By Sugandha Rawal
San Francisco, Oct 21 : Pixar Animation Studios is planning to revive old franchises as well as create some new ones for upcoming online streaming service Disney+.
Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris says they are already working out some things for the streaming service, but don’t want to divert the focus away from feature films.
The studio is coming out with “Monsters At Work” an animated spinoff series inspired by the Hollywood hit “Monsters, Inc”. Original stars John Goodman and Billy Crystal will also return to voice the characters Sulley and Mike.
Pixar is not only getting monsters back for Disney+. There are two “Toy Story”-related projects — “Forky Asks a Question” and “Lamp Life” as well.
Asked about the possibility to go back to more old franchises, or create new ones, Morris told IANS: “We already have (worked on) a number of franchise things. We are doing that.”
“We are also load balancing because we have got this big size company, but we have a certain amount of work (which) we can produce with our artists here in a year. We will add some people to do some work on Disney+, but we try to have a pretty balanced and stable workforce,” he said.
Morris continued: “But our feature films (will) remain (to be) our core business, and of course, they will find their way on Disney+ eventually. So, we are trying to do other little things that take advantage of the streaming technology and provide opportunity for some people at Pixar to stretch into some different roles that they might not have been to do otherwise.”
The studio came out with the world’s first computer-generated (CG) feature film “Toy Story” in 1995, and has attained the position of the most celebrated animation house in the world.
Apart from the “Toy Story” franchise, films such as “A Bug’s Life”, “Monsters, Inc.”, “Finding Nemo”, “The Incredibles”, “WALL’E”, “Ratatouille”, “Cars”, “Up”, “Inside Out”, “Brave”, “Finding Dory” and “Coco” add to its legacy.
Disney+, the long-awaited online streaming service from Disney, will launch internationally on November 12. And Morris is excited to see how the streaming platform will change the animation industry.
“We are doing a number of projects for Disney+. Streaming is kind of a new form of television. It has its strengths and weaknesses. The strength being that it gets to a lot of people, and is pervasive and persuasive in a lot of ways. The downside is that compared to what we do in our feature films, it has financial restraints that are somewhat different,” he pointed out.
Morris, who began working at Pixar in 2005, feels it will give the studio “an opportunity to try some different forms of storytelling”.
“We challenged ourselves in terms of things like what could we do for Disney+ that would be similar to the impact on streaming that the ‘Toy Story’ had on cinema. So, we are playing with different types of storytelling and things that could only be done in a number of different shows that have to thread together in some way…. We actually have a project that we’re doing on those lines,” he said.
(Sugandha Rawal was in San Francisco at the invitation of Disney India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)