John Lasseter

When I first heard the story about Disney absorbing Pixar, I was apprehensive, to say the least. Sure, the rumors said that Steve Jobs would wind up the #1 Disney megastockholder, but that didn't seem like enough insurance to me. Disney, after all, corrupts everything that is good and pure and, you know, original and creative...so I was freaking the hell out.

What a difference a few days make. Details are here, but in a nutshell, not only does Jobs become ginormous stockwise, but also Pixar and Disney animation merge, with head burrito Ed Catmull and Pixar creative god John Lasseter (pictured) in charge.

I'm so jazzed, I can't even tolerate it. This is better than I could have possibly hoped. If there is anybody that can be trusted to turn Disney Animation around, it's Lasseter and the crew at Pixar. In fact, I propose that the creative meetings--where folks from Disney Animation have to go and present to their new boss, Lasseter, their status on all their projects--are broadcast pay per view. "$50 to watch Lasseter shred that horrible Rapunzel idea? Jesus, where do I swipe my credit card?" In fact, that can be its own Walt Disney Treasures release: "Coming this December: more Disney rarities, Song of the South, and Sheriff Lasseter Rides Into Town." All over it.

Anyway, so we know that Pixar's going to be busy cleaning house, but we're too excited to wait. Here's the staff of Needcoffee and their wish list of things we'd like to see. Our Top Ten Suggestions for the New Pixar-Disney:

  • Cel Animation. Andreas Deja should get first pick of whatever he wants. He kept the faith and stayed when all other fled. God bless him.
  • Do Something Epic in the Fantasy Genre. We're not particular, but considering how well Pixar tackled superheroes and create a full-blown universe for them to fool around in, can you imagine the Pixar/Disney machine creating a damn fine sword and sorcery pic? Linger on that in your mind. Chew it. It's delicious.
  • Don't Forget the Muppets. No, no. We don't mean do CG Muppets. But like anything else, it doesn't matter what kind of creation it is, be it felt, CG or cel--if there's not a good story, if you don't understand the characters, you are in for a world of suck. All you need to do is see what Disney's done with the Muppets since they bought them. Put them in Pixar's jurisdiction. We trust them to do the right thing and make these characters live again.
  • DVDs. Keep Em Comin. Disney should give Criterion a run for their money. Pretty much anything animation that comes out should look like a Pixar release. If you've seen the Toy Box release for the Toy Story films, you know what I'm talking about. The Platinum Releases are on the right track. Same with the Walt Disney Treasures. Keep them up. And give us more.
  • The Incredibles: the Series. I hear the JLU crew has suddenly become available. Can you imagine those madmen let loose in the Incredibles' universe? We would watch the living shit out of that show. You could do "modern day" stories as well as "Golden Age" stories in that universe. Would be amazing.
  • No More Cheapquels. You know, the problem is not that there are sequels. It's that that they're all crap sequels. Except for, oh, Toy Story 2 anyone? Take the storytelling fu that brought you Toy Story 2 and put that on these sequels. They can be magical and profitable. What a freaking concept.
  • Return to Quality Storytelling. As stated above: it's the story, stupid. Studios thought that cel animation was dead and that a move to straight CG was the Pixar magic touch. Bah. A computer-generated piece of shit is still a piece of shit. We don't care what medium the stuff is in: we just want that most excellent Pixar story Midas Touch on everything. Bring that noise, folks.
  • Scrooge McDuck. A theatrical feature, Carl Barks style, in cel animation. Nuff said.
  • Short Subject Program. The same Pixar magic that brought us stuff like "For the Birds" let loose in the Disney universe. I want one in front of every theatrical and video release.
  • Talent: Suck It Up and Use It All. Chris Bailey. Kerry Conran. The dudes behind Hoodwinked. What are they doing now? Who's the next Brad Bird to come in and muck with things? Keep stirring the pot.

Update: Disney Blog has a nice round-up of Pixarness that they were kind enough to include this post on. Muchos nachos.