“Two Guys Named Joe” Review: Many people wonder about the success story of Pixar Animation Studios. The studio’s rise from near-extinction to critical and financial success is a fairy tale that is fascinating to learn about. Then there is the larger Walt Disney Studios that is known for its animated classics such as Snow White and Dumbo. In theatres, we get to see the final products, but there are the unsung heroes (unkown to many in the audience) who work laboriously to bring us the memorable characters and emotional storylines. Two of those individuals, Joe Ranft of Pixar and Joe Grant of Disney, helped to change the way the animation industry is viewed. Tragically, in 2005, the world lost both of these artists. In his book, Two Guys Named Joe, renowned animation historian John Canemaker recounts the lives of the “two Joes” assisted by the narrations of those who loved them. After reading the book, you may not only grow fond of Ranft and Grant, but you will be moved by the realization of how much we owe both of them. Continue Reading –>
“PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation” Exhibit Review: Illustrator Jerrod Maruyama recently visited the new “PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation” exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. His review of the exhibit is below:
It is easy to get caught up in the brilliant, technical sheen of a Pixar film. The reflections of light on copper pots in Gusteau’s kitchen, the way Sully’s hair moves in a breeze, or even something as simple as a garbage bag stretching to the breaking point by Rex’s tail – all are dazzling feats of technology that get a lot of attention with each new release. Continue Reading –>
Toy Story 3 Review: 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. Continue Reading –>
Day & Night Review: Toy Story 3 has been the film getting all of the attention lately, overshadowing the Pixar short film, Day & Night that is playing in theaters alongside it. I wanted to wait after my second viewing to review the short, as there are so many subtleties I missed the first time around, I deemed it necessary to watch it again before writing anything.
In my write-up going behind-the-curtain of the short, I explored Pixar’s history with shorts and talked about the fascinating aspect of Day & Night, the combination of hand-drawn characters with their computer animated insides. Reading about it when it was first announced, I was excited about the undertaking. After watching it, I can only say that director Teddy Newton is a genius. Continue Reading –>