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Incredibles 2 Has Passed $1 Billion Worldwide

Incredibles 2

Posted by Joanna • July 31, 2018

Incredibles 2 may have been introduced to the US over a month ago, but the sequel has been steadily amassing box office takings as it’s been released in countries all over the world. In fact, lots of countries are still waiting!

Its reception has been more than positive across the globe, and Incredibles 2 has now made the staggering achievement of passing the $1 billion mark at the global box office. It’s also in the top 10 fastest movies ever to reach the $500 million milestone, and is the only animated movie in this lineup.

Finding Dory previously held the title of “biggest domestic animated movie opening”, but Incredibles 2 has succeeded in overtaking it, becoming the first ever animated movie to gross over $500 million in the US. This makes it the highest-grossing Pixar movie domestically. Superhero movies are totally dominating the theatres these days, and yet Incredibles 2 is already the 4th highest-grossing superhero-genre movie out there, even overtaking the likes of The Dark Knight. 

But enough of all those statistics… What’s really important is that Incredibles 2 has clearly lived up to fans’ expectations and the super talented team of super-movie makers at Pixar have done themselves proud. We can’t wait for those of you around the world who are still patiently (or not so patiently) waiting to see the movie for themselves! Incredibles 2 releases in Japan tomorrow, and residents of Germany have to wait until September 27th. Hang in there, superheroes!

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Pixar Pier Highlights

Disney Parks

Posted by Joanna • July 2, 2018

The new entirely Pixar-themed area of Disney California Adventure Park – Pixar Pier – enthusiastically opened its gates on June 23rd, and it’s got more than enough to offer to all the fellow Pixar fans out there.

First up – the attractions!

There are currently 3 attractions at Pixar Pier – The IncredicoasterToy Story Midway Mania, and the Pixar Pal-A-Round –  with more due to be added in 2019 (Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind and Jessie’s Critter Carousel). Toy Story Midway Mania makes you feel like you’ve shrunk down to the size of Woody and Buzz while you compete in a variety of target shooting games, while the Pixar Pal-A-Round Ferris Wheel lets you sit back, relax, and take in your surroundings and the wonderful views. If you’re looking for more of a thrill, there are swinging gondolas too!

The Incredicoaster is an Incredibles 2 themed rollercoaster, complete with Michael Giacchino’s iconic soundtrack. And this isn’t just the movie soundtrack – Giacchino arranged music specifically for the Incredicoaster, to play alongside a high-speed race to catch Jack-Jack. If you’re looking for an immersive experience, then look no further than this super-powered ride.

“People when they’re riding it…they’re gonna have an emotional connection right off the bat. They’re gonna feel like they’re really in the movie. And I think that they’re gonna walk away from this, humming the music and saying ‘we have to go and do that again’.” – Michael Giacchino

Watch Disneyland’s feature on the orchestration below:

What else?

This isn’t anywhere near the extent of what Pixar Pier has to offer – there are all sorts of snacks taking inspiration from our favourite Pixar movies (a ‘Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num’, anyone?), including the Poultry Palace, which you may recognise from the Toy Story toon Small Fry. 

“Some Nutrients – Many Preservatives”

There are also plenty of games (with prizes!) to try out – the La Luna themed one being my personal favourite. The WALL-E Space Race comes in as a close second though.

I love how the team who came up with concepts/designed/built Pixar Pier were clearly driven by creativity and a sense of fun. I think that’s why I feel the most excited about the Lamplight Lounge (and that’s why I saved it until last). The Lamplight Lounge is a ‘restaurant celebrating creativity’; its walls and ceilings are adorned with posters, concept art, promotional art and memorabilia from Pixar movies spanning all the way back to Toy Story.

 

Have you been lucky enough to visit the Pixar Pier yet? If so – please share your photos and experiences with us! What was your favourite part? Did you sample all the snacks? Let us know on Twitter.

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Was Incredibles 2 ‘Worth The Wait’? – Incredibles 2 At The Edinburgh International Film Festival

Incredibles 2

Posted by Joanna • July 1, 2018

Ever since The Incredibles came into our lives back in 2004, fans have been pining after a sequel, and now, 14 years later, we finally have one! But was it ‘worth the wait’? For those of you that are still patiently waiting – minor spoilers ahead!

Incredibles 2 releases in the UK on July 13th, almost a full month after the US release. By now, as a resident of Scotland, I’m used to usually having to wait a little longer to see Pixar movies in the cinema, but I was beyond excited to discover that I was able to attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival (or EIFF) this year and see Incredibles 2 on June 24th. It wasn’t so much the slightly earlier screening that I was excited about – it was the atmosphere. Seeing Incredibles 2 in the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh has made my first viewing of this fantastic movie, and the wonderful short Bao, even more memorable and unique than I could have imagined.

It was surreal to be sitting in a theatre traditionally built to house opera and ballet performances while listening to Michael Giacchino’s Incredibles soundtrack in the background and watching kids running around with balloons and superhero facepaints. It was surreal, but also oddly fitting. It felt so right to be sitting in an audience of over 1000 people, enthusiastically awaiting the next Pixar movie. The release of a new Pixar movie is absolutely something worth celebrating, and this was my first time really getting to be a part of the celebration.

EIFF Artistic Director Mark Adams and Pixar’s Fran Kalal, the Tailoring Lead on Incredibles 2, were there to thank the audience for coming, and were even joined on stage by Bob and Helen Parr themselves! Or at least…people in Bob and Helen Parr costumes. Like I said – it was all very surreal. Kalal said this was her first time visiting Scotland, which was very exciting to her since she helped design Merida’s dress from Brave. And then, in true theatre fashion, the curtains were raised and the film started playing.

From my experience as a UK cinemagoer, audiences are always relatively subdued. It’s unusual when someone makes any sort of exclamation during a movie, and even more unusual for people to actually applaud when the credits start rolling. I think that’s what made my EIFF experience so special. When the little dumpling in Bao first came to life, its eyes bursting open in horror when it realises it’s about to be eaten, there was the biggest uproar of laughter from the audience, and the laughter barely had a chance to die down until the very end of the short. It was to the point where I had trouble making out the music and sound effects – and I’m not even complaining! I was so moved by being able to hear the audience’s reaction to something I’m so passionate about – in the moment – instead of finding out through online communities afterwards. With Bao’s particularly shocking twist (you guys know what I’m talking about), I can’t think of a better short to see in this atmosphere. We all applauded as it came to an end, and I found myself applauding Pixar movies in general, making up for all the applause opportunities I’ve missed over the years. The fact that an actual Pixar employee was out there in the theatre somewhere made it feel like we were personally saying ‘thank you’, all 1,900 of us.

The same goes for the whole of Incredibles 2 – with the audience gasping, erupting into laughter, and going eerily quiet, I could immediately tell which scenes, gags, and reveals were going to stick in people’s minds for years to come (Jack-Jack and Edna taking away the trophy for ‘most memorable Incredibles 2 moment’). I was in the ‘upper circle’ of the theatre, and two kids in front of me could barely sit down from the excitement of all the action scenes – they’d moved past the ‘on the edges of their seats’ stage, standing on their tiptoes and holding onto the bannister as Elastigirl had her stunning face-off with the Screenslaver. Honestly, I wish all my cinema experiences could take place in as dramatic a setting as the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.

So – was Incredibles 2 ‘worth the wait’? For me, I don’t know if I was even waiting for a sequel to The Incredibles before it was officially announced. I love The Incredibles, its family values, and its characters, and I was content in revisiting its world simply by watching the original movie whenever I had the urge. That said, when Pixar announced that a sequel was in the works, I was eager to see where it could take the Parr family and how current day animation techniques could flesh out their world and its designs.  It wasn’t exactly ‘worth the wait’, not because it didn’t live up to my expectations, but because I wasn’t even waiting for it! I didn’t know what to expect! However: it was more than worth a trip to Edinburgh, more than worth bravely attending a screening on my own, and more than worth seeing. And I think that is what’s really important.

I’m looking forward to seeing it again once the UK release date officially rolls around. Maybe it won’t be as magical as my first viewing, but the magic that Pixar managed to capture in Incredibles 2 through its action-packed sequences, its attention to detail in the animation and settings, and its messages on everyday, heroic acts is unquestionably enough for me.

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WALL·E Turns 10 Today! – 10 Reasons Why WALL·E Is One Of The Best Pixar Movies

Anniversary, Opinion Piece, WALL-E

Posted by Joanna • June 27, 2018

June 27th 2008 – the day WALL·E was released widely in theatres across North America. Exactly 10 years later, we’re celebrating WALL·E’s 10th anniversary with 10 reasons why we think WALL·E still deserves the title of ‘One Of The Best Pixar Movies’ (we feel that the conclusive ‘Best Pixar Movie’ title doesn’t, and shouldn’t, exist!). Read on to discover why co-writers Nia and Joanna believe WALL·E will always deserve a place in the Pixar Hall of Fame.

Nia

Nia

1. Lack of Dialogue

One of the most iconic aspects about WALL·E is the fact that more than half of the film is done without dialogue. The film just wouldn’t be the same if the loveable robot could speak or if WALL·E and EVE had a romantic conversation as they watched the sun set. Animation means so much to me because there are literally no rules as to how someone could tell a story – you can have toys coming to life, bugs rebelling against grasshoppers, etc., but each of those unique stories could be told in so many different ways. In WALL·E  we follow a robot on this massive adventure as he leaves the  garbage-ridden planet he calls home, flies through space and eventually makes it on-board a fancy spaceship, but we see it all without dialogue and we barely even notice. There is so much that can be said with a simple glance, a gesture, or even a brief cut that 12 pages of dialogue can never achieve. WALL·E is a testament to that – even though the film is now ten years old, it’s still ambitious and there hasn’t been a film yet to challenge its lack of dialogue.

2. The Love Story

Stand aside, Rapunzel and Finn, you too Cinderella and Prince Charming, because WALL·E and EVE might be the most iconic couple in animation history. There’s nothing better than an unconventional love story, especially one that doesn’t even revolve around humans. When I first went into the cinema to watch WALL·E, I had no idea that the core of the film would revolve around WALL·E and his heart of gold as he tries to win the affections of EVE. Not only does he share all the things he loves with EVE when she visits earth, but he follows her all over space, and even risks his life to save her at the end. WALL·E, a true gentleman robot, even protects EVE and watches after her once she shuts down while on earth. Opposites attract in the most beautiful ways with their relationship. Hey, I know it’s been 10 years but I’m still waiting for a scene of them flying off into the sunset holding hands and singing along to Hello, Dolly!

WALL·E concept art by Ralph Eggleston

3. Classic Film References

Speaking of Hello, Dolly! One of the reasons this film is so special is because of all the beautiful references to this iconic musical. Lets talk about that opening sequence and the use of Put on Your Sunday Clothes:

“Out there
There’s a world outside of Yonkers
Way out there beyond this hick town, Barnaby
There’s a slick town, Barnaby
Out there
Full of shine and full of sparkle
Close your eyes and see it glisten, Barnaby
Listen, Barnaby”

The lyrics are dripping with nostalgia and fit WALL·E’s story almost perfectly – the urge to make earth the way it once was, before it was overflowing with garbage and waste, and to set off into space, exploring the world outside of the planet. Those lyrics also capture the whimsically and childlike wonder of WALL·E. It might seem odd there’s such a random focus on Hello, Dolly! But it makes sense in relation to the story. WALL·E only has the VHS copy of the musical to keep him company on earth. Just like his cockroach friend, Hello, Dolly! Is one of his companions and part of him; it’s what keeps him going and motivated throughout the film.

Another great reference to classic film is of course, the evil robot AUTO on the human’s spaceship. The chilling personality of the robot resembles the infamous HAL: 9000 from 2001: A Space Oddity; from the deadpan voice to the robot’s design, it’s hard to ignore that the film directly influenced the character.

4. Character Designs

One of the most charming elements about WALL·E is all the character designs – they’re simple and efficient, we don’t need to have all the detail in the world thrown into WALL·E, EVE, or even the humans to care for them, to root for them. There’s just enough detail as to not distract us from the heart of the story. The design of AUTO is also simplistic, he looks like a steering wheel for Pete’s sake, and yet we’re terrified of him and want him to be shut down completely for the sake of team WALL·E. From the dirty, clunky box shapes of WALL·E, and the sleek and oval designs of Eve, to even the round and disproportioned humans; the way each character was crafted tells us perfectly about who they are and how they interact with others in the world around them. At first all of the different character shapes look like a game of Tetris; you don’t think they’re going to be a match but then you realize how they move and flow and work together to save the day and they all fit perfectly into place, as if they were always meant to be together.

5. Director Andrew Stanton

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I like to think about how another director at Pixar would’ve handled WALL·E. If Brad Bird or Pete Docter directed the film, it just wouldn’t have been the same. Granted, it would’ve been a brilliant film but it would’ve been different. WALL·E would’ve been there, maybe the same story would’ve remained intact, but the vision would’ve been something else entirely. Each director brings a part of themselves on to their projects – if you gave me and a few other storytellers the same prompt and told us to write a 90-page screenplay, each one would be dissimilar. WALL·E works so well because it’s Andrew Stanton’s vision. You look at this film and it fits so well with the other stories on his fantastic repertoire – A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, and even Finding Dory; Stanton’s films are always so simplistic, ambitious, and character driven. He pushes his characters out of their comfort zones, putting them into these massive environments and seeing how they’re going to react: Flick leaving the comforts of the colony in A Bug’s Life, Marlin facing his fears and literally swimming out into the deep blue sea in Finding Nemo, and even WALL·E flying into space to follow the love of his life; there’s a common theme of exploration, both internally and externally, with Stanton’s films.

Joanna

Joanna

6. Its Strong Environmental Message

One of the reasons I adore Pixar movies is because of the striking messages that are always so perfectly communicated within them. WALL·E is a perfect example of this – WALL·E himself teaches us to be kind and loyal, and the film’s overarching environmental and commercial themes make it forever, and increasingly, relevant. Some found the environmental message to be too obvious or too ‘in your face’, but I think it was a brave move on Pixar’s part. We’re in a strange situation at the moment – species are edging towards extinction wherever you look, but for the most part the world is almost choosing to look in the other direction. I love that WALL·E wasn’t afraid to put its environmental message right at its core. Pixar wasn’t lecturing us – the lesson was interwoven into a unique, universal love story. The moment I first saw WALL·E gaze at that single green, thriving sapling with pure wonder, I knew I was watching something special.

7. The Size and Setting

Not many Pixar movies can claim that they took their audiences across the galaxy. World-building is a tricky thing – I feel like it must be even more difficult when creating an animated movie. You’re transporting people to fantastical worlds that need to feel real and believable, but not so real and believable that the magic is lost. The fact that WALL·E takes place in several incredibly distinct settings, spanning across an entire universe, while still managing to focus on its characters and its story is amazing to me. WALL·E is ambitious. The movie’s opening quite literally sets the scene by showing stunning shots in outer space – it starts off big, immediately scales down to WALL·E’s own little world, and then blasts us back off into the stars again.

8. The Music

Thomas Newman, the composer for Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, and of course WALL·E, does an astounding job at filling huge, open worlds with wonder and beauty. In a movie with very little dialogue, especially between the two main protagonists, the music needs to be expressive and descriptive – it needs to envelope the viewer in the story and help them connect and empathise with the characters. Newman’s score does exactly this. And on top of all that, how does the soundtrack somehow mingle seamlessly with 60’s Broadway music, Louis Armstrong’s cover of La Vie En Rose (1950), and catchy BnL jingles? It’s kind of genius.

9. The Sound Effects

WALL·E and EVE can’t exactly speak, so why is it so easy to understand what they’re communicating? A big part of this is the clever animation of gestures, but also the creation of futuristic yet familiar sound effects. Ben Burtt, who is famously known for creating the ‘voice’ of R2-D2 in Star Wars (along with many other iconic Star Wars sound effects), was the sound designer for WALL·E and could even be credited as the ‘voice’ of WALL·E himself. I love the sound effects in WALL·E. I love how they flesh out the oddly beautiful post-apocalyptic world that we’re introduced to. I love how they don’t exactly give the robots ‘voices’ or a language, but the whistles, tones, and clicks are more than enough to give them character and emotions. It’s so clever, and again, so ambitious.

10. Define Dancing

Yes, I am going to argue that this single scene is a reason why WALL·E is up there with the Pixar greats.

If someone were to ask me to pick a favourite Pixar scene, after much inner turmoil, I would probably say Define Dancing. The scene where WALL·E and EVE dance in space. It sounds simple and uneventful (and maybe that’s partly why I’m so in love with it), but it’s also the epitome of everything that I admire about the movie. Dialogue takes a back seat and gives way to storytelling through sensitive animation and moving, swelling music. It’s the high point of the beautifully unconventional love story. We thought this iconic scene was such a perfect example of everything that WALL·E did right that it perfectly exemplifies why it’s one of the best Pixar movies, all on its own.

 

 

Are you going to celebrate WALL·E‘s 10th anniversary by watching it this evening? We guarantee it will only make your day better!

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