Sept. 19, 2011 | 6:39 a.m.
Samuel L. Jackson, Zach Galifianakis part of Stand Up to Cancer video
Nov. 23, 2010 | 1:19 a.m.
The end of an era at Disney? It sounds like it in this report by Dawn C. Chmielewski and Claudia Eller. This is an excerpt from their front-page story in the Los Angeles Times. Once upon a time, there was a studio in Burbank that spun classic fairy tales into silver-screen gold. But now the curtain is falling on “princess movies,” which have been a part of Disney Animation’s heritage since the 1937 debut of its first feature film, “Snow White.” The studio’s Wednesday release of “Tangled,” a contemporary retelling of the Rapunzel story, will be the last fairy tale produced by Disney’s animation group for the foreseeable future. “Films and genres do run a course,” said Pixar Animation Studios chief Ed Catmull, who along with director John Lasseter oversees Disney Animation. “They may come back later because someone has a […]
Oct. 20, 2010 | 6:29 p.m.
Directorial shake-ups are nothing new in animation: Pixar Animation’s creative head John Lasseter stepped in to direct “Cars 2,” helping out Brad Lewis, the first-time feature director who had worked as a producer on “Ratatouille” and “Antz.” Pixar replaced “Ratatouille’s” original director Jan Pinkava with Brad Bird; Chris Sanders (who co-wrote and co-directed “How to Train Your Dragon”) was removed from the film that eventually became “Bolt,” with Chris Williams taking the reins. But this time, things are a little different. The blog Cartoon Brew first reported today that Brenda Chapman will no longer direct Pixar’s upcoming “Brave“; the movie instead will be helmed by Mark Andrews, who co-directed the Pixar short “One Man Band,” a person familiar with the matter confirmed. Chapman, who worked as a writer on such Disney animated films as “Beauty and the Beast” […]
June 18, 2010 | 2:01 p.m.
The streak lives. “Toy Story 3” is the best movie of the summer, and Pixar continues to be Hollywood’s most consistently creative force — and its most original, even when the movie happens to have a number in the title. Here’s Kenneth Turan’s review of “Toy Story 3.” — Geoff Boucher If Pixar is the only sure thing in movies today — and it is — then the “Toy Story” franchise is its most reliable component. So while it’s not exactly a surprise to say that “Toy Story 3” is everything you hoped it would be, it is something of a relief. For as survivors of say ” The Godfather, Part III” remember, the third time can be the death knell for a much admired series. “Toy Story 3″ has prospered where others have faltered because it has simultaneously stayed […]
Feb. 16, 2010 | 9:24 p.m.
Dawn C. Chmielewski is in New York covering Toy Fair, and here’s her report on Hollywood’s increasing sway over the toy aisles of American retail. When Pixar Animation Studios guru John Lasseter was working on the original “Toy Story” movie, he approached the maker of Barbie to include the fashion doll in the film — and was rebuffed. What a difference 15 years, and $8 billion in global merchandise sales, make. As Disney’s Pixar prepares to release “Toy Story 3” this summer, virtually every major toy maker — including Barbie’s Mattel Inc. — has lined up to make dolls, action figures, construction sets, vehicles and board games based on the film. No fewer than 250 toys will begin appearing in stores before the movie’s June 18 release — three times as many as were made for “Toy Story 2.” And retailers […]
Dec. 30, 2009 | 8:56 p.m.
Dawn C. Chmielewski covers Disney for the Los Angeles Times and she recently wrote about the interesting role Pixar guru John Lasseter plays in the Disney toy line. During the course of her reporting she interviewed Albert Chan, president and CEO of Thinkway Toys, and since we’re always interested in the toy aisle here at Hero Complex we bring you a Q&A with the toy master whose company was an early part of the Pixar success story. DC: How did the relationship between Pixar and Thinkway get started? AC: Thinkway and Pixar’s relationship began 15 years ago. When Pixar launched “Toy Story” in 1995 it was the first fully computer-animated movie. As such, it was different than traditional 2-D animation and Disney had difficulty convincing any major toy company to develop toys for the world’s first CGI film. For me, it was no risk […]
Dec. 17, 2009 | 8:18 p.m.
Dawn C. Chmielewski covers Disney for the Los Angeles Times and is a frequent contributor to the Hero Complex. Here is her insightful piece on the role that John Lasseter has been playing in the toy design for Disney and “The Princess and the Frog” in particular. This is a longer version of the one that appeared in the Business section of The Times. Disney Pixar Animation guru John Lasseter found himself tangled in a miniature fashion kerfuffle. Toy maker Mattel Inc. had made a prototype doll of “The Princess and the Frog’s” newly minted princess, Tiana, wearing her bayou wedding dress. But one animator worried that the gown failed to reflect the one in the film, whose multiple layers resemble the petals of an unfolding waterlily. Lasseter suggested a way to create the illusion of volume without driving up the doll’s $10 price […]