Tuesday, December 02, 2008

 

Catching Up

Hey, internets! I'm finally back at home after Thanksgiving, bleary-eyed and overweight, trying to get my brain to start firing again.

So what did I miss? Here are a few items of personal interest that have cropped up online in the last few days, at least as per my Google Reader feeds.

Rudy Rucker reminiscences about writing the Hollow Earth

The BookSpot Beat talks with Hal Duncan about Escape From Hell!

SF Signal looks at Iron Jaw and Hummingbird

Oh, and we went to see Disney's new animated flick Bolt with Georgia over the weekend, and Allison and I were amazed to discover that it was one of the best movies we'd seen in ages. (Georgia liked it, too.) Highly recommended.

Comments:
I took B to see it too and we both loved it. Though I confess to be teary, I didn't actually cry.

The characters were so developed! I loved the pigeons (all of them) and Rhino is AWESOME. :)
 
I was impressed to discover that the voice of Rhino, Mark Walton, is primarily a story artist and visual development guy. And yes, Rhino is in fact fully awesome.
 
I think I read somewhere that BOLT had some major development problems, that it started as a project of Disney's short-lived CGI division but John Lasseter (sp?) and Pixar made some serious revisions to it. With all these changes, all the good reviews I've been reading, such as yours, are even more impressive.
 
I think that to say it had "major development problems" is putting it lightly. The project was originally going to be a completely different movie called "American Dog," directed by Lilo & Stitch director Chris Sanders. After the Pixar buyout, when Lasseter became the new head of creative, he and other directors looked at early cuts and suggested changes, which Sanders reportedly wasn't eager to make. Long story short, Sanders left Disney and the project (or was "invited" to leave), "American Dog" got a new plot, title, and director, and we got Bolt.

Lasseter and crew made changes to "Meet the Robinsons," as well, which ended up one of the best non-Pixar Disney flicks in ages, and retooled the direct-to-DVD "Tinker Bell" extensively. So far, though Lasseter has made waves in the animation community by removing well-respected animators from various projects, like Sanders, the results of that interference--the movies themselves--have been unexpectedly positive. I'm looking forward to what the future holds for Disney.
 
Thanks for fleshing out my hazy memory. Like you say, Lasseter has made good choices so far. Let's hope he continues to do so.
 
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