At last, Pixar has revealed its first big marketing materials for Toy Story 4, which includes a brief teaser trailer, several character posters, and more recently a “teaser trailer reaction” video that pokes self-aware fun at the franchise in almost parody form.
From Angela Watercutter at Wired:
Late Tuesday night, after 32 years, Ed Catmull announced he would be retiring at the end of this year. This is not sad news, though—it’s a chance to give Pixar a new future.
I’m late on this news because I was out of town and thus not blogging when the announcement broke (and somewhat silently from what I can tell). I didn’t even here about Catmull’s retirement until a day after everyone else, and I’ve been stewing in my thoughts ever since.
In the cited piece above, Watercutter details how Catmull’s retirement is “an opportunity, not a loss.” And of course, Catmull himself claimed in his 2015 book Creativity Inc. that it was always his goal to leave Pixar with a strong legacy of lasting leadership (hence, Catmull is staying on as advisor through next July). It’s very Pixar-esque to look at a problem as an opportunity, and for now, I share in the optimism painting this upcoming era, but for a very different reason than even I expected.
It’s looking like Pixar is reclaiming its independence from Disney, albeit one promotion/departure at a time.
Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (yes, that is the full title) gives us a lot to chew on with its latest trailer. While the earlier teasers focused on the general conceit of a Disney-fied internet, this second official trailer introduces a fully baked story and some actual…ideas.
“Why the president of Pixar doesn’t believe in mission statements” – from Simone Stolzoff at Quartz:
Mission statements get plastered on office walls and then forgotten about, which is why Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, doesn’t believe in them.
At messaging company Slack’s annual summit last week, Catmull told the crowd that Pixar, which he cofounded, doesn’t have a mission statement. “When you come up with a mission statement, you come up with an answer,” Catmull said. “And an answer is the wrong place to start a discussion.”
If you’ve been following the recent controversies surrounding Pixar and its treatment of employees, you have cause to be worried about the future of the animation studio. But the above is a good point for Catmull to make. He explains that any “mission statement” for a business should be an “ongoing dialogue among employees,” as Stolzoff describes it.
Effects Artist Jason Johnston on the process behind Jack Jack’s powers:
“We met with the Art Director, Ralph Eggleston, and he was very specific in that Jack-Jack is the source of the fire, he’s not on fire,” Johnston added. “And what that means is that there’ll be no smoke and no embers ever coming off of him, but things that he has lit on fire can have them.”
Another crucial element: “We also don’t want it to be scary.”
Yesterday on Twitter, Incredibles 2 director Brad Bird teased the release of a new short film that will reveal what took place the night Edna Mode babysat Jack Jack.
Fans of the movie should remember about midway through the film, a weary Mr. Incredible handed Jack Jack off to an unassuming Edna Mode for a night off, only to find both characters in transformed spirits the morning after. So…what happened?
What does the success of Incredibles 2 mean for Pixar, Disney, and everyone else? Especially if they didn’t love the studio’s latest sequel?
From Jessica Rawden at Cinemablend:
Previously, that accolade went to Finding Dory, a movie that grossed a little bit over $486 million domestically and a little over a billion worldwide. Incredibles 2 has been a much bigger winner domestically, making more than $602 million in North America and another $562.5 million worldwide. It’s current total has it at $1,164,826,913 (via Box Office Mojo), which means it has topped the movie that just kept swimming to become Pixar’s highest grosser. It’s also notable because a few weeks ago, the sequel was already the first animated movie to gross over $500 million domestically, and now it’s north of $600 million.
As Rawden mentions, Frozen is still the highest grossing animated film of all time, but Incredibles 2 is hot on its heels, just recently surpassing Minions.
Now, box office only says so much about the quality of a film, but it does paint a compelling picture, one that at this point can’t be denied. In order for Pixar to maintain their high standards with original content, they made the controversial decision to bank on sequels over a decade back. We now see Finding Dory and Incredibles 2 to be among the most profitable films of all time, animated or otherwise, and on the horizon there’s Toy Story 4 and a slew of original stories essentially funded by this box office success.