The 2009 Creativity 50: Ben Burtt and Andrew Stanton

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Ben Burtt
Ben Burtt
Ohhh the humanity! In a good way, that is. Humanity is saved, and gloriously celebrated in the animated box office hit Wall-E, which, ironically enough, centers around a pair of robots. Directed by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton, the outer space love story about a trash-collecting 'bot whose curiosity and zest for life help to bring the human race back to earth hit screens last June, earning heaps of critical praise, awards predictions (and so far, a Golden Globe) as well as big money (nearly $530 million at the beginning of '09). Reportedly the film was Pixar's most ambitious since the 2001 Monsters, Inc., which Stanton also worked on, and required about 125,000 storyboards over Monster's 75,000.

Writer/director/animator and sometimes V.O. talent Stanton previously penned and directed the Oscar-awarded Finding Nemo and had been on the teams of other celebrated animated films like Toy Story, Ratatouille and A Bug's Life. In Wall-E, he presents at once a simple love
Andrew Stanton
Andrew Stanton
story and an unpreachy parable that raises important questions about corporate consumer culture and the environment. Unlike Stanton's previous films, Wall-E's protagonists speak not a bit of language, but are more alive than the film's human costars, thanks in large part to the brilliant work of four-time Academy Award-winning sound design vet Ben Burtt. Wall-E, and his significant other Eve spring to life with their lyrical, conversational bleeps and blips—kind of like R2D2, which shouldn't be a surprise since it was Burtt who had given voice to the droid himself (not to mention the heavy breathing of Darth Vader and the light saber SFX too).

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