The Rise and Fall of Walt Disney Animation in Florida

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  09 September 2012
The Rise and Fall of Walt Disney Animation in Florida

Thisi s a great article from Animated Views:
"Director Barry Cook remembers the Peoples of Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida

In 1999, director Barry Cook began work on an animated film which would merge hand-drawn and computer animation unlike any feature had ever done: My Peoples.
The film was based on his short story The Ghost & His Gift, a retelling of The Canterville Ghost. Furthermore, it was infused with Cook’s life, featuring much of the Appalachian music and folklore that had influenced him as a child. Thus, Cook worked with the Walt Disney Feature Animation studio in Florida to bring his vision to life.

For years, My Peoples underwent a variety of changes from storytelling to titles, in some cases due to shifts in Disney’s management. But Cook and the Florida crew pressed forward, believing with all their hearts they were working on a truly special film.

Finally, in late 2003, they screened part of My Peoples for then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Reportedly, he loved the footage, praising the feature as the studio’s next big hit.

No one could imagine that My Peoples would soon be canceled, and Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida would be closed – a time Cook could only describe as “heartbreaking.”


"

http://animatedviews.com/2012/direc...mation-florida/
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  09 September 2012
To be fair to the Marketing guys at Disney Feature Animation at the time.... I also don't think "My Peoples" would not have been a good title. My personal choice would have been "Once in a Blue Moon" since it seems all the events that occurred are too fantastic to happen often.

Originally Posted by Animated Views: “A lot of people ask me, ‘How can you possibly direct a movie when there is so much studio voice in the movie, and so many people weighing in on it?’ The answer is, I never qualify an idea by whom it came from,” says Cook. “I didn’t care if an idea came from Michael Eisner or a custodian emptying the trash after work, who just said, ‘I like this character pinned on your wall!’ To me, the source of the idea wasn’t important; it was the quality of the idea.


This is good.

Originally Posted by Animated Views: Cook pitched The Ghost & His Gift to Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Thomas Schumacher, who had replaced Schneider in early 2000 as the president of Walt Disney Feature Animation. Eisner and Schumacher agreed the pitch showed promise, yet they passed on sending the feature into production. Eisner was reportedly deterred by the simplicity of The Ghost & His Gift, believing the story needed additional conflict. Schumacher, on the other hand, had a different reason for rejecting the idea as an animated film: it was “too human.” In other words, The Ghost & His Gift could just as easily be done in live-action, due to its cast of humans.


This is a very narrow minded view of animation.

In my view the point of it is that it is an Animated PICTURE. As in... the PICTURE is what has to be bigger than live-action - which includes everything in it even if there are human characters.

"The Iron Giant" is a case in point. Sure, it could have been a live action picture.... but it looked pretty darn good as an animated picture.

Originally Posted by Animated Views: With that in mind, Cook would still love to make My Peoples. “If I ever get the call from Disney, saying, ‘We’re thinking about giving this thing another look,’ I would be interested,” he confirms. “If I now had the chance to make the movie myself, I think I could turn it into what I’ve always imagined it would be. Under the right studio leadership, it would make all the difference in the world, perhaps.”


It could happen. Even the whole Disney-Pixar relationship thing required a change in Studio Management at one point to make it work.

That and the fact that in reality "My Peoples" was actually very highly rated within Disney if it did indeed come down as one-of-two probables that the No.1 at Disney had to choose from.

It's true memories fade and stuff. But if the right manager were to see it one day... Who knows?
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 09 September 2012 at 11:58 PM.
 
  09 September 2012
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