The closing credits of "John Carter," which arrives in theaters March 9, will feature a card with the text: "Dedicated to the Memory of Steve Jobs, an Inspiration to Us All," /Film reported on Tuesday. The live-action film follows the titular character's adventures on Mars and is based on the "Barsoom" series by author Edgar Rice Burroughs.
According to the report, Stanton explained both the pragmatic and personal reasons for the dedication at a recent press junket. On the practical side, he pointed out that the production "just happened to be, sadly, the first production up that was Disney that wanted to give [a dedication]" to Jobs, while noting that he "personally wanted to" as well.
Jobs had maintained a good working relationship with Disney during his career, especially after the conglomerate purchased Pixar, the animation studio that he co-founded, for $7.4 billion in 2006. The deal made Jobs the largest Disney shareholder and also earned him a spot on the company's board. After he died last October at age 56, his stake in the company was placed into a trust to be managed by his wife.
Stanton did point out that a more personal dedication to Jobs will come with the next Pixar movie, as the Pixar team are "the real family member" for him. "Brave," the next feature film from Pixar, is scheduled for release later this year. Stanton himself was brought on as Pixar's second animator in 1990 and went on to direct the studio's award-winning "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E" films. He has described himself as being "loaned" to Disney in order to work on the "John Carter" project.
The director said he had talked to colleague John Lasseter, who serves as Chief Creative Officer at both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, first before dedicating "John Carter" to Jobs, as he feared that it might steal some thunder from Pixar's plans. He also revealed that he had talked to Jobs' wife about it.
"But it felt right just cause I didn’t want too much time to pass without giving him some sort of permanent acknowledgement," he said of the decision.
Stanton also said that, while working on the "John Carter" set, he was often asked what Pixar was like and what made it special. After trying out several long explanations as to why the company ran different from other studios, he decided to just shorten his answer to: "Steve. Steve's why."
Working in Hollywood has given Stanton a greater appreciation for Jobs' role in protecting the animation studio. According to him, Jobs worked to "firewall" Pixar from the dysfunctional aspects of the industry.
"We knew he had, but he had truly firewalled us and protected us from all the bad influences of the outside world and we had just been raised in this little eden in San Francisco and had no clue how bad it could be. And so I really have to give so much more credit to him than I ever was, even though I always was, of how much he was a major factor for Pixar," he said.
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