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The Good Dinosaur: concept art and more

The Good Dinosaur

Posted by Simoa • November 25, 2014

Jurassic World isn’t the only prehistoric movie of 2015. As of today, The Good Dinosaur is officially a year away! A new, gorgeous piece of concept art was posted to Pixar’s official twitter in order to start the countdown.

That’s not the only new bit of concept art. Last week, The Good Dinosaur was featured in an LA Times article, as was its troubled production history and new director Pete Sohn.

Rebecca Keegan quotes Sohn in the article as saying that "The heart of the story remains the same. It’s always been about this young dinosaur growing up. But the world itself has changed a lot. Nature has become a character." And nature’s role is that of antagonist. The story is essentially unchanged, retaining original elements of former director Bob Peterson’s story. These include the asteroid never wiping out the dinosaurs and centers on the friendship of the film’s star, Arlo (an apotosaurus) and his pet, a human boy named Spot.

While The Good Dinosaur would have been released in May of this year, fans should be thrilled that in 2015, we’ll get to see two Pixar features.  That makes up for the lack of one this year.

As the article points out, this film wasn’t quite ready for audiences. As newly appointed president Jim Morris said, the movie wasn’t bad, "it just wasn’t great. We wanted to have a great movie."

A year doesn’t seem too long to wait for it. Travel back in time with The Good Dinosaur in theaters next November.

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Inside Out character posters and more!

Inside Out

Posted by Simoa • November 19, 2014

The publicity machine for Pete Docter’s 2015 feature Inside Out

is in full effect! New posters have been released, as well as character

ones and short videos introducing the characters Sadness and Disgust.

It’s clear this movie is one of the most hotly anticipated for next

year, and one of Pixar’s most inventive.

Even with a concept as intriguing as this one, it’s clear that this film will be character driven. That’s always been the modus operandi at Pixar. We’ll hopefully get more images and promotions for Riley, the young girl whose mind serves as setting for these emotions. You can check out their individual character posters!

Below are the two short videos of Sadness and Disgust. Stay tuned to see the three remaining ones over the next couple of days.

Inside Out opens in theaters on June 19, 2015.

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Gaddily bob howdy: Toy Story 4 confirmed

Toy Story

Posted by Simoa • November 6, 2014

Thought Toy Story 3 was the perfect end to a rare trilogy where all three films were excellent quality? Well, like it or not, but Pixar actually is pushing ahead with a fourth film, set for a 2017 release date.

Disney-Pixar’s official twitter broke the news today. As the Disney Insider blog reports, the idea for this film was thought up by John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich. The concept proved irresistible to Lasseter, director of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, who insisted that he direct. This will be his first helmed feature for the studio since 2011’s Cars 2.

Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) and Will McCormack have been tapped to write the script. The two previously collaborated on Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012).

Knowing that Lasseter, Docter, Stanton, and Unkrich are behind the project should let us rest assured that it’s in more than capable hands. This is the team that crafted Toy Story in 1995, the first CG animated film, and the ones who saved Toy Story 2 from executive meddling four years later.

Still, there is a lot of skepticism surrounding Toy Story 4. Many feel that the third film ended with the perfect amount of closure and that a fourth film is simply overdoing it. Each of the Toy Story shorts and specials have done an excellent job of expanding the adventures of Andy’s toys since they’ve been passed down to Bonnie. "Toy Story of Terror" introduced us to endearing and memorable characters like Combat Carl and gave Jessie more time in the spotlight, even earning praise for depicting her anxiety in a sensitive and respectful manner. The upcoming "Toy Story that Time Forgot" is sure to make us fall in love with the Battlesaur dinosaur toys.

Rebecca Keegan of The LA Times sat down with Lasseter where more details emerged.

Lasseter told The Times that "Toy Story 4" will be a love story and will
pick up where "Toy Story 3" left off, when Woody, Buzz Lightyear and
the rest of the series’ toy chest of characters were handed down to a
little girl named Bonnie.

The love story angle certainly is enough to pique interest since we don’t know which characters will be involved. Lasseter also made a point to emphasize that Pixar’s sequels, like all of their films, are a result of passion, not money. Many will prefer to sneer at this statement no doubt, but considering Lasseter’s genuineness is often vouched for, it might be better to assume that he’s driven by art and not profit.

Time will only tell if Toy Story 4 can surpass expectations. Will you be there to see it on June 16, 2017?

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The Good Director

The Good Dinosaur

Posted by Simoa • October 21, 2014

Congratulations are in order for Peter Sohn. The longtime
Pixarian has been announced as the new director of Pixar’s other 2015 feature, The Good Dinosaur! (Inside Out will open in June with this film taking the November
slot, a first for Pixar).

You can watch a brief clip of Sohn drawing Arlo, the main character, here.

Sohn has lent his talents to a number of Pixar features over
the years, such as The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E. His first
directing gig for Pixar was the 2009 short, “Partly Cloudy”. He was also the
inspiration for Russell in Up and provided
the voice of Emile in Ratatouille and
Squishy in last summer’s Monsters
University
.

Since The Good
Dinosaur
has suffered production setbacks, the most prominent being Bob
Peterson’s removal, this change in directors is welcome one. Although Peterson is a Pixar veteran with plenty of credits to
his name, beloved by fans, we can rest assured that The Good Dinosaur is in more than capable
hands under Sohn’s direction.

We can’t wait to see what he comes up with on November 25, 2015!

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James Ford Murphy talks ‘Lava’ and Pixar

James Ford Murphy, Lava

Posted by Simoa • October 18, 2014

Back in August, a small teaser for Pixar’s upcoming short ‘Lava’ was released, debuting the stunning animation and music. Thanks to Collider, we also have two new high-res stills, as well as an interview with director James Ford Murphy!

The interview, which you can watch here, details Murphy’s path to Pixar and his contributions to such films as A Bug’s Life, Cars, and The Incredibles.

He also speaks in depth about ‘Lava’ and the challenges associated with animating volcanoes. This is a chance to really appreciate the kinds of risks and innovations involved with animation and making something like a volcano a character infused with personality. Not only that, the technical aspect is also something to marvel at.

You can also learn about how ‘Lava’ was chosen to accompany Pixar’s full length feature Inside Out. (A perfect pairing according to Murphy). Both will premiere on June 19th, 2015.

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Teaser trailer for ‘Inside Out’: A major emotion picture

Inside Out

Posted by Simoa • October 2, 2014

After months and years of waiting, the first teaser trailer for Pixar’s 2015 feature Inside Out has finally been released! So far the reaction has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, which should surprise no one, as this film is probably one of the next year’s most anticipated. And considering audiences had to go without a major Pixar film this year, the excitement for Inside Out is doubled.

The newest still on the right is courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

 

This teaser is unlike any others that Pixar has debuted before. You can watch it below.

The montage of previous Pixar films is a brilliant touch. Director Pete Docter and his crew want audiences to know that they are in for a very different movie going experience this time around. Pixar’s films have made us laugh and cry for years, but with this ambitious project, we get to see exactly how those emotions work. Infusing emotions with personality is a bold move, and quite intriguing.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the film’s plot, this is the official synopsis:

From the tepuis of South America to a monster-filled metropolis,

Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter has taken audiences to

unique and imaginative places. In 2015, he will take us to the most

extraordinary location of all – inside the mind of an 11-year-old named

Riley.

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is

uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San

Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy

Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling)
and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the

control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through

everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new

life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy,

Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive,

the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and

school.
This trailer works as an effective teaser. There isn’t a lot of detail, but it leaves the viewer wanting more. It also promises to be a colorful film, with images and sequences that will be as memorable as the personalities of the principle characters. Pixar has also launched a site featuring a motion poster which runs off a simple, minimalist design, but with lots of color.

While the film will certainly be innovative, we can expect two things. Pete Docter is responsible for some of Pixar’s most joyful and emotionally taxing moments, and I’m guessing the same will be true here.

Be on the look out for more footage and news, and be sure to catch Inside Out in theaters on June 19, 2015!

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Watch and listen to “Lava”

James Ford Murphy, Lava, Short Film

Posted by Simoa • August 29, 2014

"Lava", the next Pixar short to play before Inside Out next year has been generating as much excitement as the feature length film
itself. Described as a musical love story taking place over millions of years, it promises to be a unique love story erupting between two
volcanoes. One still and one poster have been released, and now there’s a
clip courtesy of Yahoo Movies.

The short clocks in at seven minutes, but this clip is thirty seconds long. Yet it’s still an impressive preview of what’s to come. Imagine what the finished product will look and sound like! In addition to the stunning animation is the music. Uke, the volcano featured in this clip, voiced by singer Kuana
Torres Kahele, sings about finding another volcano to love (lava). The wordplay on the lyrics is really quite clever and charming. It’s possible that "Lava" will treat audiences
to a duet, something unlike anything Pixar has done before.

Director James Ford Murphy credits his love of Hawaii as the inspiration for the short. He hoped to create something that would capture the beauty and spirit of the islands set to music in an animated world. "I thought if I could marry the rich imagery with the power and emotion of music, then I could really make something cool."

"Lava" will certainly deliver on that front when it is released alongside Inside Out on June 19, 2015. Watch the clip below and tell us what you think!

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Sneak peek at ‘Inside Out’

Inside Out

Posted by Simoa • August 27, 2014

While a teaser trailer for Pete Docter’s highly anticipated film Inside Out continues to allude Pixar fans, a small clip has been released on Disney Movies Anywhere. (Note: you must be a member in order to view the footage). Just over a minute long, this sneak peek of the film is attached to a Monsters University featurette, but well worth checking out.

Although actual footage of the film is not shown here, there is a brief look at an animation test and the reveal of a crucial character. Inside Out centers on emotions as characters in the mind. The four principal ones are Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black), and Fear (Bill Hader). These four inhabit the mind of 11 year old Riley Anderson, and now we know what she looks like.

Also making an appearance in this short clip are Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera, who previously worked together on Docter’s 2009 film Up. Docter mentions that his motivation for this film and its intriguing concept was inspired by the question: "What can animation do that we haven’t tried yet?"

We’ll be able to see just what the animation and story can do in this film when it hits theaters on June 19, 2015!

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‘The Good Dinosaur’: “Dismantled and Reimagined”

Posted by Simoa • August 19, 2014

The Good Dinosaur was planned to be Pixar’s 2014 offering, but after it was announced that longtime Pixarian Bob Peterson would no longer be directing, the release date was pushed to 2015. It was reported that the film ran into numerous story problems which made Peterson’s removal and the change in release dates necessary. This news was met with understandable concern and disappointment by Pixar fans, as Peterson is a beloved employee who lent his considerable voice and story talents to the studio’s films for many years. There hasn’t been much news about the film’s development until recently.

Collider spoke with John Lithgow, one of the principal actors on The Good Dinosaur, who had this to say:

“I recorded the entire role in Good Dinosaur.
 They have now dismantled it and completely reimagined it, and it is a
fantastic new story. So I’m gonna record again on it within the next
month. Don’t worry. It’s coming and it’s gonna be better than I ever
imagined.”

Lithgow is obviously confident about the film’s new direction, and unfortunately, this means that Peterson’s concept has been completely scrapped. We can only guess about the changes taking place, but it’s clear that they are big ones since Lithgow and possibly the other actors will have to rerecord their lines. Lithgow stated that he and Frances McDormand are still playing their respective roles as Momma and Poppa Dinosaur, hinting that there may be major cast changes as well.

Only time will tell if Lithgow’s comments are proven right. The Good Dinosaur is scheduled to be released on November 25, 2015. 

Are you feeling as confident as John Lithgow about the new film?

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Combat Carl PSA: “Cough in your arm!”

2D Animation, Angus Maclane, Blu-Ray, DVD, Toy Story of Terror!

Posted by Simoa • August 17, 2014

"Toy Story of Terror!", Pixar’s first TV special which premiered on ABC family last fall, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD this week and is filled with plenty of bonus features. One of these is a PSA in which Combat Carl (Carl Weathers) warns against the dangers of coughing. It’s a hilarious, tongue in cheek clip animated in 2D which you can watch below.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of Combat Carl in future Toy Story shorts and specials! This brief ad is a brilliant way to continue his presence in the franchise. His appearance in "Toy Story of Terror!" made him yet another funny, colorful addition to this amazing cast of characters. The brains at Pixar obviously recognize his appeal in bringing us this gem, and it would be great to see more.

The Pixar Times also reports that two other ads featuring new toys from the special center on Old Timer and Transitron. Whether those ads will also be in 2D remains to be seen, but we can expect them to be as funny and clever as Combat Carl’s urgent PSA. Update: the Old Timer and Transitron ads function as vintage toy commercials and they can be seen briefly in the Blu-ray trailer.

All this and more is included, along with a ‘Team of Specialists’ feature, which has also been released by Disney.
The clip takes audiences behind the scenes of "Toy Story of Terror!", where director Angus MacLane explains the inclusion of certain toys in the special and offers a glimpse into the fascinating animation process.

Be sure to grab "Toy Story of Terror!" on Blu-ray and DVD on August 19th.

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