It’s been a while, eh?
First, a note on the Tron 2 buzz that’s circulated since our last story. Jim Hill posted a somewhat breathless tale this week about the film’s production and how original TRON director Steven Lisberger had been taken off the project by John Lasseter, scrapping the years of development work that he had put in on the production. Lasseter, says Hill, was inspired by the original TRON to pursue a career in computer animation and thus has a great deal of interest in the film’s success. According to Hill, Lasseter’s interest has led to a great deal of drama with new writers being brought in and Lisberger being replaced with director Joseph Kosinski.
What Hill’s potboiler tale of seething angst and intrigue left out is that many of these changes were made months, if not years, ago, as described here in March. Thankfully Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News had a scoop handed to him when, upon reporting on Hill’s article, he was contacted by Lisberger. Although Lisberger is not directing the project, he remains actively involved in the production as Producer and promises amazing things to come. Good news all around.
Old links for perusal:
- World’s oldest animation!
- Donald Duck’s family tree. Expect to see a great deal about the Ducks here in the future.
- When the new Spaceship Earth show opened last fall, there was a great deal of controversy about the new, oversimplified narration and (to put it politely) anticlimactic finale. While the first act of the attraction, replete with new animatronics, is indeed spectacular, the more objectionable changes are symptomatic of the problems endemic to WDI’s output in recent years. Re-Imagineering posted a very on-the-target analysis of this thematic drift.
- Alvy Ray Smith, though unknown to most Pixar fans, was one of the three founders of that company along with Steve Jobs and Ed Catmull. He has posted some documents from Pixar’s founding at his website.
- Taking a moment to reflect up the recent it’s a small world fiasco, I’d like to link to a rebuttal to Disney P.R.’s spin by John at the Disney Blog. I think it’s an excellent riposte to Disney P.R.’s highhandedness (also to be seen in last month’s Adventurer’s Club dealings) as well as an indictment of Disney’s corporate dependence on the fleeting popularity of trends.
Finally, since one cannot link enough to the fine writings of Foxx at Passport to Dreams Old & New, these stories:
- First, her thoughts on the small world issue. Not only does this mirror my own first thought about the Adventurer’s Club fiasco – I thought we were past this – but she also points out the complete breakdown of communication between Disney and its fans since the Toad Wars of 1998. Not only have certain elements within Disney corporate made no secret of their disdain for their most devoted fanbase, but they have repeatedly and publicly lied to said fandom. Those rifts will take a while to heal, and apparently there’s still need of some housecleaning at Team Disney.
- I encourage everyone to read this dissection of Walt Disney World’s film-based attractions. Although I far too often get distracted by current news or the state of the animation program, this is the Disney I am most in love with. The Disney of Walt Disney World, 1971-84. I only wish I had more time to write about it. These “Phase I” attractions were technologically advanced, thematically and tastefully sophisticated, and embodied that great era before “loud = FUNNY” became the watchword of the day. If I had one wish for WDI’s future, it would be that they could in some part return Walt Disney World to that wonderful holistic feeling of balance that made the resort “The Vacation Kingdom of the World”.