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  1. #1

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    'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    'Toy Story' sequel set

    Unkrich to direct upcoming feature

    By Ben Fritz
    Variety
    February 9, 2007

    "Toy Story 3" is coming in 2009, but John Lasseter won't be the director.

    In an unusually candid presentation from the typically tight-lipped execs, Lasseter and Disney Animation prexy Ed Catmull provided extensive details on their upcoming slate at the Mouse House's investor conference Thursday.

    In addition to confirming for the first time that a third "Toy Story" is in the works, most likely for 2009 release, Lasseter said Lee Unkrich will helm it.
    Unkrich co-directed "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc." and "Finding Nemo" but has never before been sole helmer on a Pixar pic.

    Lasseter directed the first two "Toy Story" pics but is presumably too busy in his new post as chief creative officer of Disney Animation to work on individual films.

    Michael Arndt, Oscar-nominated scribe of "Little Miss Sunshine," is penning the script.

    Lasseter said, "The greatest thing about the merger of the two companies is that the creators of 'Toy Story' 1 and 2 can make 3 with the story that we wanted."

    Comment was a not-too-subtle swipe at Disney's former plan to develop a third "Toy Story," without Pixar input, before Disney decided to buy the toon studio in late 2005.

    Lasseter also revealed a behind-the-scenes shift at Walt Disney Feature Animation -- which is separate from Pixar but also under the control of Lasseter and Catmull -- by announcing that Chris Williams, a vet story artist at the Mouse, is now directing 2008 release "American Dog." Pic was developed and previously under the control of "Lilo & Stitch" helmer Chris Sanders, who recently left Disney.

    Catmull denied speculation that Walt Disney Feature Animation may become a 2-D-only studio, with Pixar handling CGI, though he did confirm the Mouse will bring back hand-drawn pics.

    "We're really excited about that and have brought back some great directors to work on that," he said, presumably referring to "The Frog Princess," a 2-D pic being developed by "Aladdin" and "Treasure Planet" helmers Ron Clements and John Musker, whom Lasseter brought back to Disney last year. That pic is believed to be on the fast track and may be the division's next release after "American Dog."

    Catmull admitted there were problems at Disney Feature Animation when he and Lasseter took over.

    "At Disney we have these remarkable artists who were there, but in all candor (they) were not kneaded together in the right way," he stated. "The whole wasn't greater than the sum of its parts, but there were some great parts there."

    He said that he and Lasseter are trying to make Disney Feature Animation's pics more director-driven, as at Pixar, and that members of the two units are giving each other notes and sharing technology.

    He didn't mention December's layoff of 160 animators, about 20% of the WDFA staff.
    http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=13&cs=1

  2. #2

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Mr. Lightyear999 will be thrilled that #3 is on it's way finally!
    Mom, remember, it's not what a person is like on the outside that counts,
    it's what they are like in their HEART!


    - Wolfette

  3. #3

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    ^Couldn't do it without him!
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    With Chris Sander gone, Who is going to do Stitch's voice?

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey joe View Post
    With Chris Sander gone, Who is going to do Stitch's voice?
    Hm...the Stitch voice isn't all that hard to imitate...but, they probably won't need him unless they plan on doing more Stitch attractions. To my knowledge, the TV series has ended, and it's in high doubt that they'll do any more sequels, since TLMIII was said to be the final direct-to-video sequel.

    ...this is based on info i've recieved, feel free to tell me if i'm mistaken, however. ^^;




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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    The better question is how they are going to replace Slinky's voice, since Jim Varney died.

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Maybe Slinky will not be in the third movie. Who knows. They might have to recast. I was only wondering about Stitch because he is a big character for the company and featured alot on merchandise. Sander help create the character, it is shame that he had to leave Disney. Oh Well, Frank Weller can do a Stitch voice.

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Stitch was overused to the point where most people are sick of him now. This was especially a problem at Disney world for the past few years where Stitch's voice would irriate people on the monorail, stickers of stitch everywhere, "themed vandalism" at Magic Kingdom and downtown, a stitch attraction that is probably one of the worst in disney history, etc.

    Stitch is a decent enough charecter to pop up ONCE IN A GREAT while but now that disney has played out the charecter he now should go into the background with Oliver & company, the rescue rangers, the cast of black cauldron, and the great moues detective.

  9. #9

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Yay! Director driven movies at Disney!

    ...though, is Treasure planet's downfall because it was too director driven in the wrong direction... or not enough?


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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626 View Post
    Stitch was overused to the point where most people are sick of him now. This was especially a problem at Disney world for the past few years where Stitch's voice would irriate people on the monorail, stickers of stitch everywhere, "themed vandalism" at Magic Kingdom and downtown, a stitch attraction that is probably one of the worst in disney history, etc.

    Stitch is a decent enough charecter to pop up ONCE IN A GREAT while but now that disney has played out the charecter he now should go into the background with Oliver & company, the rescue rangers, the cast of black cauldron, and the great moues detective.
    I agree with you, that Stitch was overused, but I don't think that he should go into the background. Unlike Olive & Compay and Black Cauldron, Stitch has a big fan base. It is just a shame that Chris Sanders can't create a new great charater for Disney. Here hoping American Dog turn out well.

    Speaking of charater being put in the background or disappering, I say that Disney should bring back Roger Rabbit. Eisner is no longer at Disney, so Spielberg will not be a problem to deal with.

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Well, another Disney website that is known to spread questionable information has a posting on the Roger Rabbit/ Spielberg question today. But it's not hard to see that the biggest obstacle between Spielberg reconciling with Disney is that Dreamworks Animation is the biggest, most obvious competitor to Disney animation and Spielberg is a co-founder of Dreamworks. That's not to say it can't happen, Iger seems to have a good knack for re-building bridges with folks (i.e., Roy Disney, Steve Jobs, John Lasseter, etc)
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1 View Post
    Well, another Disney website that is known to spread questionable information has a posting on the Roger Rabbit/ Spielberg question today. But it's not hard to see that the biggest obstacle between Spielberg reconciling with Disney is that Dreamworks Animation is the biggest, most obvious competitor to Disney animation and Spielberg is a co-founder of Dreamworks. That's not to say it can't happen, Iger seems to have a good knack for re-building bridges with folks (i.e., Roy Disney, Steve Jobs, John Lasseter, etc)

    I think if I was Spielberg, I would rather see a character that I own be successful and alive than completely drowned out.

    If roger rabbit is successful for Disney, that's still money in Spielberg's bank account. Does it mean it will compete with Dreamworks? That all depends on the quality of the product. If both studios turn out superior product, they will all profit.

    I'm sure he could write a contract so that disney is unable to release a roger rabbit film in direct competition with any of his features perhaps. That's a fair trade in my opinion. Everyone wins... especially the fans.


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  13. #13

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Stitch was overused to the point where most people are sick of him now. This was especially a problem at Disney world for the past few years where Stitch's voice would irriate people on the monorail, stickers of stitch everywhere, "themed vandalism" at Magic Kingdom and downtown, a stitch attraction that is probably one of the worst in Disney history, etc.

    Stitch is a decent enough character to pop up ONCE IN A GREAT while but now that Disney has played out the character he now should go into the background with Oliver & company, the rescue rangers, the cast of black cauldron, and the great moues detective.
    <!-- / message -->
    first let me say..I LOVE STITCH! it's my favorite Disney movie, but he does seem to be every were sometimes it seem like i see more stitch than i do mickey..anyone else feel similar?
    doombuggiesDISNEYROYALTY

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Why Disney why???

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    Re: 'Toy Story' sequel set, Lasseter not at helm - Variety 2/9/07

    Movie News
    'Toy''s Out of the Attic

    No longer bogged down in a squabble with former Disney exec Michael Eisner, Pixar finally gets moving on the long-awaited new chapter in the series



    THE BUZZ IS BACK
    Pixar has Little Miss Sunshine writer Arndt working on
    the new adventures of Woody and Lightyear
    Everett Collection



    By Steve Daly
    Entertainment Weekly
    February 16, 2007
    Steve Daly is a senior writer at EW, and also author of EW.com's Money Shot column

    The script's still in process, and vocal stars Tom Hanks and Tim Allen haven't recorded any dialogue yet. But after Disney and Pixar announced last week that Pixar is positively, absolutely making Toy Story 3, with a storyline shepherded by Little Miss Sunshine screenwriter Michael Arndt, the news ripped through media channels like Buzz Lightyear soaring on plastic wings.

    ''I wish I could give you [plot] details, but I can't,'' says director Lee Unkrich, who edited the earlier Toy films, and co-directed Toy Story 2 as well as Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo. (The Toy series' main point man, John Lasseter, won't be back as director, since he's busy running animation at Pixar and Disney, but he'll still exec produce.) Oh, c'mon, Lee can you spill anything? ''I can say that among third installments, nobody wants another Bad News Bears Go To Japan.''

    So what held things up so long? A feud. Back in the early 2000s, after Toy Story 2 grossed a quarter of a billion dollars in domestic theaters alone, ex-Disney chief Michael Eisner told Pixar he'd love to see a third installment. But it wouldn't count toward Pixar's multi-film contract with Disney, because it was a sequel. Pixar balked at those terms, so Eisner basically said, Fine. We own the underlying rights to Pixar's characters, so we'll make sequels without you.

    ''That was a bitter pill for us to swallow,'' says Lee Unkrich. ''These characters are so close to our hearts. We created them, and we wanted to do [our own] Toy Story 3.''

    Instead, Eisner commissioned an in-house computer animation wing called Circle 7 to work on a non-Pixar version of Toy Story 3. The proposed storyline, which was spun into a full working script by Meet the Parents scribe Jim Herzfeld, went like this: After a defective Buzz gets recalled to the Taiwanese factory that made him, the rest of the gang ship themselves to China via FedEx to rescue Buzz. They also help save a leggy, Linda Hamilton-esque tough gal named Jade, scheduled for destruction. (Click here for more of the backstory.)

    But Jade never made it out of the script-and-storyboard phase. In fall 2005, Eisner left Disney. A few months later, Disney bought Pixar outright, and the CG studio quickly nixed the Disney version of Toy Story 3. ''The first order of business when Disney bought us was to get Toy Story 3 back in our hands,'' says Unkrich. Did they roll over any of the Circle 7 personnel or ideas into their own team? ''We didn't read their script,'' says Unkrich. ''Not out of spite, but we wanted to start fresh, and not be influenced by what they'd done. We didn't look at any of the work they'd done. We really didn't want to know anything about it.''

    For the past nine months, Unkrich has been working with Little Miss Sunshine screenwriter Arndt, along with Pixar's ace in-house story-development artists. Coincidentally, the Sunshine scribe had been working with Pixar well before the movie his first produced screenplay broke out at the Sundance Film Festival last year last year.

    Contrary to initial reports, Toy Story 3's tentative target release date, always subject to change, is not 2009 but 2010. Unkrich knows that's a long wait, but hey, CG animation is time-intensive. Not that he hasn't contemplated cheating. ''If we could just convince Tom Hanks and Tim Allen to don costumes and shoot this in live action,'' he says, ''we could probably get it out a little earlier.''
    http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20012203,00.html

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