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Piper Wins Best Animated Short Film at the Oscars

Academy Awards, Alan Barillaro, Marc Sondheimer, Piper

Posted by Nia • February 27, 2017

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piper disney pixar

Many congratulations to the crew behind Pixar’s Piper, for taking home the award for Best Animated Short Film at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony. Piper is certainly an achievement in merging animation and technology with its minimalist approach to telling the story of a sandpiper hatchling trying to catch food on its own. Director Alan Barillaro and producer Marc Sondheimer were all smiles in the press room after humbly accepting the Oscar on stage. Backstage Barillaro mentioned, “When you talk technology, the art form is the pencil … we ignored the world of realism and went for the artistic choices. A lot of the work was looking at classical paintings… The challenge as an animator is you need to understand something before you can animate it.” Sondheimer then added, “We studied those birds and that really helped… For three long years!”

It’s safe to say that doing copious amounts of research certainly made a difference in the long-run.

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You Can Now Take A Pixar Storytelling Course Online For Free!

Behind The Scenes, Khan Academy, Mark Andrews, Pete Docter, Pixar in a box, The Art of Storytelling

Posted by Nia • February 24, 2017

Have you ever dreamed about being able to learn from some of the greatest storytellers in the industry? Or what about gaining specific insight in animation from some of your heroes like Pete Docter and Mark Andrews? With Pixar’s new online course, you will be able to do just that.

This month Pixar launched the first course of their 6-part online curriculum on “The Art of Storytelling.” The program will be helmed by Docter, Andrews, and a plethora of other top notch animation talent from the studio. The course is aimed to guide anyone who is interested in learning more about the Pixar storytelling process – the segments will give tips on how to create original stories, captivating characters, and diverse worlds. The courses will also offer a variety of techniques other than your typical video and reading assignments; there will be firsthand exercises that will even teach some newcomers the ABC’s of taking an original idea and seeing it through to the story boarding phase. Pixar’s online class will disperse their different lessons throughout the year, so stay-tuned for more production wisdom from the studio!

Pete Docter’s own statement on the course should give you enough motivation to give it a try: “We hope that by sharing how we tell stories, we’ll inspire students all over the world to tell their own stories.”

“The Art of Storytelling” can be accessed through the online-education website Khan Academy.

Have you already taken the course or are thinking about trying it out? Let us know on Twitter and in the comments below.

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Dream Team: Pixar and NASCAR

Cars 3, NASCAR

Posted by Simoa • February 23, 2017

How excited is everyone for Cars 3? My anticipation for the film has been mounting ever since the first teaser dropped and every new bit of footage and news is cause for more excitement. If you’re like me, you may be thrilled to learn about NASCAR’s involvement with the upcoming film.

Chase Elliot and Jeff Gordon, who voiced Jeff Gorvette in Cars 2.

A handful of drivers will be lending to their voices in the film, as reported on nascar.com! For the racing cars enthusiasts out there, this cast includes Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suárez, and Bubba Wallace. They’ll be joining Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty who have previously voiced characters in the Cars films.

But Pixar isn’t just retaining a roster of NASCAR drivers for the voice cast.

The initiative goes beyond merely lending voices to the sequel, but stretches to at-track appearances, merchandise and co-branded learning materials for elementary school students through the NASCAR Acceleration Nation youth program. But the movie’s story arc also draws parallels from NASCAR’s current trend, of a growing youth movement that’s making its mark in its regional and national series.

This new collaboration will have its official debut at the Daytona 500 on February 26th, with Lightning McQueen himself, Owen Wilson, appearing as grand marshal.

Cars 3 races into theaters on June 16th.

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