Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Leaked [Unofficial] 'Good Dinosaur' Poster Hits

The above poster for Pixar's upcoming (and recently delayed) The Good Dinosaur has been making the rounds online over the past few days, although it has been confirmed by a source at the studio that this mock-up is indeed unofficial. The character designs on the poster, nonetheless, do seem legitimate and certainly match the concept art for the characters that was shown at D23 Expo. Now, given that the film is still two years away from its intended release in theaters, not only would it be illogical for the studio to release a teaser poster for Dinosaur now (especially when Inside Out is currently next in the pipeline), but the finalized character designs we see in the finished product could very well differ from what is seen here, although I must say, I quite like the look of the characters on this poster. They strike that wonderful balance between cartooniness and realism, a trend that most of Pixar's character designs seem to follow.

It is obviously quite a bit of a bummer that we won't be able to see this very promising film until November 2015, but as has previously been stated, those additional 18 months give the filmmakers all the time in the world to perfect the picture, and after all, isn't that all that we want?

Monday, October 21, 2013

'Toy Story of Terror' Delivers on all Fronts

Last Wednesday night, fans were treated to Pixar's first ever television special, the spooky Toy Story of Terror, and needless to say, it did not disappoint.

Toy Story of Terror is essentially everything you loved about the Toy Story films packaged into a 22-minute short. It's fast-paced and filled to the brim with witty humor, quirky writing, references to classic horror films, and even character development. That's right! Character development in a television special! Under all the laughs and hijinks there is some actual depth to this short.

The story revolves around Jessie and her withstanding fear of being trapped inside boxes. Without giving too much away for those who have yet to see the special, she must muster up all the courage she can in order to confront her fear to save her friends and return safely to Bonnie.

I was amazed at all this short managed to accomplish in such a short amount of time. It took the already very fleshed-out character of Jessie and added yet another layer to her, which is exactly what these new Toy Story shorts and television specials should be doing, and it excites me to see Pixar pulling it off so well. We get to revisit this phenomenal cast of characters and see parts of them we've never seen before, all without ruining an already perfect trilogy. Brilliant.

We're also introduced to a wide array of fantastic new characters, including Combat Carl (voiced by Carl Weathers), who hilariously refers to himself in the third person. A personal favorite of mine, however, was his 1/3 scale counterpart, Combat Carl Jr., also voiced by Carl Weathers, albeit in a slightly modified, higher pitched voice. I'm a sucker for squeaky voices. All the new characters are a welcome addition to the Toy Story universe, and I really do hope we get to see more of them in the future.

Michael Giacchino provides an excellent score that adds a hint of spookiness to that classic Toy Story-esque music we're used to.

Other highlights include the always entertaining Mr. Pricklepants, who really steals the show here, and the gorgeous animation, which is, well, pretty much flawless.

All in all, Toy Story of Terror is a delight in practically every aspect, and destined to become a Halloween classic in the years to come. Also, between this and Small Fry, I'm starting to become a pretty big fan of Angus MacLane's work.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Luxo Limelight - Issue #10: Hannah M

If you are a regular follower of this site, you may have noticed The Luxo Limelight has been on hiatus for a while, almost two months. If I left you hanging, I do apologize. However, I am happy to bring you an all-new very special issue, featuring a longtime follower of both Pixar and this blog who currently resides in Texas, USA. Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the lovely Hannah!


What is your favorite Pixar Film? What is your favorite Pixar Short film?
As most Pixar fanatics would say, it's like choosing between your children, you're proud of all of them and love them equally. But of course, there is always one film that you reach for first, and for me Monsters, Inc. is the one I would pick. The film is genuinely hilarious and has an original plot. I remember going to see it with my dad at least twice in the theaters, and what I remember the most is him laughing...a lot.  My sister and I would always watch the film and then sing 'Put that thing back where it came from or so help me!' for hours. It's a movie that I would (and still do) watch over and over without getting bored of the plot or characters, and that takes amazing writers, directors, and producers. As for short films, my favorite was Presto. For one, it's funny, and two, it's just cute. It keeps you laughing throughout the whole short, and it has original slapstick comedy, which is hard to come around these days. It's a short film I would watch any day, every day. I also have to mention For the Birds which is also original and just adorable.

Who is/are your favorite Pixar character(s)? How do you relate to them?
Oh man, hard question. I love all the characters, as I've grown up with them, but the one I could relate to the most would be Merida. She's a girl (duh), but that's not the reason I pick her, and it shouldn't be. As teenagers we all have trouble with our parents, relating to them and such, and I just happen to be going through that phase right now. I love my parents, and I respect them, but sometimes I have trouble communicating with them and agreeing with them. Merida has the same problem (hence the plot) but she learns to get over it and see things from her mother's point of view. I also learned that if I don't obey my mother she might turn into a bear.

Who is your favorite Pixarian, and how they inspire you?
I'm going to have to go with the classic John Lasseter. Growing up watching the bonus features, he's always the one that stuck out. He was always so excited about what he was saying and loved his job. He just has so many creative ideas and thoughts and has created some really cool movies. Oh, and his themed Hawaiian shirts, those are pretty cool.

How and when did you first come to be a Pixar fanatic?
As I've already mentioned, I grew up with these movies. The first movie I ever saw in a movie theater was Toy Story 2. On 'movie night' my family would almost always watch The Incredibles. When my mom wanted my sister and I to be quiet for an hour she would put on Toy Story 2, and yes, I do in fact have still have my Jessie, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear toys. For my 14th birthday my family surprised me by taking me to go see Toy Story 3. My family would ALWAYS watch the bonus features after a movie, and my favorite would always be the 'behind the scenes'. These movies were my childhood, and I think that's were the 'fan' part of fanatic started.

Which upcoming Pixar film excites you the most?
I think it's a tie between The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out. The Good Dinosaur just has such an interesting theme. I have no idea how it's going to turn out, and that's why I'm so intrigued. Pixar also has an opportunity to create some really cool characters. I'm excited to see what the dinosaur's personality is going to be like. As for Inside Out, I also have completely no idea where they are going to go with this movie. Additionally, Pete Docter is a really good director, and I'm excited to see what he's going to come up with. 

Is it a dream of yours to work for Pixar? If so, what sort of job would you like to have there?
Yes. Very much so. For about three years I have been dreaming to work as an Animator at Pixar. Before then I was like 'Wouldn't it be so cool to work there?' and then I realized that I actually could work there. I've been taking some classes at school and it really is something that I enjoy and find extremely interesting. Working for any animation company would be amazing, and that's probably where I'm going to have to start off, but Pixar has a very different way of creating movies. They put the story first, and I love that.

How do friends and family react to your love for the studio?   
I think they tolerate it. :) They definitely do support me, and understand when I freak out about the newest trailer for Monsters University. They listen to me when I am going on about who is directing, producing, writing, editing, animating, voicing and scoring the next film. They do ask me to chill every once in a while, especially on the way to a midnight premiere. But they get excited along with me, and that makes me feel good.

Try to explain the feeling of seeing a Pixar film, feature-length or short, for the very first time in just three words.
Stunning. Funny. Perfection.

Pixar's films teach us many valuable life lessons. Can you recall a particular time when you implemented any of the lessons into your life? Which moral lesson showcased in a Pixar film resonates with you the most?
I remember reading in a blog discussing Monsters University that this film teaches people a very hard life lesson. Your dreams don't always come true. Even if you work your hardest at it, it might not be what you are best at. It isn't something that I've used yet because the film came out like two weeks ago (at the time this was written), but I think it's something that might help in the future. 

You are in an argument with someone who claims Pixar is overrated. How do you convince them otherwise?
They have their opinion, and I have mine, even though theirs is wrong. I would simply state that Pixar is a very strong studio. They have had hits back to back, and even what people say are weak films, they are still stronger than most films companies put out nowadays. Just show that guy the facts.

Pixar have created something of a legacy for themselves ever since they began back in 1986. What part of said legacy do you hope the studio holds on to for as long as they are in existence.
The quality of the story. They know how to write a good story that is consistently entertaining. That is something that is hard to come by nowadays, and I hope they don't lose it.

If you could say something, anything, to the founders of Pixar right now, what would it be?
Thank you. You have created a company that has already made a huge impact on the entertainment industry. You have created a company that makes unforgettable films with lovable and inspirational characters. Your perseverance and love for animation has greatly paid off.


A big thank you goes to Hannah for sending in her magnificent responses.

If all goes well, I'll be able to return to making The Luxo Limelight a weekly event again from now onward. But I need your help! If you are a Pixar superfan, please feel free to send me an email to stating you would like to be featured on a future issue of The Luxo Limelight. Anyone of any age, size, shape, or nationality is qualified to participate. We want to hear your story!

Stay tuned for more of The Luxo Limelight!