While Steve Jobs‘ legacy at Apple often overshadows his significance in the formation of Pixar Animation Studios, there is no doubt that he left an indelible mark on the studio. Pixar CCO John Lasseter often credited Jobs with encouraging the employees to continue striving for great stories. Jobs famously pumped in millions of dollars to keep the then-fledgling studio afloat, long enough for Toy Story to be released, the studio’s first feature film, which went on to set a high bar critically and in box office take. After his death in October 2011, many openly wondered how Pixar would honor Jobs’ memory. The studio remembered him during the credits of its 2012 film, Brave, and recently dedicated a tree on its campus in his honor. Take a look at the beautiful tree and its plaque after the break!
Reactions are flying to today’s big announcement that Pixar is officially developing a Finding Nemo sequel titled Finding Dory. The film will center on the character that Ellen Degeneres famously played in the original film. With the sequel film still over two years from release, director Andrew Stanton and the cast are sure to remain tight-lipped on substantial details. Degeneres did speak about the film, though, on her show earlier today, which you can watch after the break!
After it became known that director Andrew Stanton was developing a follow-up film to Finding Nemo, speculation ran wild on what the story would involve. Would Nemo get lost again? Would all of the main characters return? It was previously reported that Albert Brooks (Marlin) and Ellen Degeneres (Dory) would be back. Today, we have learned that the film will be titled Finding Dory. Find more details after the break!
Disney Infinity is an upcoming gaming platform that will combine the characters from various Disney and Pixar properties for the first time. Aside from the opportunity to make these distinct characters interact, the platform will also be a venue for entire games starring these characters in their own worlds – Sulley will be able to go around the campus of Monsters University scaring fellow students, while Mr. Incredible can save the citizens of Metroville from harm. Disney Interactive has released Episode 2 of its video series taking a look at the game. Get a better understanding of the game’s starter pack after the break!
Major entertainment events are often seen as the go-to place for studios to debut TV spots for films that are still several months out from seeing release. The Super Bowl is the biggest of them all, a venue where many highly-anticipated films provide audiences with a first look. The Kids’ Choice Awards is appealing to studios for the show’s ability to draw the younger crowd, with last year’s presentation bringing in over 11 million viewers. Disney/Pixar chose the awards show, which was held this weekend, to debut a brand new commercial for Monsters University. Watch the TV spot after the break!
Over the past few years, there have been more shorts produced by Pixar than ever before in its 25+ year history. The staff size at the studio continues to grow, especially with the opening of Pixar Canada, a sister studio that primarily works on shorts of established properties such as Cars and Toy Story. In addition to the yearly Pixar shorts that accompany its feature films, it has been the release of the Cars and Toy Story Toons that have increased its output of short films. While all the Toy Story shorts thusfar have premiered in theaters, the Cars shorts have mostly debuted on the small screen. Three new Cars Toon “shorty shorts” make their debut tonight on the Disney Channel. Find details and images after the break!
Disney Infinity differs from the traditional video game in several arenas, but hardware is where the big difference lies. Physical figurines interact with the software to bring characters to life in the game and power discs are utilized as well to enable power-ups and unlock items, backgrounds, vehicles, and more. Disney Interactive is smartly launching a video series on YouTube that explains the intricacies of the game. Watch Episode 1 after the break!
If you go down the list of Pixar films, many stick out as having memorable scores, including the Toy Story trilogy, WALL-E, and, of course, The Incredibles. The studio has released 13 feature films, but only four composers are responsible for them – Randy Newman, Michael Giacchino, Thomas Newman, and Patrick Doyle. Clearly, Pixar has developed close relationships with the composers. Newman is now returning to collaborate with Pixar once more, on next year’s film, The Good Dinosaur.
‘Disney Infinity’ Series 1 Power Discs Revealed – Homages To ‘Up,’ ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Mickey Mouse,’ ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Mulan’ And More
Many have stated that Disney Infinity is simply the Disney corporation’s version of Activision’s Skylanders, a franchise that has earned over $1 billion from sales of its game as well as character figures that can be beamed into the game. While Disney Infinity also allows players to purchase and send characters into the game, its power discs that unlock items and power-ups differentiates it from Activision’s blockbuster game. The starter pack for Infinity will include one power disc, but other discs will be sold in blind packs. After the break, take a look at 20 power discs that will be included in Series 1!
In January, after months of rumors Disney Interactive confirmed that a new gaming platform called Disney Infinity was on the way and would be released in just a few months. Featuring entire games centered around the universes of Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Incredibles included in the starter pack, players can also unlock more through the purchase of additional add-ons such as character figurines and playsets that opened up more new worlds. The initial release date was reported to be June, but the gaming division has just announced that Disney Infinity will be pushed back to August.
Several fundraisers are held on Pixar’s Emeryville campus throughout the year, where attendees can tour the beautiful studio, bid on original pieces of artwork, and watch film screenings, all to benefit a great cause. Two years ago, the JDRF, an organization that leads the way in research on Type 1 Diabetes, held a gala at the studio and screened Cars 2 a week before its general release. Over $1 million was raised that evening, demonstrating the power of such an event. This year, the JDRF fundraiser at Pixar will include a Monsters University pre-release screening, again one week before it opens in North America. Find more details after the break!
Every spring, Epcot hosts a Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World and places intricately trimmed topiaries of various Disney characters throughout the park. The appearance of Pixar characters such as Buzz, Woody, and Lightning McQueen is a given every year, with the level of their popularity. This year, with the release of Monsters University rapidly approaching, the theme park has put up a great display featuring main characters Mike and Sulley. Take a look at the topiaries after the break!
The trailers and ads that Disney/Pixar releases for its films in North America deliberately keep more of the film’s plot hidden from audiences. The international trailers, though, are known for being more revealing in the hopes that additional interest is generated in the increasingly important markets overseas. A new Monsters University trailer was recently released for the Japanese market and it gives away far more than its North American counterpart. Take a look at it, if you dare, after the break!
I have always wanted The Pixar Times to continue evolving over the years. We started out as simply a venue to share the latest in Pixar news. Soon after, we began premiering original artwork (PixArt), a process which is coordinated by illustrator extraordinaire Jerrod Maruyama, and as a team, we started bringing you coverage from special events across the country, such as the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Toy Fair in NY, the Disney Infinity announcement in Hollywood, and film junkets held at Pixar in Emeryville. Today, I am excited to announce that we are adding a weekly column that we hope will provide a space for thoughtful discussion. It’s called The Pixar Perspective.
Much of the conversation about Disney/Pixar’s marketing campaign for Monsters University has centered on the clever nature of the viral website and ads that have been released thusfar. The fictional school has provided the promotion team with with an opportunity to market the school, and in turn, the film. With the film still months from release, there is a lot more to come with respect to advertising. We have received word that standees are beginning to appear in movie theaters around the country. Take a sneak peek at the inventive design of the standees after the break!
When it comes to Pixar properties, there are several that have had an attraction inspired by them at the various Disney Parks around the world. Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., A Bug’s Life, and Finding Nemo have existed at Disneyland, Disney World, and other parks for a number of years. Most notably, Cars Land, inspired by the town of Radiator Springs from the film series, opened last year at Disney California Adventure. Films such as WALL-E, Ratatouille, and Up have had their characters walking around, interacting with park guests, but no attractions had been created. It has just been announced, though, that a Ratatouille ride is now in the works. Find more details after the break!
As viewers, we do not get to see a thorough look at the behind-the-scenes process on Pixar films. Special features on Blu-ray/DVD releases and featurettes shared online give us but a glimpse of the years of work and thousands of pieces of artwork that are drafted up by those working on the film. The “Art of…” books for Pixar films shine a light on the concept art and other pieces of pre-production artwork, showcasing them on big glossy pages in a beautiful oversized hardcover. The art book for Monsters University is up next and its cover design was just updated with stunning new concept art, which you can see after the break!
Aside from Mike and Sulley and the few nameless monsters we caught in the Monsters University teaser trailer last year, we were unsure of who else the film’s cast would include. Surely, with the film taking place on a college campus, the students would play an essential role. At Toy Fair a few weeks back, Disney/Pixar detailed several of the new characters that we would see in the prequel film. Today, a new poster has been unveiled and it is packed to the brim with characters. Take a look at the poster after the break!