John Lasseter believes that, “No amount of great animation will save a bad story.” Not every exec at Disney appears to share the same values though. Speaking at SIGGRAPH last Sunday, Andy Hendrickson, the chief technical officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, offered his opinion by emphatically stating that when you’re making a tentpole feature like Toy Story 3 or Alice in Wonderland, story is overrated:
“People say ‘It’s all about the story.’ When you’re making tentpole films, bullshit.”
He supported his theory by citing Disney’s recent Alice in Wonderland as an example: “The story isn’t very good, but visual spectacle brought people in droves. And Johnny Depp didn’t hurt.”
So according to Hendrickson, here’s the Disney formula: VISUAL SPECTACLE+JOHNNY DEPP-STORY = $$$. At least he’s honest about how Hollywood works nowadays. Give this man a promotion and corner office post-haste!