Andrew Millstein, executive vice-president and general manager of Walt Disney Animation Studios, recently sat down with the Hollywood Reporter to talk about Disney’s blockbuster hit Frozen, upcoming plans for Big Hero 6, and the studio’s relationship with its mega-successful sibling to the north, Pixar Animation Studios. Here are some excerpts from the interview; check out the article in its entirety here.
Hollywood Reporter (HR): Ironically, the first [Frozen] trailers downplayed the music. Were you concealing that Frozen is a musical?
- Andrew Millstein (AM): In the first presentation of the film through our marketing, we wanted to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. We love to set our films up so audiences discover something new in the film, something they weren’t expecting.
HR: [Disney CEO Bob] Iger said in January that there will be a Broadway musical version of Frozen. What about a sequel?
- AM: At the moment, there’s not a sequel on the drawing boards. Could there be? Sure. But we’re not engineered around the predetermination of that.
HR: Your next film is Big Hero 6, which comes out in November and is based on a Marvel comic series. How involved is Marvel?
- AM: It’s a Disney Animation Studios project. We have friends at Marvel. We like to share where we are. But it’s more from the perspective of, “Share your wisdom with us, what’s working, what’s not.” But it really lives within Disney Animation Studios.
HR: It comes from the Marvel library, but it’s not a Marvel property that people are familiar with. Will you present it as Marvel-based?
- AM: We’re going to have to fine-tune the language of the presentation. But it’s not a secret we are trying to hide. We will highlight that in the right way.
HR: So how much of a rivalry exists between Disney and Pixar right now? Certainly there were years where the Disney animators must have felt overshadowed by Pixar.
- AM: I don’t think there’s a rivalry. Their work is brilliant. They continue to be brilliant. Visit Pixar, and you will feel the creative vitality is palpable. I think here at Disney Animation, we have a deep sense of respect for Pixar. I think fundamentally we are a humble organization. We want to push ourselves without a doubt. We want to succeed brilliantly. We want our films to be embraced by everyone to the same degree that any of the animation studios do.
Source: Hollywood Reporter