Rumor Central: Lasseter Knocks Keane Off “Rapunzel”?

Rapunzel

A local LA animation student who asks not to be named sends in this rumor that’s too juicy not to share:

Just a bit of info from one of our teachers here. Apparently Glen Keane was kicked off Rapunzel yesterday by Lasseter. Word around the campfire is that Lasseter didn’t like the latest reel.

7 years, man. 7 years Glen’s been working on this. The skinny is that the directors of Bolt will be taking over. No word about if Glen is still involved in any way.

Truth or fiction?

UPDATE: Floyd Norman confirms in the comments that this rumor is indeed true.

UPDATE #2: Ain’t It Cool News has published a follow-up story to our initial report. They reprint a letter from Ed Catmull that says that Glen has lessened his directing responsibilities to “attend to some non-life threatening health issues.” Co-director Dean Wellins has also removed himself from the project for unspecified reasons. They are being replaced by directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. Keane will stay aboard Rapunzel as a directing animator and exec producer.


  • Aleksandar Vujovic

    I hope that’s not true.

  • http://deleted Kevin Martinez

    Let’s HOPE Fiction. It doesn’t seem Rapunzel would’ve had the kind of troubled production American Dog/Bolt had.

    I hate to think a precedent of directors being kicked off films willy-nilly has been set, especially considering how hopeful things were at the beginning of 2006

  • EHH

    I heard this on MiceChat. I don’t know if this is true or not.

  • 2-D Fan

    If this is true, what is wrong with Lasseter? I don’t think of Glen Keane as a god of animation or anything, but he is really really really good. I can’t see kicking him off his project (which last I heard was 2-D again) as a good thing. I seems like Lasseter wants to make sure that the Disney Features won’t be better than the Pixar Features. Which is strange since Pixar has made the best animated movies for the past 5+ years. It’s interesting and sad that now 2 of Disney’s top talents from the 90′s have lost control of their projects under Lasseter’s rein.

  • http://doubleben.blogspot.com Emmett Goodman

    This better be fiction. If it’s not, all I can say is: WHAT THE HELL IS UP, MR. LASSETER?!

    First Chris Sanders off of BOLT, and now (possibly) Glen Keane. What is going on?

  • Vixie

    My former Disney animator friend still has a contact within Disney, or at least did until very recently. He told me several weeks ago that Lasseter looked at the Rupunzel reel and was angered by it, his response was basically, 7 years and this is all you have to show for it? Based on what he told me then, I would suspect this is true, and I am not surprised by it.

  • Mr. Semaj

    I hope to God that if this isn’t false, Lasseter doesn’t let Keane leave the way Chris Sanders did.

    Otherwise, this is going to be a huge kick in the balls. :(

  • http://www.j3d.com.au Josh

    Well considering Glen was given another writer to help him iron out the story issues a while back (I think I remember that happening) is it so hard to conceive that he isn’t that good a directing either?

    Sure he is a seriously good, passionate animator and the concept animation and art were really cool and had a lot of potential but just because someone is a great animator and well regarded in the industry doesn’t make them a good director.

    If Lasseter did kick him from the directors chair then it was obviously for good reason as I’m sure they both have a lot of respect for one another and the craft, hell they even worked together for a time at Disney before John left.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    Maybe the people who directed BOLT have pictures of Lasseter raping a goose or something.

  • Paul N

    “This rumor may not be true, but just in case it is, let’s start slagging Lasseter now.”

    It’s turning into Animation Nation around here…

  • http://Mr.FunsBlog Floyd Norman

    You guys are funny. “It’s turning into Animation Nation around here…”

    Oh, by the way, it’s true.

  • Duze

    I heard it’s true … but, I heard he chose to step down to Animation Director for personal reasons. But he’s still on the project as far as I know.

    I trust Lasseter, though. I don’t think it was just his call – even though I’ve heard they have opposing stylistic choices.

  • Aaron

    As an amateur animator I put my heart into a 2 minute short. I couldnt imagine investing that much time and effort and then just being shown the door frankly by a suit not interested in art and emotion but tired, uninspired stories and characters that fool enough kids to make parents spend money on them.

    Thanks again mr. mouse

  • unclephilsmovie

    damn that’s sad

  • EHH

    Animation Director? If that is true, at least he is still involved.

  • Fueling the fire

    Before this becomes another Lasseter/Sanders-like witch hunt…. I think the reasons for this change are for health reasons of one of the players involved. Please wait for all the facts, folks.

  • Paul N

    “I couldnt imagine investing that much time and effort and then just being shown the door frankly by a suit not interested in art and emotion but tired, uninspired stories and characters that fool enough kids to make parents spend money on them.”

    Yeah, that describes Lasseter to a “T”…

  • Michael Alex Smith

    Glen Keane has stepped down as director due to non-life-threatening health issues… he will continue with the film as Executive Producer and Animating Director, and will work closely with new directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno. Dean Wellins has shifted onto his own feature and CG short projects for the near future.

  • foosballlova

    A. Glen Keane became the Animation Director

    and

    B. Byron Howard, one fo the BOLT directors, came on board

  • ridgecity

    Well, he did try to block ThinkerBell’s movie also, I’m glad he didn’t!

  • Tsimone Tse Tse

    “Hello, Mr Richard Williams? My name is Glen Keane. I was wondering if this ever happened to you….”

    Also, wasn’t Ward Kimball fired by Walt after less than satisfying directing duties?

    Still – ouch.

  • Mr. Semaj

    “Also, wasn’t Ward Kimball fired by Walt after less than satisfying directing duties?”

    Demoted.

    Still, if this is from personal health issues, then that is completely different.

  • http://jamessuhr.blogspot.com/ james suhr

    ain’t it cool news has something on it:

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/38686

  • Danny R. Santos

    Another one bites the dust. What a shame.

  • http://deleted Kevin Martinez

    Health problems, huh?

    Glen Keane must be sick… of all of the constant turmoil that has characterized this Disney administration

  • matt

    If it’s a health issue and if it’s Glen Keane’s health, I hope this move helps.

    And Aaron, really dude? Never thought I’d hear Lasseter called a “suit” – you know who he is, right?

  • Frank

    After being un-assigned to direct “Babes in Toyland”, Ward Kimball was demoted to animating on Peter Pan peanut butter commercials, due to internal studio politics. Fired? Kimball retired a wealthy man, flush with real Disney stock options, in the years before Eisner and Katzenberg eliminated such things.

  • http://deleted Dan

    Shocking! All I can say is I hope Glen is doing alright. He’s a great man, and nobody here should underestimate his directorial talents. Some of his sequences throughout the years are among the highlights of Disney movies. I’ve had the fortune to see his work first hand, and if you haven’t seen it for yourself, please don’t bother cutting him down (Josh).

  • http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=052C631F61EE2838 Iain

    That sucks that Keane is kicked out of “Rapunzel”. I guess with “Bolt” and this, Lasseter is being a bit too perfectionisty.

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com Zekey

    more disney turmoil. first pinkava. then sanders. now keane.
    very amusing

  • Lucky Jim

    As sad as it is, when you’ve been directing a movie for seven years and you still have nothing to show for it…something needs to be done.

  • H Park

    The following sums up the “controversy”: Good artists are not always good directors.

  • Sam Filstrup

    What’s going on over there seems like one after the other is getting the thumbs down from Lasseter I’m beginning to lose my trust in his decisions. Only time will tell if his decisions were wise ones, though I’m finding that hard to imagine.

  • elan

    Glen will now be animation director, and Byron will be the director, which is probably for the best.

    Working for Byron on Bolt, I can say with honesty that he has good sensibilities, and will make good decisions. The problem with Glen is that he couldnt sign off on anything, and this film has been drug out for 7 years and theres STILL no “real” representative story.

    If you were Lasseter, you’d do the same thing. You can keep paying someone a million bucks a year to not finalize a story and hold up an entire 3D studio, or you can put him into an animation director position and get the thing done (okay, started.) Same thing happened with Sanders, and contrary to popular opinion, was the best thing to happen to A-dog/Bolt.

    PS) Rapunzel is CG not 2D, never has been….where does all this false info COME from?

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    It’s impossible to know what is going on if you’re not privy to first hand knowledge of the situation. I’m sure all will be revealed eventually.

    Whatever the circumstances, this is the third high profile director that has left a project under John Lasseter’s watch.

  • http://inducks.blogspot.com/ Fernando Ventura

    Gee? Who’s next? Andreas Deja?

  • http://www.animation-animagic.com Celbi P.

    This is really shocking news despite the film is in trouble for years. But this time is Glen Keane. GLEN KEANE, people! Sad. Hope he is doing alright.

  • Paul N

    “It’s impossible to know what is going on if you’re not privy to first hand knowledge of the situation.”

    …but that won’t stop folks from asserting what they think “really” happened…

  • Gregg

    Deja doesn’t “direct.” Nice work on Lilo, but he’s no Glen Keane, animation-wise.

  • Jody Morgan

    Yeah, I heard that Glen Keane was so upset about this that he’s left to start directing for Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy.

    Seriously, where are all these rumors coming from? And perhaps more disturbing, why all the pre-emptive ire directed at John Lasseter? Ratatouille turned out all right, judging from its reception, and Bolt has yet to come out, but already people are judging him harshly for this decision. (Which, according to one version of the story, wasn’t his decision in the first place.) Is it that hard to imagine that perhaps a great animator might not work out as a director of a feature?

    (And just in case: the first sentence of this comment is FALSE. It’s a, I say, it’s a joke, son!)

  • http://www.pauloralvarado.com P Alvarado

    I first have to say I have no idea what’s true or false so I may be sticking my foot in my mouth but I have to get this off my chest.

    It seems that Rapunzel is not yet ready to go from a story point of view, this is a guess on my part but the fact is this project has been in DEVELOPMENT for at least 7 years. Most of the comments coming from people attacking Lasseter and Disney are so spontaneous and down right mean. Do the folks who posted these comments take a moment at all to consider how much of a price tag has been connected to this production? I would assume most of you don’t because you have been working as employees of companies not actually running a company and have to deal with the reality of running a business for profit.

    I’m the first to say I have tons of anger issues with Disney after they shut down the Florida animation studio, a studio that was producing films that were profitable, but the focus of Disney, Lasseter, Ed and so on is to turn the company around and get it to once again start producing money making films. The fact that people would be complaining about this process of cleaning house is ridiculous because the outcome of producing profitable films is that more of you will have actual jobs!!

    I’m sure people will start to whine its all corporate and why does money have to always be the bottom line. Why? Because if you work for a company like Disney that’s what they expect. If you don’t like that fact go and open your own studio or start making your own animated shorts.

    I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Glen Keane when I first started working at Disney Florida, and like everyone else was already in awe of his animation. He was a likable person and had enormous energy and curiosity when it came to the art of animation; he was and is a master in his craft. But I am sure he is not perfect and would be the first to make that clear. Yes he is an amazing animator, yes his figure drawing is stupendous, yes he has contributed an extraordinary amount to the Disney films over his many years with the company, but does this give anyone a free pass to work on a film for 7 years? We don’t know all the circumstances but the company needs to keep the people in the studio working.

    Does anyone who is attacking think about asking the question why 7 years? Why after 7 years and millions of dollars in development is there not a finished movie?

    I don’t view this as a personal attack on Glen Keane and his abilities as an animator, artist, mentor, or human. Its about making a movie that works, will make a profit, and turn the company around, so we can all enjoy not only a strong animation industry to work in, but also be able to go to the theatres and watch a great animated film.

  • rhinotonight

    thank god he tried to block that tinkerbell thing, im still not even sure if it’s a movie or what but when ever its refered to i get shivers.

    hope glens alright, and hope this kicks ass.

    also, lasseter a suit? please.

    (p.s.) i wish sandesr would have stayed on as some kinda director for blot, the movie would have at lest looked nice. (the characters look bad, come on)

  • Don Walters

    Being a great animator does NOT mean your a great (or even good, for that matter) director. Sorry Glen Keane groupies. How many years should the company pay him (THE highest paid animator in the company) to develop this turkey? The company has probably paid more in development on this project than they will ever see back.

  • PJ

    I trust Lassetter’s intuition–its yet to really fail. To call him a suit is just absurd.

    Everyone else has pretty much covered all of the bases here, but when it comes to any major artistic collaboration, the person calling the shots has to make decisions in the best interest of the entire project, not in the best interest of the feelings of the artists involved. The movie’s been in production for 7 years? If it was still incomplete and the in-progress reel wasn’t the absolute best reel in the history of reels, I would’ve been pretty upset, too.

    As for the Chris Sanders thing, I think he’s a talented director and animator, but I don’t have any sympathy for him on the Bolt situation. Artistic collaboration simply has to be about compromise in the best interest of the project, and it sounds like Sanders was just unwilling to compromise. It never sounded to me like Lassetter was forcing Sanders out the door, it sounded like that pretty much came down to Sanders’ decision.

  • Steve Segal

    I have been a huge Glen Keane fan since The Fox and the Hound, but a great animator doesn’t necessarily make a great director. Look at the film directed by Frank Thomas, Camouflage (available on the Thunderbean DVD, Cartoons for Victory) it’s dull. Or watch Bill Tytla’s directing efforts at Famous Studios. Of course these films had lesser budgets and lesser writers, but a good director can make the best of that, see Tex Avery’s late model work at Lantz.

    The impact of Lasseter and Catmull’s decisions on Disney have yet to be fully felt, but they had to replace directors on two Pixar films, Toy Story 2, and Ratatouille, and by all accounts the work was improved. I’ve seen the rough cuts of both films before the shakeups, and trust me they had big problems. I certainly hope Glen is alright, the fact that Dean Wellins also dropped out might signal more than just health problems.

    Good health and good luck to all concerned.

  • http://www.jasoncampbell.com Jason Campbell

    I hope that Glen gets better real quick. I’ve never worked with him personally, when I was at Disney he was in Paris on Tarzan, I went out there with the hopes of bumping into him but he was vacationing in Venice with his family, missed him by that much.

    Anyway my point is that while not unlike every 30 something guy who’s worked in animation I idolize the man when he has a pencil in his hand, and though I can’t speak to his ability as a director, I can’t help but wonder, despite how much he wants that for himself, that maybe it isn’t right for him.

    If Lasseter asked him to step down I trust it was the right thing to do, if he couldn’t continue because of the illness well then I pray he gets better quickly. All I know is I won’t be truly happy until he is working his magic on paper again.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    John Lasseter is “a suit” now, even if the suit of choice is a Hawaiian shirt. For better or worse, he is in a position now where he is responsible for the stability of the animation end of the studio. He has to make business decisions over artistic ones sometimes.

    It’s not called “showart”, it’s “showbusiness”.

    http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread.php?t=357082

    In the grand scheme of things, the new “Cars Toons” shorts coming to the Disney Channel are more about bringing in money than making art. If they can be entertaining art at the same time, that’s great, but not necessary. As long as KB Toys can keep peddling the little Cars figures, Disney continues to make money. The Tinker Bell project will bring in crazy money as well (and already is).

    It’s not evil, but a business decision.

  • RHETT WICKHAM

    From an interview with Glen conducted in late 2006, in his own words:

    GLEN KEANE — Well, I’m finding that really the only way I can discover what the film is, is sometimes just getting in and, for me, writing it and boarding it, really exploring it. If I put that into a writer’s hands..uh, I don’t know, I’ll never quite discover what it was that I really wanted. At some point I may bring in a writer once the whole thing is clearly defined, you know, to sharpen dialogue and all of that, but I’m not sure. We’re still in the early phases, and I’m still figuring out what it means to be a director. I think everybody directs a little differently. I’m finding out what my approach is.”

    RW: Have you taken any cues from directors with whom you’ve worked previously?
    GK: Yeah – Ron and John. They’re very collaborative people. I guess my biggest cues are coming from them, trying to be as collaborative and get people’s ideas. I’m a little reticent to feel like I have to make a choice until I need to.

    later…

    GK: We’ve got some fantastic animators that we’re working with. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. It’s a very, very ambitious project, Rapunzel is. I’m trying to let hand drawn animation really influence CG. … there’s an organic feel to drawing that we have to get into our CG characters. CG makes you think that it is solid, well designed, because it shades everything with credibility. But when you really just look at the silhouette of a shape, often it’s just ugly. So we really have to remember that CG animation is still just a graphic art form, and all the principles of drawing still apply just as much to it. It’s still an outline on a flat screen.
    RW: It is a real dilemma to get a rig to give you a clean, readable silhouette.
    GK: Yeah. The straights to the curves, the dynamic forces like what Bill Tytla animated with – how do you get that into CG? That’s what we’re really trying to bring back, to bring those tools to animators. It’s interesting, because some animators who don’t draw well find great expression in animating with a computer. And other animators that draw really well find the computer a hindrance. On the other hand, some animators that draw really well just adapt great to the computer, too. You just can’t predict it. I was trying to predict it, seeing who would adapt and who would struggle, but you can’t tell. Everybody’s learning curve, you know, it takes time. At the moment I don’t know how to animate on the computer. I haven’t had time. And I guess at the moment I figure that everybody else is getting so much better at animating on the computer that I’d just as soon probably stick with my pencil once I get back to animating.
    RW: And for now, at least, are you happy away from animating? Are you enjoying working on Rapunzel?
    GK: It’s actually turning out beautifully. The film is absolutely everything I want it to be. John Lasseter was thrilled with the look of it; he said he can’t remember ever seeing a movie that has such a powerful beginning as Rapunzel does, so we’re on the way.

    * * *

    Nobody knows what goes on in the course of production the same way nobody really knows what goes on in a marriage, and to speculate about the reasons for Glen’s change of responsibility on “Rapunzel” without hearing it directly from Glen and from John Lasseter, both, is nothing more than pooled ignorance, whether written about here or elsewhere.

    Changes happen, films get finished, released, and re-released, and new production begins. Careers shift, lessons are learned, economics and personal taste and vision influence choices, and show business is just that – business.

    Here’s hoping the changes satisfy Glen, John, and the project, and that health and good things come to everyone involved therein.

  • Eric Graf

    It appears that I’m one of the very few on this board that has actually seen the Tinkerbell movie. Those (few) of you who can be convinced to give it a chance are going to be astounded at how good it turned out. I’ve hated every. single. one. of the cheapquels (that I could force myself to check out), and I’m telling you – Tinkerbell is good. Not great, mind you, but very, very good.

    I think I would be one of the first to be howling my protests about this decision (I certainly was with “American Dog”) if I hadn’t seen the Tinkerbell movie. If Lasseter can take that cluster and get what he got out of it, then I think we can all trust his decisions.

    All the best to Glen, John, and the denizens of this board.

  • http://www.awprunes.blogspot.com/ Larry Levine

    I wish Glen a speedy recovery.

  • wallee bee

    yeah, the bill thusfar must be huge on this project. Schumacher spent 30 million on prepro on Wildlife – hell, during his reign you would lose your job if you “an artist” didn’t toe the line.

    this could also be a way to lower Glens wages. I’m sure he’s the last one (other than Andreas) at Disney making the big bucks. They’re trying to bring wages in line with Pixars – which aren’t that great.

    keeping him on in some capacity is probably just a courtesy move on Lasseters part to save him face.

  • http://daryl-rhystaylor.blogspot.com Daryl T

    A) I hope Glen Keane gets better
    B) I hope he doesn’t leave the company like Chris Sanders
    C) I hope John knows what he’s doing!

    Big changes are happening here and as a fan I don’t know what’s going on?

  • sean

    Seven years is a long time to develop a picture. Although I’m sure it wasn’t all Glen’s fault with the rapidly changing regimes at Disney. I’m sure Glen had a vision for the film, but then it got muddled by the Stainton regime. If you remember he originally pitched it as 2d, but Stainton forced him to make it 3d and make it into the irreverant Rapunzel Unbraided. It doesn’t surprise me that the movie lost focus if it was pushed in a billion different directions over the course of seven years. If you’ve got a drawing that just isn’t working, sometimes its better to just get a new sheet of paper and a fresh perspective.

    Byron Howard is an awesome animator. I’m sure he’ll do a great job as a director, and Nathan Greno is probably one of the funniest guys in the industry. His boards are top notch.

    These two guys also came from the Florida studio. That place was really special and its probably one of the greatest tragedies in Disney history that they shut it down.

    Here’s hoping it does well …

  • Minnie Mouse

    I just love the seven year defense that some people are bringing up. How do we know if there was much meddling by the upper ups throughout the seven years? It’s possible that progress or lack of it is partly due to all the changes going on at Disney over that seven year period.

  • Ugh

    Such utter BS. And for the record, I’m fairly certain health issues weren’t involved.

  • akira

    someone ragged on Chris Sanders for not being compromising with his vision “Artistic collaboration simply has to be about compromise in the best interest of the project.” i strongly disagree with that. if you see bolt yourself i’m sure you’ll disagree too.

    when a director easily compromises his vision, it gets watered down until it’s bland, and maybe it has a wider popular appeal, so as not to offend anyone, but it turns the movie into a forgettable wad of mediocrity.

    i cringe at the huge influence of Lasseter that i am seeing in the new movies… Randy Newman scoring “Princess and the Frog???” and the “Mater” character back as a bug…. don’t get me started… But even worse he’s marketing the new movies like they’re friggin dreamworks flicks, “Featuring the voices of Miley Cyrus and John Travolta” puke!

    i wish we could see some of these movies in their final work prints before they got “Fixed”(in the canine sense of the word). ever since emperor’s new groove, seems like they really get a kick out of “flipping” their movies. and as for the 7 years thing… several of those years were under Lasseter’s direct supervision, so the blame is not all on glen.

  • http://deleted Dan

    Yeah. It seams many here think Glen was working in a bubble. I can’t imagine there wasn’t any oversight throughout those seven years. It’s like blaming Ben Bernanke for all the woes of our economy.

    Rhett’s post kind of supports my belief, which is that it was no ordinary CG or 2D film. I think Glen was attempting to push the art form in a new direction. And, in the process might have gotten overwhelmed by it all. In that post it’s clear that he had a vision, but maybe not the infrastructure (support) in place.

  • PJ

    Yes, artistic collaboration is about compromising in the best interest of the project. I still stand by that, because of “THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PROJECT” at the end. I would say that a final product of watered-down forgettable mediocrity isn’t exactly in any project’s best interest.

    Now, obviously, that happens all the time–but that’s because the people making decision’s don’t have the movie’s best interest in mind. They have their wallet’s best interest, or their ego’s best interest, or something else entirely in mind.

    If I remember correctly, Walt fired one of the lead story writers mid-production on the Jungle Book because the guy refused to work with the rest of the team and wanted to take the movie in a completely different direction than Walt did. I wouldn’t call the Jungle Book a watered-down wad of forgettable mediocrity.

  • Brad

    “I wouldn’t call the Jungle Book a watered-down wad of forgettable mediocrity.”

    No, I’d call The Jungle Book a watered-down wad of entertaining mediocrity.

  • http://keithlango.com keith lango

    Let’s check the tape..

    - Layoffs.
    - Meddling with films in production from above in mid-stream.
    - Commercially motivated sequels to cash in on merchandising.
    - Stepping on others’ creative efforts to force one’s own personal tastes.
    - Creative talent leaving due to culture.

    Eisner’s sins = Lasseter’s virtues.

    If it smells like a suit, walks like a suit and quacks like a suit….

    I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’…

  • http://inducks.blogspot.com/ Fernando Ventura

    It seems Mark Dindal was smart enough to leave before the same happen to him… :-(

  • captain murphy

    The story of this production turnabout, and the similar story of Bolt, would make very good stories, but I doubt they will get told.

    In the most fair worlds, there would be extensive background on the DVDs at least, of the preexisting preproductions.

  • akira

    from what i’ve read, Jungle Book was Walt’s baby. he was there from the beginning and had a very strong vision of what “Walt Disney’s Jungle Book” would be. And I don’t think he compromised his vision so that he could be more colaborative.

    “the best interest of the project” is completely subjective, that’s why i think having a director with a strong vision and doing what you can to help that director achieve his vision is most important. From what i’ve heard from Glen Keane, he was very passionate and really trying to do something unique. just look at bolt concept art and then the trailer and you’ll know why i’m upset.

    and it’s not just Glen’s health. Dean Wellins, the co-director, left the film too. John got to develop his dream project for several years and we ended up with “Cars”… it’s just too bad we couldn’t get to see Glen Keane’s vision realized. (I would wager all my money, that it would be superior to Cars.)

    Boy, how times have changed since Glen and John worked together on “Where the Wild Things Are”!

  • http://www.antoniolinhares.com Antonio

    Well Lasseter’s foot must be on fire.

  • http://Mr.FunsBlog Floyd Norman

    Just a note on “The Jungle Book,” since I was there and worked on the film.

    We made the movie Walt wanted. It’s as simple as that.

  • Dan

    Keith has a point there.

  • Mark Morgan Jr.

    Let me say that I am not, nor have ever been a big John Lasseter fan. I think he’s a good producer and he certainly cares about his movies, but the only things Pixar has ever developed that I liked were the ones that Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton directed. Toy Story was funny, but nothing special in my mind, the same goes for its sequel and please, Cars was a nightmare. It stole its plot from Doc Hollywood and its ending from Cool Runnings. A Bug’s Life similarly lifted story ponts from the Three Amigos, for which I will never forgive it!

    That being said, I really wanted to hate Lasseter over this, but I just can’t. It sounds like Mr. Keane is having health issues and as such, needs time to recover. Likewise, I have owned and operated a business before and its not easy. Sometimes you have to fire or even demote people you like, people who even want to do a good job, because when you run a business, business has to be business, or you won’t be running one for very long. It may sound cruel, but we’re not kindergarteners. If life was fair “The Thief and the Cobbler” would have been made the way it was supposed and “The Powerpuff Girls Movie” would be available in widescreen.

    I still think Lasseter sucks for firing Chris Sanders. I grew up on Disney and I dearly love that company both for its television and theatrical films, but it doesn’t change the fact that “Lilo and Stitch” was the first movie made after the “The Lion King” that I could stomach.

    Chris Sanders is the man!

  • Killroy McFate

    “A Bug’s Life similarly lifted story points from the Three Amigos,”

    …which lifted it’s story points from The Magnificent Seven, which lifted its story points from Seven Samurai.

  • ZigZag

    Before we make any more uninformed judgments, we should all keep in mind two things:

    1. An animator is not a director.
    2. John Lasseter is not right all the time.

    In the end, since few of us are on the inside of this deal, we’ll all just have to roll with it, and continue to support the art form.

  • pedro

    a)Glen Keane IS a director… PLEASE… research!!!!
    b)Wall-e and Cars are not perfect movies… both, for many people are predictable, and boring.
    c)Chris Sanders is and incredible and talented director too.
    d)Lilo and Stitch is much more original than a lot of Pixar movies.
    e) We are not going to see a movie directed by Glen Keane under Lasseter´s leadership. Completely SAD!

  • tom

    Since I don’t know anything about what’s really going on here, I’m going to just wish the project well, and wish Keane a speedy recovery, instead of slag on JL like some other knobs here have. Best to everyone involved.

  • http://wardomatic.blogspot.com Ward

    “1. An animator is not a director.”

    Kinda odd statement to make, and one that I feel is not entirely true. I’d love to hear guest-Brewer Eric Goldberg’s take on this, since he’s done both. Many times (incl. Fantasia 2000 segments).

    Can we get an official statement from the Disney camp, anyone?

  • Mark Morgan Jr.

    Killroy McFate,

    I’ll admit I’ve never seen the Magnificent Seven, but I have seen Seven Samurai several times. Also, Magnificent Seven was a remake of Seven Samurai so its expected they would lift points.

    As far as Samurai to Amigos goes, I suppose there is a similarity in that they’re both about small villages seeking help from oppression, but I generally see that as a sideline for the main point of Three Amigos which is about phonies trying to find something real from within themselves.

    Like I said, I’ve never seen The Magnificent Seven, and maybe if I had I’d pick up on all kinds of things the Amigos lifted from them, but looking straight at Samuria and then to Amigos, I don’t believe you call what they did lifting. That would be like saying Zorro lifted from Robin Hood because they’re both about outlaws fighting injustice. If you compare the adventures of Robin Hood to Zorro they are completely different stories with only a mild resemblence in over all plot. I don’t consider that lifting.

    However, A Bug’s Life is exactly like Amigos. In the Three Amigos a group of preformers think they’re being hired for a show, when instead they’re being hired to fight an evil group of thugs. That’s exactly what Bug’s Life presents. Likewise, in Amigos the main characters are revealed to be frauds which causes them to feel shame, go through an emotional moment before deciding that after feeling what it’s like to be heroes they really want to try and be just that. The same as in A Bug’s Life.

    I’m operating in the dark with this, having never seen M7. I’ll try and check it out soon to compare notes, but given the knowledge I currently have, I don’t think you can hold Amigos accountable (or as accountable anyway) for the kind of flagarant plot theft that’s present in at least two of Mr. Lasseter’s films.

    Like I said, great producer, seemingly nice guy, but a mediocre director.

    P.S. Pedro, points c) and d) of your post are such magnificent proclamtions of rock hard truth they should be laid down in stone, inscribed into monuments and school children should be forced to recite them the world over.

    All hail the majesty of Chris Sanders! May the wrinkles on his brain continue to multiply and the nails from his toes never fall! Hail! Hail! Hail! Itibitibah!

  • http://www.animationoptions.com/blog/ Kevin Geiger

    > “1. An animator is not a director.”

    Some animators are capable of giving direction, while others are only capable of taking it. And some animators are able to both purposefully give and openly take direction.

  • http://www.mexfoodla.com Christian

    Here’s my two cents and my two cents is worth very little:

    1. I like A Bug’s Life
    2. I like Lilo and Stitch
    3. I like Lilo and Stitch better than A Bug’s Life, but I still like A Bug’s Life, which I know id weird
    4. I can’t understand why Lasseter doesn’t like Lilo and Stitch (at least I have heard that he doesn’t)
    5. I can’t understand why Lasseter doesn’t like Lilo and Stitch but wears Hawaiian shirts all the time
    6. I have some cool Hawaiian shirts of my own
    7. I can’t help but think that many of Lasseter’s decisions since the Disney/Pixar semi-merger would’ve been different if Joe Ranft was still around and somehow those different decisions would be easier for all of us to stomach
    8. I was looking forward to seeing Glen Keane’s Rapunzel. I believe he can still guide it to be a quality product with his new set of responsibilities; just let it be a Disney film;
    9. Lasseter’s an enigma; I want to lambast some of his decisions (and laud others – was always wanting a shorts program to come back to Disney and even wrote Dick Cook about it before Lasseter brought it up a year or two later and everyone was like, “Whoa, how awesome of John Lasseter to think of that.”) but his seemingly bad decisions are always of the nature where you think maybe there’s some hidden good reason to them and you hope to find out later that that’s the case; for instance, he’ll say, “Disney is in such a rut, they’re always using Alan Menken to write songs. We’ll have to do something original like, I don’t know, getting Randy Newman to write songs because we all know that Randy Newman has never written songs for my movies before.” But then come to find out that Randy Newman is actually from New Orleans, so that could be good for Princess and the Frog . . . I hope . . . I just don’t know yet . . .

    Okay, more two cents later.

  • http://aiderfortheunloved.tripod.com/cartoonaideroftheunlovedanimationancartoonnewsarticalspapers KuzcoBefriendsMiloAnBuzz9837

    So John Lassester is at it again,I knew that it was only A matter of time,after Chris Sanders got fired everyone would GO! AS WELL (Just kidding)if The BIG Head John Lasseter and Ed Catmull didn’t like it (again just joking) I say that unlike MOST John Worshippers on this Board (I Dont mean all of you,just some) I will put the Finger and Whole Blame on John Lassester and Edwin Catmull for this.

    An as for Glen Keane’s poor Health I say that he got THAT poor Health because Of John Lassester’s Roaring and being after him to get everything right all the time on EVERYTHING,Im suprize that Glen HASN’T GOT A HEART ATTACK FROM ALL THIS YET! (Still being Silly,dont take it Serious).

    O an in Closing I would like to say… (Im now being Serious and Indepth in the Last Parts I write because it is Close to my Heart and Spirit.)

    To All those that our Sequel/Pretquel Supporters/Approvers Will all agree to this HAPPENING You mark my words the Day John Lasseter and Edwin Catmull Agree and Accept to Do Disney Sequels/Pretquels REGUARDLESS of what they said about Apathizing and Hating them, All those on that Day that said they were Against Sequels/Pretquels getting Made will now Agree and Accept it BECAUSE JOHN LASSETER AND EDWIN CATMULL NOW DO NOW! Want THEM DONE.

    Look because it will HAPPEN SOON, I Can Feel it the old John Lasseter and Edwin Catmull our Braking down fast, look At Cars 2,Car Toons shorts for Affirming and Proof to that,I say if John Lasseter is willing to Allow Sequels to some of his Animated Movies then the next step is to Amend the Sequels/Pretquels Of Disneys but only Made more Greater and not by Cheap Cut and Dry like most were in the past.all though I myself Loved just about All of Them Myself.

    You just wait, I’ll be on here and on the Pixar Boards on that day to Say if only We could of sat down and talked about if John Lasseter and Edwin Catmull would Agree with Creating Better Quality and More Standard and Innovative Stories,Scripts in All Sequels and Pretquels Created and Made by John Lasseter and Edwin Catmull Overseeing them, we could Agreed on this all along,as we seem to always have but never knew. As for The American Dog/Bolt Chris Sanders Fired thing,I for 1 am not Watching Bolt because it is my Grivance and Complain to John Lasseter for firing him. that’s all I have to say on that right there.

  • http://wardomatic.blogspot.com Ward

    Dude, you are one serious wacked out mug. You make NO sense whatever here.