MENU

November, 2018
Archive

La Luna – The Pixar Short Of The Week

La Luna, Pixar Short of the Week, Short Film, Shorts

Posted by Simoa • November 30, 2018

Premiering at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2011, Enrico Casarosa’s “La Luna” would go on to captivate viewers worldwide when it debuted in theaters before Brave a year later.

“La Luna” continues the Pixar tradition of evoking a deep sense of wonderment, but it’s distinct among the studio’s short films for both its visual and storytelling style. The official synopsis describes this mini masterpiece as a ‘timeless fable,’ where a young boy goes to work for the first time with his family.

Bambino (boy in Italian) sets out on a nighttime voyage across the sea in a small boat with his Papa (Pixar’s Tony Fucile) and Nonno (grandfather). The three are dressed similarly in brown overalls, and Nonno presents Bambino with a matching hat like the one he and Papa wear. They both disagree on the proper way Bambino should wear it, which is only the start of their disagreements and bickering. Bambino is uncomfortable being in the middle of their squabble. The three sit in silence, totally surrounded by water and sky, waiting; for what? Bambino doesn’t know himself. The answer comes in the short’s first awe inspiring moment, when the moon rises into the sky, its reflection rippling the calm water. It’s massive and so close.

Bambino is given an anchor, and then Papa reveals a ladder that…goes up to the moon! The timid boy lands on the moon’s surface and discovers that its covered in golden stars. They fill up all the craters too.

This is the family’s extraordinary line of work. Papa and Nonno are the moon’s janitors. They’ve even got a broom shed up there. They sweep the stars off the moon’s surface, and now they’re teaching Bambino to carry on the work. As they did with Bambino’s hat, the two men quarrel about what kind of broom he should use. This time however, Bambino’s wonder and joy eclipse their bickering.

Shooting star concept art

The feeling I get when I watch “La Luna” is almost indescribable. It’s glowing with warmth, which owes a lot to the film’s use of colors and texture. Casarosa wanted to bring as much of a watercolor look to the film as was possible with a computer. The result is a stunning, as close to a painting as you’ll get in CG, bit of work. That glorious shot of the moonrise is actually watercolor! Casarosa also wrote and illustrated a storybook version, which is only too fitting considering its whimsical artwork and the simple way it unfolds onscreen.

Concept art by Dice Tsutsimi.

On Pixar’s site, this detail about Papa and Nonno illuminates one of the short’s messages even more.

“Covered by the signs of age, the two adult men’s eyes cannot be seen. Nor can they see as clearly and widely as the boy, whose large eyes are unobstructed and clear.”

Both men have lost their sense of joy and wonder. Climbing a ladder up to the moon no longer excites or delights them. And that’s one of the many things I love about this short. It champions looking at the world through the eyes of a child, where the things we’re used to, yes, even something as grand as the moon, are always new and extraordinary.

Casarosa’s inspiration for “La Luna” came from three sources. The first was his own childhood in Italy where he was often in the middle of his father and grandfather’s arguments. Like “Bao,” this short film is a magical tale rooted in the director’s personal experiences. The personal always strengthens Pixar’s narratives, no matter how fantastical. Casarosa was also influenced by Hayao Miyzaki and Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince. But the boat and ladder come directly from Italo Calvino’s short story, “The Distance of the Moon.”

The crescent moons in Bambino’s eyes are not only a charming design choice, but another contrast between him, Papa, and Nonno. He sees what they can’t!

“La Luna” is Pixar’s most elegant and poetic offering to date. Michael Giacchino’s score is a lunar lullaby. The film’s sound design is also on par with its visuals. Have you ever wondered what stars sound like? The short gives us an idea with their soft clattering. And the way the giant star sings when Bambino’s touch sends ripples echoing through it – it’s just divine.

Something Enrico Casarosa said about this short has stayed with me for years.

“Trust your inspiration. You can stand on the shoulders of tradition and still find your own way.”

That’s not only true for Bambino, and of course, all of us trying to find our way in the world, but for the director, too. There’s plenty of poems, stories, and artwork inspired by the moon. “La Luna” found its way to be one of the most mesmerizing.

Tidbits & fun facts:

  • The time period is the 1930s.
  • Papa and Nonno speak Italian gibberish.
  • Bambino is on a poster in Riley’s classroom in Inside Out.
  • Papa’s thick mustache was based on Mr. Duffi‘s from Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky (1986).
  • Giacchino was brought on to score the film after a recording session for Cars 2. Casarosa told him to ‘dig into [his] Italian roots.’

Read article

Domee Shi: Pixar’s Newest Source of Creative Power

Bao, Domee Shi, Pete Docter, Shorts

Posted by Joanna • November 29, 2018

It was recently revealed that Domee Shi will be directing a feature length film for Pixar Studios.

Domee Shi, best known for directing Pixar’s newest short “Bao”, has been fuelling the studio’s movies with fun and creativity for a number of years now. She started out as an intern, contributed to Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and Incredibles 2 as a storyboard artist, then had her directorial debut as the first female director of a Pixar short, which received an overwhelmingly positive response for several reasons. Firstly, “Bao” is wonderful. It beautifully represents Domee Shi’s Chinese-Canadian background while still depicting a very universal message. It’s also a sign of a great leap forward for Pixar and the animation industry as a whole to not only see a female director, but a female director who is actively bringing more diversity onto our screens, and in such a heartfelt and personal way.

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Shi was recently interviewed by Deadline, and the interview as a whole really fills you with confidence about Pixar’s future. There are some very important and exciting things to be taken away from this chat with Shi, the most obvious one being that Shi is working on a new feature length film for the studio! This is huge. Only one Pixar film has been directed by a woman (Brenda Chapman for Brave), and she was replaced by Mark Andrews midway through the film’s development.

 “We’re just developing the story for it right now,” Shi says. “It’s super early on, but I’m really excited to play in this new 90-minute film format.”

Shi originally had to pitch three different ideas for a Pixar short, so it’s clear that she has plenty of imagination to offer. Shorts are often more experimental in their stories, concepts, and character designs, but here’s hoping that Shi’s experience as a short director stands her in good stead for creating a unique feature film for us to look forward to.

Completely charming concept art for “Bao” by Domee Shi

It’s also incredibly encouraging to hear how Domee Shi feels about Pete Docter’s new role in the company, and how she’s excited about the studio’s future. Pete Docter was officially named as Chief Creative Officer for Pixar Animation Studios this June, and this was pretty much unanimously met with enthusiasm – Docter’s films (Monsters Inc., Up, Inside Out) are seen as many as some of ‘Pixar’s best’. It’s comforting to hear that within the company he is viewed as a good mentor, a “humble and down to earth” man, and someone who values creativity and diversity.

We’ll leave you with these particularly heartwarming quotes, but the full interview is definitely a worthy read.

“I think [Pete Docter]’s always been a huge supporter of unique voices at the studio. You can tell he’s really curious and interested in different types of stories, different types of characters—and he always wants to try new things.

 

“I feel like Bao was a pretty huge example, for me, that Pixar is fully behind supporting diverse storytellers. I think Sanjay’s Super Team and Coco were the two other films at Pixar that really helped pave the way for Bao to be made, and because those two productions were done before Bao, it gave me confidence, knowing that Bao isn’t just going to be a trend, or a blip.”

Read article

New Toy Story 4 Poster Sees Woody Walking Off Into The Sunset

Poster, Toy Story, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • November 28, 2018

A new Toy Story 4 international poster has been revealed! The new poster features Woody standing a similar pose to a previous teaser poster, seemingly tipping his hat and walking off into what looks like a sunset (and a very beautiful sunset at that).

This stance suggests that Woody is saying a farewell of sorts, and if the little teasing comments from Tim Allen and Tom Hanks (voices of Buzz and Woody) are anything to go by, it seems like there’s a reasonable likelihood that this is exactly what the end of Toy Story 4 is going to involve. But remember – Pixar really do like to throw their curveballs! The only thing that can be guaranteed is that it will definitely surprise us.

Also worth noting is the carnival in the background. We’ve already seen a teaser trailer featuring Ducky and Bunny, two characterful fluffy toys that may or may not be carnival game prizes. Pixar have described Toy Story 4 as “a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends” – it looks like the carnival is going to be a significant stop on the toys’ journey.

At this point, we can still only speculate! But with Toy Story 4 coming out in just over 6 short months, we’re sure more details will be revealed in due course.

Read article

Presto – The Pixar Short Of The Week

Pixar Short Films Collection, Pixar Short of the Week, Presto, Short Film, Shorts

Posted by Nia • November 23, 2018

This week’s Pixar Short that was hand picked by Twitter followers in our latest poll is the underrated “Presto”! The short premiered in front of WALL-E back in 2008.

The film tells a simple story of famed and ever-so-dapper magician named Presto Digiotagione and his gorgeous white rabbit Alec Azam. The short starts in Preto’s dressing room as we’re introduced to Alec, who is unfortunately locked in his cage. His stomach begins to roar like a tiger; it’s clear he’s famished and eyeing the carrot that’s obviously out of reach. After several failed attempts to scoot his cage in the direction of the carrot and finally get his snack, Presto enters the dressing room and foils Alec’s plans of satisfying his hunger.

When Presto realizes it’s almost time for him to be on stage, he quickly starts preparing for his magic show. He makes sure all the locks are shut on his door and eyes his dressing room suspiciously before unlocking his dresser revealing his, drum-roll please, magic hats. His act is based off two hats that are linked to each other, one that is shaped like Sorcerer Mickey’s hat from Fantasia and the other like your standard black magicians’s hat. Whoever, or whatever, is wearing the sorcerer hat, Presto can reach his hand through his magician’s hat to pull the object or animal through, thus completing his bit. It’s clear when the show starts, Alec is fed up and just wants his snack. This causes Presto’s act to not go as planned as he desperately tries to get Alec to put the sorcerer’s hat on so he can pull Alec through his magician’s hat. Instead, what proceeds is a slew of comical bits where instead of Alec coming through the magician’s hat it’s an egg to Presto’s face, Presto’s hand stuck in a mouse trap, a ladder flying through and hitting Presto where it hurts, and even Presto himself as he survives a death defying stunt at the end resulting in Alec’s refusal to listen to him. Albeit his show looking like a disaster for Presto he ends up delivering one of the most exhilarating magic acts of his career. In the end, despite things going awry, Alec gets his carrot and Presto gets even more acclaim.

This short is one of my all-time favorites. What draws me to it each time is the fact that it pays homage to all the great shorts that came before it; from Looney Tunes to the classic Tom and Jerry episodes, the inspiration is obvious in the gags that pull the story from beginning to end. You could even say that Alec, with his motivations and character design, is a modern day Bugs Bunny. “Presto” thrives in gags that bring the plot forward and help carry the story; it’s clear that the set-up is going to be Alec wanting his carrot and doing anything to get it, even if it means embarrassing Presto and ruining his career. Each gag is escalated the more that Alec doesn’t get what he wants and in return there is never a dull moment.

Some fun tidbits about “Presto”:

  • I love the fact that Presto himself was modeled after my favorite actor William Powell. His physicality and charm (even at Presto’s worse moments) throughout the short is based off the actor. You could even see a little bit of Nick Charles from The Thin Man in Presto’s mannerisms throughout the short.

  • Pete Docter and his team actually re-used the theater that’s seen in Presto for the newsreel in the opening of Up. The stage that Charles Muntz reveals the skeleton on is the same one seen in the short.

  • If you look on the second balcony all the way on the left you will be able to see two iconic characters from the Muppets watching Presto’s magic show: Satler and Waldorf. I wonder what they thought of the performance…

  • “Presto” was nominated for Best Animated Short Subject at the 36th Annie Awards and was also nominated for Best Animated Short Film. Despite Presto not winning any awards, it was still well received and is even more beloved today.

If you haven’t seen “Presto” before or you would like a well deserved re-watch, you can check out the short below:

Read article

Toy Story 4 cast: Keanu Reeves in a mystery role

Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • November 23, 2018

At this point, most everything about Toy Story 4 is a mystery. This latest reveal about the addition to the film’s cast comes not from Pixar or any of the filmmakers, but one of its stars. Watch the clip below of Tim Allen on The Tonight Show sharing some details with Jimmy Fallon.

Of course, Tim Allen can’t say much about the film, but what he did say leads to more questions than answers!

“They really will surprise you with the toys they come up with.”

Everybody was surprised by Forky (Tony Hale), in that first teaser, but could there be more? Not more sporks, but other wacky creations? And are they in denial about being toys as much as Forky is?

“Characters came back.”

So more than one returning character? It’s hard to believe, but the first mention of Bo Peep’s return was announced three years ago. She’s the only one we know about so far, and it’ll probably be some time before she is mentioned or seen in any teasers and other promo. And as far as other returning characters are concerned, we really will just have to wait and see!

But now to Allen’s comments regarding Keanu Reeves and his role:

“Keanu Reeves has got a great part. […] Even he said – gentle, wonderful guy that he is- ‘This sounds too much like Buzz Lightyear.’ And his character does have an edge to that. And the guy said, so we calmed him down a little bit, and they reminded me that his toy is only that big.”

Last week, we met Ducky (Keegan Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele). Now that we know about Reeves, could his be the next character we meet? AV Club also offered a bit of…speculation on Reeves’ tiny, mysterious newcomer.

Allen also repeated that the film’s ending caught him off guard:

“But the last scene of that movie was – I couldn’t even get through it. And I thought there was pages after it. And I read it, you know, I had to turn around from looking at it in the studio. […] It was so emotional. It’s a ‘Scarlett, I don’t give a damn’ moment.”

Allen’s description of his recording is similar to what Tom Hanks described a few weeks ago, when he called Toy Story 4 a moment in history. Please also note Allen’s reference to Gone With the Wind (1939), in which Clark Gable as Rhett Butler delivers one of the most famous lines in movie history: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Both Allen and Hanks are setting Toy Story 4 up as a legendary finale. And maybe, just maybe, that’s exactly what it is.

Read article

Our favorite things from the Incredibles 2 home release

Blu-Ray, Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Pixar Employees, Review

Posted by Simoa • November 19, 2018

How many times did you see Incredibles 2 in theaters? But maybe the more important question is how many times do you plan on watching it now that it’s been released on digital and Blu ray? You can watch the movie again (or for the very first time!) in the comfort of your own home, or anywhere else with your laptops, iphones, and other devices. But the really amazing thing is that you don’t have just the movie at your fingertips, but a wealth of bonus features. As is the case with Pixar home releases, you can expect both quality and quantity.

 

Joanna and I were so excited about the special features that we teamed up for this post to break them all down. Read on for our favorites!

Audio Commentary

Here, Joanna found some pretty cool highlights:

I’m always a fan of the Pixar audio commentaries, and I remember especially loving it on the original The Incredibles DVD because you had the choice to listen to either the director’s commentary or the animator commentary. The animator commentary makes you see the movie in a whole new light, and it really gives you an insight into how the whole animation process works. It feels like such a treat to have the commentary on Incredibles 2 led by animators again (supervising animators Dave Mullins, Alan Barillaro, and Tony Fucile, and animation second unit and crowds supervisor, and also the voice of Kari, Bret Parker). These animators all worked on The Incredibles back in 2004, and it was so interesting to hear about the technological advances and how much has changed (for the better!) in how animated movies are created.

There are also some great Easter Egg reveals in the commentary – the Godzilla-like creature shown on the TV during the motel dinner scene is actually Jonesy the iguana from “Toy Story of Terror!” And the ‘num-num cookies’ that Jack-Jack will do anything for are based off of the apparently delicious cookies that are served in the Pixar cafeteria.

If you missed Kari the babysitter in Incredibles 2, then you’ll want to keep listening right to the end – in what can only be described as the perfect finale to the commentary, Bret Parker brings her back to life as the credits roll down the screen.

Strong Coffee: A Lesson in Animation with Brad Bird

Brad Bird’s passion for animation is irresistible. Running about 20 minutes long, “Strong Coffee” is a tribute to the director. Joanna says that this featurette really shows how much Brad Bird pushes the team. She always thought The Incredibles was a leap forward for Pixar – there was such a noticeable improvement in human animation, facial expressions, gestures, and performances. Incredibles 2 feels like Pixar have bounded forwards again.

In Simoa’s view, “Strong Coffee” functions as a mini documentary, where the subjects are Brad and animation. The director discusses his beginnings at Disney Animation, where he was mentored by the legendary Milt Kahl when he was still a child. (And that mentorship preceded any official program offered by Disney). Fans of Kahl will also be delighted to see some footage of him, as well as Brad’s fond reminisces of his mentor and Disney’s other elite animators, known as the Nine Old Men, who continue to influence him today.

 

Here is a young Brad Bird, looking exactly the same as he does now, with Classic Hollywood and Disney Legend, Fred MacMurray. Unfortunately we don’t have any more details on this photo, but we’re glad it exists!

Paths to Pixar: Everyday Heroes

Love hearing Pixarians describe their jobs and the challenges and joys of each film? Paths to Pixar gives viewers just that, but the director, producer, artists, technicians, and animators talk about another job they do at home that’s just as inspiring and challenging: parenting. You may be surprised by this featurette, as some of these Pixarians reveal their vulnerabilities and uncertainties when it comes to both jobs. I think parents and aspiring parents will appreciate this featurette because it’s so honest. Anyone with children of their own can relate to the struggles depicted here, the overwhelming love of family, and the determination, particularly of the women, to be working mothers who don’t have to sacrifice family or work.

Super Scene Breakdowns

With Elastigirl front and center in Incredibles 2, it’s only fitting that one of the bonus features focused on her. A team of women, including producer Nicole Paradis Grindle, animators Amanda Wagner and Jessica Torres, and tailoring lead Fran Kalal were on hand to discuss her expanded role. But that’s not all! They also provided insight into their own roles on the film and how excited they were for her to be in the spotlight.

 

“Racoon Fight” was of course about the film’s scene stealer, Jack-Jack, and how that epic fight came to be. Here, Brad Bird is joined by producer John Walker, story artist Pete Sohn, animator Kevin O’Hara, and layout artist Mike Leonard. This scene was so popular back when Teddy Newton pitched the idea for the first film, and Brad was adamant that it be in the sequel.

Getting to learn about the behind the scenes is always a treat, because everyone’s passion and enthusiasm is tangible, and the details are fascinating.

Easter Eggs

Joanna’s a pro at finding these!

On the UK Blu-ray for Incredibles 2, one of the bonus features listed on the case is simply ‘Easter Eggs’, and I think I may have found them. In the Bonus Features section, while you’re hovering over Bao, press up twice, and you’ll be shown a couple of animation outtakes. One shows Evelyn stroking a teddy bear (?!) while watching Bob and hypnotised-Helen fight. And the other shows Evelyn talking to Helen through the glass of the cold room, pausing to rub off the condensation her breath has made.

If you press right twice while hovering over Bao, you’re shown a hilarious clip of Brad Bird telling a story about the inspiration for the iconic raccoon scene – Brad’s dog had a scary encounter with a raccoon at his old house, and Brad was forced to (in Brad’s words) punt the raccoon off of his beloved pet.

“The raccoon flew maybe 5 feet or something, landed and then just CUSSED ME OUT. And then it was like, ‘I’M COMIN’ BACK FOR YOU, POODLE. THIS ISN’T OVER.’”

It’s absolutely worth a watch just to see Brad’s impeccable impersonations of his dog and the raccoon. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded Brad adding ‘Raccoon’ to his list of voice acting roles in Incredibles 2.

Heroes and Villains

Once again, I’m just blown away by the amount of attention and detail that characterizes Pixar’s approach to filmmaking. So much about these bonus features is illuminating. I guarantee everyone will learn something new and come away with even more appreciation for the film itself. For example, character and costume designer Deanna Marsigliese based one of the wannabe supers, Brick, on herself.

See the clip below detailing Winston Deavor’s design and personality.

Deleted Scenes

A total of ten scenes ultimately didn’t make the cut, but they would’ve been great additions to the film! Thankfully they are included here, and what I wouldn’t give to see them as actual fully animated shorts! But the storyboard versions are really appealing. Fans who were hoping for more screentime of Frozone’s wife Honey may be disappointed by “Frozone and Honey,” since it rehashes the supersuit gag from the first film. Brad Bird’s favorite of these is “Kari Revisited,” which you can watch below.

This is yet another gem to be added to your collection, if you love Pixar and love moviemaking.

Have you had a chance to watch any of these and the other bonus features? Let us know your favorites!

Read article

Piper – The Pixar Short Of The Week

Piper, Pixar Short Films Collection, Pixar Short of the Week, Shorts

Posted by Joanna • November 13, 2018

The Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 3 is out on Digital and Blu-ray today – why not give “Piper” a watch and then dive into this little Pixar short exploration?

Since premiering before Finding Dory in June 2016, “Piper” has quickly become a firm favourite with Pixar fans, and even went on to win the 2017 Oscar for Best Animated Short. This is our first post in our ‘Pixar Short Of The Week’ series, where our Twitter followers vote on what short they’d like us to delve into next. “Piper” won with over 50% of the votes in this week’s poll – I think that alone tells you how beloved it is. It ticks all the boxes – very cute, heart-warming message, a sense of humour, beautiful to watch… And I’ve found that I appreciate it even more now in 2018 than I did when I first watched it in theatres two years ago.

Piper concept art

This is, in part, due to my new-found passion for birdwatching. I don’t know how many people share this joint interest in Pixar and birdwatching, but if any of you are out there, I’m sure you’ll agree that “Piper” is the dream.

Fun fact (maybe): On pixar.com, Piper is described as a Sandpiper – director Alan Barillaro was inspired by ‘watching Sandpipers react to waves and run on the beach’. But ‘Sandpipers’ are actually a large family of birds. Piper is in fact a Sanderling (Calidris alba, as opposed to Hungrius Littlus Birdis) – these are the birds that run in and out with the waves, poking around in the ‘intertidal zone’ for food. They are also the only birds in the Sandpiper family that lack a hind toe – and look!

No hind toe! (Especially obvious if you look at Piper’s mum’s feet).

This is what I love so much about “Piper” – it achieves this perfect balance of realism and magic. On the one hand, the level of detail is such that I can do bird identification, but it’s also a short about a precious baby bird expressing real human emotions and overcoming her fears through a friendship with a tiny crab. It’s a technological triumph, but – and this is the key to the success of the film – it’s also a wonderfully told story.

“Piper” actually started out as a project to push the limits of new animation technology, which is made apparent when you see the animation of individual grains of sand, the frothy movement of the waves, and the independent fluttering of feathers. I love that people appreciate the sheer skill that has gone into the creation of the short, but are also able to just enjoy it and immerse themselves in it.

Look at that feather animation! Look at the sand!

Piper concept art. They even got the Sanderling plumage spot on.

The birds are stylised, but realistic. You can tell the aim wasn’t to fool the viewer into thinking they’re watching a live action sequence. Honestly, it looks better than live action. It looks better than real life! The way they experimented with camera movements and depth of field makes it all so captivating. And the “Piper” crew was able to design the characters in such a way that they can express more emotion.

This is important, because “Piper” is also amongst the many Pixar shorts that have zero dialogue – the connection you feel to the characters is not brought about through words, but is instead completely reliant on their facial expressions and behaviour, along with the music (by the legendary Adrian Belew). It’s the subtle yet complex animation that makes all this possible. Barillaro was inspired by Andrew Stanton’s WALL-E when finding ways to animate communication between non-speaking, non-human subjects. Their gestures are understandable, but the birds haven’t been so heavily anthropomorphised that the ‘otherworldly charm’ is lost.

The message that I take away from “Piper” is that fear is there to be overcome, and life will feel all the sweeter once you’re on the other side of it. By the end of the short, Piper not only gets over her fear of the waves, but completely submerges herself in them! It’s not unlike what Poppa told Arlo at the beginning of The Good Dinosaur in the warm light of thousands of fireflies: “Sometimes you gotta get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.”

“You gotta get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.”

Some more fun facts:

  • Yes, Piper is a girl.
  • The composer for Piper, Adrian Belew, is perhaps best known for being in the band King Crimson and working alongside stars such as David Bowie and Frank Zappa.
  • Barillaro took a go-pro to a Hawaiian beach, where the water was nice and clear, to get research footage for the underwater scenes.
  • They recorded pieces of the soundtrack being played underwater in the Pixar pool – these recordings were used in the surround sound during the underwater scenes.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter so you can vote on what next week’s Pixar Short Of The Week should be!

Read article

Ducky and Bunny react to Toy Story 4

teaser, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • November 13, 2018

Are you excited for Toy Story 4? Are you looking forward to it as much as Ducky and Bunny are? The film’s first teaser premiered yesterday, and now there’s a new one! Perhaps in a nod to all the reaction videos on YouTube, this latest teaser is just that – a reaction to Toy Story 4, but by a pair of carnival plush toys.

Here’s our introduction to Ducky and Bunny (the comedy duo of Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele).

Check out the latest character posters too!

Forky, who appeared in the first teaser yesterday, is voiced by Tony Hale. His poster is great; who knew sporks could have an existential crisis about their dual identity?! And maybe Forky is the most intriguing addition to this series. Ducky and Bunny seem like they’ll be a lot of fun, and in this teaser, their wisecracks are inspired by the actors voicing them.

These latest teasers focus on the humor rather than the emotional punch both Tom Hanks and Tim Allen have promised us. A trailer shouldn’t be too far off! More toys (maybe even Bo Peep?!) and surprises await us.

Read article

The Toy Story 4 Teaser Is Here!

teaser, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • November 12, 2018

Toy Story 4 is set to release in June 2019, so we knew it was only a matter of time before a teaser was coming our way. But that doesn’t make this news any less exciting!

Pixar posted a Toy Story 4 teaser today – you can watch it below:

It’s surprisingly touching to see all these beloved characters in action again, even though we have been spoiled with Toy Story Toons over the past few years. It seems very little is being revealed about the plot at this stage – the toys are simply joyfully holding hands and spinning around in slow motion with the classic ‘Toy Story clouds’ as their backdrop. It’s oddly dreamlike, especially with Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now playing in the background.

With the news that Bo Peep is making a return in Toy Story 4, I was almost expecting her to slowly come into frame as the camera panned round, but perhaps that would have been an obvious twist… The strange spork creature, on the other hand, is not something I could ever have predicted.

Forky – a spork turned toy?

Here is Pixar’s description of Toy Story 4 so far:

“Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”) and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”) and Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”), Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.”

So is Forky going to be a central character of sorts? Is the movie going to explore the concept of what makes a toy a toy? Can we assume these ‘old friends’ will include Bo? All will be revealed in time, but it’ll be hard to stay patient!

Read article

Woody’s Round Up 11/6/18

Auntie Edna, Bao, Incredibles 2, Round-Ups, The Pixar Story

Posted by Simoa • November 6, 2018

Welcome back to Woody’s Round Up! Today’s installment features amazing costumes, more details on Incredibles 2, out on DVD today, and an addition to Netflix.

A Very Pixar Halloween

We can always count on the folks at Pixar to get into the Halloween spirit with their creative costumes! This year was no exception. Check them out, courtesy of Pixar’s official Instagram page. Baby Bao is the clear winner!

Edna in Auntie Mode

Incredibles 2 is now on DVD today, so be sure to pick up your copy! But even if you’ve got the digital version and have already watched “Auntie Edna” (lucky!), you should still check out this interview with the short’s director and story artist, Ted Mathot. Audiences would need to see a new side to the iconic character while Mathot had to remain faithful to her essence. “Getting her out of her comfort zone a little bit, because she’s always the boss, always in control, was really fun to explore. What happens when she loses some of that control? What does that bring out in her character?” Read more from Mathot’s interview at Animation World Network.

Concept art by Matt Nolte.

Special Effects

Art, story, and technology define Pixar’s approach to filmmaking. Each of those are fascinating to learn about and gives audiences a chance to gain more knowledge about everything that goes into the storytelling we admire so much. Effects supervisor Bill Wattral was interviewed by Shack News about his role and the unique challenges that come with the job.


Wattral discusses the tools Pixar uses; existing ones that serve as foundations and the new programs created by the studio itself. These tools are necessary in making the film look as appealing as possible. One of Wattral’s main priorities is foreseeing problems in the tech department before they become unwieldy. A very informative look at the technical aspects of Pixar’s process.

Coming Soon

The Pixar Story (2007) comes to Netflix on November 18th. The documentary was directed by Leslie Iwerks (granddaughter of legendary animator Ub Iwerks) and is now ten years old. Although much has changed since 2007, the doc is sure to still be a great watch all these years later.

Read article