Tag Archives: John Lasseter

Toy Story 3

Directed by Lee Unkrich
Produced by Darla K. Anderson & John Lasseter (Executive)
Nicole Paradis Grindl (Associate)
Written by Michael Arndt
Starring
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Joan Cusack
Ned Beatty
Don Rickles
Michael Keaton
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Estelle Harris
John Morris
Jodi Benson
Emily Hahn
Laurie Metcalf
Blake Clark
Music by Randy Newman
Editing by Ken Schretzmann
Studio Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date June 18, 2010
Running time 103 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English

The final adventure of Woody, Buzz and the gang is undoubtedly their best yet and I think is the best film that Pixar has made. I think that Pixar has raised the bar with TS3, especially with the personality of their characters. They connect with the audience in a way that other animated characters… even live action characters… are unable to. They have such a great depth that when they are in very real danger towards the climax of the film that many in the audience are weeping and blubbering like babies (shut up… I had something in my eye).

The film starts a bit slowly as we are re-introduced to the gang and they get us up to speed on what has happened since we last met. There is a lot of comedy, especially when the toys go to Sunnyside and we meet Ken, who is the funniest character in the film, but towards the end of the film things get serious and the toys are in very real danger of becoming a melted blob. It is here that you notice just how good this film is because you have become emotionally attached to a bunch of animated toys. The film has a lot of emotional depth, more than even your average live action film, and the toys, especially Lotso the strawberry huggin’ bear, have issues that have caused them to choose their life’s role. (I hope this makes sense)

Basically you should really see this film.

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Toy Story 2

Directed by John Lasseter
Co-Directors:Lee Unkrich & Ash Brannon
Produced by Karen Robert Jackson & Helene Plotkin
Written by Andrew Stanton
Rita Hsiao
Doug Chamberlain
Chris Webb
Story:
John Lasseter
Pete Docter
Ash Brannon
Andrew Stanton
Colin Brady
Jimmy Hayward
Story Supervisors:
Dan Jeup
Joe Ranft
Starring Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Joan Cusack
Kelsey Grammer
Don Rickles
Jim Varney
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Wayne Knight
John Morris
Laurie Metcalf
Estelle Harris
Andrew Stanton
Music by Randy Newman
Cinematography Sharon Calahan
Editing by Lee Unkrich, Edie Bleiman & David Ian Salter
Studio Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date November 24, 1999
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English

I enjoyed watching Toy Story 2 even more that the original. Again there is some top notch animation from Pixar and the characters are warm and relatable. A lot of the time you forget that they are not real but are images on a screen.

Woody and Buzz are back and teaching the importance of friendship. I like the inclusion of Jesse the cowgirl, as voiced by Joan Cusack and Stinky Pete the Prospector, voiced by Kelsey Grammar.

Again it is a great film by Pixar with really lovable characters. It is very funny and is suspensful at the same time.


Toy Story

Directed by John Lasseter
Produced by Ralph Guggenheim & Bonnie Arnold
Written by John Lasseter
Pete Docter
Andrew Stanton
Joe Ranft
Joss Whedon
Joel Cohen
Alec Sokolow
Starring
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Don Rickles
Jim Varney
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Annie Potts
John Morris
Laurie Metcalf
Erik von Detten
Music by Randy Newman
Editing by Robert Gordon & Lee Unkrich
Studio Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date November 22, 1995
Running time 81 minutes
Country United States
Language English
It’s hard to believe that Toy Story is 15 years old. Woody, Buzz and the gang are still fresh after all that time. Now with Toy Story 3 being released today I thought that I would relive the first two adventures.

Toy Story was the first feature-length CGI animated film and unlike Dreamworks’ Shrek, it doesn’t feel dated at all. I think that this is the great thing about Pixar in that they don’t just concentrate on pop culture references or fart jokes (unlike Dreamworks) but actually create characters that an audience can care for and a story that is engaging. It’s a bit hard to review Toy Story as it is a film that almost everyone has seen and I am sure enjoys. There is a lot of great humour and the characters, such as Woody, have real emotions that we can really empathise with.


The Princess and the Frog

Directed by Ron Clements
John Musker
Produced by Peter Del Vecho
John Lasseter
(Executive producer)
Written by Ron Clements
John Musker
Rob Edwards
(Screenplay)
Ron Clements
John Musker
Greg Erb
Jason Oremland
Don Hall
(Story)
Starring Anika Noni Rose
Bruno Campos
Keith David
Michael-Leon Wooley
Jim Cummings
Jenifer Lewis
John Goodman
Oprah Winfrey
Jennifer Cody
Peter Bartlett
Terrence Howard
Music by Randy Newman
Editing by Jeff Draheim
Studio Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) November 25, 2009 (2009-11-25)
(Los Angeles premiere)
December 11, 2009 (2009-12-11)
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States

Much has been made of The Princess And The Frog for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Tiana is the first AfricanAmerican to become one of Disney’s famed princesses, which really just means that  now a black face has been added to Disney merchandising.

Secondly, The Princess And The Frog marks a return to Disney doing things the old-fashioned way. Disney decided to once again try to return to hand drawn 2D animation after their recent dismal failures with CGI.

Finally and most importantly, The Princess And The Frog sees Disney once again become ambitious with their movies. No longer are they going to rely on celebrity voices or imitating Pixar and Dreamworks. Instead they have gone back to doing things the traditional Disney way, with a great storyline and music. It may be familiar and old-fashioned, not as hip or trendy as Dreamworks, but it works well and sees Disney return to form impressively. Then again Dreamworks’ films tend to age very quickly as the references contained within them go out of date, however I feel that The Princess And The Frog is a little more timeless.

I was quite impressed with some of the animation, especially in one scene early on where Tiana is dreaming of opening her own restaurant. This scene had a 1920s, art deco feel to it, thanks to some striking backgrounds and character designs, but it also featured some really great animation work that I found to be very impressive.

The music too is very good. The score features lots of Randy Newman penned jazz songs that complements the film’s setting of New Orleans. These are not pop songs by some lame band, ala the Shrek movies, but songs that are reminiscent of the best music from Disney’s second heyday of  the late 1980s and 90s.

All in all I thought that The Princess And The Frog was a great movie and one that is almost as great as past Disney hits like The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin. Hopefully Disney will now leave the CGI stuff to Pixar and continue to make these wonderful hand-drawn movies in their traditional style, as this is the stuff that Disney does best.