Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cynicism in feature animation? - CGCHAR -- Animation News + Community + Forums

Pixar focuses on making stories with heart and broad appeal, largely due to the creative forces at the heart of the company. Lose the heart of your company and it makes it hard to rebuild.

"The new issue of Fortune Magazine includes a nice article on John Lasseter and, parenthetically, some comments from Bob Iger (Disney) about why Disney thinks Pixar is so special a company. In those comments, Iger observes that Pixar movies 'do not have one bit of cynicism.' I think he's on to something, how about you?

DreamWorks, for instance, has made at least two movies that I suggest come from a cynical core: 'The Road to El Dorado' and 'Over the Hedge'. Each of them begins with lead characters that are ethically-challenged scoundrels. RJ in 'Over the Hedge' is propelled into the action of the film because he was caught trying to steal food from a sleeping bear. During the course of the movie, he tries to trick the other animals by faking friendship. Finally, RJ learns that living life as a scoundrel is not the best way to go. This is the same kind of setup the studio had with 'Road to El Dorado'. Ethically-challenged scoundrels discover that friendship and honesty are the best ticket.

I suggest that this forumla faces trouble going out the door because nobody in the audience considers himself to be ethically-challenged. When presented with these kinds of characters in the opening moments, they RECOGNIZE them, but they don't particularly EMPATHIZE with them." (more at link) CGCHAR -- Animation News + Community + Forums

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