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New Toy Story 4 Trailer Set To Release Tomorrow

Toy Story 4, Trailer

Posted by Joanna • March 18, 2019

Good Morning America have revealed that a new Toy Story 4 trailer is going to be released tomorrow, presumably on their regularly scheduled morning air time.

This trailer news comes amidst a whole load of merchandise character reveals. Funko Pop have just shared their upcoming series of Toy Story figurines, and the DisInsider has provided us with a photo.

Here you can see some new characters that we’re already aware of: Ducky and Bunny, Forky, and we’re familiar with Combat Carl plus Combat Carl Jr. from “Toy Story Of Terror”. But who are Officer Giggle McDimples (?!), Gabby Gabby, and Duke Caboom? Those of you that are particularly observant may recognise Duke Caboom – he appeared as an easter egg in Incredibles 2 when we saw Jack-Jack in a crib with a suspicious-looking doll.

Look to the left of Jack-Jack!

With a trailer less than 24 hours away, we can only hope that a lot of our burning questions will be answered!

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Collect The New ‘Toy Story Shufflerz’ Before They’re Gone

Disney, Merchandise, Pixar, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 4

Posted by Nia • February 23, 2019

The Disney store and shopDisney have released new Toy Story Shufflerz collectibles. The limited edition toys feature your favorite characters from the beloved Toy Story films: Woody, Buzz, Rex, Bo Peep and Alien. On the 4th Saturday of each month Disney/Pixar will be celebrating a different Toy Story film in anticipation for Toy Story 4, which comes to cinemas June 21, 2019.

The Toy Story Shufflerz are compact, adorable, and filled with energy that will keep you and your loved ones entertained for days. Not only do they perfectly depict the iconic characters from the films, but when you press the top of the toys 10 times, they suddenly become alive as they aptly “shuffle” away from you.

Check out the toys below, and be sure to collect yours soon at a Disney Store near you or online at shopDisney.

 

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Purl – Pixar’s First SparkShort Is Full Of Surprises (And Knitting Puns) And Hope!

Purl, Short Film, SparkShorts

Posted by Joanna • February 4, 2019

Pixar released their first SparkShort on YouTube today, which you can watch below:

“Purl” is full of surprises. And knitting puns. And hope! It follows the story of an enthusiastic ball of yarn, Purl, facing her first day in a new workplace. Right from the beginning, it’s clear that the company’s current employees are all practically identical. Pixar’s SparkShorts could be described as creative ‘side-projects’ (but you can tell they’ve been made with just as much love and care as Pixar’s full-length features, if not more). With the shorts being made on a limited budget and schedule, it’s to be expected that some shortcuts will have to be made, but the current male employees all being essential clones of themselves seems like a very deliberate choice: Purl immediately feels out of place.

The more we see of Purl, the more she stands out. First of all, she’s a ball of yarn. All her belongings are beautifully knitted. But even her animation is slightly different to that of her colleagues – she moves a little more ‘choppily’. She behaves differently. She has fresh ideas. Her fellow employees don’t think that’s a good thing, and eventually, neither does Purl herself. Soon, her frustration is literally tying her in knots. The lack of acceptance and understanding is breaking her down.

Purl ends up doing what seems to be the only solution – she attempts to fit in by making herself a clone of the clones. It works, but that’s obviously a bad thing. By suppressing her true self, she suppresses her new ideas and her originality – the company can’t move forward, and life can’t move forward like this either. Finally, it takes a new employee, another bundle of enthusiastic yarn, to make Purl see what’s truly important.

The story of “Purl” will feel eerily familiar to many of us: women being stifled in a male-dominated work environment; people of colour feeling isolated in a predominantly white community. Amazingly, the short could easily be applied to Pixar Studios itself with its recent changes in staffing. The short couldn’t have come out at a more fitting time, and its ending is brimming with hope and diversity. Let’s hope Pixar’s first SparkShort sparks a positive change across the industry, and the world! Every workplace could do with a better balance of knits and purls.

You can even watch Behind The Scenes of “Purl” and Meet The Filmmakers on YouTube! We’re being treated to two more SparkShorts in the next two weeks too – next week we’ll see “Smash and Grab”, and the week after is “Kitbull”! We couldn’t be more excited.

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Bo Peep is back!

Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • January 28, 2019

Our first official look at Bo Peep in Toy Story 4 is here!

Her iconic pink and white polka dot dress with the matching bonnet has indeed been swapped out for the blue pantalettes we first saw from a blog post speculating about her appearance. This little 11 second teaser shows us so much. For one thing, Bo isn’t so fragile and stationary anymore. She actually moves. One of the reasons she had such a small role in Toy Story 2 was because her porcelain figurine couldn’t have gallavanted around the Tri-County area with the rest of Andy’s gang. But filmmakers have solved that problem this time around. Can’t tell if she’s still made of porcelain, but she is wearing a pair of strappy high heels! Maybe this means that little Bo Peep has lost her sheep permanently? Now she wields her long staff in an entirely different way, and swings from it and into the screen.

Now that we have confirmation of Bo’s role in the film, we can only guess about what other surprises are in store! Bo Peep may have a new look, but I hope she’s still the sweet and lovely character she always was, even if she’s a lot tougher and active.

In this character poster, she’s wearing flat shoes along with a cape! I didn’t think I’d love her redesign so much! Do you guys love it too? How excited are you for June 19th?!

Update: EW has an exclusive description of Bo Peep from director Josh Cooley.

“Bo’s taken control of her own destiny. While Woody was watching Andy grow up, Bo gathered dust until she took it upon herself to head out into the world. And when Woody shows up, they can’t believe that they’ve found each other again.”

Apparently, Bo and Woody have different ideas about what it means to be a toy. That seems to mirror the brief conflict between Woody and Jessie in the second movie. Can’t be sure just yet what Bo thinks it means to be a toy, but we are eagerly waiting to find out.

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Oscar Nominations for Bao and Incredibles 2

Academy Awards, Awards, Bao, Brad Bird, Domee Shi, Incredibles 2

Posted by Simoa • January 22, 2019

Oscar nominations were announced this morning and Pixar has received two for both Animated Short and Animated Feature.

This is Brad Bird’s fourth Oscar nomination for a Pixar film. He was previously nominated for The Incredibles and Ratatouille in the Animated Feature and Original Screenplay categories. Those films won Best Animated in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Producer John Walker was also nominated for the first Incredibles. This is Nicole Paradis Grindle’s third Oscar nomination as producer after The Incredibles, “Sanjay’s Super Team” (Best Animated Short) and Inside Out, the latter of which also won Best Animated in 2016.

“Bao” was unfortunately overlooked in this category for the Annie Awards, so it’s especially wonderful to see it receive this recognition. And it’s all the more exciting because this is Domee Shi’s first ever nomination! That’s quite a feat for a rookie filmmaker’s debut!

Although not a Pixar production, the surreal “Weekends” up for Best Short was directed by Pixar story artist Trevor Jimenez.

It’s still disappointing that the directors and writers on animated films can’t be recognized with nominations (or awards) in other categories besides Best Animated. Inside Out, along with The Incredibles, was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but there should be more animated films to join them. Same goes for Best Director. Nevertheless, we want to congratulate all of the nominees in both categories for some stellar films this year!

Tune in to the 91st Academy Awards on February 24th, 2019.

 

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Lee Unkrich says goodbye after 25 years

Lee Unkrich, Pixar

Posted by Simoa • January 18, 2019

Pixar is undergoing a lot of changes – many of them positive, others a bit more bittersweet. Lee Unkrich’s departure from the studio after 25 years of brilliant and inspiring storytelling falls into the second category.

Deborah Coleman, Pixar

He first announced the news on twitter, linking to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, and following up with another tweet where he said “the time has come for new adventures.”

Of course, this news comes as a shock. Unkrich did not specify if he’s retiring from filmmaking, but he did inform the Reporter that he’s going to pursue some neglected interests and spend more time with his family.

“I’m not leaving to make films at another studio; instead, I look forward to spending much-needed time with my family and pursuing interests that have long been back-burnered.”

Unkrich’s last directorial effort was the monumentally successful Coco. It was just his second after helming 2010’s equally impressive Toy Story 3. He’s been at the studio since the very beginning, with Pete Docter praising him for his undeniable prowess.

“Lee arrived at Pixar as we were crafting Toy Story, and he’s had a profound effect on all Pixar films since. He literally taught us rookie filmmakers about staging, composition, and cutting. His artistry and expert craftsmanship as an editor and co-director became a major reason for the high quality of our filmmaking, and as Lee went on to direct, his ability to find the deep humor and emotion enabled him to create some of the strongest films we’ve made.”

Before codirecting Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo, he was an editor on the films. Pixar president Jim Morris also credited Unkrich’s ability to make the films even better. “If you look at the sweep of contemporary cinema, it would be difficult to find someone more brilliant in the filmmaking arts than Lee Unkrich. He has been a key player in elevating virtually every one of Pixar’s films.”

Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, echoed Morris and Docter:

“Lee has left an indelible mark on the world of film, and we are so grateful for the passion and talent he has brought to each movie he has worked on. He’ll always be part of the Disney-Pixar family, and we will miss him.”

While we are a bit sad over this news, we’re also happy that Lee is prioritizing his family. We truly believe he’s leaving the studio in more than capable hands, and that this new generation of storytellers will still be impacted by his years of dedication and keen storytelling gifts.

Update 1/19: Read Lee Unkrich’s parting letter below.

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Toy Story That Time Forgot – The Pixar Special Of The Week

Short Film, Shorts, Toy Story, Toy Story That Time Forgot

Posted by Nia • December 21, 2018

Christmas is in a matter of days, so naturally it’s time to delve back into Toy Story That Time Forgot, one of the most underrated Pixar projects. The holiday special aired back on December 2nd, 2014 on ABC.

Although this is a Christmas special, the film starts off post-Christmas as we open with Bonnie playing with her toys, a comforting and familiar sight. We’re immediately re-introduced to Trixie the Triceratops but we quickly find out she’s constantly disappointed Bonnie never lets her play as the true dinosaur she is; instead she takes on other random roles during playtime. Jessie, Rex, and Mr. Potato Head are quick to offer support for Trixie, mentioning she will get her chance to be a dinosaur soon (as there will be many more opportunities) but that doesn’t lift Trixie’s spirits. Shortly after, Bonnie attends a play-date at her best friend Mason’s house. Luckily for us Bonnie brings along a few of our other favorite toys from the Toy Story universe: Woody, Buzz, and Rex. She even brings Trixie along and a new ornament named Angel Kitty.

As soon as Bonnie arrives she notices Mason enjoying his new video game and before she joins him, she dumps the toys into Mason’s playroom. The video game wasn’t the only thing Mason got for Christmas; he also got a slew of new warrior dinosaur toys called the Battlesaurs. The gang is quickly introduced to Reptillus Maximus and the Cleric, who are in control of the Battlesaurs army. Naturally, Rex and Trixie are welcomed as part of the clan by Reptillus and shown around their Batteopolis but the Cleric secretly takes Woody, Buzz, and Angel Kitty away as his prisoners.

Trixie and Reptillus quickly bond (naturally). Since Trixie is finally around other toys like her and it’s easy to see why she’s so quick to fall head over heels for Reptillus. Trixie can’t help but praise the Battlesaurs and how they’ve made their life work in Mason’s toy room. Reptillus is even captivated by Trixie’s world of make believe. Soon the two dinosaurs are called to the aptly named “Arena of Woe,” where to Trixie’s dismay, this world of dinosaurs isn’t as perfect or as nice as she thought. In the arena, its Mason’s toys against Reptillus; we soon see that Reptillus completely destroys the other toys in combat. No one has a chance against him.

Things soon get worse when Woody and Buzz enter the arena; it turns out the Cleric wanted Woody and Buzz destroyed from the get-go and it’s the reason why they were taken away so abruptly at the start. Buzz and Woody barely escape their fight against Reptillus before Trixie jumps in to help her friends. It turns out, the Battlesaurs are so hostile because they haven’t had the opportunity to play with Mason yet, since Mason has been too caught up in his new video game. Despite Trixie pleading for the dinosaurs to stop fighting her friends, they bring in another massive Battlesaur named Goliathon, who swallows Woody, Buzz, and Angel Kitty. As Trixie tries to free her friends from Goliathon, she’s knocked over and reveals Bonnie’s name written on her hand. To these Battlesaurs, that’s a sign of weakness and equivalent to someone waving a white flag. Suddenly Trixie is no longer welcome as one of them.

The biggest twist of this special is that the Cleric has known the Battlesaurs were toys the entire time. It was the Cleric’s motivation to keep the toys oblivious to this fact so he can continue basking in his power and ruling over them. Now that Woody, Buzz, and Angel Kitty know that information, he takes them off to be shredded in a nearby ventilation fan.

As Woody and Buzz are trying to escape the Cleric, Trixie nearly unplugs Mason’s video game, in an attempt to thwart his attention and get him to play with the other Battlesaurs. Reptillus intervenes and tries to stop her but Trixie has an epiphany of her own. She manages to persuade Reptillus that it’s almost a blessing being a toy; she speaks to him about how important and meaningful it’s been to be a toy and play with Bonnie every day. She even shows Reptillus the box he came in, which changes his whole perspective.

Reptillus turns off Mason’s video game and “surrenders” to the humans. Soon Bonnie and Mason find Reptillus, and the children agree to go to Mason’s playroom to continue their play-date. The duo arrive just in time, saving Woody and Buzz from being destroyed in the ventilation fan.

Reptillus and the other Battlesaurs are changed by their play-date with Bonnie and Mason; they’re quick to accept their fate as toys and learn to enjoy a calmer life in Mason’s home.

Towards the end of the special, Trixie realizes how important she is in Bonnie’s life and she professes to Woody, Buzz, and the other toys how she would be anything Bonnie wants her to be during playtime, even if that never is a dinosaur.

One of the most impressive elements about this film is the fact it delves deep into the toys existence. It touches the surface of their psychology and how they view their lives when it comes to interacting with characters like Bonnie and Mason. The toys obviously realize they’re toys and figure out their purpose in life, but through that they learn the importance of their existence and that they have these unique gifts; each toy offers something different to children. It’s also interesting to see the differences in how a toy acts before they’ve had the opportunity to be played with or to have a child “mark” them with their name – the Battlesaurs were almost savage, like untrained cats, before they were played with for the first time. I’m curious to see how they will continue this theme in the upcoming Toy Story 4 film, especially with Forky.

Some fun facts about Toy Story That Time Forgot:

  • When it comes to the Toy Story timeline, this film is set before the story that’s going to be depicted in the upcoming Toy Story 4 film.
  • This film was initially set to be a 6-minute short, but it was John Lasseter who suggested it be a holiday special because he loved the story so much and wanted to explore the themes and characters more.
  • It took 3 years to create; 2 of those years were spent on story development.
  • The special was the last time Don Rickles voiced the iconic Mr. Potato Head; he died in 2017.
  • This was Pixar’s second Toy Story-esque TV special; the first one was Toy Story of Terror!
  • Don’t forget that in the first Toy Story film, Buzz was the one who first refused to believe he was a toy. It’s funny seeing that shift in this special; he was almost outraged that the Battlesaurs didn’t know they were toys.
  • There is a reference to Star Wars in Toy Story That Time Forgot, when the Cleric says the line, “I find their lack of armor disturbing.” Can you Star Wars fans figure out the line it’s referring to?

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Woody’s Round Up 12/7/18

Disney Parks, Inside Out, Luxo, Jr., Round-Ups, Teddy Newton, Toy Story 4, Toy Story Land

Posted by Simoa • December 7, 2018

Welcome back to Woody’s Round Up! With all the speculation about Toy Story 4 and the excitement over the Annie and Golden Globe nominations for Incredibles 2, some other noteworthy happenings may have slipped your radar. But no worries, we’ve compiled a list here.

Jolly Holiday at Toy Story Land

Toy Story Land has been decorated just in time for Christmas and the holidays! I’m especially fond of this giant Hamm sugar cookie complete with Santa Hat:

Hope they’ll be selling edible versions in the park…

And check out these ornaments I definitely want on my tree at home!

You can see more of the decorations on the Disney Parks blog. Here’s a video of the decorations going up:

Light it Up Luxo

Pixar Pier at Disneyland also got a lovely addition in the form of animatronic Luxo Jr. atop the marquee. While the technology has not yet evolved for Luxo to bound off its perch and stomp anywhere (or on anything), it would be quite a treat to be welcomed by the energetic lamp to California Adventure. Watch Luxo in action below:

More photos at Laughing Place.

Tears of Candy Galore

Bing Bong’s Sweet Shop opened at Pixar Pier over the summer, and a new statue has been installed inside.

Bing Bong isn’t animatronic, but he does play audio from Inside Out, as reported by WDW News Today. I’m sure everyone who visits will be crying happy tears too! They just won’t taste as sweet.

Teddy Newton’s Sneaks

Teddy Newton, mastermind behind some of Pixar’s most brilliant story ideas and indelible artwork, as well as the director of ‘Day & Night’ will be directing his first feature length film! Although not a Pixar production, Sneaks is worth supporting. The official synopsis describes it as follows:

Sneaks centers on a group of misplaced sneakers that end up lost in New York City and must find a way to work together in order to get back to their “sole mates.”

The film will also be Ohio’s first animated feature, and Pixar production designer Ricky Nierva will also be part of the crew. It’s always wonderful to see Pixarians branching out, and we wish them both great success. Read more about Sneaks at THR.

Expanding Toy Story

A Toy Story 4 graphic novel anthology will be hitting shelves ahead of the film’s release next June. Released by Dark Horse comics in collaboration with Pixar, the anthology is available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and comic book stores. More details and art will surface before the May 7th release date, so stay tuned for more!

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Incredibles 2 scores 11 Annie Award nominations!

Annie Awards, Brad Bird, Incredibles 2

Posted by Simoa • December 3, 2018

It’s a little hard to believe that awards season is very nearly upon us! The 46th Annual Annie Awards, which honors achievements in animation, released its list of nominees today, and Incredibles 2 has been nominated in nearly every category for animated feature. Take a look at the list below.

Best Animated Feature

Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an an Animated Feature Production
Nominees: Greg Gladstone
Tolga Göktekin
Jason Johnston
Eric Lacroix
Krzysztof Rost

Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production
Nominee: Lance Fite

Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Nominee: Matt Nolte

Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Nominee: Brad Bird

Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production
Nominee: Michael Giacchino

via /film

Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Nominees: Dean Kelly
Bobby Rubio

Note: Kelly and Rubio were each nominated separately, so the film received 11 nominations in total.

Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Nominee: Holly Hunter

Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Nominee: Brad Bird

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

Nominees: Stephen Schaffer, ACE
Anthony J. Greenberg
Katie Schaefer Bishop

Congratulations to Brad Bird and crew for their well deserved nominations! Pixar’s production designer Ralph Eggleston will also receive the Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award. Adam Burke, Pixar animator who passed away earlier this year, will also be honored with the June Foray Award.

The Annie Awards will be broadcast on February 2, 2019.

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Toy Story 4 cast: Keanu Reeves in a mystery role

Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • November 23, 2018

At this point, most everything about Toy Story 4 is a mystery. This latest reveal about the addition to the film’s cast comes not from Pixar or any of the filmmakers, but one of its stars. Watch the clip below of Tim Allen on The Tonight Show sharing some details with Jimmy Fallon.

Of course, Tim Allen can’t say much about the film, but what he did say leads to more questions than answers!

“They really will surprise you with the toys they come up with.”

Everybody was surprised by Forky (Tony Hale), in that first teaser, but could there be more? Not more sporks, but other wacky creations? And are they in denial about being toys as much as Forky is?

“Characters came back.”

So more than one returning character? It’s hard to believe, but the first mention of Bo Peep’s return was announced three years ago. She’s the only one we know about so far, and it’ll probably be some time before she is mentioned or seen in any teasers and other promo. And as far as other returning characters are concerned, we really will just have to wait and see!

But now to Allen’s comments regarding Keanu Reeves and his role:

“Keanu Reeves has got a great part. […] Even he said – gentle, wonderful guy that he is- ‘This sounds too much like Buzz Lightyear.’ And his character does have an edge to that. And the guy said, so we calmed him down a little bit, and they reminded me that his toy is only that big.”

Last week, we met Ducky (Keegan Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele). Now that we know about Reeves, could his be the next character we meet? AV Club also offered a bit of…speculation on Reeves’ tiny, mysterious newcomer.

Allen also repeated that the film’s ending caught him off guard:

“But the last scene of that movie was – I couldn’t even get through it. And I thought there was pages after it. And I read it, you know, I had to turn around from looking at it in the studio. […] It was so emotional. It’s a ‘Scarlett, I don’t give a damn’ moment.”

Allen’s description of his recording is similar to what Tom Hanks described a few weeks ago, when he called Toy Story 4 a moment in history. Please also note Allen’s reference to Gone With the Wind (1939), in which Clark Gable as Rhett Butler delivers one of the most famous lines in movie history: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Both Allen and Hanks are setting Toy Story 4 up as a legendary finale. And maybe, just maybe, that’s exactly what it is.

Update as of 12/15: Keanu Reeves spoke about the role himself:

“I got a call, which was really cool, out the blue from the lovely people at Pixar and the creators of this number, this edition, or continuation of the story. They pitched the character to me, and then we spoke and they allowed me to kind of riff on it. I’ve done four recording sessions with them so far. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Cinema Blend also reports one fan theory about the still under wraps Reeves toy: he might be a G.I. Joe action figure. Hopefully Pixar doesn’t keep us waiting for too long and we can see if this bit of speculation is true.

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