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David Stainton resigns from Paramount Animation

Well, that didn’t last long.

This morning’s announcement of the resignation (“for personal reasons”) of David Stainton from Paramount Pictures new animation unit has many buzzing. For one, the timing of the announcement. Paramount is sure to win the Animated Feature Oscar this week (the two Dreamworks pix and Rango were distributed by the studio). Makes no sense to disband the unit now. Or is a new, larger animation deal in the works?

Perhaps Paramount will forge a stronger alliance with ILM, or fully acquire Dreamworks Animation? I have no idea, but surely the studio will continue its winning streak of animated features. Perhaps Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Animation will step up to the plate? Why not hire Guillermo del Toro to run things – he’s already doing everything else.

What’s your take?

  • Karl Hungus

    You can’t take Paramount seriously as a studio.
    This is a studio that Oracle founder and multi-BILLIONAIRE Larry Ellison pretty much bought for his son. He sent him in there with hundreds of millions of dollars (his allowance from “dahddy”) to help finance films. And when you have a failed actor whose dad is one of the richest men in the world helping finance films, you have poor decisions being made. David Stainton has a dismal resume, but the dog and pony show at Paramont will have lots of other heads rolling and lots of other bad decisions in its future.
    Its a play project for a rich kid that never had to work for his position.

  • Ben

    Hopefully it’s karma and Staiton will return to Mordor.

  • Is this the same person who was presiding over the DTV projects at Disney? With Sharon Morrill?

  • Old Man Father Time


    I forgot that David was helming Paramount’s animation division, even though I knew that Paramount had one forming.

    To me, I think it’s for the better, actually. We don’t need more competition in the CG industry. Plus, this means DreamWorks has a chance to be under them again.

    • “We don’t need more competition in the CG industry.”

      Why? Competition is good for everybody. It keeps us on our toes and forces us to continually improve and innovate.

    • Don’t need more competition in the CG industry? How does that make sense?

  • Awww. This is SO sad. I was SO looking forward to what David would bring to Paramount. He is, after all, a great leader and a TRULY gifted visionary. Why, his guidance while President of Disney Feature animation was TOP notch and above reproach!

    • Steve Gattuso

      If your tongue was more firmly in cheek, you’d need to see a surgeon to fix the hole.

  • Bud

    You’d think Paramount would be hiring someone who can make MONEY for them with Animation, like Katzenberg. rango lost money, and stainton is a twit.

  • Matt Sullivan

    I pitched a few ideas to the burgeoning Paramount Animation department and this development surprises me. They were nice people ( the people UNDER Stainton ) but the department has an odd idea of what constitutes “animatable” stories. Nowhere else have I written a story SPECIFICALLY for animation ( being an animator and all ) and been told “It’s not appropriate for animation”

    All they want are stories that are set in the “known” universe, meaning if you have to set up any rules for your film’s universe, or give more than one line of exposition, you’re unlikely to sell or appeal to them. I personally take it to mean they want something formulaic or that can be “understood” from frame one( Though Rango certainly wasn’t conventional by any means ) Considering how many unoriginal ideas and yawn-inducing “by-the-numbers” UNDEVELOPED treatments are floating around, you’d think a studio would want something that hadn’t been done before. *Shrug* Oh well, such is Hollywood :D

    I can’t help but wonder if it was Stainton who was responsible for that little “rule”. Now that he’s gone, I wonder…

    • Ryoku75

      Actually Rango was somewhat conventional, at least in story.

      It was yet another Heroes Journey, specifically one that follows the patter of:

      Hero wants to be something, stumbles upon new place, helps new place because the plot needs it, gets knocked over, gets up on his legs, and has a satisfying finale.

      Now, I know that Heroes Journey stuff has been around for a while now and has produced some great films, but more and more of them are becoming more bound to the formula than ever.

  • Matt Sullivan

    One other thing. I pitched full, FINISHED scripts. I get the feeling they don’t want that. I think they want an idea, develop it from the ground up, and take credit for the “creative” process.

    My proof? Their first animation project was ( or still is ) NEW KID, based on a one-shot comic panel in Penny Arcade. that’s it. No story, no development, just an idea based off a one page comic. I’m happy for the artist, but still, it’s kind of a kick in the balls to those of us who have enough vision to FULLY DEVELOP an idea ( and I don’t just mean myself )

    They SAY they want creator driven animation, but this contradicts that in so many ways.