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Early Digital Release for Onward

Onward

Posted by Joanna • March 20, 2020

In an admirable move on Pixar’s part, Onward is becoming available digitally under a month after its theatrical release. It will be available for purchase in the US this evening on Movies Anywhere.

Given the current circumstances resulting from Covid-19, this is the best case scenario for a whole host of movies that, ideally, audiences would be continuing to enjoy in theatres at the moment. Households all around the world are being encouraged to stay indoors – let’s hope that Onward, and many other movies choosing this direction, will brighten up some days in this uncertain time.

In just two weeks (April 3rd), Onward will also be available on Disney+ in the US.

From all of us at Upcoming Pixar – stay safe, and look after yourselves! Remember that panic and worry spread more easily than empathy and kindness. Let’s all take things a day at a time. If any of you want someone to talk to, hop over to our Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr page and one of us will gladly chat about Pixar movies with you!

Posted today by Onward story artist Austin Madison.

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The newest Soul trailer is dazzling

Soul, Trailer

Posted by Simoa • March 12, 2020

“Is all this living really worth dying for?”

It definitely recalls Inside Out, but there’s still something totally unique about Soul. For instance, there’s a regular outside world juxtaposed against a stunning interior one. The animation and character designs are also ones we’ve never yet seen in a Pixar movie. Those, along with the premise, are what I find most exciting about Soul. This trailer is also gorgeous: the vibrant colors make me want to jump right into this world. Already seems like a harmonious blend, and in a film with jazz music to boot!

Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before—a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.

With the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, and Questlove, Soul will be in theaters on June 19th of this year.

 

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Pixar’s Soul – New Poster, New Trailer!

Poster, Soul

Posted by Joanna • March 11, 2020

Soul is officially just 100 days away from release, and to celebrate this, a new poster has been revealed and a new trailer is dropping tomorrow (March 12th). Take a look at the new poster below:

We still know very little about Soul – it follows jazz musician Joe Gardner on his journey into the afterlife. The plot could go anywhere from there. This poster has confirmed something incredibly important though – there’s going to be a cat. We’ll be sure to keep you all updated with any new cat information that reveals itself in the next 100 days before June 19th (as well as any other Soul details in general of course).

A new Soul trailer is coming tomorrow! Check back soon to hear our thoughts.

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A Q+A with Onward’s filmmakers

Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae, Onward, Onward press day, Pixar Employees

Posted by Simoa • March 6, 2020

At Pixar last fall, I was given the incredible opportunity of talking to story artists Kelsey Mann and Maddie Sharafian, and the director-producer team of Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae! That was my first time speaking to Pixar filmmakers face to face. I think it goes without saying that I was nervous – so much so that I was trembling. But they all made me feel so comfortable and at ease. And I got to gain even more insight into Onward through our conversations. So read on and learn about the film which is playing in theaters now.

UP: What are you most excited about in the film?

photo by Alex Kang

Kelsey Mann: I would say a lot and then very little. The part I’m most excited about is the very little. Initially, we didn’t have anything and then Dan started to think about his own experiences and what makes him unique. Part of it was growing up without a father. His dad passed away when he was just a baby, so he has no memory of him. So he started to think about how that shaped him and this is where we start with a lot of these movies. We look inward. “What have I felt in my own life? What are the things I’ve learned?” And he came to this realization about himself. He thought that would be a good thing to make a movie about and that’s really the reason we’re making this film and what he’s learned in his own life. At the first screening, we storyboarded that ending, and that ending has remained the same since day one. That is unique. I can’t think of a film I’ve worked on where we knew where we were headed from the beginning. Everything else changed a lot but not the ending.

KM: Maddie worked a lot with Ian and his introduction. Every screening, we had a different Ian. It wasn’t until halfway through – “There he is!” There’s a perception that we had the movie figured out because we always had that ending.

visual development art by Huy Nguyen

UP: What was it like balancing the silly with the heartfelt?

KM: That’s the type of film Dan wanted to make; that’s Monsters University and the films he made before he came here; that’s the way he usually makes films. He really wanted to make a fun comedy that hits you with emotion.”

UP: How did you come up with the concept of the unicorns?

KM: That was Dan’s idea early on.

photo by Alex Kang

Maddie Sharafian: It’s funny but it’s also sad. You can tell with the world, something’s a little bit off. You’re laughing at it but you also wish there was something better, which is sort of the way that Ian stands in his life. He wishes he had his dad but something’s not quite right.

UP: Was Onward more challenging to direct than Monsters University because it was a personal film or did that make it easier?

Dan Scanlon: They have their own challenges and benefits. Doing a sequel was nice because people love those characters and were excited to see them. Doing an original was nice because you could change the characters drastically to fit the story and even get rid of them if you needed to, and in a sequel you’re beholden to what you have. So it really became this push of benefits over losses for the two. And I don’t know that I can say that one was harder than the other. It’s nice to have a little experience under our belts for this one.

Kori Rae: Having done Monsters University really helped us have a little more confidence.

UP: Not that science and technology are bad, but the movie seems to be criticizing our world where people don’t care about finding whimsy or having an imagination.

DS: It’s more about finding balance. You’re right. It is more about making sure that we’re still challenging ourselves; still finding the potential in ourselves; still enjoying the nature around us and not getting too comfortable in every day things. It’s not meant to be a hard social criticism – certainly there’s some of that in there and it reflects Ian; the fact that he is too scared to get out of his comfort zone; afraid to take risks. He just wants to blend in and throughout this journey he comes out of his shell and I think the world mirrors that.

UP: You two have been a duo since MU; what’s it like working together?

KR: On the first film we were figuring each other out and as we figured the film out, we’ve always had great respect for one another and I think on this film we were able to teach one another what our areas of expertise were. I was super interested in story and being in the story room and Dan was interested in how the production works.

DS: General leadership and inspiring people and artists. We started to learn from each other.

KR: We got to know each other better working this closely together.

DS: We knew that we wanted to work together again, so from day one, Kori and I were talking and working on ideas and getting her support to make sure we could grow this story. It’s interesting because we’ve learned a lot from the other film and it’s nice to continue to grow and learn and I think the film benefits from it.

UP: Besides the lion for Corey the manticore and horses for the centaurs, what were the other animal references?

DS: That’s a good question.

KR: Goats for the satyrs.

DS: Antelopes too. With Blazey the dog, they looked at – she’s so cartoony but she has a lizard-y, snake quality to her. The fun of this movie is that fantasy characters are treated pretty realistically and this was fun to get a more cartoony take.

As an aside, Blazey the dragon is a girl! Everyone thinks she’s a boy.

UP: Did you find it difficult to strike a balance between the silly and more heartfelt moments?

DS: I think life is so funny and so emotional and – this is going to sound really pretentious – but they’re the same thing. The reason something is emotional is because it was funny first. The reason you love a character and you cry is because they made you laugh. I feel like it’s all interwoven. You cry because they said something funny. To me, emotion and comedy always stick together.

UP: What was the most difficult thing about directing this film?

DS: The story is always hard. We always had our ending, but trying to earn that ending. It meant a lot to us to get this point across. I think the burden of wanting to honestly and entertainingly get audiences to that point was really hard. You take it home when it’s a personal thing.

Read our review of Onward here, and be sure to spread the love for this very wonderful movie!

an early sketch by Dan

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