July 24, 2014

The Pixar Perspective on the Pixar Moment in ‘Up’

Up - Carl and Russell

Though it isn’t the first of Pixar’s films to inspire audiences to reach for as many tissues as possible, Up may be the most universally successful at getting grown men and women to do some good old-fashioned ugly crying. Up, released in May of 2009, was the first of Pixar’s films to be presented in both 2D and digital 3D; that latter format allowed many to use their 3D glasses as a shield, to make sure no one around them saw the tears streaming down their cheeks. However, just as it’s a predictable response that the majority of people who saw Up were viscerally impacted by the first 10 minutes, the reaction to the film as a whole has also become slightly stereotypical, summed up as follows: the so-called “Married Life” montage, in which we watch the lead character, Carl Fredricksen, and his wife, Ellie, as they live their lives over multiple decades, culminating in her death at an old age, is excellent. It’s amazing! It’s emotional! And the rest of the film can’t even begin to compete with its devastating, heartbreaking finality.

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‘The Good Dinosaur’ Pushed To 2015, No Pixar Film In 2014

The Good Dinosaur

Since 2006, it has been a given that we would see a Pixar film released during the summer season every year. The first indication that this streak was at risk of ending arrived with the news that The Good Dinosaur director Bob Peterson had been taken off the project. The film, which was scheduled to arrive in May 2014, was taken over by a collection of Pixar veterans such as John Lasseter and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, but no replacement director was named. For an animated film that was less than one year away, it signaled significant trouble. Today, we have received confirmation that The Good Dinosaur is indeed being delayed into 2015, leaving next year as the first without a Pixar feature film in eight years.

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The Pixar Perspective on Replacing Directors

The Good Dinosaur

Last week, this column pondered why, exactly, Disney and/or Pixar Animation Studios were holding back on a teaser trailer for their next film, The Good Dinosaur, which is slated to open in May of 2014. By the time the article was published early Tuesday afternoon, the rumor mill was in high churn about the film’s status. Was its director, Bob Peterson, being taken off the project? Would this explain why he wasn’t present at the Pixar presentation at last month’s D23 Expo? Did this explain his ever-changing Twitter biography? (If only that last question was a joke, but no, that’s something fans were left to ponder as Disney stayed silent.) On Friday, the rumor became news: Peterson had indeed been booted off The Good Dinosaur sometime “over the summer,” and presumably before the D23 Expo. The project is now reportedly in the hands of a mix of people, including the film’s co-director Peter Sohn (known equally well for his behind-the-scenes animation work as for voicing characters like Emile in Ratatouille), Lee Unkrich, and John Lasseter himself.

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Confirmed: ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Switches Out Director Bob Peterson

The Good Dinosaur

After the D23 Expo, speculation ran wild on what had happened to Bob Peterson, the director of The Good Dinosaur, who was nowhere to be found during Disney’s biannual show. A report emerged earlier this week which claimed he had been removed from the project, but Disney/Pixar remained mum on the subject – until now, that is. Today, it has been confirmed that Peterson was taken off the film and a group of directors have stepped in to complete the film. Find more details after the break.

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Unconfirmed: Bob Peterson No Longer Directing ‘The Good Dinosaur’

Bob Peterson

There is no film studio that is recognized for its emphasis on perfecting a story as much as Pixar. “Story is king” is a mantra that is oft-repeated by the filmmakers that walk the buildings of the studio campus in Emeryville. That focus on story has also been known to raise tension behind-the-scenes, with last-minute reworking of scripts and storyboards and even the replacement of directors. Jan Pinkava and Brenda Chapman were famously removed from Ratatouille and Brave respectively, even though they pitched the films originally. Now, a report has emerged that The Good Dinosaur director Bob Peterson has been removed from the project.

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D23 Expo: Panels Take You Inside ‘The Good Dinosaur,’ ‘Toy Story of Terror,’ And Pixar

D23 Expo 2013

At the D23 Expo in 2011, Pixar had a huge presence, as it was the studio’s 25th Anniversary. The first scene from Brave was previewed almost a year before the film’s release, character art from Monsters University was unveiled, 2014′s The Good Dinosaur and 2015′s Inside Out were announced, and a retrospective panel was held with the talented pool of Pixar directors. With the 2013 iteration of the convention just over one week away, the schedule for Pixar panels has just been released. After the break, find out what the studio has in store for show attendees this time!

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‘The Good Dinosaur’ To Be Previewed At D23 Expo

The Good Dinosaur

Disney/Pixar first announced The Good Dinosaur (which was untitled at that moment) at the D23 Expo in 2011, as director Bob Peterson briefly spoke about the premise, discussed what inspired him to develop the idea, and showed a single gorgeous piece of concept art. There has been nothing else officially released, aside from the film’s title. Pixar has usually included a teaser trailer of its next film while its current film plays in theaters, but the studio’s dinosaur film did not follow in that tradition. The 2013 iteration of the D23 Expo is less than one month away, and now we have received word that The Good Dinosaur will be previewed in some form. Find more details after the break!

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More ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Story Details Revealed?

The Good Dinosaur

It has been almost two years since Disney/Pixar officially announced the development of The Good Dinosaur at the D23 Expo, which is essentially Disney’s version of Comic Con. We have practically come full circle because the next time we will likely hear more about the film is at the 2013 Expo, set to take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in August. We already know that the film will follow the friendship between a dinosaur and a child. We recently learned a few more small details about the characters and the story. Read about them after the break!

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Thomas Newman To Score ‘The Good Dinosaur’

Thomas Newman

If you go down the list of Pixar films, many stick out as having memorable scores, including the Toy Story trilogy, WALL-E, and, of course, The Incredibles. The studio has released 13 feature films, but only four composers are responsible for them – Randy Newman, Michael Giacchino, Thomas Newman, and Patrick Doyle. Clearly, Pixar has developed close relationships with the composers. Newman is now returning to collaborate with Pixar once more, on next year’s film, The Good Dinosaur.

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First Look: Concept Art For ‘The Good Dinosaur,’Inside The Mind’ Film, And ‘Dia de los Muertos’ Film

Dia de los Meurtos Film Concept Art

This past year has been the busiest that we have seen from Pixar, with the release of Brave, La Luna, PartySaurus Rex, Finding Nemo 3D, Monsters, Inc. 3D and the opening of Cars Land in Disney California Adventure. On New Year’s Eve, the animation studio is looking directly ahead, as a number of original films are in the works. Pixar has shared brand new concept artwork for several of its upcoming films over the next few years, which you can take a peek at after the break!

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CinemaCon 2012: Pixar’s Dinosaur Film Gets A Title, New Lee Unkrich Project Announced

Back When The Film Was Untitled

Each year at CinemaCon, movie theater owners gather to get a preview of coming films from movie studios. This year, Pixar used the Disney presentation to announce the title for its previously untitled film about dinosaurs. Additionally, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, who was rumored to be working on a brand new Pixar film, is now confirmed to be working on a film due in 2015 or 2016. Get a rundown on the big news after the jump! [Read more...]

D23 2011: Images From The Huge Walt Disney Studios Presentation


The Walt Disney Studios presentation on Saturday at the D23 Expo proved to be the most jam-packed of all the panels and events at the show (and was also the hardest to get into, as even those who lined up two hours before did not make it in). Featuring sneak peeks at the various films coming from Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures and Animation, and Marvel, all electronic devices (e.g. cameras, laptops) were checked in before attendees were allowed into the arena. However, official images from the event of the directors and the actors talking about their films have been released.  [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: A Few More Details On Pixar’s Dinosaur Movie


Pixar brought its “A” game to D23 this year, showcasing Brave and Monsters University, while also announcing two brand new films. While we do not know much about Pete Docter’s 2014 film that has to do with how the mind works, we did see and hear some minor tidbits about the studio’s 2013 dinosaur film. As it is early in development, the film remains untitled as well. Director Bob Peterson, who is making his leap into solo directing for the first time, talked briefly about his inspiration for the film’s concept. Read on for more on this mysterious dinosaur film! [Read more...]

D23 2011: Pixar Previews Brave & Monsters University, Announces Two Brand New Films


The huge Walt Disney Studios panel just let out here at the D23 Expo, and if Disney was trying to leave an impression with media and fans, they truly succeeded. Previewing films from Marvel Studios, their animation and live-action branches, as well as Pixar, Disney brought out a ridiculous amount of clips, directors, and writers to talk about their upcoming films. We were provided with clips and artwork from Pixar’s 2012 and 2013 films, Brave and Monsters University, respectively. Pixar also surprised the D23 attendees with the announcement of two brand new (and completely original) films – one involving dinosaurs and the other focusing on how the mind works. Read on for a quick recap of the fantastic presentation! [Read more...]