August 4, 1989 |
"Knickknack," the latest film from Pixar's award-winning computer animation team of John Lasseter, William Reeves and Eben Ostby, made its belated debut in "The Second Animation Celebration: The Movie!" earlier this week at selected theaters. It was worth waiting for: "Knickknack" is even better than "Luxo Jr." and the Oscar-winning "Tin Toy." The film centers on the little snowman inside one of those tacky souvenir paperweights filled with plastic snow.
June 20, 2013 |
Remember the days when Pixar meant perfection? When you could count on its animation to amaze, its stories to sweep you up? Remember "Up"? Or the smooth ride in "Cars"? The "Toy Story" pals whose friendship was anything but plastic? The love among the ruins unearthed by "Wall-E"? A clownfish dad's deep-sea desperation in "Finding Nemo"? PHOTOS: Disney without Pixar What has happened to the memory makers who gave us all that? They are nowhere to be found at "Monsters University," the latest shiny new movie to roll off what increasingly feels like the Disney-Pixar assembly line.
December 10, 2013 |
On Oct. 16, 1923, Walt Disney and his brother Roy began the Walt Disney Co. inauspiciously in the rear of a small office at the Holly-Vermont Realty in Los Angeles. It was there that the young brothers, who paid $10 a month for the modest space, began producing their live action/animated series of shorts known as the "Alice Comedies. " Ninety years later, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a slightly larger and more lucrative operation. Its 53rd animated feature, "Frozen," just knocked "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" off its box office pedestal and has brought in more than $134 million domestically since its opening on Nov. 22. And the new animated short that plays in theaters with "Frozen," called "Get a Horse!
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.
May 7, 2006 |
JOHN LASSETER holds the keys to the kingdom. He really does. As part of the Disney-Pixar deal, the "Cars" director and Pixar executive vice president now has creative control not only over Disney's feature animation division but also its theme parks. Having worked on Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride as a young man, the Magic Kingdom is familiar territory to Lasseter. Still, changes at the theme parks may take months to spot.
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)
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.
June 18, 2010 |
If Pixar is the only sure thing in movies today — and it is — then the "Toy Story" franchise is its most reliable component. So while it's not exactly a surprise to say that "Toy Story 3" is everything you hoped it would be, it is something of a relief. For as survivors of say " The Godfather, Part III" remember, the third time can be the death knell for a much admired series. "Toy Story 3" has prospered where others have faltered because it has simultaneously stayed true to its roots and expanded its reach.