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Cover Story

A Very Scary Business

Pixar has invested a lot in the new 'Monsters, Inc.' Will audiences care about its technical innovations? The grosses will tell.

October 28, 2001|MARIA L. La GANGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

When watching the "Toy Story" movies, "A Bug's Life" (1998) or "Antz" (1998) by PDI/DreamWorks, Perlin noted, it was "really impossible to forget you were looking at computer graphics. I'm curious to find where 'Monsters' is on that particular continuum."

Soon, some lucky 2001 movie will receive the first Oscar ever given for a full-length animated feature. "Shrek" and "Monsters, Inc." will likely be serious contenders.

"It was important for me, important for us, to do the first computer-animated feature film, because I knew we could make a good movie," Lasseter says. But "I've been dying to see this medium get into the hands of other artists, other filmmakers with good budgets, so they can do decent films and [I can] see what they do."

Even if, on their face, some of these movies might have more appeal to the popcorn-munching, scooter-riding, industry-steering teenager? Sure, says Lasseter, unworried.

"You know what's nice about a 14-year-old boy nowadays?" he asks. "They grew up on 'Toy Story."' *

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Animation Kings

Nine of the 10 top-grossing animated movies of all time have some connection to Disney. The only holdout: "Shrek."

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Title Year Gross Studio "The Lion King" 1994 $768 million Disney "Aladdin" 1992 $502 million Disney "Toy Story 2" 1999 $486 million Pixar "Tarzan" 1999 $435 million Disney "Shrek" 2001 $434 million PDI/DreamWorks "Toy Story" 1995 $358.1 million Pixar "A Bug's Life" 1998 $357.9 million Pixar "Beauty and the Beast" 1991 $352 million Disney "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" 1988 $349 million Touchstone/Amblin "Dinosaur" 2000 $348 million Disney "Pocahontas" 1995 $347 million Disney

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Source: Internet Movie Database

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