Happy 28th Anniversary, Pixar

Pixar Image Computer

We shared a similar post on Pixar’s 25th Anniversary. Everything that was shared still holds true, so I have shared it below once more, for the studio’s 28th Anniversary!

On February 3, 1986 Pixar became an independent company. While it would be almost ten years until they released their first feature film, Toy Story, the independence was a major step (albeit a scary one). Unsatisfied with their focus on manufacturing hardware, the fledgling studio set out on a long journey, where they sought to create films. The effects of the hardware they created are still a factor to this date and will continue long into the future. Why is that? The name of that hardware was the Pixar Image Computer and it became the namesake for the studio.

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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…]

Toy Story 3 – $110.3 Million Opening Weekend (Updated)

Toy Story 3 debuted on June 18th

Pixar scored its biggest opening weekend (stretching from June 18-20) with an estimted $109 million [Update: Actual total is $110.3 million] for Toy Story 3. The animation studio’s prior largest weekend belonged to The Incredibles, which opened to $70.5 million in May of 2004. Toy Story 3, which was directed by Lee Unkrich, also had an opening day total of about $41 million, the most an animated film has made on its first day of release. The new adventure of Woody and the other toys has been receiving almost universal critical acclaim, with a current Tomatometer rating of 99% on the popular Rotten Tomatoes site.

With Toy Story 3, Pixar’s streak of 10 straight films debuting in first place at the weekend box office turned into 11 straight films. How does Pixar’s opening weekend for its new release stack up against the studio’s earlier releases? Here are their 11 films ranked according to the films’ opening weekend intake. It is important to note that these films are NOT adjusted for inflation, so many of the older films would be higher on the list with today’s higher ticket prices:

  1. Toy Story 3 (June 2010) – $110,307,189
  2. The Incredibles (Nov. 2004) – $70,467,623
  3. Finding Nemo (June 2003) – $70,251,710
  4. Up (May 2009) – $68,108,790
  5. WALL-E (June 2008) -$63,087,526
  6. Cars (June 2006) – $60,119,509
  7. Monsters, Inc. (Nov. 2001) – $62,577,067
  8. Toy Story 2 (Nov. 1999) – $57,388,839
  9. Ratatouille (July 2007) – $47,027,395
  10. A Bug’s Life (Nov. 1998) – $33,258,052
  11. Toy Story (Nov. 1995) – $29,140,617

Coming in next at the weekend box office was Karate Kid with an esimated $29 million and A-Team with about $13.8 million. The weekend’s other big release, Jonah Hex failed to bring in many moviegoers, accumulating just under $5.1 million in ticket sales. Cyrus, which was given a limited release, made $180,300.

On the horizon for Pixar is Cars 2, which has a current release date in June of 2011. Can they make it 12 straight?

UPDATE: Updated opening weekend total to actual amount of $110.3 million.

Source: Box Office Mojo

Film Review – Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 debuted in theaters on June 18

A few years ago when Disney and Pixar were in contract talks to extend their partnership, Disney decided to come up with their own idea for Toy Story 3. The storyline involved Buzz Lightyear getting shipped off to Taiwan and the other toys trying to rescue him. After Disney bought Pixar and made John Lasseter the CCO, Lasseter famously went and scrapped all development. Pixar took over and started from scratch. And oh boy, we should be thankful because the Toy Story 3 that was directed by Lee Unkrich and released on June 18th, 2010 is nothing short of magnificent. [Read more…]

Buzz Lightyear, Meet Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Lightyear & Buzz Aldrin share the spotlight

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In my post yesterday, I neglected to mention one of the cooler celebrity sightings on the red carpet of the Toy Story 3 premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the Moon (and also a former contestant on “Dancing With The Stars”), attended the premiere and therefore needed to be photographed alongside Buzz Lightyear.

In his childood, Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.) had a sister who pronounced “brother” as “buzzer”. The nickname was shortened to “Buzz” and stuck around.

Early in the production cycle of the original Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear actually went by the name of Lunar Larry. Believing his name was not grand enough, the Toy Story team decided to go with the first name of an actual astronaut, Buzz Aldrin! I guess we have Aldrin’s sister to thank for the Toy Story character’s name. The Lightyear portion was tacked on to further the character’s association with outer space. Now can you imagine the spaceman going by a name other than Buzz Lightyear?

Buzz Lightyear, his pal Woody, and all of Andy’s other toys invade North American theaters on June 18th, less than four days from now.

Source: LIFE

Behind the Curtain: ‘Day & Night’

Day & Night

Copyright Disney/Pixar

Pixar is famous for its feature-length films, but originally they started out making shorts. It was John Lasseter’s ‘The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.’ short that raised eyebrows and brought attention to computer animated features, which had never before been able to have organic objects look and move realistically. The lamp from the short Luxo Jr. became Pixar’s mascot and now, has become famous for jumping its way past the ‘R’, ‘A’, and ‘X’ before jumping and flattening the ‘I’ in their logo prior to the start of their every film.

Lasseter and Ed Catmull, who co-founded Pixar Animation Studios, were determined to animate and release full-length computer animated films. Out of that drive emerged ‘Toy Story’, which went on to become one of the most successful and beloved animated movies of all time.

They started placing shorts before their full-length features, recalling the classic era of films, when short animated movies were rampant. The short playing with ‘Toy Story 3’ is called ‘Day & Night’ and marks Pixar artist, Teddy Newton’s first time in the director’s chair. Early descriptions have the short pegged as “mind-blowing” and “like nothing you have ever seen before”. That may be true, as there is an integration of hand-drawn animation, as well as computer animation. The two characters are Day and Night, and their movements as well as their facial expressions are all hand-drawn. The interesting angle is that their insides are computer animated. Intrigued yet?

Enough with the explaining – how about I show you? For your viewing pleasure, here is an exclusive Comcast video going behind-the-‘Day & Night’-curtain:

Teddy Newton’s ‘Day & Night’ makes its debut in theaters alongside ‘Toy Story 3’ on June 18th.