Following the conclusion of the Toy Story feature film trilogy, there was a question as to how Disney/Pixar would manage the huge property. The cast of toys is too memorable and popular to simply allow to disappear forever, so a smart decision was made to create shorts that continued the story of these characters without treading on the trilogy’s foot. In addition to shorts that were released theatrically, we learned that there would a TV special called Toy Story of Terror featuring Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang. Today, this has been confirmed, as the short has been announced to premiere on ABC in October.
Brave was the first Pixar film to feature a princess as the lead character. Disney Animation, on the other hand has relied heavily on princesses, who have gone on to become a major symbol for the Walt Disney company. Prior to today, there had been 10 characters named as official Disney Princesses. Coinciding with Mother’s Day weekend, Merida was crowned a Disney Princess by her mother at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Check out photos and a video from today’s festivities after the break!
It has been over one year since Disney/Pixar announced the next film from the filmmaking team of director Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson, both of who last worked on Toy Story 3. While we were provided a basic premise, that the film would center around the holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where people of some Latin American countries celebrate those who have died, the film remained untitled. Given that the Toy Story film was critically lauded and was the first Pixar film to pass the billion-dollar mark at the box office, we have been anxiously awaiting further details on their follow-up film. After a recent trademark filing by Disney, it seems reasonable that the title could simply be Dia de los Muertos.
Last week, Walt Disney World held a press event to detail its ”Monstrous Summer,” including plans to integrate Pixar’s upcoming film Monsters University into Disney Parks. The campaign is also a way for Disney to raise awareness of the exciting attractions that were recently completed/updated. The event culminated in the temporary-but-still extraordinary transformation of Spaceship Earth at Epcot into Mike Wazowski. Take a look at how Disney was able to implement this tremendous spectacle, and learn who at Pixar helped make this a reality!
Pixar’s Merida To Be Crowned An Official Disney Princess At The Magic Kingdom (Updated With Artwork)
Brave was the first Pixar film to feature a story driven by a female protagonist. The character, Merida, was also a princess, which presented interesting questions for Disney/Pixar. Would she remain separate from the other Disney princesses since it was Pixar, not Disney, that was behind the creation of the character? Or would she join the Disney Princess roster and give the line-up its first Scottish influence? We have an answer now and it is the latter, as we hear that Merida will become an official Disney Princess next month!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World celebrates the golden age of the film industry, with its beautiful structures and classic theme. The park grounds used to house the home of Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida, which was responsible for the development of such films as Mulan and Lilo & Stitch. That production building was later converted into an attraction where guests can visit and learn how Disney animated characters come to life. There is also a showroom inside that displays concept art for upcoming films. Monsters University concept art was recently added, and you can take a look at the beautiful pieces after the break!
Over the years, Vinylmation figures have become very popular in the collectors market. While they were originally all shaped like Mickey Mouse, the lines have expanded to include other shapes and sizes, giving the designers and artists who work with them virtually unlimited possibilities. The Mickey-shaped figures continue to be the most widely released, which include the new Monsters University figures that are coming soon. Take a look at the monster figures after the break!
With a test video of Mike Wazowski taking over Spaceship Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park leaking out yesterday, we were left wondering just what the spectacle was tied to. With Epcot closed for the night except to the press, a huge Mike projection was shined upon the iconic Epcot structure, to share the announcement that the Magic Kingdom park at Disney World and the Disneyland and California Adventure parks in California would all remain open for a 24-hour stretch at the start of Memorial Day weekend. Watch the gigantic Mike Wazowski make the announcement after the break!
Just yesterday, Walt Disney World debuted the “monsterail,” a monorail at the resort that has been covered with Monsters University characters to promote the release of the upcoming film. Also tying into the film is the “Monstrous Summer” campaign that is currently underway, to not only showcase the Pixar film, but to also emphasize the enormity of the various attractions and events around Disney resort this summer season. There is a press event being held at Disney World through Friday that discusses these aspects of the campaign. Connected to the event, a report has emerged that, in order to help launch the Monstrous Summer campaign, Mike Wazowski will be projected onto the iconic Spaceship Earth at Epcot. Watch how it will look in a video after the break!
Monsters University is currently screening for college students and faculty around the country, and judging from the overall consensus, the film is on track to delight audiences across the globe. To raise and maintain awareness of the film’s release, which is less than two months away now, Disney/Pixar has just released the final theatrical trailer. Watch the final Monsters University trailer after the break!
‘Monsters University’ Director Dan Scanlon Explains Why Sulley Was Not Jealous Of Mike’s Good Looks In The 4th Grade
In early April, I was invited to visit Pixar to preview its upcoming films for the year, Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella, and to speak to the filmmakers that worked on them. One of the concerns (translation: nitpicks) that some Monsters, Inc. fans had after the announcement of prequel Monsters University was the comment Mike made to Sulley in the original film that inferred they knew each other in the fourth grade. With the prequel film revolving around the story of how Mike and Sulley met in college, there was a vocal minority that complained about what seemed to be a contradiction. After the break, read what MU director Dan Scanlon had to say about that!
Pixar’s parent company, Disney, has more resources to promote its upcoming films than rival studios. The Disney Parks and various Disney channels allow the company to extend its arm beyond the promotion that we see most often, such as trailers and commercials. In addition to organizing “meet and greets” with film characters at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, the company has recently started to theme its park monorails in a creative fashion. Earlier today, Disney World debuted a monorail that is covered with Monsters University characters. Take a look after the break!
The animation, characters, and script may get a lot of the glory in Pixar films, but it would be a mistake to overlook the role that the music plays. A prime example would be the opening sequence in Up, which took a somber turn right after we fell in love with the characters – it broke our hearts, but combine that with Michael Giacchino‘s superb score, and we were left devastated. Composer Thomas Newman has collaborated with director Andrew Stanton twice before, is reportedly working on next year’s The Good Dinosaur, and we have just learned that he will likely return for Finding Dory. Find more details after the break!
Yesterday, Disney held a presentation at CinemaCon, the event where studios preview their upcoming films as a way to rally support among members of the movie theater industry. The studio confirmed that Pete Docter‘s 2015 film that takes place inside the human mind would be called Inside Out. Additionally, attendees were lucky to be one of the first audiences outside of Pixar to view a near-complete version of Monsters University. Given that the film is a prequel to Monsters, Inc., which starred several beloved characters, expectations are high. Based on the brief reactions from the press present in the audience, it looks like the prequel film is on the way to being another Pixar hit.
Ever since the release of Up, many of us (translation: I) have been anxiously awaiting for Pete Docter’s next directorial effort. His next film was announced at the D23 Expo two years ago. It was described as taking us inside the mind of a girl, with emotions embodied as characters. While we had a very brief synopsis, we still did not have an official title. A few months ago, there were reports that the film had been given a title, but had not yet been announced to the public. Today, in conjunction with CinemaCon, Disney/Pixar has officially titled the film Inside Out.
Monsters, Inc. was only the fourth feature film to come out of Pixar. Almost twelve years later, the studio is set to release the prequel, Monsters University. In that time period, animation technology has evolved, and allows for far more detail to appear on the big screen than ever before. The Monsters prequel, which takes place on a campus, will have hundreds of characters share the screen, making for an expansive cast. Today, we have posters and details for twelve of those characters, along with the actors who will be voicing them. Enjoy information overload after the break!
Fraternities and sororities can often have a major impact on student life, especially if those joining are far away from home. There is a reason why group members come to call each other brothers and sisters - pledges can develop close bonds with one another that are of immense help through college and afterwards. Given that Monsters University has been described as a “college movie,” it comes with little surprise that the college groups will play a major role in the upcoming film. After the break, find details and images on all the fraternities and sororities of Monsters University!
With the sheer number of ads that we are presented with while at movie theaters, it is normal for the marketing of some films to be overshadowed by others. One of the important concepts in advertising is to create something different and memorable so the products get noticed, but it sometimes requires the advertising company to be bold. Disney/Pixar has done a great job at creating a Monsters University marketing campaign that capitalizes on the school that the film is based around. The film’s in-theater advertising, which first emerged in February, has also been creative. After the break, take a look at some more fun displays that have started to appear in movie theaters.
Getting a new Pixar film means that we also get to take another peek at the beautiful pre-production art that the talented artists at the studio put together to help them tell the story. We get to see the finished product in animation form, but it takes a lot of work to make the words leap from the script into the visual world. Art is created to help the filmmakers narrow their scope, a task that can be even more helpful in the case of Monsters University, a unique world limited solely by the imagination of those who work at Pixar. There is a new set of concept art pieces that have been released and they are as gorgeous as any artwork we have seen come out of the Emeryville-based studio. Take a look at their beauty after the break!
Pixar’s films are known to generally play well with children as well as adults, with stories containing complex characters and genuine heart. Back in 2010, Disney/Pixar screened a “cliffhanger edition” of Toy Story 3 for college students around the country months before its official release, fully understanding that many students enrolled in universities at the time grew up with the Toy Story franchise. Given that Monsters University is arriving almost 12 years after the original film, I had little doubt that we would see similar early screenings for the prequel. That has now been confirmed, as the film will be screened for those with a college ID in select cities starting next week. Find more details after the break!