It’s not a huge secret that many Pixar productions, at least to outsiders, take on the appearance of being “troubled.” The animation juggernaut has produced commercial and critical hit after hit* since the original Toy Story set the industry on fire back in 1995, but the production process has occasionally hit some speed bumps.
Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.
Toy Story 2 was rescued from the direct-to-video trash heap and given a brand-new script. John Lasseter took over Cars 2 from the original director when that film started to have problems. Mark Andrews took the reins of Brave after Brenda Chapman (Pixar’s first female director) was dismissed. Even the highly-respected Bob Peterson was relieved from next year’s The Good Dinosaur, reasons unknown (fortunately, he’s not leaving the company).
We may never know what the original Ratatouille would have looked like, and on what scale Brad Bird made changes when he came in to replace Jan Pinkava, but we do know this: Bird crafted an exceptional film.