WALL•E Box Office Labor Day Weekend [Update]

Box Office, WALL-E

Posted by Martin • September 1, 2008

WALL•E is still going strong this Labor Day weekend were it racked in an estimated:


The long weekend did great for WALL-E which made almost 1.5 million dollars in 4 days after 67 days in release domestically. Our favorite little robot is now officially in the top 10 highest grossing animated films of all time (number 9 in CGI) and it’s still got a few more weeks to go!

(Box Office Mojo)

Overseas WALL-E stands at $175 million (according to ScreenDaily) with major territories such as Japan waiting to open and Australia starting to have preview screenings. The lovable trash compactor opened on top in Denmark and Norway and had the biggest Pixar opening ever in Singapore!

We should see WALL-E end somewhere in the mid-220 millions in the US and Canada.

Have a good Labor Day!

Totals are in: $218,447,803!
Congratulations on a great weekend, Pixar!

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Snazzy: “Blue China” 20 Years of RenderMan Walking Teapot

Pixar, RenderMan, SIGGRAPH

Posted by Martin • August 30, 2008

Ever since 2003, Pixar has been selling limited edition walking teapots with cool designs 20yrsteapotat their SIGGRAPH booth. This year’s teapot is not only rare (there were only 3,500 made) but special because it’s commemorating RenderMan’s 20th Anniversary.

For those who are curious, last year’s teapot had a chef’s hat on it, and in 2006 they had flames. In the years before, they came in assorted colors such as silver, red, blue, green and gold and specials such as glow-in-the-dark and thermal.

The next time a new design of the infamous RenderMan teapots should be available is at next year’s SIGGRAPH convention.

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Angus MacLane Directing BURN•E

Blu-Ray, BURNE, DVD, Short Film, WALL-E

Posted by Martin • August 29, 2008

Briefly: Famed Pixar animator Angus Maclane will be directing the much awaited short film BURN•E according to Animated World News! The movie based short is expected November 18th on the WALL•E DVD and Blu-ray. 

The lucky few visiting Pixar on October 11th (more info here) will be treated to an advanced screening of the short and will be able to speak to Angus himself, who was also directing animator on WALL•E. Check back here for more info on this project soon.

(via AWN)

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Pixar Opens Its Doors October 11th


Posted by Martin • August 28, 2008

Pixar’s annual Cartoon Art Museum benefit is here once again! It’s the fifth annual fundraiser for CMA and the second family fun day at Pixar. The studio’s gates open for outsiders Saturday, October 11th for a price of $200 per person (or for groups of 10 $2,000).
The event kicks of at 5:30 in the famed atrium where guests will be able to roam around and look at original WALL•E art. At 6:30, guest will enter the 235 seat theatre to get a behind the scenes look at the making of Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and WALL•E. You will also be treated to an advance screening of Pixar’s next short, BURN-E!

After the presentation guests can talk to Pixar employees in the atrium and hang out. You will also get access to the newly refurbished Pixar Studio Store. There will be food and refreshments available aswell.

For more information or to purchase tickets call 410-CARTOONS ext. 300.

(via Jim Hill Media)

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Ed Catmull, First Annual Randy Pausch Award Recipient

Awards, Ed Catmull

Posted by Martin • August 26, 2008

edcatmullMore Ed Catmull news this week; the first annual Randy Pausch award, commemorating the Carnegie Mellon University professor most famous for his "last lecture", will be awarded today to four time Academy Award winner and Pixar co-founder, Ed Catmull. 

He was chosen because, like Pausch, he was an "industry expert who [encourages the] spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration."

Catmull will accept the prize at the McConomy Auditorium tonight, the same place were Randy presented his famous lecture. Ed’s speech will also serve as "a keynote address for the 7th Annual International Conference on Entertainment Computing".

Congratulations, Dr. Catmull!

Source: Pop City Media

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Catmull on Creativity

Ed Catmull

Posted by Martin • August 24, 2008

luxoharvardEd Catmull, president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, has written a very detailed piece on Pixar’s creative culture for the Harvard Business Journal.

Catmull touches on how Pixar innovates in art and technology and the risks they take to achieve this through change. He talks about the company’s beginnings as a research group, through the production of Toy Story, the Disney merger, and beyond; and how they’ve kept their culture, and plan to keep it, for a long time. The article is 7 pages long and full of fun tidbits that should keep Pixar fans (especially those inetersted in the behind-the-scenes action) interested.

Also, listen to a conversation with Ed Catmull here.

(via The Pixar Blog)

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WALL•E Box Office (08/24/2008) [Update]

Box Office, WALL-E

Posted by Martin • August 24, 2008

This week’s domestic estimates for WALL•E are in: $216,191,000!
(via Box Office Mojo)

Overseas WALL•E has raked in $152.6 million since August 21st according to Screen Daily.
(Thanks, miafka from the Pixar Planet forums)

This brings WALL•E to and estimated $368 million worldwide. Remember, it hasn’t come out in all markets yet so it has much more to go, yet it’s still doing magnificent.

Update: Actuals are in.
As of Sunday, WALL-E stands at: $216,252,003!

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Exclusive: Discussion with Pixar Technical Director Bill Polson

Animation, Interview, Pixar, Pixar Employees

Posted by Martin • August 22, 2008

My good friend Stephanie got the chance to visit Pixar Animation Studios in "fashionable" Emeryville, CA. While there, she got the chance to interview Technical Director Bill Polson. He’s been Supervising Technical Director on such shorts as One Man Band and Jack-Jack Attack. Here’s what he had to say:


What steps would you suggest to pursue a career in this field?

A) Become familiar with the various roles in making animation, and figure out what excites you. There is art, story, technical, animation, setdressing, cinematography, etc. Once you have an idea what you want to do, the steps to get there are clearer. 

For example, to be a cinematographer, you should probably go to film school.

To work in technical fields like shading and effects and rendering you should probably study computer science.

B) Make a killer portfolio. Again, what is in the portfolio depends on what you want to do.
If you want to be a story artist, you should create your own comic book. Or perhaps a set of story boards for a short film.

To be an animator you should get a model off the web and animate it doing a set of real world things, like walking, sitting, or drinking a cup of coffee. If your character is executing flying ninja kicks it’s not as impressive. It looks more impressive to the untrained eye, but that’s not what we do. Even in a movie like The Incredibles, in most scenes Bob is walking, talking, arguing with his family, sipping a glass of champagne, etc. In very few scenes is he fighting off the killer robot.

C) Read the websites of the places you want to work. They all have submission guidelines. Follow them exactly. Send in your killer portfolio and follow up with the recruiting folks — nicely and professionally — and let your work speak for itself. If you are good you will get hired.

[Computer] generated clothing… is incredibly in demand. We have only 3 people out of 1000+ who can generate clothing. If you can demonstrate ability in this area you
are almost instantly hirable.

What influenced you to choose this career?
I studied physics and math in college, then went to work as a software developer. I stumbled into this in 1988 before there were any CG movies, and found this was the one thing that combined all my interests.

What are the up sides and down falls to your career?
I am in a technical discipline, which means I focus on HOW we’re going to do something rather than WHAT we’re going to do. For example, I don’t decide what the story is, who the characters are, etc. But I get to decide how they are made and animated and shaded and lit and etc.

What is the most difficult part of your job?
People. The best and worst parts of every job are related to people.

What different occupations are involved with your job?
In a given week I will write some software, create a web page or two, prepare and give several presentations, interview one or two potential new hires… mediate an argument, apologize to somebody for a bad decision, get a presentation about a new idea and make a decision that I hope is right, and so forth.

What benefits do you get?
Salary, health benefits, stock options, access to Pixar facilities (pool, gym, etc.)

How does your job affect your social life?
Most of my friends are related to my hobbies: swimming, hiking, bluegrass music. I don’t socialize much outside of work with my co- workers. I’m unusual in this — most of my friends at work are constantly hanging out after work with the same folks they hang out with AT work. I think that is a big danger in this career. It can take all your energy if you let it. Fortunately I had a pretty full life before I came to Pixar. For many of my co-workers, Pixar is their first and only job out of college and they’ve never created an identity away from work.

Have you had a successful job so far?
So far, so good. I’ve made it a point to try something new every few years, even if it meant doing something I wasn’t any good at. This has kept me excited about work. A year ago I was burned out and wanted a new job, and Pixar wouldn’t give me one, so I left. I took a leave of absence and started looking at other things to do. They called me back and offered me the switch from production to tools. I went from being a user of the software to being in charge of the team that writes it. I’m new to this and frankly, I’m not as good at it as I was in my old job. But I’m getting better every day and that is really keeping me excited about things.

Would you have any suggestions in order for one to make it into this field?
My biggest suggestion for "breaking into the field" is to get to work on some computer generated animation. Get to work now. Make some images. Figure out what excites you, and dig really deep into it. Do things that you think cannot be done.

Every year we see a bunch of portfolios that have incredible pictures of water surfaces, with beautiful waves, sunlight glinting off the whitecaps, etc. And if we’d seen that 10 years ago we’d have hired that person. Because 10 years ago the software couldn’t do that. But nowadays that kind of thing can be done by a plugin that you can download off the web. So anybody can make that picture, and thus we’re not interested in that picture anymore.

Show me something that is not easy! Something super technical, or funny, or beautiful.

Every one of our movies is impossible on the day we start it. We know we’ll have to figure out how to do it as we go. But we are confident because we basically only hire people who have the knack of doing the impossible.

Do something impossible.


Thanks again, Stephanie for such an interesting article, the questions were really informative! I hope this helps anyone and everyone who wants to work at Pixar!

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WALL•E Region 2, November 24th

BURNE, DVD, Merchandise, Presto, WALL-E

Posted by Martin • August 22, 2008

DVD Monthly UK reveals the special features included in the Region 2 release of WALL•E as well as the release date, November 24th!

This release will include:

  • Presto’ Theatrical Short 
  • BURN•EDVD Exclusive Short
  • Up’ Teaser Trailer 
  • Audio Commentary With Director Andrew Stanton 

    Special features include: Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds from the Sound Up. A featurette with Ben Burtt speaking about hsi sound design and classic Disney sound design.It’ll also include two deleted scenes: Garbage Airlock and Dumped.

  • For more details on all of the features including the US only WALL•E Tour of the Universe (featuring Auto) read here.

    Note: This is pertaining to the one disc Region 2 release of the WALL•E DVD.

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    WALL•E 3 Disc Special Edition Cover Art [UPDATE]

    Cover Art, DVD, WALL-E

    Posted by Martin • August 22, 2008

    Ultimate Disney has released this special edition cover art for the WALL•E three disc DVD

    The site adds that the home video releases will be ‘environmentaly packaged’ just like the official soundtrack. The three disc release will include extra features and a digital copy. Check our previous article for the rest of the content.

    UPDATE: Guido (European Correspondent) has contacted Disney who is saying we’ll have to wait for the official press release which has been delayed ‘til Monday.

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