July 25, 2014

‘Monsters University’ Director Dan Scanlon Explains Why Sulley Was Not Jealous Of Mike’s Good Looks In The 4th Grade


In early April, I was invited to visit Pixar to preview its upcoming films for the year, Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella, and to speak to the filmmakers that worked on them. One of the concerns (translation: nitpicks) that some Monsters, Inc. fans had after the announcement of prequel Monsters University was the comment Mike made to Sulley in the original film that inferred they knew each other in the fourth grade. With the prequel film revolving around the story of how Mike and Sulley met in college, there was a vocal minority that complained about what seemed to be a contradiction. After the break, read what MU director Dan Scanlon had to say about that!

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How The Legends and Beauty Of Scotland Inspired ‘Brave’

Callanish Standing Stones

On my trip to Pixar last week, we learned a great deal about how the country of Scotland inspired the team working on Brave, which is one of the few Pixar films with a real-life setting. Up, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille gave us a taste for Pixar’s interpretation of several real locales, and it was often stunning. Two research trips to Scotland were undertaken by Pixar employees to attempt to accurately capture the beautiful and magical qualities of Scotland. After the jump, find out how the country has inspired Brave. [Read more...]

Close-Up: The Amazing Design of ‘Brave’ Characters


During my trip to Pixar last week to learn more about Brave, we were provided with some fascinating facts about the design of the characters. The studio has made so many technological jumps that the half hour of footage that I viewed far-surpassed anything I have seen come out of the studio before. From Merida’s insanely beautiful hair to King Fergus’ multiple layers of clothing that move together realistically, the design aspect in Brave is something to behold. After the jump, read more about the design of the characters and their clothing. [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...]

First Impressions: 30 Minutes From ‘Brave’


I have had a few days to think about the Brave footage that I was able to view on Tuesday night, and there has been no fall in my level of excitement about the film. In fact, it has increased. Pixar screened the first 30 minutes from the film for a select group of bloggers, and while some of the scenes were unfinished (with respects to lighting, animation, etc.), it blew me away. From its stunning look to its epic and hearty story, I have little doubt that Brave will impress. [Read more...]

More Images From My Visit To Pixar

Pixar Press Junket 2011

I have some more images from my visit to Pixar a few months ago for the Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation and Cars 2 press event. I held on to some of the pictures because some of the posters and pieces of concept art in the images had not been released by Disney/Pixar yet, but now that they are all out there, I thought it would a great time to share these images. Also represented here are many great memories I have of the trip, including when I met Monsters, Inc. and Up director Pete Docter. You could feel the creativity in the air when he was around. Take a look at the 20+ images here (make sure to enlarge them, as they get MUCH bigger). [Read more...]

Press Junket: Class With Professor Michael Giacchino

Photographed by Brett Butterstein. ©Disney/Pixar.  All Rights Reserved.

Back in late March, I went out to Pixar Animation Studios for a press event for Cars 2 and went on to participate in many roundtables with a variety of individuals who worked on the film. Directly after watching some half-an-hour of footage, we were whisked away to sit in on a discussion with the awesome composer Michael Giacchino. He had already been working on the music for the film and was actually set to start recording that weekend. What followed was one of the highlights of the entire junket, as it was almost like sitting in a class with Professor Giacchino teaching students about how to write music and create memorable themes. Class is in session, so get ready to learn from the brilliant Michael Giacchino. [Read more...]

Cars 2 Video Game Set To Impress

Cars 2: The Video Game

Last Tuesday, I attended a press event at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco highlighting the upcoming video game for Cars 2 from developer Avalanche Software. While it has become the norm for those writing about games based on properties to make note about how most video games associated with movies to be shameless cash-ins, it seems that Pixar and Avalanche are out to shatter that line of thinking with one clear focus: quality. They collaborated on the Toy Story 3 game, which blew away many by the sheer scope of the Toy Story game universe. Both Pixar and Avalanche employees spoke about the care they have taken in creating the game world of Cars 2, and from my time with the game, that attention to quality continuously shines though. [Read more...]

First Impressions: Cars 2

Cars 2 Updated Logo

On March 31, I was invited to Pixar to view about 30 minutes of footage from Cars 2. It is important to note that the film was unfinished (and is still being completed as we speak), so these thoughts are not a review of the footage. Additionally, the following will also remain spoiler-free, so you can rest easy about the chance of coming across any story-compromising details. Read on to view my first impressions! [Read more...]

Pixar Press Junket 2011: The Studio Expansion Project

Pixar Press Junket 2011

It has been widely known that Pixar is in the middle of an expansion, as another building on the studio’s grounds has been under construction for some time now. After those who were invited to the Pixar press junket attended a reception celebrating the Emeryville-based studio’s 25th Anniversary, we were given a tour of this new building (internally referred to as Brooklyn). While the project has not been officially completed, it is nearing its grand opening and I can tell you that it looks like we will have another spectacular Pixar building. [Read more...]

Pixar Press Junket 2011: 25th Anniversary Reception

Pixar Press Junket 2011

Last week, I was invited to attend a reception celebrating Pixar’s 25th Anniversary as part of a 2-day press junket for the studio’s films of the year, Cars 2 and Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation. When I first heard about the reception, I thought that it would simply be the members of the press, along with a few people from the animation studio. I was never glad to be more wrong as not only were many of Pixar’s directors and producers there, but each one of them were extremely kind and more than willing to mingle. [Read more...]

Pixar Animation Studios Press Junket 2011: Introduction

Pixar Press Junket 2011

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a press junket at Pixar in Emeryville, California, where attendees would be viewing the Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation short, 26 minutes of Cars 2, and speaking with the filmmakers behind the projects. Needless to say, I was excited and honored by the invitation, which I gladly accepted. Read on for an introduction to the first part of the multi-day media event. [Read more...]