April 20, 2014

Pixar Times Exclusives

Exclusive: Kelsey Mann On Directing ‘Party Central’


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!

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Exclusive: Limited Edition Disney∙Pixar Products To Debut At D23 Expo

D23 Expo Disney:Pixar Products Peek

The D23 Expo runs from Friday through Sunday, celebrating the worlds of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. As a result, there will be a host of exclusives offered at booths throughout the show floor and at the Dream Store and Disney Store. The exclusives often create an air of excitement due to their unavailability outside of the show. Their limited nature also means attendees have to make their way to their respective locations in order to ensure they do not sell out. We are excited to reveal a brand new line of Disney∙Pixar products that will make their debut at the show’s Disney Store. Find details and images after the break!

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Exclusive: Meet A Few Of The Voice Actors That Helped Bring ‘Monsters University’ To Life

Monsters University - Voiced By Lori Alan

Pixar has a reputation for casting actors that work for its characters, rather than simply searching for celebrities to fill its roles. The studio has understood, from its first feature film, that a strong story and memorable characters are necessary to make a great film, and that those characters need to connect with the audience. Although you may recall the voices of veterans like Tom Hanks (Toy Story) and Albert Brooks (Finding Nemo), there are many other voices that are essential in bringing the story to life. Learn more about these other voices and the talented group that provides them after the break!

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Five Things I Learned About ‘The Blue Umbrella’ From Director Saschka Unseld (Exclusive Image)


Pixar has been quietly producing inspirational shorts and attaching it to their feature films since the original Toy Story. The shorts consist of four to seven minutes of magic and have single-handedly pushed several other studios to bring back the celebrated practice of having a short lead into the feature presentation. This year’s Pixar short is The Blue Umbrella and its story, characters, music, and visuals are all incredible. In a conversation with the short’s director, Saschka Unseld, I learned several fascinating details about the short film’s development. Read on for more about the short’s history and take a look at an exclusive image from the short we are debuting today!

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Exclusive: Viral Marketing Reveals New Pixar Short?

Rainy City - Rain

Throughout its success with feature-length films, Pixar has maintained focus on short films as well. Last year’s La Luna was arguably one of the best shorts from the animation studio, receiving widespread critical praise and an Oscar nomination. Around this time last year, we knew that the stunning Enrico Casarosa-directed short would be the studio’s next – but, what is to be the next Pixar short? We have come across some viral marketing that may very well allude to what it may be. [Read more...]

Exclusive: ‘Brave’ Production Designer Steve Pilcher Talks Change In Directors, Mythical Side of Scotland, And Setting A Mysterious Tone

Steve Pilcher working in his office. (Photo by Deborah Coleman/Pixar)

Back in April, I was invited to Pixar to preview the first half-hour of Brave, and speak in-depth with several of the filmmakers. I had the opportunity to sit down with the film’s production designer, Steve Pilcher, who worked on the film for almost seven years. That may sound like a frustrating amount of time on one film, but Pilcher loves what he does. After the jump, read my exclusive interview with him, where he talks about the job of a production designer, the change in directors that Brave went through, the mythical aspects of Scotland, the importance of mystery to the film’s look, and more! [Read more...]

Premiere: Watch ‘Brave’ Video Game Trailers

Brave Video Game Next Gen - 4

Along with our fellow Pixar blogs, we are excited to exclusively premiere the trailers for “Brave: The Video Game.” The video game adaptation of the highly anticipated Pixar film looks to continue the wonderful streak of high-quality games from Disney Interactive based on Pixar properties. The action adventure takes Merida and a supporting cast that includes bears on an epic journey through ancient Scotland. Take a look at the trailers for “Brave: The Video Game” after the jump! [Read more...]

Exclusive: A Chat With The ‘Brave’ Video Game Producer

Brave Video Game Next Gen - 3

Previously categorized as cheap attempts to make money, games based on properties have come a long way over the past decade. Pixar realized the importance of the art and began working closer than ever with the teams developing video games based on its films. The Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 games are recent success stories for Disney Interactive and Pixar, smartly developed to be accessible and fun for everyone, without alienating gamers looking for more of a challenge. Recently, I had the chance to ask Brave video game producer, Glendon Dphrepaulezz, a few questions about Pixar’s involvement, the gameplay, and more. Read our exclusive interview with him after the jump! [Read more...]

Pictures From ‘Brave’ Press Days At Pixar

BRAVE Press Junket - 19

During our first press day at Pixar, we viewed La Luna and 30 minutes from Brave. Jumping ahead to the second day, we sat in on a good number of discussions with Pixar employees on the many aspects of the film, from wearing kilts, playing bagpipes, engaging in archery, and Scottish culture. I was able to take pictures inside Pixar’s atrium and on the studio’s grounds, where the pieces of art and promo material made it apparent that the release of Brave is coming up fast. Check out the hi-res images after the jump! [Read more...]

Interview: Enrico Casarosa Discusses ‘La Luna’


Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to sit down with La Luna director Enrico Casarosa and talk to him about his work on the short that has been generating a good deal of buzz. Topics of discussion include the short’s journey from inception of the idea to getting it made, how Monsters, Inc. and Up director Pete Docter suggested they screen it at film festivals, that the short will be eligible for eligible for accolades this awards season, and the bold visual and sound choices made to give the film a unique voice. We also briefly hit upon a certain Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs that Casarosa will be working on next. For the first time, I am also including the audio of the interview, so if you would rather listen to our discussion, you have that option. Continue on for my in-depth interview with the director of one of Pixar’s newest (and most magnificent) shorts. [Read more...]

First: New Video Details Pixar’s Collaboration On Cars 2 Video Game

Cars 2 Video Game - Screen 4

I am excited to bring you a new behind-the-scenes video on “Cars 2: The Video Game,” which we are exclusively debuting alongside our fellow Pixar blogs. The video details just how involved Pixar was with the development of the game. I have written extensively about the strong partnership between Pixar and Avalanche, the developer of the game. As you will see in the video, Pixar brought Avalanche in very early in the production of Cars 2, so the film and the game evolved alongside each other. Pixar employees such as Story Supervisor Nathan Stanton, Animator Adam Burke, and Supervising Technical Director Apurva Shah were all on-board in helping extend Pixar’s vision into the video game world. Check out the fascinating video in hi-def here! [Read more...]

Exclusive: Cars 2 Supervising Animators Shawn Krause and Dave Mullins Talk Pixar Animation (Part 1)

(L-R) Shawn Krause, Dave Mullins

A few months ago, not only did I have the chance to talk to Cars 2 composer Michael Giacchino and story supervisor Nate Stanton – I was lucky to also be able to talk to the supervisors of the animation process on the film. Shawn Krause and Dave Mullins served as supervising animators for years before Cars 2 was released in theaters. I spoke with them about their job, how it is working together, and the intricacies of the animation process at Pixar. Read on to view Part 1 of the interview here! [Read more...]

Exclusive: Story Supervisor Nate Stanton Talks Cars 2

Photographer: Deborah Coleman. ©Disney/Pixar.  All Rights Reserved.

A few months back, I had the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with Cars 2 Story Supervisor Nate Stanton. We spoke about exactly what a story supervisor does, the difficulty of the job, transitioning the Cars sequel into the spy genre, the response to criticism for the original film, and the inspirations for the spy aspects. We learn great new details about how the creative team had to cut scenes that were deemed too dark to make the cut. Yes, Pixar was determined to make a great spy film. Read on for an enlightening interview with Stanton! [Read more...]

Exclusive: Composer Michael Giacchino Talks Cars 2, The Incredibles, Lost, Inspirations

Photographed by Brett Butterstein. ©Disney/Pixar.

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to participate in a roundtable with Cars 2 composer Michael Giacchino. The Academy Award winner has earned much praise throughout the last decade for his work on Alias, Lost, Star Trek, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and of course Up, the film for which he won the Oscar. This year, the incredibly busy Giacchino has composed the music for Fringe, Super 8, and still managed to find time to return to Pixar to score Cars 2. Check out my exclusive questions for Michael Giacchino, where he discusses his inspirations, his past work, and his time on the upcoming Cars 2. [Read more...]

Exclusive: Darla K. Anderson Talks Pixar and ‘It Gets Better Project’

Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar

During the past year, hundreds of celebrities and employees at companies around the world have taken to the web to share a message of hope through the It Gets Better Project. In November of 2010, Pixar employees collaborated to create an emotional addition to the project that received overwhelmingly positive feedback across the world. Toy Story 3 producer Darla K. Anderson introduced the video to the hundreds of thousands of people who viewed it over the next several months. A few days ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with Darla about her involvement with the video and how Toy Story‘s Woody went on to help out with the project. Read on to view the transcript from our discussion.
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