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Upcoming Pixar Interviews Peter Sohn For The Good Dinosaur Blu-ray Release

Blu-Ray, Bob Peterson, DVD, Interview, Pete Sohn, The Good Dinosaur, Upcoming Pixar

Posted by Nia • February 19, 2016

It’s easy to get carried away during the excitement of the award season here in Hollywood. Amid the buzz of the upcoming Oscar ceremony, Disney/Pixar held a press day in Los Angeles to celebrate the Blu-ray and Digital HD release of their 16th feature film The Good Dinosaur.

The film will finally be coming to Blu-ray and Digital HD on the 23d of February. I had the opportunity to interview director Peter Sohn about the The Good Dinosaur‘s overall production process and it’s Blu-ray release.

Image via Disney/Pixar

Image via Disney/Pixar

What is your favorite part of the filmmaking process? And more specifically, what’s your favorite part about working on an animated film?

My favorite part has continually been getting to work with all of the amazing artists up at Pixar. On every film there you’re collaborating with a lot of talented and creative people, and for me I live off of it. I can’t tell you how much fun it was, from department to department, to get to know what people love, what people don’t like, and trying to find ways to make the best film that we could. My favorite part of making an animated movie definitely is the world building and the character building. There’s nothing that comes for free in animation. You literally have to build everything from the ground up and in doing that, there are so many “what if” questions and exploration you can do that’s really fun. Once you get down to making a character come to life there’s nothing more exciting.

And what is the most challenging aspect of making an animated film?

I think it has to do with the same thing I’ve always said: trying to tell the best story possible. The story reels in an animated movie have to be very tight because you have to draw every shot out. It’s all going to be made and then worked on, so you don’t want to get that wrong. You really focus on those reels and trying to tell a story within the reel. You’re just constantly putting it up and then taking it down, putting it up and then taking it down again, and that’s very difficult. It’s an important one for animation.

What are some inspirations for you as a storyteller?

I love watching other movies, diving into other art, and being inspired by what other people have done. When it comes down to it, the more I’ve been doing this job, the more living my own life has become a real inspiration. Finding out about other people, other cultures, other traditions; finding out about who I am and how I fit in the world has all been really great.

Were there any westerns that inspired the overall look of The Good Dinosaur?

There were locations that were really an inspiration for the movie. In Shane, Dancing With Wolves, and Heavens Gate there was beautiful cinematography. There was a lot of inspiration that came from stories as well, different types of stories, like E.T. or Black Stallion. But when it came to the true Western inspiration, nothing beat the real thing. We did a lot of research going out to Wyoming, Oregon, and Idaho; that gave us our greatest source of inspiration.

How long did it take to develop the look of The Good Dinosaur? What type of new technology was used in developing the backgrounds, FX, etc?

I can’t give an exact date, but I can tell you this whole film was made in less than two years. When we first started talking about this, one of the things I wanted to try was making nature a real character in this movie. I don’t mean it had eyes or a mouth, but that Arlo could feel it and nature would become an antagonist throughout the film. It was really interesting because if you make nature a character, you really have to focus on it. The Good Dinosaur is a movie about Arlo and how he is growing. It was always about that back and forth between Arlo and nature; how nature tests Arlo and how Arlo learns to love nature. There’s a lot of technology that was involved in bringing that to life. First of all, water is very difficult to do in computer animation and the river would become Arlo’s yellow brick road that he needed to follow back home. So we had a lot of water in this film! There was a lot of new technology to bring that to life and all of the characteristics of water. For example, when Arlo was terrified or scared we really wanted the river to be kind of broiling so that it was almost parallel to what Arlo was going through. When Arlo got closer to nature, closer to Spot, the river would be peaceful and calm. We wanted to create a world that was big in scopes so that we could really dwarf a creature as large as a dinosaur. That meant kind of making the world feel 500 miles bigger in all directions. That was no easy feat. There was new technology built in terms of pulling out geological surveys, and understanding how the river erodes in nature. We also started building tiles. We started building hundreds of square miles of tiles that we would kind of stamp out into the horizon line and from there propagate rocks and trees. The technicians at Pixar came up with math that said, “OK from 400 feet high it will be snow. From 400 feet below it will be this type of tree, and then below that it will be water.” That’s just a really simple way of describing how the artists came up with ways to fill out the world.

What sparked the concept/initial story?

It was really Bob Peterson’s first pitch about a boy and this dog, then flipping it where the boy is the dinosaur and the dog is this human boy. That was the initial pitch and that kind of set everything off. Bob would ask me to come help and soon after that we talked a lot about how this relationship could work, and how the evolution could work. It’s impossible to have humans and dinosaurs together so that opened up the bigger concept about what if the asteroid had missed the earth. So it all kind of stemmed off there and we continued to dig deeper to find the story.

Is there a character you see yourself in the most? Why?

I see myself in Arlo a great deal; in all aspects of my life, from growing up to even making this film. Funny enough, when I was asked to direct The Good Dinosaur I was terrified, I was really scared. With the great support of friends and other directors I felt more confident, and the love for these characters and this movie kept me going through it.

What kind of behind the scenes footage do we except to see on the Blu-ray?

You know what’s great is that you will be able to see some of the footage of our research trips that really inspired the look and the characters of the film. There’s one in particular that’s close to my heart, and it’s the documentary on the McKay’s – this Oregon family that we met and I can’t tell you how much they changed the feeling of the movie and changed my life.

Thanks again to Peter Sohn for his time and for all the folks at Pixar for inspiring us all with The Good Dinosaur. The film is out on Blu-ray and Digital HD on Tuesday, February 23rd. Be sure to check back with us at Upcoming Pixar for a Blu-ray giveaway!

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‘Toy Story that Time Forgot’ blu-ray and DVD

Blu-Ray, DVD, Short Film, Toy Story That Time Forgot

Posted by Simoa • August 7, 2015

Looks like Arlo won’t be the only Pixar dinosaur on screens this November. “Toy Story that Time Forgot”, last winter’s half hour TV special will be available on DVD this November 3rd. That’s also the release date for the Inside Out DVD, if the Amazon listing on the latter is indeed correct. Thanks once again to Stitch Kingdom for this report! The full list of bonus features is below.

Blu-ray, Digital HD*, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA)

  •  Reptillus! – In this behind-the-scenes look at Toy Story That Time Forgot, the filmmakers share a peek at the origins of the Battlesaurs world and culture, and explain the character design and development of its greatest hero, Reptillus Maximus.
  • Commentary – Commentary with Toy Story that Time Forgot director, Steve Purcell, and head of story, Derek Thompson, on the process of making Toy Story That Time Forgot
  • Toy Story Goes to Comic-Con – The Toy Story that Time Forgot team heads to San Diego to unveil the project to the public, led by their own longtime Comic-Con veterans, director Steve Purcell and head of story Derek Thompson.
  •  My Unexpected Friend – Feel the power – and sing along – as Reptillus Maximus expresses the depth of his feelings for Trixie in this 80’s-inspired karaoke video for his soulful ballad, “My Unexpected Friend.”
  • Battlesaurs Animated Opening – A 2D animated opening for the fictional animated TV series, “Battlesaurs”.
  • Deleted Scenes with Intros & Outros – Toy Story That Time Forgot director, Steve Purcell, introduces scenes that were developed and storyboarded for the special, but were ultimately cut from the final version.

*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer

DVD

  • Reptillus!
  • Commentary

DMA Exclusive

  • Deleted Scene: Battletropolis

“Toy Story that Time Forgot” was such a hilarious, heartwarming, and ingenious adventure. The DVD and blu-ray give us all a chance to relive the adventure and get immersed in plenty of fantastic extras and behind the scenes footage! Be sure to pick up your copy this November.

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Inside Out blu-ray & DVD

Blu-Ray, DVD, Inside Out

Posted by Simoa • August 6, 2015

Thanks to our friends at Stitch Kingdom, we now have a release date for the Inside Out blu-ray and DVD! As poster 3Stitch Kingdom reports, Amazon has listed November 3rd for the DVD, but there’s no release date for the blu-ray as of yet. The Pixar Post also had details about the blu-ray special features from a site called Zaavi. No official announcement has been made regarding either, yet the special features are exciting to be sure! You can view them below.

2D Disc 1

  • Lava
  • Riley’s First Date (directed by Josh Cooley)
  • Audio commentary with Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen, and Jonas Rivera
  • Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out
  • Mixed Emotions

2D Disc 2

  • Story or the Story
  • Mapping the Mind
  • Our Dads the Filmmakers
  • Into the Unknown: The Sound of Inside Out
  • The Misunderstood Art of Animation Film Editing
  • Deleted scenes with intros and outros
  • Mind Candy
  • Selected Score
  • Remember trailer
  • Experience trailer
  • Japanese trailer

Not only will these special features be lots of fun to watch, but they will also prove to be informative/educational. We’ll learn even more about the process of making Inside Out and the studio itself. Also worth noting that the DVD comes in November, which is when The Good Dinosaur makes its debut! We definitely can’t wait.

 

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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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‘Toy Story of Terror’ Blu-ray/DVD Confirmed for August [UPDATE: Preorders Available]

Blu-Ray, DVD, Toy Story of Terror!, Toy Story Toons

Posted by Brkyo614 • May 16, 2014

Some time has passed since Toy Story of Terror premiered on television last Halloween, but Disney has finally announced plans to release the half-hour special on home video on August 19. In addition to Blu-ray and DVD, the special will also be released on Disney’s new Disney Movies Anywhere service.

Despite being a half-hour special, Pixar hasn’t skimped on the bonus features for Toy Story of Terror. Here’s what to expect alongside the film:

  • Toy Story Toons Shorts: Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, Partysaurus Rex
  • Audio Commentaries: Toy Story of TERROR!, Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, Partysaurus Rex
  • Team of Specialists — Director Angus MacLane goes deep behind the scenes to introduce the team of specialists required to make Toy Story of TERROR!
  • 3 Deleted Scenes + Editor Introductions (Blu-ray and digital only): Pencil Topper Trilogy, Travel Brochures, Road Trip Roulette
  • Vintage Toy Commercials + Director Introductions — Old Timer, Combat Carl, Transitron
  • D23 Expo Teaser

The Disney Movies Anywhere release will also include two exclusive extras:

  • A new short piece about film references featuring Mr. Pricklepants
  • Deleted Scene: Bob’s Boatyard with Editor’s Introduction

No word on pricing yet, but expect more details when pre-orders become available. Also worth noting: the next Toy Story TV special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, airs this Winter on ABC.

Did you enjoy Toy Story of Terror enough to seek the home video release?

UPDATE: Amazon now has both the Blu-ray and DVD versions for preorder at $10.49 and $9.99, respectively.

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Woody’s News Round-Up! (11/15/13)

Awards, Behind The Scenes, Blu-Ray, Ed Catmull, Monsters University, Round-Ups, The Blue Umbrella

Posted by Brkyo614 • November 15, 2013

Now that Toy Story of Terror and the Monsters University DVD are out, it could be a while before we hear any major news on the Pixar front. Still, here are a few updates that have popped up over the last week:

Complete Pixar Blu-ray Collection: If you’ve yet to upgrade your Pixar DVD collection to Blu-ray, now is the perfect chance with this 22-disc collection that includes every Pixar feature and short to date (with the exception of Toy Story of Terror, Small Fry, and Partysaurus Rex). The one caveat: it’s only available in the UK on region B discs. If you’re still on board, order the collection now on Amazon.

Disney Releases Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella Screenplays: Each year, Disney showcases their films for award consideration on the Walt Disney Studios Awards website. Though not yet fully fleshed out, the site has been updated for 2013 with pages for Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella. Most notably, it also features screenplays for both films; check them out here and here. (The Blue Umbrella is a particularly interesting read.)

The Making of The Blue Umbrella: If that screenplay piqued your interest, Indiewire has a feature exploring the earliest steps in the creation of The Blue Umbrella, including some fascinating live-action test footage. Be sure to take a look! (via Pixar Post)

Ed Catmull Details His Experience with Pixar in Upcoming Book: There have been a handful of books detailing Pixar’s rich history over the years – The Pixar Touch and To Infinity and Beyond! come to mind – but we’ve yet to see a substantial firsthand account of the studio’s rise. Now, Pixar founder Ed Catmull is set to collaborate with Amy Wallace on a new book on his time at Pixar: Creativity, Inc. Releasing next April, the book will “provide an inside account of Pixar’s rise from a small, money-losing hardware company to a movie studio with 1,200 employees and a streak of fourteen No. 1 movies in a row that has garnered 30 Academy Awards and earned more than $7 billion worldwide.” Pre-orders are already available on Amazon.

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‘Monsters University,’ ‘Cars’ 3D Arrive on Blu-ray/DVD

Blu-Ray, Cars, DVD, Monsters University

Posted by Brkyo614 • October 29, 2013

After an early digital release, Monsters University has finally made its way to DVD and Blu-ray today. Blu-ray.com and High Def Digest both praise the audio/video quality and the abundance of extras included with the film. It’s worth noting that, like most recent Pixar releases, the DVD version is sorely lacking in special features; pick up any of the three Blu-ray editions, though, and you’ll be good to go.

Fans of Cars may also be interested in the 3D Blu-ray release of the original film, also hitting shelves today. This is the first time Cars has been released in 3D — High Def Digest has great things to say about the conversion, but points out some inherent issues that come with converting a 2D film into 3D. The same bonus features from the existing Blu-ray are also included.

Be sure to let us know if you pick up either of these releases!

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‘Monsters University’ Now Available for Digital Download

Blu-Ray, DVD, iTunes Store, Monsters University

Posted by Brkyo614 • October 8, 2013

Disney has recently experimented with home release schedules for its major titles — last year’s Wreck-it Ralph, for instance, launched digitally weeks before physical copies hit shelves. Monsters University is the latest movie to follow suit; Amazon and iTunes now have the film up for download in HD ahead of its October 29 Blu-ray release.

Fans will be happy to hear that the digital version includes most of the extras set to come with the traditional release later this month. Those looking for a standard-definition download will still have to wait until the 29th.

Download the film at iTunes or Amazon, or pre-order the Blu-ray or DVD edition today.

Are you catching Monsters U for the first time? Let us know below!

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‘Monsters University’ Blu-ray Special Features Revealed, Releasing October 29

Blu-Ray, DVD, Monsters University

Posted by Brkyo614 • August 9, 2013

It was rumored last month, but now Disney has spoken: Monsters University will arrive on home video on October 29, just in time for Halloween. Four versions are lined up for release: a 4-disc 3D Blu-ray edition with 2D Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy discs, a 3-disc 2D Blu-ray edition with DVD and Digital Copy discs, a standard 2D Blu-ray with a DVD copy, and a standard DVD. Like other recent Pixar releases, only the Blu-ray SKUs will include a sizable lineup of bonus features:

  • Campus Life – What’s it like being on a production crew at Pixar? Get a look at a day in the life of the “Monsters University” crew through their own eyes.
  • Story School – This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike. We’ll also look at how gags are developed – from writing jokes to brainstorming a million ideas, only 5% of which actually end up in the movie.
  • Scare Games – At Pixar, we play hard while we work. The same people who keep the film production moving – producers, managers, coordinators and artists – are also the ones who bring spirit and excitement to some of our extracurricular activities. We check out the MU production teams as they go head to head in the mostly playful Pixar Scare Games competitions.
  • Welcome to MU – Sets aren’t just buildings, they are the worlds our characters live in and explore. This look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves.
  • Music Appreciation – Randy Newman’s scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary will give you a privileged look at his creative process. We follow the “Monsters University” scoring process from spotting to writing and on to the scoring session. including special college-themed recording sessions.
  • Scare Tactics – Animators are actors who digitally bring the characters to life. In this look at how the MU animation team worked, you’ll see their process of how they channeled their own monster-selves and created moments on screen that were really funny, really scary and also really serious, sometimes all at the same time.
  • Color and Light – How can a single painting set the tone for an entire scene? We’ll look at the creation of the colorscripts and how they were realized technically in the final film. Along with the process, this piece explores the many layers of technical innovation required to produce such a naturalistic feel.
  • Paths to PixarMU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar.
  • Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – Explore the difficulties in creating characters that are 20 years younger with tools that are 10 years more advanced in this contrasting look at the differing technical challenges that arose when making “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Monsters University.”
  • Deleted Scenes – Four separate scenes – “Rivalry,” “Recon,” “Movie Night,” and “Drama Class” – are highlighted with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon.
  • The Blue Umbrella – This animated short film from Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Marc Greenberg, played in theaters in front of “Monsters University.” “The Blue Umbrella” tells the story of an evening commute in which the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.
  • Additional Bonus Features – Audio Commentary, Promo Picks, College Campaign, Theatrical Campaign, Set Flythroughs, Art Gallery and more!

Pre-orders are available now on Amazon:

Which version do you plan on picking up?

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New ‘Monsters University’ Behind the Scenes Clips

Behind The Scenes, Blu-Ray, DVD, Monsters University

Posted by Brkyo614 • July 17, 2013

Last week we shared a fascinating look at Monsters University‘s animation process. Now, Pixar has provided even more insight into the research and fun behind Monsters U with two short featurettes.

First, an unsettling look at how Dean Hardscrabble’s design came to be:

Pixar is known for boosting employee morale in unorthodox ways; this may be one of the most creative methods yet:

Both of these clips seem to be trimmed from the more extensive featurettes we’ll see on the film’s Blu-ray disc, which may release as soon as October 29. Be on the lookout for further details and enjoy these new clips!

What else would you like to see on the Monsters University Blu-ray?

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