Despicable Me was cute and funny and made some money, therefor it has a sequel upcoming. That’s really all I have to say. The trailer shows so very little, just a basic plot set up, that it’s hard to gauge anything by it other than that it does honestly look shiny.
Speaking at an annual shareholder’s meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday, chief executive Bob Iger revealed that none of the studio’s animation companies was working on 2D, hand-drawn material for the big screen. While Iger did not rule out returning in the future to the style which made the company famous, the long gestation period for Hollywood animated productions means a gap of several years before any new film might emerge.
“To my knowledge we’re not developing a 2D or hand-drawn feature animated film right now,” said Iger. “There is a fair amount of activity going on in hand-drawn animation but it’s largely for television at this point. We’re not necessarily ruling out the possibility [of] a feature but there isn’t any in development at the company at the moment.”
The news will upset fans of traditional hand-drawn animation, who had been cheered by the revival of the form under John Lasseter, the Pixar boss who also became Disney Animation’s chief creative officer in 2006. Lasseter told a London audience for a 2009 screening of Bolt (a CGI animation) that he had re-hired many of the animators who were ditched by the previous regime because of the emergence of computer-generated technology in the 1990s.
The sad fact is that their last couple of hand drawn animated films haven’t found audiences. The Frog Princess made nearly 300$ Million to be sure, however it’s the exception. Remember that Winnie the Pooh movie they put out a couple years back? Yeah, neither do I. Most of the rest of 3D animated films have pulled in 300$ as a minimum.
However, Paperman was produced by people drawing with computers, so while pencil may not hit paper again any time soon let’s hope at least that stylii hit screens (because that movie was gorgeous).
I was about to write that it’s not that often that Pixar revisits material, but then I remembered Toy Story 2 and 3, and now Monsters University.
A lot of people I know still count Monsters Inc as their favourite Pixar film but I am not one of them (it comes in th middle of the pack for myself, with Up! and The Incredibles alternately at the top of the list). One of the things I really did like about it though was how self contained of a film it is. There’s really no room to make a sequel to it.
So they went ahead a prequel. I’d love to say I’m excited but to be honest I’m kind of worried. Prequels so rarely work out in my mind because I never feel like I need to know the back story, and often the back stories that are produced are nowhere near as cool as I’d imagined them to be.
Still, this is Pixar so it’s definitely worth giving them the benefit of the doubt. Are you excited for Monsters University?
Paperman is a Disney Animation short film that came out in theatres with Wreck It Ralph back in the fall. Now they’ve released it online for free, and here it is thanks to Disney Animation Studios:
What a great, sweet little film. The basic story is that a man meets a woman on his morning commute but they are separated before they can speak. He then notices her in the office across the street from his and spends the day trying to get her attention.
Trying to get the attention of the object of your affection is a situation that most of us have been in, but this is a pretty cute take. There’s no dialogue but everything is communicated gorgeously through body language and actions.
The mix of 2D and 3D animation techniques means that the whole things just flat out looks gorgeous too.
Paperman already won the Annie Award for best animated short and it’s nominated for an Oscar in the same category.