For those of us who are stuck in Europe and therefore haven’t been able to see Wall-E yet, there’s actually a completely spoiler free essay over at Daniel Thomas McInnes’ Ghibli-Blog, in which he compares the steps in Pixar’s artistic evolution to the much beloved Beatles:
“It's exciting to watch. Pixar are now firmly into Phase Three, their Rubber Soul period.”
But even if you don’t care for the Beatles (is this possible at all?) he has some interesting things to say about the effect of the Disney-Pixar merger and the barriers of American animation that could only be torn down by Pixar.
“So, as I've said, if we're going to make better movies, we need to start making better audiences. But I rant enough on that topic. It's damn near the thesis of the Conversations on Ghibli blog. But this brings us, and Pixar, back to the only place anyone could turn to: Disney. Which is where Steve Jobs pulled off one of his greatest business deals.”
Thinking about artistic growth I was once again reminded of Disney history. Unlike the Pixar people, Disney’s core group of artists only developed their technical skills and their taste in stories but the films themselves and the storytelling were not improving at all after 1942. Mark Mayerson summed it up in this Apatoons-essay that ends with the following statement:
“What we have on film is an autobiography of sorts. It's a chronicle of the artists' attitudes about growing up, viewed over the course of their lives. It's too bad that while the artists grew up, the films didn't. The films became slicker, but they never really became deeper than they started out. If anything, as the artists grew older and got further away from their subject, the films became less compelling.”And now for something (not) completely different: Hans Perk has started posting the Sleeping Beauty animation drafts.