Pixar has recently added four movie based shorts and a bonus pre-Pixar short to their iTunes store. New to the list are Mike’s New Car, Jack-Jack Attack, Mater & the Ghostlight, Your Friend the Rat, and Lucasfilm’s The Adventures of André & Wally B. Each short is priced at $1.99, and for the first time are available individually.
Your Friend, The Rat
Nate Wragg, an artist at Pixar responsible for the memorable rats in the Ratatouille end credits, kindly took the time to fill out this interview for us, enjoy:
Upcoming Pixar: How long have you been in the business; how has your career evolved?
Nate Wragg: I’ve been in the business now for 3 years. I started as an intern, and now work as a character designer / sketch artist. I have also worked as an art director / production designer on a few projects. I was an intern at James Baxter Animation Studios before I became and intern here at Pixar. As for feature films, Ratatouille was the first film I worked on.
UP: What exactly were you working on for Ratatouille?
NW: I worked on some background prop/set design, but mostly I was creating artwork for the 2-D Animated End Credits, the DVD short, the children’s book, and the marketing team.
UP: How far along was Ratatouille when you came on?
NW: I came on right after Brad Bird came on to the film. It was about two years before the movie would be released, and that was the summer of 2005, so I would say the movie was pretty far along when I came on to the project.
UP: Tell me about the designs you did for the 2D rats.
NW: Those designs actually came from work I was doing for Ratatouille marketing. I came up with a style that was supposed to be cute and feel a little dirty at the same time.
As it was it turned into a style that people thought was a whole lotta fun, and it sort of took off into this whole animated credits thing that now lives at the end of the movie.
UP: What was production like on YFTR?
NW: Production was fast and fun. We had such a short amount of time to get things done, that Jim and I would brainstorm the initial concepts for the animation and design of each shot, and then we really put a whole lot of trust in the artists to come through and really show how talented they are. It’s easy though when you ask for character designs from Teddy Newton, art from Scott Morse, and animation from Bob Scott and Doug Frenkle, you know those guys will always hit it out of the park. Mostly it felt like making a small independent film at a big animation studio, most people didn’t know what it was they just knew it was happening, and the end result was received really well. It’s a great little short.
UP: What was your favorite segment on Ratatouille; Your Friend the Rat?
NW: My favorite part of Ratatouille would have to be when Linguini put’s Remy in his shirt for the first time and tries to cook with him in the kitchen. Lou [Romano] did such a great job with the voice acting, and the animators here at the studio just blew me away, it’s too good and too funny.
As for YFTR I really like the stupid little B&W silent film we did, it came out great and to me was just so silly, it was perfect.
UP: What department do you currently work at?
NW: Right now I currently work in the Toy Story 3 art department as a character designer.
UP: Do you plan to stay in the art dept.?
NW: I’m a designer at heart, so I don’t see my self leaving the art department for say story or animation. Designing is what I love best.
UP: Can you give our readers any advice for working at Pixar; where did you study?
NW: Well, I studied at CalArts in LA, but pretty much any school that has a strong animation/illustration department is a good start.
The biggest thing is you really have to have a passion for animation, and if that shows through in your work, then that’s the right path to be on.
UP: Random Question Dept.: What was your favorite segment in WALL•E?
NW: I love the whole first part of WALL•E. I can’t put my finger on anything particular, just the emotion he had was really inspiring.
For more on Nate Wragg, check out his blog where he exhibits his amazing artwork. Thanks a whole bunch for the interview Nate, and congratulations on the wedding!
Pixar.com, notorious for rarely getting updates, has gotten some exciting new features!
Also on the "wall" are in-depth versions of the Cars, Ratatouille and WALL•E sections which now allow you to view "The Full Story" feature as opposed to just a preview. In Cars’ case, the much awaited elaboration has been 2 years overdue. In the updated articles, you can take a look at the behind the scenes process that goes into making these masterpieces.
The Short Films section has now been updated with articles for Mater and the Ghostlight and Your Friend the Rat. We’re still waiting for someone at Pixar.com to realize that they’re missing Luxo Jr. on the list, although its respective section is still online.
Let’s hope this updating becomes a trend!
(Originally posted by bawpcpwn, elaborated on by martini833)
In a near-sweep, Pixar’s popular "anyone can cook" parable shut out every bigscreen contender except Sony Pictures Animation’s "Surf’s Up," which scored two individual achievement awards ,while Oscar nominee "Persepolis" went home empty-handed.
says the article. The full list of wins for Ratatouille include:
- Animated Feature (Ratatouille)
- Character Animation In A Feature Production (Michal Makarewicz)
- Character Design In An Animated Feature Production (Carter Goodrich)
- Directing In An Animated Feature Production (Brad Bird)
- Music In An Animated Feature Production (Michael Giacchino)
- Production Design In An Animated Feature Production (Harley Jessup)
- Storyboarding In An Animated Feature Production (Ted Mathot)
- Voice Acting In An Animated Feature Production (Ian Holm)
- Writing In An Animated Feature Production (Brad Bird)
THQ also won the award for "Animated Video Game" for Ratatouille and Pixar also won the award for "Animated Short Subject" for Your Friend The Rat.
Congratulations to everyone at Pixar for these well-deserved wins. Fingers crossed for the Oscars. Thanks Guido.
Pixar will be making a special appearance at the Future Film Festival this year.
On the occasion of the tenth birthday of Future Film Festival, great news and special meetings are in the works. Pixar Animation Studios will be three times present: firstly through the making of the short film Lifted, then through the Italian premiére of the documentary The Pixar Story by Leslie Iwerks, granddaughter of the famous Ub Iweks and finally through the worldwide premiere of the short My [Your] friend the Rat, whose protagonist is the mouse of Ratatouille.
What an exciting lineup for our friend in Bologna, Italy. Jim Capobianco, director of Your Friend the Rat adds on his blog, that YFtR will screen on Saturday, January 19th at 7pm. He also says,
After the screening, I am giving a, hopefully coherent, talk about the making of the short and take questions. So if you find yourself in Bologna come by and say "hey". Also, being shown is Gary Rydstrom’s "Lifted" on Thursday the 18th with a talk by Mark Holmes Lifted’s production designer.
The festival runs from January 15-20 in Bologna, Italy. Hopefully some of our Italian readers in the area can make it.
Google Translate (which translated the details for us that don’t sprechen sie deutsch) lists these as the bonus features on the 2-Disc edition.
— Short Film: Your friend,
— Short Film: Lifted
— Film & Delicatessen
— Unpublished Scenes
— Easter Eggs
— Paris arises
— 3 more unreleased
— Podcasts: Behind the
— Working Band: Rapids
— Believe it Remys
— Easter Eggs
You can view a high-res version of the 2-Disc edition cover art here. The DVD is released on February 14. Thanks goes out to Guido for this news!
Scott Morse of Pixar fame, tells us about the Your Friend the Rat Little Golden Book on his blog. Scott also mentions his involvement in making backgrounds and colour styling for the short film. You can also view some behind-the-scenes photos from the making of Your Friend the Rat over at Jim Capbianco’s blog.
Nominations for the 35th Annual Annie Awards have been announced, with Ratatouille leading the awards for animation with 13 nominations including Best Animated Feature. In the category it is up against:
Bee Movie – DreamWorks Animation
Persepolis – Sony Pictures Classics
Surf’s Up – Sony Pictures Animation
The Simpsons Movie – Twentieth Century Fox
Other categories Ratatouille has been nominated in are:
2 x Animated Effects
Character Animation in a Feature Production
Character Animation in a Television Production
Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Music in an Animated Feature Production
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
3 x Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Other award nominations for Pixar and Pixar related productions include:
Best Animated Short Subject (Your Friend the Rat)
Best Animated Video Game (THQ Inc.)
The full list is here. And if my memory serves me correctly, no winner of the Best Animated Feature at the Annie’s has gone on to not win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature (bar of course, the Academy’s blunder when they gave that penguin film the award instead of Cars. Surely there is no doubt in their minds this year. I guess this article is also a good segue into this New York Times article on the issue of Disney putting Ratatouille up for Best Picture this year also.
You know when you are browsing the web and you click one link and you see something you like, you click another and then you just stumble upon a site of great value? That’s what happened to me today. I happened upon Alex Mandel’s blog. I bet you’re all wondering, "Who the heck is Alex?". It appears as if Alex has scored quite a few little Pixar shorts such as, Mr Incredible and Pals, a Cars State Farm commercial and even the newest short to accompany Ratatouille on DVD, Your Friend the Rat.
This blog has some great information on scoring YFTR (more information on creating the short can be found at Jim Capobianco’s blog), but I was most intrigued by this post, "Violet" Screens At Mill Valley Film Festival. "What’s Violet?" I hear you ask.
"Violet" is a live-action short drama directed by Mark Andrews (Incredibles, Ratatouille, One Man Band). It’s the first film release from Pixar University.
Partings are often loaded times of in-betweenness. Mark Andrews’ Violet (US 21 mins) looks at what happens when someone never quite learns to let go.
Was anyone at the MVFF and did they catch this short film while they were there? Thoughts are always welcome.
Animated News features three screenshots from Your Friend The Rat, the short film besides Lifted that will be accompanying Ratatouille on the DVD come November 6.
Click Here if you dare to be spoiled.
The short is directed by Jim Capobianco, produced by Ann Brilz, executively produced by Brad Bird, John Lasseter and Brad Lewis, written by Jeff Pidgeon and Alexander Woo and stars Patton Oswalt as Remy, Peter Sohn as Emile and Lou Romano as Linguini.