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Pixar’s first female-directed short ‘Bao’ to play before Incredibles 2

Short Film, Shorts

Posted by Joanna • March 28, 2018

A new Pixar short has been announced! The short film ‘Bao‘, directed by Domee Shi, will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21st, and has been confirmed as the short being paired with Incredibles 2 this June. The Tribeca Film Festival site has provided us with the following synopsis, which has completely piqued our interest:

An empty-nesting Chinese mom gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life. But she must come to terms with the bittersweet revelation that nothing stays cute and small forever.

There is so much encouragement to be taken away from this one 8-minute-long short (which, for the record, will be the longest Pixar short yet). It’s tackling a very real and common experience that is not often spoken about, it’s contributing towards a more diverse representation of different cultures and ethnicities in mainstream media, it’s featuring a female protagonist, and it’s the first Pixar short to be directed by a woman. And a dumpling springing to life has definitely added to our interest in ‘Bao‘ too.

Domee Shi at Pixar Animation Studios, 2015. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

March is Women’s History Month, highlighting and celebrating women’s contributions to our society, both past and present. What better month to receive the news that the next Pixar short will be directed by Domee Shi? Shi has worked as a story artist on Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and Toy Story 4, and has been nominated for an Annie Award for her work as a storyboard artist on Inside Out. We cannot wait to see what story she has to tell when we see Incredibles 2 this summer.

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Pixar’s 7 upcoming movies – everything we know about them so far

Dan Scanlon, Pixar, Suburban Fantasy Film

Posted by Joanna • March 6, 2018

Amidst all the excitement for the Academy Awards, you may have missed the news about Pixar’s schedule for their future movie releases. On March 1st, Disney announced the release dates for over 40 movies, including 7 new Pixar moviesSome we already know about, and some remain complete mysteries.

These next 7 Pixar movies will be released over the course of 4 years, 2018-2022. Have a look at the announced release dates below:

June 15 2018: Incredibles 2
June 21 2019: Toy Story 4
March 6 2020: Untitled Pixar Film
June 19 2020: Untitled Pixar Film
June 18 2021: Untitled Pixar Film
March 18 2022: Untitled Pixar Film
June 17 2022: Untitled Pixar Film

Now, we already know about Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 of course, but there’s very little information on the Pixar movies beyond 2019. It’s amazing to think that in exactly two years on this very day (March 6 2020), Pixar are planning to release a movie that we might know nothing about.

At last year’s D23, we did learn about a brand new, original Pixar movie directed by Monsters University‘s Dan Scanlon – “The Untitled Pixar Film That Takes You To A Suburban Fantasy World“. This film will take place in a world where unicorns and dragons are the norm – Scanlon describes it as “a mixture of the fantastic and everyday”. As this is the only Untitled Pixar Film that we have even a fraction of information on, it feels safe to assume that this intriguing film will occupy one of the 2020 spots.

The Untitled Pixar Film That Takes You to a Suburban Fantasy World was first announced at the 2017 D23

Both Pete Docter (Monsters Inc, Up, Inside Out) and Brian Fee (Cars 3) have been reported to be working on original films, but beyond that, this new movie schedule is full of mystery and our minds are already racing. Pixar are clearly feeling confidently ambitious by planning on releasing two movies in both 2020 and 2022. It’s also interesting to note that no Pixar movie has ever been released in March before, and now two March movies are on the table. Perhaps this is a sign of a change in marketing strategies, or just a byproduct of the release schedules for competing movies throughout the year. Should we expect to see more sequels on the horizon? If so, which films would be most likely to gain an addition to their franchise? And if Pete Docter and Brian Fee are indeed working on new, original films, what amazing worlds are they going to transport us to?

We’re stepping into the unknown now, and it feels great.

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Los Angeles to celebrate ‘Coco Day’ on February 27th

Coco, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • February 26, 2018

Tomorrow, February 27th, is a day that’s been marked down in Pixar fans’ diaries for a while now – it’s the day Coco will finally be released on Blu-ray and DVD. But now there’s even more reason to look forward to this date: Los Angeles is declaring Tuesday as ‘Coco Day in L.A.’, celebrating the film’s incredible worldwide success and its representation of the Latino community.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, First District, is to declare ‘Coco Day in L.A.’ at the Los Angeles City Hall tomorrow morning. The ceremony will start at 9am, and director Lee Unkrich, producer Darla K Anderson, and Anthony Gonzalez (who lent his voice to the Coco protagonist Miguel) will be in attendance. The Mariachi Divas will also be performing “Un Poco Loco” and the award-winning “Remember Me“.

It’s not often that a movie has such a positive effect on the world that within months of its release, it has its very own day of celebration. But Coco is an instant classic that is sure to be remembered for many years to come, not just because of its resonating story and characters, but because of its wonderful representation of Latino culture. It is a movie that is incredibly deserving of all the success that has come its way. So, Happy (almost) Coco Day! How will you be celebrating?

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Incredibles 2 – posters, sneak peaks, and a ‘special look’ coming on the 14th

Incredibles 2, Pixar, Poster

Posted by Joanna • February 11, 2018

“It’s been too long, dahlings.”

Incredibles 2 is set to release on June 15th, over thirteen and a half years after the original The Incredibles came to theatres in November of 2004. Now that a sequel is on the very conceivable horizon, excitement is really mounting, especially with the promise of new trailers, posters, and sneak peaks.

Brand new Incredibles 2 posters have been cropping up for the New York Fashion week, and it just wouldn’t be right if none of them featured the iconic Edna Mode.

The other poster features Bob Parr ironing out his super suit – ironic since it seems that the plot of the long-awaited sequel appears to see Helen experiencing most of the action whilst Bob is left at home with Jack-Jack (although no doubt this will be more action-packed than expected).

If you’ve been keeping up with the 2018 Winter Olympics, you may have been surprised to see some cameos of our favourite family of supers. You can watch some of their brief appearances below:

They’re also teasing a ‘special look’ that will be shown on Wednesday, February 14th during the coverage of the Winter Olympics. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that some brand new clips will be shown, along with some plot details. I have a feeling the Winter Olympics might notice a significant spike in viewer numbers…
If you’re not so keen on watching winter sports or aren’t able to watch the ‘special look’ as it airs live, then don’t worry – we’ll keep you updated!

A quick update: Pixar have released another Incredibles 2 poster.

Not your everyday laundry basket.

Michael Giacchino also tweeted a video of director Brad Bird and himself teasing some work on the score of Incredibles 2. Giacchino wrote the score for The Incredibles, in addition to many other Pixar movies (most recently Coco) – there’s no doubt that this new score will be just as punchy and affecting as the original. Brad Bird also appears to be wearing a t-shirt featuring Jack Jack exhibiting some of his many superpowers! You can watch the video below:

Final update: It’s the day before the ‘special look’ is due to air during the Winter Olympics, and Pixar have just released another teaser poster.

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Coco takes center stage at the 2018 Annie Awards

Annie Awards, Awards, Cars 3, Coco, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • February 4, 2018

A huge congratulations is in order for all the talented Pixar employees who helped make Coco a reality – it took center stage at the Annie Awards ceremony last night by picking up 11 trophies!

Coco has been wowing audiences around the world since its release in Mexico last October – it has since picked up the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, and has been nominated for an impressive number of awards. The whole Coco crew had already done themselves proud by receiving 13 nominations at the 2018 Annie Awards, but going away with 11 wins (including Best Animated Feature) at the ceremony last night was truly well deserved. Here are all of Coco‘s winning categories:

Best Animated Feature
Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Production
Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production
Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production
Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Outstanding Achievement for Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

You can view the full breakdown on the Annie Awards site.

Amongst those accepting the trophy for Character Design was Daniela Strijleva (who created this incredible concept art for Héctor and his many disguises).

Anthony Gonzalez, at only 12 years old, won the Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting award for voicing the charming, kind-hearted protagonist Miguel. Adrian Molina was amongst those credited for not only the writing award, but also the music and directing awards.

Cars 3 was also nominated for 2 awards (Best Animated Feature and Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Production) but failed to pick up any trophies, with Coco really shaping up to be the stand-out Pixar movie of 2017 (or indeed the stand-out movie of 2017).

The next big awards ceremony will be The Academy Awards – exactly one month away (4th March 2018) – in which Coco has been nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. We have a lot to say on the subject of the Oscars so stay tuned! As always, we’d love to hear your predictions.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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