ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 4.9 - DECEMBER 1999
Toy Story 2 Is Not Your Typical Hollywood Sequel
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All the beloved cast of characters from Toy Story team-up to rescue Woody. © Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios.
Disney As A Partner
Lee Unkrich declares, "We have a great partnership with Disney, especially with Tom Schumacher who is head of Feature Animation. We regularly show them story reels and animation. They don't interfere, but if they see a problem they will point it out. Usually they are right and we will fix it. The best thing about our relationship with them is that they are a neutral third party. They will look at the things we are doing and point out to us the things that are not working as well as they could. We go away and hopefully come up with great solutions to the problems."
The two producers explain they work closely with Disney. While Pixar was developing images to be used in marketing the feature, Disney was creating the copy. Pixar approves everything that Disney does to promote their films. Plotkin enthuses, "They are terrific partners, very supportive."
Unkrich says, "I think the thing that all three of us [Lasseter, Brannon and Unkrich] can say we are the most proud of is staying true to the heart of the first movie and the first characters. John likes to say the world of Toy Story is like a great sitcom like Cheers or Mary Tyler Moore. It's really true because when we sat down to write the sequel a lot of things really wrote themselves. The characters are so fun and dear to our hearts that dialogue practically spills out of their mouths without us really working very hard on it. We are all very proud that it is really a natural extension of the first film, yet at the same time it doesn't feel like we are rehashing anything from the first film."
When asked about the future he muses, "It's likely that John and I will work together again. I love working with John. I feel I'm working with the Walt Disney of our times."
Karl Cohen is President of ASIFA-San Francisco. His first book, Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators, is published by McFarland Publishers. He also teaches animation history at San Francisco State University.
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