Friday, November 7, 2014

'Toy Story 4' Set for 2017 Release, Lasseter Will Direct


I think it's safe to say that this is one announcement no one saw coming. There had been murmurings of a fourth Toy Story on several occasions before, but most fans had taken them with a grain of salt. Millions of jaws smacked the ground hard today when Disney and Pixar confirmed that Toy Story 4 is indeed happening.

Disney CEO Bob Iger broke the news during an earnings call, and confirmed that Pixar and Disney Animation honcho John Lasseter, who helmed the first two Toy Story films, will return to direct the fourth installment in the series.

Toy Story 4 will arrive in theaters on June 17th, 2017 and will reportedly be a love story. Lasseter said this of Pixar's approach towards sequels in an interview the the LA Times:

"A lot of people in the industry view us doing sequels as being for the business of it, but for us it's pure passion. We only make sequels when we have a story that's as good as or better than the original. We don't just, because of the success of a film, automatically say we're going to do a sequel and then figure out what we're going to do."

John Lasseter and the crew behind Toy Story 4

In true Pixar fashion, Lasseter and studio veterans Lee Unkrich (who directed Toy Story 3), Pete Docter, and Andrew Stanton came up with the story for the film over lunch one day in his office, he told the LA Times. He and Stanton spent the past two years crafting the story and later brought in Rashida Jones and Will McCormack to pen the script, having seen their 2012 comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever. Galyn Susman, producer of last year's television special Toy Story of Terror and the upcoming Toy Story That Time Forgot, will produce the fourth full-length Toy Story film.

I will have a post with my full thoughts on Toy Story 4 up in the next few days, but for now I leave you with a song from this year's Muppets Most Wanted which, funnily enough, predicted today's big announcement.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

'The Good Dinosaur' Gets Its Director


When Pixar announced that Bob Peterson would no longer direct their upcoming film The Good Dinosaur over a year ago, they made no mention of who would be taking over the reins on the project. Soon after, the studio announced that the film would be pushed from its original release date of May 30th, 2014 all the way to November 25th, 2015, leaving this year Pixar-less. We had heard little else about Pixar's dino flick since, until last month, that is.

As many had suspected, former co-director Peter Sohn (story artist on several Pixar productions, director of Partly Cloudy, voice of Emile in Ratatouille and Squishy in Monsters University) has been named the new director of the film, as Pixar revealed via their Twitter account a couple of weeks ago. While many fans had assumed that Sohn had taken over directorial duties completely after Peterson's removal, this fun little video of the new director sketching the eponymous Good Dinosaur, Arlo, is the studio's first official statement regarding the film's new director.



The Good Dinosaur is just a little over a year away, and while that may seem far away, we have a whole other Pixar feature to look forward to coming in June! It appears as if 2015 will be the first ever year to see the release of two feature Pixar films. Once upon a time this was supposed to happen in 2011, but obviously circumstances did not allow for that. However, despite having experienced several bumps on the road during production, Dinosaur seems to be on the right track, and it's probably safe to say that next year we will at last have a year with twice as much Pixar goodness as we have come to expect.

The Good Dinosaur hits theaters November 25th, 2015.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dazzling New Images from Pixar's 'Lava'

With 2015 fast approaching, the flow of Pixar news is gradually returning to the norm. Last week Collider debuted two magnificent stills from the studio's upcoming short Lava, as well as an interview with director James Ford Murphy. Check them all out below.



The new images just go to show how Pixar's artists are able to flawlessly merge realism and fantasy. Here, Uku the volcano, the hunchback whales, and the sea turtles all obviously have some cartoonish qualities to them but still feel very true to life.

Be sure to also watch Collider's interview with Lava director James Ford Murphy, as he talks about how he came to work at Pixar, the process of pitching a short film at the studio, and more.



And in case you missed it, Pixar also released a clip from the short a couple of months ago. Personally I have refrained from watching it as I like to walk into unspoiled, but feel free to do so yourself...


Lava arrives in theaters June 19th, 2015 alongside Inside Out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Poster for 'Toy Story That Time Forgot'


As the one-year anniversary of Pixar's first ever television special Toy Story of Terror approaches, the studio is beginning to promote its latest half-hour special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, which airs December 2nd on ABC. This awesome poster for the new special was released yesterday by EW.

The poster features some familiar faces, as well as some new ones. Woody, Buzz, Rex, and Trixie, who appears to be sporting some sort of armor, are joined by newcomers Angel Kitty and Reptillus Maximus, and a multitude of the wickedly cool Battlesaurs fills the background. Visually, it looks like the upcoming special will take the Toy Story universe to exciting new places as the gang ventures into "uncharted territory", where they encounter the delusional Battlesaurs.

This Sky Broadband commercial also dropped in late August and, strangely enough, serves as our first real look at Pixar's second TV special. It's pretty funny; check it out below if you haven't already. 



Someone also spotted this promo for the new special on the Disney Channel and uploaded it to YouTube. It's low-quality, but it's our first look at actual footage from the special.



Toy Story That Time Forgot is directed by Brave co-director Steve Purcell and the original Toy Story cast members return to lend their voices to Woody, Buzz, and company. Last year's Toy Story of Terror was a blast and received acclaim from audiences and critics alike, and That Time Forgot should be no different, so be sure to tune in to ABC on December 2nd!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pixar Debuts Teaser for 'Inside Out'


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's finally here. After what seems like an eternity of patiently waiting, Pixar has finally released a teaser trailer for their fifteenth feature film, Inside Out. So without further ado, here it is:


By intelligently reminding us of how great their past successes have been, Pixar amps up the excitement for what looks set to be another winner for them. Only a fraction of the minute-and-a-half teaser has footage from the film itself (or of the film's characters, anyway), but it's put together so flawlessly that nothing else is necessary to get the point across: this film will be something special.

Judging by the teaser, Inside Out will fit right in with with the Emeryville studio's fourteen other features. The trailer promises everything we've come to expect from a Pixar film; gorgeous visuals, unique character designs, a top-notch voice cast, intriguing new worlds, and a heartfelt story.

The film is directed by the brilliant Pete Docter, who has built quite the reputation for himself over the course of his career at Pixar. He made his directorial debut in 2001 with Monsters, Inc. and later directed fan-favorite Up (2009), which went on to become the second animated film in history to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, following Walt Disney Animation's Beauty and the Beast (1991). The Pixar name already means the audience will have high expectations, but Docter's pristine track record raises the bar even higher for next summer's Inside Out.

Additionally, the studio also released an image (top) of the film's main characters, Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), as well as a teaser poster for the new movie (below).


Pixar's "major emotion picture" Inside Out hits theaters June 19th, 2015.