Animation and Anime

Quint follows John Lasseter for a day as he makes his rounds for Disney's BOLT!

Published at: July 18, 2008, 10:16 p.m. CST by quint

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. When I went out to New York to see Disney’s unveiling of their animation slate for the next four or more years I ended up having dinner with a pair of publicists from the company. Over dinner we talked about what I’d do if I were running the studio. Of course, I fully trust John Lasseter on the animation side of things, but I was saying that I would love to see a return to the Disney horror film. I loved movies like WATCHER IN THE WOODS and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES when I was little (and to this day). I think adults forget how much fun it was being scared as a kid. We loved it. They didn’t laugh me out of the room, thank God, but we did switch topics to Lasseter at Disney and how he has reinvigorated the studio, how his fingers are dipped into every project going on at the moment. Which led us to BOLT, which I had seen some footage of earlier at the big presentation. BOLT had the feeling of a Disney/Pixar love-child, traits of each parent showing through, but the whole not exactly one or the other. It was here that we really first discussed doing a series of articles on the film here on AICN. The idea is that I’ll go visit Disney about once a month starting last month, in June, and ending with me seeing the finished film around October/November and with each visit we’ll look at a different aspect of the production ultimately providing a record of the behind the scenes of this project. At the dinner, they weren’t sure if it would happen. Apparently, they’ve never let anyone cover an in-development project in such detail before, so they didn’t know if it would be approved. It was and I found myself on the Disney lot last month to start it. And what a way to start.

My task was to meet with John Lasseter and shadow him as he made his rounds, gave notes to the filmmakers, watched a few rough edits of scenes and basically acted as creative foreman for the project. I was told no less then 4 times (by as many people) that arranging 2 hours with John Lasseter for a report was unprecedented. Let me tell you, I needed every second of it. My first impressions of Lasseter were that he was exactly who I thought he was going to be. His enthusiasm is so honest and pure that he couldn’t contain it and our informal meet and greet turned into a 45 minute long bullshitting session about classic Disney animation, what he’s done to make Disney animation more like Pixar and his work on the amusement parks. I would say a safe, conservative estimate on how the conversation broke down between him and me was about 85% Lasseter and 15% me talking. If I didn’t know better I would have mistaken his enthusiasm for being high as a kite. I guess in a way he was. His love for everything Disney was displayed proudly on his sleeve and I could tell that it meant the world to him to be a creative force there. Eyes wide, he spoke with such force that he would occasionally even smack me in the arm to punctuate his point. Either that or I was being attacked by some crazy mosquito and didn’t know it. We met outside of his office and he quickly showed me how he has centralized everything. He said that one of the first things he did when he got the job was to force interaction with the employees, just like at Pixar. The bathrooms, the commissary, the screening rooms and water fountains are all centrally located now, so you can’t just skip from your cubical to take a leak and dash back unnoticed. It forces chance meetings, opens up a dialogue. Lasseter said this was a strategy utilized by Steve Jobs and it’s what they do at Pixar. Apparently it was a bit of a tonal shift when he came onboard, people not used to having access to their bosses on a daily basis. But he was quick to stress that he wasn’t going to turn Disney into Pixar II. He wants Disney Animation to have its own identity, but his goal was to transfer over the feeling, to make it a filmmaker led studio and not an executive led studio. We sat down in Lasseter’s incredibly cool office. I’ve never been to his office at Pixar, but I’ve seen it on the DVDs. His Disney office isn’t as cluttered with toys from his flicks, but it is definitely the same man occupying both. There is framed Disney production art (reproductions, I’m told… he wouldn’t dare take the originals out of the vault) for Dumbo and tons of other, more obscure, Disney ‘toons on damn near every square inch of wall. It was the art that started off our conversation and he told me that when he first entered Disney in his Chief Creative Officer role… “You know how as a kid you had Christmas and you thought you had opened all of your presents? Then you look under the tree and way under there is one more present, a big one, and it has your name on it? Remember how exciting that was? That’s what it felt like when I found out that the Animation Research Library, the ARL, which is basically the morgue which houses all the original animation art from the Disney history was under our jurisdiction.” He then asked if I’d been over there. I told him I hadn’t, then he slapped the table and said, “Done.” I told him that was dangerous since I am a collector of many things, including animation cels, but I’d gladly take him up on it. Looks like my next trip to LA will possibly end with my arrest as I try to sneak out with Pinocchio cels stuffed down my shirt. The overall conversation hit many points, but the theme was essentially Lasseter’s mantra. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. He said he’s just a geek. People like him and Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton… they’re just geeks doing what they love, which led him to pay AICN an incredibly huge compliment, saying that he sees the same thing the writers on AICN and went so far as to compare AICN with Pixar, saying that it's clear we love movies here and we're doing what we love to be doing. That’s incredibly flattering, especially coming from John Mother-Fathering Lasseter. So after this chit-chat, we walked down to the theater for some animation layouts. On the way we bumped into an animator… and I’m terrible that I didn’t get his name… but this guy did the voice for the pigeon you see in the trailer, with a very distinct New York accent. And that’s his real voice, too, which explains why the pigeon pushes past that stereotypical New York accent… because it’s not someone trying to put one on. The dude was really nice and when Lasseter introduced him he was very humble. I told him the scene played great in New York, getting a lot of laughs from the crowd. Lasseter said, with a smile, “We tried to replace him…” and the animator said, “Ohhhhh, dude! And I was feeling so good!” Lasseter, “I’M JUST KIDDING!” (Caps are for him literally yelling this over everybody laughing.) We moved on the conversation came in snippets, changing as we’d walk by different art painted on the walls or posted on the walls. I pointed out some blown up pencil roughs for PINOCCHIO (my favorite Disney animated movie) as well as a display of those great Disney scene recreations, the Annie Leibovitz photo-shoots with Rachel Weisz as Snow White, Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella, etc… Lasseter geeked out about those, too. When we got to the theater, I was re-introduced to the directors, Byron Howard and Chris Williams, each armed with a pad and pencil. The sequence they ran was about 2 minutes long, with animation in various stages, but all pretty rough. We’re following Bolt, the TV superstar dog that was never told his life was a TV show, so he thinks he has all these superpowers which don’t exist in the real world, as he races back to LA where he’s sure his human, Penny, is held captive by his arch-nemesis, the evil Cat-controlling Dr. Calico (voiced by Malcolm McDowell in the movie). Bolt has an over-caffeinated fanboy Hamster as a side-kick (voiced by animator Mark Walton) and a captive cat (voiced by Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Susie Essman) who he believes will lead him to Dr. Calico. Of course they bond on the road back and the dry sarcasm of the street cat melts a bit. She teaches Bolt to be a dog and what they were going over was that montage. In the movie they use a fast food placemat as a map. You know those things you get on the trays at fast food joints… very cartoonish version of the US, with giant cacti in Texas and Arizona and oversized landmarks, like the St. Louis Arch? The animators took that to the next level and during this montage we track their progression across the US Indiana Jones style, except without the red line and dots over a nice old map, it’s over this ridiculous cartoon Fast Food tray version of the US. But the heart of the scene is the hamster (almost always in his hamster ball) and the cat teaching Bolt to act like a real dog, showing him the proper dog etiquette, I guess. Teaching him how to dig, how to play with other dogs (that funny butt-up in the air, bowing down thing they do), how to enjoy sticking your head out of the window of a moving car, trying to bite water that comes out of a hose, etc. We watched it all the way through once with no talking, no notes, just letting it play. Lasseter brought out his laser pointer and they began again at the beginning, which takes place in a Waffle House parking lot and Lasseter started asking what the geography was, where the characters are in relation to the previous shot, how to make sure the audience knows why they are in relation to what came before, etc. After a couple minutes of discussion, they decided they didn’t need a bridging shot, but they would kind of cheat the top of a truck up a few inches, so that it’s not obscured by the parking lot perimeter wall. Over the next few shots, Lasseter would pause and playback moments, using the laser pointer to ask questions of the rough animations. There’s a shot of a truck taking an off ramp (with our guys hitching a ride) that looked fine to me, but Lasseter pointed at the guardrails and said they were too narrow. Once they played it back again everybody saw he was right. It looks like the truck is barely squeezing through it, so they’re going to widen the road a bit (even though I liked one of the directors’ suggestion of keeping it and adding sparks). There’s another sequence where Bolt and his group are stowing away on the top of a dump truck carrying sand (would that be a sand truck then?) and Bolt is being taught how to dig and bury objects. While he digs, sand is thrown off the back of the moving truck onto the windshield of some poor bastard behind him. But it was fascinating watching Lasseter making suggestions, small things about camera placement, movement being wrong, ideas for adding layers to these jokes or character moments. I’ve been blessed to have visited many sets in my time at AICN and I’ve seen some master directors working. I’ve seen scenes get better and better take after take as the director fine tunes the performance and I’ve gotten to be able to anticipate how that happens and can see where the progression is going earlier than when I first started. Here I felt like a newborn. The ideas that Lasseter was having, the problems he was catching and the creative way around them that not only he came up with, but what he inspired in his collaboration with Byron Howard and Chris Williams, were problems I would never have caught until the finished product was before me, let alone figured out how to fix. My favorite part was actually a piece from the montage… Let me set the scene. You have Bolt in a park with the cat nearby and a dog comes running up, excited… It’s tail is wagging, it runs around him and does the playful puppy-butt-up-in-the-air thing. The cat motions for Bolt to do the same. It’s a cute scene where Bolt for the first time really acts like a dog and gets carried away. He gets playful and chases the dog around and they end up running up a hill with a giant tree on the top, disappearing from view. It’s a cute scene. Even in this rough form. Lasseter was untraditionally quiet about it and then made a comment. “I don’t want to… I don’t want the audience to think this… is… a love moment, with Bolt falling in love with a female dog… and then running off…” There were ideas thrown around, the directors envisioned the other dog a younger male dog, full of puppy-ish enthusiasm, so they talked about how to make it more playful and not so much “romantic.” An idea was formed by all three of them that they could move a swingset from the background of the shot in closer and have Bolt chase the other dog around that, instead of “going off to have sex… under the sex tree.” Everybody had a laugh over that and then we rewatched the scene and sure enough it plays like flirting. Everybody was quiet and Lasseter said, “Now you can’t watch it, right?” We watched a few more scenes, then left for a different session, to watch the roughest piece yet, with voice work just recorded and edited to still pencil drawings. This was from when Bolt gets to LA finally and runs into another set of pigeons. At the beginning of the story he meets the pigeons in New York, being stereotypical New Yorkers and in LA… well, the pigeons speak biz-talk, acting like Hollywood douche-bags trying to pitch Bolt a spin-off. Bolt tricks them into leading him to the studio and the whole way along they’re pitching him the spin-off show (featuring Aliens) in absurd terms (“We open on Ext. Space – Mid-morning…”) It actually is a really funny sequence, especially if you’ve ever been exposed to that side of Hollywood. Those people do exist. But this went very much like the rough animation we saw, but was much bigger, with an editor, writer (Dan Fogelman, who worked with Lasseter on CARS). Lots of brainstorming, maybe even more-so here because there wasn’t any animation locked yet. Fogelman was throwing out suggested line changes and different ways of hearing the pitch as Bolt rushes to the studio. Then Mr. Lasseter had to be pulled away to another meeting and I said my good-byes to Howard and Williams and started walking out. But I didn’t get far before Lasseter found me and apologized for running off without saying good-bye. I wasn’t offended… after all I spent the last bit as a fly on the wall, watching him work, however it was very nice of him to actually come back to say good-bye in person. He said he was looking forward to having me come back for the next Bolt visit, where it looks like I’ll be following around the Directors as they do their daily job. He stressed one more time that I need to go to the animation morgue and check out the original cels and then said good-bye. It’s pretty nuts, guys. I haven’t seen enough of the movie to really say if it’ll be a huge success or not, but the creativity that surrounds Lasseter is tangible and infectious. It seemed that inspired creative discussion wherever he went and even if he didn’t have the best idea or the one that everybody agreed with, it was almost always him starting the discussion that led to the solution. It was an honor following him around and getting some time to bullshit about storytelling, animation and his overall philosophy. Along with “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” there was one I had heard attributed to him and repeated many times, but this time I got to hear it with my own hears from his own mouth, without a speaker in-between us. “Quality is the best business plan.” Without a doubt Lasseter is deeply invested in how the Disney Animation is going and from what I’ve seen of BOLT (from pencil drawings to fully realized scenes) I think we’re going to find a strange amalgam of traditional Disney style (with the process that allows them to give painterly backgrounds to the computer animation) and Pixar’s unerring level of quality and character humor. I look forward to seeing how this shakes down as the movie gets closer and closer to completion.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading along with my adventures at Disney and will keep an eye out for the next installment, hitting sometime next month, I believe. -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Readers Talkback

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  • July 18, 2008, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Looks good

    by mrfan

  • July 18, 2008, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Miley Cyrus voices the little girl, but Miley has a deep man voi

    by Orionsangels

    She only got the gig for her fame and recognition. Any logical person casting this film, would have used a little girl, that really sounds like a little girl. Not the mannish sounding hanna montana

  • July 18, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST

    You should see how much they spent on the new letterhead

    by CerebralAssassin

    Your brain would rupture.

  • July 18, 2008, 11:24 p.m. CST

    I did ask...

    by Quint

    Lasseter if I could visit Walt Disney's head in the Disney Vault. I got a laugh, but no denial! So, I choose to take his non-comment to confirm my belief that Walt is still actively working at Disney somewhere in a Mike Mignola-ish contraption keeping his brain going.

  • July 18, 2008, 11:28 p.m. CST

    So what's going on with the theme parks??

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    What are they going to do to fix California Adventure??

  • July 18, 2008, 11:38 p.m. CST

    As a Disney fan and shareholder..

    by conspiracy

    Thank God for John Lasseter! The guy gets things done...and has no problem kicking a few suits to get the bean counters out of the parks and the Disney back in. Just go look what he and Iger have planned for California Adventure and you'll see what I mean. That park was a write off till Lasseter and crew squeezed 1.4 Billion out of corporate for a complete make over which starts this year. I hope he can do the same for Disney Animation.

  • July 18, 2008, 11:45 p.m. CST

    So Jealous

    by Larry of Arabia

    I hate you, Quint!

  • July 19, 2008, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Fun

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    Lasseter's the real deal. There's not so much in the way of dirty nitty gritty these days. Morale is up. Another popular Disney blogger likes to pretend he has the inside scoop on Disney's dark side, but he's usually talking to people who've left, been fired or were dead weight. The enormous USS Mickey is finally turning into a good wind.

  • July 19, 2008, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Congratulations, Quint!

    by Zarles

    These are going to be fun reports to read. Keep them coming!

  • July 19, 2008, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Oh, and...

    by Zarles

    Could you ask him a bit about the kick-ass makeover that California Adventure is getting? Details are here - http://tinyurl.com/54pjbz

  • July 19, 2008, 2:59 a.m. CST

    aicn is like pixar

    by TheDudeintheShadows

    reminds me of a joke i once heard- whats the difference between a bird and a turtle? nothing, except one flies

  • July 19, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST

    awesome quint

    by Gungan Slayer

    thanks for sharing

  • July 19, 2008, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Great article- props to Quint, Lasseter and Disney

    by cyrent

    can't wait to read the next one! the preview for Bolt looked hilarious btw when I saw it

  • July 19, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    I was interested when it was called, American Dog

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    and seeing as the big L. HATED Lilo and Stitch too, I probably would have loved it. American Dog sounded sublime, this seems like product.

  • July 19, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST

    One question about this sort of 'journalism'

    by Rubiks Doob

    Obviously you very much enjoy this level of access. If the movie ultimately sucks in your final review, will it ever happen again? Or if your review is ultimately glowing will it become the norm?

  • July 19, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST

    s0nicdeathmonkey

    by rutgerman

    Chris Williams is STILL involved with it, and he was a hell of a cool guy in Feature Animation Florida with Lilo & Stitch (sidenote: he also voices Stitch). <br><br> I'm sure that he will do a great job with Bolt aka American Dog as well. Have some faith.

  • July 19, 2008, 11:29 a.m. CST

    "Something Wicked" already BEING remade

    by Undead03

    by Disney. In development now.

  • July 19, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    The one reason I will not see it

    by disfigurehead

    Miley Ray Cyrus. I am patient though and every day is another day for her to pull a Brtiney and fall into obscurity.

  • July 19, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Nice little article Quint

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Try and grab me a Pinocchio cel too would ya?

  • July 19, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST

    scroll scroll scroll no pics scroll scroll scroll

    by theredtoad

    meh.

  • July 19, 2008, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Fair question, Rubiks

    by Quint

    If I see the flick and I don't like it, I'll be honest about it. That might affect something like this happening again at Disney if it happens, but there'll always be someone else who thinks their project is great and has enough confidence in it to involve us early on. I never claimed to be anything other than a movie geek, but I've never been dishonest about my enthusiasm. If I go on the next round and the directors are abusing their assistant or yelling at an animator, that'll be a much different report than this.<BR><BR>Look at my Transformers set visits. I was given unique access, visiting the production at three different points and when I was onset, I was very honest about how Michael Bay worked and honest about how I couldn't tell what the final outcome was going to be, but that I could tell that it was going to be big and probably not resemble the Transformers you know and love too much.<BR><BR>Listen, I've always been the kind of person that gives the benefit of the doubt, so I'm easy to get excited about a project. Here there was a palpable creative energy around the studio and if you ever get the chance to meet John Lasseter you'll see where that excitement comes from. He is a ball of manic enthusiastic energy... if he were less sincere it'd be creepy, like the Scientologists with their crazy eyes.<BR><BR>If I was more of a traditional journalist, I wouldn't have let my excitement show through as much and played it partial and neutral, but that's not what I'm interested in. Sometimes it leads to crushing depression, but sometimes my faith is rewarded (to steal a Dark Knight line). That's the movie geek life and that's what I chase, that next great theatrical experience.

  • July 19, 2008, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Not Sold

    by darth rod

    Even though Lasseter is full of energy and creativity,I think he is slipping as a filmmaker, I was not impressed at all with his first produced disney film: meet the robinsons. it was crappy and generic. Firing Sanders the only disney artist left that made a worthwile animated movie (lilo and stitch) in more than a decade and that has a unique sensibility and artistry was dumb. His last directorial effort was the first really bad pixar film (cars) . And what's worrying is that as much as he is infecting disney with good will and what not, it is happening the other way around. First they are still doing cheap crappy direct to video films like Little Mermaid 3, Tinker Bell movie just for grabbing money. And worst this mentality is translating to Pixar, they are making unnecessary sequels, Toy Story 3? and worse Cars 2?, is there a reason to revisit Pixar's weakest film and characters other than to make mountains of cash with toys and other merchandising?

  • July 19, 2008, 3:16 p.m. CST

    How?

    by FILMFUNK

    Why are they asking what you would do with the studio? Were you once a top animator or what? Absolutely brilliant job you have but how did it come about that someone from a website renowned for spying on big studio projects is allowed to wander around the inner sanctums? Is it now a case of keeping the enemy much closer!?

  • July 19, 2008, 4:40 p.m. CST

    rutgerman

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    are you sure? This looks so devoid of the charm of that film. I consider Lilo and Stitch to be one of the best films Disney has ever made.

  • July 19, 2008, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Well the trailer played great ...

    by Bones

    Before Wall-E. The audience I was with had big belly laughs from the hamster, then watching Presto, then Wall-E itself.<p> So, quint--You coming to ComicCon?

  • July 19, 2008, 8:04 p.m. CST

    "sex...under the sex tree."

    by kungfuhustler84

    I love it. The trailer for this actually got me a little excited. Love the fan boy hamster. I was even wondering if it was maybe a little bit of an homage to Harry, only a little ball instead of a wheelchair. Maybe it was just the red hair and the crazed eyes.

  • July 19, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Looked funnier than I would've guessed

    by Teddy Artery

    Lasseter is The Second Coming for Disney. Someone who loves what he does for real, and it comes through in everything he touches. Great coverage. A few years before Pixar was brought into the fold, I went to meetings at Disney that were just sad because of the palpable sense of desperation and dread in the employees. Glad to see them revived.

  • July 19, 2008, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Jim Hill and Al Lutz are ASSHOLES

    by tme2nsb

    That is all. <br> I actually am kind of excited about this movie now. Thanks Quint for this awesome thing you did here today.

  • Chris Williams = (Bolt, story credit on Mulan...I believe may have had nothing to do with lilo.) Chris Sanders = (Lilo And Stitch, orig director of American Dog)...The voice of stitch too unless sanders changed his last name, which would be an interesting story.

  • July 20, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Disney this and Disney that

    by happyboy

    Disney is fine, what you all are bitching about is how Eisner and his cabal of bean counters and soulless programmers ran the company. Dude was as bad as david stern. good article quint, nice insight into the changes over that and dont worry about the noobs on the talkback. Obviously they didn't invite you over there for your health but good write up

  • July 20, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    The "Goodfeathers" from Animaniacs...

    by OBSD

    Can they sue the "Bolt" pigeons? Also, there is one question I have for Quint to ask Lassiter, if he ever gets the chance. Is it possible for Lassiter to steer his animation voice-casting to actual voice actors? I think this idea of "stunt casting" (which, admittedly, is more of a Dreamworks thing than a Disney thing, but Disney started it with Robin Williams in Aladdin) is has really been hurting actual voice actors and their craft as well as making it (for me anyway) just a little harder to get lost in the movie when the whole time my brain is thinking, "Oh, that's Jack Black...and that's Eddie Murphy...Oh, and now it's Owen Wilson." Disney somehow muddled through for 60 years without having to hire big names to "sell" their movies, the art and story did it for them. It would be nice to get back to that tradition. Also, if we could get an animated film that didn't have the "lost animal with wacky sidekicks trying to get home or find a place to call home in his heart" theme in an animated film within, say, the next 20 years or so, that would be nice as well.

  • July 20, 2008, 11:33 a.m. CST

    you can subsitute "animals"...

    by OBSD

    for cars or robots or toys if you want. Pretty much any anthropomorphic being finding his place in the world has been done to death in CGI. Move on. The only CGI movie to not use this theme that I can think of is Monster House, which is also a really great scary kids' movie, Quint.

  • July 20, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST

    BEWARE - BOLT a Lost Cause

    by Spymunk

    Abandoning BOLT is the best thing Disney could do right now. So far, the film has already suffered an UNMERCIFUL HATCHET-JOB. Doesn't even one person on here remember the wonderful original designs for this movie that were rejected by the 2000s Disney that's terrified to take the kinds of risks that led them to make such great movies in the 90s? THE LION KING? THE LITTLE MERMAID? I'm not a fan of Pixar, I have to admit. So far, the only film of theirs I really cared for was RATTATOIULLE and FINDING NEMO (both of which I love, but which the latter I love a little bit more). <p> Now, Bolt looks as though they've just sacrificed everything unique or original about it and turned it into a plush toy. If I'd been you, Quint, I would've been sadly escorted off-property because I would have asked "Why did Disney ruin those gorgeous, unique original designs to produce something so horrifically pre-fab?" Disney has already screwed the pooch on this one - so I say, Screw Bolt right back.

  • July 20, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    That's a fair point from Spymunk

    by Movietool

    You're not writing for Entertainment Weekly, Quint. We all know about the rocky road Bolt has been on. <p>Did you bring up the Firing of Sanders at all or was it understood that Lasseter wouldn't be answering qustions about it?

  • July 20, 2008, 5:35 p.m. CST

    John Lasseter's enthusiasm is infectious

    by mnmears

    Nice job Quint ... I've had a couple of chances to spend about 10 minutes with John. I've talked to several people who've worked with him and I've seen him interact with both colleagues and fans ... You nailed it. His enthusiasm is infectious and his judgment is pretty damn sound. I remember Andrew Stanton talking about how John has microscopes for eyes and a razor-sharp focus -- and it looks like you saw a bit of that in action firsthand. I'm looking forward to reading your future reports ... and hoping that the media relations reps will be a bit more open to helping journalists do stories that ulitmately benefit Disney/Pixar.

  • July 20, 2008, 6:27 p.m. CST

    you lucky lucky lucky bastard

    by Obscura

    i absolutly would do anything to have the kind of access you've managed to get. since the day of disney/pixar becoming one ive been hearing great things about Lasseters plans from all over the industry. From the mouths of pixar animator, to VFX people, they all respect what hes capable of doing. he honestly has become the new Walt. he knows what it takes to create stories worth telling. Animation is the greatest medium in film, and we're so fortunate to have a master storyteller at the heart of the 2 greatest animation teams on the planet.

  • July 20, 2008, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Quint, you are a lucky bastard.

    by Atomica

    I'm going to find a way to morph into a physical form resembling you completeley and kick your ass, stick you in a Broom closet and take your place at the next couple of Disney outings. I promise to maintain your geekiness and journalistic skills. Please don't press charges, i actually like you alot. I'm just envious. :P

  • July 20, 2008, 8:09 p.m. CST

    So you can't take a shit without everyone knowing?

    by SpreadLegsNotWar

    "The bathrooms, the commissary, the screening rooms and water fountains are all centrally located now, so you can’t just skip from your cubical to take a leak and dash back unnoticed."<br><br>That fucking sucks, I'd hate to work somewhere where the whole office knows that you were just in the bathroom for 15 minutes taking a huge shit or you're on your way to the bathroom during a code-red and some asshole stops you to "open a dialogue"<br><br>Let me shit in peace and have some fucking privacy.

  • July 21, 2008, 3:05 a.m. CST

    Fireproof - More Mickey

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    You'll get your wish. A big priority right now is to bring Mickey back and refresh him in a major way. Time they returned him to his barnstorming roots.

  • July 21, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST

    So about that big AICN bitchfest

    by ArcadianDS

    about the change in artistic style for BOLT - I bet that didn't come up did it? You guys talk all sorts of silly nonsense trying to invent controversy, but when the time comes to back that up, you fizzle out.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Susie Essman is in BOLT?

    by Rev. Slappy

    I may see it now.

  • July 22, 2008, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Original Mickey Kicks Ass

    by eggart

    Forcing Minnie to kiss him and abusing animals for his own amusement. Little bugger had spunk.

  • July 23, 2008, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Not impressed.

    by Mal Carne

    The whole "he's a movie star who thinks it's real!" schtick is unfunny to me. Tropic Thunder does it better. Whatever. I hate snark like that. Give me Wall-E's genuine heart instead.

  • July 24, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Great work, Quint

    by monorail77

    Lasseter is the man. Has been for years. That's a very cool article and a great start to a really cool series. Bolt looks like it might be ok, as Meet the Robinsons was ok. I hope its better than ok. Did you and Lasseter talk any Miyazaki? I like Lasseter's introductions to the Miyazaki DVD's. His enthusiasm shines through there, too. Nice to know he's like that in real life. Walt can be proud that thanks to Lasseter, his company is still innovating and still entertaining millions.

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