Until 2014, Pixar had released a feature film every year for eight straight years. For several years during that run, the studio even flirted with releasing two films in a year, demonstrating the growth in its efficiency, so the chance of not releasing any features in a given year seemed to be unthinkable. However, the unthinkable occurred when The Good Dinosaur was delayed about 18 months, leaving 2014 as the first time in a good while that Pixar was absent, at least on the big screen. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with director Peter Sohn to discuss the challenges the film faced and what it’s like to be vulnerable when millions of people are watching. Read about our discussion after the break. [Read more…]
Last August, we found out that director Bob Peterson had been taken off The Good Dinosaur after the film apparently hit creative difficulties. A group of Pixar directors including Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (Brave), John Lasseter (Toy Story), and the film’s original co-director Pete Sohn took over. We still do not know who took over as lead director (if anyone did, that is), but we hear that the film’s story has been overhauled. Find more details after the break! [Read more…]
Though it isn’t the first of Pixar’s films to inspire audiences to reach for as many tissues as possible, Up may be the most universally successful at getting grown men and women to do some good old-fashioned ugly crying. Up, released in May of 2009, was the first of Pixar’s films to be presented in both 2D and digital 3D; that latter format allowed many to use their 3D glasses as a shield, to make sure no one around them saw the tears streaming down their cheeks. However, just as it’s a predictable response that the majority of people who saw Up were viscerally impacted by the first 10 minutes, the reaction to the film as a whole has also become slightly stereotypical, summed up as follows: the so-called “Married Life” montage, in which we watch the lead character, Carl Fredricksen, and his wife, Ellie, as they live their lives over multiple decades, culminating in her death at an old age, is excellent. It’s amazing! It’s emotional! And the rest of the film can’t even begin to compete with its devastating, heartbreaking finality.
Since 2006, it has been a given that we would see a Pixar film released during the summer season every year. The first indication that this streak was at risk of ending arrived with the news that The Good Dinosaur director Bob Peterson had been taken off the project. The film, which was scheduled to arrive in May 2014, was taken over by a collection of Pixar veterans such as John Lasseter and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, but no replacement director was named. For an animated film that was less than one year away, it signaled significant trouble. Today, we have received confirmation that The Good Dinosaur is indeed being delayed into 2015, leaving next year as the first without a Pixar feature film in eight years.
Last week, this column pondered why, exactly, Disney and/or Pixar Animation Studios were holding back on a teaser trailer for their next film, The Good Dinosaur, which is slated to open in May of 2014. By the time the article was published early Tuesday afternoon, the rumor mill was in high churn about the film’s status. Was its director, Bob Peterson, being taken off the project? Would this explain why he wasn’t present at the Pixar presentation at last month’s D23 Expo? Did this explain his ever-changing Twitter biography? (If only that last question was a joke, but no, that’s something fans were left to ponder as Disney stayed silent.) On Friday, the rumor became news: Peterson had indeed been booted off The Good Dinosaur sometime “over the summer,” and presumably before the D23 Expo. The project is now reportedly in the hands of a mix of people, including the film’s co-director Peter Sohn (known equally well for his behind-the-scenes animation work as for voicing characters like Emile in Ratatouille), Lee Unkrich, and John Lasseter himself.
After the D23 Expo, speculation ran wild on what had happened to Bob Peterson, the director of The Good Dinosaur, who was nowhere to be found during Disney’s biannual show. A report emerged earlier this week which claimed he had been removed from the project, but Disney/Pixar remained mum on the subject – until now, that is. Today, it has been confirmed that Peterson was taken off the film and a group of directors have stepped in to complete the film. Find more details after the break.
There is no film studio that is recognized for its emphasis on perfecting a story as much as Pixar. “Story is king” is a mantra that is oft-repeated by the filmmakers that walk the buildings of the studio campus in Emeryville. That focus on story has also been known to raise tension behind-the-scenes, with last-minute reworking of scripts and storyboards and even the replacement of directors. Jan Pinkava and Brenda Chapman were famously removed from Ratatouille and Brave respectively, even though they pitched the films originally. Now, a report has emerged that The Good Dinosaur director Bob Peterson has been removed from the project.