THE GOLDEN AGE OF PIXAR

I just read this piece in Hollywood Reporter. It is typical of Hollywood’s constant astonishment with Pixar and the success of THE INCREDIBLES.Let’s be clear about this: any Hollywood executive, trade reporter or Wall Street speculator who is still surprised by Pixar’s success, or THE INCREDIBLES box office performance, should not even be in this business. Those people are “idiots”.Pixar is IT. The perfect Hollywood studio, able to create commercially satisfying projects without sacrificing the art. And how do they do it? By supporting talent, taking chances, using common sense and respecting history.I no longer ask, “How long will Pixar’s winning streak last?”. The Pixar team is solid – and as long as they stick together (and they will) they will continue to push the envelope and make great films.The Pixar group is not unlike the teams behind the classic Warner Bros. cartoons (1940-1955) or Stan Lee’s silver age Marvel Comics, or even the Beatles. The right folks in the right place at the right time. People often ask, ‘why can’t anyone recreate the classic Warner Bros. cartoons?’. Those cartoons were Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, Carl Stalling, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, Treg Brown, etc. There was a magic in those people’s combined efforts that is stronger than any of their independent or subsequent work. The same holds true with the 60′s Lee-Kirby-Ditko-Steranko-Colan-Bullpen Marvel comics and the John, Paul, George and Ringo music of that same era. You can imitate it, but you can’t duplicate it by following a simple formula.I don’t know what Pixar’s plans are after their Disney deal is finished. Disney is still the best studio for supporting, distributing, and publicizing animated films. Rumors are flying that they will end up with a sweet deal (ala George Lucas) at Fox or Sony or Warner Bros. I’m sure Pixar will do the right thing – but what I’d like them to do is to hire away the top distribution and marketing people at Disney and form their own distribution company (as Disney did in the 1950s).I’d like to see Pixar expand their filmmaking into other areas, including 2D traditional animation and even live action films. They have the potential to be a major studio… Wait-a-minute! What am I saying? They ARE a major studio.We’re in the golden age of Pixar. The animated film may be going through a transition period – with computers and all – but from this pundit’s perch the medium’s future is looking pretty… incredible.