June 27, 2011 |
Pixar, arguably Hollywood's most admired movie studio, has made its first lemon as far as the critics are concerned. "Cars 2," director John Lasseter's sequel to his 2006 ode to gearheads, has collected the worst reviews of any of the 12 films in the animation studio's 25-year-history. "It actually hurts to knock one of [Pixar's] movies — something I've never done before," wrote Indiewire critic Leonard Maltin. "But then, I've never gotten a headache watching any of their previous films.
December 9, 2009
With its critically acclaimed new release "The Princess and the Frog," Disney returns to its hand-drawn animation heyday. The man making that push? The same guy who helped usher in the computer animation takeover with the 1995 blockbuster "Toy Story." John Lasseter, the guiding force at Pixar Animation Studios, admits he was dismayed when Disney and DreamWorks and other studios decided to close up their 2-D hand-drawn divisions earlier this decade after several such films performed poorly.
November 22, 2009 |
The Disney animation team of Ron Clements and John Musker wrote and directed the 1989 blockbuster musical fairy tale "The Little Mermaid," and followed that up with 1992's "Aladdin" and 1997's "Hercules." Seven years after their last Disney film, 2002's "Treasure Planet," the two are back with the new musical fairy tale, "The Princess and the Frog," set in New Orleans in the 1920s and featuring the studio's first animated African American heroine. Randy Newman supplies the lovely ballads and swinging ragtime jazz score.
August 16, 2011 |
Walt Disney famously said, "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse. " For the Pixar artists, it was all started by a lamp. Twenty-five years ago (Aug. 17, 1986), "Luxo, Jr.," a short depicting the misadventures of a rambunctious little desk lamp and his weary father, premiered in Dallas and did something no computer-animated film had done before: It made audiences laugh. The first film from Steve Jobs' newly formed company Pixar and the second from director John Lasseter, "Luxo" launched the most successful and innovative animation studio since Walt Disney's heyday in the 1930s.
June 18, 2013 |
It wasn't that long ago when Disney was struggling to revive a moribund animation division while its powerhouse subsidiary Pixar was on a serious roll. Things look a little different these days. “Cars 2” and “Brave,” both released under the Pixar name, were just decently received and not considered the home runs that their predecessors were. “Monsters University,” a sequel out this month, is shaping up as a movie with some similarly mixed reactions. Meanwhile, Disney's own animation division - admittedly with the help of John Lasseter and Pixar brass - is coming off a major hit with last fall's “Wreck-It Ralph.” The company will look to repeat the feat this year with the 3-D “Frozen” a movie co-directed by the writer of 'Wreck-It Ralph,” Jennifer Lee. The Disney film reimagines Hans Christian Andersen's “The Snow Queen” as an animated tale about a girl (voiced by Kristen Bell)
January 14, 2013 |
Following weak box office performances for re-releases of "Monsters, Inc.," "Finding Nemo" and "Beauty and the Beast" in 3-D, Walt Disney Studios has canceled plans for a 3-D "The Little Mermaid" in September. The underwater animated hit from 1989 was the fourth and final 3-D re-release for which Disney announced plans in late 2011 after "The Lion King" proved a surprise hit in the format, grossing nearly $100 million in the U.S. and Canada. But "The Lion King" turned out to be an anomaly, as the three follow-ups grossed far less.
June 9, 2006 |
GIVEN that Americans love automobiles and animated films, it's no shock that a feature-length cartoon called "Cars" turned out so well. The source of this supremely engaging film's curb appeal, however, is a most pleasant surprise. For in the years since Pixar guru John Lasseter last directed a film ("Toy Story 2" in 1999), the trend in the field has been to go the wiseguy route.
June 18, 2010 |
Lee Unkrich was excited four years ago when John Lasseter, director and chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, tapped him to direct "Toy Story 3." Then, in the next breath, Unkrich realized the massive responsibility he had been given. "I was very worried at the beginning of the film when John asked me to direct it," says the soft-spoken Unkrich over lunch at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. "We wanted to make another 'Toy Story' for a long time, but it was a huge amount of pressure for a lot of reasons.