TAG Interview with Tad Stones

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Post by Steel on Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:15 pm

(Because both Olivus and Ranger were interested.)

I'll start off by saying this is old and served as the inspiration to email Stones to get an interview from him. The link to the original is here and he starts talking abut BLoSC at 14:40, I think, but I uploaded an edited version of the file here which is only 10 MBs with all the bits that mention BLoSC. And for those of you who can't afford to download, I have the transcript typed up, as follows:


TAG: So—so you did a whole string of—

TS: I did Aladdin, and then, uh—

TAG: You did Hercules.

TS: Hercules, um—

TAG: And then you did, uh, Star Command.

TS: Yeah, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, um, which evidently John Lasseter hates, I'm told. There—that was an unfortunate thing—uh, yeah, that he hates it—but, uh, I mean we—we pitched it to him and—and you know, Joe Ranfly knew and—and some of the key guys who had certainly worked on the Toy Story stuff. Toy Story is obviously really special.

TAG: This is prior to Pixar becoming part of Disney.

TS: Yeah, very much so. Um... but I mean, those guys I knew from when we were in animation together, so, uh, you know, we said "Hi," and we pitched them our show. I had actually developed the show on my own 'cause for the first time we had—I had done Hercules with, uh, Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, and that show, production-wise, we did a great job at—it's a beautiful show. The comedy writing from those guys who went on to get Emmys for Penguins of Madagascar and—and things they're doing at Nickelodeon, um, it was—they just did a brilliant job. We got all sorts of stars and celebrities in parts and they would—they would get the voice [of] the celebrity and write towards them—it was just fantastic, But then, usually... you'd do a show and some other creative team would do a show after you, so there'd be a hopscotch kind of thing.

TAG: Yeah, yeah.

TS: They wanted us to do the Toy Story show, the Buzz Lightyear show... right off of Hercules.

TAG: Yeah.

TS: And I told Mark and Bob "You gotta give Fridays. Fridays you have to be Buzz Lightyear days. And... because there's always gonna be work to do on Hercules, you've gotta just pretend you have a four-day week and this day has to be Buzz Lightyear." But that—Hercules was so much their show and there was always work to do that I went on and developed a—my version of—of Buzz Lightyear which was... just a different way of doing things. Probably more comedy-adventure, with a little more adventure, but kind of a smaller universe. I mean, working with those guys—but their minds weren't into it. So the day they're done with Hercules, then they really paid attention. They kind of said—uh, they gotta get their heads around it. And the show changed drastically. I have no clue whether John would've liked my version better. I suspect not when I finally see Buzz in those little dream sequences and things like they do in Toy Story, it was—it's plain "the big adventure" and this—this heroic guy who could do anything—

TAG: Right.

TS: —and that's not the show we could sell to our guys down at Disney. So we were trying to get that feel of Buzz Lightyear being a fish out of water—

TAG: Right.

TS: —that was in Toy Story, except we're doing a story where he's a fish in the water, where we had to get that humor, so...

TAG: So how many episodes of Buzz Lightyear—?

TS: At least 65...

TAG: 65.

TS: ...and I don't know if that's plus the feature. The nice thing about that is, in the meantime, suddenly they're doing Toy Story 2, which started out a TV animation taken over by Pixar, um... and obviously they did their own thing—I doubt any of the original development exists.

TAG: I think they basically took it over.

TS: They took it, yeah, and they went over everything, they created obviously a fantastic picture, um... We had our first meeting on Buzz Lightyear, the pitched guys are like "Yeah, this is great, let's go under production." "Now, are you sure, 'cause there's a sequel coming." And he says "No, that's not gonna hurt things, you know, we just go ahead." You know, switch to--oh, I don't know---six months later, or something like that, uh... we have a follow-up thing, but there's a different executive in the room. [chuckle] And we said--and that executive says "Wait a minute, this is coming out before the movie?" [laughs] And he was like--and I was just: "How could that be?" Uh, selective amnesia, I guess, but suddenly we had--we were doing all this work but we couldn't put it out—

TAG: You had to wait,

TS: --which--which was fine because that let us do our opening movie at the end of 65 episodes, which means an incredible increase of production value because you now had all those shows, all those layouts already drawn--all those character designs.

TAG: So you can plot over.

TS: Yeah, we can take that as a given, so it was a much richer thing. I had guys from feature to compliment to solve on that one.

TAG: So you had a direct-to-video feature at the end of it rather than first,

TS: Yeah, but it was released at the beginning 'cause we had to hold everything, you know—

TAG: But you had to hold everything--yeah.

TS: And Toy Story did fantastic, but it's one of those things where—

TAG: And that was--Buzz--that was the last series that you did at Disney, right?

TS: Yeah, then, well... not exactly because then after that I—

TAG: You did one more thing after that.

TS: We did Team Atlantis,

TAG: Right.




TS: All the direct-to-videos I did I did outside of the normal direct-to-video sculpture--structure--because they were TV spin-offs. Um, because of that, they were all low-budgets. I think Buzz Lightyear--I dunno, maybe eighty-eight million?



TS: Now the other stuff I get comments now--I'm going to San Diego Comic-Con, of course, next week--is now the fans of the Disney Afternoon are all adults having kids and Darkwing—

TAG: Now is all that stuff on? And where--?

TS: I don't think Buzz Lightyear is still on. Um...

TAG: But Darkwing Duck is still on, Ducktales is still on.

TS: I don't know. I mean, they own all that stuff and they certainly have enough channels and--I think they rotate that stuff. And sometimes, yes, it's on, but it's on at two in the morning.

And there you have it! Maybe some of you will find this interesting~

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Post by Ranger-Nova on Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:24 pm

Thank you, Steel! You are awesome. <3

"If there's one thing I can't stand it's gambling! I'll lay you seven to one odds there'll be no more poker after tonight!" - XR

[03:35:11] @ Alexa : The bad thing about having Zurg on my desk is that he judges me when I flail in excitement. XD

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Post by Olivus Prime on Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:40 am

Thanks Steel!

I found this quite interesting - I don't think he particularly spoke as if BLoSC was something he regretted, he just seemed disappointed that the show wasn't as good as it could have been (as would probably be the case if a project that you were enthusiastically working on had a major rewrite). Also, I didn't realise he liked the Hercules series that much - it was great, but not that amazing!

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