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Don Rickles, beloved voice of Mr. Potato Head, dies

Don Rickles, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, rest in peace, Toy Story

Posted by Simoa • April 7, 2017

Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017)

Don Rickles, the famous and lovable “insult comic” has died at age 90. Although his career began in the 1950s, with supporting roles in films, he is primarily beloved by Pixar fans as Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story films. Rickles died of kidney failure, as reported by the LA Times.

Lee Unkrich shared his memories of Rickles, and noted with fondness the insults he received while they worked together.

A moving tribute by John Lasseter was also shared by Pixar earlier today.

Don Rickles truly was a member of the Pixar family. Just try to imagine the Toy Story films without the singular presence, wit, and directness of Mr. Potato Head. His impact on other comedians and actors can’t possibly be overstated. He will be dearly missed.

We want to extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this time.

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Happiest of Birthday’s to John Lasseter!

John Lasseter

Posted by Nia • January 12, 2017

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Today is John Lasseter’s 60th Birthday. We at Upcoming Pixar wish him the absolute best. Without John, the animation industry that we know and love today would not be the same. Thanks to John, we’re better storytellers, appreciate the art of animation just a wee bit more, and wake up inspired every day.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from John Lasseter’s work? Leave us a comment below or send us a Tweet with your answers!

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New Disney/Pixar Gallery Nucleus Exhibition Opens in Los Angeles

30 Years of Pixar, A Bug's Life, Art, Cars, Cars 2, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, Inside Out, John Lasseter, Monsters University, Monsters, Inc., Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, WALL-E

Posted by Nia • December 10, 2016

Have you ever wanted to see some of your favorite artwork from Pixar films in real life? Fear no more, as a new exhibition has just opened up at Gallery Nucleus in LA today. For the first time ever, the gallery will be showcasing brand new images from each of Pixar’s feature films. What makes it even more unique is that John Lasseter himself picked each design for the show. There will also be hand-signed limited edition prints for sale by each artist who worked on the pieces.

Thanks to Oh My Disney for providing the artwork that will be featured at the showcase.

By Bob Pauley

By Bob Pauley

 

By Tia Kratter

By Tia Kratter

 

By Randy Barret

By Randy Barret

 

By Pete Docter

By Pete Docter

 

By Ralph Eggleston

By Ralph Eggleston

 

By Teddy Newton

By Teddy Newton

 

By Bill Cone

By Bill Cone

 

By Dominique Louis

By Dominique Louis

 

By Ralph Eggleston

By Ralph Eggleston

 

By Lou Romano

By Lou Romano

 

By Robert Kondo

By Robert Kondo

 

By Harley Jessup

By Harley Jessup

 

By Steve Pilch

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By Rickey Nierva

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By Ralph Eggleston

By Ralph Eggleston

 

By Sharon Calahan

By Sharon Calahan

 

By Daniel L Munoz

By Daniel L Munoz

 

Be sure to check out Galley Nucleus and celebrate the art of Pixar if you’re in town – it runs from today, December 10th to January 8th, 2017.

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The Incredibles 2 Is Blasting Into Cinemas Earlier Than Expected

Brad Bird, John Lasseter, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4

Posted by Nia • October 27, 2016

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It appears the animation Gods are favoring all fans of The Incredibles this week. It was discovered yesterday that The Incredibles 2 will now be released a whole year early, as opposed to it’s original 2019 slot. This is the best news possible for anyone who has been counting down the days to the film’s release after the original announcement, which itself feels like many moons ago. The Incredibles 2 is blasting through the production pipeline and only means great things surrounding the storytelling aspects. We suppose the Parr family are just incredibly excited to finally team up and hit cinemas again. The sequel to the 2004 hit switched places with Toy Story 4, and will now be released on June 15th, 2018. The bad news is that Toy Story 4, for the second time, is now pushed back and scheduled to be released on June 21st, 2019. Despite Toy Story 4 feeling like it’s stuck in production limbo, it most certainly makes us want to do cartwheels around the office knowing we’re going to be reunited with the Parr family sooner than expected.

Stay-tuned for more updates on the film.

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Finding Dory Is Almost Here In The Latest TV Spot

Andrew Stanton, Angus Maclane, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, John Lasseter

Posted by Nia • May 2, 2016

Behold! As the days get closer to the release of Finding Dory, we’re fortunate enough to continue getting little snippets of the film released by Pixar. Although this trailer is ultimately a teaser, there are some new settings we finally get to see in action. Before, there was only concept art to fuel our imaginations regarding the aquarium that Dory ends up in during her journey. We’re given two glimpses of the new environment: a dark, behind the scenes, and rather ominous scene of the aquarium with Hank and Dory (more than likely when they’re trying to escape); and the other a rather colorful and happy atmosphere showcasing Bailey and Destiny in front of guests. In this trailer we’re also reunited with Marlin, Nemo, and our old turtle friends from the first film. Finding Dory comes to U.S. theaters June 17th… and that glorious date will be here before you know it!

How excited are you guys for the new film? Do you have any theories as to what Dory will encounter on her adventure to be re-united with her family? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below. And remember, just keep swimming!

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Pixar at the Oscars

Academy Awards, Animation, Inside Out, Interview, John Lasseter, Jonas Rivera, Lava, Michael Giacchino, Pete Docter, Pixar, Sanjay's Super Team, Short Film, The Good Dinosaur, UP

Posted by Nia • January 16, 2016

Congratulations to the talented folks at Pixar for receiving not one but THREE Oscar nominations during Thursday’s announcement. Inside Out was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film and also scored a nomination for Best Original Screenplay; it will be the only animated film competing in that category. Sanjay’s Super Team took home a nod for Best Animated Short Film.

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"Sanjay's Super Team" Comes to the Con ? Director Sanjay Patel and producer Nicole Grindle are taking Pixar Animation Studios' new short to San Diego's Comic-Con International next month for its North American premiere and a peek behind the scenes of the production process. The Super Story Behind the Pixar Short "Sanjay's Super Team," slated for Thurs., July 9 at 11 a.m. in the Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront, reveals the unique inspiration for this incredibly personal film that features superheroes like never before. The short debuts in U.S. theaters in front of Disney-Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur" on Nov. 25, 2015.

Via Disney/Pixar

It was indeed great news hearing that Pixar was nominated for several awards, but it’s also hard not to acknowledge the slight disappointments regarding snubs to both The Good Dinosaur and Lava. In an ideal world, all four films released from the studio would have been nominated for Oscars. They all followed the Pixar standard of challenging both art and technology, paving the way for future animated films. The Good Dinosaur alone was revolutionary in it’s technical aspects and successful blend of animation against hyperrealistic backgrounds. Lava also showcased stunning backgrounds that were brought to life through the use of song; depicting the romance between two volcanoes without dialogue but only through a love ballad. Lava‘s catchy song was clearly absent from the Best Original Song nominees. Also missing from the Best Original Score category was Michael Giacchino’s beautiful work on Inside Out.

In the past, an animated film has even been nominated for Best Picture, such as Pete Docter’s last film Up. If an animated film can be nominated for Best Picture, then it’s director should also be recognized in the Best Director category. Inside Out was incredibly inventive and something we haven’t seen before. It cleverly took us inside the mind of a young girl and created relatable characters out of her emotions… not to mention simultaneously hitting us all with a wave of childhood nostalgia. Docter spent 4+ years working on the film; from writing the screenplay, approving every minute detail most audience members might miss, to even guiding a brilliant team of artists into crafting his vision. That time frame is longer than most live action directors work on a film.

In an interview with Screencrush, Pixarian Kelsey Mann explains why animation directors are just as worthy as notable live action directors in receiving acknowledgement from The Academy:

“From the ground up, directors at Pixar are in charge of everything from the story to the individual blades of grass. We start from nothing. Literally nothing. And it all has to be built from the ground up. And Pete is involved in every decision.”

Slowly audiences (and even The Academy) are beginning to realize that animation isn’t only for children, but it’s an art form entirely of it’s own; crafting stories a thousand times better and more original than most of the live action films released in Hollywood. Here’s hoping that one day an animated film will not only be nominated for Best Picture again, but will win it too.

We will definitely be keeping our fingers crossed for Pixar to take home all of the awards on the February 28th Oscar ceremony.

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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.

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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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Happy 20th Anniversary, Toy Story!

Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Pixar, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 20th, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 4, Upcoming Pixar

Posted by Nia • November 22, 2015

In celebration of Toy Story‘s 20th anniversary, we asked our readers to tell us how important the film is to them. Here are some of the most touching responses that will make you want to re-watch the film and hold your childhood toys close. Please note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

toy story 20th

“My daughter has always been a true and dedicated fan of Toy Story, and has also gone through several bouts of chemo with Woody and Buzz comforting her.”

My daughter was 4 years old when Toy Story came to be. She had already gone through surgeries, chemo, and was starting on radiation when she was mesmerized by Woody and Buzz. My daughter has always been a true and dedicated fan of Toy Story, and has also gone through several bouts of chemo with Woody and Buzz comforting her. She turned 24 last year. In fact, when we booked a Disney Cruise in September, I asked DCL if there was anything they can do for her. Low and behold, she was treated with a private session with her two favorite characters! I’ve never seen her smile that big. – Susan and Kayla Gordon

“Toy Story has always been my favorite childhood movie, and it eventually became the film that convinced me to be an animator.”

I could write a book about how Toy Story has impacted my life. I like to joke that the day the film was released in theaters was the best day of my life. Toy Story has always been my favorite childhood movie, and it eventually became the film that convinced me to be an animator. I have very fond memories of my Toy Story toys, from playing with little Buzz and Woody figures with my older sister, to my dad dressing up one of my other Buzzes in Barbie clothes to act out the Mrs. Nesbitt scene. I’m now in my second year of art school, and the more I learn about the history of animation, the more I see how Toy Story rocked the industry. It was a groundbreaking marriage of technology and art, and the foundation of many of the films we cherish today. The production of Toy Story itself is a story of having a dream and not giving up on it, no matter how much others try to convince you that it’ll fail. This is what inspires me to pursue my own dream of making films someday.  – Allie

“Every time I watch the original Toy Story it’s like visiting an old friend, and the movie brings me back to my childhood.”

I can’t remember a time where I didn’t treat my toys as if they were real (I was three years old when the original came out). I probably owned some small toys from the movie, but the one I interacted with the most was the computer game. Generally speaking, I loved playing all the storybook computer games from the ’90s Disney movies, and Toy Story was one of my top favorites.

 

The films itself hold a special place in my heart, and though I don’t remember the first time I saw the original and its sequel, they both came out around pivotal moments of my life. The first one came out two months before my first sister was born (the first time I’d become a sibling), and the second one came out seven months before my second sister was born. And the third one came out at exactly the right time: I had just graduated from high school the day before its release, and Andy saying goodbye to his toys sadly reminded me that I’d have to do the same in the next two months as I was moving to another state, away from the friends I grew up with.

 

Every time I watch the original Toy Story it’s like visiting an old friend, and the movie brings me back to my childhood. I may have outgrown playing with the toys I used to love, but the fond memories are still there. – Keisha

“Sharing Toy Story with my Dad is one of my best memories I have with him as a child.”

I was 8. I have a lot of clear and random memories regarding the film. I went to see it in the theater with my dad and I loved it, which was surprising because as a child I was deathly afraid of toys coming to life to the point that I had vivid and chronic nightmares. Toy Story was the movie that spun it all around for me, it made me stop fearing the idea and my nightmares literally stopped.

 

I love Woody more, but for some reason I really wanted a Buzz Lightyear so badly that my dad went to three or four Burger Kings to find one of the promotional plush toys they had. We couldn’t afford the actual replica toys that came out in the stores. I’ll always remember the night he brought it to me as a surprise. Buzz and I were inseparable for months after that. Sharing Toy Story with my Dad is one of my best memories I have with him as a child. – Atta Lynne

Toy Story played a very large part in my childhood.”

It was the film I watched repeatedly when I was young. Once Toy Story 2 came out, it had become my favorite movie. Toy Story 3 was probably the biggest event of 2010 for me and I also had quite a few toys at that point. With the 4th film coming and all the shorts, Toy Story will continue to remain a big part of a life for a long time. – JKOP

“May the toys continue to embrace more kids and adults for generations to come.”

I was just a baby when the first Toy Story came out. But, I loved it when I first saw it on home video and I still love it today. I have all the movies (and the TV specials on Blu-Ray and DVD), I still have a lot of the toys (the main ones like Woody and Buzz I haven’t stored away yet), and I just love this trilogy! May the toys continue to embrace more kids and adults for generations to come! To infinity and beyond! – Josiah Mielke

“My parents decided to try and spark some interests by putting on movies for me. I’d only watch one the entire way through: Toy Story.”

It all started when I was around 11 months old. I allegedly didn’t do much, I crawled around a bit, I slept, not much else. My parents decided to try and spark some interests by putting on movies for me. I’d only watch one the entire way through: Toy Story.

 

And so, that started a very long cycle of re-watches for years and years. Because of that, Toy Story had such a big influence on me. It’s what made me want to become an animator, made me want to work for Pixar, sparked my hobby in filmmaking, heck, it’s one of the main reasons I started talking.

 

In fact, anytime I go to the Disney parks, I always try to meet the Buzz Lightyear character. Unfortunately, DLP don’t really “get” the Toy Story hype, but luckily, I have met him twice; once in 2006 and once this year, in 2015. Even this year, the ride I went on most was Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast.

 

As I write this in bed, I have a giant TS3 poster looming above me, and the Toy Story characters from Disney Infinity close by. – Noah Carolan

“Toy Story and its characters are really my oldest and closest friends, and without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

What does Toy Story mean to me? Well, where do I even begin? For starters, it was the first movie I ever fell in love with. My Toy Story experience began early, like a lot of people my age. I was 13 months going on 14 months. When my dad came home with the VHS for Toy Story, I was hooked. I don’t remember this, but my mom has told me every time she popped the film in the VCR, she knew she had about an hour and a half of free time because I was just mesmerized.

 

Just a few weeks ago, I decided to sit down and re-watch the trilogy. I’d really forgotten just how amazing all of those films are. I still laughed at the jokes, even though I know them all by heart. I still cried at the end of Toy Story 3, even though I knew what was coming. I referred to the movie marathon as “catching up with old friends” on an Instagram post I made. Toy Story and its characters are really my oldest and closest friends, and without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. So, thank you to everyone who has ever worked on these films, for crafting something that people from 1 to 99 can watch and still laugh, cry, and connect with in a way not many other films can achieve. Thank you Toy Story. May you continue to inspire people for infinity and beyond. – Forster Keenoy

“20 years later, Buzz is still my favorite character and I’ve still got Disney magic in my heart.”

I’ve been a hardcore Pixar fangirl ever since I was little. I wasn’t like most Disney-loving girls my age (i.e. I favored Buzz Lightyear over Disney Princesses).

 

Every time I watched a Pixar movie I was enchanted. And all three times we went to Disney World, I went Pixar crazy. I loved riding Buzz’s Space Ranger Spin, playing Toy Story Mania, dancing in Block Party Bash, and meeting the Pixar Pals.

 

20 years later, Buzz is still my favorite character and I’ve still got Disney magic in my heart. All three Toy Story movies bring back lots of good memories. Thank you Disney and Pixar. To infinity and beyond! – Buzzfan120

Thank you to all of the storytellers at Pixar who have brought magic to our lives. Here’s to the future and the great stories to come.

With love,

Upcoming Pixar.

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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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New U.S. Theatrical Trailer For The Good Dinosaur Released

John Lasseter, Pete Sohn, The Good Dinosaur, Trailer

Posted by Nia • October 7, 2015

Yesterday Disney/Pixar released a brand new theatrical trailer for The Good Dinosaur, which has gotten practically everyone (if they weren’t already looking forward to the films release) incredibly excited for this colorful prehistoric world to explore.

The premise of The Good Dinosaur has always been simple: “What if the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs missed?” Not only does this new trailer give us a closer look at the relationship between Arlo the Apatosaurus and his cave-boy friend Spot, but we also get to hear more dialogue from Arlo. The trailer gives us more of an introduction to Arlo’s family and a plethora of other dinosaurs; including a T-Rex named Butch that Arlo meets on his journey with Spot.

Despite all of the new dialogue, the most thrilling aspect of this trailer is the interaction between Arlo and Spot. One of the best things about animation has always been the ability to tell stories without dialogue. WALL-E eloquently succeeded in telling a simple story about two robots in love without a word (save for the end of the film when the robots are on Axiom). Even the first five minutes of Up was able to tell the entire story of Carl and Ellie’s relationship without the two characters talking to each other. It’s interesting to think about how the storytellers at Pixar will achieve depicting the friendship of a dinosaur and a cave-boy. From the trailer alone, we see that the two characters don’t really speak the same language but based on their physicality, they’re able to communicate with each other.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to The Good Dinosaur and who knows what kind of adventures await us come November 25th. T-Minus 48 days and counting. Are you guys ready?

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