The founder of Disney Pixar is looking to bring another theme park experience to the world.
Edwin Catmull, who is credited as a co-founder of Pixar Studios, worked as an executive for both Disney Pixar and Walt Disney Animation for more than two decades and is still an integral part of many movies we are seeing produced today.
Catmull began his career working for George Lucas and Lucasfilm Vice President at Industrial Light & Magic computer graphics before Steve Jobs purchased Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division in 1986, eventually resulting in founding Pixar.
He would go on to serve as the Executive Producer for Toy Story (1995) and on the Executive Team for every Pixar film and some Walt Disney Animation Studios Film through 2020. Some of these films included Monster Inc. (2001), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), Up (2009), The Incredibles (2004), A Bug’s Life (1998), WALL-E (2008), Meet The Robinsons (2007), The Princess and the Frog (2008), Brave (2012), Frozen (2013), Inside Out (2015), Moana (2016), and many others.
The last four films produced by Pixar, all of which debuted for free on Disney+, were Turning Red (2022), Luca (2021), Soul (2020), and Onward (2020).
Now, it seems he is ready to branch out to help in undertaking another massive project that could prove to be a major gamechanger in the world of the metaverse.
Thatgamecompany, an independent game studio, announced that it has raised more than $160 million as it seeks to parlay games like “Sky: Children of Light” into a “theme park”-like metaverse experience. Catmull will serve as the principal advisor on creative culture and strategic growth.
The idea behind this project, according to the company’s CEO Jenova Chen, is to build a theme park-like experience in video games in a “connected metaverse.”
“There isn’t that equivalent of a kind of Disneyland experience or a Pixar movie experience in the game industry even today,” he said. “Hopefully, Sky and our future games will all be part of the theme parks in the future, like in a connected metaverse.”
The idea behind the metaverse is to create 3D virtual effects that could include animated characters along with simulated objects, props, artwork, and much more. Essentially, it allows an entire virtual world to be formed around the “real world,” but with even more immersive technology than virtual-reality currently gives.
In an interview with CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said this about the metaverse:
I’m so excited about this. To me, it’s a third dimension of the canvas that we let our creative people paint. And it’s going to take all the great things that we as a media company have with Disney+ and use that as a platform for the metaverse but at the same time we have something that no one else has and that’s the physical world, a world of our parks. And so, if the metaverse is the blending of the physical and the digital in one environment, who can do it better than Disney?
While there has not been any kind of confirmation, it’s interesting that Chen would mention Disneyland in his comments about this project his company has undertaken. If Disney were to be interested in bringing the metaverse to even outside its theme parks in the future, this could be a potential partnership that it would look to form.
What do you think of the concept of the metaverse in Disney Parks and beyond? Let us know in the comments!
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