Monday, January 30, 2006

Pixar: The New York Times Gets It Wrong

In a business section essay, the New York Times describes "How Pixar Adds A New School Of Thought To Disney." The piece contends that Pixar succeeds in Hollywood because it never went Hollywood -- they've blazed a bold, unconventional path of creativity that upends every Hollywood convention. And what is that path? Instead of bringing talent together for one movie and then having them all disband, Pixar signs people to long-term contracts, building a team that works on all sorts of movies at different stages of development. Directors don't come to Pixar for one movie; they come to Pixar for long-term careers, security and the freedom to be creative.

Of course, what the NYT is describing is THE STUDIO SYSTEM. It's the way movies were made in Hollywood for the first 60+ years of its existence. Directors and actors and costumers and composers signed on to MGM or Warner Bros. for long-term contracts, not just to make one movie. What makes this article especially ignorant is that they claim Pixar will reinvent Disney with this innovation when in fact the Disney animation division is the one area of Hollywood that has stuck to this approach all along. Pixar is a great studio but it isn't because they've invented some bold new approach. It's because they've gone back to the way Hollywood made films for decades. Disney's problem is simply that it lost the animation division's guiding force: Jeffrey Katzenberg. Now they've got John Lasseter and they'll be fine.

1 comment:

Ed Sikov said...

Oh history, shmistory. The TIMES can't be wrong. It simply CAN'T!