Newsbites: Pixar! Paradise! Hoodwinked!

It’s been a while, so here are some quick news items.

1. It’s official: Disney has acquired Pixar. Or has Pixar acquired Disney? Reuters and the Associated Press both say that, on a corporate level, the Mouse House has acquired the company that pioneered feature-length CGI animation — but they also note that Pixar owner Steve Jobs will become one of Disney’s largest shareholders, while Toy Story director John Lasseter will become “chief creative officer of the animation studios and principal creative adviser at Walt Disney Imagineering, which designs and builds the company’s theme parks.” Also, the Pixar and Disney animation divisions will merge into one single unit — not surprising, given that Disney recently abandoned hand-drawn animation altogether for the CGI kind — and the president of this merged group will be Pixar president Ed Catmull. So don’t be too surprised if Disney acquires some of Pixar’s corporate ethos.

There is no word yet on how the merger will affect Disney’s plans, announced months ago, to produce a non-Pixar Toy Story 3.

2. The Associated Press reports that Golden Globe winner Paradise Now is not very popular with Palestinians, while Reuters reports that it is not very popular with Israelis. Meanwhile, Orthodox writer Frederica Mathewes-Green has some interesting comments on the film’s political and theological resonances.

3. If you haven’t read it yet, the Los Angeles Times had an interesting story two weeks ago on the series of events that led to the creation of Hoodwinked, celebrated by some as the first noteworthy “indie” animated movie. Now, reports that the first of three possible sequels is in the works.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).

  • Bruce Geerdes

    Jobs said the “big story” here is Pixar buying into Bob Iger’s vision Disney, and not Disney taking up Pixar’s (or Apple’s) visions. The big story “is Pixar buying into Bob Iger’s vision of where Disney is going,” said Jobs. “He understands the importance of animation. We are really buying into Bob’s vision, and not the other way around.” (AppleInsider)