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  • Pixar's inner circle

    Pixar's inner circle



    20th Century Fox

    KIDS’ CLASSIC: Jim Carrey supplies the pachyderm’s voice in “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!,”
    co-directed by Hayward and Steve Martino.

    'Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!' director Jimmy Hayward had to leave Pixar
    to get his shot behind the camera. He's not alone.

    By John Horn
    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    March 12, 2008

    JIMMY HAYWARD wanted to direct movies for as long as he can remember, and when he started working at Pixar Animation Studios more than a decade ago, it looked like the self-taught animator was well on his way.

    He collected animation credits on "Toy Story" and its sequel, and on "A Bug's Life," "Monsters, Inc." and "Finding Nemo." But Hayward eventually realized that if his childhood dream was to come true, he would have to do what very few Pixar employees ever consider: leave the company. And that was precisely the move he made in order to direct "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!," which hits theaters Friday.

    Pixar is rightly considered the most artistically and commercially successful movie studio around. In addition to winning countless awards (Pixar's "Ratatouille" just collected the animated feature Oscar), the Disney-owned outfit holds an unparalleled box-office streak, with each of its eight feature films becoming global blockbusters.

    For all the success, however, there's very little room atop Pixar's food chain. While live-action movie studios might crank out more than a dozen movies annually, the digital animation company built by Apple's Steve Jobs barely makes a film a year -- and had no features at all in 2005 or 2002. What's more, all Pixar movies so far have been directed by an inner circle of animation all-stars: John Lasseter ("Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2" and "Cars"), Brad Bird ("The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille"), Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo" and summer's forthcoming "Wall-E") and Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc." and 2009's "Up").

    Some of Pixar's limited future directing slots already have been claimed. Longtime company editor Lee Unkrich is making 2010's "Toy Story 3." Sound designer Gary Rydstrom, who directed the Pixar short "Lifted," and Brenda Chapman, a Disney and DreamWorks alumna who had a writing credit on "Cars," also are developing Pixar movies.

    In other words, Pixar director slots are few and far between. Which brings us to the 36-year-old Hayward, who departed Pixar's Emeryville, Calif., campus in late 2002 and is making his directorial debut on "Horton," a co-production of 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios.

    "I left Pixar because I wanted to be a director my whole life," says Hayward, who directed "Horton" with Steve Martino. "I love Pixar, and I love the education I got there. But there's a pretty full corral of talented directors there. [And] I don't know if they saw me as director material or not."

    While it may seem as if as many people would leave Pixar as intentionally tear up winning lottery tickets, Hayward's exodus is not unique.
    http://www.latimes.com/
    Last edited by ALIASd; 03-11-2008, 06:08 PM.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: Pixar's inner circle

    Wow, interesting story! I guess we'll see if he has director talent real soon, won't we?! Pixar could either woo him back or be glad he's gone. haha.


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    • #3
      Re: Pixar's inner circle

      As I posted on the other thread about this: the other people who have been forced to leave Pixar have directed nothing but trash. This sounds like sour grapes to me. I mean honestly, Open Season and Surf's up... gag me.
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      I raise my Kitties right.... they only watch the finest shows.

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      • #4
        Re: Pixar's inner circle

        Wow!!! I actually beat AliasD on a entertainment story!?!?!?!?!
        Growing older is manditory
        Growing up is however, optional

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        • #5
          Re: Pixar's inner circle

          Originally posted by OogieBoogie View Post
          Wow!!! I actually beat AliasD on a entertainment story!?!?!?!?!
          Actually, no. You were about a day behind.


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          • #6
            Re: Pixar's inner circle

            Animation world gets competitive

            Studios challenging Pixar for toon throne

            BY Ben Fritz, Pamela McClintock
            Variety
            March 21, 2008

            The world of feature animation -- once thought to be the exclusive domain of Disney and DreamWorks -- is getting increasingly competitive, as studios left outside the gates of the toon kingdom are employing aggressive tactics to break in.

            With the successful bow of "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who," Fox Animation reaffirms its place in the top tier, thanks to a string of hits from its Blue SkyCGI studio, capped by "Horton."

            The other studios are jockeying to join that select crowd.

            Universal successfully courted former Fox toon topper Chris Meleandri who oversaw development on "Horton" and the "Ice Age" franchise, by helping him establish his own independent family entertainment company. The studio's exclusive deal with Meledandri includes partial ownership of his production house, Illumination.

            Though it has struggled with its two first releases, Sony recently put new execs atop its animation unit and claims to be re-committing to the space.
            Coming off the success of "Happy Feet" Warner Bros. has thrown a multitude of projects into development and is hoping to become a destination for live-action filmmakers interested in toons, and for independent animation studios.

            Disney is still the king, thanks more to Pixar than Disney Animation Studios. DreamWorks Animation produces two toons per year, distributed by Paramount, and now has two successful franchises in "Shrek" and "Madagascar."

            And even though Meledandri is gone, Fox managed to successfully sell "Horton" without him, demonstrating it has built an animation presence with staying power.

            Though the past couple of years have disproved the industry maxim that CGI toons are invulnerable at the B.O. -- see "Flushed Away,", "Meet The Robinsons" or "Surf's Up" -- they still remain the industry's most reliable genre, especially in homevideo.

            That's particularly important as the U.S. economy teeters on recession and Hollywood starts to worry about consumers cutting back on spending. Compared to most other forms of entertainment for a family, movies remain a bargain. In 2007, it cost an average of $141.20 for a family of four to buy themepark tickets and $94 for a baseball game, according to a report recently released by the Motion Picture Assn. of America. An afternoon at the movies? $27.52.
            Full article at:
            http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...ryid=1019&cs=1
            "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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            • #7
              Re: Pixar's inner circle

              'Horton' continues to trunk box office

              Dr. Seuss film nets $10.3 million Friday

              BY Anthony D'Alessandro
              Variety
              March 22, 2008

              "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" continued to flex its B.O. trunk in its second Friday, snorting up $10.3 million from 3,961 theaters - a 23% dip from a week ago.

              While animated fare is known for its long legs at the box office, "Horton's" hold reps the best for a Twentieth Century Fox-Blue Sky title, outstripping the 43% thaw charted by "Ice Age's" second Friday in March 2002. In its first eight days, "Horton" has collected close to $72 million in domestic peanuts. Toon's No. 1 take at the weekend box office should be just under the $30 million collected by "Ice Age" in its second frame.
              http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=13&cs=1
              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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              • #8
                Re: Pixar's inner circle

                the only reason this movie is doing well is because its an adaption of a Dr.Seuss work. Its pure name recognition. The movie itself is bad.

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                • #9
                  Re: Pixar's inner circle

                  I've talked to several people who have said its extremely cute. Honestly I can't say myself because I haven't seen it yet. Having a 7 month old makes it almost impossible to get out and see movies. I'll be checking it out sometime however.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pixar's inner circle

                    Well, it's also in a desert of movie releases. Let's face it. Studios don't release competitive movies in the February and March wastelands.
                    sigpic
                    I raise my Kitties right.... they only watch the finest shows.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pixar's inner circle

                      Don't tell the studios. This has changed over the last ten years or more.

                      The majors will be looking to replicate (or even top) the success last year during the same stretch, led by Warner Bros.' "300," which grossed $211 million domestically, the highest cume ever for a pic released in March. Also scoring impressive grosses were "Wild Hogs" ($168 million), Ferrell starrer "Blades of Glory" ($118 million) and "Ghost Rider" ($116 million).
                      http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...lease+in+march

                      'Erin Brockovich' was released on March 17, 2000 and went on to make over $250+ million worldwide and won Julia Roberts the Oscar for Best Actress.
                      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pixar's inner circle

                        'Who' tops boxoffice again


                        By Carl DiOrio
                        The Hollywood Reporter
                        March 23, 2008

                        "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!"

                        "Horton" easily won the Easter boxoffice hunt.

                        Fox's animated feature "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" repeated atop the domestic boxoffice this weekend, posting a modest 44% drop from opening grosses to earn an estimated $25.1 million with a $86.5 million cume. That outdistanced the $20 million bow by Lionsgate's urban comedy "Meet the Browns."
                        http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...0f28342d001a61
                        "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                        • #13
                          Re: Pixar's inner circle

                          Originally posted by Ghostbuster626 View Post
                          the only reason this movie is doing well is because its an adaption of a Dr.Seuss work. Its pure name recognition. The movie itself is bad.
                          It must be something more than name recognition, "The Cat In The Hat" failed, with big star-power included...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pixar's inner circle

                            I haven't seen the movie yet but the commercials look god awful
                            sigpic
                            I raise my Kitties right.... they only watch the finest shows.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pixar's inner circle

                              'Who' is the boss at foreign box office

                              'Horton' wins over international audiences

                              'Horton Hears a Who!' has performed well at the foreign box office
                              even though the original Dr, Seuss book is relatively unknown outside the U.S.

                              By Dave McNary
                              Variety
                              April 6, 2008

                              "Horton Hears a Who!" wore the international crown for the second straight weekend, easily topping a moderate frame with $11.7 million at 6,583 playdates in 54 markets.
                              "Horton" turned in a decent $3.4 million French launch and showed respectable traction in holdover markets, particularly a 3% hike in the third Brit frame to $2 million. With Dr. Seuss's bighearted pachyderm largely unknown outside the U.S., the toon has topped studio expectations with a $91 million foreign cume and several key markets such as Italy, South Korea and Japan yet to open.

                              "Horton" has totaled $223 million worldwide so far, underscoring the ongoing strength of CGI animated fare. The last major animated entry, "Bee Movie" totaled $286 million worldwide, including $160 million overseas.
                              http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=13&cs=1
                              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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