Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where the Mouse Lives

Back at the hat, an animator told me:

"We haven't started animating on Wreck-It Ralph yet, but everything else is in work ..."

I got to see some very nice artwork for a feature in development but not yet greenlit, and one of the creators on the third floor told me he would be pitching a couple of projects to Mr. Lasseter in the next few weeks.

"I'm trying to cut the pitches down to one board apiece. The fewer words and dialogue up there, the better." ...

I went to lunch with a Disney long-timer who said it's nice the place has more stuff in development. We both agreed there wasn't near enough a year (or two) ago, but now? Better. Definitely better.

Up on top is a view of the feature animation building that you don't see everyday: the Riverside Drive side of Hat, as seen from the Riverside Drive sidewalk.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come over to Titmouse/Robin Red Breast some time. The out-of-house place that makes Disney shows.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the demise of The Snow Queen. It's been resurrected so many times it makes jesus christ seem positively lazy.But happy to know Disney will be fully hand animating a Marvel superhero movie. Makes sense.

Anonymous said...

^
|
Shut up fuckface. Go troll elsewhere.

(and in case anyones actually wondering, he has no clue what he's talking about)

Anonymous said...

You really have no clue what you are talking about. Seriously, you must be bored.

megan said...

Dear Steve, is it Snow Queen the movie in development you told in the article?
Have you seen artwoks about this movie?

Best,

Megan

Anonymous said...

The movie Steve is probably referring to is Ron & John's next one, "Rumpelstiltskin." The artwork on the 3rd floor is, frankly, mindblowing. Disney is back, in a big way.

Saw some tests Eric Goldberg did earlier this week. Holy crap.

Announced this week that Roy Conli ("Tangled") will be the producer. This one's shaping up good.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of the comments section for each Disney post is trying to figure out which comments are trolls and which are real. They're getting harder to tell apart!

Anonymous said...

Steve, is it the Clements & Musker feature you were referring to or something else? (you don't have to say which if it's not that one)

I just wanna know if their picture is moving along...

Anonymous said...

Yeah--sorry to hear about Snow Queen going. I guess after Tangled, they realized fairy tale toys don't sell very well.

At least it wasn't Astroboy.

Floyd Norman said...

There's plenty of good stuff in the pipeline. Some of it is truly impressive.

Mike said...

I'm curious about what's going on at other studios. Seems we only hear about Disney lately.

Steve Hulett said...

Ron and John have made several pitches. I keep seeing people here mention Rumpelstiltskin, but I haven't seen any artwork, so I have no idea. (Maybe I haven't been looking. Maybe I'm thick. Probably both.)

I have seen artwork for another picture they're developing that hasn't been greenlit for production, nor announced, so I ain't going to talk about it here.

I'm assuming (but do not know) that King of the Elves will be the next picture into production. I'm informed that the story reels are well along, and look good.

I don't know whether Snow Queen is still in story development or dead in the water. I've heard some stories about it, but I won't repeat them here.

Recently, I had lunch with a Disney staffer who's been there quite awhile. He said to me:

"Hey, I don't know what's up and what's down around the studio, either. I stay in my office working on stuff, so I'm pretty much out of the loop."

(Mostly he pumps me for what's going on at other studios.)

Here's the way it goes with me: I don't skulk around different facilities, looking for stuff to throw up on the web. (Those days are years in the past.) Sometimes I know about projects, sometimes I don't.

My rule of thumb, learned the hard way, is: keep projects that haven't been announced or aren't already widely blatted around the internet under my hat. (Disney Toons' Planes fell into this category. I saw artwork for it and talked to artists about it for fourteen or fifteen months before it leaked to the wider world.)

Personally, I think the secrecy thing is silly, but some studios (no names) go batshit when news of one of their precious darlings leaks out without their say-so. And I'm not interested in being tagged as a trouble-maker, so I go along with the confidentiality game.

Also, I don't really care what's in work at any given moment and what's not. When I worked in the studios, there were all kinds of projects in development. Some got made, but the majority didn't. And some took decades to get into production.

It's always been that way. I was walking down a hall in the hat building a week ago and spied, for the first time, a character model sheet for "Lady" in Lady and the Tramp. It was dated 1939.

1939. Think about that. Sixteen years before the freaking movie finally came out.

That's one reason (among many) why I believe it's foolish to obsess about what's "in work" and what's not. You want to be hovering over a computer screen, worrying about this kind of shit for sixteen years?

You're better off going out and rolling a hoop in the park. You'll be doing something equally useful ... and you'll be getting more exercise.

So give the geeky fan-boy thing a rest. Stop worrying whether a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale is going to get made into a big-budget feature this side of 2020. It really isn't important.

Anonymous said...

Haha, best comment on this blog in days! Steve, you should repost this every time the fanboy trolls come here begging for development gossip.

Anonymous said...

^Actually, very few fanboys come here. Most trolls here are people who work in the animation industry.

Just so you know.

Anonymous said...

You mean Astroboy is in development at disney?

The Devil. said...

Bravo Steve! I've been wondering why the hell this fangirl is so obsessed with Snow Queen....

D.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Steve! I've been wondering why the hell this fangirl is so obsessed with Snow Queen....

There are some people in the Disney fan community who really are unnaturally obsessed with The Snow Queen. I've never understood it. Do these people want another fairy tale movie that badly?

Anonymous said...

^Actually, very few fanboys come here. Most trolls here are people who work in the animation industry.

And you know this how? Having been in the industry for quite a while, I can tell the difference between those in the industry (and yes, there are some industry trolls here, especially the hypersensitive 'company men'), and those who are fans desperate for inside information.

Bob and Rob Professional American Writers said...

Bravo! That was indeed one of your best blog comments in a long time, Steve! It must be extremely tempting knowing you could set the animation internet world on fire with the stroke of a few keys...especially after a glass of wine or two:)

You adhere to the old adage "a fish dies with its mouth open"! Have a great long weekend! Bob

Steve Hulett said...

^Actually, very few fanboys come here. Most trolls here are people who work in the animation industry.

Just so you know.


Enlightenment! At last!

Me, I've been lurking around here since the blog started, and I mostly have no idea who's commenting and who's not. But then, I'm not psychic.

Anonymous said...

One of the animated features in development at Disney may be a Phineas and Ferb/Zeke and Luther/Zack and Cody-type feature called Donovan and Decker, which may be the feature in which Steve said to have seen the artwork.
Before you think I'm one of those trolls popping up all over the place, let me tell you something.

I have proof:whois.domaintools.com/donovananddecker.com

Anonymous said...

Disney buys all kinds of crap. It doesnt mean an animated feature of whatever it is is getting made.

Suffice it to say, none of the guesses here have been correct...and it's way cooler than you think

Anonymous said...

I am not too disappointed that Snow Queen is postponed/canceled/delayed, or whatever is going on with it, but I will not see an animated Marvel movie. Not after the well-made Incredibles, and not after all the endless truckloads of live-action superhero garbage we've bee bombarded with over the past decade.

Anonymous said...

Who are all these people (or one person posting multiple times) obsessed with The Snow Queen ? It seems like every post on this blog about Disney brings them out of the woodwork. Maybe Disney will end up making the Snow Queen. Maybe they won't. Maybe you'll like it if they do, but with all this fan-obsession build up I think you're bound to be disappointed with the end result if they make it. Whoever you are: what's the big deal about Snow Queen especially ? Just give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with the Snow Queen obsession, folks? It is one of the greatest fairy tales, popular all over the world. I personally do not see fan curiosity as something bad.

Anonymous said...

The thing about WDAS that irks me the most is the absurd level of secrecy. Of course I'm not blaming the artists (it's not up to them) but the management. Every other animation studio seems to have more projects in development than WDAS (even if that's not true).

I honestly can't understand why they wouldn't announce that they're working on some new projects regardless if they eventually get made or not. Projects get cancelled despite official announcements so that shouldn't be a factor.

They somehow think that all this secrecy is beneficial when in fact it gives off the wrong impression to the industry and the shareholders. It creates an image of instability and uncertainty and of a lack of a long-term strategy, plan or vision.

And the worst thing is, that's not true. WDAS is at one of its most creative periods right now.

Megan said...

I think Snow Queen is one of the greatest fairy tale never adapted by Disney so I think it's good people want to see it and it's good people is interested about animated feature in development.
I don't understand: what is the problem? it's better people is interested by Disney. Disney lives for his fans. I think this. If people never was interested, I think Disney never become what is today.
Of course, Disney can do what think is good but I think Snow Queen could be a masterpiece and I think it's for this reason people is so interested (or - using yours words - "obsessed") by this fairy tale.

Megan

Anonymous said...

Due to the poor use of English,I'm assuming that Megan, the Disney fangirl, is a foreigner.

So perhaps foreigners are more obsessed with Disney than Americans.

Sherlock Hemlock said...

"Due to the poor use of English,I'm assuming that Megan, the Disney fangirl, is a foreigner."

Or, the Cookie Monster.

megan said...

Yes, I'm spanish.

Sorry for my bad english.
I hope you understand what I told you.

I want to clarify I'm not against new Disney or new ideas (Ralph, Elves or other movies) but I think Snow Queen will be a great movie. Of course, I hope Disney will made great movies and not only Snow Queen but I think that an adaptation of Snow Queen could be a great event for all disney fans and also for audience: Rapunzel has been a successful movie, so I think Disney'd continue with this genre of fairy tales.

Megan

Anonymous said...

The secrecy is because projects get shuffled, cancelled, re directed or postponed constantly. Makes if difficult to actually announce and commit to a release. That would be bad press annoucing all the time and then the train doesn't show up.

Steve Hulett said...

Megan,

It's fine that you're interested in "Snow Queen."

I just think focussing on tripe that appears on the web is a fool's errand. The movie will survive the story development roller coaster or it won't. The picture will go into production or it won't.

And if it doesn't get made, there will be others equally enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation at all, Snow Queen is still in development. It hasn't been canceled.

The secrecy doesnt exist for any reason other than the leadership wants to announce projects when there's something legitimate to announce. Why announce something when it probably wont get made?

Personally, I think its embarrassing when studios like Dreamworks announce 75 movies in development and only 10 get made.

Also, it might have something to do with legacy feelings about Dreamworks stealing "the bug movie" from Pixar when it was announced early.

Z-4195 said...

"Also, it might have something to do with legacy feelings about Dreamworks stealing "the bug movie" from Pixar when it was announced early. "


Yes, ANTZ is the exoskeleton in Jeffrey's closet. Cheap trick then, embarrassing memory now.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think its embarrassing when studios like Dreamworks announce 75 movies in development and only 10 get made.

Yes, DreamWorks is overdoing it but why does it have to be the one extreme or the other? Why can't there be any middle ground?

I'm not saying that WDAS should announce 30 projects but I believe it would be beneficial to them if they would announce 3 or 4.

Also, it might have something to do with legacy feelings about Dreamworks stealing "the bug movie" from Pixar when it was announced early.

That's silly. You don't have to officially announce a project for rival studios to find about it.

Anonymous said...

"Antz" was way better than "A Bug's Life".

Anonymous said...

^
And 'Astroboy Meets the Snow Queen' will be better than both !

Whoopee! This is a fun game. La-lah-la-la-lah... Um, no not really.


(can we have a new blog for people who actually work in animation and care about what's really happening in the industry now ?)

megan said...

Steve,

thanks for your answer.

Yes, You're right. I hope Disney will do movies very enjoyable in future. I trust Disney's magic.

Best,

Megan

satan said...

A question to Megan:

While I couldnt care less about this particular story getting the feature treatment, why does it have to be Disney making the movie? I mean, they usually put a spin on the fairy tales they decide to animate. Most of the time they ruin them!

s

Anonymous said...

satan, I don't think that Disney ruins fairy tales. They are just... disneyfying 'em and make more enjoyable for audience. Here in Russia we have the well known and beloved ol' soviet animated version of the Snow Queen, which is by the way pretty close to Andersen's story. But I d'like to see what Disney can do with it.

Steve Hulett said...

Personally, I think its embarrassing when studios like Dreamworks announce 75 movies in development and only 10 get made.

This could possibly be true ... for the ten people on the planet -- excluding workers on the project -- who care about these things. (I take it you're one of the ten.)

For the rest of the population, if a studio announces a project but doesn't make it (done all the time, by the way,) hardly anyone notices because people with lives don't give a shit.

This is because ... it doesn't impact them in the slightest.

Assumptioneer said...

Where does all this talk about Marvel projects come from? I looked back and I can't find much validity to it.

These are fanboy rumors until someone comes up with something credible.

Megan said...

Answer to satan:

I don't think Disney is ruin fairy tales. I think Disney change fairy tale, but it's an adaptation. All adaptations are different from original stories.
Why do you think Disney is ruin fairy tales? Disney has its vision, if I want to see a classic adaptation for a fairy tale I love, I'm going to watch another movie, especially European, Russian or Mexican fairy tales which are very close to the original source and also more complex. It's a different vision.

Anonymus #41, I love old Russian version about Snow Queen. it's truly wonderful. I love all Russian animated movies, they are great. Im love also live action movies based on Fairy Tales.

Megan

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