Lasseter and Pixar colleague Ed Catmull now oversee animation at both companies, aiming to change Disney’s executive-driven, profit-is-king approach to cartoon creation to one in which storytellers are free to craft the best films they can.The approach has paid off at Pixar, where huge audiences inevitably followed because the movies were simply so good.
“It’s like the old Disney company,” said voice star Oswalt, a lifelong animation devotee. “They would say, ‘We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.’ That’s the attitude at Pixar.”All these other animation groups want to be like Pixar, but they steal the wrong things from them. They don’t steal the actual process, which is take your time, hold out for the good stuff, which is kind of what ‘Ratatouille’ is all about. Don’t just stuff yourself with bland garbage. Wait for the good stuff.”
Like George Lucas’ Lucasfilm, where Pixar began as a visual-effects unit before Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs bought it in the mid-1980s, the company is based in Northern California.Geography helps keep it isolated from the whims of Hollywood, where studio executives are notorious for interfering to the point where many movies turn to mush.
“They don’t suffer from too-many-cooks syndrome. They don’t suffer from, ‘We have to please everybody,’ which ends up pleasing nobody. They make movies they would like to see, and it works out,” said co-star Garofalo, who described Pixar’s workplace as a playground for creative adults.