MENU

Auntie Edna short to be included on Incredibles 2 DVD!

DVD, Incredibles 2, Shorts

Posted by Simoa • September 11, 2018

Jack-Jack and Edna stole the show in Incredibles 2, no easy feat for one of the year’s best movies and best sequels overall. Their brief scenes together inspired incredible fan art, and lots of movie goers wished they’d had more screentime. Well, ask and Pixar shall deliver!

Just add this to the other features that will be available on the Incredibles 2 DVD, which includes 10 deleted scenes, listed below:

  • Suburban Escape
  • Kari Revisited
  • Return of the Supers
  • Chewed Out
  • Late Audition
  • Slow Day
  • Frozone and Honey
  • Restaurant Robbery
  • Fashion Show
  • Security Breakdown

Three of the most intriguing deleted scenes are Kari Revisited; what has Jack-Jack’s poorly equipped babysitter been up to?; Frozone and Honey, which will hopefully give us a glimpse of the wife we’ve only heard but never seen; and Fashion Show, because Edna’s designs are always worth seeing.

Other features:

Heroes & Villains: a collection of short documentaries about the origins of the characters and their designs.

Strong Coffee: a lesson with Brad Bird (!!!) on animation.

Paths to Pixar: Everyday Heroes: featuring the parents of Pixar as they discuss their careers and connections to the film and its themes of family.

All this and plenty more! Pre orders are now available on Amazon, cover art to be determined. The digital release drops October 23rd while the DVD and Blu Ray are released on November 6th.

But Incredibles 2 isn’t the only home release fans can look forward to. An all new Pixar Shorts collection will also be released on the heels of the former. Volume 3 includes the latest shorts, like “Piper” and “Bao.”

There might still be two months left of waiting, but we’re counting the days down until we can add all these gems to our collection!

Read article

Incredibles 2 – Digital And Blu-Ray Release Dates Revealed

Blu-Ray, Incredibles 2

Posted by Joanna • August 21, 2018

We now know just how long we have to wait until we can finally watch Incredibles 2 from the comfort of our own homes. The reveal has come a little earlier than expected – Incredibles 2-themed treat bags being given out at the ‘Not-So-Scary Halloween’ events at Disney World were sneakily footnoted with the Blu-Ray and digital release dates. Incredibles 2 will be available for digital download on October 23rd, and can be bought on Blu-Ray on November 6th. Have a look at one of the treat bags below, posted by @laughing_place on twitter.

There’s no news on any special Blu-Ray features yet, but let’s keep our fingers crossed for plenty deleted scenes, commentaries, and behind-the-scenes peaks. No doubt the equally incredible short Bao will be included in the Blu-Ray (we’re kind of hoping for lots of Bao special features too).

Keep an eye on our blog for when the special features do get announced, most likely within the coming month. So – will you be buying Incredibles 2 on October 23rd, or will you wait until November 6th for a physical copy? And how many evenings in a row are you planning on watching it?

Read article

The kids only table

editorial

Posted by Simoa • August 15, 2018

If you follow Brad Bird on twitter, (and if you don’t, you really should, he’s a riot), you’ve probably noticed that he’s responded to some complaints about the nature of Incredibles 2. With its PG rating, the film contains the superhero violence we see in all manner of live action films (significantly toned down) and just old fashioned cartoon violence, somewhat heightened. But fans, mostly parents of young children, have another gripe; the film’s language. Apparently, characters saying ‘I’ll be damned’ and ‘what the hell’ is unacceptable in a children’s film. And as Bird has continuously repeated, both on twitter and off, animated films are not solely for children. (Never mind the fact that the first Incredibles features a suicide attempt and references to marital infidelity, but that’s another topic for another day).

Your trio of Upcoming Pixar writers are here to straighten some of these misconceptions out.

Joanna: Children deserve quality entertainment, after all.

This phrase is a little predictable in these discussions now, but only because it’s a fact: animation is a medium, not a genre. Animated movies are just that – movies that are animated. Saying that animated movies are for children is just as ludicrous as saying that movies in general are for children. This statement isn’t wrong exactly – there are movies, and animated movies, made with children in mind – but it’s failing to take into account the impressive variety of films that have been created through animation.

I loved watching Watership Down as a kid, but it gave me nightmares. Watership Down was not made into an animated movie to appeal to a younger audience – animation allowed the film-makers to bring a very surreal story to life. That’s what makes animation such a magical and unique medium: you can create entirely new worlds; imagination can become a tangible thing; rabbits can speak! As a kid, I liked watching the rabbits in Watership speak. I did not like watching the fields slowly turn to blood, or rabbits getting horrifically trapped and slowly choking to death. This is not a movie for kids. I think my parents were also under the impression that animated movies were automatically filed under the ‘okay for my kids to watch’ category, because I also remember watching Animal Farm (1954) a lot. Once again – I enjoyed watching the animals talk, but the political messages went right over my head.

Even though I’m arguing that animated movies are for everyone, not just children, I think it’s worth noting that animated movies that have been made with young kids as their target audience shouldn’t be looked down upon. Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki famously creates his movies to inspire children, and I think this is what makes them so pure and moving. Ghibli movies have simple messages, but never stray away from tackling important issues. They don’t patronise their audience.

Pixar movies aren’t exactly directed toward any age in particular – they’re made for everyone to enjoy. I love that I can watch a Pixar movie with my entire family, from younger cousins to an elderly grandparent, and there’s something in there that resonates with each and every one of them.

Simoa: Respect animators and their work.

When I was twenty years old, I revisited Pinocchio (1940) for the first time in years. I think I had only caught fragments of it when I was a child. This time, I knew I’d appreciate it more because I was going to pay attention to the full thing. I not only appreciated the film, I was also grateful that I’d never watched all of it when I was young.

Pinocchio is a frightening movie. It probably would have given me nightmares. I didn’t go to the movies often in my childhood. It was the age of VHS and I had an impressive collection of classics: Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Toy Story, and A Bug’s Life to name a few. These movies were treasured in my childhood and still were as I got older. When I watch those films now, it’s not because of nostalgia or because I want to feel like a kid again. I watch them because they’re good movies.

I hadn’t grown up watching the Disney films of the 1940s and 1950s. They’re stunningly animated with awe inspiring moments of beauty and terror. Like fairy tales, the wicked in these films are punished gruesomely. And in a film like Bambi, the elements of nature are harsh and unrelenting, while the evil force that must be reckoned with is man’s cold disregard for other living animals. Yet films like Bambi and Snow White are derided as childish while the Disney films of the 1990s are praised for their adult appeal. Why exactly is that? There were talking animals in the older Disney films, but they didn’t dominate the films or the marketing, nor did they seem shoehorned in, like much of the comedic sidekicks of the renaissance period.

Take 1996’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame for example. Were the three talking gargoyles added to entertain the adults? No, they were there for the children, maybe because they provided comic relief in a dark tale about racism and persecution. But the gargoyles don’t provide much of a distraction at all. Can you imagine characters like that in Bambi or Pinocchio? Or in a Ghibli film? The films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata are brimming with moments so lovely they almost ache. Those films deal with tragedy, loss, war, and illness, not unlike live action ones. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) is certainly not a children’s film, and anyone who feels differently ought to have serious discussions with children about war, violence, and trauma before allowing them to watch it. But it’s better to wait until they’re older so they can appreciate the magnitude of such a film.

Walt Disney didn’t make films exclusively for children but he still had a profound respect for them and knew they were part of his audience. He didn’t believe in dumbing anything down for children. People either think animated films should be sanitized so they’re suitable for children (as all the complaints against Incredibles 2 illustrate), or that all animated films are for children only, with some clever insinuations added for the adults.

 

Many people think we need more R rated animated films in the vein of Anomalisa and Sausage Party. What we need is more respect for this medium and the artists who work tirelessly to bring these stories to life.

Nia: Being amazed that a “children’s film” produced an emotional response in you is pretentious.

“Animation is for children,” she said, rolling her eyes and scoffing, “why don’t you pick another profession? Something more… respectable.”

These are the words I’ve heard for practically my entire life. Mostly from family, sometimes from friends, when I would profess my adoration for animation and my hopes and dreams of one day working in the industry I loved so much. Whenever I defended animation and explained why I could see myself doing nothing else, it would always end in a sarcastic, “well, good luck,” before they hastily changed the subject.

I can happily say I’ve worked in the industry now for over 3 years, but despite that achievement, I still haven’t been able to escape those condescending words. My family might’ve stopped making an effort to point that out, but upon going on twitter or reading reviews of animated films, the claim that animation is only for children persists. Reading how people still think that makes my blood boil and the hairs on my arms stand as tall as trees. I often catch myself having to do a triple-double take as I try to comprehend what I just read. How do people still not get it?

Animation as a preferred medium doesn’t mean the storytellers and directors involved in an animated film didn’t have intentions to make bigger impacts with their film. They just wanted to use the medium of animation to tell their story; just as all the writers and directors have been using live action as their tool for years. Like theater, novels, and so on, animation is an art form. It’s a medium within itself, another means of telling a story. There are so many more possibilities as to what animation can achieve, especially now with all the growing technological advances.

What I don’t understand is why do people have to feel ashamed for liking an animated movie, even when it’s slightly more mature and has adult themes? Why does going to the cinema alone, without children, to watch an animated film make people so uncomfortable? Why do people still make excuses as to why they felt emotional during a certain scene in a cartoon? Why can’t people just accept animation for what it is: a medium for ALL, and not inclusive to just children? Can’t we all still have a little bit of fun in our adult lives? What happened to all the whimsicality in our hearts? Yes, we’re all adults, but we were also children once.

When Paddington 2 was released earlier this year, I didn’t hear people making excuses when they fell in love with the sequel or the adorable Paddington himself. “I know this movie was for kids but man, I cried my eyes out!” Instead of reading those words all over twitter, which is usually what’s directed towards any Disney or Pixar film, it was praised for its story and visual elements. (Worth noting that Paddington 2 director Paul King was inspired by Pixar when making his film).

So much work goes into making an animated film, artists spend years of their lives putting detail into every single shot that’s on screen; everything is created from scratch and animation deserves the same amount of respect that goes to literally every live action film churned out by Hollywood; yes, even deserving to sit amongst the slew of Marvel films that are just never going to end.

Call me crazy, but I can’t wait for the day animation is finally respected and treated for what it is: another way of telling a story and captivating audiences all over the world. I even look forward to the day it wins the Academy Award for Best Feature.  It can most certainly be done, but the question is, how long will it take?

Read article

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!

Read article

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.

Read article

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.

Read article

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!

Read article

Lasseter Out, Docter In – Pete Docter Named As Pixar’s New Chief Creative Officer

Pete Docter

Posted by Joanna • June 19, 2018

It’s official – Pete Docter has been named as the new Chief Creative Officer for Pixar Animation Studios.

John Lasseter announced he was taking a six month leave of absence at the end of last year, following sexual misconduct allegations. He has since stepped down from his role as Chief Creaitve Officer, and will leave the studio at the end of this year.

The news that Lasseter was leaving Pixar was largely met with relief, but also concern about who Pixar would choose to fill the position. Pete Docter has been up there with the most likely contenders ever since the disappointing news first broke out last November. The director of Monsters Inc, Up, and Inside Out, Docter has been with the studio for 28 years and we feel that the future of the company couldn’t be in better hands. Read his official statement below:

“I started here 28 years ago. I am fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented people on the planet, and together we will keep pushing animation in new directions, using the latest technology to tell stories we hope will surprise and delight audiences around the world.”

© Deborah Coleman, Pixar

Jennifer Lee has also been named as the Chief Creative Officer for Disney Animation Studios. Lee and Docter will jointly take on Lasseter’s old role.

Whenever a new Pete Docter-directed Pixar movie is announced, a huge amount of excitement always follows. The fact that Docter has now been named chief creative officer for Pixar Studios conjures up this same feeling of excitement for the company’s future – let’s hope Pixar’s story from here on out is as positive and uplifting as Docter’s beautifully woven stories that we’ve been introduced to throughout his career.

Read article

Bao-Appetit! – Check Out This Illustrated Bao Recipe From Director Domee Shi

Bao, Domee Shi, Shorts

Posted by Joanna • June 19, 2018

After melting everyone’s hearts with her short film Bao before Incredibles 2, director Domee Shi is now sharing the recipe for the eponymous adorable dumpling. The popular food news website Food & Wine published the family dumpling recipe in the lead-up to the theatrical release of both Bao and Incredibles 2. You can feast your eyes on the recipe below, charmingly illustrated by Domee Shi herself!

Not only does the end product look delicious (or lovable, depending on which choice you made in step 10) , but the illustration is just oozing with charm and character. If an entire recipe book were available with Domee Shi’s beautiful drawings bringing the ingredients and methods to life, I know I would have at least three. I think what I love the most is the hands – so simple, and yet so expressive and unique. You can really tell that they have been lovingly based on Domee’s own mother’s hands.

What did you think of Bao? Are you going to give this recipe a try? Let us know in the comments!

Read article

11 Fascinating Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Incredibles 2

Brad Bird, Events, Incredibles 2, Interview, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • June 13, 2018

Last Thursday I had the honor of attending the Global Press Conference for the Incredibles 2 at the London in West Hollywood. In attendance was writer/director Brad Bird, producers Nicole Grindle and John Walker, and the rest of the cast which included Craig T. Nelson (Bob), Holly Hunter (Helen), Sam L. Jackson (Frozone), Bob Odenkirk (Winston Deavor), Catherine Keener (Evelyn Deavor), Sophia Bush (Voyd), Sarah Vowell (Violet), and Huck Milner (Dash). The junket was also moderated by film critic and producer Scott Mantz.

(Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

(Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

Here’s everything I learned from the junket about the making of the Incredibles 2, from what went on behind the scenes during production to Brad Bird’s initial story inspiration.

  1. Brad Bird decided to start the sequel right where the first one left off, despite it being almost 14 years, because “I thought it was bold and weird; people take the time that passes very literally and they think linearly that the characters should have aged. But if they age, their super powers don’t reflect that part of life they’re in and their role in the family.” Bird also went on to mention that if it worked for the Simpsons, which has been on the air since 1989, that it could work for the Parr family. And if you see the film in cinemas on Friday, it obviously did.
  2. There have been huge leaps in technology since the Incredibles was released in 2004. The new technology that Pixar uses and pushes with each film, which is super evident in all the minute details from the hair on Dash’s head to the fibers on Helen’s pants, allowed them to make the film “look more like how Brad intended it to look like the first time.” Nicole Grindle went on to mention “the characters are more nuanced and developed, and we were able to build a lot more sets more quickly, we’ve populated the world with more characters, who have lots of hair and clothing – this is all stuff that most of you guys don’t even notice. Actually that all makes the world feel richer and more alive, not to mention all the other visual effects. We also have lots of artists who’ve had 14 years to get better at their craft, and a lot of artists who were kids when the first one came out and it’s a dream come true for them to work on this film.
  3. Believe it or not, the actors aren’t given full scripts when they come in to record, they’re only given their lines and direction from Brad. So most of the actors don’t even know the full story until they see it with everyone else at the premiere, when everything has finally come together. Holly Hunter didn’t even know about the role reversal until about halfway through her recording session with Brad, “I didn’t read a screenplay, because there wasn’t a full script. Brad was the screenplay, he was my walking encyclopedia; he was my instruction manual. It was a while before I truly realized what I was really going to get to do in the movie and I was thrilled.

    (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

  4. There are many layers to being an ~incredible~ director in animation; there’s dealing with the initial story, figuring out what to do with design, and even directing and shepherding the actors during their voice sessions. The actors come in solo and have to act as if their other co-stars are in the room, which itself can seem like a huge challenge. Sophia Bush mentioned that “I know I’m technically talking to Holly but she’s not there, its just me and Brad and I’m yelling into a void. It’s really so much fun, Brad knows what Holly’s done in the room and he knows how our voices are going to sound together, so you just trust your captain when he tells you that you’ve gotten it right. That the tone, volume, is all right – it’s very cool.
  5. Another challenge for the actors, since there is no screenplay, is figuring out just where they are in a scene. That thought alone can change how an actor delivers their lines, Sarah Vowell went on to discuss: “Are we talking to someone a few inches away or at the back of the room? Because that changes what you’re doing vocally. Like is this scene going to be in a car? How loud do I need to be?  You’re trying to get a sense of the literal architecture of where the characters are. Everything has to be drawn from scratch in animation, whereas with live action the actor is actually in the car; so trying to gauge where we are is really important. It’s not that we’re sitting at a kitchen table, its everything that being a family at a kitchen table implies.
  6. Helen being chosen to take the helm and save the day as opposed to Bob seems to have come at the right moment. Others have speculated that Brad and the team at Pixar released this movie now because of the rising tides against sexual harassment and assault, but in reality, Brad always had this idea brewing in the back of his mind. “The idea of the role switch, that the assignment would go to Helen rather than Bob, I had when we were promoting the first film.” Even Holly said, “it’s purely luck of the draw that this happens to be duck tailing with Me Too and Times Up; I feel that way personally and it happens to be serendipitously reflected in this movie and at the same time, it’s character revelation period. Everyone is having revelations, including Jack-Jack; all the characters are revelations to the audience and to themselves.

    (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

  7. One of my favorite facts from the junket was that the villain kept changing throughout development. It was left unclear who the initial villain was or what changed about them, but Brad discussed why the finished film is different: The superhero part, the villain part, always seemed to change. When I came to Pixar and said I think I have the other part of the story figured out, that old version got green-lit. Then John and Nicole came on, we got a crew and started spending money, and got a release date and then the release date got moved up a year and suddenly the pressure’s HUGE and that plot doesn’t work and now I’m screwed because I have a release date. The villain plot kept changing, everyone else had to adjust to it constantly, which only gave us more anxiety. But I think we wound up with the right version of the story.” 
  8. Another important element that changed included the Parr’s gorgeous mid-century modern home. Ralph Eggleston, production designer on both Incredibles films, played a huge part in designing the iconic new home. “One day Eggleston came in and we’d already put a lot of effort into that old house and we were under tremendous pressure. He said, ‘OK so I have this idea for this new type of house and you know it’s really going to screw things up for everyone, including me.‘” Eggleston then went on to tell Brad Bird that, “the house should not work for the Parr family; it should initially be impressive, but then you get in there and everything is wrong for the family, these things that are beautiful originally soon become this problem. The house has to be impressive but wrong for the family; they’re not in a comfortable place yet, they have to find their way there.” All these things Eggleston said was right but that also meant it would ruin months of hard work and everyone on the team would have to start over from scratch, but Brad Bird agreed to it anyways, “it totally screwed up the script and everything was a giant problem, but it felt right and what needed to change to help the story and characters.”
  9. Even Winston Deavor, the tycoon and superhero enthusiast who seeks out the help of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone in the sequel, was completely different when Bob Odenkirk signed on to voice the character. Deavor wasn’t always Mr. Nice Guy, “when we first started working with Bob, his character wasn’t so nice. It changed over the course of working on the film and he responded so well.” Odenkirk was just happy to be a part of a Pixar film, he “loved that Winston became more genuine; when he starts out he’s more exuberant, more excited, and as he goes you start to see an innocence to him which is more of a twist and even surprising. Where he ends up, I won’t say…

    (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

  10. There’s a scene in the sequel where Jack-Jack takes on a raccoon, and it’s probably the highlight of the film. Watching it back at Pixar in April and then again last week, I can tell that it’s already an iconic scene, one that will be talked about for decades. The scene and overall inspiration for the iconic battle actually came from the first film: “Teddy Newton had this idea back on the original film – he had a gang of raccoons that Jack-Jack confronts. In his original drawings the raccoons came up and shoved Jack-Jack and it went a lot darker; they fought and went to the bottom of the pool, but the idea always killed me because raccoons vaguely looked like robbers. Teddy did a drawing where he’s watching an old movie like in the Incredibles 2 and he sees a classic robber with a mask and looks out in the yard and something is stealing from him, a ‘robber’ is stealing from his family. It doesn’t matter that its garbage, Jack-Jack doesn’t know that, he knows that he’s being robbed and he must do something about it. So I loved that and it was so visual and clear and it was such an off the wall idea that it was one of the things I couldn’t wait to do if we got another Incredibles going.”
  11. As Brad Bird mentioned, there was a lot of pressure going into the sequel; the tight deadlines and story issues weren’t the only thing that bothered him, he was also worried about how audiences would perceive the Parr family amidst all the Marvel superhero films being released. Brad’s darkest moment came two years ago when he feared if people would be sick of the Incredibles 2 by the time it was released. But Brad started thinking about what truly inspired him about the Parr family and why he made this film in the first place. “What excited me wasn’t the superheroes, it was the family dynamic and everyone’s roles in different parts of their life. Superhero’s are a just twist of lemon you squeeze on top of it all. Families are a continent of fresh opportunities because it’s so universal.

The Incredibles 2 comes to theaters this Friday! Be sure to let us know what you think of the film below and on Twitter! We can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Read article