Tuesday 3 September 2013

Watch: John Lasseter Talks Animation, Directors and the Best All-Round Film for Bolt in 2009

"We're a filmmaker-led studio, we're dedicated to the vision of these filmmakers. But the most important thing is we've got to be making a great movie for our audience. And frankly, that's good business. Quality is the best business plan." Those are the words of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, talking about the replacement of Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch, How to Train Your Dragon) early on in the production of, what would become, Bolt, and how it was ultimately best for the film.

The interview with Movies Ireland is over four years old now, but with the current commotion about the replacement of Bob Peterson at the helm of Pixar's fifteenth feature film, The Good Dinosaur, it seems particularly poignant right now.

There's been a lot of flack aimed at Disney, at Pixar, and at Mr. Lasseter himself as of late - really since Cars 2 - and, at least in this blogger's opinion, unjustifiably so. Many have said Pixar and Lasseter have caused a homogeneity and watering down across Disney, that the Brain Trust micromanages and second-guesses the filmmakers they purportedly have such faith in. Yet four years ago everyone thought the exact opposite.

"John Lasseter and his Disney people have managed to restore the classic Disney heritage BIG TIME!" said one YouTube commenter on this interview. And I fully believe it. Sure, I was bummed out when we heard Peterson was no longer directing TGD, but I have full faith in Lasseter - the man, lest we forget, who gave us Toy Story - and believe that the move will ultimately prove to be for the betterment of this film too, like it did with Ratatouille, Brave and, yes, Bolt. A sentiment, by the way, Peterson himself seems to echo: "Long live TGD. It's gonna be great," he tweeted a few days ago.

4 Oscars between them, the crack team currently shepherding The Good Dinosaur.

So, let's all take a deep breath and trust the studio and the man that consistently wowed us for well over a decade, and will likely continue to for many years to come. And remember, Lasseter himself, alongside Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (Brave) and TGD co-director Pete Sohn, are currently helming The Good Dinosaur. So it's in good hands.


  1. Times change and all that. I for one, am a little uncomfortable about automatically assuming the worst of John, although the removal of directors is concerning. I think Pixar is still relatively young. They've only released 14 films! A lot more can and will happen as more films are made, as well as the inevitable failures. There's lots of executive meddling and the like, but I won't touch on that because I'm not that knowledgeable on the subject. I just don't think Pixar is headed straight to its downfall.

  2. The removal of directors is concerning, yes - particularly when it's a big name that we love like Bob Peterson - but it's always worked for the best in the past. They did it with Ratatouille and Brave, and they both won the Oscar.

    Like you say, no one can make hits and hits alone forever, but Pixar are about as close as we've got.

  3. Alejandro Fraga Cordero8 September 2013 at 20:39

    Oh man... well these men are the best in what they do so i'm going to really trust them