This past weekend was chaotic at airports around the country, as President Trump signed an executive order on Friday, which resulted in dozens of travelers (including immigrants and even legal U.S. residents) from seven majority-Muslim countries and refugees from around the world being detained upon landing in the United States, leading to protests. Amid the chaos, Trump participated in a Finding Dory screening at the White House – one of the voice actors from the film took to Twitter to respond. [Read more…]
Of the various behind-the-scenes stories that have now become apocryphal to the Pixar legend, it’s hard to beat the one associated with Finding Nemo. In the final few years of his time at the top of the Walt Disney Company, Michael Eisner was convinced that Pixar’s winning streak both at the box office and with critics was about to end with this animated feature, the first led by director Andrew Stanton. Eisner couldn’t possibly fathom, he told shareholders, how this movie about a clownfish desperately scouring the ocean for his missing (and only) son with a forgetful blue Tang at his side could ever hit it big with audiences worldwide. When he made these comments in 2001, he did so based on a work-in-progress screening that was, in three respects, vastly different from the final product: Marlin was voiced by William H. Macy, instead of Albert Brooks; the angelfish Gill was, in spite of being the leader of the fish in P. Sherman’s aquarium, lying about his sordid past; and Stanton chose to dole out a series of flashbacks explaining what happened to Nemo’s mother, Coral, instead of beginning the film this way.
Over the last few days, the Internet has been abuzz regarding this article, in which the author posits a so-called “Pixar Theory,” the notion that every one of Pixar’s films are connected and take place in the same, eventually apocalyptic universe. There is, unfortunately, no way for this writer to tackle that theory in any great detail without sounding like a Debbie Downer. Jon Negroni’s argument is, in essence, a Pixar fan’s attempt to out-do the conspiracy theorists on display in Room 237, the excellent 2012 documentary about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. So we can, on the one hand, acknowledge the ballsiness of Mr. Negroni’s concept and the amount of thought and time he put into its existence, but it’s almost too easy to poke holes in the theory.
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.
Reactions are flying to today’s big announcement that Pixar is officially developing a Finding Nemo sequel titled Finding Dory. The film will center on the character that Ellen Degeneres famously played in the original film. With the sequel film still over two years from release, director Andrew Stanton and the cast are sure to remain tight-lipped on substantial details. Degeneres did speak about the film, though, on her show earlier today, which you can watch after the break!
After it became known that director Andrew Stanton was developing a follow-up film to Finding Nemo, speculation ran wild on what the story would involve. Would Nemo get lost again? Would all of the main characters return? It was previously reported that Albert Brooks (Marlin) and Ellen Degeneres (Dory) would be back. Today, we have learned that the film will be titled Finding Dory. Find more details after the break!
Ever since Finding Nemo made its way into theaters, Ellen Degeneres, voice of scene-stealer Dory in the film, has made it quite clear that she would like Pixar to make a sequel. She may get her wish, as last month it was reported that the animation powerhouse had started exploring a follow-up after director Andrew Stanton came up with a great idea. While that remains unconfirmed by both Pixar and Disney, another report has emerged that claims Degeneres is in talks to reprise her role as the blue fish.
Andrew Stanton has a fantastic track record at Pixar, having directed Oscar winners Finding Nemo and WALL-E. He ventured into live-action recently with John Carter, which was dubbed a flop before it even made it into theaters but still made around $300 million worldwide. It may have lost Disney money, but it was a notably ambitious take on the Edgar Rice Burroughs series that many tried to bring to the big screen yet failed. Now, in the shadow of Finding Nemo 3D‘s release in September, there are reports that Andrew Stanton has returned full-time to Pixar and is working on bringing a sequel to Finding Nemo to theaters in 2016. [Read more…]