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Pixar in Venice News Roundup: Lifetime Achievement Award, Oscars, and Toy Story 3-D

Several news stories have emerged from the appearance of John Lasseter and several key members of Pixar Animation Studios at the Venice Film Festival:

  • Lasseter and Pixar were awarded the Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by George Lucas) for their contributions to the world of film. Lasseter commented to reporters that “We really set out to deeply entertain an audience, not just children but adults as well,” and also credited his fellow directors in attendance (Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich) for the studio’s successes. Lasseter also briefly touched on The Bear and the Bow, Pixar’s first movie with a female character as the lead, which is scheduled to be directed by Brenda Chapman.
  • In other comments to reporters, Lasseter noted his hopes that new Academy Award rules in effect would lead to more recognition for animated movies outside the categories that they normally dominate, adding that the accolades for recent animated movies made him feel like, “we all got on a space ship and flew around the earth … we think we landed where animation was finally accepted along with our big brothers in live action. It’s hard to believe, I am so excited.”
  • Finally, festival attendees were able to see the 3-D version of Toy Story, which is scheduled for re-release to theaters next month. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Lasseter described updating the films as “digital archaeology,” adding that “To get it running with our current operating system was no small feat,” but that the re-rendering was fairly easy once that hurdle was overcome. Lasseter stated “We’ve always been making 3-D films,” but “we’ve just been looking at them with one eye closed.” Newer hardware also meant that rendering time for the first movie dropped from over one hour per frame to a faster-than-projection speed of less than 1/24th of a second per frame.

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