, a new animated short from Pixar, in which we join the characters from Toy Story for an ecstatic bathtime rave (poster
). The short débuted ahead of ("opened for") Finding Nemo 3D in September 2012, and features an original soundtrack by electronic musician BT
. [more inside]
Mythbusters' Tested Blog recently posted a special feature from the Toy Story 2 DVD
, in which Pixar's Oren Jacob and Galyn Susman recounted how the files for the movie (just 10gb of data!) were almost lost due to both an erroneous Linux command and a bad backup. The folks at The Next Web: Media followed up with Mr. Jacob, and learned that the movie was actually tossed out and reworked from scratch again
nine months prior to a release date that was set in stone, not by the computers, but by the filmmakers themselves: How Pixar’s Toy Story 2 was deleted twice, once by technology and again for its own good.
- a two minute clip/trailer from Pixar’s Brave. You can also see some lovely production art and sculptures here
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century
, 26 Academy Awards
, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs
, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2
, is Certified Rotten
. Critics have assailed the film
as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand,"
replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games
, hyperactive chase sequences
, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor
from Larry the Cable Guy
. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short
, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave
-- a darkly magical original story
set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director
). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror]
is available at the official website, and character sketches
have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave
's associated short, "La Luna"!
Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films
distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing
Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International
, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully
re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree
(while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention
The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic
gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog
, debuted in more than forty tongues
Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes
and one-line comparisons
, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights:
"One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali,"
and "A Whole New World"
) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata,"
(The Lion King
) - "Under the Sea"
and "Poor Unfortunate Souls"
(The Little Mermaid
) - "Belle"
and "Be Our Guest"
(Beauty and the Beast
) - "Just Around the Riverbend"
) - "One Song"
) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo"
) - Medley
) - "When She Loved Me"
(Toy Story 2
) - Intro
Toy Story 3
hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim
as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D
and a "real-time"
perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst
of a generation that grew up with the series.
It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2
the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story
(itself the first CGI feature in history).
And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes
that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards
(including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation
), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history
But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality
(of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar
), two of their upcoming projects are sequels
, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2
in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2
in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave
, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously]
, fellow newcomer Newt
has been canceled
. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3
guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation
of John Carter of Mars
and with forays into live-action
already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar?
Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
Five years before Toy Story
proved to the world that pure CGI -- a field long relegated to the role of special effects -- could be an art form in its own right, Odyssey Productions attempted to do the same on a slightly smaller scale. Drawing on the demo reels, commercials, music videos, and feature films of over 300 digital animators, the studio collated dozens of cutting-edge clips into an ambitious 40-minute art film called The Mind's Eye
. Backed by an eclectic mix
of custom-written electronic, classical, oriental, and tribal music, the surreal, dreamlike imagery formed a rough narrative in eight short segments that illustrated the evolution of life, technology, and human society: Creation
- Civilization Rising
- Heart of the Machine
- Post Modern
- Love Found
- Leaving the Bonds of Earth
- The Temple
- End credits
(including names and sources for all clips used). But that was just the beginning... [more inside]
Pixar's Studio Stories:
animated reenactments of stories from the making of Toy Story
& Toy Story 2
An eerie tribute to countless Twilight Zone episodes, Pixar Animator Rodrigo Blaas has published his animated short film Alma
. [more inside]
The real world location behind “Up’s” Paradise Falls
. But could that house really fly
is a short film by Pixar Animation Studios based on a character who was briefly seen in the movie WALL-E
. It takes place concurrently with the movie during the sequence when WALL-E and EVE fly around the Axiom starliner, and enter through a door, locking a welder robot outside of the ship.
Behind Pixar’s string of hit movies, says the studio’s president, is a peer-driven process for solving problems. How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity
(alternate print link
for those having trouble with the first link), by the co-founder of Pixar and the president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios Ed Catmull
. [more inside]
Pixar's papers on computer graphics
Visual in jokes from Pixar Animation
Sometimes called "The Ed Wood of Animation", director Sam Singer had an interesting career. He was responsible for some of the most godawful cartoons
ever produced, and through his work on 1975's Tubby the Tuba
, was present at the birth of Pixar
. [more inside]
has the name recognition, but plenty of other folks do some mighty fine animation. Thanks to Mike Judge
and Don Hertzfeldt
the Animation Show
aims to bring them to your town. A celebratory selection of shorts inside.
WHO IS BOB PARR? Critics, bloggers
and other commentators
have, usually off-handedly, linked The Incredibles
to Ayn Rand.
Well, it turns out the Objectivists
are taking the comparison quite seriously.
Yet the more exact, direct forebear of "if everybody's special, then nobody is" is clearly... Gilbert & Sullivan,
What do Pixar
artists do on their day off? Ronnie Delcarmen
is a story artist, story supervisor, character designer and an illustrator who works for the Incredible Company
. His sketchy art style and fluid lines renders a beauty of itself. He has a weblog that discusses his groovey comic book, Paper Biscuit
as well as give updates to his life as an artist.
Pixar Dumps Disney: "It is impossible to know how bad this is for Disney."
On the other hand: Disney can begin creating sequels to all of Pixar's films, something it could not do under its current arrangement and is almost certain to exploit.
On the third hand: One film executive suggested that Mr. Jobs could now be considered a candidate to run Disney if indeed Mr. Eisner ever left.
is what you get when you give Iron Giant director Brad Bird the keys to the Pixar machine.
A Q & A session
with two guys who work at that aspiring animator's Mecca - Pixar
. One of them, Victor Navone is famous in his own right for the great short "Alien Song"
It's the plot, stupid. USA Today
runs their usual insightful commentary about the upcoming release of Lilo and Stitch. It obsesses over the absence of CGI graphics pointing to Atlantis
as evidence for the failure of traditional animation to draw box office. Funny me, I thought that Atlantis
bombed because of a plot better left in 50s serial format, a cast of sterotypes rather than characters, and no sense of humor beyind dirty French jokes repeated over and over again. And is huge success of Pixar
due to their pioneering animation, or their brilliant comic talent?
What causes FX myopia anyway? Granted I can understand why fanboys obsess over the wrong things in a movie. Do the studios set it up by trying to hype each new summer release as the next big technical development (while the artistic development gets trumped by Waking Life
Great article on "Shrek" & computer animation
by Stephanie Zacharek at Salon.com. I don't deny that the form has possibilities, but I've been getting really impatient waiting for the day the guys at the Pixar/Dreamworks sweatshops realize that the really exciting moments in art only come when you leave some gaps for the viewers to close themselves.