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Pixar’s “Out” Is A Weirdly Wonderful Coming Out Story

SparkShorts

Posted by Joanna • May 22, 2020

The latest SparkShort Out, directed by Steven Hunter, is Pixar’s first coming out story featuring its first gay protagonist, Greg. It’s moving day, and Greg is preparing for a new life in the city with his boyfriend Manuel. Moving day ends up being a little more hectic and otherworldly than he expected – not only do his parents show up on his doorstep, but a magical collar appears, defying the laws of time and space.

When the title of Out was first revealed, I’ll admit that my mind at no point envisaged a coming out story, but I am so thrilled to have been surprised by this. Not only is it a coming out story, but it’s a weird one. In the best way possible. The weirdness doesn’t take away from the emotional impact – if anything, it adds to it.

Greg is suffering from a struggle that will be familiar to many – coming out as gay to his parents. When the opportunity is flung on him, he freezes and does anything he can to hide the truth. In fact, he is so determined to not have his parents find out about his relationship that even when he swaps bodies with his dog his first priority is to continue hiding the evidence. And that leads to some pretty drastic decisions.

It’s only when he’s given the chance to sit and listen to his mom’s own inner struggle that he finds the courage to open up about his too.

Pets are wonderful things. They can’t talk back (at least in human). They’re just there, and they let you talk through your feelings. It’s so cathartic to have a dependable ear for those words to fall on instead of having them dissipate into thin air. Countless people have poured their hearts out in front of their cat and then thought “Wow, I wish I could just tell my parents that.” It’s good practice though.

This is what went through my mind when Greg’s mom was taking a moment to reveal her worries in front of Jim the dog (she wasn’t to know that her son was currently residing in the dog’s body). We should all wear our hearts on our sleeves a little more, and I think Greg learnt that in this short snippet of his life. Even more importantly, though, is that he learnt that there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s gay, and that’s good.

“What is wrong with you?” “Hm…nothing.”

The story isn’t the only wow factor that Out has – the experimental animation style, the character designs, the voice acting, Wheezy from Toy Story 2…they’re all great. It’s amazing that they fit this all into just 10 minutes.

No two coming out stories are going to be the same. This one was based on a true story, and we’re wondering how much was real and how much was imagined. Fingers crossed that beautiful gay-space-rainbow cat and dog couple are real though. Bravo SparkShorts on yet another inspiring film!

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New Pixar SparkShort – OUT – Coming To Disney+

SparkShorts

Posted by Joanna • May 1, 2020

OUT is the title of the new short coming out of Pixar’s SparkShorts program, and it will be available on Disney+ on May 22nd.

We don’t know anything about the story of OUT yet, but here is a very charming still that was just released today:

We’re enjoying the different art style they’ve gone for here – it’s a little reminiscent of the lovingly drawn and animated SparkShort Kitbull. And look at what’s in this cute pup’s mouth: Wheezy from Toy Story 2! Right?! We wonder if his squeaker is still working.

The SparkShorts program is really inspiring – it allows Pixar employees from all sorts of different departments across the studio to tell their own stories and try out new things. So far we’ve been beyond impressed by Kitbull, Purl, Float, Loop, Smash & Grab, and Wind. It’s been exciting seeing how creativity can be fuelled by limited resources and limited time. The animation style experiments have been eye-opening!

Not all SparkShorts have quite been released on the European Disney+ yet. Wind was released last week, and Loop is still to become available.

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What Pixar Have Been Up To During Lockdown

Round-Ups

Posted by Joanna • April 23, 2020

It’s time for another Woody’s Round Up on Pixar news! Even though the world in general is moving very slowly at the moment, there are some Pixar news nuggets to pick up on.

Companies around the world have had to drastically shift the way they engage with audiences. Pixar were already very active online on various social media platforms, but it’s been great to see some new content aimed at people who are stuck at home and feeling bored, anxious, or a combination of the two.

Learn how to draw your favourite Pixar characters

It’s no secret that Pixar employees are talented. Employees that are similarly stuck at home have put together some fantastic art tutorials. So far, there are tutorials on how to draw Barley from Onward by Kelsey Mann, Duke Caboom from Toy Story 4 by Emilie Goulet, and Lightning McQueen from Cars by Scott Morse. We’d love to see more! Learning a new skill is something that a lot of people are finding value in during lockdown, but it’s nice to just hear from the artists too. We’re all in this together! Remember to use the hashtag #DrawWithPixar

Pixar artists haven’t just been teaching us how to draw Pixar characters though – Ana Ramírez González also made an adorable ‘how to draw a koala’ tutorial to help celebrate Nat Geo’s ‘Earth Day at Home’ event.

Super cute!

 

WALL-E in 16 bit

This has been another addition to the Pixar YouTube channel which is incredible. WALL-E in 16 bit graphics! We can’t decide if we want a whole movie done in this art style, or a video game. Both would be ideal.

 

New Hallmark Pixar Christmas ornaments have been revealed!

Hallmark have revealed some new Pixar Christmas ornaments that will be available for purchase later this year. They’re the sort of ornaments you can imagine having out all year round and not just restricting to festivities. Our personal favourite is the Bo Peep one (available July 11th), but you’ll also be able to find the Pizza Planet Truck (!!), Boo from Monsters Inc, WALL-E, Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, Anger from Inside Out, Crush from Finding Nemo, Jack-Jack and the raccoon from Incredibles 2, and Ian from Onward. 

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The gem of Onward

Onward, Opinion Piece

Posted by Simoa • April 17, 2020

Nobody could have predicted that a deadly pandemic would sweep the globe this year, shuttering businesses, schools, restaurants, churches, and movie theaters. COVID-19 has halted life as we know it. So how could we have known that Onward‘s theatrical release would last just a week? What I could have predicted though, is the critical response. I was hoping that Dan Scanlon’s second film would avoid Monsters University‘s fate. How could it not? An “original” Pixar film, when most think the studio has lost what made it so exciting and innovative in the great before; a 1980s tinged fantasy adventure; and Pixar’s first with siblings.

Of course those elements aren’t enough to make a good movie. And Onward has a gem of its own to be one. I guess it’s going to join Pixar’s other offbeat treasures, the ones that are perfectly good but not apparently up to Pixar’s ultra high standards: A Bug’s Life, Cars, Brave, Monsters University, and The Good Dinosaur.

Some spoilers ahead!

(more…)

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