MENU

Pixar
Category

Coco came into my life at just the right time

Coco, in depth, Opinion Piece, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • January 17, 2018

(Coco spoilers ahead).

Has a Pixar movie ever been released at just the right time for you?

I finally saw Coco last Saturday – I saw it on my own in a quiet cinema, quiet enough for me to be the last person in the theatre by the time the credits were coming to an end. The final scenes of Coco resonated with me so much that I didn’t stop crying until the Pixar logo appeared again to signal the end of the movie. Usually I wouldn’t class ‘crying alone in public’ as a positive experience, but this was. It was cathartic; I could feel Joy and Sadness holding hands in my head. I think I found Coco so particularly poignant and affecting because I can relate to its themes so strongly – it feels like the movie came out at just the right time for me and has helped me confront my emotions.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt that a Pixar movie has come into my life at just the right moment. I remember seeing Toy Story 3 with my close group of school friends when we were just entering our final year of school and starting to apply for universities. Monsters University reminded me amidst all my exams and assignments that succeeding academically isn’t all that life is. After graduating, I felt small and scared and powerless, but The Good Dinosaur encouraged me to accept my fears and face them with my head held high. I saw Cars 3 on its release date just a few hours after passing my driving test.

In Coco’s finale, Miguel sang to his great-grandmother Coco and managed to reach her. Fittingly, by hearing ‘Remember Me’, Coco’s memories of her father came flooding back, and her and Miguel were blessed with a moment of real connection and understanding. As someone who is currently losing her own grandmother to Alzheimer’s and dementia, this hit me hard. My granny can be sat in a room overflowing with her family, but look dreadfully alone and unsure. Most conversations with her are her retellings of old family stories which are slowly becoming jumbled and confused. If you ask her how her week was, you can see the frustration on her face as she fails to grasp onto slippery memories that never seem to be in the right place.

Miguel singing Mama Coco ‘Remember Me

But if you give my granny a book of poems, she reads them beautifully – she speaks with the confidence and character that I remember her having when I was younger. She doesn’t stumble over her words; she doesn’t have to struggle to remember anything. She just reads them, because they’re familiar to her. And suddenly I’m reminded of days I spent with her learning how to bake, spending summers, birthdays and Christmases with her, and listening to her (always expertly told) stories about our family going back generations. Miguel singing his great-grandmother Coco ‘Remember Me’ had the same effect as me handing my granny a book of poems. When Miguel succeeded in connecting with Coco, I felt that same wave of joy and relief as if I had just connected with my own grandmother and helped her break free temporarily from the haze and confusion of dementia. Coco came into my life at just the right time because it has encouraged me to try to have more of these meaningful moments with my granny while I still have the chance. And it’s reminded me that while my granny is slowly becoming lost, she’ll live on through our own memories and stories.

Sketch of Miguel and Mama Coco by co-director Adrian Molina

So is it just luck? Was I just lucky to have these movies to encourage me at the times I most needed them? I don’t think so. I think Pixar have a talent for creating movies that are naturally relatable and naturally strike a chord with people from all stages of life. It’s incredible that Pixar movies can feel so personal even though they’re made by thousands of people, for thousands of people. But by keeping the heartfelt messages at the very cores of their movies, they manage it.

Read article

Coco – digital and Blu-ray release dates revealed

Blu-Ray, Coco, DVD, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • January 12, 2018

Coco has been making its voice known around the world since its initial release last October – it has since earned an impressive number of accolades, from leading the way in the Annie Awards nominations (with 13 in total), to most recently winning the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and the Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (Remember Me).

Soon, we’ll be able to watch this award-winning movie at home. Pixar just revealed the dates for its digital and Blu-ray releases in the US. Coco will be available digitally and on Movies Anywhere on February 13th, two weeks before you can pick up the Blu-ray on February 27th. You can watch the trailer Pixar released alongside this news below:

The Blu-ray and digital releases will include a number of bonus features as usual – we can all look forward  to hearing the filmmaker commentary with directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson. We can learn about the background of Coco through multiple featurettes, and gain an even better insight into Pixar’s film-making process with some deleted scenes introduced by Unkrich and Molina.

We have just over a month to wait until we can have the luxury of being able to watch Coco as many times in a row as we want… You can pre-order right now.

Read article

Coco picks up a BAFTA nomination

Awards, Coco, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • January 9, 2018

Coco is continuing its successful trend this awards season after picking up a British Academy Film Awards nomination for Best Animated Film. Its fellow nominees are Polish-British Loving Vincent, and Swiss-French My Life as a Courgette. It’s nice to see such a diverse selection of movies in this category. The three nominees perfectly demonstrate how varied and exciting the world of animation is, all exhibiting different themes, animation techniques, and nationalities.

The BAFTA awards ceremony will taken place on February 18th – just over a month away. We’ll have our fingers crossed for Pixar, but all the nominees would be very worthy winners. Do you have any predictions for the outcomes of the 2018 BAFTAs? Let us know down in the comments, or on Twitter! (@upcomingpixar)

Read article

John Lasseter has disappointed us – so where does Pixar go from here?

John Lasseter, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • December 21, 2017

Last month, John Lasseter joined a dizzyingly long list of powerful men in Hollywood to be accused of sexual misconduct. In a story first broken by The Hollywood Reporter on November 21st, allegations against Disney and Pixar’s chief creative officer were revealed. In a memo to staff, Lasseter announced that he would be taking a six month leave of absence from his role as creative overseer for the two animation studios, acknowledging “painful conversations” and“missteps.”

The three writers of Upcoming Pixar have each contributed to this post, in an attempt to process this deeply disturbing and unfortunate news.

 

Simoa

Simoa Barros, Lead Writer and Editor

My heart dropped when I first became aware of the news, but I was not surprised. I’ve never had first or even secondhand knowledge of John Lasseter’s alleged misconduct, but I dreaded this news anyway. Following the sexual harassment claims made against Loud House creator Chris Savino, who was subsequently fired, and the letter penned by women in the animation industry about the prevalence of sexual misconduct, I just expected more bombshell allegations. It is still shocking that Lasseter was directly involved.

It was first reported that Rashida Jones, who shared a writing credit on Toy Story 4, left the film with her writing partner Will McCormack due to an unwanted advance made by Lasseter, but she has denied this claim. Read her statement below:

“We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. We parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences.

There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films. However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.

We encourage Pixar to be leaders in bolstering, hiring and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders. We hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered.”

Where does Pixar go from here?

As a woman of color who has long loved these films and this studio, I can say that all of this is very complicated for me. I have applauded Pixar’s efforts at diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera. I want to continue celebrating these efforts and supporting the artists who make these films.

But I also want John Lasseter and those who knew and likely enabled his alleged behavior to be held accountable. I don’t think he should return following his sabbatical. He is not, as some people insist, irreplaceable.

Do we care more about movies or people?

I am deeply saddened that this was allowed to continue for so long. I am deeply saddened that women at Pixar were devalued and unable to advance their careers. I believe and I hope that Pixar can emerge far greater in the aftermath. But that will not be possible if Lasseter returns and nothing changes. Things are finally changing slowly as more women and men come forward to share their stories. But we have to listen.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Joanna

Joanna, Co-Writer

My heart sank along with the hearts of many others when I read the headlines about John Lasseter’s actions at Pixar. I’m sure thousands, even millions, of fans feel disgusted and hurt after finding out that the man responsible for so many of our childhood movies is also responsible for the belittling of female employees, and for helping create a culture within Pixar studios that stifles the creative voices of women and people of colour. And while we as fans feel shocked and saddened by these events, these women are the victims.

I think it’s important to remember that while Lasseter is fully responsible for his appalling actions, he is only partly responsible for the beautiful movies that have been created by Pixar over the years. Remember that Coco was worked on by thousands of talented, creative people, many of them of Latino descent. They are incredibly proud of what they have created. I feel like this situation isn’t as clearly defined as ‘separating the art from the artist’. Lasseter is one artist. Pixar movies are the result of years of hard work from entire crews of artists, writers, and a whole host of other employees. That’s not to say that separating the art from John Lasseter is easy though…

It’s unfair that sitting down to enjoy a Pixar movie doesn’t feel as simple anymore. But it’s infinitely more unfair that women and people of colour at Pixar, and in the animation industry in general, are not being given the equal opportunities that they obviously deserve. Let’s hope that this acts as a spark and sets in motion a positive change at Pixar studios. Let’s hope that, like Coco, their future projects continue to actively work towards making Pixar a more inclusive and respectful company.


Nia

Nia Alavezos, Co-Writer

John Lasseter was one of my heroes.

Like Walt Disney, he was the name I saw plastered all over my favorite animated films growing up. He was just like you and me – he had some big failures, a few obvious successes, but at the end of the day he was just a kid at heart and wanted to tell stories. I wanted to be like him. I wanted to work with him. I honestly wanted to be his best friend and talk endlessly about the history of animation and our love of Miyazaki films.

As someone who has wanted to work for Pixar since I was 7 years old, sitting in the cinema, jaw nearly on the floor in awe as I watched A Bug’s Life for the first time; the news that Lasseter was like so many abusers in Hollywood honestly crushed my heart. It was the final blow. I nearly wanted to pack my bags and leave Los Angeles and pursue another profession entirely. Maybe even channel my inner Henry David Thoreau and abandon society all together and live in the wilderness. I’ve worked in the animation industry for the last two and a half years at Renegade Animation in Glendale. My dream as a female storyteller is to learn as much as I can so I can one day direct my own animated films.

Upon hearing all these stories about Lasseter and other men in the film/animation industry I slowly realized I could’ve been one of those women. I can’t begin to tell you how that simple thought triggered my own experiences with sexual harassment in the past. It felt like my world was falling apart. It’s still soul crushing learning that all my heroes are actually the monsters under the bed everyone told me to worry about.

I also realized the real problem was that growing up, I only had men to look up to. All the women were working tirelessly in the shadows; their work gone unnoticed and unaccredited thanks to the male suppression. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it would’ve been to have female directors, animators, and strong female characters to look up to when I was a child. For years I worshipped the Pixar Braintrust even when they kept women out of their special group and fired Brenda Chapman.

I know one monster’s actions don’t account for the thousands of talented artists at the studio who are just trying to make a living and achieve their dreams – but the fact this was going on for so long and while mostly everyone knew is appalling and disappointing. I can’t look at the studio the same way again. I will continue to support the films and all the hard work that’s been put into each character, background, and scene because I know first hand how grueling it is to bring a story to life but now, unfortunately the studio is tarnished for me.

What I hope to see now are more actions to account for the past – we’ve started this revolution but now it’s up to us all to fix it. I hope to see more females take the helm of Pixar films, from the initial development to the director’s chair. I hope to one day see not only a female-driven studio or female brain trust but a Hollywood that welcomes both men and women and people of all colors and walks of life. There are so many stories that have been silenced for years and now’s the time to start telling them.

Read article

Coco nominated for two Golden Globe awards

Awards, Coco, Golden Globes, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • December 11, 2017

The award nominations are still streaming in for Pixar’s latest movie Coco. It’s already dominating the Annies Awards with an impressive 13 nominations, and now it’s been nominated for two awards at the 2018 Golden Globes – ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ and ‘Best Original Song’ for ‘Remember Me’. See below for the full list of nominees in these categories:

Best animated feature film
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Best original song
“Home,” “Ferdinand
“Mighty River,” “Mudbound
“Remember Me,” “Coco
“The Star,” “The Star
“This Is Me,” “The Greatest Showman

We won’t have to wait long to find out whether Coco and ‘Remember Me’ will be the winners of their categories – the 75th Golden Globe Awards ceremony will be held on January 7th, 2018, at 5pm PST.

It’s been amazing seeing how Coco has affected the world in the short time since its release. 13 Annies Awards nominations, 2 Golden Globe nominations, thousands of overwhelmingly positive and touching reviews – and it’s not even out worldwide yet! In the US, it has topped the weekend box office for 3 weeks in a row, something that only 3 other Pixar movies has achieved (Toy Story and Toy Story 2 topped the box office 2 weeks in a row, and Finding Dory topped it an impressive 4 weeks in a row). And this is only the beginning of Coco‘s journey to inevitably becoming a beloved classic.

Read article

New image – “Incredibles 2 picks up, literally, where the first film left off”

Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • December 8, 2017

A brand new Incredibles 2 image has been released on Entertainment Weekly, and it shows us that the sequel will be just as vibrant and brilliantly stylised as 2004’s The Incredibles.

Here is the new image via Entertainment Weekly:

via Entertainment Weekly

For comparison, here’s a similar shot from The Incredibles from just after The Underminer has appeared. They’re not in their superhero attire yet, but you can see how the buildings and background still have that characteristic modern, simple style.

We already knew Incredibles 2 was to be set mere minutes after the original movie left off – those lucky enough to be in the audience at this year’s D23 presentation were treated to this information plus a teaser featuring Jack-Jack and a raccoon. Brad Bird has now also revealed that Violet and Dash’s role in fighting The Underminer isn’t entirely rewarding…

“Incredibles 2 picks up, literally, where the first film left off, with Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl battling The Underminer, while Violet and Dash are stuck with babysitting Jack-Jack.”

Elastigirl, or Helen Parr, is going to take more of a central role in this sequel, and we can’t wait to see another Pixar heroine given a bigger voice. The Entertainment Weekly post also features a great interview with the voice of Elastigirl – Holly Hunter. You can read their full interview here. It’s amazing to hear that working with Brad Bird again has been such a fun and inspiring experience for her. Her leaving statement in the interview sums up our feelings perfectly:

“I just think it’s beautiful that Incredibles 2 is allowing Mrs. Incredible to reveal all these other different colors of who she is.”

Incredibles 2 is set to release in just over 6 months on June 15th, 2018.

Read article

Incredibles 2 trailer coming soon – the wait is almost over!

Pixar, Rumors, The Incredibles 2, Trailer

Posted by Joanna • November 11, 2017

With the spotlight understandably on Coco at the moment, it’s easy to forget (and hard to believe!) that the next Pixar film release is going to be Incredibles 2, due in theatres next June. With 2018 very much on the horizon it already seemed likely that we’d be getting our first glimpse of the movie soon, and this assumption has just been backed up by some firm evidence – a rating of an Incredibles 2 trailer by the Ontario Film Authority.

At D23 this year, the audience was treated to some footage of the much-anticipated sequel. All we really know so far is that Incredibles 2 is going to focus more on Elastigirl, or Helen Parr, Jack-Jack’s newly found superpowers are going to be explored, and there’s going to be a raccoon! You can read our post from when the D23 footage was first shown for more details.

It’s been a long wait for Pixar fans, but some new Incredibles content is finally coming our way. Keep an eye on our Twitter page for updates! 

 

Read article

New Coco clip reveals a familiar easter egg!

Coco, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • November 8, 2017

An exclusive scene from Coco was just posted by USA TODAY Life, and it once again centres around our protagonist, Miguel, and his relationship with his family and music. Miguel isn’t like the rest of his family – music runs through his veins and his family’s hatred for it isn’t going to get in his way.

Despite only being around a minute long, this clip does an amazing job at establishing some main characters, transporting us to the colourful streets of Mexico, and introducing a central plot detail – Miguel’s undying love for music. They even managed to throw an easter egg in there (in the form of a very familiar fast food delivery vehicle…) – can you spot it?

Coco releases in US theatres on November 22nd. The wait is almost over!

Read article

Miguel shines in Coco’s final trailer

Coco, Pixar, Trailer

Posted by Joanna • November 6, 2017

Coming to US theatres in just over two weeks, the final trailer for Pixar’s Coco was released today, and it highlighted how strong a protagonist Miguel is going to be. You can watch the trailer here:

It is perhaps the most exciting Coco trailer yet, and we’re treated to new footage, mainly centred around our hero Miguel. Pixar have an impressive history of incredibly lovable and relatable protagonists, and it looks like Miguel is going to be no different. The trailer showcases the voice acting skills of 12 year old Anthony Gonzalez who has really brought Miguel’s character to life. The scenes where he is interacting with his family members, particularly with Mama Coco, are especially touching.

Coco is going to be a film full of heart, highlighting the importance of family, no doubt with Pixar’s usual clever spin on things. The trailer ends with a very fitting quote from Miguel:

“We may have our differences, but nothing is more important than family.”

On November 22nd, the wait for Pixar fans in the US will finally be over! Those in the UK will have to wait a little longer (January 19th), but if the trailers are anything to go by, the wait is definitely going to be worth it.

Read article

Pixar Pier Plans Revealed!

Pixar

Posted by Joanna • November 2, 2017

The summer of 2018 marks an incredibly exciting time for Pixar fans, not only because of the highly-anticipated release of Incredibles 2, but also due to the opening of the ‘Pixar Pier’ at Disney California Adventure Park. Exciting plans for the Pixar themed attractions have just been revealed, and it looks like the transformation of what was originally the ‘Paradise Pier’ is going to be truly magical.

There are going to be four new ‘neighbourhoods’, each inspired by different Pixar universes.

The Incredicoaster © Disney Pixar

  1. The Incredicoaster

    The Incredicoaster is (you guessed it!) based on the world of The Incredibles. Once built, the rollercoaster’s stylish and modern design, so characteristic of the movie, will look like it’s come right out of the big screen.

  1. Toy Story Mania

    The possibilities for a Toy Story themed attraction seem infinite (and beyond!)

  1. Inside Out

    We can’t wait to see how creative and fun the Inside Out inspired neighbourhood will belike, especially given that the movie literally has a location called ‘Imagination Land’ in it.

  1. All our favourites!

    The fourth neighbourhood will include an array of many beloved Pixar characters. They’ll be featured on the Ferris wheel gondolas, games, and more!

In addition to the attractions, we’re also going to be treated to Pixar themed food and merchandise! The all-new Pixar Pier is set to open on April 13th.

Read article