Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Iger Flexes Muscle

Perhaps in a way to try and get confidence in his new company employees, Iger kills off the "Strategic Planning Organization". This group was basically around to police all the other areas of Disney, including feature animation. ...continued...

More than a few thought that the SPO was at least partially responsible for some the problems feature animation was having getting any creative juices flowing. Many times, the SPO would step in and kill an idea because they (executives, management, non creative types) didn't care for it or think it was proper. Anyone working in the animation departments at Disney should see this as good news. One less group of executives to go through.

It is also important to note that Iger is being aggressive in making changes. Just a little bit of hope that a rainbow will start to appear in Disney's gloomy rainstorm that has been raging overhead for years now.

Although we shouldn't get too excited. It is a breath of fresh air and is a promising move.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Iger Takes Over

Disney, a mere shadow of its once glory has lost most of its luster. You can thank Eisner for the grime that has covered the feature animation department and practically every other appendage Disney has. However, Eisner is on his way out and most peoples immediate reaction lends one to believe that this is a step in the right direction and things are looking up. Those happy thoughts quickly vanished after it was announced that the next Disney CEO to saddle up will be Robert Iger... continued...

A lot of people say that Iger is pretty much a mirror image of Eisner and they will be no better off with him in charge. My feeling is... Maybe so, but let's hope that isn't the case and give the guy a chance to make some change for the good. Chances are things won't turn around the way we animation people would like to see it, but you never know. Lightning could strike. Then again, I could win the lottery this weekend.

Roy Disney is particularly upset about Iger being ushered in as CEO. I don't blame him, the board of directors brought the guy in without even looking at outside candidates. I would have to agree with Roy, there must be something seriously wrong with the board of directors to not even give an outsider qualified to run a company such as Disney- a chance at the job.

The problem with Disney extends way beyond Eisner. Way beyond Iger and way beyond the board of directors. Now that Eisner is leaving, we need to sweep out the board of directors and little Eisner management clones and maybe Iger as well. This will probably never happen, so unless Iger suddenly surprises us and takes Disney to a happier place, you can count on Disney continuing its journey down the crapper.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Toy Story 3 Director Signs

I've been talking about this for months. Finally it looks like the deal is done and the director has been chosen... continued...

As far as I can tell, there still has not been a public announcement. So I guess this is an exclusive! haha The new director is the same one I've been referring to since before Thanksgiving. Why haven't I said his name yet? Honestly, I didn't want to speak to soon and illicit bad feelings from anyone in case it didn't happen.

The new director of Toy Story 3 is Bradley Raymond. Brad has directed several DTV movies for Disney. Someone that Disney management respects and has wanted to do this project since long ago. I'd like to wish Brad luck with the project, I hope it turns out wonderful.

Previously in another blog, I mentioned that a co-director was picked and it was a previous Pixar employee. As it turns out, this would-be co-director walked away after a few issues arose. I won't go into reasons why he dropped out, but it probably was not for reasons that would first come to your mind. Brad will serve as the one and only director on this film.

So there you have it. Finally, months after originally talking about this, the director has started on the project.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Valiant Trailer

A few days ago, a trailer for Valiant was released. If you click on the above link, you can see the French version. The animation, lighting, texturing, all look decent. What surprises me more is the apparent attempt by Disney to brush this project under the rug... continued...

Disney and Vanguard made such a huge deal about them joining forces a couple of years ago. This production company in the UK would pump out movies and Disney would market and distribute in the US. It appears that Disney has changed their mind. Not only is Valiant scheduled to release in the next month and there has been little or NO advertising for the film, but Disney has backed out of the commitment to do a slate of CG pictures with Vanguard.

The rumor is that Disney completely hated the movie and wanted out immediately. On top of this, Disney is pushing so hard to do its own CG films (with more than a half dozen in development or production) that they no longer need Vanguard.

How good or bad the movie is, has yet to be seen. Apparently it no longer fits Disney's needs.

Monday, March 07, 2005


I had a chance to see Robots this past weekend and thought I would say a few words. First off, congratulations to Blue Sky on making another enjoyable film. The lighting and texturing are really well done, the animation is really, really, really well done. and...

The story was okay. I found myself concentrating on the visuals, which meant that it just wasn't keeping my attention otherwise. It started off good, but as the movie moved along, I started losing interest. I think the little kids liked it. After asking a youngster what he thought, he said it was "cool". I asked him to elaborate, and he simply gave me a- "robots are cool" but he didn't seem all that attached to any of the characters.

It is a good movie and I recommend everyone go out and enjoy it. It won't make onto my all time favorites list, however it was a good time. And for those animators out there, I think you will really enjoy it. The animation is top notch with some really strong poses and snappy movement. The lighting, art direction and character design are all superb and very creative. Visually, the movie holds its own to any Pixar movie, but the story isn't as slick. Just my opinion.

Blue Sky holds a strong second to Pixar, imho.