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12 Moments From The Cars 3 Press Event That Will Get You Excited For The Film

Brian Fee, Cars 3, Interview, Press Conference

Posted by Nia • June 14, 2017

We hope your nostalgia and love for the Cars universe has moved into full gear, because Cars 3 finally opens in cinemas this Friday, June 16th.

Upcoming Pixar was honored to attend the press event for the film last Saturday in Anaheim. Here are some of our favorite moments from the event that will, without a doubt, get you pumped for Friday.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

  1. NASCAR superstar, Ray Evernham, moderated the event and started things off by asking Brian Fee why the Cars films have resonated with audiences for over a decade. “I think it’s the characters and the overall appeal to their realism.  When you walk away from a movie, if you felt anything at all, it’s probably because of the characters. You can see a little bit of yourself in them, see a little bit of someone you know. I think at the end of the day that’s what we take away.”
  2. One of the biggest new characters that’s introduced in Cars 3 is Cruz, a personal trainer to the race cars. She has a massive impact in the story and Lightning McQueen’s own character arc. From Cristela Alonzo, the voice of Cruz,”What I like about her is that she’s very good at what she does, but at the same time she still has doubts about herself regarding the same skills that she uses to coach the cars to become the best they can be. What I like about Cruz is that I think she’s very relatable to both boys and girls. You might have doubts about things, you might not know how you’re going to pull something off, and at the end of the day you realize the only way to make sure you can do your best is to actually just go for it and trust your instincts. I think that’s something we all struggle with at times – the whole idea that you think you can do something and then you have doubts. You realize you’ve got to forget the doubts, it’s going to happen anyways – let’s just try our best and see what happens. And I love that about her.”
  3. You’ll notice that Cars 3 has definitely upped the game in regards to showcasing strong female characters. Not only is Cruz involved, but there’s also Natalie Certain, who works for the Racing Sports Network, and spends some of the film predicting the outcome of the races. Kerry Washington is the voice of Natalie, and said this in regards to the diversity in the film, “I do think it’s fun to see women in the film who are brave, smart, and courageous but also teachable. Women who balance having extraordinary talent and intellect but are also humble enough to learn the lessons they learn at the end of the film. To learn that you have to step into your greatness and that it’s not as simple as numbers. Heart and passion is the most important thing.”
  4. Director Brian Fee listed John Lasseter and the late Joe Ranft, as his professional mentors. “They’ve given me a lot of career advice and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”

    (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

  5. In fact, Fee’s first memory of the Cars franchise was when he started at Pixar in the story department. “My first memory is sitting in story reviews with John and the rest of the story crew, just trying to figure out different ways to make each other laugh around the table. Drawing lots of things, gags and jokes, and pinning them up to the wall. I couldn’t believe I was there, I was trying to absorb everything.”
  6. Fee’s children have influenced Cars 3 a great deal, to the point of including a strong female presence throughout the story, “I want my daughters to never be afraid to try something because they think they’re not good at it. I never want to hear them say something like, certain things are for boys and certain things are for girls.”
  7. Cristela Alonzo definitely had the greatest presence during the press event, and offered many inspirational quotes. This one being our favorite, “I like this movie a lot because I feel it’s a good way to tell kids that they matter. And I think that growing up, when you come from a family that doesn’t have a lot, a lot of the time the parents forget to tell the kids that they matter because they’re too busy trying to survive. I want them to know back home, that it’s possible for them to have a dream and to actually achieve it.”
  8. Owen Wilson and Cristela Alonzo actually worked together, as opposed to recording their lines separately like the rest of the cast. Fee wanted them to record together so that they’d be able to show their relationship and the support, get those real emotions caught together, just like the same support and friendship that Cruz and Lightning McQueen give each other throughout the film.

    (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

  9. Cars 3 deals a lot with the old and the new – the racers of the past and the racers of the present, there was a lot of contrast between the use of modern technology in racing and how the younger, faster cars, are replacing the older makes. Isiah Whitlock Jr, who voices River Scott, a Priston Cup racer from the ’50s, gave his thoughts on the heavy themes, “I really feel that we need to pay attention to the pioneers, and the people who have come before us. And some of the struggles, especially with the character that I play. We need to pay attention to that and to see how we got to where we are today. I know with Scott, he did not have the sponsors or the equipment – there were so many obstacles and yet he was able to persevere. That’s the key word there, perseverance, overcoming a lot of those obstacles to be successful.”
  10. Research for every Pixar film is a key element to the success of the story, but Producer Kevin Reher mentioned that research for Cars 3 was especially important since they were honoring the racers of the past. “We were so inspired from these wonderful stories that came forward during our research. The stories of Louise Smith, Wendell Scott, and Junior Johnson. We just felt that we wanted to honor them with our story and their backstory.”
  11. Brian Fee mentioned that he enjoys some of the improvisation that happens during the recording sessions. He’s had to go back to the script numerous times and change dialogue or some of the action by what wonderful reactions and lines comes from the actors.
  12. And finally, Nathan Fillion, who voices Sterling, Lightning McQueen’s new sponsor, gives his reasons for what makes Pixar films so compelling, “Here’s my theory, nothing happens by accident in a Pixar movie. They tell their story one pixel at a time. So, by the time it gets to the point where I’m sitting there in front of the microphone, all of the hard work has actually been done. I rely very heavily on the director, we get to play around a little bit, but in all honesty you’re looking at a thanksgiving meal and Nathan is the pepper. They work has been done, we just need a little extra pepper and we’re done.”

    (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

    (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Cars 3 is an absolute blast and we can’t wait to see it again and again in theaters starting this Friday.

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10 Things We’ve Learned About Lou That Proves It’s One Of The Most Charming Pixar Shorts

Cars 3, Dana Murray, Dave Mullins, Interview, Lou, Premiere, Press Conference, Shorts

Posted by Nia • June 14, 2017

At the Cars 3 press junket on Saturday, we got to learn loads of new information about Lou, the short that will be playing in front of the film this Friday. During the making of presentation, director Dave Mullins and producer Dana Murray gave us some wonderful behind the scenes information about how the short was slowly pieced together.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

  1. Under the guidance of story guru and overall legend, John Lasseter, Mullins incorporated some must-needed rules for every Pixar film. “Pixar films have very specific ingredients. They have heart, meaning your character is flawed in some way and experiences personal growth over the course of the film. Entertainment, which means the story has to be unpredictable and funny. There’s a setting, which needs to take the viewers to a place they’ve never been before, is exciting, and new. And finally, the animation, and this means the film can only be done with animation and need the medium’s full attention.”
  2. Lou is Mullins’ directorial debut and he’s spent 4 years working on it. He’s even been pitching short film ideas since 2005, but Lou was the first one given the green light from the studio. Mullins is passionate about telling good stories and he started searching for ideas that would stick. He wanted something full of heart. And he turned to the inspiration that came from his childhood, such as moving around a lot due to his father’s job, and leaving behind friends in every city – at time, he said, he almost felt invisible.
  3. “When you bring an inanimate object to life, you have to think about it’s intended purpose in the world.” The lost and found box was initially a bully, stealing the children’s toys in the playground and then eventually learning his mistakes and returning them at the end of the film – but that didn’t work because there was nothing to love about him. At one point during the conception of Lou, the character itself was actually a little boy with all of these toys attached to him. Instead, Mullins went back to the core of what the character was: a lost and found box. It was meant to find and return lost toys to children, so that itself sparked an idea that Lou himself would be the hero/protector of the playground.

    (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

  4. Mullins’ wife, Lisa, who’s a stop motion animator, helped him pitch the film to John Lasseter and Pete Docter by creating a real life maquette of Lou. The model showed how the character would be incorporating objects in to his design and how he would be bringing this character to life by forming him with toys. The overall design of Lou changed throughout the course of the film as they tried to figure out the easiest ways to animate him, but in the end they went back to simple design that Lisa created for the pitch (which in turn, you will see in the finished short).
  5. Dana Murray jumped from Inside Out to help Mullins as producer on Lou. Her biggest job, besides scheduling and budgeting, was partnering with Dave and forming a deep friendship with him so that she ensured he wanted to tell the story he set out to create. During story development they had the obvious challenges like how they’re going to dramatize Lou when he’s built with all of these random toys, and second, how are they going to populate a playground when this is just a short film. If you look closely at the children in the short and even the bully, J.J., you’ll be able to find re-use designs from Finding Dory and Inside Out.
  6. Even though the story was locked down, they had their hero, Lou, and the playground bully, J.J., there were still issues in figuring out how to depict J.J. and how they’re going to get to the heart of Mullins story. “For J.J. we tried a cross between Scott Farkus from A Christmas Story and John Conner’s friend from Terminator 2. But these kids just seemed way too tough for what we needed for our story. So we looked at Jonah Bobo from Crazy Stupid Love. And even though he has this tough look, he’s also really vulnerable at the same time. This is really the look we needed for that character: someone who is tough as nails, but also full of heart.”

    (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

  7. “What pitches well, doesn’t necessarily play well on screen. This happens every time you go into a new department and without fail, when your story is taken through the different departments, it’s just another moment to remake your film. And at Pixar, you’re never really done working on story.” Mullins and Murray had to completely change Lou‘s story several times throughout the course of the film as they got notes from Lasseter and Docter, and when they took their production to the next stage of development. The Lou at the start of this production, when it was initially pitched, is something completely different to what’s on screen.
  8. With every Pixar film, they always have to try and raise the stakes regarding animation and technology. With Lou‘s case it was actually animating this complex character and making it look as believable as possible. “The simplest solution to animating Lou was that every piece of him needed to be animated by hand… everything was animated like how a stop motion animator would do it. To this day, I still have animators cursing my name. But despite all that, we at Pixar love these challenges and the animators really dug into Lou. They were up for the task.” In regards to Mullins using simulations in Lou, Mullins and his crew used cloth simulation on Lou’s red sweatshirt as well as many other elements depicted throughout the film.
  9. “When we animated J.J.’s entrance, it was a great intro but we had some problems with it. The first one was that J.J. wasn’t really that entertaining, he’s just kind of mean for no reason and because of that, it was getting in the way of the ending. We really had to re-think that character again. So the question was, how do you make a bully funny? How do you end of caring for him? And this got me thinking about what motivates bullies. A bully usually acts one way because they want one thing: attention. So, J.J. became a kid who constantly disrupted other kids to get attention, making him an outsider. When Lou forces him to act with compassion, this changes how the other kids see him and he finally gets the thing that he really wants, which is acceptance.” This subtle change had an enormous impact on the film and showed the right character growth that was needed for both J.J. and Lou.

    (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

  10. Finally, Mullins chose Frozen composer Christophe Beck to helm the score for Lou. “He has this quirky sensibility about his music that we knew would fit the film really well. So we worked on that theme, and it was really important, because I wanted something that you could hum, something that would fit for the bully and Lou. Once we had that, Chris came up with this idea, which was, recording all the percussion parts separately in a round. So each note was played one at a time, and would go in a circle, to create this sort of mechanical tune.”

It’s safe to say that Lou is now one of our favorite Pixar shorts and we’re so excited for you to experience it on the big screen this Friday, June 16th.

Stay-tuned for coverage on the actual Cars 3 press event and reviews of the films.

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Pixar reveals an all-Latino cast for Coco (and a new poster!)

Coco, Lee Unkrich, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • June 6, 2017

Along with a beautiful new poster, Pixar released details today of the large cast of characters that we can look forward to seeing in Coco later this year, all voiced by actors of Latino descent (including Gabriel Iglesias, Renée Victor, Sofía Espinosa, and Edward James Olmos). It’s worth remembering that Pixar put a lot of effort into making the cast of Brave entirely Scottish or of Scottish descent (save a few lines of dialogue, like the now-essential John Ratzenberger cameo), so it’s great to see them doing the same and more for Coco.

Information on the cast reveal can be found on Oh My Disney. 18 characters have been revealed, many of them relatives of the main character Miguel, so it seems like we might be seeing a big family reunion in the Land of the Dead. Even though each character is given just a brief description, this new information has really fleshed out the world in which Coco is taking place. We’ve learned that Miguel’s family comes from a long line of shoemakers, and the business was created by his great-great grandmother Mamá Imelda. “The matriarch of the Rivera family”, she is bound to be a strong, interesting character that I’m sure many of us are looking forward to meeting. It also seems like there might be a bit of tension between the musicians and the shoemakers in his extended family…

With Coco being released in under 6 months, we can definitely begin to look forward to seeing more trailers, teasers and posters. In fact, a new trailer is expected to land later this week! Director Lee Unkrich has posted pictures on Twitter of some of the voice actors – Gabriel Iglesias and Edward James Olmos – at Pixar Studios recording lines for the movie.

And the continued support from Jorge R. Gutierrez, the director of The Book of Life which also centred around Día de los Muertos, is still as heart-warming as ever.

Coco is set to release in North American theatres on November 22nd 2017.

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Apple Releasing Toy Story Watch Faces for Apple Watch

Toy Story, Toy Story 2

Posted by Phileas • June 5, 2017

At Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC 2017, Apple has announced that Woody, Jessie, and Buzz will be making an appearance on the Apple Watch as all-new, animated Toy Story watch faces.

The trio from the franchise has specially-created animation sequences specially created for the wearable’s operating system, with a different animation playing every time you raise the watch. In announcing to 5,000 developers in San Jose, Apple’s VP of Technology, Kevin Lynch, described the watch faces as “a ton of fun”, saying that the three characters will add “a lot of hijinks in there” to the popular smartwatch.

Apple has had a long-standing association with Pixar since the studio’s formation. Besides Steve Jobs being a pivotal & monumental part to the history of both companies, Pixar franchises frequently play cameos in Apple’s conferences and product announcements, extending back all the way to 2000 with Toy Story 2 and the introduction of Mac OS X.

The watch faces are part of watchOS 4, which will be released to all Apple Watch owners this summer; a public beta is expected to be released in a couple of months. Follow us on Twitter to be kept in the know when these insanely cool watch faces are available!

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More ‘LOU’ details

Dave Mullins, Lou, Pixar, Short Film

Posted by Joanna • June 2, 2017

Some new details about Pixar’s next short ‘LOU’ have surfaced this week on CinemaBlend in the form of “5 fascinating facts”.

LOU will feature a soundtrack written by Christophe Beck, who composed the memorable scores for Frozen and the Disney short Paperman, so we’re definitely in for a treat. By using a very interesting ‘round’ method, with musicians exhibiting great coordination skills, the soundtrack is sure to sound amazingly unique.

In addition to this, many of us will have already seen the character J.J.’s design: he appears in the background of Inside Out in Riley’s classroom! It’s not unusual for Pixar to recycle previously rendered characters and objects (a certain pizza delivery truck comes to mind).

Perhaps most excitingly, in response to the initial pitch for LOU, John Lasseter is reported to have said:

“This character looks like a pain in the ass to do, let’s make it.”

It’s always inspiring to see Pixar deliberately tackling challenges like this. LOU is a character made up of a mass of lost and found objects, and it’s easy to understand how difficult it must have been to animate him as a single living thing and not a collection of disconnected items. They’ve succeeded in doing this in the past – think of the school of fish in Finding Nemo, or the cute Lego character in Toy Story of Terror, or even the 7 limbs of Hank the septopus in Finding Dory – but animating LOU may just be their most impressive effort yet.

Ever since A Bug’s Life, all Pixar feature-length films have been coupled with original short films. The creation of these shorts is a way of encouraging creativity within the studio, and providing new and upcoming directors with confidence and experience. It’s clearly become a tradition that Pixar are particularly proud of, especially with their new internal short film project. It therefore comes as no surprise that the short film preceding the main feature is often equally as magical and compelling. Cars 3 is being released in North American theatres in just a fortnight, but the simultaneous release of LOU is just as exciting! ­

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Two Cars 3 Soundtracks

Cars 3, Soundtrack

Posted by Joanna • May 19, 2017

With Cars 3 under a month away, excitement is definitely building, further fuelled by the fact that two new Cars 3 soundtracks are available for pre-order starting today: the Cars 3 Original Score Soundtrack (pre-order digitally or via Amazon), and the Cars 3 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (pre-order digitally or via Amazon).

The original score is composed and conducted by Randy Newman, who has written the music for a number of Pixar films in the past, including the first Cars movie. Cars 3 appears to be ‘returning to its roots’ in a sense, focusing again on Lightning McQueen as the main protagonist. With Newman reprising his role as conductor for the movie, it seems that this decision is being mirrored in the soundtrack – a decision that is sure to give Cars 3 that classic ‘Pixar’ nostalgic feeling.

Here’s the full track list:

  1. Storm’s Winning Streak
  2. When All Your Friends Are Gone/Crash
  3. Doc’s Painful Demise
  4. Mater on the Horn
  5. Sistine Chapel on Wheels
  6. Temple of Rust-eze
  7. A Career on a Wall/Electronic Suit
  8. Drip Pan
  9. McQueen’s Wild Ride
  10. Biggest Brand in Racing
  11. Fireball Beach
  12. Pull Over, Now!/Cruz’s Racing Dreams
  13. 1.2%
  14. If This Track Could Talk
  15. Letter About You
  16. Smokey Starts Training/A Blaze of Glory
  17. Starting Dead Last
  18. Flashback & Pit Stop
  19. Through the Pack
  20. Victory Lane
  21. The Fabulous Lightning McQueen

In addition to the original score, Cars 3 will also feature an album of eight songs (two of which are bonus tracks), including both covers and originals inspired by Cars 3 with artists Dan Auerbach, James Bay, Brad Paisley, Andra Day, ZZ Ward, Jorge Blanco, and Lea DeLaria (who voices the new Cars 3 character Miss Fritter!). The original song “Run That Race”, written and performed by Dan Auerbach, will play in the movie’s opening, while ZZ Ward’s original song “Ride” will play during the end-credits.

  1. Run That Race by Dan Auerbach
  2. Kings Highway by James Bay
  3. Truckaroo by Brad Paisley
  4. Thunder Hollow Breakdown by Brad Paisley
  5. Glory Days by Andra Day
  6. Ride [feat. Gary Clark Jr.] by ZZ Ward
  7. Drive my Car by Jorge Blanco (The Beatles cover) *BONUS TRACK*
  8. Freeway of Love by Lea DeLaria (Aretha Franklin cover) *BONUS TRACK*

With such varied and exciting soundtracks, it’ll be a joy to sit through the credits in theatres next month (hopefully in anticipation of a bonus end-credit scene!) Cars 3 will be released in North American theatres June 16th.

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Pixar’s New Short Film “Lou” Will Tug At Your Heart Strings

Cars 3, Dave Mullins, Lou, Short Film

Posted by Nia • April 28, 2017

During a press event at Pixar last month, the studio showed some new footage from Cars 3 and Lou, the short film that will accompany the feature this June. A few months prior to the press day, Pixar released only a brief synopsis of the film and a still that showcased the box of toys that will play a pivotal role in the films story.

Lou

Lou is directed by animator Dave Mullins and will focus on a monster, aptly named Lou, who lives in a lost and found box at an elementary school. The monster is a unique design composed strictly of all the items placed in the box, such as a red hoodie, a baseball, a shoe, some buttons, a slinky, and even a handheld video game. It’s certainly interesting to see in the footage and the images released how much Lou was personified – after all, he’s composed of a plethora of inanimate objects. It’s clear that Pixar’s challenge with technology this time around was bringing this character to life and making him just as convincing as the toys in Toy Story or even the umbrellas and the city in The Blue Umbrella. The items that make the monster aren’t threatening at all, which make him even more lovable and less like a monster – just a mythical creature composed from children’s lost toys. At the end of recess every day, Lou collects all the lost items that are found in the playground and takes them back to the box for safe keeping. It’s then that he notices a bully who has been snatching his classmates personal items, so Lou takes it upon himself to handle the situation (in a perfectly Pixar fashion).

Dave Mullins initially came up with the idea of Lou based on his childhood. As a child, he moved around quite a lot and often felt overlooked when it came to making new friends in each location. “It made him feel invisible, and it gave him this idea for some kind of character who felt invisible and desired to be accepted by other kids. That’s when he came up with the concept of a character who looked like a pile of stolen toys, but was actually a little kid underneath.” He was also inspired by John Lasseter and his set of story guidelines, which, “once explained were the ingredients that a Pixar movie should have. They include heart, meaning there should be a main character who is flawed and experiences personal growth; entertainment, meaning a story that is unpredictable and funny; a unique setting that transports viewers to a place that is exciting and new; and the film must call for being animated and use the full potential of the medium.”

Based on the above images and the information we’ve learned in the last few weeks, we’re excited for you all to see Lou during Cars 3 this summer. It’s a refreshing short film that pushes the boundaries of storytelling, has a boat load of super fun animation, and shares a fantastic message about learning how to be compassionate.

Don’t forget to catch both Cars 3 and Lou on the big screen this June, 16th.

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Ed Asner to Honor Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera at AutFest

Inside Out, Jonas Rivera, Pete Docter

Posted by Nia • April 21, 2017

Courtesy of AutFest

Courtesy of AutFest

Inside Out director Pete Docter, and producer Jonas Rivera, will be attending AutFest this Sunday as they receive special honors from the festival in celebration of its debut. This weekend will be the 1st Annual AutFest International Film Festival, located in Los Angeles, CA. AutFest is a unique film festival that celebrates autism and strives to promote autism awareness while supporting autistic filmmakers and artists.

Courtesy of AutFest

Courtesy of AutFest

Scott Badesch, President of Autism Society of America, describes AutFest’s goal and motivation as follows: “The first Annual AutFest International Film Festival is a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the role film is now playing in autism awareness. We are proud to honor outstanding filmmakers Ben Affleck, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, for their cinematic portrayals of the complexity of human emotions, as we can see with our two spotlighted films The Accountant and Inside Out.”

Ed Asner will also be honoring Pete and Jonas following a screening of Inside Out and a special Q&A afterwards this Sunday, April 23rd, at 12:20pm. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, be sure to stop by AMC Orange, 30 in Orange County to re-watch Inside Out (or see it for the first time) on the big screen.

For more information on AutFest and other films that will be playing this weekend, check out their website here.

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Dante’s Lunch – A Short Tail

Coco

Posted by Simoa • March 29, 2017

Coco‘s gorgeously designed first poster debuted last month, featuring Miguel’s dog Dante. Now Dante is the star of a short film! The clip, which premiered today on Disney-Pixar’s YouTube channel, follows the dog as he chases a bone through the streets, leaving much chaos in his wake. The bone has a life of its own – and an owner!

Watch the clip above and get further immersed in this colorful, vibrant world.

 

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Check Out The New Poster for Coco!

Coco, Lee Unkrich, Poster

Posted by Nia • March 13, 2017

Lee Unkrich, the director of Coco, released a brand new poster for the upcoming film on Friday:

The poster is colorful and heaps of fun, as it depicts one of the characters of the film, Dante – a hairless Mexican dog, otherwise known as a Xoloitzcuintle. It’s also hard not to notice the character being playfully pet by a skeleton whilst what appears to be glowing flower petals float away to the left.

And yes… you certainly read that correctly! We will finally be seeing a trailer for Unkrich’s second feature film THIS week. Seriously, we can hardly wait.

Coco is set to be released this November.

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