The Internet and nostalgia go together like peanut butter and jelly, barbecue chicken and the Fourth of July, and other appropriate food-related metaphors. A day doesn’t seem to go by anymore without Buzzfeed or another clickbait-centric website publishing an article about some piece of popular culture from the 1980s or 1990s, something you’d forgotten over time but are reminded of with a few well-placed GIFs. The power of this kind of nostalgia has revived countless toys into movies, or old properties into new ones designed to appeal as much to adults as to their kids; it’s both enveloping and somewhat corrosive. This isn’t to say that nostalgia in general is a bad thing; the problem is that the Internet has allowed such wistfulness to go unchecked and run rampant. [Read more...]
While Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida was generating buzz last week over its preview of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley, Disneyland Paris was holding its own with a first look at its (breathtaking) new Ratatouille mini-land, attraction, and restaurant. A fitting home for the film’s Paris setting, the huge new addition to the European Disney Park has been in development for approximately six years, and it looks like it has been worth the wait. After the break, get your closest look yet at the fantastic detail in the land and restaurant’s design, and get a glimpse at first footage from the headlining attraction!
We are now less than one year from the release of Inside Out, the newest Pixar feature film. The film, the latest from director Pete Docter who last directed Up, is already gathering momentum and most of the world has not seen anything except for a synopsis, a logo, and one piece of concept art. Still, buzz is building – Pixar seems to have an incredible amount of confidence in the animated film as the studio has been previewing scenes for the last few weeks around the world, to festival attendees, critics, and online media. The consensus? Inside Out may just blow your mind.
Inside Out, Pixar’s 2015 feature film, is now less than one year away. The film has been garnering significant buzz in recent weeks, with screenings of clips occurring at the Annecy Film Festival. The studio has customarily attached a short film with its features in theaters, but we did not have confirmation of which short we would be seeing next year – until now, that is. After the break, check out the poster and synopsis for the short entitled Lava.
For a film that is not due for another year (that isn’t Star Wars), Inside Out has a great deal of buzz surrounding it, for a number of reasons: given that there is no Pixar feature film this year, the studio’s absence is certainly being felt, increasing expectations for its next film; it is the first film from director Pete Docter since he made audiences around the world openly weep during Up; Inside Out footage the animation studio has screened at the D23 Expo and CinemaCon has knocked viewers’ socks off. Today, Pixar screened the most footage from the film to date, in France, and from what we are hearing, the film only seems to be raising expectations.
When we think of Pixar, we often think of the groundbreaking stories that the studio has produced, including Toy Story, Up, and The Incredibles. Although the animation house does not exactly want us to focus on the visuals, the employees work tirelessly to capture the look they need to tell a story. Pixar licenses its rendering software, RenderMan, to other studios, who are then able to pull off breathtaking visual effects as well. The incredible aspect of the software is that for every leap forward that Pixar’s RenderMan undergoes, the entire industry benefits. Not part of the industry? You can now get the software for free!
Earlier this week, the Disney Interactive team teased us with an image of Merida, stating “Bring on the Brave.” We already knew the character would be in the upcoming Disney Infinity 2.0, as she was spotted for a moment in last month’s trailer for the game, along with Maleficent and Stitch. On Wednesday evening, the developers held a sneak preview for D23 members in San Francisco of Merida and Maleficent joining the game – we have images that were shown and the brand new trailer after the break!
In the first iteration of Disney Infinity, there were quite a number of Pixar characters available for gamers to choose from, including from films such as The Incredibles, Monsters University, and Cars. When Disney Infinity 2.0 was said to feature Marvel super heroes, there was a question as to whether Disney and Pixar characters would appear. If you paid close attention to the teaser for the new game, you may have spotted Merida along with a few other Disney characters, albeit briefly. Now we have confirmation that Merida will, indeed, appear!
When I attended “Pixar In Concert” at Lincoln Center in NY a few weeks back, I was struck by how many memorable scores there are in the Pixar film catalog. The score that played just before intermission, arguably the most stunning piece of music in any Pixar film, was that from Pete Docter’s Up, the film that only needs mentioning to induce tears. The score went on to win an Oscar for composer Michael Giacchino, and has developed a life of its own. Docter and Giacchino are now reuniting once more, for Inside Out, which is due out next year!
Two months ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that Cars 3 was currently in development at Pixar. The Cars feature films are the only place where the main voice cast of the franchise have worked together – while the shorts that have been released have included Larry The Cable Guy as Mater, notably absent were actors like Owen Wilson who is the main voice for Lightning McQueen. That is no longer true, as Pixar has unveiled the first Cars short to reunite the films’ cast, Radiator Springs 500 1/2 – you can watch it online, and for free!
In October last year, Pixar unveiled its first-ever television special, Toy Story OF TERROR! There was little doubt that it would be successful, given the power of the Pixar and Toy Story brands – over 10 million people tuned in to watch it, not counting re-airings on other networks. As we await the next TV special, Disney has announced that Toy Story OF TERROR!, which was directed by Pixar veteran Angus MacLane, is arriving on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download this summer. After the break, find more details about the special features and everything else that will be included!
Disney Infinity has proven to be an incredibly successful gaming venture for Disney Interactive, as it has quickly become one of the biggest games in the industry. Last year, after much speculation about whether Disney Infinity would be a game-changer for the company, the game has been just that – millions of starter packs have been sold and individual figures that allow players to play as the characters in the game have also become collector’s items. Last week, Disney Interactive and Avalanche Software, the talented group behind the game’s development, returned to Hollywood to unveil Disney Infinity 2.0 – check out our full report, including our photos from the event after the break!
Pete Docter is a Pixar veteran who has been with the company since before the original Toy Story. Although he has only directed Monsters, Inc. and Up for the studio, the passion those two projects have inspired among critics and fans has made Docter one of the most highly-regarded directors at the studio. His next film, 2015′s Inside Out, has understandably garnered high expectations, given that it will be the first Pixar feature film since 2013′s Monsters University, but also because a short scene screened at the D23 Expo and CinemaCon generated immense praise. This summer, you can learn more about the film from Docter himself at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
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!