Annie Leibovitz is a famed photographer who has left indelible impressions with her images, from those of actors and singers to even the Queen of the United Kingdom. In 2007, Disney hired her to photograph celebrities made to appear as some of the iconic characters from the studio’s films. Out of that partnership, we have seen some gorgeous results, from Rachel Weisz as Snow White, to Penelope Cruz and Jeff Bridges as Belle and the Beast. Today, a new photo was revealed, and it is the first time a Pixar character has been featured. See actress Jessica Chastain transformed into Merida from Brave after the break!
Watching the daytime parade at Disney Parks is as essential as taking in the attractions and chowing down on Mickey ice cream bars. Thousands camp out along the parade routes to ensure they have a great viewing position and get their cameras ready to capture the many creative floats that will pass. The Celebrate A Dream Come True parade has been a mainstay at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom since 2009, but that is set to change next year when the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will take its place. Included in the parade will be a Merida float, which you can preview after the break!
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!
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!
Over the last year, a fast-growing and nearly deafening debate in the film world is that of Pixar Animation Studios vs. Walt Disney Animation Studios. For a long time, the two heavyweight fighters were Pixar and DreamWorks Animation, because Disney Animation was churning out titles such as Brother Bear and Chicken Little, not remotely close to representing serious competition. Since the success of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, though, people have once again sat up and paid attention to the studio that started it all, seeing in its new breed of animators a serious challenge to Pixar’s creative and financial dominance. Now that Pixar’s had two consecutive features creatively falter to varying degrees—Brave was better than people give it credit for, but it never reached the vertiginous heights of Up or the raw emotion of Toy Story 3—and because they have a couple sequels at different stages of production, the knives are out, thanks to a built-in yet outlandish level of impatience.
On Sunday night, Brave returned Pixar to the Oscar podium once more, as the film won the Best Animated Feature award. While director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian were present at the show, most of those who worked on the film were not in attendance. Andrews and Sarafian returned to Pixar on Monday, carrying the golden statuette, ready to celebrate with their co-workers. Watch a news clip showing their celebrated return after the break!
Last year was a solid year for animation, consisting of several popular hits including Wreck-It Ralph and Brave, along with less-seen but still quality films such as ParaNorman, Frankenweenie, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits. All of the above were deservedly nominees in the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars, but no clear winner was in sight. Pixar’s Brave had picked up momentum in recent months, taking the top animation prize at the Golden Globes. After sitting out the category at last year’s Academy Awards, Pixar was looking to reclaim the spot that it had all but claimed ownership over in recent years.
A few weeks ago, Brave won best animated film at the Golden Globes, the Pixar film’s first major award of the season. With the Academy Awards just two weeks away, the question was whether Brave would be able to maintain momentum. The BAFTAs, often referred to as the overseas version of the Oscars, were held earlier tonight in London, and it looks like good fortune remains on the film’s side as it took home the prize for Best Animated Film. Watch the acceptance speech after the break!
Last year, Pixar received awards and nominations for its short film, La Luna, which was beautifully directed by Enrico Casarosa. However, the divisive Cars 2 largely remained on the sidelines, making last year the first time Pixar’s feature film had not been a factor in awards season. Brave received far more favorable reviews in 2012, and last night captured the Golden Globe in the Best Animated Feature Film category. Find more details and watch the acceptance speech after the break!
Awards season is fully underway with film circles and organizations announcing their top picks for 2012. While most of the prominent groups look at film as a whole, there are some that look at specific forms of film such as ASIFA-Hollywood, which awards prizes in animation at the Annie Awards. Nominations were announced this morning, and Brave is tied for the lead, garnering a total of 10 nominations. View the full list of nominees for the 40th Annual Annie Awards after the break!
The high-profile New York Film Critics Circle is announcing its picks for the year today, which means the awards season has now begun. Historically, Disney has promoted Pixar’s feature films during the season by publishing ‘For Your Consideration’ ads, the first of which we saw for Brave recently. Two more FYC ads have emerged, made up of two memorable and visually striking moments from the film. Take a look at them after the break!
With the holidays around the corner comes the realization that awards season is rapidly approaching, which has studios scrambling to keep their films on voters’ minds. The most common approach for that is for studios to publish ‘For Your Consideration’ ads, which gently remind potential voters that their films should be in the running. Pixar’s Brave, which will likely be seriously considered for nominations in the animated feature and music categories, recently saw its first ‘FYC’ ad pblished and you can see it after the break!
Pixar films are renowned for their compelling characters as well as their gorgeous animation. The studio is also known to have a bit of fun, hiding “easter eggs” in hard-to-find places that can often only be found on repeat viewings. In Brave, the latest film from the animation powerhouse, audiences quickly found two hidden references that we have come to expect in all of its feature films – the Pizza Planet truck and a nod to the next film down the line (in this case, Monsters University). However, the A113 code that has appeared in every one of Pixar’s feature films has proven to be elusive – until now, that is. Take a look at the find after the break!
There is often a tremendous amount of creativity seen in Pixar shorts, as the shorter time length allows for directors and other members of the production team to experiment with technology and varied art styles that may later be utilized in the far lengthier format of feature films. It is fitting to see the Brave Blu-ray and DVD released alongside Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2, for it is indicative of the relationship that we have come to expect between feature films and shorts released by Pixar – one is always accompanied by the other in theaters.
The demon bear Mor’du was shrouded in mystery throughout much of the story in Brave. As director Mark Andrews and his team developed the character, it became clear to Andrews that the bear should be a monstrous figure that posed a very real threat to Merida, her family, and the rest of the kingdom. If you wanted to learn more about the deadly beast, you will be able to get a better look at it in a new short entitled The Legend of Mor’du that is being included on the feature film’s home video release. After the break, find the first two images from the short that provide us with a look at the film’s unique art style.
Domestically, Brave has already grossed well over $200 million, placing it around the middle of Pixar’s films when ranked by box office. Internationally, the film has taken in a total of about $450 million, continuing the worldwide success that the animation studio has enjoyed. The film’s theatrical release in North America was beginning to come to an end, playing in just 450 theaters last weekend, but Disney has announced that it will send Brave back into wide release for one weekend only.
Aside from the increase in video and audio quality, the jump from VHS to DVD was amazing for its focus on providing special behind-the-scenes features that are now considered customary. Actually, special features have become expected to the point that when they are missing, the box set is dubbed as shallow. Blu-ray discs have the potential for much more with their exponential increase in storage space and Disney and Pixar seem to be taking advantage of that, as Brave on Blu-ray has over 20 special features, including a brand new short that gives us more of the demon bear Mor’du. Find a complete listing after the break!
Brave‘s box office run is beginning to run down, with the release of Finding Nemo 3D on the horizon. However, the latest animated film from Pixar is not out of the spotlight yet, as its home video release is just around the corner. Disney/Pixar has announced that Brave will be arriving on Blu-ray/DVD combo packs on November 13 and has released a trailer to accompany the news. Take a gander after the break!
Almost two years ago, word leaked out that Brenda Chapman, who was to be the first woman to head up a Pixar film, had been replaced as director of Brave. The reasoning provided by Disney for the removal was “creative differences.” Chapman stayed at the animation studio while Brave was in production, but then quietly headed for the exit after the film was released in theaters. For the first time, she is speaking out about her removal, describing it as “devastating.”
Back in 2005, Chronicle Books released a Pixar postcard set in time for the studio’s 20th anniversary. The set contained 100 postcards featuring concept art from all of the feature films and short films that had been produced by the animation studio. Now, after a seven-year wait, Chronicle is set to release a Volume 2 in the series, with 100 all-new postcards with artwork from arguably some of Pixar’s greatest films. Find more details and the press release after the break! [Read more...]