Wednesday, December 31, 2014

'Inside Out': New Trailer, Posters, and More

It's been a hectic couple of months for this blogger, so unfortunately I have not been able to update this blog as often as I would have liked to, but fear not, I should be back on top of things in the new year. The good news is that as 2015 approaches (it may have already arrived depending on where you are), the flow of Pixar news is returning to its regular pace with two new Pixar films on the way. Here are a few bits of news regarding Pixar's upcoming Inside Out you may have missed.

Of course, the first full-length trailer for the film was released this month, and if you haven't seen it, you're in for a treat. Check it out below:

Rather than following the standard trailer formula and showing brief clips from different parts of the movie, this trailer gives us a taste of Inside Out's look and feel through a quick scene from the film, showing a dinnertime exchange between the film's primary "setting", 11-year-old Riley, and her parents. We know the film will revolve around Riley and her emotions, but what's interesting about this trailer is that we also get a glimpse inside the heads of both her mother and father, making for a clever and hilarious scene. Also, notice how Sadness seems to be the driving force in the mother's mind, while in the father's mind Anger is the leader. In Riley's mind, however, there seems to be a lack of order and cooperativeness among the different emotions.

Pixar also released these colorful individual posters for each of the film's main characters; Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger, as well as a short video for each of the emotions, which you can watch on the studio's official YouTube channel.


Lastly, two stills from the film (below) as well as a lovely piece of concept art (above) made their way online this week. Whether the film is good or bad (although I am quite confident that it will be the former), one thing is for sure; the film will be visually stunning, which is to be expected, of course, with it being a Pixar release and all.

With every new piece of promotion that is released for Inside Out I get more excited, and by the looks of it people around the world in general seem to be looking forward to the film as well. With the seemingly infallible Pete Docter at the helm, this film looks all set to become yet another classic in the Pixar library.

Inside Out hits theaters June 19th of this new year--happy new year, by the way!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

'Toy Story That Time Forgot' Airs TONIGHT!

Just a friendly reminder; Pixar's second television special ever, and their first Christmas-themed one, Toy Story That Time Forgot, airs in just a little less than an hour on the West Coast (if you're on the East Coast, then you may have already seen it!). Tune in to ABC at 8 o'clock sharp and set your DVR. If you miss the special, don't sweat it - it will be be aired again throughout the holiday season.

Be sure to share your thoughts on Pixar's new holiday special here after you've seen it!

Friday, November 7, 2014

'Toy Story 4' Set for 2017 Release, Lasseter Will Direct

I think it's safe to say that this is one announcement no one saw coming. There had been murmurings of a fourth Toy Story on several occasions before, but most fans had taken them with a grain of salt. Millions of jaws smacked the ground hard today when Disney and Pixar confirmed that Toy Story 4 is indeed happening.

Disney CEO Bob Iger broke the news during an earnings call, and confirmed that Pixar and Disney Animation honcho John Lasseter, who helmed the first two Toy Story films, will return to direct the fourth installment in the series.

Toy Story 4 will arrive in theaters on June 17th, 2017 and will reportedly be a love story. Lasseter said this of Pixar's approach towards sequels in an interview the the LA Times:

"A lot of people in the industry view us doing sequels as being for the business of it, but for us it's pure passion. We only make sequels when we have a story that's as good as or better than the original. We don't just, because of the success of a film, automatically say we're going to do a sequel and then figure out what we're going to do."

John Lasseter and the crew behind Toy Story 4

In true Pixar fashion, Lasseter and studio veterans Lee Unkrich (who directed Toy Story 3), Pete Docter, and Andrew Stanton came up with the story for the film over lunch one day in his office, he told the LA Times. He and Stanton spent the past two years crafting the story and later brought in Rashida Jones and Will McCormack to pen the script, having seen their 2012 comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever. Galyn Susman, producer of last year's television special Toy Story of Terror and the upcoming Toy Story That Time Forgot, will produce the fourth full-length Toy Story film.

I leave you with a song from this year's Muppets Most Wanted which, funnily enough, predicted today's big announcement.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

'The Good Dinosaur' Gets Its Director

When Pixar announced that Bob Peterson would no longer direct their upcoming film The Good Dinosaur over a year ago, they made no mention of who would be taking over the reins on the project. Soon after, the studio announced that the film would be pushed from its original release date of May 30th, 2014 all the way to November 25th, 2015, leaving this year Pixar-less. We had heard little else about Pixar's dino flick since, until last month, that is.

As many had suspected, former co-director Peter Sohn (story artist on several Pixar productions, director of Partly Cloudy, voice of Emile in Ratatouille and Squishy in Monsters University) has been named the new director of the film, as Pixar revealed via their Twitter account a couple of weeks ago. While many fans had assumed that Sohn had taken over directorial duties completely after Peterson's removal, this fun little video of the new director sketching the eponymous Good Dinosaur, Arlo, is the studio's first official statement regarding the film's new director.

The Good Dinosaur is just a little over a year away, and while that may seem far away, we have a whole other Pixar feature to look forward to coming in June! It appears as if 2015 will be the first ever year to see the release of two feature Pixar films. Once upon a time this was supposed to happen in 2011, but obviously circumstances did not allow for that. However, despite having experienced several bumps on the road during production, Dinosaur seems to be on the right track, and it's probably safe to say that next year we will at last have a year with twice as much Pixar goodness as we have come to expect.

The Good Dinosaur hits theaters November 25th, 2015.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dazzling New Images from Pixar's 'Lava'

With 2015 fast approaching, the flow of Pixar news is gradually returning to the norm. Last week Collider debuted two magnificent stills from the studio's upcoming short Lava, as well as an interview with director James Ford Murphy. Check them all out below.

The new images just go to show how Pixar's artists are able to flawlessly merge realism and fantasy. Here, Uku the volcano, the hunchback whales, and the sea turtles all obviously have some cartoonish qualities to them but still feel very true to life.

Be sure to also watch Collider's interview with Lava director James Ford Murphy, as he talks about how he came to work at Pixar, the process of pitching a short film at the studio, and more.

And in case you missed it, Pixar also released a clip from the short a couple of months ago. Personally I have refrained from watching it as I like to walk into unspoiled, but feel free to do so yourself...

Lava arrives in theaters June 19th, 2015 alongside Inside Out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Poster for 'Toy Story That Time Forgot'

As the one-year anniversary of Pixar's first ever television special Toy Story of Terror approaches, the studio is beginning to promote its latest half-hour special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, which airs December 2nd on ABC. This awesome poster for the new special was released yesterday by EW.

The poster features some familiar faces, as well as some new ones. Woody, Buzz, Rex, and Trixie, who appears to be sporting some sort of armor, are joined by newcomers Angel Kitty and Reptillus Maximus, and a multitude of the wickedly cool Battlesaurs fills the background. Visually, it looks like the upcoming special will take the Toy Story universe to exciting new places as the gang ventures into "uncharted territory", where they encounter the delusional Battlesaurs.

This Sky Broadband commercial also dropped in late August and, strangely enough, serves as our first real look at Pixar's second TV special. It's pretty funny; check it out below if you haven't already. 

Someone also spotted this promo for the new special on the Disney Channel and uploaded it to YouTube. It's low-quality, but it's our first look at actual footage from the special.

Toy Story That Time Forgot is directed by Brave co-director Steve Purcell and the original Toy Story cast members return to lend their voices to Woody, Buzz, and company. Last year's Toy Story of Terror was a blast and received acclaim from audiences and critics alike, and That Time Forgot should be no different, so be sure to tune in to ABC on December 2nd!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pixar Debuts Teaser for 'Inside Out'

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's finally here. After what seems like an eternity of patiently waiting, Pixar has finally released a teaser trailer for their fifteenth feature film, Inside Out. So without further ado, here it is:

By intelligently reminding us of how great their past successes have been, Pixar amps up the excitement for what looks set to be another winner for them. Only a fraction of the minute-and-a-half teaser has footage from the film itself (or of the film's characters, anyway), but it's put together so flawlessly that nothing else is necessary to get the point across: this film will be something special.

Judging by the teaser, Inside Out will fit right in with with the Emeryville studio's fourteen other features. The trailer promises everything we've come to expect from a Pixar film; gorgeous visuals, unique character designs, a top-notch voice cast, intriguing new worlds, and a heartfelt story.

The film is directed by the brilliant Pete Docter, who has built quite the reputation for himself over the course of his career at Pixar. He made his directorial debut in 2001 with Monsters, Inc. and later directed fan-favorite Up (2009), which went on to become the second animated film in history to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, following Walt Disney Animation's Beauty and the Beast (1991). The Pixar name already means the audience will have high expectations, but Docter's pristine track record raises the bar even higher for next summer's Inside Out.

Additionally, the studio also released an image (top) of the film's main characters, Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), as well as a teaser poster for the new movie (below).

Pixar's "major emotion picture" Inside Out hits theaters June 19th, 2015.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Recap: First Look at 'Toy Story That Time Forgot'

In January, Pixar announced that this holiday season they would premiere their second television special, once again starring the characters from the beloved Toy Story films. Now this year's San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and we have some new details about the upcoming Toy Story That Time Forgot, directed by Steve Purcell (co-director and head of story on Brave).

Last month Pixar released this awesome poster for their new TV special, created by the talented Mike Mignola. The poster indicates that dinosaur toys, including Trixie the Triceratops (voiced once again by the hilarious Kristen Schaal), will feature heavily in the new 22-minute special.

The Battlesaurs (photo credit: stitchkindom)

Toy Story That Time Forgot reunites us with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang shortly after Christmas. Somehow, the toys find themselves lost in a strange new world, populated by a group of "dangerously delusional" dinosaur action figures known as the Battlesaurs. It's up to Trixie to get everyone back safely to Bonnie's room.

The Toy Story gang and newcomer Angel Kitty (photo credit: stitchkingdom)

As always with Toy Story shorts and specials, the original cast is all back - Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Wallace Shawn as Rex, Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, and Joan Cusack as Jessie. Of course, there are also some newcomers to the Toy Story world. Kevin McKidd, who previously voiced Lord MacGuffin in Pixar's Brave, joins the cast as Reptillus Maximus, one of the various Battlesaurs in the special.

Toy Story That Time Forgot panel at Comic-Con (photo credit: @FindingMickey)

The great Michael Giacchino scored the last Pixar special, Toy Story of Terror, and he returns once again for That Time Forgot. Giacchino's work never fails to impress, so his score for the new special ought to add some additional flair to what will surely already be a brilliant new adventure in the Toy Story world.

Pixar is taking the Toy Story characters where they have never gone before, and I for one cannot wait to see the strange new world that the artists at the studio have crafted this time around. The character designs for the Battlesaurs are phenomenal, and if Toy Story of Terror is any indication, this special will be funny, quirky, and heartfelt. There is plenty to get excited for!

Toy Story That Time Forgot airs on ABC on December 2.

Summer Recap: First Look at Pixar's 'Lava'

This summer (and this year in general) have been relatively quiet for Pixar, but they have dropped little bits of news here and there. Last month, they released the still seen above, giving us our first look at their latest short film, Lava. Pictured here is the short's protagonist, Uku, a gentle, warmhearted volcano who finds himself falling for neighbor volcano, Lele.

Lava is described as "a musical love story that takes place over millions of years". Director James Ford Murphy spoke with the LA Times about the short, which is inspired by Hawaiian culture and backed by a song which Murphy composed himself on the ukulele. The song is performed in the short by Hawaiian singers Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig.

"I thought it would be so cool to fall in love with a place who's also a character," said Murphy. "I wanted to make Uku appealing and likable but also look like he's been carved out of lava flows."

At Pixar, short films are often used as a way of testing the waters for new technology and visual styles. Lava challenged the artists at the studio to create detailed wide shots like those in a live-action movie.

Be sure to check out the full LA Times interview here.

The short will premiere this month at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, which starts on the 21 and ends on the 25, but the rest of the world will get to see it next summer when it hits theaters alongside Pixar's next feature-length film, Inside Out, on June 19, 2015.

Friday, July 4, 2014

New Details on 'Inside Out', Pixar Announces 'Lava'

2014 has sure been painfully slow in terms of Pixar news, and I am not proud of having only published eight posts this year prior to this one. However, the animation powerhouse did recently give us some insight into what they are cooking up for us at the moment and it all seems very promising.

Of course, we all know that Pete Docter, the mastermind behind previous Pixar features Monsters, Inc. and Up, has been hard at work on his latest project Inside Out for several years now. The film, which takes audiences into the world inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, is due in just a little under a year from now, and last month Pixar previewed the film at the Annecy Film Festival in France, where those in attendance were treated to a clip from the studio's latest feature. The approximately 5-minute-long clip reportedly showed the birth of the character Riley and then progressively introduced each of her emotions in different stages of her childhood. The same clip was later shown at a press event for the Director's Guild of America. If you're interested in reading a detailed description of the screened footage, head on over to Cinema Blend.

Also at that same Director's Guild event, Pixar veteran James Ford Murphy stepped onto the stage to unveil his new short film Lava, which will play in theaters in front of Inside Out next year. Disney and Pixar released an official synopsis for the short:

Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, "Lava" is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years.

From Pixar Animation Studios, director James Ford Murphy and producer Andrea Warren, "Lava" opens in theaters on June 19, 2015, in front of "Inside Out".

An official poster for Pixar's upcoming short film Lava

Early buzz for the upcoming short film, which was screened for attendees at the event, has been very positive.

Yup, that just about sounds like a Pixar short. Innovative, heartfelt, and sweet.

Murphy himself reportedly composed the short's song on ukulele, which will be sung by Hawaiian singers Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Grieg Makua. Again, none of this has been confirmed by Disney or Pixar, but it seems very plausible.

Back to the topic of Inside Out, several tidbits regarding the film have been dropped here and there over the past couple of months, so here are some of the most notable ones.

The official title treatment for Pixar's Inside Out

Pixar released a new official logo for the film (above), as well as a new synopsis for the film:

From the tepuis of South America to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In 2015, he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all - inside the mind of an 11-year-old named Riley. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city,
house and school.

Inside Out will be the second Pixar feature film to have a female protagonist, the first being 2012's Brave. The main character, however, is not the preteen Riley, but rather her emotion Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler. Riley will reportedly be to Inside Out what Andy is to the Toy Story films; while a key character in the story, she is not the protagonist.

Like the new Lava short, the 5-minute Inside Out clip has also sparked wild enthusiasm in those who saw it. Eric Eisenberg tweeted:
On June 19, Pixar's social media accounts posted this funny picture of director Pete Docter showing his excitement for his upcoming film by holding up a sketch of Joy.

We were also treated to a beautiful piece of concept art from the film, showcasing Joy inside the headquarters of Riley's mind.

Photo credit: The Pixar Times

Last of all, Docter signed autographs and gave out drawings like the one above featuring characters from Inside Out last month at Annecy. Expect the film's art book to be packed with fun doodles like this one!

Photo credit: hayleyanimates

This year sure is an odd one for Pixar news. It's been very quiet for the most part, but every now and then we get a sudden burst of exciting news about the studio's future projects. In March they announced the ever-coveted Incredibles sequel (and the not-so-coveted Cars threequel), and now we got a bunch of exciting details about their next feature film, as well as word on what their next short film will be! And though they seem far away now, a year flies by quicker than you think. Just think, Monsters University just turned a year old! So don't you worry, June 19, 2015 will be here in the blink of an eye, bringing two astounding Pixar films along with it.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

'Toy Story of TERROR' Coming to Blu-ray in August

At long last, some Pixar news!

Last October, Pixar premiered their first ever television special, Toy Story of Terror, to which audiences reacted quite warmly. For the past few months, fans have been wondering when the special will be available to own on home media, and we now have our answer.

The 22-minute special will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on August 19 and will be stuffed with plenty of bonus features, including the three existing Toy Story Toons short films; Hawaiian Vacation (2011, directed by Gary Rydstrom), Small Fry (2011, directed by Toy Story of Terror director Angus McLane), and Partysaurus Rex (2012, directed by Mark Walsh).

All three Toy Story Toons are already available on home media (Hawaiian Vacation on the Cars 2 Blu-ray/DVD and Pixar Short Films Collection: Vol. 2, which also includes Small Fry, and Partysaurus Rex on the Blu-ray re-release of Monsters, Inc.), though it's nice to see that they'll all be together on the same disc, and fans who haven't been able to get a hold of these shorts previously can now get them all in just one purchase.

Other extras on the Blu-ray set include faux vintage commercials for some the toys featured in Toy Story of Terror, similar to this Lotso one released as part of the marketing campaign for Toy Story 3:

Blu-ray Special Features:
  • Toy Story Toons” Shorts: Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, Partysaurus Rex
  • Audio Commentaries: Toy Story OF TERROR!, Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, and Partysaurus Rex
  • Team of Specialists  – Director Angus MacLane goes deep behind the scenes to introduce the team of specialists required to make Toy Story OF TERROR!
  • 3  Deleted Scenes + Editor Introductions – Pencil Topper Trilogy, Travel Brochure, Road Trip Roulette
  • Vintage Toy Commercials + Director Introductions – Old Timer, Combat Carl, Transitron
  • D23 Teaser

The DVD will come with all the same bonus features as the Blu-ray excluding  the deleted scenes and editor introductions, and the Disney Movies Anywhere app will have an exclusive feature with Mr. Pricklepants as well as an additional deleted scene.

The TV special itself is an absolute blast (you can read my review here), but all the bonus material really makes this set worth picking up. Commentaries, deleted scenes - what more could you ask for?

Finally, Pixar released this trailer for the upcoming Blu-ray release, which gives us a sneak peek at some of the faux toy commercials included on the set.

This is a must-own for any Pixar or animation fan, so mark your calendars - Toy Story of Terror hits store shelves August 19!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Four Years Later...

Exactly four years ago today, I opened up this little blog dedicated to the work of Pixar Animation Studios. I never could have foretold what would follow.

Here we are now in 2014, a relatively slow year in terms of Pixar news, what with no new Pixar feature film until 2015. It would be easy to merely shut this blog down and be done with it, but that's not something I plan on doing anytime soon, because I know it would likely end up being one of the biggest regrets of my life. In the past four years, Pixar Corner has opened so many doors for me, and it's also given me the privilege of meeting some wonderful people, both in person and through social media. I have also been incredibly, unbelievably fortunate to have been able to visit both Pixar's HQ in Emeryville, California and Pixar Canada in Vancouver, Canada (before its unfortunate closure in October, which still has me feeling pretty bummed out). A huge thank you goes out to Pixar publicist Chris Wiggum and Pixar Canada General Manager and VP Amir Nasrabadi, who made those once-in-a-lifetime experiences possible. If either of you is reading this, know that you made one of my childhood dreams into reality, and that's a debt I don't think I'll ever be able to repay.

A shoutout also to the very talented Paul Robin, who continues to spruce up this blog with his very inventive seasonal headers. Don't forget to check out his blog!

I'd also like to thank my fellow bloggers and Twitter buddies, with whom it is always a pleasure to interact and share opinions, and my readers, both the ones who have been here from the start and the ones just tuning in. And of course, thank you to all the artists and storytellers at Pixar, who have continued to entertain and inspire me throughout my entire life.

Here's to another four years of blogging!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Samuel L. Jackson Says Frozone Will Return In 'Incredibles 2'

Marvel's latest superhero flick Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters this Friday internationally and next Friday in the US and Canada, and while out promoting the film, Hollywood legend Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury in the film, was asked about the possibility of his character Frozone returning for the recently announced Incredibles sequel.

"Every time I run into Brad [Bird] he always tells me Frozone is part of what's going on, so I have to believe that," the actor explains. "I guess they could be the Incredibles without Frozone, but I think Frozone would be a wonderful, wonderful addition to what's already there." He goes on to say that he's simply "excited to see what Jack-Jack turned into."

Here's the original clip from the interview:

Since The Incredibles' debut in 2004, Frozone has been a fan favorite, and that's largely thanks to Jackson's impeccable job voicing the character. His line "Honey, where's my super suit?" is probably one of the most frequently quoted from any Pixar film.

It is probably safe to assume that we indeed will be seeing Lucius Best, a.k.a. Frozone, once again fighting crime alongside Mr. Incredible and co. in The Incredibles 2 when it hits theaters in a few years; why wouldn't he return? It was very much a given from the very start, but it's nice to hear Sam Jackson show interest in reprising the very popular role in the highly-anticipated sequel. The Incredibles is a mighty fine film as it is, but Frozone is the cherry on top that makes it all the better.

(via DigitalSpy)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

'Party Central' Will Have You Roaring With Laughter

We may not be getting a Pixar feature this year, but that didn't stop the animation studio from putting out an all-new short film, featuring the stars of their 2013 flick, Monsters University. I was able to catch Party Central (alongside the fantastic new Muppet pic, Muppets Most Wanted) on Thursday night, and I am happy to report that it was a delight to watch on every level.

In the new short, the members of Oozma Kappa start the night off feeling rather bummed out, as no one has bothered showing up to their party. But low and behold, their pals Mike and Sulley burst through the door, carrying with them something that should help get the party going. Mike fires up a door station, and chaos ensues.

Without giving away too much, Party Central has everything you'd expect from a Pixar short; humor, wit, and just the right amount of inventiveness. The original Monsters University cast is all back, making the short all the more enjoyable. Mike, Sulley, and the rest of the characters all make welcome returns, and one could argue that Squishy's mom, Sherri Squibbles, ends up being the star of the show. Of course, the gags are all really funny (no surprise there), making the short a fun 6-minute laughing session. Its fast pace keeps you engaged until the very end, and when it does end, you can't help but wish there was more.

So really, no complaints here. Pixar's latest short is not just a blast, but it is testimony to the studio's impressive range when it comes to short films (and features too, for that matter). They are capable of crafting innovative, artsy shorts like La Luna and The Blue Umbrella, yet they are also able to produce fun, fast-paced romps like Party Central, which also give us a chance to revisit some of their most beloved characters without having to make another feature film with them.

In conclusion, even if you don't like the Muppets (and if that's the case, shame on you!), see Muppets Most Wanted if only to catch Party Central, which makes the price of admission all the more worth it.

And to Pixar; please, make more Monsters shorts.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Confirmed: 'Incredibles 2' and 'Cars 3' In Development

You can keep pinching yourself as many times as you like, but this is no dream. The day has finally come, ladies and gentlemen. We have been begging, pleading, and clamoring for this announcement for years now, and Pixar has finally answered our prayers today by announcing that they are indeed making Cars 3. Oh, yeah, and a certain other sequel known as, yes indeed, The Incredibles 2.

The news broke today at the annual Disney shareholders meeting, where Disney CEO Bob Iger let it slip that both sequels are indeed currently in development over at Pixar. No other details were given, leaving fans to speculate about the plots and release dates.

So it's official: The Incredibles 2 is finally happening. It's hard to believe that the original film turns 10 years old this year. Over the past decade, it seems that no sequel has been asked for more than an Incredibles sequel. Fans have constantly inquired of director Brad Bird about when we could see another film starring the family of supers, and every time he has spoken about the matter, he's said that it will only happen if he can come up with a story better than that of the original.

Recently he stated:

I love the world. I love the characters, and if I could come with a story that was as good or better than the original, I’d go there in a second. I have pieces of things that I would love to see in a sequel, but I haven’t got them all together yet, and I certainly wouldn’t want to come out there with something that is less than the original. … Sequels are not part of the business plan at Pixar. It’s all about the filmmakers being passionate about going somewhere.

Well, it looks like he's finally put those pieces together. Bird will reportedly pen the sequel's script, although it is currently unknown if he will return to the director's chair for the Parr family's second outing. It is reassuring to know he is involved in the project in some form, however, and I can definitely see him directing The Incredibles 2 once he's finished with Tomorrowland (which hits theaters next year).

The announcement comes right on the heels of yesterday's news that the original Incredibles film is being converted to 3D. No word yet on whether the film will be given a theatrical re-release once the conversion is complete, however that does seem a bit unlikely at the moment after Disney's past two 3D re-releases underperformed at the box office. But who knows, they could bring the film back to theaters in a few years in order to pump audiences up for the second installment, similar to how Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were released in 3D as a double feature a few months before Toy Story 3 hit theaters.

As for Cars 3, it was bound to happen eventually. It's obviously the less exciting of the two films announced today, but I don't see how its existence is a problem. I love the Cars universe; it's got some great characters, the first film is fantastic in my opinion, the shorts are great as well, and I still think Cars 2, while underwhelming, is decent and definitely not the piece of garbage most people claim it is. And if you've been to Cars Land at Disneyland, there's no denying that it's pretty darn impressive. Plus, who's to say the third film won't be any good? For all we know, it could be better than the second installment, and heck, it could even surpass the original! According to Michael Wallis (voice of Sheriff in the films), Cars 3 will take audiences back to Route 66 and will even include Route 99, so it seems like it will be closer in style to the first film than the second.

Overall, not a bad day in terms of Pixar news. We're finally getting the sequel everyone has been praying for, and the sequel that no one really asked for, but could still prove to be good, if not excellent.

And please, if you're still on that whole "Pixar is all about sequels now" bandwagon, do recall that there are not one, not two, but three (and probably more) completely original and very promising projects in the Pixar pipeline as well.

What do you think? Are you excited for The Incredibles 2? How excited are you for The Incredibles 2? What are your thoughts on Cars 3?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Awards Season Recap: Monsters University

This awards season, unfortunately, has been a rather disappointing one for Pixar, as their brilliant but underrated feature Monsters University has been largely ignored by most notable award organizations. The film was downright snubbed by the Golden Globes and the Oscars this year, who for some reason preferred arguably weaker films like Despicable Me 2 and The Croods.

The Monsters prequel has, however, received some recognition from less-known organizations, and it did win a couple awards at the Annies, where it had a total of 10 nominations and ended up taking home the awards for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production and Editorial in an Animated Feature Production. It was nominated for, but ended up losing, the following Annie Awards:

  • Best Animated Feature
  • Animated Effects in an Animated Production
  • Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production
  • Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
  • Music in an Animated Feature Production
  • Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
  • Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production (Billy Crystal as Mike Wazowski)
  • Writing in an Animated Feature Production
  • Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Way back in October, the film also won a Hollywood Animation Award at the 17th Hollywood Film Awards. Unfortunately, it hasn't won anything outside of that and the Annies, but it has at least been nominated for several other awards including:

  • Best Edited Animated Feature Film - American Cinema Editors
  • Best Animated Film - British Academy Film Awards
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures (Animated) - Cinema Audio Society Awards
  • Best Animated Feature - Critics' Choice Movie Award
  • Best Animated Feature Film - Denver Film Critics Society
  • Best Animated Film - International Cinephile Society
  • Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures (Kori Rae) - Producers Guild of America Award
  • Best Animated Feature - San Francisco Film Critics Circle
  • Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media - Satellite Awards
  • Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture and Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture - Visual Effects Society Awards
  • Best Animated Feature - Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association

Awards are marvelous things, it's never a bad thing to give recognition to a filmmaker, actor, artist, or studio for their outstanding work. However, let's not forget that a film's (or a director's, actor's, etc.) greatness is not really determined by the number of accolades it earns. Films are meant to entertain, so shouldn't their greatness instead be determined by the joy they bring to people across the world? As the wise Doc Hudson would say, an award is "just an empty cup".

Congratulations to Dan Scanlon and the entire cast and crew for crafting a truly remarkable film with an exceptional message, a film that I hope will gain more recognition as it ages.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

First Look at 'Party Central'

With just about a month to go until the release of Pixar's latest short film, we've got our first detailed look at the new Monsters University-themed short.

Check out the brief 36-second short clip that was revealed earlier this month (don't worry, it's spoiler-free):

Moviefone got the exclusive first look at the short and premiered some sweet stills alongside an interview with director Kelsey Mann, which I highly recommend you check out here.

This looks all set to be yet another classic from the folks who brought us the likes of Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. - I can only begin to imagine all the criminally clever and inventive gags that they've conjured up for this fast-paced party-centric (pun intended) short film. It's also great to be able to revisit Mike, Sulley, and the rest of the Oozma Kappa fraternity for the first time since we last saw them last summer in MU.

Mark your calendars, Party Central romps into theaters March 21 alongside Muppets Most Wanted!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Pixar Announces Plans for 2014

Apologies for the blog silence this month, January has been incredible busy for me. Now that the month is over, however, let's take a moment to recap on the exciting announcements that were dropped over the past few weeks in the world of Pixar.


It looks as though us fans will no longer have to wait until 2015 to get a healthy yearly dose of goodness from the studio since Pixar announced this month its two latest (non-feature-length) projects and when we can expect to see them.

Looking back at 2011, you may recall that when the fantastic Muppets "revival" film, The Muppets, opened in theaters in November, it was accompanied by the Pixar Canada-produced Toy Story short Small Fry. Well, Pixar seems to have formed a nice partnership with everyone's favorite felt oddballs, as this year's Muppets Most Wanted will be preceded by another short film from the folks in Emeryville. This time around, we'll get to catch up with Mike, Sulley, and their Oozma Kappa brothers as they come together to throw an unforgettable party in Party Central. The new Monsters University short was announced back in August at D23 Expo and was originally supposed to debut in May with Pixar's The Good Dinosaur, but that film, of course, was pushed back to the fall of 2015, so it's great that the studio found an alternative way to get the short to audiences this year.

The official synopsis for the short reads:

Mike and Sulley are back at Monsters University for a fun-filled weekend with their Oozma Kappa fraternity brothers. The gang is throwing their first party, but no one’s showing up. Luckily for them, Mike and Sulley have come up with a plan to make sure “Party Central” is the most epic party the school has ever seen.

Don't miss Party Central when it romps into theaters on March 21 alongside Muppets Most Wanted (which, by the way, also happens to look absolutely brilliant).

This past October, ABC aired the first ever Pixar television special, Toy Story of Terror, which, unsurprisingly, was met with rave reviews and high ratings. And why wouldn't it? It's a Toy Story television special; audiences love these characters and want to see more of them. So it should come as no surprise that this week the studio announced their next television special - Toy Story That Time Forgot.

While no specific air date has been given, the special will debut around the holiday season this year. Brave co-director Steve Purcell will direct, while Galyn Susman, who produced Toy Story of Terror, will serve as producer. Here's the official synopsis:

During a post-Christmas play date, the “Toy Story” gang find themselves in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional. It’s all up to Trixie, the triceratops, if the gang hopes to return to Bonnie’s room in this “Toy Story That Time Forgot.”

Similar to how Toy Story of Terror delved deeper into the character of Jessie, it looks like this time it will be the quirky Trixie the triceratops (voiced by the hilarious Kristen Schaal) that gets her turn in the spotlight. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and the rest of the original cast will reprise their roles, and we'll be hearing some new voices also. Kevin McKidd (who voiced Lord MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin in Brave) will be voicing a character named Reptillus Maximus.

It's still a while away, but mark your calendars and don't forget to tune in to ABC this holiday season to catch Toy Story That Time Forgot!


So how about it, folks? We may not be getting a feature-length Pixar flick this year, but a short and a television special should be enough to fill that void, don't you think? Share your thoughts below!