Pinocchio! Pinocchio! Pinocchio!
April 6, 2010 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Pixar's Studio Stories: animated reenactments of stories from the making of Toy Story & Toy Story 2.
posted by brundlefly (17 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, the Pinocchio story is EPIC.
posted by steef at 9:38 AM on April 6, 2010

he's not lying.
posted by gman at 9:40 AM on April 6, 2010

I loved the Tia Kratter story.
God, I miss working in an art studio. If you've never worked in one, you simply have no idea...
posted by Thorzdad at 9:46 AM on April 6, 2010

I really wanted to see them "release the monkeys".
posted by WalterMitty at 9:48 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh man, I was the biggest fan of the first Toy Story when it came out. I was ten or eleven at the time, and — I guess this is proof Pixar was still a young, smallish company — when I typed an epic email to them full of eager fanboy questions, I actually received a detailed, personal response from someone who wasn't a low-paid PR grunt. Included in the response was some technical info about the SGI workstations and RenderMan software they used, inside scoops behind easter eggs hidden in the movie, and confirmation that yes, a sequel was in the earliest stages of development (before it had been formally announced anywhere else).

I saved the letter for posterity. It's around here somewhere. If I can find it in a reasonable amount of time I'll post it here in this thread.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:03 AM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]

Someone ran rm * on the directory containing Toy Story 2's data files? Backups had failed for the last month? Someone had copied the whole movie's data to their home hard drive?

They may make great movies, but they sound like total Unix noobs.
posted by JHarris at 10:39 AM on April 6, 2010

(And please do so TWPL!)
posted by JHarris at 10:42 AM on April 6, 2010

At the time, they probably were total Unix noobs. Any way you slice it, though, that almost-failed-disaster-recovery story is heartstopping.
posted by Fraxas at 11:20 AM on April 6, 2010

The story about Toy Story 2 being deleted made me sick to my stomach. And then I immediately ran a backup.
posted by thekilgore at 11:55 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

These remind me of another anecdote I read in Penn & Teller's book "How To Play With Your Food", from around the time when Pixar (pre-Toy Story) animated a couple of commercials for Listerine, including the famous boxing ad. It's been a while since I read the story, so I'm probably murdering the timing, but here goes:

(I should preface this with a long-standing rumor about Listerine: Because Listerine is something like 26% alcohol, it has a chemical additive in it that induces vomiting if you drink too much of it, and it's to keep people from drinking it to get inebriated.)

One day, the Pixar guys decided to play a practical joke based on some visiting Listerine execs. During the initial face-to-face meeting between Pixar and the Listerine suits, somebody from Pixar brought up the chemical additive angle. After joking around about it for a bit, (the suits, not being chemical engineers, weren't sure whether it was true or not either.) suddenly one of the Pixar guys grabs a full bottle of Listerine, which Pixar kept on hand for modeling purposes, and slams it and a hundred-dollar bill on the table. He dares anybody sitting at the table to drink whole thing, and one of the other Pixar guys says he'll take him up on it.

By now, the suits are starting to wonder if it's a joke, but sure enough, the second guy unscrews the cap and chugs the Listerine halfway down the label. He wipes his mouth, gasps for air, and says "Hey, that isn't too bad, but I dunno if I could drink the whole thing." So the first Pixar guy throws another hundred on the table, thus sweetening the pot. So the second guy tilts the bottle back again, this time finishing it off completely. He puts the bottle down, and goes "Okay, I was wrong, that was great. I'm feeling pretty good, throw me another one." At this point, one of the weaker-stomached suits has fled the room, and the rest were looking at each other with "are they insane?" looks on their faces.

Afterwards, the Pixar guys revealed to the suits that they had gimmicked the bottle with a mixture of water and apple juice that looked all for the world like actual Listerine. Apparently the suits liked the trick so much that they asked if they could play the same trick at an intracompany teleconference a few weeks later, and it killed.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:35 PM on April 6, 2010 [12 favorites]

Heh, I was just telling someone that story the other day. As I recall, it was one of the suits that brought up the rumor about the chemical additive, completely coincidentally -- probably because the Pixar guys had cracked open a few bottles to get that distinctive Listerine smell wafting around the room.
posted by rifflesby at 2:14 PM on April 6, 2010

Ooooh Thanks! These are great... I love to hear about movie-making.
(Sometimes the director's commentary is better than the movie . Anchorman pops to my mind, hilarious commentary, very average comedy... Another bomb's commentary, I dont remember the tiltle, is hilarious: the director saying for 2 hours ''Thats not what i wanted to do, blaming the studio, the technology, you name it... pathetically trying to crawl out of his responsability for the dumb movie on screen.)

Back to the subject, I remember secretly going to Toy story 1 between two shifts at the restaurant. Too ashamed, as an young adult, to tell anyone I was going to see some 'kid' movie;
( nerdly nerd surrounded by hipsters squatting our flat) but I wanted to see the 'first fully computer animated movie'' so bad... I didnt even tell my girlfriend at the time. Thinking about it, I'm sure he would have come with me with pleasure! Damn! Every girl my age had 'the lion King' as favorite movie at the time... ( replaced today by 'the notebook :P )

posted by CitoyenK at 2:59 PM on April 6, 2010

Nice use of the Wilhelm Scream for the tomato-hating guy in the Sleep Deprivation Lab story.
posted by nicwolff at 3:17 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

At the time, they probably were total Unix noobs. Any way you slice it, though, that almost-failed-disaster-recovery story is heartstopping.

It's never monolithic, institutionalized Unix noobery you worry about-- no serious, top-level house would survive that sort of thing, and the senior Pixar guys largely came from the Computer Graphics Group at ILM.

It's the one newbie technical assistant or render wrangler who doesn't either preface his "rm -rf *" with a "pwd," or doesn't have his current working directory in his shell prompt. That guy is the one you watch closely. That guy is the one where you preface the "rm -rf *" lecture with the "do you REALLY know what you want to do here" lecture.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:21 PM on April 6, 2010

I've been searching for that email. All I have is a printed copy of it (my email account from 1996 is long dead), somewhere, but I don't know what cranny it's been stored in. I'll find it eventually and transcribe it, and hopefully remember to post it in the next Pixar thread.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:03 AM on April 7, 2010

Ah, what a lovely Friday afternoon. Finally going to get around to watching those Pixar videos.


"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Disney."

Shit. And the others?


"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Disney."
"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Disney."
"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Disney."
"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Disney."

Yeah, well, fuck you too, Disney.
posted by WCityMike at 10:55 AM on April 16, 2010

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