The Toy Story films are jam-packed with an incredible selection of great actors and actresses who have given memorable performances that have stuck with audiences for years. Among the cast was the legendary Don Rickles, a comedian with a unique voice – he voiced Mr. Potato Head in all three of the Toy Story feature films, and also appeared in many of the Toy Story shorts. There is sad news today that Rickles passed away earlier this morning. (Update: Pixar has issued a statement, which has been added to the story.) [Read more…]
When this column began its theme of highlighting the so-called “Pixar moment” in various Pixar films (we’re still waiting on that patent to go through), it was predominantly about focusing on moments of powerful emotion in films that are targeted primarily at the family audience. That animation can inspire adults and kids alike to grab for a tissue isn’t terribly unique—though few modern animated films would attempt to echo its impact, let’s not forget the iconic moment in Bambi when the title character’s mother is killed by a hunter—but Pixar’s later films, such as Ratatouille and Up, reach for emotion in surprisingly mature and complex fashion. So in starting off 2014 with a look at the Pixar moment in Pixar’s first film, Toy Story, you might think this column would look for the origins of those unforgettable, tearjerking moments.
When comparing Pixar Animation Studios to DreamWorks Animation, as we are all so wont to do, there are a number of very easy lines of demarcation. The former studio has, to this point, only released one movie a year, while the latter is prone to releasing two or even three over any 12-month period. DreamWorks Animation films are typically littered with pop-culture references tailor-made to placate those parents suffering next to their kids in the movie theater; Pixar films rarely go for the easy cultural gag, and are often so successful that adults may end up enjoying the overall product more than kids. (It is telling that the use of the 80s song “Dreamweaver” in Toy Story 3 stands out so much as an exception to this rule.) Perhaps the most frequently brought-up contrast, though, is in casting: DreamWorks’ animated movies are perceived as being frontloaded with famous people, where Pixar movies are cast with whoever’s right for the role, famous or otherwise.
Earlier today, stars walked the red carpet to attend the premiere of the strongly anticipated Toy Story 3. The cast of the film was present, along with director Lee Unkrich, Disney Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, and plenty more. Essentially, the premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, was the place to be today. Below are pictures from the red carpet, taken by Reuters photographer Danny Moloshok. All of the following pictures are copyrighted by Reuters.
Toy Story 3 opens nationwide on June 18th. That’s less than 5 days away. That’s right. Get excited!