Apple places a significant stake on John Lasseter and Skydance Media

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Apple, perhaps the only company that safeguards its brand more zealously than Disney, has been using Mr. Lasseter as a prominent part of its marketing campaign for “Luck.” Ads for the film, which Peggy Holmes directed and Mr. Lasseter produced, describe it as coming “from the creative visionary behind TOY STORY and CARS.”

John Lasseter was fired from Disney five years ago after claims regarding his conduct at work. Disney looked into complaints regarding Mr. Lasseter’s unwanted hugs and discovered that some employees thought he was occasionally a dictator. He was made to leave from his position as Disney-head Pixar’s of animation after admitting to “mistakes” that led to employee “disrespect or discomfort.”

Highlights

  • “It feels like part of me has come home,” Mr. Lasseter said in a phone interview, noting that Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, helped build Pixar before selling it to Disney in 2006. “I really like what Apple TV+ is doing. It’s about quality, not quantity. And their marketing is just spectacular. It’s the best I’ve ever seen in all the movies I’ve made.”

  • “Luck” is just the beginning of Apple’s bet on Mr. Lasseter and Skydance Media, an independent studio that — contentiously — hired him in 2019 as animation chief. (Skydance hired lawyers to scrutinize the allegations against Mr. Lasseter and privately concluded there was nothing egregious.) Skydance has a deal to supply Apple TV+ with multiple animated films and at least one animated series by 2024.

The upshot: With its glistening animation, attention to detail, story twists and emotional ending, “Luck” has all the hallmarks of a Pixar release. (Reviews will arrive on Wednesday.) Some people who have seen the film have commented on similarities between “Luck” and the 2001 Pixar classic, “Monsters, Inc.” Both films involve elaborate secret worlds that are accidentally disrupted by humans.

More than 50 people have followed Mr. Lasseter to Skydance from Disney and Pixar, including Ms. Holmes (“Secret of the Wings”), whom he hired to direct “Luck.” The screenplay for “Luck” is credited to Kiel Murray, whose Pixar and Disney writing credits include “Cars” … John Ratzenberger, known as Pixar’s “good luck charm” because he has voiced so many characters over the decades, pops up in “Luck” as Rootie, the Land of Bad Luck’s unofficial mayor.

MacDailyNews Take: Disney-Pixar’s overreaction to Lasseter’s “unwanted hugging” is Apple’s and Skydance’s gain. (“Skydance hired lawyers to scrutinize the allegations against Mr. Lasseter and privately concluded there was nothing egregious.”) Apple TV+ animated offerings will benefit greatly from Lasseter’s Skydance contributions. – MacDailyNews, April 14, 2021 From Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation, Luck is a story about Sam Greenfield: the unluckiest person in the world. Suddenly finding herself in the never-before-seen Land of Luck, she must unite with the magical creatures there to turn her luck around. Luck premieres August 5th, exclusively on Apple TV+.

I think you are right to make that point MDN are rarely interested in nuance sadly though the history of operating in the Mac environment can develop that instinct under the slings and arrows once so commonly received. But I can’t help but question perceived truths when 50 odd staff follow him from the place he was bumped from to the place where he is now. Unlike MDN however I won’t jump to the conclusion I would prefer without knowing the true facts of the matter, just find myself willing to have an open mind till I know them and hope that if there are indeed previous issues worthy of sacking that he has now learned from the experience and now use this second opportunity to display his undoubted brilliance.

 

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