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International Onward Poster Revealed

Coco, Onward, Round-Ups, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • September 16, 2019

D23 is over, the next Pixar theatrical release seems an age away, and the ‘buzz’ from Toy Story 4 (pun intended) is slowly fading. It may seem like we’re going through a dry spell on the Pixar news front, but there’s actually plenty happening behind the scenes. Here’s a quick Woody’s Round Up from the past few weeks.

International Onward Poster

A really unique and beautiful Chinese Onward poster has been revealed. It has some paper-cutting and vector influences – very artistic and eye-catching. Take a look below:

Onward‘s scheduled release date is March 6th 2020.

Coco Live Performance

Coco is going to be brought back to life – live! On November 8th and 9th, Coco concerts will be held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, hosted by Eva Longoria and Benjamin Bratt (voice of Ernesto de la Cruz). Miguel actor Alex Gonzelez will also make a guest appearance, along with Alanna Ubach (Mama Imelda) and Jaime Camil (Papa).

What could be more memorable than hearing “Remember Me” live on stage with the stunning visuals of the movie as a backdrop?

Toy Story 4 – Digital/Physical Release

Toy Story 4 is still affecting me all these months later. I’m not over that ending, everyone. But maybe I’ll be able to come to terms with it with repeated viewings at home. As usual, the physical and digital release dates are slightly different – Toy Story 4  will be available digitally from October 1st, and on Blu-ray and DVD on October 8th.

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Toy Story 4 Becomes 4th Pixar Movie To Surpass $1 Billion

Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • August 16, 2019

It’s taken under 2 months for Toy Story 4 to cross $1 billion at the global box office, marking it as the fourth Pixar movie to do so. It has joined the ranks alongside Finding DoryToy Story 3, and Incredibles 2.

Sequels may have been causing some controversy lately, but this really shows that Pixar know what they’re doing – and they’re doing it well. Not only have these 4 sequels performed amazingly well, but they’ve also each been remarkable in their own ways. I don’t know about you, but I have seen Toy Story 4 multiple times in theatres already.

With Pixar’s upcoming movies all being originals, it’ll be exciting to see how they perform. The world may generally enjoy franchises and familiar characters, but Pixar movies are in themselves familiar (in a good way!). We can’t wait for more information on Onward and Soul to come out soon.

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The Ending Of Toy Story 4: What Just Happened?

Opinion Piece, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • July 5, 2019

‼️ Warning! Major spoilers ahead for those of you who haven’t seen Toy Story 4 yet. ‼️

Okay, I’ll admit it: I didn’t cry at the end of Toy Story 4.

I could see all this emotion and devastation happening in front of my eyes, but I didn’t cry. Woody was embracing Bo – the love of his life – saying goodbye to his faithful companions of many years, nodding his farewell to Slink, hugging Buzz Lightyear for presumably the last time… And, I didn’t cry.

My main emotion during the climax of Toy Story 4 wasn’t sadness. It was complete disbelief. Weirdly, I could see something like this was coming right from the beginning of the movie. As soon as Woody wasn’t chosen by Bonnie for play time, a pit began to form in my stomach. All the momentum of the film was leading towards this ending, and I could feel it, but I still stubbornly chose not to believe it. Honestly, the toys all seemed much more contented with this ending than I did. “How dare they?” I thought. “How dare they just go along with this?” Woody has Bonnie’s name written on his boot. Woody has a kid. And Bonnie made a promise to Andy! WHAT JUST HAPPENED. I left the cinema feeling betrayed by a cowboy doll and a 4 year old child.

I trusted you, Bonnie.

Needless to say, I did still enjoy the movie. It’s fast-paced, hilarious and beautiful, and I really do admire the direction they took it in. But that ending, though. It’s taking me a while to process.

Seeing it a second time, though, has made me look at the ending differently. In fact, it’s made me look at myself differently. There’s a moment in Toy Story 4 where Woody and Bo are convincing the great Duke Caboom to pull a stunt for them. And this is how Bo changes his mind: she says,

“Be the you who you are today.”

For a second, you can see a lightbulb flicker in Woody’s head. And the same happened for me too.

Toy Story 4 has lots of brave, confident themes. It’s about love, leaps of faith, and loyalty. But it’s also about letting go, and recognising that staying true to your past self isn’t necessarily staying true to yourself. When Woody and Bo are stood on top of the carousel preparing to part ways again, Buzz helps Woody realise that ‘being there for Bonnie’ is a duty that Woody doesn’t have to hold onto anymore. Andy grew up, Bonnie’s growing up, and Woody’s changing too. People can move on, and that’s okay. His past self would have leapt back into that trailer immediately, but he isn’t his past self now. He’s himself!

I think I was guilty of not letting go too. When you think about it, of course Woody is going to be happier living alongside Bo and helping toys around the country find their owners. And of course Bonnie is allowed to have her favourite toys and give Jessie the sheriff badge (in fact, I 100% support that last part in particular). I was stubbornly holding on to the past, and not embracing the joy of the current situation. I didn’t want Woody to leave, but why? Because I wanted things to be how they always were. But that’s impossible.

Anyway, I still didn’t cry at the ending of Toy Story 4 the second time around, but my eyes did begin to well up a bit. Maybe by the third viewing, the disbelief will have subsided and a few tears will be shed.

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Toy Story 4 Continues To Be The Number One Movie In The World

Bud Luckey, Round-Ups, Toy Story, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • July 1, 2019

We’re still reeling a bit from seeing Toy Story 4, so here’s a quick ‘Woody’s Round-up’ of how the sequel’s been doing in the theatres since its launch on June 21st.

Toy Story 4 – The Number One Movie In the World!

Toy Story 4 has been the number one movie in the world for two weeks running! If you’re into box-office ratings, then no, it hasn’t been doing as well as other Pixar movies – Incredibles 2 is still staying strong as Pixar’s most successful movie (at least in terms of box-office performance). Toy Story 4 brought in just over $120 million in its opening weekend, so it’s by no means a flop. Are box-office figures the best way to measure a movie’s success anyway? I don’t think so.

Reviews have also been hugely positive – people’s hearts all around the world have been captured by the movie’s surprising messages. Forky has become an instant favourite, Bo’s return has inspired generations, and the ending has sparked debates. We can’t wait to see how Toy Story 4 settles into being part of the franchise, and part of the world!

A Recreation Of Woody’s Old Character Design

Now instead of looking forward, let’s cast our minds back to the original Toy Story. In fact, let’s cast our minds back even further to when the concept of Woody was first being conceived. The toys went through a lot of redesigns – one of Woody’s first looks was of an old, western ventriloquist doll.

Old concept art for Woody by the great Bud Luckey

The Unit Photographer Steven Wong Jr. of Laika Studios is currently documenting, through his Instagram, the process of artist Michelle Mello creating a hand-made puppet of this old Woody design. It’s absolutely fascinating, and the final reveal is very soon! Click on through to Steven Wong Jr.’s Instagram below to catch up:

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With the 4th installment of Pixar’s #ToyStory just around the corner, what better time to step #behindthescenes as talented artist Michelle Mello (@mellomade) brings the original Bud Luckey concept version of Woody to life! ✨ Swipe left to see legendary animator and character designer Bud Luckey’s original concept and follow along for each step as Michelle handcrafts Woody from sketch to finished #puppet!💫 . . . . . . . . . 📸: @stevenwongjr 🎨: Bud Luckey #characterdesign #stopmotionanimation #animation #modelmaking #claymation #miniatureart #makersgonnamake #artistsofinstagram#maker #sculpey #filmmaking #sculpt #miniatures #pixar #makerslife #visualeffects #characteranimation #stopmotion #puppets #handmade #puppetmaking #sculpture #instaart #disneyanimation #disney #toystory4 #disneypixar

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Toy Story 4 Is Only 10 Days Away – Catch Up Now On All The Teasers And News

Round-Ups, Tin Toy, Toy Story, Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • June 11, 2019

The wait is nearly over, Pixar fans – Toy Story 4 is only ten days away! Pixar have done a great job with their advertising as usual: lots of trailers, teasers, sponsors, and merchandise, but not so much that we feel like we know the plot inside out already. Yes, we know Bo Peep is back. Forky is definitely going to play a major role. But how central are the characters of Duke Caboom, Gabby Gabby, Giggle McDimples, and Ducky and Bunny going to be?

It’s difficult to keep up with all the new Toy Story 4-related news when we’re so close to the release date, so here’s a quick ‘Woody’s Round-Up’ to bring you all up to speed.

Teasers Galore!

Here is the latest of many Toy Story 4 teasers that have been posted on Pixar’s YouTube channel. You can catch up on all the others here.

A lot of the teasers don’t feature too much new footage, but you can get a better feeling for the pacing of the different scenes in these shorts clips as opposed to the trailers. Here, you can totally tell that Bo and Duke’s relationship is going to be hilarious.

Best Friends 4 Ever

Tom Hanks (Woody) and Tim Allen (Buzz) explored their friendship, both within and outside the Toy Story universe, in Pixar’s video celebrating National Best Friend Day. It’s heartwarming. It’s charming. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted.

“Oh, but I have the most fabulous line you could ever have: ‘Come on, guys!‘”

We should attempt to count how many times Woody says that in the Toy Story series.

The Best Friend Day festivities even continued at Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World, where a press conference was held alongside a Toy Story 4 screening. And the initial reactions have been amazingly positive!

Keanu Reeves is stood next to a giant Buzz Lightyear and everything is okay in the world. From left to right: Tom Hanks (Woody), Annie Potts (Bo Peep), Tim Allen (Buzz), Tony Hale (Forky), Christina Hendricks (Gabby Gabby), Keanu Reeves (Duke Caboom).

Toy Story 4 To Feature Lots Of Easter Eggs

Pixar is famous for throwing in a few well-hidden Easter eggs into their movies – the Pizza Planet truck is always fun to locate, as well as the Luxo ball, throwbacks to previous films, and hints at future characters (remember when Duke Caboom casually showed up in Jack-Jack’s crib in Incredibles 2?). Apparently Toy Story 4 is going to feature a ton of these fun Easter eggs. The antique shop setting lends itself well to this kind of game.

Hey, doesn’t that tin toy look kind of familiar?

 

We can’t wait to discuss Toy Story 4 with you all when it releases in theatres on June 21st!

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Logo For Monsters Inc. Series ‘Monsters At Work’ Revealed

Monsters At Work, Monsters, Inc.

Posted by Joanna • June 11, 2019

‘Monsters At Work’ is an upcoming animated series exclusive to the  Disney streaming service Disney+ (set to launch in November of this year), and its logo has just been revealed.

It’s simple, and it works! The little nut representing the ‘O’ in work is a nice touch.

‘Monsters At Work’ is being produced by Disney Television Animation. It will take place just six months after the events of Monsters Inc., and it’s already been confirmed that Billy Crystal, John Goodman, and many other voice actors will be reprising their roles. Along with this, new characters include Tylor Tuskmon, Bernard, Val Little, and Duncan. Tylor Tuskmon has made his debut in the image below:

Tylor is a young mechanic who dreams of working alongside Mike and Sulley. We’re rooting for him already!

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Classic Comedians (Carol Burnett, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, and Betty White) Cast As Instant Classic Toy Story 4 Characters

Toy Story 4

Posted by Joanna • June 5, 2019

Toy Story 4 has thoroughly proved that it’s going to include a lot of new, original characters. Forky already seems to have embedded himself into the most memorable of Toy Story characters, and Ducky and Bunny are making their mark too. Under a month before its release, we’re still discovering more new characters that we’re going to have the pleasure of meeting.

Courtesy of USA Today, we now know that comedy greats Betty White, Carol Burnett, Carl Reiner, and Mel Brooks will have small roles in Toy Story 4 as toys that Bonnie has outgrown. What’s even more amazing is that these toys have names inspired by the names of the actors lending their voices to them:

  • Betty White is Bitey White
  • Carol Burnett is Chairol Burnett
  • Carl Reiner is Carl Reineroceros
  • Mel Brooks is Melephant Brooks

You can guess who’s who from the character names: Bitey White is a teething toy!

Betty White, Carol Burnett, Carl Reiner, and Mel Brooks are comedy legends (averaging an age of 93!) – we have no doubt that no matter how small their roles are, they’ll light up the whole scene.

Being forgotten about is a fear that Woody is very familiar with: in Toy Story he was afraid of being overshadowed by Buzz, Toy Story 2 introduced the worry of becoming broken and gathering dust on a shelf, and in Toy Story 3 he was set aside with the rest of the gang in a chest of Andy’s old playthings. This must be a fear that this new early-ages cast of toys must have already grown accustomed to. Hopefully the introduction of Forky hasn’t made Woody doubt his place in his owner’s heart again.

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10 Things You Might Not Have Noticed In The New Onward Trailer

Onward, Trailer

Posted by Joanna • June 3, 2019

Pixar surprised us with a new trailer for its first 2020 movie on Thursday. You can watch the trailer for Onward (directed by Monsters University‘s Dan Scanlon) below:

It’s a great trailer – it shows off the movie’s weird but stunning world, and also proves its sense of humour and heart. Very little is ever given away in these early-on trailers, but we’ve been doing some detective work to try to glean every bit of information from what we’ve been given. Here are 10 things you may or may not have noticed from the trailer.

1. The ‘Under Bridge’ Transportation Authority

At first glance, it might just look like a troll is operating a toll bridge booth (because why not?). But if you look more closely, these drivers seem to be paying to go under a bridge. This is probably a reference to the ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ fairytale, in which a troll lives under the bridge that the three goats want to cross. Notice how the sign underneath the troll worker says ‘cash or riddle’!

2. The skyscrapers have turrets

Take another look at the city in the background – the skyscrapers have turrets! To begin with, it looks like the city itself lacks a lot of the fantastical design, but it seems like fantasy is everywhere. Also – that design on the construction cone? Lovely.

3. Residents of New Mushroomton have satellite

It’s so cool seeing a suburban setting except with mushroom houses. New Mushroomton seems to be the name of elf brothers Ian and Barley’s hometown, and look – they have satellite! A lot of the mushroom houses have been fitted with satellite dishes, but also phone lines and electrical wires.

4. Even New Mushroomton’s garden ornaments are mushroom-inspired

Look behind this pool-lounging mermaid – she has little garden lamps on her lawn, and they look just like toadstools! As an aside – I wonder how mermaids live in the suburbs? Is she trapped in this make-shift pool forever, or..?

5. The plane has a mythical creature logo

We can’t totally make out what the creature is, but if you peer closely at that plane, its branding is definitely based off of a mythical creature. Perhaps a sitting dragon? A unicorn? What do you think?

6. Even the simplest objects look fancy

Once you start looking at a screencap from this trailer, it’s hard not to get wonderfully lost in the details. Even things like lawnmowers and microwaves look like they’d belong in The Lord of the Rings somehow. There’s a kind of floral, elvish design that runs through Ian’s whole home.

7. Barley’s a fan of some great-sounding bands

If you look closely at Barley’s clothes, it’s covered in badges and logos – the one that you can see below is more than likely spelling out ‘HYDRA’, as evidenced by the font’s many dragon-like heads. A hydra is a mythical beast with mutiple, or even multiplying, heads (think back to Disney’s Hercules). Pixar are so amazing at going the extra mile – I’m sure this movie’s going to be brimming with genius logos that many of us will probably never notice.

8. Is Barley’s car called Gwynivere?

The registration plate on Barley’s car spells out ‘Gwniver’, suggesting that it has a name that would fit in great in any classic fantasy novel. The car make is ‘Valor’.

9. The car radio brand is ‘Siren’

When Barley starts up his car, you very briefly get to see this logo on his car’s radio system. It looks like the brand, and it’s called ‘Siren’. This would make sense since sirens, in myth, were said to be dangerous creatures, half-bird and half-woman, who would use song to lure lost fishermen off course. They would then climb onto their ships and kill them, presumably.

10. Halt!

And last but not least – the stop signs in New Mushroomton are not stop signs at all, but rather ‘halt signs’. Very Dungeons and Dragons. This sign can be seen as Ian shoos away those feral unicorns.

 

So – did any of you spot all these details? I think it’s great that even a simple trailer under 2 minutes long has so much to dissect. It just goes to show you how much work goes into a Pixar movie.

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Onward – First Poster, First Trailer

Onward, Poster

Posted by Joanna • May 30, 2019

We only just got our first glimpse of Pixar’s next original movie Onward yesterday, and now Pixar are immediately surprising us with more Onward firsts! On Twitter, they teased us with a ‘magical riddle’ of sorts – if you reply to the tweet and solve it correctly, you’re rewarded with a beautiful poster. And a trailer is coming later tonight…

If you’re not wise enough to crack the code (or if you’re just impatient like us), then have a look at the poster below!

Isn’t it stunning? It looks like the city centre has lost some of the magic that the suburbs are still clinging onto. It’s surreal to see such a civilisation surrounded by jagged mountains and overseen by two crescent moons. Perhaps Onward will explore the fact that our world is a little like this too – huge cities can block out the beauty and wonder that our planet has to offer.

Also, can we just appreciate that van? And that it’s called Valor? What a beautiful paint job it’s had done on it. And look at that magical staff Ian has in his hand!

The excitement doesn’t stop at the poster though – the very first Onward trailer will also air tonight during the NBA final! Stay tuned to hear our thoughts on it, because we’re sure to have many!

Onward cometh to theatres in March 2020.

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Pixar Heroines: Is Ellie Fredricksen The Most Important Character In Up?

Pixar Heroines, UP

Posted by Joanna • May 29, 2019

Today’s Pixar Heroines installment is a special 10th anniversary tribute to Ellie Fredricksen! Both Simoa and Joanna have plenty to say about this adventure-loving superstar.

Ellie is full of spirit, confidence, and love

Simoa

I loved Ellie almost immediately. It was when she took off her pilot helmet and all that unruly hair leapt out before getting flattened again. Then she smiled that goofy, toothy smile of hers. I just knew from those few seconds that I would love her. And in that short bit of time, we know that she’s a rambunctious extrovert, but she’s not totally wild. See the way she gently takes Carl’s hand and leads him to his balloon – foreshadowing!

Daniel Lopez Munoz (The Art of Up)

Ellie’s introduction is one of the best I’ve ever seen. From the way she pilots the house when Carl first sees her, to the way she ripped a page right out of a library book. It’s rule breaking that’s so specific to little kids; daring and innocent at the same time. Ellie’s daring, her unclouded belief that she can one day follow in her hero’s footsteps, are qualities I wish I had. She, like little kids all over, believe in the impossible and don’t fool themselves into being realistic. When Ellie demands that Carl take them both to Paradise Falls, I believe that she’ll get them there. More foreshadowing! And even as Ellie grows up, she never loses that spirit; not when life doesn’t go the way she planned and not even when tragedy strikes.

Albert Lozano (The Art of Up)

Our time with Ellie is so brief, but the magic of Up’s “Married Life” montage is that we believe she spent an entire lifetime with Carl. Not only that, but Ellie’s limited screen appearance still made audiences fall in love with her. I fell too, if you couldn’t already tell! She is my favorite Pixar character, even if she only has a few lines and dies so early on. But it’s her spirit that permeates Up. The film does get criticized for its wacky and absurd second act, which a lot of people think doesn’t live up to its first ten minutes. Talking dogs, a chocolate loving bird, flying a balloon powered house to Paradise Falls, who would’ve loved that? Young Ellie, who pretended the dilapidated house she was playing in was a plane, and who used a steering wheel that would later inspire Carl’s own steering apparatus when he got his house off the ground (foreshadowing). And also Older Ellie, the woman who became a zookeeper! And her spirit resides in Russell too. There are little moments that clue us and Carl into his wife’s presence. What would Up be without her? She’s always there even when we can’t see her anymore.

“While Ellie is alive, our color palette is heavily saturated. She brings color into Carl’s life. When she’s gone, the palette is desaturated to shades of gray. When Carl blows up the balloons to begin his journey, we bring back the memory of Ellie through those saturated, beautiful colors. Generally, we show Carl in the dark while Russell is in the light. Russell brings all of Ellie’s color back into Carl’s world.” – Ricky Nierva, production designer (The Art of Up).

Don’t we all want to be like Ellie? And if we can’t be her, have her in our lives? I honestly do get bummed out that I can’t actually hug Ellie because she feels that real to me. And it’s easy to imagine more of her story past Up’s first ten minutes.

I love that Ellie sees life as one big adventure with the people we love and care about. I love that she makes me believe that adventure is not only out there, but all around, right here.

Ernest Nemesio (The Art of Up)

I would be remiss to not include more Ellie artwork! Two of my favorites are by Ronnie del Carmen. Imagine her as an aviator?! Swoon. Becoming a pilot is an ambition of mine, so let’s just say that Aviator/Pilot Ellie means a lot to me.

Ronnie Del Carmen

 

Ellie is an adventurer, and an adventure!

Joanna

The audience may only see Ellie for the first 10 minutes of Up, but she still manages to be unforgettable. She is one of, if not the, most important character in the film. And while the audience only physically sees her for that painfully brief time, her presence is unmistakeable throughout the entire movie.

Ellie drives the story of Up, with Carl always looking to her for reassurance and comfort, both during their marriage, and after her death. Pixar even devoted the colour magenta to her, so that each time you see it fade in or out on the screen you’re reminded of her significance. The magenta slowly disappears at Ellie’s funeral, and we’re quickly met with a very faded, desaturated sequence of Carl’s life as a widower. And when Carl bravely sets forth on his journey to Paradise Falls, the balloons are lit up with magenta hues that cast magenta shadows and lights over the buildings and fields below. Carl’s journey is powered by Ellie’s spirit: the spirit of adventure!

The fact that Ellie is so memorable and inspiring is not only a testament to the strength of Pixar’s storytelling, but also to the strength of her character. Ellie is fearless, creative, loving, and confident. She’s an adventurer, and she’s an adventure. She is everything a young wilderness explorer should aspire to be.

“For performing above and beyond the call of duty, I would like to award you the highest honor I can bestow: The Ellie Badge.”

Fun Facts

  • Pete Docter’s daughter, Elie Docter, voiced young Ellie and even drew the childhood art in Ellie’s adventure book!
  • According to Elie, Ellie nursed wounded pigeons after they were hit by boys’ slingshots, which is “really something only a kid would do.” (Take note that Carl and Russell would never hit birds with slingshots!)
  • Ellie, like Charles Muntz, was shaped like an exclamation point when she was young because she wanted to be an adventurer. “…sort of light on her feet and lifting up into the air.” – Albert Lozano, designer
  • The Ellie Badge is one of the Easter eggs in Toy Story 4!

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