Few people have shaped the course of modern animation as much as John Lasseter. The man directed classic films such as Toy Story 1 and 2, and A Bug’s Life, but he’s also the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and at Walt Disney, in addition to being the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering. In short, this man brings out the child in each one of us, and makes that child’s dreams come true. We had the chance to sit down with Lasseter for a quick chat about his inspirations for Toy Story 3, the 3-D trend for animated films, his approach to Pixar villains, and what he has planned for Walt Disney Imagineering.
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At the licensing fair in Las Vegas, Disney/Pixar revealed to buyers behind closed doors that they have yet another sequel in the works. Despite what Brad Bird said on stage at WonderCon two years ago, Pixar is now in the sequel business. Cars 2, Toy Story 3, and now Monsters Inc 2. According to Jim Hill, buyers who attended these limited preview sessions were sworn to secrecy by Disney officials, but several have confirmed that Pete Docter will be following up Up with a sequel to Monsters, Inc.
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Despite what Brad Bird said on stage at WonderCon two years ago, Pixar is now in the sequel business. Cars 2, Toy Story 3, but what about a sequel to Monsters, Inc? At Comic-Con 2008, director Pete Docter responded to an audience question about the prospects of a sequel by admitting that “We’ve thought about it… We’ve got a couple ideas.” MTV later prodded the filmmaker trying to get more information, Docter nervously replied “I can neither confirm nor deny”.
Pixar has announced all their films up until 2012, so could a Monsters Inc sequel be in store for 2013? Pixar fansite The Pixar Blog started receiving strange searches this past January for variations of “‘monsters 2013 pixar”. The interesting thing about the searches is that they were coming from inside Pixar, from the Pixar.com domain. I know, circumstantial at best.
Now a site called Blue Sky Disney is reporting that Pete Docter will start working on the sequel after he finishes Up, with tentative plans for a 2013 release. Now lets keep in mind that I’ve never ever heard of this BlueSkyDisney, and they don’t seem like a trusted news source. But everything I’ve heard on and off the record thus far points in the direction that Disney wants another Monsters Inc movie, and they want it in 2013/2014. Pete Docter will be at WonderCon over the weekend, and I’m sure someone will ask him about these rumors. But with no official announcement from the mousehouse, I’m betting we’ll get another answer like the one he gave MTV at Comic Con.
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It’s funny how the tides change so quickly. At WonderCon 2007, Brad Bird insisted that Pixar was not in the sequel business. Bird said:
“At Pixar, the bottom line is the story that you’re telling. And Pixar does not look at sequels as a financial plan. We feel we have a relation ship with the audience and that they believe in each movie we put out. We believe completely in every movie we put out. If I can come up with a story that is as good or better than that first film, then I’d love to return to that world, but it would have to be story first.”
After Disney acquired Pixar, Toy Story 3 was confirmed. Less than a year after Wondercon, Disney announced that the Emeryville powerhouse would be making a Cars sequel. And just last week at Comic Con, Monsters, Inc director Peter Doctor revealed to MTV that they have quietly been developing ideas for a sequel.
“We’ve thought about it,” “Monsters, Inc.” director Pete Doctor told MTV. “We’ve got a couple ideas.”
It seems to me that Pixar is in the sequel business. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti sequel. I’m just anti-bad sequels. And yes, most sequels are not The Dark Knight or The Godfather 2. Most sequels are made for money reasons rather than story reasons. So the question is, does the world of Monsters, Inc have enough laugh juice for a second movie? I’ll tell you this: I have a lot more faith in a Monsters, Inc sequel than I do in Cars 2.