This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Has animation A-lister Brad Bird (Ratatouille) left the medium behind (starting with 2011's Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol) in part out of creative frustration?
During an intimate CalArts fundraising salon Jan. 29 at a Beverly Hills house, he discussed animation with Pixar colleague Mark Andrews: "Where's the Francis Ford Coppola or the Alfonso Cuaron of the field? … Why can't there be an Annie Hall? … Why does it always have to be cute?"
Bird noted that top work "can't be done on the cheap" and that his sometime employer Disney "has the budget and the talent but doesn't want to do those subjects."