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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Now -this- is great animation news...

   
Author Topic: Now -this- is great animation news...
Puffy Treat
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...one of the results of the Disney-PIXAR merger was that John Lasseter took a good hard look at all of the projects in development over at Disney animation.

The majority of the "cheapquels" (the direct to video, dumbed down "sequels" to classic Disney feature films) have been cancelled...except for those already in post production.

Instead, the division that used to focus on those things will be reassigned to other projects...possibilities include new "Winnie the Pooh" stuff, adaptations of L. Frank Baum's Oz books (I'd -love- to see that!)...all of which will probably be much better than...say..."Sleeping Beauty II".

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TomDavidson
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I'm rather astonished -- and thrilled -- by the idea that John Lasseter has the authority to cancel non-Pixar projects in development at Disney.
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Chris Bridges
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They respect money. Compare the box office of the Pixar films to anything animated Disney has put out in the last ten years. I'm just astonished they have the intelligence to acknowledge it.
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Tresopax
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I read a story about this but was under the impression that it was only Pixar films that they would no longer be making cheap sequels for. For instance, Toy Story 3.
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Zeugma
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Yes! This is very exciting. The best news is that, of 190 or so employees at Circle 7, only about 30 or so have actually been laid off, the rest are being re-assigned to Features or elsewhere, and even the 30 are going to get help finding new work in LA, which shouldn't be too hard right now. Woo!

Plus, at Feature Animation, it sounds like a lot of the non-creative middle management that's been choking the life out of the story teams is being let go, so the many awesome and talented and creative folks still working there will be free to create, instead of have their work killed bit by bit in committee. I love it! Can't wait to see what happens next! [Smile]

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Sopwith
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Perhaps we'll have another American animation rennaisance. One can always hope, things have been kinda bleak here of lates.
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Lyrhawn
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Dammit.

I wanted to know what happened in Bambi III and Aladdin IV.

And what about Yzma's New Groove? All deliciously wretched sequels that could have been, now never will be.

And I wouldn't say that the last 10 years have been a total loss for Disney. The following are approximate worldwide box office totals for the last 10 years of films, this is money earned, so the budget has already been subtracted, and it does NOT include the billions earned in home video sales. Budgets are listed when they top $70 million.

  • 1995 - Pocahontas: $287 million.
  • 1996 - Hunchback of Notre Dame: $116 million.
  • 1997 - Hercules: $175 million.
  • 1998 - Mulan: $167 million.
  • 1999 - Tarzan: $75 million (this due to the fact that it's budget was that of Hercules and Mulan combined, $150 million)
  • 2000 - Fantasia 2000: On a limited release (only 1300 screens), and in very few countries worldwide, it about broke even. ($80 million budget)
  • 2000 - Emperor's New Groove: Made about $20 million. Which I think is crap, it's my favorite Disney movie. ($100 million budget)
  • 2001 - Atlantis: The Lost Empire: $90 million. (after a $90 million budget)
  • 2002 - Lilo & Stich: $172 million. ($80 million budget)
  • 2002 - Treasure Planet: -$42 million. (Budget was $140 million, and the movie blew, it's no wonder they took a hit on it)
  • 2003 - Brother Bear: I'd say it about broke even. I don't have the production costs, but it made about $90 million. Either broke even or was a minor loss.
  • 2004 - Home on the Range: -$60 million (Budget was $110 million)

Now, when you compare that to the fact that Finding Nemo made something like $600 million, sure, they all look like failures, but nothing since Lion King ($700 million) and Aladdin ($451 million) had made that kind of money. And for that matter, NOTHING before Lion King made that kind of money either.

I guess my point is that Disney only really started sucking recently, but since it sucks so bad, it just FEELS like it's been going on forever. 1989 to 2002 was the golden age of Disney for box office sales. They pumped out a movie a year for almost a decade and a half and the majority of them all made a hundred million in box office alone. That's nothing to shake a stick at.

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Lyrhawn
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On the OTHER hand. While those films were certainly profitable, and since I know someone is going to shoot back with "but wait, Pixar films made a LOT more than those animated films did," let's do a little comparison.

Pixar:

  • 1995 - Toy Story (Budget $40 million) Made $324 million.
  • 1998 - A Bug's Life: $165 million ($45 million budget)
  • 1999 - Toy Story 2: $250 million (keeping in mind the budget was $90 million, and that I only had limited worldwide box office data)
  • 2001 - Monster's Inc.: (budget $115 million) Made $272 million.
  • 2003 - Finding Nemo: ($94 million) Made $600 million.
  • 2004 - The Incredibles: (budget $92 million) Made $443 million.


Of course, when you consider that it took them 2 to 3 years to make each movie, and then add together 2 to 3 years worth of Disney movies, it's actually somewhat competitive. But there's zero indication that the Disney of the last five years can pull in anything close to Nemo money. And then there's Dreamworks, which I won't go into, but we all know how well Shrek did.

Oh, and I didn't include it, but Disney's only non-Pixar new fancy computer animated film, Chicken Little, is currently at +60 million dollars, but that number should dramatically increase upwards. It's still in theater in the US even, not to mention around the world, and in some place where might not have even been released yet.

Disney's biggest problem, other than sucky movies, of the last couple years is cost. It's too expensive to make films that barely make back their own production costs. Pixar has managed to keep most of its costs down, or at least reasonable. And you can hardly argue with the results.

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Zeugma
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quote:
Perhaps we'll have another American animation rennaisance. One can always hope, things have been kinda bleak here of lates.
I sure hope so, but I'm thinking things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. This is the year of the flood of "me too!" 3D animated films, with something like one opening every week this summer. Hopefully all 16 or so will be great films with solid stories, good character development, and appealing animation... but since so many seem to have been rushed to theaters to grab a slice of the pie, I'm not holding my breath... [Smile] We'll see!

I do think Disney films are going to improve by leaps and bounds from this point on. [Smile]

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Puffy Treat
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Tom: Apparently part of the Disney/Pixar deal is that now Lasseter is very much involved with Disney's animation departments as a whole.

Tresopax: This is more recent story.

Everyone else: Profit wouldn't be the goal of a move like this...like them or loathe them, Disney's direct-to-video sequels to their animated films make a -lot- of money. Despite lack of animation and story quality, they sell very well.

So, this move isn't one motivated by money. [Smile]

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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I think we need to finish the chronicles of prydain. The black cauldron would've make sooo much more money had it been released on this age.

I hate the cheap sequels too, well, it goes without saying. If I bought "The Little Mermaid 2", it also goes without saying that I'd burn it without even unpackaging it.

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Kwea
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I love those, AoD...they books, not the movie. [Big Grin]

I think they would do well, with the market for fantasy stories increasing due to the popularity of LotR and Narnia. [Big Grin]

A lto of kids have been exposed to those lately, for the first time, and loved it.


Kwea

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Earendil18
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm rather astonished -- and thrilled -- by the idea that John Lasseter has the authority to cancel non-Pixar projects in development at Disney.

My thoughts exactly.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
I hate the cheap sequels too, well, it goes without saying. If I bought "The Little Mermaid 2", it also goes without saying that I'd burn it without even unpackaging it.

Why do I have this horrible feeling that I know what your inconsiderate birthday-friend is going to get you as a present next year?
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breyerchic04
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I think I liked Little Mermaid 2.
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Goody Scrivener
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quote:
I think we need to finish the chronicles of prydain. The black cauldron would've make sooo much more money had it been released on this age.
squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Black Cauldron has got to be one of my favorite Disneys! Munchies n crunchies, indeed.... [Smile]
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JLM
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quote:
Originally posted by Goody Scrivener:
quote:
I think we need to finish the chronicles of prydain. The black cauldron would've make sooo much more money had it been released on this age.
squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Black Cauldron has got to be one of my favorite Disneys! Munchies n crunchies, indeed.... [Smile]
Ugh.. the Black Cauldron was terrible. It was a poorly animated, poorly scripted mish mash of "The Book of Three" and "The Black Cauldron". the only thing going for it was how "cute" Gurgi was.

I've recently read the whole series to my children, and loved it. The last book, "The High King", is quite the story with many a tragedy. In the end all of Taran's friends, save one, either are killed or are forced to leave him.

It would be much better to do the entire series live action, perhaps after Narnia is complete. The story intensity would be somewhere between Narnia and LOTR and would be ideal for pre-teens.

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solo
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quote:
Originally posted by JLM:
quote:
Originally posted by Goody Scrivener:
quote:
I think we need to finish the chronicles of prydain. The black cauldron would've make sooo much more money had it been released on this age.
squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Black Cauldron has got to be one of my favorite Disneys! Munchies n crunchies, indeed.... [Smile]
Ugh.. the Black Cauldron was terrible. It was a poorly animated, poorly scripted mish mash of "The Book of Three" and "The Black Cauldron". the only thing going for it was how "cute" Gurgi was.

I've recently read the whole series to my children, and loved it. The last book, "The High King", is quite the story with many a tragedy. In the end all of Taran's friends, save one, either are killed or are forced to leave him.

It would be much better to do the entire series live action, perhaps after Narnia is complete. The story intensity would be somewhere between Narnia and LOTR and would be ideal for pre-teens.

I agree. They need to scrap what they did with "The Black Cauldron" and start at the beginning. Do the story justice. I don't care if it is live action or animated as long as they do it right.

I disagree about Gurgi even being cute. Gurgi shouldn't be cute. He should be a tangled, matted, smelly thing that is also somehow endearing.

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SteveRogers
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Like cousin It from The Addams' Family.
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Anti-Chris
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I was thinking Will Ferrell, myself.
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