Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris has grown up watching Indian iconic filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s cinema, is familiar with the thriving movie-loving culture of the country, and believes there is more scope for growth for the global animation studio in India.
When it comes to animation and using technology to tell stories, Pixar has been at the forefront. The studio came out with the world’s first computer-generated (CG) feature film “Toy Story” in 1995, and has attained the position of the most celebrated animation house in the world.
Apart from the “Toy Story” franchise, films such as “A Bug’s Life”, “Monsters, Inc.”, “Finding Nemo”, “The Incredibles”, “WALL’E”, “Ratatouille”, “Cars”, “Up”, “Inside Out”, “Brave”, “Finding Dory” and “Coco” add to its legacy. The films have travelled well in India as well.
How does the Indian market fit in the Pixar strategy?
“I’d like it to fit more in the Pixar strategy,” Morris told IANS, adding: “I think our films have not traditionally landed with a broad audience in India. And I probably don’t know all the reasons for that. I know about the tradition of the popular films in Indian cinema. Plus, there’s a huge number of them, I mean, there’s a lot of volume of them.”
Looking back, Morris continued: “I grew up watching Ray’s films and some of the other classic Indian filmmakers, which aren’t necessarily the popular filmmakers there. But I would love any suggestions about how we might penetrate that market more fully, because that is a huge a market we could grow in.”
Morris began working at Pixar in 2005, and supervised projects like “Ratatouille“, “Up“, “Toy Story 3“, “Cars 2“, “Brave”, “Monsters University”, “Inside Out“, “The Good Dinosaur“, “Finding Dory“, “Cars 3“, “Coco” and “Incredibles 2“.
As a producer, Morris most recently made the live-action Disney feature “John Carter” with director Andrew Stanton. He also produced Pixar’s Oscar winning “WALLeE”.
Morris, who held a range of key positions for 17 years in various divisions of Lucasfilm Ltd before joining Pixar, also pointed out another growing trend of Indian market.
“I know certainly that in India there is migration to the small screen, phone and iPad type viewing. We hope people like to see things of great beauty on the big screen. It’s hard to anticipate all of that with the kind of new generation and new things,” added Morris, who is the recipient of the Producers Guild Digital 50 Award, the Visual Effects Society Board of Directors Award and the Visual Effects Society Founders Award.
“It plays okay on the screen but the kind of the richness of it and the detail of it and the sophistication of it doesn’t come through as much,” he added.