Ratatouille is one of Pixar’s most unique films, with the story revolving around a rat who discovers he is incredibly talented when it comes to cooking. It does not sound like an idea that would translate easily to an attraction at a theme park, but then again, the idea did not sound like it would work on the screen either, but we know how that went. An ambitious Ratatouille ride is on the way to Disneyland Paris this summer and we have just learned its opening date – July 10th!
Pixar is one of the most secretive studios in Hollywood, and it is one of the few that is actually very good at maintaining that level of secrecy, an incredible feat for the age of the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter. Although we know the story about how the studio was formed and its process for developing films, there is quite a bit about the inner workings of Pixar that we still do not know. Today, a new book by Pixar’s president, Ed Catmull, was released, and it is packed with fascinating stories about the studio!
There are plenty of software options available to animators working to bring their vision to life. Film studios, though, have a larger budget and, therefore, greater flexibility in the animation process. Pixar is considered to be among the elite when it comes to the quality of computer animation – there is often at least one moment in the studio’s films that is breathtaking visually, leaving you to wonder how it was achieved. The studio utilizes its own proprietary software, which you can get a peek at after the break!
Two weeks ago, Disney confirmed that The Incredibles director Brad Bird is currently writing a story for a sequel. The original superhero family adventure is one of the studio’s highest regarded films, setting expectations for a follow-up incredibly high. All of the members of the Parr family would likely return, including what may be a grown-up Jack-Jack. We are now hearing that Frozone, a fan-favorite character, is also set to return!
Kelsey Mann joined Pixar in recent years, working on the studio’s 2013 hit Monsters University. He was appointed Story Supervisor on the film, quite a feat for his first official gig at Pixar. Then he was handed the responsibility of directing Party Central, a Monsters University short that is playing in theaters now with Muppets Most Wanted. I had the chance to speak with him about the short – read what I learned from him about the short and the studio after the break!
Fans have been anxiously anticipating Pixar’s next film, Inside Out, which is due in theaters next summer. It was handed the baton to represent the studio’s next film after Pixar decided to delay The Good Dinosaur, which had been scheduled to debut this May. This places extra pressure on Inside Out, but there is no better person up to beating high expectations than Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.). A screenings of a scene from the film played incredibly well at last summer’s D23 Expo, and now we hear that it received raves from the CinemaCon audience on Wednesday!
If there is one question that is asked of Pixar more than any other, it is whether the studio allows people to visit and tour its beautiful campus. The studio is closed to the general public, as it can’t have thousands of people walking its halls every day while employees are working away on upcoming films. Still, there are fundraising events held throughout the year, which invite people to support a worthy cause and tour Pixar’s campus. The annual Cartoon Art Museum benefit is being held this May – find out more details after the break!
Newt is the only announced Pixar feature film that failed to make it to theaters. Set to tell the story of a male and female newt forced together in order to extend their dying species, the film was being directed by Gary Rydstrom, who previously directed the short, Lifted. However, Newt was cancelled, which left eager fans, who had become caught up in the idea and gorgeous concept art, perplexed. The reason for why the film was cancelled has finally been revealed.
Last year, Pixar President Ed Catmull detailed the studio’s plans to release an original film every year, and a sequel every other, totaling up to three films every two years. Up to this point, we have seen sequels (and a prequel) for the Toy Story, Cars, and Monsters, Inc. franchises, but there has been one franchise, above all others, that has had a loud group of fans begging for a follow up – Brad Bird’s The Incredibles. Today, Disney announced two Pixar sequels that are in development, The Incredibles 2 and Cars 3.
Up was Pixar’s first film to be released in 3D, which means that there were nine previous films in the studio’s catalog that were solely developed for projection in 2D. In recent years, that has changed, as the first two Toy Story films, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo were rereleased in theaters, but following a less-than-stellar box office performance from Monsters, Inc. 3D, Disney halted further rereleases. Now, we have word that we could be seeing a few other Pixar classics hit theaters again in the future.
Creativity, Inc., the upcoming book from Pixar President (and studio co-founder) Ed Catmull, is set to be released next month, which has Catmull discussing his writing and contemplating his time at the famed animation studio. Yesterday, we shared a fantastic excerpt from the book discussing the Braintrust at the studio, which is so integral to the film development process. Today, read about his philosophy of mistakes, and his acknowledgment that Pixar has made some.
Mater has been the star of the Cars universe of films and shorts following the release of the original film. The shorts that followed, Mater’s Tall Tales, were brief stories that placed the titular character in outlandish situations, while the follow-up feature film placed him in the middle of a spy plotline. For those wondering when the other characters from Radiator Springs would return, we have your answer – in a new series of Cars shorts, the first of which is arriving sooner than you think.
The Pixar Braintrust is a respected group of directors, writers, and executives at the company who provide notes and advice to a film’s creative team during the development process. Consisting of John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, and others, the group has been credited as one of the reasons for the studio’s success. In Catmull’s upcoming book, the president of the studio discusses the importance of the Braintrust by highlighting a meeting held to discuss Docter’s upcoming film, Inside Out!
We are now less than two weeks away from the premiere of the new Monsters University short, Party Central, which is set to play with Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted. Originally scheduled to release with Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur this summer, the short was moved up after the dinosaur film was pushed to next year. This move is actually good for Party Central, as it is closer in proximity now to last summer’s MU, and the film is still somewhat fresh in viewers’ minds. Today, a new poster and clip for the short was released – view them both after the break!
Mondo has become the face of the movement to create limited-edition posters of films. Designing great posters requires the ability to tell a short story about what viewers can expect through a limited amount of space. Setting out to develop posters for classic films, when millions have seen them and have grown fond of them, is not as easy as it sounds, but Mondo has quite a number of talented and creative artists by its side. New limited-edition Pixar posters are coming soon, including for WALL-E and Up. Take a peek at them after the break! (UPDATE: Online sale info has been added at the end of the post!)
At the Oscars this year, no Pixar films were nominated for awards but the studio and its filmmakers were present in the spotlight, through montages featured in the show and TV ads playing during the telecast. Most notably, a new Google ad made its debut, which focused on its search engine, and had Pixar filmmaker Andrew Stanton providing narration on how to tell a story. Watch the ad after the break!
Josh Cooley is a story supervisor at Pixar who has worked several of the studio’s films, such as The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up, and even contributed a voice to the recent TV special, Toy Story OF TERROR! Like many of us humans, though, he has other interests as well. He has collaborated with Chronicle Books to release a great little book which celebrates famous moments in film through clever artwork. The result is creative and humorous – get a preview after the break!
Just a few days after posting an article that shared images of this year’s Best Picture nominees featuring Pixar characters, we have another Internet-developed sensation for you. Jon Negroni, famous for his extensive “Pixar Theory,” which posited that every film from the animation studio took place in the same world, has written about another “connection” which theorizes that in the Toy Story films, Andy’s mother is actually Jessie’s previous owner who abandoned her.
The question asked in the headline of this article is a ridiculous one but as we have often seen, the Internet is always prepared for situations like this. Where there is an outlandish idea, there are some creative folks waiting to provide us with a preview of what it may look like. There were no Pixar films nominated for an Academy Award this year, but what if characters in the studio’s catalog appeared in the nine films nominated for Best Picture – what would that look like? Find out after the break!
We have often seen the incredible work that Imagineers can produce, from the attractions themselves to the designs of the buildings that house them. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster is nearing its opening at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park, and it looks more incredible than ever. Out in Disneyland Paris, the construction for the Ratatouille ride is also nearing completion, and a buzz is in the air from all the excitement. After the break, take a look at the beautiful plaza where the ride will be located!