Throughout the years, Pixar has tackled several different genres, their films often being clever takes that both parody and celebrate classic films. With WALL-E, director Andrew Stanton and the studio went sci-fi, and also maintained a clear focus on the titular character’s story. In their upcoming Christmas special, the studio is returning to honor sci-fi again with a new entry in the Toy Story franchise. It is called Toy Story That Time Forgot and it premieres on TV this holiday season!
This week, tens of thousands of fans from all over the world will descend upon San Diego for its annual Comic Con. The massive event, in the past decade, has evolved into more of a pop culture show, with popular movies and TV shows sharing exclusive first looks and details with those in attendance. With no D23 Expo being held this year, Pixar is heading out to Comic Con, where it will be holding a panel for its upcoming holiday TV special, Toy Story That Time Forgot. Take a look at the epic poster for the special, which will be given away to panel attendees!
When I attended “Pixar In Concert” at Lincoln Center in NY a few weeks back, I was struck by how many memorable scores there are in the Pixar film catalog. The score that played just before intermission, arguably the most stunning piece of music in any Pixar film, was that from Pete Docter’s Up, the film that only needs mentioning to induce tears. The score went on to win an Oscar for composer Michael Giacchino, and has developed a life of its own. Docter and Giacchino are now reuniting once more, for Inside Out, which is due out next year!
There are many reasons why Ratatouille is a great film – its story, memorable characters, and, of course, its music. Michael Giacchino, composer for the film, had previously worked with director Brad Bird on The Incredibles, and has gone on to collaborate on other Pixar projects. Giacchino has also worked on the music for Disney attractions Space Mountain and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. The worlds of Disney and Pixar are crashing together with Ratatouille: The Ride coming to Disneyland Paris this year, and Giacchino is returning to compose the music for that as well!
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.
Pixar has conquered the big screen and is now ready to tackle television with its first TV special, Toy Story OF TERROR!. With the entire cast from the film franchise returning, along with the large production team at Pixar working for over two years to produce the special, there is no doubt that this is the next major release from the animation studio. Although its 21-minute running time is considerably shorter than the 90+ minutes we are used to seeing from Pixar’s feature releases, it still allows the studio to pack in enough thrills and heart. Learn more about the special and go behind the scenes in a new video that has just been released. Watch it after the break!
It’s high time that Pixar Animation Studios made a musical. In some ways, it’s been high time for them to make a musical ever since they started making features. From the beginning, the people at the top of Pixar’s food chain tacitly, vocally avoided making animated musicals in the same way as many of Walt Disney Animation Studio’s most beloved classics, either from the 1930s and 1940s or from the Disney Renaissance period. Pixar has defined itself, and the genre of computer animation as a whole, by refusing to have its characters break into song and dance on the regular. But why hold back on embracing one of the ironclad tenets of mainstream feature animation? All this refusal represents is a strange, stubborn unwillingness to be risky.
Pixar has worked with a select few composers on its feature films, all of who are incredibly talented. Randy Newman’s Toy Story score is instantly recognizable, Thomas Newman’s WALL-E score soars, and Michael Giacchino‘s work on Up is simply breathtaking. Giacchino, who has also gone on to become a huge talent in the world of live-action films, has also contributed music to Pixar shorts, including La Luna (2011) and Day & Night (2010). We have now learned that he was tapped by the animation studio to pen the score for its first TV special, Toy Story of Terror!
Stop everything you are doing and clear your schedule for the next hour because we now have video footage from the D23 Music of Pixar panel featuring Michael Giacchino that took place a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, we were unable to cover the panel as it ran too close to the Walt Disney Studios panel where Disney and Pixar showcased Brave and Monsters University and also announced two brand new films for 2013 and 2014. I was happy to find that video from the entire panel ended up online, as it turned out to be a captivating look at what brought composer Michael Giacchino to Pixar, while also providing us with a view into how he works. Take a look at the fascinating video here! [Read more...]
A few years ago, there was a decision made that the soundtrack for Up would not be getting a physical CD release. Depending on your preference for formats, you may have been deeply saddened by the news – many collectors were certainly heartbroken about it. There has been an exciting development in relation to this, as we have just learned of a limited-edition CD release for the Michael Giacchino-scored soundtrack! Read on for details on the number of CDs that have been produced and more importantly, how you can get your hands on one of them. [Read more...]
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...]
What do Lost, Star Trek, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up have in common? If you said that they are all a nice thing to watch for a great time, you would be correct. One of the reasons they are that great is the music playing with the footage – music that can make you laugh, smile, or even cry. Composer Michael Giacchino is the genius behind the curtain on those films and his music is currently playing with Super 8. In a few weeks, his music will grace movie theaters around the world when Cars 2 debuts. However, the original soundtrack will be released a week before the film and is now available for pre-order.
UPDATE: The soundtrack is officially available for download:
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to participate in a roundtable with Cars 2 composer Michael Giacchino. The Academy Award winner has earned much praise throughout the last decade for his work on Alias, Lost, Star Trek, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and of course Up, the film for which he won the Oscar. This year, the incredibly busy Giacchino has composed the music for Fringe, Super 8, and still managed to find time to return to Pixar to score Cars 2. Check out my exclusive questions for Michael Giacchino, where he discusses his inspirations, his past work, and his time on the upcoming Cars 2. [Read more...]
Demand for Michael Giacchino, composer for The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up has skyrocketed in recent years. Previously working on scoring soundtracks for video games (like Medal of Honor), he made the transition to television with the popular Lost. Now, he is one of the busiest composers in the industry, often working with J.J. Abrams and Pixar. He has a packed slate, as he will be composing music for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and this year’s Pixar film, Cars 2.
At Pepperdine University, he sat down to talk about his career and his approach to outputting those beautiful medleys that we have become accustomed to listening to – the “Married Life” sequence in Up, anyone? Click on over to the Pepperdine Graphic to read the fascinating article.