Friday, February 10, 2017

Wing Spreading: Andrew Stanton Goes to TV, Heads for 'Stranger Things'

Andrew Stanton, long-time Pixarian and director of three Pixar smashes, is going down another avenue...

Stanton was actually one of the few recent animation directors that tried their hand at live-action. His debut live-action film was an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom stories, John Carter of Mars. Done at Walt Disney Studios, the division - at the time being run by the boneheaded chairman Rich Ross - completely botched the film and plastered it with a bland title (I refuse to call the movie what it ended being titled: Just John Carter...), the movie flopped hard at the box office and Stanton got most of the blame. Some see his return to Finding Nemo in the form of sequel Finding Dory as Disney punishing him for the Mars-bound movie... Which actually wasn't all that bad. I'd argue it was pretty decent and deserved to do better!

As Finding Dory was coming out, Stanton had said in interviews that he wanted to pursue more live-action projects because of how time-consuming animation is. Now, he has a locked a big project... For the small screen!

Stanton will be directing two episodes of the upcoming second season of Stranger Things, one of Netflix's runaway smash hits last year.

I confess, I've never seen a single episode of Stranger Things, but it's a sin I'm going to redeem before the second season starts in October. It's cool to see Mr. Stanton spread his wings and try it all, and maybe somewhere down the line he'll find a happy medium and do some good-quality television animation. Now, I do hope he eventually returns to Pixar with an original, but I'm excited - as someone who likes and owns John Carter of Mars, to say nothing of his three Pixar films - to see what he brings to TV.

I always saw Stanton as Pixar's "epic" director, making movies that are huge in scope and are very atmospheric in ways. I wonder if he'll bring that to the show, as I felt he kept that tone in his John Carter of Mars.

What say you?

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