Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'Inside Out' Debuts to Stellar Reviews

With the film a mere month away, reviews have begun to roll in for Pixar's Inside Out. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday and has garnered quite the enthusiastic response.

Twelve reviews in, the film holds a 100% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety, Vanity Fair and The Hollywood Reporter, to name a few, have all published reviews singing the film's praises. Some have also taken to Twitter to express their love of Pixar's latest:

So far, Inside Out is shaping up to be Pixar's biggest critical hit since Toy Story 3. Cars 2 was the studio's first film to not receive critical acclaim, and though Brave and Monsters University were both received positively, they were not the critical darlings that, say, Up, WALL-E, or the Toy Story films were. Inside Out, however, seems like it will silence those still claiming that Pixar has "lost its touch" and will no doubt become another cherished classic in the Pixar library.

Inside Out opens June 19; just one month from now!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Synopsis for 'The Good Dinosaur' Emerges

Having been pushed back a whole eighteen months after a swap in directors, we still know relatively little about Pixar's upcoming feature The Good Dinosaur, whose development can be traced as far back as 2009. We are now just six months away from the film's release and still know next to nothing about it besides its basic plot, and even that information may be outdated since the film is said to have been reworked entirely after Pete Sohn took over for Bob Peterson as director. A new synopsis has now dropped, and though it is somewhat vague, it does give an idea as to where the story lies as of now.

"The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of."

The film appears to still be, at its core, the same basic story that was originally envisioned.We were never really given a very detailed description of the film's initial plot to begin with, so it is hard to say exactly how much has changed. The whole notion of the dinosaurs being farmers is confirmed to have been scrapped, but outside of that we may not know exactly what has changed from the original version of the film to its current iteration until the home media bonus features arrive.

With the release of Inside Out fast approaching, expect to see a teaser trailer, which should shed some more light on the film's story, sooner than later. The Good Dinosaur opens November 25.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pixar Unveils New Short 'Sanjay's Super Team'

Concept art from Pixar's latest short, Sanjay's Super Team

Pixar has made it a tradition to pair each of their theatrical feature-length films with an original short. Though it has been known for a while that June's Inside Out will be released alongside Lava, directed by James Ford Murphy, the short that will be released in November with The Good Dinosaur remained concealed until recently. That short has now been revealed to be titled Sanjay's Super Team.

Directed by first-timer Sanjay Patel, Sanjay's Super Team draws inspiration directly from Patel's childhood. The LA Times gave the following description of the short:

"The seven-minute short begins with young Sanjay watching cartoons and eating cereal in a bland, beige room as his father jingles a bell, beckoning him to join in meditation. Reluctant and bored by the ceremony, Sanjay begins daydreaming a kind of ancient, Hindu version of 'The Avengers,' with the gods appearing like superheroes. 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."

Sanjay Patel

Pixar often uses its shorts as a way to experiment with new animation styles and techniques; the combination of computer animation and traditional 2D animation in Day & Night and the photorealistic look of The Blue Umbrella serve as prime examples of this. Based on that brief description and the concept art, it certainly sounds like the studio will break new ground with their latest short. With the combined forces of Pixar's artists' masterful artistry and Patel's deeply personal story, Sanjay's Super Team will no doubt be a welcome addition to the impressive library of Pixar short films.

The short is produced by Toy Story 3 and Monsters University associate producer Nicole Paradis Grindle, with music composed by Mychael Danna, who won an Oscar for Best Original Score for his work on Life of Pi. Catch Sanjay's Super Team in theaters this November alongside The Good Dinosaur!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Brad Bird Gets to Work on 'The Incredibles 2'

More than a decade after its release in theaters, The Incredibles is finally getting a much clamored-for sequel. The film was revealed to be in development in March of last year, but it may still be a while before we see our favorite family of supers grace the big screen again.

Brad Bird, director of The Incredibles, revealed in an interview with NPR earlier this month that he is only "just starting to write [The Incredibles 2]", which means the film is still in the early development stages. Pixar films take an average of four to five years to be completed, and although that may seem disheartening to those eagerly awaiting a followup to the studio's 2004 hit, it is certainly reassuring to know that they are taking their time crafting this story to make a sequel worthy of the original, which is often cited as the studio's best work. The film has not been given a release date yet, but I'd say the earliest we will see it is 2018, but more likely 2019. Pixar currently has a placeholder on June 15, 2018, so depending on how quickly the film is completed, we may or may not see it open on that day.

Brad Bird's next film, Tomorrowland, hits theaters in May, so it's probably safe to say that once that film has been released he will shift his attention towards the Incredibles sequel. As of right now we do not know for certain if Bird will return to direct The Incredibles 2, but fans can rest assured that he is at least penning the film's script. Either way, the Incredibles are coming back, and that, I think, is reason enough to get excited.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

5 Years And Counting...

It's hard to believe that already half a decade has passed since I published my first post on this blog. I always get a kick looking back at my earlier posts, seeing as my writing ability was not quite up to par when I started. I'll probably look back at my current posts in a few years and cringe.

What a blast this has been. Without exaggeration, my life would be very different today were it not for this blog. Pixar's films have always filled me with sheer joy, and covering Pixar news has only added to that.

As always, a huge thank you goes to the supporters of this blog, especially the ones who have been here since the start. For those of you that are new, welcome!

If you enjoy this blog and are a Pixar aficionado, I encourage you to participate in the Luxo Limelight column - exclusive here on Pixar Corner! Read more about it here.

I look forward to keeping this blog running for many more years. I am hoping to bring some exciting updates soon to celebrate Pixar Corner's 5th anniversary, so stay tuned...