First Look: Pixar’s New Short ‘The Blue Umbrella’ [Updated]

A few months ago, we discovered a blog on Tumblr entitled Rainy City Tales that was sharing development of an animated short. After examining the posts, and coming across rather convincing evidence, it became apparent that we were looking at the genesis of a brand new short from Pixar – all we had to wait for was the official reveal from the studio. That day has now come, as the short has been unveiled. Learn more about the short and watch a clip after the break!


The Wall Street Journal brings us first details of The Blue Umbrella, a short directed by Pixar technical artist Saschka Unseld. The 6-minute film’s story follows “a blue umbrella that takes a fancy to a red umbrella and, in trying to follow that fancy, gets weather-beaten and wind-blown during a rainstorm.” The visual look of the short will differ from the typical style we are used to seeing from the animation studio. Given Unseld’s background, it is almost fitting that instead of a cartoony appearance, the film will have a “photographic” style. Having difficulty picturing what that looks like? Watch a 30-second clip in HD below:

While we did not have the story nailed down, our initial hypothesis that the short would involve a rainy city with inanimate objects coming to life was accurate. The WSJ explains that “everyday street objects have faces that come alive. Gutters grin, sewer drains smile and “walk” signals spy.” However, it looks like the story will center on the two umbrellas. If Pixar can make us believe that robots can fall in love, then why not umbrellas?


The Blue Umbrella will play theatrically with Monsters University, which opens in North America on June 21.

Official Synopsis

It is just another evening commute until the rain starts to fall, and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters.  And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.

From Pixar Animation Studios, director Saschka Unseld and producer Marc Greenberg, “The Blue Umbrella” opens in theaters on June 21, 2013, in front of “Monsters University.”

Update #1 (2:10 PM): Disney/Pixar has provided us with a hi-res image, which you can now see at the top of the post. An official synopsis can also now be found above.

Update #2 (2:30 PM): WSJ just released an additional image that is not hi-res, but gives us another look at the beautiful visual style of the short. It has also been added above.

Update #3 (1/8/13, 5:00 PM): Disney/Pixar has now provided us with a hi-res version of the second image as well, which is sitting above.

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  • Fantino

    I love Jon Brion’s score! And the lighting! Looks AMAZING! I’m really looking forward to watching it.

  • Declan R

    Wow, umbrellas with legs and feet. COOL

    • shadypotential

      the umbrellas don’t have legs lol

      • Declan R

        Look at the picture that comes with it. They have legs and feet, but no body.

        • tonnnerrebrest

          Isn’t that the person holding the umbrella ?

        • shadypotential

          that is a human being. the premise is two umbrellas meeting and falling in love in the city. not umbrella human hybrids lol