Pixar CCO Prefers Animated Originals Over Live-Action Remakes

Pixar CCO Prefers Animated Originals Over Live-Action Remakes

Josh O’Connor won’t be stepping into the shoes of Alfredo Linguini anytime soon. Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, Pete Docter, recently expressed his discomfort with the current trend of turning animated classics into live-action films.

In an interview with TIME, Docter candidly shared his thoughts, saying, “This might bite me in the butt for saying it, but it sort of bothers me. I like making movies that are original and unique to themselves. To remake it, it’s not very interesting to me personally.”

Docter’s comments were in response to a question about the online campaign advocating for Josh O’Connor to play the live-action version of Alfredo Linguini from Pixar’s 2007 hit, Ratatouille. O’Connor has been vocal about his love for the film, but Docter believes the casting is unlikely. He also pointed out the challenge of making a “live-action rat cute,” a problem that extends to much of Pixar’s work.

“So much of what we create only works because of the rules of the [animated] world,” Docter explained. “If you have a human walk into a house that floats, your mind goes, ‘Wait a second. Hold on. Houses are super heavy. How are balloons lifting the house?’ But if you have a cartoon guy and he stands there in the house, you go, ‘Okay, I’ll buy it.’ The worlds that we’ve built just don’t translate very easily.”

Docter’s perspective comes just days before the release of Inside Out 2, a film carrying significant expectations. “If this doesn’t do well at the theater, I think it just means we’re going to have to think even more radically about how we run our business,” he said, noting that Pixar’s last two releases, Lightyear and Elemental, underperformed at the box office.

The Pixar CCO also acknowledged the studio’s ongoing struggle to balance the production of sequels with original content. “Part of our strategy is to try to balance our output with more sequels. It’s hard. Everybody says, ‘Why don’t they do more original stuff?’ And then when we do, people don’t see it because they’re not familiar with it,” he said. “With sequels, people think, ‘Oh, I’ve seen that. I know that I like it.’ Sequels are very valuable that way.”

He added, “It’s sort of cynical to say people want to see stuff they know. But I think even with original stuff, that’s what we’re trying to do too. We’re trying to find something that people feel like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve been through that. I understand that I recognize this as a life truth.’ And that’s been harder to do.”

Docter’s remarks highlight a broader debate within the film industry about the value of originality versus the commercial safety of familiar stories. While live-action remakes of animated classics have proven to be box office hits, they often face criticism for lacking the charm and creativity of their original versions.

The conversation around live-action adaptations is not new, but Docter’s comments bring a fresh perspective from one of the leading figures in animation. His preference for originality over remakes underscores a commitment to innovation and creativity, values that have been central to Pixar’s success.

As the industry continues to evolve, the tension between originality and familiarity will likely persist. For now, Docter’s stance serves as a reminder of the unique magic that animation can bring to storytelling, a magic that is often lost in translation to live-action.

In the meantime, fans of Pixar can look forward to Inside Out 2 and hope that the studio continues to find the right balance between new stories and beloved sequels. Whether or not the trend of live-action remakes will continue to dominate remains to be seen, but for Docter, the focus remains on creating original and unique films that capture the imagination.

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