July 29, 2014

PixArt: July Feature I – Happy 4th

PixArt - Happy 4th by Stephy Coffey

Stephy Coffey does some seriously appealing character design. Lovely ladies and dashing gents fill her portfolio pages. There’s lots to like about her great work. Her conceptual work and illustrations are sure to please. Check them out for yourself at her blog. She’s really outdone herself with this all-American tribute to Pixar just in time for the 4th of July. Take a closer look at her artwork and read more about Stephy in her own words after the break!

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PixArt: May Feature I – Pixar Tribute


California based artist Dennis Salvatier produces some extremely charming and appealing art. His portfolio is filled with distinct takes on characters from pop culture. Combining a strong eye for design with some really appealing character designs, it’s easy to see why his work is so popular. Browse his portfolio to see the diverse set of  skills he brings to his illustration, logos and design work. We thought he’d bring a great perspective to the world of Pixar and he certainly didn’t disappoint. We’re thrilled with his adorable tribute to some of Pixar’s biggest films. Our thanks to Dennis for contributing this fantastic piece. Read on for more about Dennis in his own words.

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The Pixar Perspective on Risk of Original Films vs. Sequels

Up - House in the Sky

What separates Pixar Animation Studios from the rest of mainstream animation companies, as this column has mentioned plenty of times before, is its willingness to take a risk. In many ways, they’ve been operating under a system of risk from the very beginning, before they were even an established name in the TV-commercial business. The first major risk they overcame was the very acceptance by the public of computer animation being utilized for a feature film; in the intervening time, the biggest risks they overcame were story-based, as they pinned their hopes on movies about robots who don’t speak a discernible human language, a rat who wants to cook, and more. But in recent years, the risks they’ve run up against are, in some respects, of their own doing. To wit: how risky is it for Pixar to invest more heavily in the future on sequels than on new original films? Does the studio stand to lose its respect among the public by reviving old characters instead of creating new ones?

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The Real Reason Why Pixar Cancelled ‘Newt’ Revealed


Newt is the only announced Pixar feature film that failed to make it to theaters. Set to tell the story of a male and female newt forced together in order to extend their dying species, the film was being directed by Gary Rydstrom, who previously directed the short, Lifted. However, Newt was cancelled, which left eager fans, who had become caught up in the idea and gorgeous concept art, perplexed. The reason for why the film was cancelled has finally been revealed.

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PixArt: March Feature – Pixar Movie Poster Mash-Up


There is an infectious and positive energy to the work of Colorado-based artist Luke Flowers. His style is distinct but versatile and full of personality. One look at the amazing images he’s created for us and you’ll see what I mean. Mashing up Pixar characters with some iconic films of the 1980′s, Luke has created an homage to both segments while still maintaining his own signature style and charm. He really threw himself into this project and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. A third poster was created for this series but, you’ll have to head on over to his site to see that one. It’s pretty great. While you’re there, you can get a closer look at this on-going project and see a little more detail about each poster he’s created so far. Our thanks to Luke for all of his time and effort on these wonderful images. Read on for more about Luke in his own words!

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Preview: Limited Edition Pixar Posters Coming From Mondo

WALL-E Mondo Poster by Kevin Tong

Mondo has become the face of the movement to create limited-edition posters of films. Designing great posters requires the ability to tell a short story about what viewers can expect through a limited amount of space. Setting out to develop posters for classic films, when millions have seen them and have grown fond of them, is not as easy as it sounds, but Mondo has quite a number of talented and creative artists by its side. New limited-edition Pixar posters are coming soon, including for WALL-E and Up. Take a peek  at them after the break! (UPDATE: Online sale info has been added at the end of the post!)

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What If This Year’s Best Picture Nominees Featured Pixar Characters?

Pixar Added To Gravity

The question asked in the headline of this article is a ridiculous one but as we have often seen, the Internet is always prepared for situations like this. Where there is an outlandish idea, there are some creative folks waiting to provide us with a preview of what it may look like. There were no Pixar films nominated for an Academy Award this year, but what if characters in the studio’s catalog appeared in the nine films nominated for Best Picture – what would that look like? Find out after the break!

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Pixart: January Feature – Carl and Russell


It seems we have no shortage of UP fans here on PixArt. This latest tribute to Carl and co. comes to us from artist Tommy Doyle.  Tommy does some amazing character art and illustration. There is a real sophistication to his use of color and texture that takes his charming personalities to a different level. We are so thankful to Tommy for taking the time to create this wonderful piece just for us. Make sure to check out more of Tommy’s work at his website and on dribbble. You can also follow him on twitter and Instagram. Read on for more about Tommy in his own words!

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PixArt: December Feature – Wilderness Explorers


Masses of color and restrained line work come together beautifully in the art of Greg Wright. The New Jersey-based illustrator creates some rather fantastic character designs and posters. He seamlessly combines illustration, design and text in some rather elegant compositions. Check out his site and tumblr for more examples of his expertly constructed creations.  Our sincere thanks to Greg for taking the time to contribute this wonderful tribute to the characters from UP. We are thrilled to showcase his work on our site. Read on for more about Greg in his own words!

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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 Pixar Perspective on Hayao Miyazaki’s Influence

Grave Fireflies

Trends always crop up in movie news, whether they’re based in fact or not. As such, the trend last week was cinema icons announcing their retirement. (Or, in the case of the most famous purported retiree, Jack Nicholson, sources said that he had already retired, then other sources backtracked and said the initial claim wasn’t true. Even though he’s got nothing in the pipeline. So you never know.) Specific to this column, Hayao Miyazaki, the master behind Japan’s Studio Ghibli animation studio, announced that his newest film, The Wind Rises, would be his last. Now, it’s worth noting that Miyazaki has said in the past that he’d retire, but this time, at least, he seems fairly serious about leaving behind the director’s chair. Many words will be written about Miyazaki’s influence and about the great films he’s made over the last 30 years from Princess Mononoke to My Neighbor Totoro. If he’s going to stick to his guns this time, if The Wind Rises is Miyazaki’s final directing effort, then it may be high time to wonder who will take up his mantle of making animation for everyone, not just for kids.

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Exclusive: Limited Edition Disney∙Pixar Products To Debut At D23 Expo

D23 Expo Disney:Pixar Products Peek

The D23 Expo runs from Friday through Sunday, celebrating the worlds of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. As a result, there will be a host of exclusives offered at booths throughout the show floor and at the Dream Store and Disney Store. The exclusives often create an air of excitement due to their unavailability outside of the show. Their limited nature also means attendees have to make their way to their respective locations in order to ensure they do not sell out. We are excited to reveal a brand new line of Disney∙Pixar products that will make their debut at the show’s Disney Store. Find details and images after the break!

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The Pixar Perspective on Musicals


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.

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Disney Infinity: Complete List Of Power Discs In Wave 1

Disney Infinity - Wave 1 Power Discs

The magic word in Disney Infinity is customizability, as the platform allows players to build their own worlds using a variety of Disney and Pixar franchises as inspiration. The ability to build comes in its Toy Box Mode, where characters from different worlds, such as Dash from The Incredibles and Mike from Monsters University can interact. While there will be a large number of options included in the game at start, power discs that unlock additional options will be sold at retailers. After the break, find a full gallery of the power discs that make up the first wave, along with descriptions of the power each of them will unlock!

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PixArt: Monsters Mash-Up Round 4 Mixes With The Worlds of Calvin and Hobbes, Harry Potter, Batman, Marvel, More

View more of Jay's work

At long last, Monsters University has been unleashed in theaters nationwide! To celebrate Pixar’s fourteenth animated feature, we’re back with a super-sized batch of Monsters Mash-Ups. So, before you head out the door to go see Pixar’s first prequel, take a moment to peruse this final batch of artwork from some of our very talented readers. This time out, Monsters take on the worlds of UP, Tangled, Speed Racer, Batman, Harry Potter and more!

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The Pixar Perspective on the Death of Cinema


Depending on who you listen to, cinema is dying. Or cinema is dead. Pining for the fjords, or soon to be buried, don’t forget: the medium of film is in serious trouble. Recently, director Steven Soderbergh—who’s been very public about retiring for the last couple of years, and is finally heading out after his HBO biopic about Liberace premieres later this month—gave an address at the San Francisco International Film Festival, holding court for nearly an hour on how the difference between cinema and movies has opened an immense and irreparable divide between art and commerce, one that few filmmakers can bridge. Over the weekend, this video was posted around the Internet; in it, Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle categorized the problem he saw with mainstream cinema as being the “Pixarification” of films.

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The Pixar Perspective on Humanity in Nonhuman Worlds


Consciously or not, we often look for the existence of the human in the art we consume. Sometimes, that presence is visible, and sometimes it’s just outside of the frame of the filmmaker’s camera or the words on the author’s page or inches away from the artist’s canvas. But we want and expect some form of humanity to be present in what we watch or read. In film, this manifests differently in live-action versus animation, the latter of which has been criticized for the “uncanny valley” effect, when human characters are rendered in such a way that’s off-putting, distracting for perhaps being too realistic, uncomfortably human. Pixar Animation Studios has not yet fallen into the uncanny valley, but it’s interesting to watch the evolution of their computer-animation technology from as far back as their pre-feature shorts up to Brave, in part because so much of their work is infused with the presence of humans even when none physically appear. Except for the films in the Cars franchise.

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‘Disney Infinity’ Series 1 Power Discs Revealed – Homages To ‘Up,’ ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Mickey Mouse,’ ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Mulan’ And More

Disney Infinity - Power Discs Series 1

Many have stated that Disney Infinity is simply the Disney corporation’s version of Activision’s Skylanders, a franchise that has earned over $1 billion from sales of its game as well as character figures that can be beamed into the game. While Disney Infinity also allows players to purchase and send characters into the game, its power discs that unlock items and power-ups differentiates it from Activision’s blockbuster game. The starter pack for Infinity will include one power disc, but other discs will be sold in blind packs. After the break, take a look at 20 power discs that will be included in Series 1!

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PixArt: December Feature II – Carl Claus


What’s not to love about this fantastic Holiday-themed Up illustration from artist Keith Frawley? This super talented New York-based artist has a real passion for character-based storytelling. Take a look at his website – it’s packed with terrific character designs and illustrations for a wide variety of clients across several industries. After the break, take a closer look at his great artwork and read more about him in his own words!

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PixArt: March 2011 Feature – Up Underground

Up by Kamal Masrun

We are thrilled with this outrageously original piece from Malaysian artist tanglong. Based on his favorite Pixar movie, the artist says this is the “Down” version of Up. You can check out more of his great work at his deviantART page. He’s got some great takes on classic characters and personalities. Lots of fun designs that are worth a look. We hope to see more from this fun artist. Read on for more about him in his own words below. [Read more...]