Fox Making Movie That Was Almost Pixar's
Poor Chris Wedge. The director of Ice Age and Robots has spent years making his name with the Fox-linked animation studio Blue Sky, probably preparing the moment when he could strike out and make his masterpiece (no offense to Robots). And when he decided to adapt the children's book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, he made his big move, offering the book rights to none other than Blue Sky rival Pixar.
Even though Wedge had Fox's blessing to bounce over to Pixar, and John Lasseter and company were ready to get the ball rolling, Wedge was rewarded for his courage by Fox yanking him back into the fold. The Leaf Men will remain a Fox-Blue Sky project after all, with Wedge directing and broken dreams presumably providing the funding.
Though, based on the plot description in THR, this might be best for Pixar. The Leaf Men follows a group of bugs trying to battle an evil spider queen, and summoning a troop of mythical Leaf Men to help them. I'm not saying that Pixar needs to pick a new kind of creature/robot/human every time they make a movie, but it seems a bit premature to return to insects, just 11 years after A Bug's Life.
But Wedge's attempt at a crossover would have been interesting for Pixar as well, marking the studio's efforts to reach beyond their in-house stable of animators and allow room for fresh talent. They already set Andrew Stanton free to work on his live-action John Carter of Mars; why not bring in some established fresh talent too? Even though Leaf Men will remain a Blue Sky movie, I wouldn't be surprised if this hinted at other animators crossing over to Pixar in the future. Henry Selick, it's your move.
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