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Toy Story 4’s Oscar win

Jonas Rivera, Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen, Oscars, Randy Newman, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • February 11, 2020

Toy Story 4 won Best Animated at the Oscars on Sunday! I know I’m a bit late, but I didn’t actually catch the ceremony until after this award was handed out. It was surprising, which I know is a little weird considering that Pixar is usually the favorite, but I genuinely did not expect it to win. Missing Link and Klaus seemed like the major contenders, especially since the former won the Golden Globe. The film is Pixar’s 10th win, but a first for Josh Cooley and producer Mark Nielsen, and Jonas Rivera’s second (Inside Out being his first).

Mindy Kaling presented the award, which was more than fitting considering she starred in Inside Out, and you can even see how warmly she greeted Jonas.

“We take great pride in the fact that we get to make family films. Toy Story 4 is really a love letter to our families, for our parents, our wives, and for our kids.” – Jonas Rivera

“We want to thank the moviegoing audience […] especially those who grew up with Toy Story. We hope that your adventures with Woody and Buzz made growing up a little bit easier. -Josh Cooley

You can also watch Randy Newman’s performance of the Best Original Song nominee, “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away.” It was just wonderful, him seated at the piano surrounded by those iconic white clouds! Newman is 76 years old for what it’s worth, and he’s still amazing. I also loved when the camera cut to Jonas Rivera giving Newman a hearty standing ovation at the song’s conclusion.

Check out some more great photos from Oscars night:

US-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-OSCARS-SHOW

Congratulations to Josh, Mark, Jonas, and the entire cast and crew!

 

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Congratulations to Pixar on Three Oscar Nominations!

Animation, Awards, Josh Cooley, Oscars, Randy Newman, Short Film, Shorts, SparkShorts, Toy Story 4

Posted by Nia • January 13, 2020

This morning storytellers and film aficionados alike gathered around their TVs, cradled their smartphones, and hunched over their computer monitors awaiting the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations. Despite some obvious snubs and a few shockers, the broadcast concluded with a solid list of nominations, including THREE for Disney/Pixar.

The studio snagged a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category for Toy Story 4, the Best Original Song category for Toy Story 4, and in the Best Animated Short category for Kitbull.

A lot of time and hard work goes into making any kind of animated content and we wanted to congratulate EVERYONE who was involved in Toy Story 4 and Kitbull. Great work!

Now… it’s time to begin the official award show countdown. We can’t wait for the Oscars, which airs on Sunday 9th of February!

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Will there be a Pixar musical?

Coco, Dia De Los Muertos, Lee Unkrich, Randy Newman, Rumors

Posted by Simoa • February 17, 2015

We’re not entirely sure.

But sites have been buzzing about the possibility of a Pixar musical after an interview Randy Newman gave for Classic FM, in which he mentioned that Lee Unkrich is currently working on a musical.

Immediately speculation arose about whether this musical was Unkrich’s untitled Dia de Los Muertos film (the Mexican holiday celebrating the dead, translated to Day of the Dead), which was announced in 2012. There haven’t been a lot of updates on the film since then, but that is to be expected as Pixar operates on a high level of secrecy concerning films in the pipeline. As this film doesn’t have a release date yet, it makes sense that not too much information or artwork has been revealed.

You can hear Newman at the 0:39 mark in the soundclip on Classic FM say: “He [Unkrich] isn’t gonna work with me again. He’s doing a musical now.”

Neither Unkrich nor Pixar have confirmed Newman’s comment, but we still have a long time to wait before we know whether his statement is accurate. What’s more telling about this interview is Newman’s assertion that he doesn’t get along with directors and that he may not work with Pixar again, as the byline for the article reads.

Randy Newman has scored and performed the music for a number of Pixar films, winning Oscars for “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters, Inc. and “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3, which Unkrich directed. Newman remarked that he wasn’t keen on the temporary score he created for the film, but Unkrich fell in love with it.

Whether Lee Unkrich is working on a musical (and whether Randy Newman will no longer create lasting, memorable music for Pixar) remains to be seen.

But the idea of a Pixar musical is a tantalizing one. That’s a territory the studio has yet to cover, and would prove the studio’s willingness to experiment with the new. Of course a Pixar musical would also invite the possible unfair comparisons to its parent company Disney. And if Lee Unkrich’s day of the dead film is the musical in question, it would certainly invite comparisons to Reel FX’s The Book of Life.

We can be sure nonetheless that the film will be bold and intriguing no matter what direction it’s taken in.

Are you for or against Pixar releasing a musical?

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Randy Newman’s ‘Monsters University’ Score Now Available!

Monsters University, Randy Newman, Soundtrack

Posted by Brkyo614 • June 18, 2013

His seventh soundtrack for Pixar, Randy Newman’s score for Monsters University has just been released in both MP3 format and on a physical CD.

The album contains 20 tracks – 19 by Randy Newman, one by Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso that was recently released as a single – and it strongly evokes a classic Pixar feel. Be warned that supplies are very limited for the physical edition, so order sooner rather than later.

Download the score now from Amazon or iTunes.

Let us know what you think of the soundtrack!

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Watch: ‘Monsters University’ B-Roll and Cast & Crew Interviews!

Behind The Scenes, John Lasseter, Monsters University, Pete Docter, Randy Newman

Posted by Brkyo614 • June 5, 2013

Monsters University is nearly upon us, so the cast and crew are beginning to set out on promotional interviews. Trailer Addict has posted a huge selection of interviews and B-rolls, providing some fresh insight about the film.

There are simply too many clips to embed, so be sure to check out the glut of interviews at Trailer Addict. Below, Billy Crystal and John Goodman discuss their roles in the film:

If you’re not cautious about spoilers, the B-rolls document the voice acting, art design, animation, and scoring of MU, accentuated by Randy Newman’s soundtrack. Watch the first of seven here:

I always look forward to these B-roll clips, as they give a raw (if somewhat brief) look at the production of a Pixar film. Monsters University is out on June 21.

Your thoughts?

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‘Monsters University’ Soundtrack Gets Cover Art & Track Listing!

Monsters University, Randy Newman, Soundtrack

Posted by Brkyo614 • May 16, 2013

The soundtrack for Monsters, Inc. is easily one of Pixar’s finest, with its energetic and memorable jazzy style. With Randy Newman back at the musical helm for Monsters U, there’s no doubt that he’ll inject the same exuberant mood into the prequel. For those looking forward to Newman’s score, Amazon has updated its product page for the soundtrack CD with some new details.

In addition to the cover art, the page includes a full song listing for the soundtrack. Disappointingly, there doesn’t appear to be any lyrical music from Randy Newman. Check out the list below (spoiler alert, of course):

01. Main Title
02. Young Michael
03. First Day at MU
04. Dean Hardscrabble
05. Sulley
06. Scare Pig
07. Wasted Potential
08. Oozma Kappa
09. Stinging Glow Urchin
10. Field Trip
11. Rise and Shine
12. The Library
13. Roar (Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia)
14. The Scare Games
15. Did You Do This?
16. Human World
17. The Big Scare
18. Goodbyes
19. Mike and Sulley
20. Monsters University

Pre-order the disc (no info on the MP3 version yet), set to release on June 18, on Amazon.

Are you looking forward to Randy Newman’s score?

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Interview: David Tanaka on ‘Pixar in Concert’!

Cars 2, Finding Nemo, Interview, Monsters, Inc., OpenSubDiv, Pete Docter, Pixar, Randy Newman, Ratatouille, Soundtrack, The Incredibles, Toy Story, UP, WALL-E

Posted by Brkyo614 • August 4, 2012

Note: This Q&A was conducted by contributor Leo Holzer.

_____

The following is an email interview I had with David Tanaka, the Creative Editor of Pixar in Concert. I’d like to thank Tanaka for his detailed answers and Chris Wiggum at Pixar for arranging the interview.

Q: Please tell me about the process. What prompted the Pixar in Concert idea? How easy was it to get everyone on board and how long did it take from idea to this past weekend’s event?
Tanaka: The entire process for Pixar in Concert actually took around two-plus years, starting in 2010. Show produces Brice Parker and Laurel Ladevich and myself were in constant communication with Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera, and John Lasseter over that period of time, as we sharpened the conceptual approach to the concert, reached out to all the Pixar directors, producers, and music composers, and refined the evolving edited musical suites for each of the Pixar movies to be featured in the performance.

It really all started with a simple, "What if we did a concert on the music of Pixar?" from Brice Parker to Pete Docter. Pete, whose mother is a music instructor and has a strong musical background himself, loved the idea. Based on his interest in the proposal, I started editing a few "sample cuts" on some of the Pixar films in accordance with the base idea. I believe the first few edits included UP, Finding Nemo and the first two Toy Story movies.

After review with Pete and Jonas Rivera, the results were then shown to Disney Music Publishing’s Chris Montan and Tom MacDougall. They in turn embraced the idea and encouraged us to continue to pursue the project.

A few edited iterations and additions later and we had a formal presentation to show to John Lasseter in one of Pixar’s screening review rooms. John also loved the idea and agreed that the concert should really be only about the music – no dialogue at all from the Pixar movies to interrupt the audience’s pleasure listening to the musical scores, very limited sound effects only to enhance the point of the music if need be, and imagery directly from the movies themselves with no additional "bonus material" such as behind-the-scenes conceptual artwork or crew photos.

This would instead be "all about the music", as it relates to what the audiences members themselves experienced when they first enjoyed the Pixar movies through the years.

With this set of parameters understood and agreed upon, a constant stream of editing was produced and sent to Pete and John as our creative executives over the coming months. Given both individuals’ busy schedules and other company commitments, this often resulted in a lot of QuickTime movie files generated and many "iPad" reviews. They in turn would give Brice Parker, Laurel Ladevich and myself cut content feedback via email or voicemail, with occasional formal review get-togethers wherever possible.

We would also arrange for individuals such as music composer Michael Giacchino to stop by my Avid Media Composer edit suite from time to time to review certain cuts (specifically The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Up in Michael’s case). Michael in particular was very gracious with his time, offering great suggestions not only with musical selections, but also pointers on how, for example, to rhythmically transition from low melodies to extremely fast-paced scores and vice-versa in certain cases.

Q: What was your role as creative editor?
Tanaka: My role as Creative Editor entailed performing all edits for the entire set of Pixar musical concert suites, from the first rough-cut conceptual passes to final online polishing. The process involved collaborating with all of the Pixar directors, producers, and music composers to ensure that my personal selection of music and related animated imagery jibed with their expectations for each of the 13 Pixar animated features to date.

Q: Tell me more about the selection and order of clips to support the underlying music.
Tanaka: I was pretty much left to my own accord regarding how to initially approach musical selection and accompanying Pixar picture content. With the amount of creative control I was given, I thought it best to approach the editing process by simply asking myself as a moviegoer, "What are my fondest memories from each of the Pixar movies?" For that reason picture and music were often cut together, directly from each Pixar movie as they were synced for original feature film release, as a starting point.

(But) we had two major challenges throughout the editorial process regarding edited content:

1 – Core Narrative Theme Per Film: Since this concert project is to celebrate the music of Pixar, we don’t necessarily want to re-tell the entire story of each movie, from start to finish, in some kind of condensed cut version. We knew we could pretty much assume that persons paying for tickets to experience this concert had seen most of the Pixar movies, if not all of them. Therefore, from an editorial standpoint, the challenge became how to craft one’s favorite moments from the films into some central narrative core theme or message per movie.

In the case of Ratatouille, for example, it was Remy’s "joy of cooking" over, say, Linguini’s romance story with Collette or his butting heads with Sous Chef Skinner. For Finding Nemo, it was the father/son relationship between Marlin and Nemo despite how entertaining the banter between Marlin and Dory was to watch. For Up, it was — no question — all about Carl Fredricksen’s love for his best friend and wife, Ellie, despite his newfound relationships with Russell, Kevin the bird and talking dog, Dug, in the movie.

In making these clear cut decisions to focus on specific narrative themes, it helped shape the direction of my edits further away from just being "best of" or "highlights" montage reels.

Adhering to this approach of conveying narrative themes as best as possible, however, sometimes meant breaking with the actual chronological unfolding of events as originally presented in the movies.

For Monsters, Inc., for example, to tell the story of Sully’s caring for Boo we needed to first explain how the factory "scare floor" actually worked, with its access to children’s multiple bedrooms. To show how sad it was for Sully to leave Boo behind before he reopens her bedroom door at the end of the movie, however, I decided to introduce the characters’ sad parting scene in "flashback", right before Sully opens the door. Such an arrangement deviated from the feature film, but gave the best emotional payoff possible for the concert audience while at the same time complementing Randy Newman’s underlying score.

Another example is WALL-E in which it was decided early on that we would focus on the romance between the little trash compacting robot and E.V.E, as opposed to the story of "humans in space". Such scenes struck an emotional chord with moviegoers and also offered some of the most beautiful scores Thomas Newman created for the film. In order to center on the romance theme, however, we felt we needed to remind audiences of WALL-E’s personality first – his humor and sense of awe. Again breaking from original feature film release narrative order, I decided to first showcase scenes in which WALL-E comically sifts through trash in his "day job", as well as when he takes in the wonders of the universe upon leaving Earth. Although WALL-E first meets E.V.E. before leaving his home planet, presenting concert audiences with his tour of the universe first made for a better understanding as to why WALL-E is so awe-inspired by E.V.E.‘s ability to fly (when she was introduced on Earth) and how easy it was to immediately fall in love with her.

2 – Concert Performance Time Constraints: The other challenge to editing this concert was purely logistical: time. Working closely with San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, we determined that a concert event of this type should run approximately 90 minutes in total length, with a 20-minute intermission included. With 13 Pixar feature animated motion pictures to account for, that roughly determined that each of my edited suites should run for as short as four minutes to as long as seven or eight minutes, but no longer. Given the adherence to highlighting particular narrative themes per movie and the ability to shift scenes out of sequence, I could cut in accordance to such time constraints, and as a whole deliver edited concert material within the requested 70-minute total running time.

In the final stages of production, my job as Creative Editor also entailed final video projection quality checks with Brice Parker and Laurel Ladevich prior to the actual live performances at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, connecting with Disney Music Publishing’s team of Johnathan Heely and Ed Kainins to go over technical concerns regarding smooth video projection playback rates and cross-comparing conductor versus audience synced video footage, and also communicating with Music Arranger, Mark Watters, regarding any last (minute) questions or suggestions during rehearsals with Conductor Sarah Hicks and the Davies Symphony Orchestra.

Q: I found it interesting that the music wasn’t shown in chronological order starting with Toy Story and ending with Brave. Knowing Pixar, I knew there was some thought given to the program arrangement. Can you tell me more about the decision-making?
Tanaka: It was such an interesting selection process to go through regarding concert program arrangement, for we definitely had several key points of criteria to consider. Right from the start, however, the one fact we knew didn’t make any sense to adhere to was the chronological order in which the Pixar movies were originally released. "So what," right? As personal fans of cinema ourselves, our love of movies really has no bearing on compartmentalizing feature films to what specific year they were shown to the public for the very first time. (We just love them!)

Bryond starting the concert with Pixar’s first film Toy Story as sort of an homage to "the little film company that could", the program arrangement of the other movies came down to other factors. Those factors included:

  • who the Pixar director and music composer were for each production
  • if that particular production was a Pixar sequel
  • and, the resulting overall tone of the piece I ended up editing to represent each movie.

We really felt that the specific movies per each of our five Pixar directors (Andrews, Bird, Docter, Lasseter, and Stanton) should be equally spread across the program as opposed to being clumped together since there may be aesthetic similarities if we group one filmmaker’s body of work one after another. Why not instead spread them out?

Similarly, we felt that our four Pixar music composers (Doyle, Giacchino, R. Newman and T. Newman) should also be separated across the entire concert so their composing styles could be best appreciated played in contrast to one another, as opposed to being performed one after another.

In addition, it only made sense that Pixar sequels (such as sequels for the Toy Story and Cars sagas) should be separated from one another in the program so they could be appreciated on their own merits, and not unfairly condensed down as if to imply that they together represent just one story and individually nothing more.

Lastly,, the final edited suite I created for each Pixar movie was then assessed for content and the resulting overall tone that was created. For example, The Incredibles and Cars 2  suites I cut really celebrated the action adventure spirit contained in each of those films, therefore they should perhaps not be placed next to each other in order to give the audience variety spread across the entire concert.

On the other end of the spectrum, Finding Nemo and Up evolved into offering two of our most dramatic and emotional suites for the evening, therefore they should intentionally be set apart from each other for optimum audience appreciation.

David Tanaka then volunteered some "closing thoughts":

As mentioned, the entire process lasted for (more than) two years, with much collaboration and back and forth communication from all involved. It was truly a fun process for myself and everyone involved, all in the name of our love of musical scores.

In addition to the satisfaction of representing our Pixar movies, directors, music composers and movie soundtracks as best as possible, having audience members experience and enjoy Pixar’s 13 movies through music and just in the span of a mere 90-minute concert performance was an extremely rewarding experience for me as the project’s Creative Editor, and hopefully for the audience as well!

——-

Have you experienced Pixar in Concert?

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‘Monsters’ News: 3D Re-Release Pushed Forward + ‘MU’ Composer Confirmed!

Monsters University, Monsters, Inc., Randy Newman

Posted by Brkyo614 • July 24, 2012

Fans of Mike and Sully will be thrilled to know that their return to the big screen is coming even sooner than expected.

You may remember that a 3D re-release of Monsters, Inc. was announced alongside Finding Nemo 3D, set for January 18, 2013 to build anticipation for Monsters University on June 21. In an interesting move, however, Disney has just pushed up Monsters, Inc. 3D to December 19, 2012 to capitalize on a lack of holiday competition. With this, Brave, and Finding Nemo 3D all hitting theaters in the same year, it’s an exciting time to be a Pixar fan.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

Additionally, in a bit of news that made it past the radar: Bleeding Cool posted an interview with Randy Newman back from the premiere of Brave in which he confirms that he’ll be returning to the Monsters series to score Monsters University. Newman isn’t my favorite of Pixar’s musical collaborators, but his style works well with the franchise’s universe. View the tongue-in-cheek interview below:

Monsters University will be in theaters on June 21, 2013.

Are you a fan of Pixar’s 3D releases and re-releases?

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Randy Newman and the Oscars Belong Together!

Academy Awards, Randy Newman, Toy Story 3

Posted by Martin • February 4, 2011

Randy Newman, famed composer of the Toy Story series, is set to perform "We Belong Together" at this year’s Oscars.

Audiences around the world got to wipe away their tears as this tune played. Hopefully Newman can replicate that special moment at this year’s awards.

"We Belong Together" is just one of Newman’s countless Academy Award nominations. In fact, he recently put out the following statement (via Variety) regarding his latest nod:

"It always is a nice thing to get nominated, since this is my 20th nomination I believe…. Pixar is always supportive; the more they give me, the better and the easier it is for me to write the song, so it’s always pretty easy to jump back into the thick of things."

Click here to see the Academy’s press release, outlining this year’s featured performers. Tune in to ABC at 8 PM ET on February 27 to watch Randy Newman perform (and hopefully win!) at this year’s Academy Awards.

Your thoughts?

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Randy Newman Writing Toy Story 3 Songs

Randy Newman, Soundtrack, Toy Story 3

Posted by Thomas • May 19, 2008

The Gazette talked with Randy Newman, the Oscar winning singer/songwriter about a fundraising concert in Iowa City, as well as writing politically charged songs and his upcoming work.  Says the article:

In addition to his upcoming pop album, Newman is staying busy making soundtracks for movies. He’s working on music for "The Princess and the Frog," Disney’s first traditionally animated (2-D) film since 2004. He’s also working on tunes for "Toy Story 3."

Newman has composed the scores for a number of Pixar films including both Toy Story’s, A Bug’s Life, Cars and Monster’s, Inc. 

Toy Story 3 is due to hit theatres, June 18, 2010.
Thanks Mark.

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