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Here’s Your First Look at Lou – The Short to Play in Front of Cars 3

Cars 3, Dave Mullins, Lou, Short Film

Posted by Nia • February 2, 2017

LOU_Pixar

Since last year we’ve known that Lou was a new short being developed by Pixar, but we didn’t know when it would be premiering or much about the story – aside from the fact it focused on a lost-and-found box and would be directed by Dave Mullins.

Yesterday the studio released more information regarding the short and that it will be playing in front of this year’s film, Cars 3.

The short, in the usual Pixar fashion, will be centered on Lou, a hidden creature in a lost-and-found box at a school. The creature, created from mismatched baseballs and a beaten red hoodie, watches the school children play and secretly protects them against the local bully, J.J.

From a USA Today interview, Mullins discussed that the inspiration for this short was his childhood and the fact he never spent much of his time in one place as a kid.

“You either feel invisible because you don’t know the other kids or you’re embarrassed and you want to be invisible. I thought it’d be really cool to have a character who could hide in plain sight.”

Since Lou’s main motivation is to protect the other children in the school and give back to those who need it the most, he felt J.J. being a bully would help push the story forward while making it relatable to everyone.

“They’re usually just acting out because they’re awkward or young and don’t have their moral compass set. In a weird way, the bullies sometimes feel invisible, too. If you can find out what their motivations are, maybe you can solve some things. That’s what I like about Lou: True happiness comes from giving, He gets J.J. to understand that and through that, what J.J. wants really is to be accepted by the other kids.”

You can catch Lou on the big screen this summer in front of Cars 3.

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Latest Pixar short announced!

Dave Mullins, Lou, Short Film

Posted by Simoa • September 28, 2016

Finding Dory has continued breaking box office records and Brad Bird revealed that The Incredibles 2 is happily moving along in production. Now the title and a teaser video for a new short film has been revealed!

Dave Mullins announced via instagram that he is set to direct the new short, titled “Lou.” The brief video clip can be viewed here.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-8-07-14-pm

 

Mullins is a short film director and animation supervisor. He’s been at the studio since 2001, with credits on every Pixar feature. Lou is in a lost and found box, which means he could be a toy. Even with the soundless clip, the short promises to be very intriguing. His bugged out eyes make him appear anxious. We can’t wait for more concept art and story details to drop! No word yet on whether this will open with Cars 3 next June, but it most likely will.

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“Piper”: New Short to premiere with Finding Dory

Alan Barillaro, Finding Dory, Piper, Short Film

Posted by Simoa • April 6, 2016

Entertainment Weekly has just unveiled the concept art and synopsis for Pixar’s latest short film, “Piper”, which is attached to Finding Dory.

Piper, a baby sandpiper, learns to overcome her fear of the water in this short directed by Alan Barillaro. Inspiration for the short came from real world observations, as Barillaro noticed birds feeding at the water’s edge while simultaneously flying away from the waves.

“Seeing the way these sandpipers react to waves and run, I always felt, ‘Gosh, that’s a film, that’s a character.’ It’s always fun to show a world we’re familiar with but from a different perspective. We’ve all been to the beach, but have we ever viewed water from just an inch off the sand? That could be very fearful from a bird’s perspective.”

Barillaro was encouraged to raise the stakes on the story by Dory‘s director Andrew Stanton, as well as John Lasseter. Piper will learn about the food chain as well as some other lessons from another child, a hermit crab.

Piper is obviously adorable, and we can’t wait to meet the other characters. Pixar continues to expand their animation software, and as Dory looks to be absolutely visually splendid, we can guess the ocean in “Piper” will be just as gorgeous.

Pixar’s short films rarely match the themes in the full length features they accompany, so it’s rather nice that “Piper” and Finding Dory have similar locations.

You can “sea” both on June 17th.

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Pixar at the Oscars

Academy Awards, Animation, Inside Out, Interview, John Lasseter, Jonas Rivera, Lava, Michael Giacchino, Pete Docter, Pixar, Sanjay's Super Team, Short Film, The Good Dinosaur, UP

Posted by Nia • January 16, 2016

Congratulations to the talented folks at Pixar for receiving not one but THREE Oscar nominations during Thursday’s announcement. Inside Out was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film and also scored a nomination for Best Original Screenplay; it will be the only animated film competing in that category. Sanjay’s Super Team took home a nod for Best Animated Short Film.

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"Sanjay's Super Team" Comes to the Con ? Director Sanjay Patel and producer Nicole Grindle are taking Pixar Animation Studios' new short to San Diego's Comic-Con International next month for its North American premiere and a peek behind the scenes of the production process. The Super Story Behind the Pixar Short "Sanjay's Super Team," slated for Thurs., July 9 at 11 a.m. in the Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront, reveals the unique inspiration for this incredibly personal film that features superheroes like never before. The short debuts in U.S. theaters in front of Disney-Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur" on Nov. 25, 2015.

Via Disney/Pixar

It was indeed great news hearing that Pixar was nominated for several awards, but it’s also hard not to acknowledge the slight disappointments regarding snubs to both The Good Dinosaur and Lava. In an ideal world, all four films released from the studio would have been nominated for Oscars. They all followed the Pixar standard of challenging both art and technology, paving the way for future animated films. The Good Dinosaur alone was revolutionary in it’s technical aspects and successful blend of animation against hyperrealistic backgrounds. Lava also showcased stunning backgrounds that were brought to life through the use of song; depicting the romance between two volcanoes without dialogue but only through a love ballad. Lava‘s catchy song was clearly absent from the Best Original Song nominees. Also missing from the Best Original Score category was Michael Giacchino’s beautiful work on Inside Out.

In the past, an animated film has even been nominated for Best Picture, such as Pete Docter’s last film Up. If an animated film can be nominated for Best Picture, then it’s director should also be recognized in the Best Director category. Inside Out was incredibly inventive and something we haven’t seen before. It cleverly took us inside the mind of a young girl and created relatable characters out of her emotions… not to mention simultaneously hitting us all with a wave of childhood nostalgia. Docter spent 4+ years working on the film; from writing the screenplay, approving every minute detail most audience members might miss, to even guiding a brilliant team of artists into crafting his vision. That time frame is longer than most live action directors work on a film.

In an interview with Screencrush, Pixarian Kelsey Mann explains why animation directors are just as worthy as notable live action directors in receiving acknowledgement from The Academy:

“From the ground up, directors at Pixar are in charge of everything from the story to the individual blades of grass. We start from nothing. Literally nothing. And it all has to be built from the ground up. And Pete is involved in every decision.”

Slowly audiences (and even The Academy) are beginning to realize that animation isn’t only for children, but it’s an art form entirely of it’s own; crafting stories a thousand times better and more original than most of the live action films released in Hollywood. Here’s hoping that one day an animated film will not only be nominated for Best Picture again, but will win it too.

We will definitely be keeping our fingers crossed for Pixar to take home all of the awards on the February 28th Oscar ceremony.

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Review: Sanjay’s Super Team and The Good Dinosaur

Pete Sohn, Review, Sanjay Patel, Sanjay's Super Team, Short Film, The Good Dinosaur

Posted by Simoa • November 24, 2015

Remarkably brief, “Sanjay’s Super Team” weaves together a story so unlike anything Pixar has ever produced. Quite a feat considering that it’s a short film. It probably would have made a better pairing with Inside Out back in June, because the volcanoes and prehistoric world of “Lava” would have suited The Good Dinosaur better. Nonetheless, “Sanjay’s Super Team” is a real, wondrous delight.

Based on a true story from director Sanjay’s Patel’s childhood, it involves a prayer ritual with his father. Sanjay is dressed up like one of his favorite cartoon superheroes, and has little interest in his father’s tradition. He wants to watch the caped heroes on TV, but his father calls him for prayer. Sanjay reluctantly joins him, bringing his action figure along. Sanjay soon becomes immersed in his father’s prayers, imagining himself with the three Hindu gods. They become even more heroic than the cartoons he loves so much.

In the small cabinet where Sanjay’s imagination and the deities come alive, it’s a vibrant world. The gods glow in translucent shades of blue, pink, and green. It’s a great contrast to the rather drab and ordinary world of the family living room. Even if you don’t practice the Hindu faith, the story is universal. Sanjay learns to appreciate and take pride in his culture. The photographs featuring Sanjay Patel with his father at the short’s conclusion may also make you feel a little misty eyed.

And now for the main feature!

65 million years ago, dinosaurs never went extinct. That’s the initial premise of The Good Dinosaur, but rather than show the immediate aftermath of the asteroid passing, the story takes place millions of years later still. The dinosaurs continued to evolve and now they’re farmers. It’s a concept that would lead you to scratch your head, but an original, intriguing one that surrounds a familiar story. TheGoodDinosaur5612ef11d27c8
A newly growing Apatosaurus family are the farmers here. Poppa (Jeffrey Wright) and Momma (Frances McDormand) are expecting three baby dinos to hatch from their eggs. First is Libby, who is mischievous from the moment she hatches. Buck is second, breaking through his egg feet first and charging about. One of the film’s early funny moments centers on Buck finding a stick and gleefully whacking things with it, like his father’s leg and the last, unhatched egg. This egg is the largest of the three and houses a baby dinosaur much smaller than Libby and Buck and already much more timid. This is Arlo. Right away his entry into the world clues us into a key idea: the world is much too big for little Arlo.
Soon Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) grows, and along with Libby (Maleah Padilla) and Buck (Marcus Scribner), works on the family farm. Each is assigned a task. Libby and Buck excel in their respective roles, but not Arlo. He’s always messing up his chores (along with everyone else’s), and he scares too easily. This fact is not lost on Buck. It seems that Arlo is never going to make his mark. Literally, it’s an imprint or paw print made on the silo built by Poppa to store their food. Libby and Buck along with Momma and Poppa have made their marks on the silo and in the more figurative sense.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured (L-R): Momma, Poppa, Arlo, Buck, Libby. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Poppa aims to help Arlo make his mark and get through his fear. Poppa loves Arlo tremendously and believes in him too. When the young dinosaur is too scared to try or see past his fear, Poppa encourages him. He can sense Arlo’s potential. “You’re me and more.” is a beautiful line that really stands out. It’s meant to give the young dinosaur confidence. It also solidifies Poppa’s love for Arlo and his belief in him.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured: Spot.

After Poppa, Arlo forms his most meaningful relationship with a feral human boy named Spot (Jack Bright). The two meet under less than ideal circumstances and Spot frightens Arlo at first. Though tiny, he’s ferocious, but adorable too. Spot moves like an animal and as director Pete Sohn said, “It’s really fun to push Spot’s canine quality. We want it to be clear that he reacts like an animal in the beginning, but there’s a boy deep, deep down.” Though he belongs to the wild, Spot is very much a regular, rambunctious little boy.
Arlo meets more friends and foes along the way. The T-Rexes are the most impressive of the bunch, friendly and fearsome. These rexes are ranchers who herd longhorns and they agree to help Arlo find his way, but not before he gives them a hand with their lost herd. What’s so inspired about the rexes is that they move like cowboys but in a believable way. Those famous little arms really do resemble cowboys in their movements. The rexes help Arlo overcome his fear while also letting him know that fear isn’t the worst thing. And they’re such a funny, memorable group. Butch is the father, voiced by Sam Elliot, and speaks in a rich baritone voice that recalls steely cowboys in westerns. It’s quite a perfect match. Anna Paquin as Ramsey, Butch’s daughter, is totally convincing with her twang. AJ Buckley as Ramsey’s brother Nash is also excellent.

A TRIO OF T-REXES - An Apatosaurus named Arlo must face his fears (and three impressive T-Rexes) in Disney•Pixar's THE GOOD DINOSAUR. Featuring the voices of AJ Buckley, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott as the T-Rexes, THE GOOD DINOSAUR opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The score by Mychel and Jeff Danna is fantastic, giving the movie its western sound to match the look.

Like most Pixar films, The Good Dinosaur is a buddy picture about two unlikely buddies. The progression in Arlo and Spot’s eventual friendship happens in such an organic way. Spot as the human takes on the role of dog, and just like a dog, he’s fiercely loyal to Arlo. The latter too becomes a protective “owner.” Both support each other and learn quite a lot. Spot doesn’t speak, so there are moments within the film with absolutely no dialogue. One scene in particular, with its wordless poignancy, will have you reaching for tissues.
The Good Dinosaur is also about self-discovery. Arlo is making two journeys; one back home and one to find himself. It sounds cliché, but the script by Meg LaFauve pulls it off. Arlo is able to tap into that unknown potential Poppa wanted to draw out. This is his journey from timidity to confidence. Arlo gets to prove himself and show that he is indeed made of so much more.
The story here isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it is deceptively simple. A boy and his dog, a journey of self-discovery, and learning to see through fear – these three main ideas play out against a backdrop of stunning visuals. The real strength of The Good Dinosaur lies in the artwork and designs. Wide shots feature the most breathtaking, expansive scenery. Jaw dropping is another apt descriptor.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR (Pictured) The T-Rexes. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured: Arlo. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Early on, Sohn stressed the fact that nature was another character, an antagonist. This world is perilous, filled with frightening beauty. “We didn’t want it to feel like a walk in the park. This world feels big – even to a dinosaur.” Arlo actually figures so small in the foreground that the size of the world is quite overwhelming. It’s rather striking that such a huge, unpredictable landscape could lend itself to moments of stillness and silence. There are sequences that allow you to just take in the scenery, admire simple but gorgeous details on leaves and the glassy surface of a lake.
A film about dinosaurs and a small boy who acts like a dog could easily turn trite in the hands of lesser filmmakers. But The Good Dinosaur is somewhat unexpected. The jokes and gags aren’t ever forced. There’s even one surreal sequence that sent the audience at my screening into hysterics. And who could forget, “This is Dream Crusher. He makes sure I don’t have unrealistic goals.”?
We may never know what Bob Peterson’s original film looked like, but I’m confident that Pete Sohn and his crew gave us another stellar Pixar feature. This film is a sleeper hit. I wouldn’t be surprised if people overlooked or ignored it in favor of Inside Out. Their loss, really. This is such a tender, moving film, one that examines the love between two friends and shows just how vulnerable and sensitive little boys and dinosaurs can be. The Good Dinosaur is indeed good, and more.

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First look at “Sanjay’s Super Team”!

Sanjay Patel, Sanjay's Super Team, Short Film

Posted by Simoa • October 14, 2015

The great thing about two Pixar films in the same year means four films in total. Audiences also get treated to a short film preceding the full length feature. If you’re excited for The Good Dinosaur, we guess that your excitement is doubled for “Sanjay’s Super Team.” We got to see some really incredible art work last month, and now thanks to Yahoo! Movies, we’ve got an exclusive clip which you can watch below.

Sanjay1

What I really love about this short clip is the juxtaposition of the art styles. The cartoon Sanjay is watching has a classic, hand drawn appeal, while he and his father are glossier and CG. But they’re still different from the usual Pixar style. We also get a lot of story in just under 40 seconds. The entire short clocks in at seven minutes, and everything that we’ve seen so far proves it’ll be a visual and narrative wonder.

Director Sanjay Patel has expressed his enthusiasm in telling a story that most mainstream Americans- Pixar’s target audience- aren’t familiar with. This is the first time Pixar has told the story of a nonwhite protagonist. To be able to blend that with religion and fantasy is definitely super.

“Sanjay’s Super Team” will premiere alongside The Good Dinosaur on Thanksgiving this year.

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‘Toy Story that Time Forgot’ blu-ray and DVD

Blu-Ray, DVD, Short Film, Toy Story That Time Forgot

Posted by Simoa • August 7, 2015

Looks like Arlo won’t be the only Pixar dinosaur on screens this November. “Toy Story that Time Forgot”, last winter’s half hour TV special will be available on DVD this November 3rd. That’s also the release date for the Inside Out DVD, if the Amazon listing on the latter is indeed correct. Thanks once again to Stitch Kingdom for this report! The full list of bonus features is below.

Blu-ray, Digital HD*, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA)

  •  Reptillus! – In this behind-the-scenes look at Toy Story That Time Forgot, the filmmakers share a peek at the origins of the Battlesaurs world and culture, and explain the character design and development of its greatest hero, Reptillus Maximus.
  • Commentary – Commentary with Toy Story that Time Forgot director, Steve Purcell, and head of story, Derek Thompson, on the process of making Toy Story That Time Forgot
  • Toy Story Goes to Comic-Con – The Toy Story that Time Forgot team heads to San Diego to unveil the project to the public, led by their own longtime Comic-Con veterans, director Steve Purcell and head of story Derek Thompson.
  •  My Unexpected Friend – Feel the power – and sing along – as Reptillus Maximus expresses the depth of his feelings for Trixie in this 80’s-inspired karaoke video for his soulful ballad, “My Unexpected Friend.”
  • Battlesaurs Animated Opening – A 2D animated opening for the fictional animated TV series, “Battlesaurs”.
  • Deleted Scenes with Intros & Outros – Toy Story That Time Forgot director, Steve Purcell, introduces scenes that were developed and storyboarded for the special, but were ultimately cut from the final version.

*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer

DVD

  • Reptillus!
  • Commentary

DMA Exclusive

  • Deleted Scene: Battletropolis

“Toy Story that Time Forgot” was such a hilarious, heartwarming, and ingenious adventure. The DVD and blu-ray give us all a chance to relive the adventure and get immersed in plenty of fantastic extras and behind the scenes footage! Be sure to pick up your copy this November.

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‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ marks two firsts for Pixar

Sanjay Patel, Sanjay's Super Team, Short Film, The Good Dinosaur

Posted by Simoa • April 29, 2015

For the first time, Pixar has two original films that will be released this year. The Good Dinosaur will follow Inside Out in November, and with it, a brand new short.

‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ will be the first Pixar film starring a character of color. Director Sanjay Patel drew on his childhood experiences to create the 7 minute short, which chronicles a Hindu prayer ritual with his father.

It’s also the first time religion is the subject in a Pixar film. The short concerns Sanjay daydreaming about the Hindu gods as ancient superheroes, not unlike Marvel’s The Avengers. As Rebecca Keegan of the LA Times writes: “As the daydream progresses, the color, light and animation of the film grows increasingly dazzling and cosmic, and Sanjay grows closer to understanding his father’s inner world.”

 

Patel is the third Asian American director at Pixar, joining Ronnie del Carmen, co director of Inside Out, and Pete Sohn, director of The Good Dinosaur. He was candid in describing the difficulties of embracing his Indian heritage as a boy and even into adulthood. Nevertheless, Pixar chief John Lasseter was enthusiastic about “celebrating the personal side of the story.” This could be the beginning of a shift at Pixar with more racially diverse casts and directors helming their future projects. That of course is an exciting prospect, and Patel explains why.

 

“If I could, I would go back to the 1980s and give my younger self this short. I want to normalize and bring a young brown boy’s story to the pop culture zeitgeist. To have a broad audience like Pixar’s see this … it is a big deal. I’m so excited about that.”

‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ will premiere at France’s Annecy International Film Festival in June, before it comes to theaters nationwide with The Good Dinosaur on November 25th.

 

 

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Watch and listen to “Lava”

James Ford Murphy, Lava, Short Film

Posted by Simoa • August 29, 2014

"Lava", the next Pixar short to play before Inside Out next year has been generating as much excitement as the feature length film
itself. Described as a musical love story taking place over millions of years, it promises to be a unique love story erupting between two
volcanoes. One still and one poster have been released, and now there’s a
clip courtesy of Yahoo Movies.

The short clocks in at seven minutes, but this clip is thirty seconds long. Yet it’s still an impressive preview of what’s to come. Imagine what the finished product will look and sound like! In addition to the stunning animation is the music. Uke, the volcano featured in this clip, voiced by singer Kuana
Torres Kahele, sings about finding another volcano to love (lava). The wordplay on the lyrics is really quite clever and charming. It’s possible that "Lava" will treat audiences
to a duet, something unlike anything Pixar has done before.

Director James Ford Murphy credits his love of Hawaii as the inspiration for the short. He hoped to create something that would capture the beauty and spirit of the islands set to music in an animated world. "I thought if I could marry the rich imagery with the power and emotion of music, then I could really make something cool."

"Lava" will certainly deliver on that front when it is released alongside Inside Out on June 19, 2015. Watch the clip below and tell us what you think!

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Pixar Reveals ‘Lava’, Previews ‘Inside Out’ at Press Event [UPDATE]

Inside Out, James Ford Murphy, Jonas Rivera, Lava, Pete Docter, Short Film

Posted by Brkyo614 • July 12, 2014

With exactly one year to go until the release of Inside Out, Pixar invited members of the press to a special Inside Out preview event at the Director’s Guild of America last night. Unexpectedly, Pixarian James Ford Murphy took the stage to introduce his directorial debut: Lava, the previously-rumored 2015 short that will play before Inside Out. The official synopsis reads:

"Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, Lava is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years.

From Pixar Animation Studios, director James Ford Murphy and producer Andrea Warren, Lava opens in theaters on June 19, 2015, in front of Inside Out."

While The Blue Umbrella examined the smaller details of a bustling city, Pixar’s next romantic short seems to be magnitudes bigger in scale. Early reactions are very positive:

"Just saw Pixar’s next short: The sweet, romantic musical LAVA, about two volcanoes in love. Might’ve teared up a little."
"Just saw a roughly 95% finished version of Pixar’s latest short, LAVA, which will play in front of INSIDE OUT. Lovely & musical & beautiful."
Adam B. Vary, Buzzfeed

Interestingly, an Instagram photo from Eric Chu – posted a week before the short’s reveal – shows that artwork from Lava is already on display in Pixar’s atrium. Look closely toward the back in the photo to the right.

Before Murphy unveiled Lava, though, Inside Out director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera showcased the footage that was screened at Annecy earlier this month. Rivera noted that "we’re pouring our lives into this one," and based on these early impressions, it shows:

"Saw some footage from Pixar’s INSIDE OUT tonight. Looks incredible. Heartbreaking, super funny, and – as expected – gorgeous animation."
"Man, INSIDE OUT looks to be as creative, intelligent and as emotionally resonant as anything Pixar has ever done."
"It’s still a year out, but everything about Pixar’s Inside Out looks phenomenal. First 5 minutes dropped my jaw and put tears in my eyes."
If you’re not wary of spoilers, Cinema Blend and ComingSoon.net have detailed summaries of the Inside Out footage shown. Like Annecy, Docter and Rivera signed prints after the show, this time featuring yet another new piece of concept art. (via Desiree Eaglin)

Lava and Inside Out release on June 19, 2015.

UPDATE: LA Times has more news on Lava, including the first rendered still of the main character, a volcano named Uku (his love interest is Lele). The paper spoke with director James Ford Murphy on what went into the short:

"I thought it would be so cool to fall in love with a place who’s also a character […] I wanted to make Uku appealing and likable but also look like he’s been carved out of lava flows."

As part of his pitch to executives at Pixar, Murphy learned to play ukulele and wrote a love song, "Lava," which appears in the film and is performed by Hawaiian recording artists Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig.

Head over to LA Times for more.

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