We are so excited to feature this new piece of art from Disney animator Benson Shum. Shum was hired at Disney to work on Wreck-It Ralph and then Frozen. He currently spends his time working on the upcoming Big Hero 6 (November 2014). When asked about getting started in the animation business, Shum said he knew he wanted to be an animator since his high school days. “I applied to Capilano College’s commercial animation program, but didn’t get in the first time. I ended up getting a job and worked on my drawings after work for a year. I applied again the following year and got in!”. In retrospect, Shum said he was glad he didn’t get in on his first try. “It made me appreciative and work harder when I got in the second time.” Read more about Shum and take a close look at his artwork after the break!
Nine months after this article kickstarted the Pixar Perspective column, it’s worth taking stock of the calendar year 2013. (With just three weeks left before we start 2014, it is, of course, possible that there may be more news on the horizon, but doubtful.) In that first editorial, the topic was the now-common choice among writers to pit Pixar Animation Studios against Walt Disney Animation Studios, only a few weeks after Brave won the Best Animated Feature Oscar over the apparent underdog, Wreck-It Ralph. A similar inter-company battle may occur once again, as Frozen and Monsters University are assumed to be among this year’s top challengers for the prize, along with another film being distributed under the Disney banner, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. And unlike even Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen has performed extremely well to this point; it’s too early to know for sure, but it could easily wind up as the highest-grossing feature in the Disney animated canon since The Lion King. Never mind, of course, that Monsters University, despite not being as widely embraced by critics, made nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars worldwide. For yet another year, Disney has “beaten” Pixar, in some people’s minds.
It’s the most controversial time of the year. Awards season is officially underway, with various organizations beginning to announce nominations and even winners for what they consider to be the year’s best films. Where awards shows go, controversy follows closely behind, as bold choices are often made for which films, filmmakers, and actors are celebrated. On Monday, the Los Angeles branch of Association Internationale du Film d’Animation, also known as ASIFA-Hollywood, released their list of nominees for the Annie Awards, an event that many consider to be the biggest night for film and television animation. Pixar’s Monsters University and Toy Story OF TERROR! landed a combined 17 nominations. Find more details about what is in store for Pixar this awards season after the break!
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!
We’ve been thrilled with all the great submissions we’ve received for our celebration of all things Monsters. And with the release of Monsters University (June 21) just one day away, our artistic readers have kicked into high gear! We’ve received so many great pieces for our final posting that we’ve decided to break it up into two separate posts. Both are jam-packed with fantastic new art. In batch 3 we see Monsters invading the worlds of Wreck-it Ralph, UP, The Muppets and Doctor Who, to name a few. And we just have to give a special shout-out to the epic mash-up brought to us by a group of artists collectively known as Mestres Ilustradores Do Poder Eterno. See their collaboration on a fun Star Wars mash-up and check out all the artists involved in this elaborate piece. (They will be back tomorrow with a pretty sensational MARVEL mash-up.) Check out Monsters Mash-Up Round 3 after the break!
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!
Over the last year, a fast-growing and nearly deafening debate in the film world is that of Pixar Animation Studios vs. Walt Disney Animation Studios. For a long time, the two heavyweight fighters were Pixar and DreamWorks Animation, because Disney Animation was churning out titles such as Brother Bear and Chicken Little, not remotely close to representing serious competition. Since the success of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, though, people have once again sat up and paid attention to the studio that started it all, seeing in its new breed of animators a serious challenge to Pixar’s creative and financial dominance. Now that Pixar’s had two consecutive features creatively falter to varying degrees—Brave was better than people give it credit for, but it never reached the vertiginous heights of Up or the raw emotion of Toy Story 3—and because they have a couple sequels at different stages of production, the knives are out, thanks to a built-in yet outlandish level of impatience.