Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Is Pixar Fandom?

Millions of people watch Pixar's films, know and love their characters, and adore the stories they bring to the world. Some have developed true interest in the animation giant, and follow the company's every move on the Internet, books, and just about anywhere else possible. In the present day, Pixar now has an ever-growing fanbase filled with people young and old who love Pixar and the movies they make. A couple of these superfans have even started blogs about Pixar and begun writing all about the studio, its films, and its people on the Internet. And a lucky few have unlocked the key to enter the animation studio itself.

"Welcome to the world of Pixar superfans." says The Bay Citizen.

An article all about Pixar's massive fanbase was recently published on TBC. It talks all about Pixar's many passionate fans, and many comments expressing the love for the story-telling studio have been rounded up from the Internet and put into this article. I can assure that if you are a passionate Pixar "superfan", you'll be able to relate to this article immensely, like I did. Believe me, I related to this article more than ever.

As I carried on reading, there came a part with some words from Pixar publicist Chris Wiggum regarding Pixar's fans. When I read Chris' name, I thought, "Hey! He gave me a tour of the studio back in May!"

Chris says, “It’s not just the films people are into, they treat our filmmakers and artists like total rockstars. I’m always amazed by the level of celebrity they have among fans,”

And that right there that he said, is SO true. I remember when visiting Pixar in May, I saw Bobby Podesta, supervising animator of Toy Story 3, walk right past me. I wanted to say hi, but I got a little starstruck and I didn't have the guts to walk up to him and introduce myself, so I ended up staying right where I was standing, speechless.

As I continued reading Chris Wiggum's comments, I couldn't believe my eyes. Why? Read the quote below:

One 11-year old blogger stuck out in Wiggum’s memory.

“He knew the names of people and would name them as they walked past him in the hallways. Not just animators, but lighters,” Wiggum said, “He had learned their names from watching the DVD extras for the films.”

"Gee, well that sounds familiar" I thought to myself. I couldn't believe that Chris had mentioned me in the interview. I'll have to thank him later on for the honor in being mentioned in The Bay Citizen.

Read the full article here, and see how you connect to other Pixar fans around the globe!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Day In the Life of John Lasseter

A few weeks ago, Pixar released a 25-minute video about what everyday life is like for Pixar honcho John Lasseter. Pixar fans, including myself, found it very interesting to see what day-to-day activities Mr. Lasseter does as he runs the animation studio that creates characters that millions of people have grown to love. In this video, you get a peek at Lasseter's massive Hawaiian shirt collection, his beloved train room, and the fun (and sometimes stressful) work he does as a director. Watch below; if you are a Pixar fan, you're sure to love this video.

I love how it ends with the rainbow right outside the studio. What a nice touch.

Well, now you know how the man does it all. It brings stress many times, and a lot of tricky sitiuations to sove, but it's totally worth it when you get to run Pixar!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Easter Eggs In Cars 2

Pixar is known to always hide little surprises here and there in each and every one of their films. People call these hidden wonders "Easter eggs". Some of the most popular Easter eggs that almost always show up in Pixar movies are the code A113, the famed Pizza Planet truck first introduced in Toy Story, and let's not forget, a reference to Pixar's next feature film. This year's Cars 2 did not break tradition, and sure enough, there were plenty of hidden treasures to make the film even more enjoyable and entertaining. Disney/Pixar released an official list of all the Easter eggs in Cars 2, which I have posted below. See which ones you found the first time through, and find out which ones you missed out on! Also, if you happened to find a hidden gem when you watched Cars 2, but you didn't see it on the list, please do share your discovery in the comments!

  • NOD TO THE NUMBER — The number A113, which refers to John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton’s former classroom at CalArts, makes an appearance in every Pixar film. In “Cars 2,” you can see A113 in two places: as the number on Mater’s license plate, and as the number on Siddeley the spy jet’s tail fin.
  • THAT’S INCREDIBLE — In Radiator Springs, Mater drives past the Radiator Springs Drive-in, and the movie displayed on the marquee is “The Incredimobiles,” a car-ified version of Disney/Pixar’s 2004 film “The Incredibles.”
  • TAKE OUT OR DELIVERY — The Pizza Planet Truck, first seen in the original "Toy Story", makes an appearance in almost every Pixar film. It actually appears twice in “Cars 2”—as a guest on the “Tire Talk” television show just before the Mel Dorado show comes on, and in the Radiator Springs epilogue as a race spectator when the jet-propelled Mater flies by.
  • SNEAK PEEK — In every Pixar film, savvy viewers can catch a sneak peek at a tease for the studio’s next release. In “Cars 2,” there is a “car-ified” version of prominent figures from 2012’s “Brave.” When the Lemons crash into Ye Left Turn Inn in the London sequence, look closely!
  • DINNER IS SERVED — In Paris, there is a restaurant called Gastow’s, a car-ified reference to Gusteau’s, the gourmet Parisian restaurant from “Ratatouille.”
  • MAKING THE ROUNDS — In the London leg of the World Grand Prix, a banner advertising “Lassetyre” tires is visible, a reference to director John Lasseter.
  • FROM V8 TO V9 — The exterior of Flo’s V8 Café has been extended in “Cars 2” to accommodate the set for “Flo’s Cooking Show,” which was to be featured in a segment of the film that was eventually cut. However, you can still catch a glimpse of the extension when the café is viewed from the outside.
  • A STAR IS BORN — “Cars 2” director John Lasseter voices two characters in the film: John Lassetire, Jeff Gorvette’s crew chief, and a gambling car in the Porto Corsa Casino. His Porto Corsa line: “C’mon, fuzzy dice!”
  • LEWIS LENDS A LINE — “Cars 2” co-director Brad Lewis performs the voice of Tubbs Pacer, one of the Lemonheads featured in Porto Corsa.
  • WATERCOLOR WARFARE — Thompson, the spy train in “Cars 2,” contains many weapons with which the spies are outfitted. In the scene in which Mater is being equipped for his espionage duties, one of the weapons on display is actually a very lethal looking paintbrush.

My Visit to Pixar: Across the Street

On Park Avenue, the street on which the Pixar Studios are located, there are several lucky buildings that are just a few steps away from the giant animation studio. Some of these nice structures and organizations around Pixar include a city hall, an animation school, and a restaurant where many Pixarians go and eat lunch. I took the time to take some pictures of many of these places, to give you a taste of the environment that surrounds Pixar.

Brooklyn is hidden by an army of trees on Park Avenue.

The fence that separates the rest of the world from the Pixar grounds.

The Can't Fail Cafe, best known for its fine burgers. At lunchtime, you can catch a glimpse of several Pixar employees coming over here to grab a bite!

Near this building, I'm pretty sure a new animation school recently opened across the street from Pixar. Some students might find that they might actually someday work just footsteps away from where they learned animation. As you can see, bricks seem to be very popular in Emeryville.

Emeryville City Offices sits proudly in front of Pixar's Brooklyn building, and to the right of the Can't Fail Cafe.

A lovely, modern looking building stands next to Emeryville City Offices, surrounded by tall palm trees.

The lovely street of Park Avenue.

I saw a lot more of Emeryville other than Pixar and Park Avenue that day, and it was a delightful city to visit. All the buildings were beautiful, and many of them were made of brightly colored bricks, much like Pixar itself. Emeryville was also a nice place for shopping; I visited a lovely bookstore, the Apple store, Target, and even Toys R Us. But of course, the best shopping spot I visited on May 13th was the one and only Pixar Studio Store! Check back soon to read about some of the Pixar goodies I was fortunate enough to obtain during my visit!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Toy Story 4 Actually Headed Our Way?

A few weeks ago, Tom Hanks commented about a Toy Story 4 being in production. Of course, it wasn't close to being an official announcement, but a couple more things have been popping up here and there indicating that we might actually see Andy's (or should I say, Bonnie's) toys in another adventure some day.

First off, IMDb (Internet Movie Database) says that Toy Story 4 is currently in the works, and is scheduled for release in 2015. Even though IMDb has listed some films (including Monsters, Inc. 2, now titled Monsters University) several months before being officially announced, it has also been wrong many times. What I think happened is that the people of IMDb are taking what Tom Hanks said seriously, so they listed it on the website for release in 2015. Why 2015 you ask? Well, Pixar has stated themselves that their typical film takes usually around four years to complete. Four years from now it will be 2015. So I wouldn't really take this seriously, it's probably all just a big mix-up.

Now, John Lasseter was recently on BBC Breakfast to talk about the release of Cars 2. He was asked about Tom Hanks' comments regarding a fourth installment in the Toy Story series, and he said, smiling:

"Yeah. I found that very interesting too!" followed by, "We haven't announced anything yet so I can't tell you." The presenters asked him if he would like to tell them more about it, but he simply said "No."

He then quickly, but humorously, changed the subject back to Cars 2. Watch for yourself here.

Also, if you wish to see when Tom Hanks told BBC that there would be a TS4, click here and skip to 2:28.

Could this mean that we might actually see a fourth Toy Story film? Is IMDb right? Was John Lasseter just messing with our minds? Is it all just a misunderstanding? When will all these questions be answered???

I honestly would not mind another Toy Story. Many people are getting all upset that there might be a TS4 because they think that Toy Story 3 was the perfect ending to the series, which it was. But not only was it a flawless ending, but you can also look at it as the beginning of a new chapter. After all, Andy's toys are now with Bonnie and her toys, so there are many possibilities with all these characters waiting to be explored. Of course, the Toy Story Toons are already doing that, but a feature film could mean an even bigger and more thrilling story with the characters, both old and new. So if there ever is a Toy Story 4, don't worry about it, Pixar will not let us down. And if there isn't, well, that's perfectly fine too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cars 2 Blu-ray Available For Pre-order!

Only a few weeks after being released in theaters, Cars 2 is already available for pre-order on home video! A release date has not been announced yet, but expect sometime in November.

Here is a list of all the different versions set to be released:
  • 2-disc set includes 1 Blu-ray disc and a DVD; available in Blu-ray and DVD packaging
  • 5-disc set includes 1 Blu-ray 3D disc, 2 Blu-ray discs, 1 DVD, and Digital Copy
  • Director's Edition (11 discs) includes Cars DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy; Cars Toons DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy; Cars 2 DVD, 2 Blu-ray discs, Bly-ray 3D, Digital Copy; comes with John Lassetire figurine and case for all 11 discs

Looks like DVD-only owners will have to wait a little bit longer to get Cars 2 on a 1-disc DVD edition. I'm already dying to get Cars 2 on Blu-ray. I bet there's gonna be a whole lot of awesome bonus features to watch! You can pre-order the 2-disc set, 5-disc set, and Director's Edition on Amazon.
Click to enlarge

Get your hands wheels all over the Cars 2 Blu-ray this holiday season!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cars 2 Character Profiles: Miles Axlerod

All people (or in this case cars) deserve a chance to turn their life around and do the right thing. Miles Axlerod is doing so by leaving behind his days of being a big oil baron, and becoming a completely eco-friendly vehicle, and creating his own alternative fuel, Allinol! It seems almost too good to be true...

Read this official description:

Miles Axlerod
Sir Miles Axlerod is a former oil baron who has sold off his fortune, converted himself into an electric vehicle and has devoted his life to finding the renewable, clean-burning energy source of the future—ultimately discovering what he believes is the fuel everyone should be using. Axlerod is also the car behind the World Grand Prix, a three-country race he created that attracts the world’s top athletes—but it’s really an excuse to show off his new wonder-fuel, Allinol.

Also, watch his turntable video:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Awesome Map of Cars Land!

Click to enlarge

I've been reading some information about Disneyland lately, and I just happened to stumble upon this very detailed map of the new attraction at Disney's California Adventure, "Cars Land", inspired by Pixar's 2006 film, Cars. This map not only shows the locations of all the attractions in Cars Land, but it features in-depth descriptions of all these attractions, and what you will find there when the highly-anticipated land opens in the next summer. Cars Land is sure going to be an amazing addition to the park!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cars 2 Character Profiles: Rod "Torque" Redline

We've met British agents Finn and Holley, but there are spies from all over the world to stop the evil Professor Z and his gang of lemons. From the U.S.A. we have Rod "Torque" Redline, known to countless cars as the #1 American spy on the planet.

Read this official description:

Rod "Torque" Redline
Rod “Torque” Redline is considered by many as the greatest American spy in the world. Recruited after the Cold War for both his brains and brawn, Torque is a tough-as-nails Detroit muscle car with a mastery of disguises. In his latest deep-cover operation, he obtained vital information about the plot to sabotage the World Grand Prix. So Rod plans a rendezvous with his British counterparts to share his discoveries at the World Grand Prix welcome reception in Tokyo, Japan. But with the bad guys hot on his tailpipe, Rod is forced to ditch the intel early and with the first party guest he sees – a rusty American tow truck named Mater.

Also, check out his turntable video:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Astounding Replica of 'Up' House

It's amazing what Pixar's films can inspire people to do. In the state of Utah, a life-size replica of Carl Fredricksen's house from Pixar's 2009 hit, Up, has been built. It even includes little details, like the mailbox with Carl and Ellie's hand-prints. Not to mention that the inside is also identical, and features Ellie's painting of Paradise Falls, along with Carl and Ellie's armchairs. Read more about this masterpiece and check out more pictures here. Man, is this house ever cool. Why don't these things ever come near where I live?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cars 2 Character Profiles: Siddeley

How on Earth would Finn and Holley be able to get themselves around the globe in their top-secret missions? One answer: Siddeley the spy jet.

Read this official description:

Siddeley is a state-of-the-art British twin-engine spy jet. At 176 feet from nose to tail and an impressive 157-foot wingspan, the super sleek silver-bodied Siddeley streaks through international skies at record-breaking mach 1 speeds. Outfitted with all the latest in high-tech spy equipment, including cloaking technology, defensive weaponry and afterburners, Siddeley is Finn’s steadfast partner-in-fighting-crime around the globe.

Friday, July 1, 2011

New Brave Still and Plot Info [200th Post!]

We now have our second still for Pixar's next film, Brave, and this one is, in my opinion, even better than the last one! As you can see, the great ferocious bear is apparently glaring at Merida, as she prepares to shoot an arrow at it. Scary, right?

Along with the new still, check out this interview on The Daily Record with Brave director Mark Andrews. Mr. Andrews has given us a small peek at the film, saying that the story will mainly focus on the relationship between Merida and her mother, and also, that her mother gets turned, well...a bear. **Shiver**

Brave, in theaters June 22 next year, is going to be an epic movie.

In further notice, this is the 200th post on this blog! Ever since I started writing Pixar Corner, I've been encouraged by everyone around me, and my blog has slowly been becoming more and more popular! I've even managed to get into the actual Pixar Studios! Thank you to all my readers and all the people who have supported me along the way!

You can read my 100th post here.

Will We See a Toy Story 4?

Last year, Pixar's beloved Toy Story series ended with Toy Story 3, and the studio did an excellent job ending the saga, and is probably one of the best endings to a film series ever! However, Tom Hanks, voice of Woody, recently stated in an interview that there is currently a fourth installment in the works. The exact words he used when asked if there would be a TS4 were:

"I think there will be, yeah. Yeah, yeah, I think they're working on it now."

This on one hand, could be some pretty bad news, but in another hand, could be very awesome news! I really don't think that another Toy Story is necessary at all, since they ended it so perfectly with '3', plus they're doing the 'Toons' to keep the characters alive, but whatever Pixar decides to do, I'm cool with it. After all, if they are doing a '4', they must've come up with a really really wicked idea that MUST be told. Pixar has even stated that they will only make sequels if they have a story that's worth telling.

I'm not too sure why Tom said they are working on a Toy Story 4, but there are a lot of reasons why he might've said it. He could've been joking, he could've been expressing his desire for a fourth film, or he might have just gotten mixed up with upcoming Toy Story Toons.

Only time will tell if we will see the toys in another feature film sometime in the future. For now, if you want more of Woody and Buzz, catch Hawaiian Vacation, now in theaters with Cars 2, and the next Toy Story Toon arrives in theaters this November alongside Disney's The Muppets.