On the red carpet at Cannes, it’s just if it does not put out her tongue at photographers. Plump coil, beatific smile, fists raised in the air as if he had just crossed the finish line of a phenomenal running, John Lasseter, the big boss of Disney and Pixar studios figure was excited kid. If the dress code had permitted Cannes, probably would he sported in his tuxedo one of 375 Hawaiian shirts that are customized his usual wardrobe (he also canned more than 1,000 in stock). When we find him, 24 hours later, in a suite at the Carlton, the colorful shirt is waiting for you. “I’m trying to match his reasons my program day, a wise advice of my wife,” he says of a pedagogical tone. Today, therefore, the uniform is in the colors of Vice Versa , the latest Pixar. Presented in preview at Cannes, the film has generated such enthusiasm a charming controversy about his non-selection competing for the Golden Palm failed to explode. Considerations soon swept the person: “We do not do that to win prizes, we do this to entertain the public.” The speech is ground and could be put down to good communicator that has to be the artistic director of the two greatest contemporary animation studios. But for John Lasseter, entertain the public are clearly under the sacred mission. Interview with the one we now nicknamed “the Walt Disney of modern times”
The Point. What inspired you the idea of Vice Versa when Pete Docter you have shown for the first time
John Lasseter : From the start, I felt that this idea could give birth to one of the the most important films we’ve ever made. But I also said that it would be very difficult to do.
The success is total, we would have given him the prize for best film …
The award, these are the ten minute standing ovation that welcomed our work. By the time I finished Toy Story Steve Jobs said something very true: “You know, when I do a computer, its life is about three years. But you, if you do your job well, that you create can last forever, be passed from generation to generation. ” The animation has a unique longevity. I challenge you to find a 1948 movie that looked more Snow White or even a 1995 movie that looked more Toy Story
Read also: “Vice Versa, he was once the emotions”
Disney animation studios have lived a dark period in the early 2000s, with successive flops and artistic crisis almost lead to their collapse. What do you attribute?
Disney had become a studio headed by directors rather than filmmakers. The administration estimated the ideas in vogue in the market, then it was hiring writers to write different scripts, and then only she attributed to the project director. There were layers and layers of executives that issued “notes” that artists were obliged to follow. Now all these people were very cynical and really dislike the animation. For them, it was just a step in their career in the Hollywood industry. The talent was there, but he was not allowed to speak. Disney was broken emotionally.
You yourself have been fired from Disney for campaigning loudly in favor of digital animation. Too far ahead of your time?
It seems … I was convinced that digital was the future of animation, but I was the only one at the time there. So I landed in what became Pixar.
How did you feel when you recalled in 2006 to tell you that you were right and give you the keys the House?
That did not exactly happen that way. Became head of Disney, Iger Box had two options to try to save his animation studio: he could continue with the same team and hope that things would change gradually or it could appoint a new direction. But as he came from the world of television, he did not really know who to hire in the field of animation. Or, inaugurating the Hong Kong Disneyland Park, it was realized that all the characters represented the last decade were creations of Pixar. So he simply said “I’m going to get people who have proven they know what they do.” The acquisition of Pixar was a way to repair Walt Disney Animation Studios. It became our mission
See also: Disney – “The new heroes are geeks and nerds yesterday”
How did you. repaired?
We cut the head of the dragon! We got rid of all these higher levels and we went directly to developers. They were told: “Now it is you who head the studio.” It took a good two years because they were so accustomed to always let their superiors speak first. They have a while to find their voice because they had lost faith in themselves and in each other. I thought that if we could give this studio a real audience cardboard, it would cure everything. And cardboard, we have had!
Had you anticipated the success of The Snow Queen ?
I knew we had something very special, especially after hearing “Freed issued.” When this song came, we redefined the whole film around. I knew we had something, but I could never have anticipated the extent that it would take!
with The Princess and the Frog , Tangled and The Snow Queen you somehow invented the princess who does not need prince. It’s a bit sad, we can no longer dream of Prince Charming …
But is not it better to dream of becoming a strong woman? That does not mean falling more in love, of course. But I think it is exciting to have more films with strong, independent female characters. Besides, we have more and more women who come to work in animation. So far, it was a very male industry. Last year, for the first time in some classes of CalArts (the art school founded by Walt Disney in 1971), there were more women than men registered!
How do you still find time to make your own movies?
It’s true that it’s a challenge with my schedule! I usually do on Monday, Thursday and Friday and at Pixar, Tuesday and Wednesday I fly for Disney. I’ll have to delegate a lot during the two years I will work on Toy Story 4 . Fortunately, I have Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter at Pixar and they will supervise the operations in part to me.
Why a fourth Toy Story ? The third component seemed circle …
Toy Story 3 actually buckled so brilliantly that the trilogy had promised, with Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich (director), never make Toy Story 4 … unless we find an idea we would find all worth exploring! During a meeting on Vice Versa with Pete, we had an idea for Toy Story that seemed perfect for a movie. It was developed and subjected to the other two. And everybody agreed to say he had to go. So I said that I do take care, because I can not ask anyone to do something that I would not be able to do myself. Or arrive after Toy Story 3 is a daunting task, even for me!
What can you tell us about this now?
What we have done throughout the trilogy, is to change with each film genre. In fact, you would never noticed after the fact! But this is what explains our success, because instead of the same film again, as so often with the suites, we changed our tune each time. With Toy Story 4 , I can tell you is that it’s a love story. We never do that again …
Now that Disney and Pixar have the same art director, it is more difficult to continue to maintain two separate identities …
A studio, not a leader, it is the people who work there. Each largely derives its identity from its heritage. Pixar is a pioneer studio is located in the San Francisco Bay, in the nerve center of entrepreneurship and invention, it has created digital animation today and Steve Jobs was his CEO for twenty-five years! This legacy glue artists of Pixar. Walt Disney Animation, meanwhile, logically has a direct connection to Walt Disney and its unique way of thinking entertainment. And then, of course, Disney, the songs are vitally important!
The future of animation, how do you imagine it?
What is great with digital animation, this is the way it is constantly evolving, offering each time more possibilities. What form will the last, I do not know. It does not work like that. What happens is that we have an idea and we work to achieve it technically, which leads to discoveries that give us other ideas. The art uses technology to challenge and technology inspires art.
What are you most proud of today?
all those moments where we see the sign of what we managed to accomplish: a child walking at the airport with a suitcase Cars a little girl dressed as a princess Elsa, a kid with her toy Buzz Lightyear … I have won many awards, but the best I have ever received came from a Disneyland. They sent me an old Woody doll, black and wear holes in force, with a letter that said: “Today, a little boy of six named Caleb came to bring us home this doll. His parents bought him a new one, but he wants his old Woody has a beautiful home. ” It throne in the window of Pixar, among our oscars … It’s those little things I’m most proud of because they prove that we succeeded in deeply entertain. It is for these emotions I’m doing what I do.