MENU

News
Category

The newest Soul trailer is dazzling

Soul, Trailer

Posted by Simoa • March 12, 2020

“Is all this living really worth dying for?”

It definitely recalls Inside Out, but there’s still something totally unique about Soul. For instance, there’s a regular outside world juxtaposed against a stunning interior one. The animation and character designs are also ones we’ve never yet seen in a Pixar movie. Those, along with the premise, are what I find most exciting about Soul. This trailer is also gorgeous: the vibrant colors make me want to jump right into this world. Already seems like a harmonious blend, and in a film with jazz music to boot!

Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before—a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.

With the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, and Questlove, Soul will be in theaters on June 19th of this year.

 

Read article

A Q+A with Onward’s filmmakers

Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae, Onward, Onward press day, Pixar Employees

Posted by Simoa • March 6, 2020

At Pixar last fall, I was given the incredible opportunity of talking to story artists Kelsey Mann and Maddie Sharafian, and the director-producer team of Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae! That was my first time speaking to Pixar filmmakers face to face. I think it goes without saying that I was nervous – so much so that I was trembling. But they all made me feel so comfortable and at ease. And I got to gain even more insight into Onward through our conversations. So read on and learn about the film which is playing in theaters now.

UP: What are you most excited about in the film?

photo by Alex Kang

Kelsey Mann: I would say a lot and then very little. The part I’m most excited about is the very little. Initially, we didn’t have anything and then Dan started to think about his own experiences and what makes him unique. Part of it was growing up without a father. His dad passed away when he was just a baby, so he has no memory of him. So he started to think about how that shaped him and this is where we start with a lot of these movies. We look inward. “What have I felt in my own life? What are the things I’ve learned?” And he came to this realization about himself. He thought that would be a good thing to make a movie about and that’s really the reason we’re making this film and what he’s learned in his own life. At the first screening, we storyboarded that ending, and that ending has remained the same since day one. That is unique. I can’t think of a film I’ve worked on where we knew where we were headed from the beginning. Everything else changed a lot but not the ending.

KM: Maddie worked a lot with Ian and his introduction. Every screening, we had a different Ian. It wasn’t until halfway through – “There he is!” There’s a perception that we had the movie figured out because we always had that ending.

visual development art by Huy Nguyen

UP: What was it like balancing the silly with the heartfelt?

KM: That’s the type of film Dan wanted to make; that’s Monsters University and the films he made before he came here; that’s the way he usually makes films. He really wanted to make a fun comedy that hits you with emotion.”

UP: How did you come up with the concept of the unicorns?

KM: That was Dan’s idea early on.

photo by Alex Kang

Maddie Sharafian: It’s funny but it’s also sad. You can tell with the world, something’s a little bit off. You’re laughing at it but you also wish there was something better, which is sort of the way that Ian stands in his life. He wishes he had his dad but something’s not quite right.

UP: Was Onward more challenging to direct than Monsters University because it was a personal film or did that make it easier?

Dan Scanlon: They have their own challenges and benefits. Doing a sequel was nice because people love those characters and were excited to see them. Doing an original was nice because you could change the characters drastically to fit the story and even get rid of them if you needed to, and in a sequel you’re beholden to what you have. So it really became this push of benefits over losses for the two. And I don’t know that I can say that one was harder than the other. It’s nice to have a little experience under our belts for this one.

Kori Rae: Having done Monsters University really helped us have a little more confidence.

UP: Not that science and technology are bad, but the movie seems to be criticizing our world where people don’t care about finding whimsy or having an imagination.

DS: It’s more about finding balance. You’re right. It is more about making sure that we’re still challenging ourselves; still finding the potential in ourselves; still enjoying the nature around us and not getting too comfortable in every day things. It’s not meant to be a hard social criticism – certainly there’s some of that in there and it reflects Ian; the fact that he is too scared to get out of his comfort zone; afraid to take risks. He just wants to blend in and throughout this journey he comes out of his shell and I think the world mirrors that.

UP: You two have been a duo since MU; what’s it like working together?

KR: On the first film we were figuring each other out and as we figured the film out, we’ve always had great respect for one another and I think on this film we were able to teach one another what our areas of expertise were. I was super interested in story and being in the story room and Dan was interested in how the production works.

DS: General leadership and inspiring people and artists. We started to learn from each other.

KR: We got to know each other better working this closely together.

DS: We knew that we wanted to work together again, so from day one, Kori and I were talking and working on ideas and getting her support to make sure we could grow this story. It’s interesting because we’ve learned a lot from the other film and it’s nice to continue to grow and learn and I think the film benefits from it.

UP: Besides the lion for Corey the manticore and horses for the centaurs, what were the other animal references?

DS: That’s a good question.

KR: Goats for the satyrs.

DS: Antelopes too. With Blazey the dog, they looked at – she’s so cartoony but she has a lizard-y, snake quality to her. The fun of this movie is that fantasy characters are treated pretty realistically and this was fun to get a more cartoony take.

As an aside, Blazey the dragon is a girl! Everyone thinks she’s a boy.

UP: Did you find it difficult to strike a balance between the silly and more heartfelt moments?

DS: I think life is so funny and so emotional and – this is going to sound really pretentious – but they’re the same thing. The reason something is emotional is because it was funny first. The reason you love a character and you cry is because they made you laugh. I feel like it’s all interwoven. You cry because they said something funny. To me, emotion and comedy always stick together.

UP: What was the most difficult thing about directing this film?

DS: The story is always hard. We always had our ending, but trying to earn that ending. It meant a lot to us to get this point across. I think the burden of wanting to honestly and entertainingly get audiences to that point was really hard. You take it home when it’s a personal thing.

Read our review of Onward here, and be sure to spread the love for this very wonderful movie!

an early sketch by Dan

Read article

Creating the Wonderful World & Characters of Onward

Behind The Scenes, Onward, Onward press day

Posted by Simoa • March 4, 2020

There are 240 characters in Onward – an eclectic mix of make believe creatures numbering 13 species. Rest assured that the vast majority are background characters. Still, these characters, be they trolls, centaurs, goblins or sprites, had the major responsibility of making this world feel authentic. They even had an impact on the design of the protagonists.

Jeremie Talbot is a supervisor in the character department. On this film, he and his team had the unique challenge of designing a pair of legs as an actual character. Dad is more than just his bottom half, but the crew really had to get creative in order to convey that without his top part. They made the choice of showing Dad’s ankles because that was the only way he could emote, which of course led to that remarkable scene where he taps his foot to communicate with each of his sons. The animation department had further work to do here which I’ll get to later.

So what about the characters who actually have heads, arms, torsos, and speaking lines? What did the character development process entail?

Jeremie and his team were responsible for creating the final render from Dan Scanlon’s ideas and the art designs. It’s a constant collaboration between the character and art departments that results in the final image. But long before that is the initial computer sculpt that undergoes revisions in art and which Jeremie’s character team continuously rebuilds.

 

brothers by Matt Nolte

As Jeremie pointed out, the Art Of books, as immensely beautiful and informative as they are, rarely show the continuity between the original and final images. This presentation avoided that. I’m a huge fan of concept art and often find that I like certain early designs that never make it to the finished film. We got to see why and how this happened in Onward

The initial designs of Ian and Barley were compelling to Dan Scanlon. At the most basic level. the brothers’ appearance reflected their personalities. Ian was skinny and awkward while Barley was burly and confident. One of the main concerns was if those first designs could convey emotion and range. So the designs were always evolving to reach that goal. The other family designs also helped to influence Ian and Barley’s.

by Maria Yi

by Grant Alexander

by Bert Berry

Ian looked a little too mischievous at one point. He no longer seemed like the gawky teen who’s unsure of himself. His design was then modified by enlarging his features. making his hair much messier, and putting him in oversized clothes. The story changes as the designs do, lending much more specificity to the characters and plot. Ian’s poofy cloud of hair makes him all the more endearing and further sets him apart from Barley. His bigger clothes also ensure that he neither “fits in” in his skin or in the world at large.

The characters are next brought to the shading department, but at this point, they look like gray plastic, as shading lead Ana Lacaze noted. Physical attributes of the characters are further defined, and shading is also tasked with determining the texture of skin and hair. A really cool detail that emerged was how they were inspired by the way light bounces off succulents: they stayed true to that principle with Ian’s curls.

by Zaruhi Galstyan

Shading works closely with art, lighting, modeling, rigging, and animation. Their work with the materials, such as surfaces and clothes, also helps with character transformations. The most prominent example is Corey the manticore. She loses her restricted clothing and hairstyle, and fully embraces her true identity that has been stifled for so long. The same is true of Ian, although his journey to confidence is a lot more subtle.

by Matt Nolte

Below are Matt Nolte’s character notes for the Lightfoot brothers:

Details like those above aren’t the only crucial ones. The crowds in Onward add a lot more depth and context. They provide richness to this world, making it much more expansive. Sequoia Blankenship played two film clips that showed just how necessary the crowds were. They make the film come alive, and they function as characters too. The tavern scene with Corey perfectly visualized this: once her fierce warrior side is unleashed, the patrons in the tavern become a single character connected by their collective shock.

character lineup by Matt Nolte

A balance had to be struck though, so that some of the characters, like the huge trolls, didn’t overwhelm any scenes or distract the audience. The trolls blend in so well that you might not even notice them!

Colt Bronco by Chris Sasaki

There was a lot of study that went into how the fantastical creatures moved. Directing animator Allison Rutland led a team of 85 to create performances and movements. Because these characters all have histories that informed how they evolved, the animators had to incorporate those into the ways they moved. Corey in her high heels, as opposed to walking on all fours, was a lot more awkward. Once she ditches the shoes, the animators borrowed from lion footage to base her newly powerful and fluid movement on.

For the centaurs, the animators relied on footage of horses indoors – and it was important that they remained true to horse physicality and the difficulty horses have sitting down. And their overall difficulty moving around in enclosed spaces. The history of centaur aggression also affected their physicality. They’re as wild as untamed horses, but they’ve evolved into tame versions of themselves. Colt Bronco drives a car instead of running majestically. Allison described him brilliantly: “swaggering confidence of a cop in a horse body.”

It makes perfect sense that there’s a character in this film that is still much more bizarre than the others. Thanks to the effort of everyone involved, these elves, mermaids, and unicorns aren’t out of place in a modern setting. A pair of legs detached from the rest of the body…not so much.

When it came to Dad, the goal was to make him funny and sincere. A tall order that the animators achieved with just as much care and detail as the other characters. Animation and simulation were the two main components. Animation was concerned with his lower and upper half along with posing, while simulation dealt with his physicality. There were other factors involved, like how the pants get up without an upper body and what happens when they get pulled. Animation tests of Dad’s upper body, after Ian disguises him in clothes and sunglasses, were also incredibly useful. More of his personality came through in the way his top half would flop over.

They used reference footage for Dad too: Dick Van Dyke! In his prime the actor possessed “tremendous physicality.”

Just the few seconds of Dad in Onward‘s trailer were emotionally potent. That emotion combined with humor elevates his role further.

Read article

New Onward Character Posters, New Cast Revealed, New Trailer!

Onward

Posted by Joanna • December 16, 2019

A new Onward trailer is arriving tomorrow, and to tide us over, Pixar have provided us with some character posters and new cast reveals.

Check out the new posters below:

Most of these characters are familiar to us at this point, but the police officers seem new: Gore, Specter, and a centaur cop whose name is unknown, but that thumbs up tells us he’s a friendly guy. These characters will be voiced by Ali Wong, Lena Waithe, and Mel Rodriguez respectively.

Update: the unnamed centaur cop is Colt Bronco. (Somebody at Pixar is a football fan).

We’re still holding out hope for a character poster featuring just Dad’s legs, but we’ll have to wait and see.

March 6th! Suddenly it doesn’t seem so far away.

Read article

The first trailer for Soul is here!

Soul, Trailer

Posted by Simoa • November 7, 2019

And it is gorgeous!

“What would you want to be known for on earth? We only have a short time on this planet. You want to become the person that you were born to be? Don’t waste your time on all the junk of life. Spend your precious hours doing what will bring out the real you; the brilliant, passionate you that’s ready to contribute something meaningful into this world.”

That’s Jamie Foxx’s distinctive voice-over in this new trailer. Gorgeous shots of New York City dominate, as gangly Joe Gardner goes about his day. And it turns out, it’s simultaneously the best day of his life – and the last. With jazzy music and piano undercutting his words, we’re already fully immersed in his world and his mind. He excitedly asks for a haircut because he finally got his dream gig. He avoids pins on the sidewalk, banana peels, even a speeding motorcycle, before he falls into a manhole. Already these few minutes illustrate what we learned about the theme of Soul just yesterday – how we can be so consumed by art to the detriment of everything else.

After his body whooshes downward into the manhole, Joe is transformed into a glowing bluish-green version of himself, his soul. The cityscape is replaced by a vast starry expanse. And there Joe is joined by 22, who speaks with Tina Fey’s unmistakable voice.

Pixar fully convinced me with Inside Out about the way our emotions work, and I’m really eager to see how they portray the inner workings of the soul. This trailer seems to have just enough humor and is also fully grounded in the day to day to balance out the metaphysical.

There’s also a gorgeous poster too!

Be sure to let us know what you think and your own theories! Soul will be released on June 19th, 2020.

Read article

Pixar’s got Soul

Pete Docter, Soul

Posted by Simoa • November 6, 2019

Where do we go when we die? Is there some part of us that lives on when our bodies are buried beneath dirt? Some form of disembodied consciousness? Does it still wander earth or does it exist in a liminal space? What is the soul? Nearly every religion believes in the existence of a soul, and science can neither prove or disprove it. No one knows what the soul looks like, but Pixar’s going to show us their idea of it, in Pete Docter’s newest film.

An exclusive new look comes to us courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, as well as a new look at protagonist Joe Gardner, played by Jamie Foxx.

Soul’s writer and co-director Kemp Powers describes Joe as someone “who’s lived his whole life like he was meant to do this one thing [music] to the exclusion of pretty every other thing.” Powers also characterizes that single minded pursuit as similiar to anyone involved in the arts: it’s an almost religious obsessiveness you have to have to have success and a career in the arts.”

If you want to avoid any more plot details about the film, read no further. Joe dies in an accident right after he scores his dream job. His soul doesn’t journey to the afterlife, but to the You Seminar, where souls are given personalities and sent to inhabit human bodies. Like Docter’s Inside Out the film ventures into the interior. Instead of examining the emotions of the mind, this one will portray the essence of a person. At You Seminar, Joe meets 22 (Tina Fey), a human hating soul who Docter describes as a teenager with an attitude. She teams up with Joe to reunite his soul with his body on earth.

The film will surely ask some existential questions and get us all thinking about those concepts outside our realm. Docter hopes it makes us introspective.

“What are the things that, at the end of the day, are really going to be the important things that you look back on and go, ‘I spent a worthy amount of my limited time on Earth worrying or focused on that’?”

Soul flies into theaters on June 19, 2020.

 

Read article

Review: The Bittersweet Brilliance of Toy Story 4

Josh Cooley, Review, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • June 21, 2019

 

Why did Toy Story 4 have to get made? It’s a question that director Josh Cooley asked himself. His answer was that every ending has a beginning. Just because the toys’ journey with Andy was over didn’t mean their journey with Bonnie was. In the nine years that have passed between the third and fourth films, there have been three Toy Story Toons and two TV specials. Life size Lego figures of Woody and Buzz stand beside the reception desk at Pixar. As Toy Story 4 producer Mark Nielson put it, those guys are in the fabric of the studio. How could this movie not get made?!

Toy Story will mark its 25th anniversary next year. For some of the animators on Toy Story 4, the 1995 film is the first they ever saw. I can’t imagine the joy and thrill of being able to animate characters that you spent your childhood with. And not only that, but you get to work on new characters for this world, who may end up being just as iconic and beloved as the original ones.

Those original characters, our old pals, are happily being played with by Bonnie. All except one. Woody, who once enjoyed the vaunted position of the favorite toy, and by default, leader of the rest, is now none of those things. He gets tossed in the closet with toys Bonnie has outgrown and no longer plays with. It’s a dull and lonely existence, but Woody still firmly believes in his purpose to be there unconditionally for his kid. That’s why he stows himself away in Bonnie’s backpack on the first day of kindergarten. He’s not supposed to. Toys aren’t allowed. But Bonnie is having such a tough time facing this newest adventure that Woody just can’t let her do it alone.

So when Bonnie makes a toy out of a spork and names him Forky (Tony Hale), Woody is actually privy to a very special moment. Bonnie loves her little oddball creation immediately. The way she looks at Forky, that love she has for him that he doesn’t even understand or want to reciprocate, are things Woody no longer enjoys. And that’s why he’ll do anything to keep Bonnie from losing Forky.

 

Bonnie does lose Forky quite a bit while on a road trip with her parents and all the other toys – she just doesn’t know it because of Woody’s singleminded pursuit of him. Forky runs longingly to any trash receptacle he can find. “Trash! Trash! Trash!” is his gleeful refrain. He makes his final escape out of the window of the RV, triumphantly yelling, “I’M LITTER!” Yes, it’s just as glorious as it sounds. 

Forky doesn’t get far before Woody finds him, and a heart-to-heart chat about what it means to be loved by a kid convinces Forky to return to Bonnie.

But Woody and Forky have to take a couple of detours before either of them can go back.

The first of these detours takes place in Second Chance Antiques, where a familiar lamp sits in the window. Bo Peep’s lamp. Woody’s love that went away all those years ago isn’t inside the shop, which Woody and Forky find out for themselves when they go looking for her. They meet the unsettling Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) instead, a pretty little doll in a prim dress, and her horde of even more unsettling ventriloquist dummy henchmen. These guys inspire so much terror – the way they move is the worst. People are going to have nightmares and it’s Pixar’s fault.

Woody does eventually find Bo Peep after that frightening horror movie ordeal, and their reunion is awash in sunlight. When we talk about the most meaningful, inspired, symbolic Pixar movie scenes, this is going to be one of them. It’s just a brief interlude where neither of them speak because a child is playing with them, and that’s the beauty of it.

 

Though it’s been 20 whole years since we last saw Bo Peep, though her presence in this series was so slight even before she was written out of Toy Story 3, her inclusion in Toy Story 4 just feels right. It’s the most natural thing in the world. For Cooley, story supervisor Valerie LaPointe and others, this porcelain shepherdess was the reason they wanted to make the film. I predicted that Bo would be so much more significant, but even I couldn’t have guessed just how much! Again I ask, how could this movie not get made?

In addition to reintroducing Bo Peep, the film achieves yet another marvelous feat with its introduction of distinct and lovable new toys. Forky is joined by Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), and Ducky and Bunny (Keegan Micheal Key and Jordan Peele). (For anyone who’s seen Peele’s Us, the fact that he’s playing a rabbit in a carnival toy game is eerie and awesome). While it’s a little disappointing that the new toys get more screentime over the older ones, that ultimately served the story best. (This is why we need more Toy Story toons). And then there’s Gabby Gabby. I was so prepared to hate her, but something kept telling me I would be proven wrong. I’m glad I was. Gabby isn’t what she appears to be. There’s always a certain value in stories where the villains aren’t what we expect at all.

Reeves and the comedy duo of Key and Peele are so fantastic that I would love to hear them again in another Pixar feature or a future Toy Story toon! Tony Hale had so much fun recording, that even if I hadn’t seen the footage of him in the booth, it wouldn’t matter; his enjoyment is palpable. Christina Hendricks also does memorable, heartbreaking, versatile work as Gabby. I’d be remiss not to praise yet another cast member in their Pixar debut, Ally Maki, as the impossibly adorable Giggle McDimples. That giggle and voice of hers are so infectious! The veterans, namely Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, and Tim Allen, are still at the top of their game.

Toy Story 4‘s other big feat concerns the plot. There’s so much of it, but it doesn’t once overwhelm the characters or feel unwieldy. Without its precise pacing, the film would suffer, it would just be a lot of noise. With Randy Newman’s subtle updates to his iconic score and the newer pieces, Toy Story 4 feels a lot like home; it’s a comforting nod to the past that is still looking forward. The nostalgia is potent but not overdone.

And it’s unbelievably hilarious too. I can’t remember the last time I heard so much raucous outbreak of laughter in a packed theater before. This movie is much wackier than the three that came before, but it’s just as beautiful, unforgettable, and devastating too. It might actually be the most heartbreaking of them all.

I simply can’t wait to watch it again.

Toy Story 4 is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Read article

Pixar has just announced a new movie!

Pete Docter

Posted by Simoa • June 19, 2019

A single tweet. That’s all. Just one tweet about a brand new, never before heard or hinted Pixar film which debuts in theaters exactly one year from today, on June 19th, 2020.

We are getting two Pixar films next year! Both one word titles that involve mystical journeys, although Soul has a more philosophical bent than Onward‘s fantasy adventure. Oh man. It’s so cryptic! Just a simple logo with the lofty goal of answering life’s most important questions. Which are not simple! Here is one question I have: who is the heroine of this story? Please tell me Soul has a female lead.

A longer description from The Wrap:

Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams and your interests come from? What is it that makes you… YOU? In 2020, Pixar Animation Studios takes you on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions.

And guess what? Pete Docter is directing! His first film as Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer and his first since Inside Out, which coincidentally turns four today! The similarities to the former film are undeniable. First we were in the mind, now we are venturing to the soul.

There does seem to be another connection to Onward. While that film takes our elven heroes out of a suburb, Soul will leave the streets of New York city. Existential pondering leading us out of the places we know  that can sometimes be a bit stifling into the unknown. At least that’s my take on it.

Let us know what you think! We will update this post with any more details and will be doing lots of Soul searching in the coming year!

Read article

Love in the Details of Toy Story 4

Behind The Scenes, Pixar, Toy Story 4, TS 4 press day

Posted by Simoa • June 19, 2019

There is something Ling Tu, the Sets Shading Lead on Toy Story 4, said during the It’s All in the Details presentation at the studio back in April that I think is very important. She hoped that we could feel the love that was put into the sets. The intention and purpose of Pixar films are not only the result of painstaking research, but painstaking love too! And that love extends to the locations as much as it does to the characters. The level of detail in Toy Story 4 is so intricate that even the sharpest eyed viewers might not notice – and that’s exactly the point. Regardless, each detail is both deliberate and necessary.

Tu was joined by Characters Shading Lead Alex Marino and Graphics Art Director Craig Foster to give us an in depth exploration of all the details.

As we’ve learned, the goal of the Toy Story films is to allow audiences to see everything from a toy’s perspective. Achieving that in Toy Story 4 relied on a number of factors, like making the sets characters with their own backstories and conveying the journeys of the toys through subtle visual hints. Something that was emphasized throughout were the imperfections in each detail, which allowed for greater authenticity and added a richness that would otherwise have been missing if the filmmakers aimed for perfection.

While it might be impossible to spot them all, here are some details (and Easter eggs!) to keep an eye on when you watch Toy Story 4.

Top 5 Sets Details

  • The leaves in the reunion scene between Woody and Bo Peep make Woody appear smaller and toylike. Pay attention to their texture, as they have the same veins and holes as real leaves do.
  • The reunion scene takes place in a dried creek bed. There’s a sprinkler box there to remind the audiences that this is still happening in the human world.
  • Dust in the antique store is very specific and just the right amount had to be applied. Take a look at the comparison image below – there’s a clear difference between them. The final frame still conveys the store’s age and unique history, but the dust isn’t distracting as it is in the first one.

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  • Another crucial element of the antiques store is that it makes Woody feel out of place. It’s also the last place any toy wants to be, which is why Gabby Gabby is so eager to leave. The subtleties make it feel that way, without the filmmakers being obvious about it.
  • As Tu explained, carnivals draw you in with flashy lights and colors, but they’re actually shabby when you take a closer look. One of the ways they zeroed in on the shabbiness was the carnival prize grid where Ducky and Bunny spend all their time. The image below is fascinating because it’s something we take for granted and it’s distinctly unglamorous. But the filmmakers still took the time to include it for that extra layer of credibility!

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. Lots of Easter Eggs here too!

Top 5 Characters Details

Photo by Marc Flores. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Just like the antiques store, it was important to show how our toys have aged too. This was achieved by taking their journeys and motivations into account. Alex Marino also explained that subtle updates helped integrate the characters into the new settings.

  • Pay attention to Buzz’s stickers – they’re peeling. He’s no longer the glossy space ranger in mint condition.
  • Woody we know, has been through a lot. The micro scratches on him clue us into that and remind us that he and Buzz aren’t new toys.
  • Bo Peep’s porcelain isn’t as pristine as it was before, which makes sense considering that she’s been living as a lost toy. Her garments are a little shabby too.
  • Gabby Gabby is inspired by dolls of the 1950s and 1960s which were mass produced, but her hand painted features and the nylon quality of her hair are a contrast to the more generic features.
  • Since Gabby has been sitting on a shelf for so long, her dress is desaturated. She’s often in the dark, which would explain why her eyes are ominous rather than soft and inviting.

The Toy Story 4 art gallery, as seen on March 18, 2019 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Top 5 Graphic Design Details and Easter Eggs

Here’s something you won’t see in Toy Story 4: Woody’s Round Up. Craig Foster was deliberate about that because Woody is meant to feel out of place wherever he goes. To that end, no Western style fonts appear in the film either. Here’s a handy list of (more than) five Easter eggs to be on the look out for instead! And these are just the ones we were told about. A good chunk of the 8,000 graphics in the film reference past Pixar films.

Photo by Marc Flores

  • A Victrola in Second Chance Antiques has a record of Ernesto de la Cruz songs.
  • Paintings in the film include one of Alpha which is reminiscent of  John Singer Sargent; the classic ‘dogs playing poker’ with Dug, Muntz and the other hounds of Up; Riley’s dad as a conquistador (?!); and Angel Kitty from “Toy Story That Time Forgot” in Margaret Keane’s signature style.
  • Fun ads in the film include 1940s Triple Dent Gum (and now I’m humming the jingle of course); 1950s era Eggman Movers from the first Toy Story; Hud’s Garage, a reference to Doc Hudson; and “Small Fry’s” Poultry Palace, also from the ’50s.
  • The pinball machine has a tiki theme and naturally, the tiki heads from Finding Nemo are there.
  • A really cool graphic is Duke Caboom‘s maple leaf. Not only is it a symbol of his Canadian heritage, it looks like an explosion too!

As always, this visual storytelling expertly reinforces the film’s main themes. The labyrinthine aspect of all these details doesn’t overwhelm the characters; they blend into the background of the story and beckon us to take a closer look.

Read article

Grab Your New Toy Story 4 Interactive Talking Action Figures This Week!

Disney, Josh Cooley, Toy Story 4

Posted by Nia • June 17, 2019

With only four days to go until Toy Story 4 is finally released in cinemas, there’s no better time than now to peruse your local Disney Store or check out Shop Disney Online and pick up your own interactive action figures of your favorite Toy Story characters!

The ol’ gang is definitely back and ready to play! You’ll be able to find action figures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Rex, and Bullseye in stores. The exclusive line-up also features the new and improved Bo Peep and the loveable Forky, which you can see in the gallery above. The interactive action figures each have 10 unique expressions when they’re playing alone but when they’re paired with another figure, they unlock special phrases with their new interactive features. The toys are even able to sense when another interactive figure is nearby and they instantly start “talking” to each other, making you believe you’re right in the middle of a Toy Story film.

Has anyone bought their own figures yet? What are some of the special sayings you’ve heard when putting the toys together?

I don’t know about you, but I’m bringing all of mine to the cinema this Friday to watch Toy Story 4! We hope to see you there!

Read article