Thursday, August 11, 2011

Disney exec: 'You don't need a good story.'

Lasseter, and all of the other creatives we fans prize the most, are always telling us how important story is. Story, story, story . . . "No amount of great animation will save a bad story," says Lasseter. That is a credo that I'm consistently reaffirming through Disney, etc. and is something I believe strongly in. It's why Pixar and Disney are as successful as they are today, and why so many people love Disneyland.

However, Walt Disney Animation Studios' Chief Technical Officer, Andy Hendrickson, disagrees. Earlier this week at SIGGRAPH, Andy decidedly stated that if you're producing a tentpole film like one by Pixar, or a film in the Pirates franchise, story is massively overrated:

People say ‘It’s all about the story.’ When you’re making tentpole films, bullshit.
Pointing to one of Disney's larger successes in recent box office history, Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Hendrickson said “The story isn’t very good, but visual spectacle brought people in droves. And Johnny Depp didn’t hurt.” It's really sad to hear someone say it, probably because it's true, but box office numbers don't always come from a good story. But, as pointed out by our friend here, they always come from lots of pretty pictures and famous actors.

Nothing will ever replace a good, solid story--even if it doesn't make the studio a billion dollars, it makes a great movie, and isn't that the top priority? If it isn't, it should be. Perhaps that's what's wrong with Hollywood nowadays. They want fatter wallets and couldn't care less about the story. Very sad, but, I concede begrudgingly, is probably true . . .

Source: Cartoon Brew


Bruce said...

Just look at the top grossing films of 2011 so far and judge for yourself how important a good story is to box office.

1 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2 - Transformers: Dark of the Moon
3 - The Hangover Part II
4 - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
5 - Fast Five
6 - Cars 2
7 - Thor
8 - Bridesmaids
9 - Kung Fu Panda 2
10 - Captain America: The First Avenger
11 - X-Men: First Class
12 - Rio
13 - Super 8
14 - Rango
15 - Green Lantern
16 - Hop
17 - Horrible Bosses
18 - Just Go With It
19 - Gnomeo and Juliet
20 - The Green Hornet

Call me cynical if you must, but I honestly I don't see a single top-notch story in the bunch. Not one. Worse, only four would rate a "B" in my book.

Sad but true.

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