Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

Pixar Head John Lasseter Confirms That The Studio Killed 'Newt' Because Of Similarities To 'Rio'

Photo of Cory Everett By Cory Everett | @modage May 3, 2011 at 2:07AM

Regardless of how "Cars 2" turns out, Pixar still has the most consistent track record of any studio today. Not only do their films routinely rake in billions of dollars around the world, but they're 11 films in with nary a dud in the bunch. The studio has come close to creative disaster a few times, perhaps most notably with "Toy Story 2" being completely retooled with less than a year to go before its release. The result? One of the best sequels ever made and one that stands up to the classic original. (Jessie's "When She Loved Me" montage makes us tear up just thinking about it.) In fact, the closest thing you can find to a failure for the company is the original "Cars," and that's because it just seemed like it would have been more at home as a DreamWorks film, full of pop-culture gags, celebrity voices and pop songs.
5


Regardless of how "Cars 2" turns out, Pixar still has the most consistent track record of any studio today. Not only do their films routinely rake in billions of dollars around the world, but they're 11 films in with nary a dud in the bunch. The studio has come close to creative disaster a few times, perhaps most notably with "Toy Story 2" being completely retooled with less than a year to go before its release. The result? One of the best sequels ever made and one that stands up to the classic original. (Jessie's "When She Loved Me" montage makes us tear up just thinking about it.) In fact, the closest thing you can find to a failure for the company is the original "Cars," and that's because it just seemed like it would have been more at home as a DreamWorks film, full of pop-culture gags, celebrity voices and pop songs.

But that kind of quality control doesn't come easy and the studio has had to make some tough choices along the way. After nearly four years on "Ratatouille," they replaced original director Jan Pinkava with "The Incredibles" vet Brad Bird who turned the film into a personal project as well as one of the studios finest efforts. More recently, the studio nudged aside their first female director Brenda Chapman to make way for "One Man Band" director Mark Andrews on their first fairy tale, "Brave." (This caused lead voice actress Reese Witherspoon to depart soon after.) While there's still no telling how the film will turn out, you have to trust that Pixar has the film's best interests at heart. The animation house had lined up another project, "Newt" for summer of 2012, but last year it was mysteriously removed from their schedule and later confirmed by the studio to be "dead."

Concept art from the scrapped production was later released but no official reason was given for shutting down the film. Centering on the last two blue-footed newts in existence destined to mate to save their species from extinction, some had speculated the project's cancellation might have been caused by similarities to Blue Sky Animation's similarly themed "Rio," about two macaws who are the last of their kind. Speaking with IGN, Chief Creative Officer (and director of the first two 'Toy Story' films) John Lasseter essentially confirmed the cause of cancellation, "Its story was very similar to a movie that's out in theaters right now with a blue parrot. Oh my! Wow, we were like … no, there was no … great minds think alike, I guess. It was really pretty similar."

We found "Rio" to be a decent effort but have no doubt that "Newt" would have been a different take on the story. Animated films frequently seem to share ideas; just look at "Antz" and "A Bug's Life, "Finding Nemo" and "A Shark Tale," "The Incredibles" and "Megamind," so it's thrilling to see Pixar stand up for creative integrity. Sure, little kids may not have minded seeing another love story about a nearly extinct species, but Pixar realized it has a legacy to protect and didn't want to put out a film that looked like an also-ran. Good for them. Now if we can just figure out their creative reasoning behind "Cars 2," we'll be all set.

"Rio" is out now and "Cars 2" will hit theaters on June 24th.

This article is related to: Films, Film Studios, Animated Films, Pixar , Rio


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates