Miku Konishi, a filmmaker and film journalist living in Los Angeles, USA, who belongs to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which hosts the Golden Globes Awards, will deliver the latest information on Hollywood.
Animation giant John Lasseter, who had disappeared from the front stage in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal, is quietly making a comeback. The feature-length animation” “Luck: A Journey to Find Fortun,” distributed worldwide on Apple TV+ from August, is the first work of Skydance Animation, a new studio directed by Lasseter.
If you’re a movie fan, you probably don’t know the name of John Lasseter. He turned Pixar into a hit studio when he directed the feature-length CG animation movie” “Toy Story” After that, he served as a chief creative officer not only at Pixar but also at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Toon Studios (now virtually closed), and has produced many masterpieces and creators.
ButLasseter’ss success also had a downside. For example, a series of Pixar works such as “Cars” (11),” “Merida and the Horror Fores” (12), and “Arlo and the Bo” (15), which were produced when he was swamped, were all produced There is a change of director in the middle. He gave the green light to the project but ran into story issues, and as a last resort, he replaced the director “Cars, “directed by himself).
If Lasseter had supported the managers properly, a course correction might have been possible. However, he was not only the chief creative officer of three animation companies but also a creative advisor to Disney Imagineering, which handles Disney parks. Moreover, he played an advertising tower every time a new movie was released. It would be reasonable to assume that he spread his arms too far.
The second is the “boys club” culture. In the production of “Toy Stor,” Lasseter took the lead in recruiting his college alumni and juniors. As a result, Pixar in its early days consisted entirely of young men, and as Pixar grew, it became the company’s core. As a result, boys” dorm-like atmosphere took root at Pixar. It is not hard to imagine that it was an environment where it was difficult for the few female staff to speak up.
By the way, Pixar’s first femaledirector’ss work is “Merida and the Horror Forest,” in which Brenda Chapman is co-directed with Mark Andrews. However, as mentioned above, Chapman has been forced to drop out. The first Pixar film to be led by a female director until the end is DommeShih’ss” “Sometimes Lesser Panda,” which will be released worldwide in 2022. It was finally realized in the 25th work from” “Toy Stor.”
The third isLasseter’ss sexual harassment. It seems that it was well known among those involved, but it exploded with the #MeToo movement. Known for his friendly mascot-like personality, the impact was significant. Unable to protect Disney, Lasseter took a leave of absence in 2017 and retired in 2019. Considering the situation at the time, it was no surprise that I would never be able to work in this world again.
But Lasseter is given a second chance. Again, David Ellison, head of Skydance Media, came to the rescue. Skydance Media is known for working with Paramount Pictures on blockbuster movies such as “Mission: Impossible” Star Trek” and” “Top Gun: His Maverick.”
Ellison launched an animation division in 2017, appointing producer Bill Damaski. The latter has worked on DreamWorks films such as “Shark Tal” and” “Kung Fu Panda” Damaski immediately gave the go-ahead to two works,” “Luck: A Journey in Search of Good Luc” and” “Spellbound” (original title).
But none of them seem to have worked. So in 2019, Ellison persuaded Lasseter, amid a sexual harassment scandal, to replace Damaski because he thought there was a problem with his leadership.
Ellison’s decision was understandably met with significant criticism. Emma Thompson, set to voice” “Luck,” announced that she was leaving the project in protest. Voices of dissatisfaction erupted not only in Skydance but also in the animation industry. It’s a move that goes entirely against #MeToo, andLasseter’ss remorse while calling his sexual harassment” a “misstep” also fueled antipathy.
But three years later, Lasseter has received little criticism. That’s probably because, in addition to the fact that Lasseter is correcting it with Skydance Animation, the bashing at the time was a little too much. Lasseter’s role in building a toxic company culture and harassing some staff should be severely criticized. Still, he joins Weinstein and Bill Cosby, who has been charged with multiple sexual assaults. It doesn’t make sense.
But why would David Ellison pick up chestnuts in the fire, knowing he would be under fire?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the secret lies in his childhood. David’s father is famously Oracle co-founder and billionaire Larry Ellison (his sister Megan Ellison is also a film producer and founder of Annapurna Pictures). David also attended Pixar in its early days because his father was good friends with Steve Jobs. As a child, David fell in love with cinema there. He showed me more than 70 rough cuts of “Toy Stor” and many more of “Finding Nemo” and witnessed Pixar’s process to improve the film.
“I always admired how creatively they were aiming high,” recalls David Ellison.
“What Steve and John built at Pixar continues today.”
Lasseter also seems to have taken a hard look at restarting his career with Skydance Animation. This is because both Luck and the subsequent musical film, Spellbound, were directed by women, and both of them praisedLasseter’ss leadership.
Skydance Animation has a multi-year deal with Apple to produce films and television. Leveraging her connections, Lasseter recruited directors Brad Bird “The Incredibles” Ratatouille” ”) and Rich Moore “Sugar Rush” Zootopi” ”) into skydance animation. Ing.
It’s hard to say that her core “Luck’s Lucky Journe” has reached the level of Pixar or Disney. However, it has a solid original idea and heart and has potential charm.
The similarity is2008’ss” “Bol,” which was released as the first movie by the rising star Disney. It was the first project with which John Lasseter, appointed as Chief Creative Officer, was involved. Byron Howard, who made his directorial debut with this work, later worked on “Rapunzel on the Towe,” Zootopi” and” “Mirabelle and the House Full of Magi” and became the signboard director of the studio. As for producer Clark Spencer, he is now president of Walt Disney Animation.
I can’t help but feel that “Luck, a journey to find good Luc” will also bring good Luck to Skydance animation.