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Happy New Year! What to look forward to in 2016…

Andrew Stanton, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich

Posted by Nia • January 2, 2016

Happy New Year Pixar fans! As Simoa discussed in the previous post, 2015 was quite the year for Pixar films. We had the honor of witnessing not one, but TWO fantastic films from the renowned animation studio. I won’t go into detail about Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, but those two films and the shorts that came with it prove there are only great things to come from Pixar.

The biggest aspect to look forward to in 2016 is in fact Finding Dory, which comes out on June 17th. Earlier this week, Pixar released a still that featured two new gorgeous characters from the film: Destiny and Bailey, aptly a whale shark and beluga whale to be voiced by Kaitlin Olson and Ty Burrell.

finding-dory

The image was initially released by Entertainment Weekly, and we also got more of a glimpse into the story of the Finding Nemo sequel; which takes places six months after we last saw Dory. Both Destiny and Bailey prove to be significant in Dory’s quest to find her family, as she ends up meeting them at a rehabilitation center located at a marine life facility. The duo are heavily hinted at helping Dory reunite with her family.

Since the beginning, each Pixar film has pushed both art and technology. When Finding Nemo was released back in 2003, the film had introduced breathtaking backgrounds and atmosphere around a heartwarming story of a father trying to reunite with his lost son. The mostly underwater setting pushed the technology at the time while also giving audiences a complex story that hadn’t been seen in animation before.

Based on the gorgeous hyperrealistic backgrounds seen in the The Good Dinosaur, it’s quite possible that Finding Dory may be the most breathtaking film from Pixar yet. We’ll be revisiting the familiar location from the first film, but with technology that is continuing to grow and push animation further. It’s as if we’ll be viewing the world with a new eye prescription – everything is crystal clear and we’ll be able to appreciate the immense details more. It’s a very exciting time for animation. As Pixar has proved again and again, there are no rules when it comes to the medium and the storytelling possibilities are endless.

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Here’s Your First Look At Finding Dory

Andrew Stanton, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, John Lasseter, Trailer

Posted by Nia • November 11, 2015

Alas! Yesterday the first trailer for Finding Dory premiered with a splash online. Although it was only a teaser trailer, it was enough to give us a glimpse of how Nemo, Marlin, and Dory have been faring since the days of Finding Nemo. By the looks of it, Dory has been living it up with her fantastic new set up in Marlin and Nemo’s neck of the woods. Within the first few seconds of the trailer alone, the score by Thomas Newman swept all of us away with nostalgia. And perhaps those who have been eagerly waiting for the sequel to the first film might’ve shed a few tears… it’s OK – we’re not judging you.

Straight from Pixar, the synopsis of the film is as follows: “The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way.” For the first time, Dory is able to remember something important (even though she can’t quite pinpoint what that may be just yet) and realizes that she has family somewhere out there in the big blue sea. With Nemo and Marlin at Dory’s side, she sets up on a quest to find her long-lost relatives.

The trailer only confirms how much we all missed the colorful and expertly detailed world under the sea that Andrew Stanton and crew so beautifully depicted twelve years ago. As Dory would say, “just keep swimming.” Only a *few* more months to go until the film is released in cinemas.

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Inside Out All Access event

Andrew Stanton, Behind The Scenes, Events, Inside Out, John Lasseter, Jonas Rivera, Pete Docter, Pete Sohn, Pixar, Pixar Employees, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • June 17, 2015

It’s Inside Out week! The highly anticipated flick opens nationwide this Friday, June 19th. This writer has seen it all accesstwice, and to echo much of the praise it has received, it’s a masterpiece. An all access screening was held yesterday three days ahead of the film’s release in theaters all over the country. We hope our incredible readers were also in the audience! This all access screening included a behind-the-scenes visit at Pixar as well as a Twitter Q&A session with Pete Docter and Amy Poehler (Joy), who are currently in Australia as part of the film’s press tour. Those in attendance received a free poster as well as a lanyard and Inside Out badge which grants access to more goodies online at Disney Movie Rewards!

 

The tour of Pixar, with Pete and producer Jonas Rivera as hosts, was awesome. There was lots of Inside Out artwork and storyboards, as well as Docter and Rivera sharing their labor of love and all the time and research that went into it. The two of them always bring warmth and camaraderie, and the same was true here. I can’t think of any other people who would be more qualified to give a tour of Pixar! (Besides John Lasseter of course).

Capture

In the Story Corner, which is a wall papered with numerous story sketches from various Pixar films, is a tribute to the late, great story artist, Joe Ranft. Regarded as the soul of Pixar, and a hero to many in the animation world, his influence is still deeply felt at Pixar. His sketches of what happens in a story meeting is framed on the wall, and it was such an enjoyable and sweet addition to the tour.

Highlights from the video included “running” into some favorite Pixarians, such as Ronnie del Carmen, Inside Out‘s co-director, who Pete praised. He let the audience know how great del Carmen’s contributions were, and that if we loved the movie it was thanks to him, and if we hated it, it was thanks to him! (Definitely only the former).

We also got to drop in on Andrew Stanton and his Finding Dory team in editorial, which included co-director Angus McLane, and producer Lindsey Collins. While the visit was brief and there was no footage of the upcoming film, Andrew did joke a little bit about the grueling process in cutting down the story until you get it right. “You know what that feels like,” he said to Pete. “We don’t!”

Afterwards we dropped in on Pete Sohn and The Good Dinosaur team! He informed us that 1/8 of the crew was present, and we got to see one shot of animation being finaled. Sohn gestured to the animators in the room, listing the beloved Pixar characters they’ve animated and brought to life. There will be so much more to see of this movie ahead of its November release and we can’t wait. The Good Dinosaur‘s original director Bob Peterson even made a cameo, informing Pete that his Roz voice was his regular voice. The audience loved it, as well as his Dug impression. It was especially wonderful to see Peterson and we can only hope he’ll be sitting in the director’s chair again soon. (You can even spot his name in the credits to Inside Out).

We got to see John Lasseter’s famous office, a toy collector’s dream. The big man himself wasn’t in his office, but Jonas and Pete found him in the story room for Toy Story 4, with some help from that movie’s co-director, Josh Cooley. John very funnily hid the room from the camera, and did his best to “shoo” us away. The development on this film is highly secretive, but John promised we would know more in time. He also got to show off his Inside Out Hawaiian shirt!

This video, which ran just under twenty minutes, was an excellent preview before seeing Inside Out. Heading into Pixar via cameras is often the only way to get inside, and all that positivity, humor, and cheerfulness never disappoint. We also get to see just how collaborative things are over there. It’s always a team effort when making a Pixar film, and the whole team is lauded for their contributions.

Following the film was the Q&A with Pete Docter and Amy Poehler via satellite. They were both exuberant and definitely not short on praises for the other. Amy mentioned the collaborative spirit at Pixar and got a lot of laughs at our screening. When asked which emotions guided her as a young girl, she said that she was carefree and joyful like Riley, but with some anger as well, owing to her Boston roots. That inspired some cheers from us fellow Bostonians! It’s obvious why she was chosen to play Joy, but Pete explained that Joy was a tough character to write. At preview screenings, audiences loved the movie but hated Joy or found her annoying. Luckily, Amy’s performance saved the day; Joy is flawed but still lovable. She took cues from Tom Hanks’ performance as Woody to help her with the character, and it pays off. For those who have seen the film, the parallels between Joy and Woody are certainly there.

Check back here for our review of Inside Out, as well as the short film, “Lava”!

 

 

 

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‘Finding Dory’ Gets a Co-Director

Andrew Stanton, Angus Maclane, Finding Dory

Posted by Brkyo614 • June 5, 2014

Pixar’s reveal of Finding Dory came with the reassuring news that Nemo director Andrew Stanton is on board with the sequel as director. Apparently, though, he won’t be alone in his directing duties. Sharing the work of longtime Pixarian Angus MacLane, Stanton tweeted the following:

From my co-director’s clever Lego “couch” series:AngusMacLane: Tony Stark having a drink on a couch, in LEGO. http://tinyurl.com/q9pkjpm

Since joining the studio in 1997, MacLane has gradually risen through the ranks at Pixar. After making his directorial debut with BURN·E, he went on to direct the Toy Story short Small Fry and last year’s Toy Story of Terror. Going by Stanton’s tweet, Finding Dory will be his first feature-length film as co-director. MacLane seems to be a smart choice for the role, given his experience at the studio.

MacLane has also made a name for himself outside of Pixar through his unique LEGO creations. You can see hundreds of his projects – including the one shared by Stanton – on his Flickr page.

Finding Dory is scheduled for release on June 17, 2016.

(Thanks to reader Alec for the tip)

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Ed Catmull Details ‘Inside Out’ Story Meeting in ‘Creativity, Inc.’ Preview

Andrew Stanton, Behind The Scenes, Brad Bird, Ed Catmull, Inside Out, Pete Docter

Posted by Brkyo614 • March 12, 2014

Late last year, Pixar head Ed Catmull announced plans to publish Creativity, Inc., a business-oriented look at his leadership strategies at the studio. With its release soon approaching, Catmull has published an excerpt from the book at Fast Company with some surprising insight into the creative process behind the studio’s next film.

The full article is a must-read, but a key section examines a Brain Trust meeting during the early stages of Inside Out‘s development. Early reactions were enthusiastic, but the group was concerned with the execution of one key scene: "an argument between two characters about why certain memories fade while others burn bright forever." Brad Bird was the first to chime in:

"I understand that you want to keep this simple and relatable," he told [director Pete Docter], "but I think we need something that your audience can get a little more invested in."


Andrew Stanton followed, as Catmull explains:

"I think you need to spend more time settling on the rules of your imagined world," [Stanton] said. […] In Pete’s film, one of the rules—at least at this point—was that memories (depicted as glowing glass globes) were stored in the brain by traveling through a maze of chutes into a kind of archive. When retrieved or remembered, they’d roll back down another tangle of chutes, like bowling balls being returned to bowlers at the alley.

That construct was elegant and effective, but Andrew suggested that another rule needed to be clarified: how memories and emotions change over time, as the brain gets older. This was the moment in the film, Andrew said, to establish some key themes. Listening to this, I remembered how in Toy Story 2, the addition of Wheezy helped establish the idea that damaged toys could be discarded, left to sit, unloved, on the shelf. Andrew felt there was a similar opportunity here. "Pete, this movie is about the inevitability of change," he said. "And of growing up."

This set Brad off. "A lot of us in this room have not grown up—and I mean that in the best way," he said. "The conundrum is how to become mature and become reliable while at the same time preserving your childlike wonder. People have come up to me many times, as I’m sure has happened to many people in this room, and said, ‘Gee, I wish I could be creative like you. That would be something, to be able to draw.’ But I believe that everyone begins with the ability to draw. Kids are instinctively there. But a lot of them unlearn it. Or people tell them they can’t or it’s impractical. So yes, kids have to grow up, but maybe there’s a way to suggest that they could be better off if they held on to some of their childish ideas."


To see how the Brain Trust debate continues, be sure to read the full article at Fast Company. There’s no doubt that the full version of Creativity, Inc., out on April 8, will feature plenty more fascinating behind-the-scenes stories. You can preorder it now on Amazon.

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Woody’s News Round-Up! (3/4/14)

Andrew Stanton, Disney Parks, Finding Nemo, Inside Out, Ratatouille, Round-Ups

Posted by Brkyo614 • March 4, 2014

While news on the feature film front has been quiet, there are a few Pixar-related stories from the past few weeks that are worth mentioning. Enjoy:

Andrew Stanton Featured in Google Oscar Ad: Pixar may not have been present at this year’s Oscar ceremony, but some of the studio’s magic still managed to creep into last Sunday’s broadcast. Google premiered a great 60-second spot with sound bites from Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton’s 2012 TED Talk, set to Thomas Newman’s Nemo score. (Thanks to Pixar Post for the embed.)

New Pixar Posters from Mondo to be Showcased This Week: Disney has worked with Mondo to release some impressive Pixar posters in the past, and that collaboration is set to continue. Mondo is exhibiting a collection of Disney/Pixar-inspired posters at the South By Southwest film festival from March 7 through March 11. Tom Whalen shared a peek at his Incredibles poster for the gallery; to see Kevin Tong’s Up and WALL-E prints, head over to Oh My Disney.

Ratatouille Ride Updates: A Ratatouille attraction for Disneyland Paris has been in the works for a while, and the first concrete details have begun to emerge. Disney’s Tom Fitzgerald presented a first look at the attraction, titled Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, earlier this month. Watch his talk below, and check out Inside the Magic for a few more details.

Inside Out Updates: Pixar’s next film is still more than a year off, but production on it is already well underway. Pixar recently shared a photo of Mindy Kaling recording dialogue for the film on Instagram, and Pixarians have begun to voice their enthusiasm about the project on Twitter. Hopefully we’ll get a teaser trailer within the next few months!

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D23 Expo Round-Up: ‘Finding Dory’ Cast Updates; Story Changes Following ‘Blackfish’?

Andrew Stanton, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, Round-Ups

Posted by Brkyo614 • August 9, 2013

While the bulk of Pixar’s D23 presentation focused on The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out, the studio also took the chance to reveal a few more bits of information about Finding Dory, coming in late 2015.

Accompanying Albert Brooks as Marlin and Ellen DeGeneres as Dory are Eguene Levy and Diane Keaton as Charlie and Jenny, Dory’s parents. Ty Burrell also joins the cast as a beluga whale named Bailey. Director Andrew Stanton also teased a bit of the plot: Dory’s "homing instinct" sets in, leading her to go on a search for her family while Nemo and Marlin pursue her.

Interestingly, Stanton may also be altering elements of the film following the controversial water park documentary Blackfish. According to The LA Times, the Pixar filmmakers met with Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite after seeing the film to discuss a story element in Finding Dory. Head over to LA Times to see the point in question — but be warned of spoilers.

It’s great to see Pixar being aware and receptive to change, though it’s unclear if any of these adjustments will make it to the final product; after all, Pixar films go through countless changes while in development, and Dory is still over two years away.

Monsters University reminded me that a sequel doesn’t need to be necessary to be good, so I definitely have some newfound confidence in Finding Dory. The movie releases on November 25, 2015.

(Thanks to The Pixar Times and ComingSoon.net for their coverage of the event)

Let us know your opinion on Finding Dory!

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RUMOR: Andrew Stanton Developing ‘Finding Nemo’ Sequel? [UPDATE]

Andrew Stanton, Finding Nemo

Posted by Brkyo614 • July 17, 2012

Many breathed a sigh of relief following the announcement of Pixar’s slate of original films earlier this year, with the consecutive releases of Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 leading some to fear that the studio had fallen into a "sequel-itis" of sorts. After Monsters University in 2013, Pixar was not known to be working on any continuations of their existing properties. However, that could change now.

Deadline is now reporting that Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton’s next project after John Carter could likely be a sequel to the 2003 Pixar classic. According to their sources, he has a premise for the film that both him and the studio are very excited about. Allegedly, Disney will give Stanton another chance with live-action following the financial failure of John Carter if Pixar goes through with the sequel.

Personally, I’m glad that Stanton is being involved with the project, but a sequel to Finding Nemo sounds totally unnecessary. The worlds in Toy Story and Cars certainly had some room for expansion, but I don’t feel the same way about Nemo. Unfortunately, from what Deadline is stating, it sounds like one of Stanton’s main motivations for the sequel is to convince Disney to allow him to continue dabbling with live-action.

Finding Nemo is second highest-grossing Pixar film of all time and continues to be beloved by audiences worldwide. A second film would be extremely profitable for Disney, and considering the lack of obvious directions to take the characters after the original, money is probably a top priority for the company in pushing Pixar to make Finding Nemo 2.

Negativity aside, the film could be great with Andrew Stanton’s involvement. It’s much too early to judge, and the project hasn’t even been confirmed by Disney or Pixar yet. Finding Nemo 3D arrives in theaters on September 14, 2012, with a Blu-ray release following on December 4; perhaps the rumors will be put to rest by then.

Do you think Finding Nemo 2 could work?

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter is backing up Deadline’s report with some additional details: Victoria Strouse is set to write the sequel with Lindsey Collins producing, aiming for a 2016 release date.

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Pixar Tops the Decade!

Andrew Stanton, Finding Nemo, Pixar, The Incredibles, UP, WALL-E

Posted by Martin • December 27, 2009

As the 2000-2009 decade comes to a close, it’s great to see how far our favorite studio has come.

Luckily, we’re talking about Pixar, a company that has made huge strides in the last 10 years. This is despite the fact that they began at technology’s cutting-edge and by the time 2000 came along, were already a well-recognized brand.

But, it’s the way they’ve continued to implement CGI into compelling stories that has made their films so original and landed them high up on the lists that follow:

IMDb’s Top 25 of the Decade: Pixar is a regular in The Internet Movie Database‘s ever changing list of Top 250 films of all time. When Slash Film decided to see which films from this decade landed in IMDb’s top 25, they found two Pixar films situated at #8 and #17. That would be the latest two films from the Lamp: WALL•E and Up (#15 on the unadjusted list). The aforementioned films are also IMDb’s #1 and #3 top rated animated films. Check out SlashFilm’s list here and the ever changing IMDb Top 250 here.

Rotten Tomatoes’ Best Reviewed of the Decade: With the Golden Tomatoes coming up, it’s always nice to know that Up is high on Rotten Tomatoes‘ Best Reviewed of the Decade list. Slash Film compiled their version which ranks Pixar’s 10th in at #2 with a 98% fresh rating! The official list is arranged in categories instead of sole percentages. In this list, The Incredibles won Best Superhero Film, that’s a huge honor since the last 10 years have been full of formidable masked crusaders! Also, Andrew Stanton was a runner-up for Best Directorial Debut. Both The Incredibles and Finding Nemo appeared in Slash Film’s Top 25 based on RT.

Metacritic’s Best Reviewed of the Decade: Metacritic is known to be more blunt in their rankings than Rotten Tomatoes. So, it’s a relief to see Pixar on their list, too. Ratatouille ranked in at #3 with a Metascore of 96! Next up is WALL•E, landing the #8 spot with a score of 93! Other Pixar films, including Up and The Incredibles, can also be found throughout this Top 100 list.

Hopefully I’ll be able to follow up this post with more Top of the Year/Decade lists before 2009 is over. Keep checking back!

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Pixar at the Venice Intl. Film Festival!

Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Pete Docter, Premiere, Toy Story, Toy Story 2

Posted by Martin • September 6, 2009

The much talked about Golden Lion Awards for Lifetime Achievement were presented to five key Pixarians today at the 66th Annual Venice International Film Festival

Specifically, it’s the gang of Pixar directors; John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird and Lee Unkrich! @DisneyPixar tweeted live at the event posting pictures and quotes from the honorees.

"Our goal has always been simple: to entertain our audience around the world." said Lasseter. That’s something the studio has surely achieved so it’s no surprise that the talented team was chosen to receive this "tremendous honor." After all, the award is presented to those who have contributed largely to cinema.

The group of highly acclaimed filmmakers were greeted by reporters and fans as the stepped onto the Pixar-themed red carpet. First arrived Pete Docter, then Brad Bird, followed by Lee Unkrich and Andrew Stanton. Last but not least was the studio’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter. I guess this is what it would be like to see the most famous faces of Pixar all in one place!

Special presenter George Lucas was full of praise, "I think Walt would be very proud that these are the guys carrying on the family business." Considering he sold Pixar over 20 years ago and saw it become the success that it is today, Lucas is a good sport.

Also of note, Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D premiered at the festival! I’m sure the double feature screening went very well. The re-release will be playing in US theatres (for two weeks only) in about 25 days, October 2nd to be exact. You can swing on over to (edited for relevancy) Disney Living’s YouTube for the third in the series of John Lasseter Toy Story Collection blogs, this time featuring the "ferocious" dinosaur Rex!

To learn more about the Venice International Film Festival, drop by their official site. Browse through more pictures and quotes from the Pixar festivities at Disney/Pixar’s official Twitter. Stitch Kingdom also has a great photo gallery up. For more media coverage, read The Associated Press’ write-up.

A huge congratulations to the Pixar team on this monumental win!

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