HUGE news out of the Walt Disney Co.’s shareholders’ meeting today! I’m surprised that nobody else has picked up on the story yet. Animation fan Daikun, who attended the meeting, took lots of notes about what was said and posted them HERE. The big news is that he says a trailer was shown for Brad (THE INCREDIBLES) Bird’s next film at Pixar. The film is RATATOUILLE, which will be released in summer 2007.
This is the first time that Bird’s name has been officially associated with the film. The original director of the film had been Jan Pinkava, who had helmed the Oscar-winning Pixar short GERI’S GAME. While modern Disney films often times have had the original director replaced during the course of production, I believe that this is the first time a Pixar film has not had its original director see the film through completion. It obviously raises a lot of questions about what happened, but with Brad Bird directing, I think we can all be assured that the film is in good hands.(Thanks, Graham Finch)
UPDATE 2: Local 839 president Kevin Koch offered a brief comment about RATATOUILLE on the Animation Guild blog. He wrote: “I’d heard a few weeks ago that the film was having some problems, and that Brad had been called in for a major revision, but I figured they’d find a way to keep Jan Pinkava (original director) a part of things.”
UPDATE 1: I received a couple of emails pointing out that this is not the first time a Pixar film has changed its original director. That precedent was set on TOY STORY 2, on which John Lasseter assumed directing duties midway through production.