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John Lasseter to co-direct Cars 2

Slashfilm is reporting that John Lasseter has been brought in to bring Cars 2 back from a near crash. Summary of events below.

Less then a week later Blue Sky reported a rumor the John Lasseter, director of Toy Story 1 & 2, A Bug?s Life, Cars, and now the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, has been spending most of his time at Pixar Animation Studios in Emmeryville, instead of his usual office in Southern California. Rumor had it that Cars 2 was having massive story problems, and that Lasseter had been brought back to Pixar to help fix the issues. At the time we had heard rumblings that he was co-directing the film, helping out Brad Lewis, who is making his directorial debut with the film. At the time it was rumored that Lasseter would not be credited as co-director on the final film. Jim Hill now reports that Disney reps have officially confirmed that Lasseter will be the credited co-director of Cars 2 when it is released in June 2011.

Now don?t jump to any conclusions. This doesn?t mean that Cars 2 is doomed. Any employee of Pixar will be the first to tell you that every movie they?ve made has been a disaster at one point, that the key to their success is reworking and reworking a project until it becomes something great. In fact, this is what happened with Ratatouille and Toy Story 2.

Community Comments

#1 Alec Fritz
June/25/2010
@ 12:25 pm

I thought Cars was the worst film to come out of Pixar so far. The moral of the story seemed to be “People should take more cross-country road trips”?

#2 Meredith Randazzo
June/25/2010
@ 1:31 pm

I seem to be in the minority but I loved Cars (and hated Ratatouille). I thought the story in Cars was really solid and the Route 66 / Americana setting really appealed to me. So if they take the story out of that environment it will really lose the essence of the original, at least for me. I hope they can save the sequel.

#3 Garey Mckee
June/25/2010
@ 4:06 pm

Cars was a clever ohmage to the “cars as people” cartoon shorts that were created both by Disney and Tex Avery over at MGM, right down to the eyeball windshields.

But as a full length film, that clever take only goes so far. It fell very flat very fast. To me it was one of the most poorly written Pixar films. Only the commercial liscense toy tie ins directed at young children sustained the films popularity.

In my opinion, Ratatouille is probably the best Pixar film to date.

PS: I’m in the minority because I hated Wall-E.

#4 Ben Carlsen
June/25/2010
@ 8:10 pm

Pixar movies are hit and miss. You can always count on them to have amazing visuals, but you never know what you’ll get with the writing. The example I like to give is Up; I love the visuals and the way the characters are styled, but it’s painful for me to watch because of its incredibly heavy preachiness. I think that’s the problem with many of their films, including WALL*E, Toy Story 2, and especially Cars. The only redeeming quality of that movie for me was that it had the Car Talk guys in it. I’m hoping the sequel dispenses with the preachiness and pours on a bunch of fun.

In the mean time, I’m holding out for an Incredibles sequel (sorry, I’m just too much of a comic book geek).

#5 Garey Mckee
June/25/2010
@ 8:28 pm

After I wrote my post, I felt I was giving The Incredibles the short end of the stick. Ratatouille is much more character driven and doesn’t rely on the cg medium to direct the story or dazzle you with distracting visuals. It’s a much more subtle Pixar film and I like that. On the flip side, The Incredibles was fantastically written and the visuals were…well…incredible. But for my favorite, I lean toward Ratatouille for it’s subtle graphic language and it’s great story.

#6 Ben Carlsen
June/25/2010
@ 8:56 pm

I enjoy Ratatouille as well, and the fact that both it and The Incredibles were written and directed by Brad Bird is not lost on me. He needs to do more.

#7 Pedro Molina.
June/26/2010
@ 12:55 am

Cars is the weakest Pixar movie for me too. Loved Iron Giant and the Incredibles, so I was expecting a lot of Brad Bird on Ratatouille which is veeery good, but… now that I think about, maybe I was missing the action factor of his previous movies… anyway! Ratatouille is a great movie too. Another of my favorites from Pixar is Finding Nemo.

#8 Pedro Molina.
June/26/2010
@ 12:57 am

Oh! and I loved the first 20 or so minutes of Wall-E, the rest is… well… ok.

#9 Tom Wood
June/26/2010
@ 5:30 am

One of the cable channels is showing The Story of Pixar. Good bit of history if you can catch it.

#10 Garey Mckee
June/26/2010
@ 9:05 pm

Pixar was responsible for those great Listerine commercials in the early 90’s. Only the Pixar team could give such character and life to a mouth wash bottle.

#11 Pete McDonnell
June/27/2010
@ 11:55 pm

I was a fan of Cars, because I, well, like cars. It also had Paul Newman as a Hudson Hornet, which was a heavy deal because that was the last performance he gave in a film. Didn’t care much for Ratatouille, but I give Pixar credit for going with the un-usual concept of doing a film about a rat running around in a restaurant kitchen…wonder why McDonald’s didn’t jump on that movie for tie-in merchandising?
Speaking of which, a friend who works at Pixar claims that Cars did more licensing business than any other film in history except Star Wars.
My favorite Pixar film is probably Toy Story 2. Next would probably be The Incredibles, which is the best superhero movie ever.

#12 Pedro Molina.
June/28/2010
@ 12:17 am

“wonder why McDonald?s didn?t jump on that movie for tie-in merchandising?”

Ha-ha! good question Pete.

#13 Isaiah McAllister
June/28/2010
@ 9:10 am

Cars 2? BLAAAGH! I was interested in Cars, until they got to the small town. And then Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… I would’ve preferred if they had just focused on Lighting McQueen’s journey through the racing circuit.

Mater is the worst character ever created.

#14 Jeff Pert
June/28/2010
@ 9:55 am

Interesting to see everyone’s personal preferences here.

For me, “The Incredibles” is #1, followed very closely by “Up”. Didn’t care for “Ratatouille”, the characters and story never engaged me. Disliked “Wall*E” immensely because of its preachiness—it left little room for entertainment value. I thought “Kung Fu Panda” kicked its butt that summer.

Never saw “Cars”, but from the clips I’ve seen and what I’ve heard, I’m not planning to.

#15 Tom Wood
July/5/2010
@ 8:52 am

The Story of Piuxar is showing on CNBC tonight at 7:00 PM central time.

#16 Kelly McNutt
July/5/2010
@ 11:34 am

1) Finding Nemo
2) A Bug’s Life
3) Toy Story (1&2)
4) Incredibles
5) Monsters, Inc.
6) Wall?E
7) Up
8) Ratatouille
9) Toy Story 3
10) Cars

Please let “Cars 2” be doomed. FWIW: I think “Day and Night” was Pixar’s best short to date.

#17 Gerry Mooney
July/13/2010
@ 8:56 am

I can’t believe they’re even bothering with a “Cars” sequel. But “the Incredibles” was pretty much set up for a sequel, so hopefully that will happen soon. That and “TS3” are I think my faves so far. I saw “TS3” a second time just this weekend and it gets better if that’s possible.

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