July 24, 2014

Pixar Collaborated With Disney Parks Team To Transform Spaceship Earth Into Massive Mike Wazowski

Spaceship Earth - Mike Wazowski 2

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!

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Pixar’s Matt Jones Teams Up With Facebook To Reinvent The Emoticon

Matt Jones

We have covered projects that Pixar employees work on their own outside of the animation studio because, similar to the films that they work on, their own projects are often creative, ambitious, and imaginative. Does reinventing the emoticon fit those characteristics? Pixar artist Matt Jones is currently working with Facebook to provide us with a broader set of emoticons to choose from. Find more details after the break!

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‘Buffy,’ ‘Mad Men’ Writer, Producer Marti Noxon Joins Pixar

Image via The Playlist

Pixar is known for solely developing films based upon ideas that emerge from within the studio – that means that no stories are solicited from outside writers. However, established writers have been known to be brought into the studio for the scripting and screenwriting process. Recent examples include writer on The Lion King and Hercules Irene Mecchi, who worked on the screenplay for Brave, Little Miss Sunshine writer Michael Arndt who wrote the screenplay for Toy Story 3 (and is currently working on The Untitled Film That Takes You Inside The Mind with director Pete Docter), and The Visitor writer Tom McCarthy who worked with Docter on Up. Now, we hear that Marti Noxon, writer and producer of several successful TV shows such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Mad Men, has joined the ranks of Pixar on an unspecified project.

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Original ‘Brave’ Director Brenda Chapman Says Being Replaced Was “Devastating”

Brenda Chapman

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.”

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‘Brave’ Co-Director Brenda Chapman Exits Pixar? (Confirmed)

Co-Director Brenda Chapman arrives at "Brave" World Premiere. Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images.

Brenda Chapman was a well-known personality in the industry before she arrived at Pixar, as she was the first woman ever to direct an animated film from a major studio (The Prince of Egypt from DreamWorks Animation). She had also worked in the writing department on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Chicken Run. Excitement was in the air when she was hired by Pixar, considered by many to be the best in the animation business. She was to be the first female lead director at the studio when she came up with the idea for Brave before she was replaced by Mark Andrews. Now, a report has emerged that she recently left Pixar. [Read more...]

Awesome: Story Rules In Lego And Infographic Form

Pixar Story Rules - Lego 12

During her time at Pixar, story artist Emma Coats learned several rules about how to tell a story. While they are not expressly rules that Pixar developed, one can say that these are definitely questions that Coats and other Pixar employees asked themselves before proceeding. The 22 rules that Coats put into words on Twitter went viral in June and continue to make the rounds online. Many have commented on how the rules have inspired them to focus on the importance of story. Others have been inspired to display the rules in artistic form (Lego, infographic), which you can take a look at after the break! [Read more...]

‘Sam & Max’ Creator Steve Purcell Credited As Co-Director Of ‘Brave’

Image via Wikipedia

I am not sure whether this is something that we all missed, or specifically a detail that I, alone, missed – Steve Purcell, so integral at developing the story for Brave, is being credited as co-director on the film. He joins Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews in the growing list of credited directors on the film. Cited for his work on the story and screenplay, it looks like his role was important enough that Pixar felt it warranted a co-director credit. After the jump, learn more about Steve Purcell and his work! [Read more...]

Pixar’s Teddy Newton Cameos In ‘Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ (Updated With Video)

Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar

On the eve of the early IMAX-only opening of Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the Brad Bird film is pulling in overwhelmingly great reviews. It has already been certified “fresh” by Rotten Tomatoes and is currently sitting above 90% on the Tomatometer with more reviews continuing to roll in. The consensus seems to be that there are incredible action sequences and likable characters. One of those characters is played by Pixar’s Teddy Newton (Chatter Telephone in Toy Story 3). Ironically enough, his uncredited role in Ghost Protocol also has to do with a phone. Jump ahead to find out just what his role in the film is. [Read more...]

Help Emma Coats + Other Pixar Employees Make Their Film Great


There is an incredible amount of talent that works on Pixar’s campus in Emeryville, California. That, of course, can be seen through the studio’s films. Many of those Pixar employees also display talents in other areas – some are musicians, others are comic book artists. There are even those who make their own independent films – one group of Pixar employees is in the process of doing just that. Emma Coats and Shion Takeuchi, both Pixar story artists, are directing a short live-action film entitled Sweetpea. They have set up a Kickstarter page so that others can help provide the resources to make the film great. Read on for details on the project and see how you can help!

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NY Times: Pete Docter Helped Make Real-Life Up House A Reality

Pete Docter

The New York Times is reporting that a studio executive told the paper that Up director Pete Docter played a crucial role in the painstaking process to get the Up house recreation built in Utah. When Blair Bangerter, the designer of the Utah house, came up with the idea to bring the home to life, it was widely assumed that Disney, who has been known to strongly protect its properties, would reject the offer. However, Docter learned of the plans and apparently stepped in. [Read more...]

D23 2011: A Conversation With The Pixar Creative Team Panel (Update: Video Footage Added)


In celebration of 25 years of Pixar magic, the top creatives from the studio sat down for an informal chat at the D23 Expo on Saturday.  On hand for the event were John Lasseter, Jim Morris, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, Mark Andrews, Dan Scanlon, Pete Sohn and Ronnie del Carmen.  Scheduled but missing from the panel was Lee Unkrich. The “nine young men” told stories about Pixar’s past and reminisced about their time with the studio. Each Pixarian was asked to recall their favorite memory while working at the studio.  Some of the stories were new and some famiilar. From the first SIGGRAPH convention to the production of the first Cars film, each panel member had a great story to tell. [Read more...]

D23 2011: The Art of Brave Panel

©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

D23 Expo goers were given a rare and wonderful opportunity this past Sunday when Pixar presented “The Art of Brave.” The panel, hosted by production designer Steve Pilcher and shader art director Tia Kratter, offered a glimpse into the production and visual development process of the studio’s next animated feature. This really was something special. It was like personally being walked through an “Art of…” book with the artists themselves. They revealed beautiful concept images and pencil sketches featuring everything from landscapes and environments to characters and costumes.  From what was shown, it is clear that this will be one of Pixar’s most beautiful films to date. [Read more...]

Video: A Day In The Life of John Lasseter

John Lasseter

What does it take for an individual to oversee Pixar, Disney Animation, Disney theme parks, and direct Cars 2? Given that many of us would have a hard time managing just one of these tasks, the incredibly busy John Lasseter needs a regimented schedule in his life to accomplish all of the above. Walt Disney Studios has released a video detailing one day in the life of the director, and we can safely say that he does more than we can knock out in a week! Check out the 25-minute documentary below for the closest look at the life of John Lasseter that we have seen yet. [Read more...]

Pixar Story Artist & Animator Draw Covers For Marvel Comics

New Mutants 27 by Austin Madison

When Disney bought Marvel a few years ago, imaginations around the world ran wild with ideas of collaborations between the two companies. Since Pixar is also a subsidiary of Disney, many fans had hoped to see some sort of collaboration between Pixar and Marvel Comics. Comics based on Pixar properties are currently being published by Marvel, but many of those that have been announced had previously been published through BOOM! Comics. USA Today has debuted a few special cover images for some established comic series that are running an “I Am Captain America” theme and has noted that a few Pixar employees are helping out by contributing their own artwork. Read on for a look at the covers! [Read more...]

Video of the Day: John Lasseter Shows Off Hawaiian Shirt Collection

John Lasseter

In early April, Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle toured Cars 2 director John Lasseter’s closet and found exactly what was to be expected – an absolute ton of Hawaiian shirts. The Hawaiian-shirt-aficionado’s closet of 374 unique designs is organized by theme, with Pixar and Disney obviously accounting for a large part of the collection. However, the displayed shirts only represent a sample of Lasseter’s entire collection, as he says he likely owns well over 1,000. Check out the fun video and also find out just how much fun the Lasseters can have on April Fool’s Day! [Read more...]

What Will Lee Unkrich Do When He Hits 100,000? [Update: We Know]

Lee Unkrich

About two years ago, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich made a promise that he would do something fun when he cracked the 5,000 follower mark on Twitter. He was certainly a man of his word, as he shared a video of himself smashing his face into a cake. The video is just one example of a long line of entertaining tweets we have gotten from the Academy Award winner over the past few years. While that happened back in 2009, it seems even further back since now he is approaching a milestone that is far, far bigger: 100,000 followers. [Read more...]

Get To Know ‘La Luna’ Director Enrico Casarosa

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

On Thursday morning, news broke on Pixar’s brand new short, La Luna, a film that is set to play in various festivals throughout the year. The short film’s director and head of story, Enrico Casarosa, may not have directed a film for Pixar up until now, but he has spent quite a bit of time working in the animation industry. Disney/Pixar has released an official bio on Casarosa, which you can check out here! [Read more...]

Cars 2 Production Designer Harley Jessup Talks Animation World

Harley Jessup. Photograph by Deborah Coleman. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars, recently produced a series of videos entitled “Production Design in the 21st Century,” where they spoke to production designers within the film industry. Harley Jessup, who is the production designer for the upcoming Cars 2, sat down to talk about his career leading up to joining Pixar for Monsters, Inc. and goes on to share some thoughts on how the animation industry works. Click here to view the full video. [Read more...]

John Lasseter Named One of the Most Influential People in the World

John Lasseter Portrait

TIME released its annual ’100 Most Influential People in the World’ list and Pixar’s own John Lasseter made the cut. As Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Disney, Lasseter is one of the most powerful people in film. Even with his executive positions at the two companies, he has somehow managed to find time to direct the upcoming Cars 2. Read on to see what TIME had to say about the Hawaiian-shirt-loving man. (EDIT: Thanks to PogieJoe, who alerted us that Pixar voice actor extraordinaire John Ratzenberger wrote the blurb on Lasseter.) [Read more...]

Brad Bird Hopes To Make Return To Pixar

Brad Bird

Brad Bird was flying high at Pixar Animation Studios. After directing the critically-acclaimed animated film, The Iron Giant, he arrived at Pixar and went on to direct The Incredibles and Ratatouille, two films that proved the director was no ordinary filmmaker. However, in the past few years it was announced that he was set to take on a live-action film for the first time, specifically Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The question on the minds of many was “Would Brad ever direct another Pixar film?”. In a chat with Entertainment Weekly, he addressed exactly that and we have some good news! [Read more...]