Teddy Newton has been at Pixar since he came over to the studio with Brad Bird to work on The Incredibles. He has taken up small acting roles to great effect several times (he voiced the newsreel narrator in the aforementioned The Incredibles, Chatter Telephone in Toy Story 3, and Mini Buzz in the Toy Story Toon, Small Fry). Not only is he skilled with his voice, but he also worked on the story for the Jack-Jack Attack short and directed the Oscar-nominated short Day & Night. Now, we have learned that he is currently developing a brand new film for the animation studio.
In a profile on screenwriters, Variety (via Indiewire) writes that Derek Connolly, writer of critic-pleaser Safety Not Guaranteed has been hard at work on the Emeryville campus, working on a new project with Newton:
After Sundance, Connolly moved up to Emeryville to work at Pixar, where he’s writing an untitled project for Teddy Newton (“Day and Night”). “It’s totally different, the way they do things up here. You’re here everyday. You don’t go away for three months and come up with a script. You’re involved with a director and it’s very collaborative.”
The Pixar gang also told him “not to dumb it down or treat animation like it’s for kids. “
This is the first that we are hearing of Newton’s follow-up to Day & Night. Given that he has had great success in the world of shorts, one has to wonder if he is making the transition to directing a feature film. Dan Scanlon, who is currently directing Monsters University, has never before sat in the director’s chair for a feature film – he did, however, direct the Mater and the Ghostlight short in 2006. I loved the animation style, story, and sheer creativity that was on display in Day & Night, and cannot wait to see what Newton does with this next project.
Concerning the hire of Connolly, it the latest high-profile addition to the Pixar writing department. Just last month, it was announced that Buffy and Mad Men writer/producer Marti Noxon had joined the studio and was working on an unspecified project. It is a testament to the power of the animation powerhouse that it is able to lure great talent to join its ranks. Michael Arndt, who joined Pixar after writing the Oscar-winning script for Little Miss Sunshine, wrote the Oscar-nominated script for Toy Story 3 and is widely believed to have been working with Pete Docter on the upcoming Untitled Pixar Film That Takes You Inside The Mind, – now, he is writing the ‘most-buzzed’ about film online, Star Wars: Episode VII, for Disney and Lucasfilm. Pixar has played a large role in chipping away at the cliché that animation is child fodder – its method has been hiring talent such as Newton, Connolly, and Arndt to work at giving the public a film containing story, characters, and visuals that are complex, impressive, and memorable. I look forward to enjoying their work on the big screen in the years to come.