Quoting the late Walt Disney is fairly commonplace in the world of the Disney theme parks. Anywhere you walk in Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you’ll see a quote attributed to Disney, whether or not the quote is totally accurate. (He may not have said, in so many words, “If you dream it, you can do it,” for example.) One quote that is prevalent and does belong to him can be spotted in a plaque at the gateway between the entrance plaza to the Magic Kingdom (or Disneyland Park) and Main Street, U.S.A.: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” In short, if you allow yourself to submit to the cloistered theme-park worlds within, you are essentially engaging in a potent, immediate form of escapism.
Chronicle Books and Pixar have worked together for over a decade to deliver art books filled with gorgeous pre-production artwork created during the development of films from the animation powerhouse. Years are devoted to exploring ideas in art form at the studio, so getting a chance to take a peek at the behind-the-scenes process is often awe-inspiring. With Monsters University on deck for release this summer, that means another art book will be making its way to stores. Actually, The Art of Monsters University was recently listed for pre-order, giving us a look at the possible cover for the book. Take a look at it after the break!
Have you ever wanted the chance to attend behind-the-scenes talks on how Pixar films come to life? Do you want to re-watch classic Pixar films on the big screen? Then, get this – Disney Cruise has themed four of its cruises so that they are taken over by Pixar’s films, characters, artwork, and employees. Pixar co-founder John Lasseter and other employees from the animation studio will give presentations taking guests closer than ever to their creative process. After the break, you can find the complete schedule.
Before Pixar’s focus turned to feature films, the studio mastered the art of the short. Back in the 1980s, animation technology was far more limited than it is now, but John Lasseter and company were still able to blow audiences away with revolutionary computer animation but more important than that, stories with heart. After the release of Pixar Shorts Volume 1 , which collected such memorable shorts as Luxo, Jr., Tin Toy, and For The Birds on DVD and Blu-ray, many have been anticipating a Volume 2. The time is now, as the Blu-ray and DVD for the second volume has just gone up for pre-order!
Finding Nemo remains one of the most visually stunning Pixar films. While it has been about 10 years since the film arrived in theaters, the underwater world still wows with its incredibly realistic water effects. The 3D re-release of the animated film is just a few weeks away, which means the marketing campaign is well underway. Disney/Pixar has released a new featurette that looks specifically at the 3D conversion. Watch it in HD after the break!
Wreck-It Ralph may not be a Pixar film, but the latest animated film from Disney has me extremely excited for its creative and original storyline – an arcade game character named Wreck-It Ralph is a villain who is tired of being the “bad guy” and tours various gaming worlds to determine where he would best fit. Disney is looking to give the film an authentic video game feel with cameos from such well-known characters such as Sonic, Bowser, Q*Bert, and Chun-Li (among many others). It was already one of my most anticipated films of the year and then I saw some new concept art which has me even more thrilled. One piece even features a cameo from a certain famous Pixar and Disney personality! [Read more...]
Cafe Where Pixar Came Up With ‘A Bug’s Life,’ ‘Monsters, Inc.,’ ‘Finding Nemo,’ and ‘WALL-E’ Shuts Down
Hidden City Cafe is well-known in Pixar lore, as it is the location of a very special lunch that studio employees had – a lunch where they came up with the ideas for four of its films. Andrew Stanton, John Lasseter, Pete Docter, and Joe Ranft (RIP) gathered for a memorable meal at the cafe, as they outlined ideas that went on to become A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and WALL-E. The cafe has often been visited by Pixar fans, to get a taste of the birthplace of so many of the studio’s films. However, when one fan recently dropped by, he discovered that the place had been shut down. [Read more...]
The world premiere of Brave, Pixar’s latest feature-length film, was held last night in Hollywood, California. Members of the Pixar production staff turned out to celebrate the imminent release of the film. The premiere was held at the Dolby Theatre, which had its grand re-opening, after the sound company took over the naming rights from Kodak. The Kodak Theatre name may sound familiar, as it has been the home for the Academy Awards. Take a look at photos from the animated film’s world premiere after the break! [Read more...]
When Steve Jobs passed away earlier this year, some believed that he would be a strong contender for TIME’s Person of the Year. However, no one has ever gained that title posthumously, and that streak now continues this year. Still, Jobs was given a “fond farewell” in the magazine by friend John Lasseter. The Pixar Chief Creative Officer, who met Jobs in the 1980s, remembers the Apple and Pixar co-founder “almost as a brother.” Jump ahead for some more quotes from the brief piece. [Read more...]
Book Review – “The Art of Pixar: The Complete Colorscripts and Select Art From 25 Years of Animation”
“The Art of Pixar: The Complete Colorscripts and Select Art From 25 Years of Animation” is a bit of a departure from the art books that we are used to seeing from Pixar and Chronicle Books. In being a book celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the animation studio, there could have been a number of directions to take this book. Spotlighting the films’ colorscripts, horizontal pieces of artwork focused on setting the color and mood of the various scenes, was a fascinating choice. Often, the most detailed or abstract art gets the biggest push in art books such as these, but colorscripts are the perfect way to display the scope of these films. [Read more...]
In order to purchase some beautiful Pixar artwork, one must usually wait for the release of the next feature film from the studio. Chronicle Books and Pixar have long been working together to publish a selection of art created for every production. Chronicle has a bit of a surprise this year, in the form of a Pixar art book made up of stunning colorscripts from not only the feature films but most of the shorts from the animation studio’s catalog. Read on for official details of “The Art of Pixar” and a hi-res image of that colorful cover. [Read more...]
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to sit down with La Luna director Enrico Casarosa and talk to him about his work on the short that has been generating a good deal of buzz. Topics of discussion include the short’s journey from inception of the idea to getting it made, how Monsters, Inc. and Up director Pete Docter suggested they screen it at film festivals, that the short will be eligible for eligible for accolades this awards season, and the bold visual and sound choices made to give the film a unique voice. We also briefly hit upon a certain Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs that Casarosa will be working on next. For the first time, I am also including the audio of the interview, so if you would rather listen to our discussion, you have that option. Continue on for my in-depth interview with the director of one of Pixar’s newest (and most magnificent) shorts. [Read more...]
As if we did not already know how powerful John Lasseter was (he is essentially in charge of Pixar and Disney Animation’s creative processes), Vanity Fair has once again named the visionary as one of the most influential people in the world. Each year, Vanity Fair creates a list of who they find to be the “buccaneering visionaries, engineering prodigies, and entrepreneurs” and publishes it in early September. Read on to see who beat out Lasseter and who he came out on top of. [Read more...]
Disney has launched a creative new contest in a search for a photo of John Lasseter from 1977. It isn’t just any photo they are searching for. You see, during 1977 and 1978, the Pixar and Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer served as a tour guide on the famed Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland. Now, the search is on for a photo of Lasseter which one may or may not have tucked away in an old photo album. Find a photo (which can be verified) and you can win a trip to the grand opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure! Check out the contest video and the full press release here. [Read more...]
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...]
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...]
What does it take for an individual to oversee Pixar, Disney Animation, Disney theme parks, and direct Cars 2? Given that many of us would have a hard time managing just one of these tasks, the incredibly busy John Lasseter needs a regimented schedule in his life to accomplish all of the above. Walt Disney Studios has released a video detailing one day in the life of the director, and we can safely say that he does more than we can knock out in a week! Check out the 25-minute documentary below for the closest look at the life of John Lasseter that we have seen yet. [Read more...]
Over the years, San Diego Comic Con has evolved into a pop culture behemoth. Originally envisioned to be a comic book convention, movie studios have arguably taken over and now fight to create buzz for their products. In the past, Pixar has held a panel promoting its upcoming film, such as when Andrew Stanton led a WALL-E panel in 2007. However, this year, Disney is taking its subsidiaries, Pixar and Marvel Studios, out of Comic Con and moving them over to its own D23 Expo, to be held a few weeks later. Read on for more details! [Read more...]
TIME released its annual ’100 Most Influential People in the World’ list and Pixar’s own John Lasseter made the cut. As Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Disney, Lasseter is one of the most powerful people in film. Even with his executive positions at the two companies, he has somehow managed to find time to direct the upcoming Cars 2. Read on to see what TIME had to say about the Hawaiian-shirt-loving man. (EDIT: Thanks to PogieJoe, who alerted us that Pixar voice actor extraordinaire John Ratzenberger wrote the blurb on Lasseter.) [Read more...]
At the Cars 2 media event held in conjunction with the NY Toy Fair, John Lasseter could not make an in-person appearance due to his directing duties. However, he sent a videotaped message apologizing for missing the show. He also spoke in-depth about the origins of the Cars 2 story, explaining how Finn McMissile’s character actually existed behind the scenes of the original Cars. The Pixar Times attended the event, so we were able to view it last month. Now, Disney Living has posted the video on Youtube and we have embedded it below so you can view it as well!