Tagged: Pixar

Pixar Reveals La Luna Details

Pixar has announced details about the short, “La Luna” that will run prior to Cars 2 later this month. The story’s synopsis, according to a studio release:

La Luna is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait.  A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa, or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?

The story comes from director Enrico Casarosa, who is also Pixar’s Head of Story. (more…)

Spy Cars Like Us

Spy Cars Like Us

Cars 2, revving up for release later this month, has sent us this cool new featurette:


Here are the rest of the film’s details:

U.S. Release Date: June 24, 2011

Voice Talent: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin, Jason Isaacs, Joe Mantegna, Peter Jacobson, Thomas Kretschmann, Guido Quaroni, Lloyd Sherr, Paul Dooley, John Ratzenberger, Jenifer Lewis, Michael Wallis, Katherine Helmond, John Turturro, Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Eddie Izzard, Bruce Campbell, Michel Michelis, Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip, Lewis Hamilton, David Hobbs

Director: John Lasseter

Co-Director: Brad Lewis

Producer: Denise Ream

Story By: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis and Dan Fogelman

Screenplay By: Ben Queen

Composer: Michael Giacchino

Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine) and the stunning rookie field spy Holley Shiftwell (voice of Emily Mortimer). Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.




John Lasseter returns to the driver’s seat to direct this follow-up to his 2006 Golden Globe®-winning “Cars.” “Cars 2” is co-directed by Brad Lewis, producer of the Oscar®-winning film “Ratatouille,” and produced by visual effects industry veteran Denise Ream (associate producer, “Up”; visual effects executive producer, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”). The film hits the track on June 24, 2011, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D in select theaters.






· John Lasseter made his feature film directing debut with “Toy Story” in 1995. He has since directed such Disney•Pixar classics as “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2” and “Cars” and served as executive producer of all other Pixar films to date. He is currently the chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and principal creative advisor of Walt Disney Imagineering.


· “Cars 2” is the 12th feature-length animated film from Pixar Animation Studios (its first 11 have earned $6.5 billion at the global box office). Pixar, which has earned 29 Academy Awards® and seven Golden Globes®, celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2011.


· “Cars” originally released on June 9, 2006, and grossed nearly $462 million worldwide. It was nominated for two Oscars® and one Golden Globe®, winning the first ever Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film.


When star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix, Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.

The Incredibles

Given how much fun is present in animating super-heroics, it’s interesting to note that feature film makers eschewed delving into the genre. Maybe they were scared off by the iconic Fleischer Studio Superman shorts from the 1940s or were disdainful of the subject matter. We got the first taste of what could be with the wonderful and underrated [[[Iron Giant]]]. It’s little surprise, then, that its director, Brad Bird would produce the first feature animated film to focus on super-heroics with the marvelous Pixar production [[[The Incredibles]]].

In 115 glorious minutes, Bird and company wonderfully honored the tropes of herodom while telling a strong story about good versus evil and more importantly, about family. Much has been written about the Parr family resembling the Fantastic Four, but the number is about all they have in common. Instead, we’re looking a far better version of No Ordinary Family that is filled with lovely touches among the characters.

You’ve got Bob Parr, forced into retirement, going slowly to pot, and itching to resume his heroic activities. He does so, aided by his best friend Lucius “Frozone” Best, defying his loving wife Helen, who has become the pliable homemaker. Their powerful children Violet and Dash have hidden their powers while dealing with the deadly rigors of high school. Slowly, though, events pull the Parrs back into their outfits and are all that stand between the nasty Syndrome and annihilation. But there are things like seductive beauties, fashion designed Edna Mode and a track meet that all play a part of the action. And watching from the sidelines is young infant Jack-Jack, whose powers, if they exist, have yet to manifest themselves as we meet the neighbors.

The script, from Bird, clearly shows its affection for the comics that were the source material, but there’s more than a little James Bond in the mix as seen in the set designs and score. There are tons of nods to the core geek audience but plenty of visual humor and knowing family bits of business to keep the movie accessible to young and old alike. Pixar once more carefully tread the fine line between making a purely kids’ movie and a genuine, well-executed family event.

Walt Disney Home Entertainment has finally given us The Incredibles in Blu-ray today and the package is a full one with two Blu-ray discs, a standard DVD version plus the digital copy. As one might expect, the digital transfer is a four-color wonder to behold and the action-packed story looks great in high definition. Just as cool is the sound which features the stirring, emblematic score by Michael Giacchino. (more…)

Review: ‘Up’, Pixar and Storytelling

Review: ‘Up’, Pixar and Storytelling

One of the things that I love about Pixar is that they
remember what a lot of filmmakers – and sadly, particularly those working in
the CG medium – have forgotten:

A film needs a story.

So many films today focus on technological dazzle, shock value, making pretty
pictures, or cleverness. None of these are bad things; any and all of them can
add enjoyment, but for me a good story is more important than anything else. I’ll
enjoy the spectacle, the beauty, the wit, but what stays with me is the story.
If story is absent, everything else fades quickly. Pixar’s films have had
consistently strong storytelling, letting the characters carry the viewer along
on their adventures, and this summer’s offering, [[[Up]]], is no exception.

Up doesn’t come near to matching the sheer dazzling brilliance of last
summer’s [[[Wall-E]]], but it is a sweet and charming movie in its own right,
and like Wall-E, it remembered to have a story.
Not only that, but Up takes a startling number of storytelling risks,
particularly for a movie aimed at children.

First there was the absolutely heartbreaking montage of Carl
and Ellie trying to save for their dream trip, and having their dream
constantly derailed by crisis after crisis, only to have Ellie fall ill and die
just as the trip was finally in their reach. This montage is also a rare
instance of a wedding being the beginning of a couple’s story rather than the
“happily ever after.” Seeing Carl lose the legal battle to stay in his home was
also painful.


‘Jonah Hex’ movie gets a new director

‘Jonah Hex’ movie gets a new director

The Jonah Hex movie is getting a new director, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Jimmy Hayward, who directed Horton Hears a Who, has been signed to direct Hex as his second feature, and his first in live action.  Prior to directing Horton, Hayward started as an animator for Reboot and then went on to Pixar.

Josh Brolin is still attached to star in the film– because after playing an ornery cuss from the south who goes in guns blazing in W., this was a natural.

Hat tip: ICV2.

ComicMix Radio: Big Future For The Wimpy Kid

ComicMix Radio: Big Future For The Wimpy Kid

Best selling graphic novelist Jeff Kinney has another Wimpy Kid book set for release right after the New Year, and hopefully more to follow, but don’t look for The Kid to age too much. we’ll explain that today, plus:

  • A new Pixar trailer this weekend
  • An original Avengers story already set for Free Comic Book Day 2009
  • X-Men Noir disappears from shelves

It’s all joyful and triumphant  when you Press the Button!


And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!


Review: ‘Wall*E’

Review: ‘Wall*E’

Pixar movies are the kind of family movie you can enjoy without the family.  There’s something there for the adults and the themes tend to be universal ones. Pixar’s creators understand how to think and laugh like a kid and tailor their movies for the broadest possible audience without feeling the need to dumb down the content or characterization.  Instead, their movies are smart and funny and usually heartwarming.

For the first time, a socially responsible theme became a focal point in [[[Wall*E]]] and it’s a welcome one. The movie, out on DVD today, tells of an Earth where consumerism has ruined the planet, making it uninhabitable.

The Wall*E units tried to keep up with the trash but failed, until one is left.  Humanity is long gone, mostly relocated to a pleasure yacht voyaging amongst the stars.  Wall*E has gained an unusual degree of artificial intelligence and as a result has wistful thoughts about being with others, hence his repeated watching of [[[Hello, Dolly]]] on a battered video tape.  His longing to hold another’s hand is heartbreaking.

His years of solitary toil end when an exploratory craft comes and dispatches an EVE unit to seek evidence of organic life symbolizing the planet being ready for repopulating. Wall*E is, of course, smitten with the sleek, rounded object.  Slowly, she exerts her own individuality and budding friendship forms.

Wall*E follows her back to the ship and by then, the beeps and clicks are supplemented with other sounds including human voices.  We meet the last remnants of humanity, soft, obese forms that had mechanical support in every aspect of their lives.  When Wall* E arrives, several are woken up to learn there are other ways to live.

As Wall*E pursues EVE, the ship’s captain is fascinated about returning to earth and what that would mean.  He comes into conflict with the ship’s Auto Pilot who is fulfilling its final commands from the original designers: Earth is dead, you cannot come home.

The struggle to exert free will is the overall theme of the film but told in such a delightful way that you don’t realize until you sit to write the review. Watching the 98 film, you laugh at the winks and nods to other SF classic movies and the patented Pixar humor. There’s little doubt they succeeded given its universal praise and steep box office receipts.

The three DVD set comes complete with a digital copy disc along with bonuses galore. “Presto”, the de rigueur Pixar short that opened with Wall* E is here and is a salute to Loony Tunes.  A new short focuses on Burn*E, a repair robot and is cleverly intertwined with the film’s events so you can see how frustrating it is to fix a light pole when Wall* E is around.

There are some legitimate deleted scenes along with director Andrew Stanton’s commentary.

The second disc is replete with the usual Disney assortment of background pieces including “[[[The Pixar Story]]]”, additional deleted scenes (yes, they should have all been on one disc) and Making Of featurettes. For the youngsters, there an interactive storybook. Al together, this is a must have item and certainly should find its way under many a Christmas tree this season.

Meet Burn-E, Wall-E’s Nemesis

Meet Burn-E, Wall-E’s Nemesis

Disney and Pixar have added a short subject spotlighting Burn-E, the one robot not charmed by Wall-E in the summer blockbuster film.  The short will be included on the DVD of Wall-E coming to stores on Tuesday in a single disc, three-disc collector’s edition, and Blu-ray.

THR Names John Lasseter Innovator of the Year

THR Names John Lasseter Innovator of the Year

The Hollywood Reporter named Pixar’s John Lasseter its Innovator of the Year.

The trade paper noted that the animator has smoothly inherited the mantle from Disney’s Nine Old Men, the animators who created the classic films.  The last of them, Ollie Johnston, passed away recently.

“Heart. Inventiveness. Inspiration. These are Lasseter’s own hallmarks,” the paper wrote, “visible in everything from the free education available to Pixar employees to the imaginative way he works with Pixar’s ‘Brain Trust’" a group of directors who play a pivotal role on each film.”

"He’s been an extraordinary force in innovating and renewing excitement about the animated feature in this country," says film historian Charles Solomon. And, he says, he did so "at a time when it was falling into the doldrums."

At a memorable to Johnston, Lasseter said, "We weren’t embraced at that time by many of the people leading (Disney). The Nine Old Men were starting to step away and retire. But it was the Nine Old Men who embraced us. They wanted to teach us everything that they knew. They recognized, more than anybody else, that they were handing the torch off."

He laughs today that he runs the animation studio where he was fired in 1983 which eventually led him to Pixar. Lasseter is a team player and cheerleader, but the paper also notes he’s willing to jettison that which does not work rather than go with a lesser product.

“His quest for perfection has led him to let go of actors who don’t work out, as he did with one actress who was meant to play the title role of Tinker Bell, a film in Disney’s newest direct-to-DVD animated franchise, the Disney Fairies. It has also led him to part ways with filmmakers who don’t share his vision — as he did with Chris Sanders, who was originally attached to direct Bolt,” the paper wrote.

Lasseter’s crew will be releasing its next production, Bolt, November 21.