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh), who came across the comic by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau and pitched the idea to John Lasseter. It’ll follow a, “brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo.” Yes, San Fransokyo, a hybrid city, also a deviation from the original comic which was set in Tokyo.
Hall, speaking with the LA Times, talked about the creative freedom that comes from working with a relatively unknown property,
I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do. The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it’s very Disney… Marvel properties take place in the real world. We were looking for something to do where we could make our own world — bring in the Japanese influences, have recognizable landmarks mashed up with a Japanese aesthetic.
Here’s a look at those, “recognizable landmarks mashed with a Japanese aesthetic,”
Since the acquisition of Marvel Comics by Walt Disney, fans have been eagerly anticipating which Marvel property the animators at the House of Mouse will adapt first, and now we might have an answer, and if it is the answer, it’s guaranteed you won’t believe who it is.
According to Blue Sky Disney, supported by The Grid, details are emerging about the project, the director and the potential release date for the film, which, it seems, will be based on the comic book, Big Hero 6.
Say what now?
Walt Disney Animation‘s upcoming “Big Hero 6,” about a heroic superhero team, is currently an open writing assignment, with no scribe currently attached to the project. The film will be produced by Kristina Reed.
The slot that is set for 2014 has been set aside for Don Hall’s project. Don Hall is the director of “Big Hero 6.” In fact, he’s the one that pitched the idea to Lasseter, who liked his take on the subject and approved it for development. Now, it’s not fully green lit. The project is story boarded and has been deemed strong enough to tentatively put in the production line.
For the uninitiated, Big Hero 6 is the Japanese superhero team first introduced in the pages of Alpha Flight and then given their own miniseries in 1998. This is not exactly the property I thought about when the gears started moving for an animated Marvel movie by Disney, but if Pixar head honcho John Lasseter is interested, there must be something to it.
You gotta know Disney is mighty pleased with themselves for acquiring that little comic book company, Marvel. How much money did that little movie, The Avengers, rake in? Oh yeah – A LOT. So how long will you have to wait before you can hang out, pose, and take pictures with The Avengers and all of Marvel’s super heroes in a Disney theme park? It’ll happen sooner, but probably not as soon as you’d think.
Carsland is Disney’s latest attraction and only just opened. Carsland was first announced in 2006. That makes it about six years in between announcement and reality, so any Avenger-themed attractions will still be a ways off. Tom Staggs, chairman of Disney’s parks and resorts division, was recently quoted in Reuters saying,
We were hard at work on attractions using Marvel characters previously, and that work has only intensified given (the film’s) great success.
The setting has to be right, the story has to be right. That takes a fair amount of time.
Also it should be noted that anything Marvel can only happen at Disneyland in California, not Walt Disney World in Florida due to Marvel’s contract with Universal and their theme park. But if any Marvel attractions were to come to Disneyland, what would you like to see?
There’s an even bigger question hovering over these Disney/Marvel relations, and that’s what kind of role, if any, does Pixar have to play? Collider recently spoke to Pixar founder and Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, John Lasseter at a press junket for Brave and were able to get in some questions about a possible Pixar/Marvel movie. Here’s what Lasseter had to say,
Well, I can’t say anything about that because Marvel just got—[they’ve] been a couple years as part of the Disney company, we’ve been six years as part of the Disney company. And at Pixar, we stay focused on making original films. Even our sequels are kind of created internally and we come up with ideas [on our own]. I’m also leading the Walt Disney Animation Studio and all of that. These studios are filmmaker driven studios, so if a filmmaker comes to me and says, ‘Hey, I wanna do this,’ then I would be really open to it.
Okay, so a Marvel movie made by Pixar may never happen, but one directly from the House of Mouse? That’s a possibility. What Marvel character or story do you think would make a good match for a Disney animated feature?