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Roth & Bird Fly To Pixar

Former Disney Studios chairman Joe Roth has joined Pixars board of directors and IRON GIANT director Brad Bird has signed on as a director as well. The announcement came on the same day that the 3D-animation company revealed heavy earnings in the first quarter due to the phenomenal success of TOY STORY 2. Roth helped develop TOY STORY 2 before he left Disney to start his own production company. Roth told Reuters that he wanted to keep in touch with the ever-advancing world of 3D animation as his new business is being formed. Pixar CEO Steve Jobs said, "We are fortunate and delighted that [Roth] will continue to help us with his wisdom and guidance." Ending the long rumors that Bird was moving to Pixar, Jobs said Bird was going to helm a picture "based on an already-formed idea he is bringing with him to our studio." The flick is tentatively set for release in 2003. Currently, the 3D wizards have three other films in production. As part of their five-picture deal with Disney, MONSTERS INC, is set to hit theatres this holiday season. A BUGS LIFE co-director Andrew Stanton is developing a project, while fellow BUGS LIFE helmer John Lasseter is working on a flick set to hit movie houses in 2002. "Im tremendously excited about joining Pixar whose work Ive admired for years," Bird said. "Though they have received much attention for being on the cutting edge technically, they are at heart, like John Lasseter himself, great story-tellers. Their focus is creating original stories and new characters. Thats rare. I cant wait to be a part of it." Pixars exec VP, creative Lasseter, who directed Pixars first three hit films TOY STORY, A BUGS LIFE and TOY STORY 2, said, "Brad is about the best director in animation. Everything he has touched has been entertaining, inventive and full of heart. Hes taken audiences to places theyve never been before. We are dancing on our desks to have him join us at Pixar."

Read Bob Millers Animation World Magazines interview with Brad Bird on how he created IRON GIANT.

Karl Cohens Toy Story 2 Is Not Your Typical Hollywood Sequel features an interview with director John Lasseter.

Read Mike Lyons Toon Story: John Lasseter's Animated Life to find out more about John Lasseters life in animation.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks