Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Angus MacLane's LEGO Creations!

All Pixarians have their own little hobby. For example, John Lasseter loves collecting toys, and has mounds of them in his famous office at Pixar. Today we're going to be taking a closer look at one specific Pixarian's special hobby.

Meet Angus MacLane, directing animator of WALL-E, and director of the two shorts, BURN-E and the upcoming Small Fry. Angus loves LEGO, and is known to have made many unique pieces of art made out of the iconic building blocks. Here are a few...

Pixar's icon, the hopping Luxo lamp.

WALL-E, the adorable little robot.

Carl Fredricksen, the old man who was so determined that he soared the skies without ever leaving the warmth of his home.

The inseparable monster duo, Mike and Sulley.

BURN-E, the little bot from the short that Angus himself directed.

Of course, Angus doesn't just make Pixar characters out of LEGO, but he builds many others. Two of my favorites are his takes on R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Pretty impresive, huh? This is proof that Pixar employees have many other talents apart from animation and storytelling.

Do you have a special talent or hobby? If so, please do share it in the comments section!

Monday, August 29, 2011

New "Brave" Synopsis!

We haven't had a lot of Brave related news for quite some time now, so it was about time that we got something. Luckily, that "something" has arrived and we now have an all-new synopsis for the film that uncovers a few plot points from the upcoming fairy tale. Read it below:

Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In “Brave,” a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts.

Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.

Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and the signature Pixar humor enjoyed by audiences of all ages. The film takes aim at theaters on June 22, 2012, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

Sounds awesome, right? This movie is probably going to rock the box office for a couple of weeks or so next year, and I would not at all be surprised if it was greeted by universal critical success.

Also, did you know that several actors from the Harry Potter film series, four of them to be precise, will be lending their voices to a few characters in Brave? Kelly Macdonald, who voices Pixar's first female protagonist, Merida, played Helena Ravenclaw in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. Emma Thompson, voice of Merida's mother, Queen Elinor, portrayed the strange Divination teacher, Professor Sybill Trelawney in several of the Harry Potter films. The voice of Brave's Witch, Julie Walters, is known for her role in most of the films in the  HP series as the protective mother of seven children, Molly Weasley. Finally, Robbie Coltrane, who voices Lord Dingwall in Brave, appeared as the loveable half-giant Rubeus Hagrid throughout the entire Harry Potter saga.

Brave opens in theaters June 22, 2012.

Friday, August 26, 2011

First Look at "Monsters U"

I don't know about you, but ever since Monsters University was announced, I've been dying to see something, anything, having to do with the upcoming prequel. Luckily, we recently got our first look at some concept art and character designs for Monsters U and I am as happy as ever.

The concepts were revealed at D23, and luckily The Pixar Times and /Film were there to get us the scoop on some of the masterpieces.

Mike and Sulley look fantastic; when you look at these characters now it really shows just how much the technology has improved since 2001. At first glance, the two characters look pretty much the same as they did a decade ago, but if you look closer, you start to see some slight changes on Sulley and Mike. After all, the two monster buddies rivals are quite a bit younger than they were in the original film. For starters, you can see Mike's retainer in his mouth now, his eyeball seems slightly bigger, his horns are a tad less pointy, and he's also a bit shorter. As for Sulley, he seems slimmer, shabbier, and his eyes are rounder.

Check out The Pixar Times' gallery here, and /Film's gallery here. They've both got some really cool coverage of all the concept art that was presented at D23. Here is one of my favorite pieces:

It could be a while until we get some more info on Monsters University, but not to worry, the wait to June 21, 2013 will be over before you know it!

Photo credit: The Pixar Times, /Film

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where's WALL-E?

Click to enlarge!

Anyone seen WALL-E? He's cute, box-shaped, and his eyes resemble a pair of binoculars...

Lee Unkrich recently tweeted this awesome illustration by Richard Sargent, and it's probably one of the coolest things I've seen all week. As you can see, it's titled "Where's WALL-E?", and features tons of famous robots from movies and TV. There's Rodney from Blue Sky's Robots, R2-D2 and C-3PO from George Lucas' Star Wars films, even Jimmy Neutron's robotic dog, Goddard, from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Of course, there's also EVE and M-O from Pixar's WALL-E...but where's WALL-E himself?

I'll tell you one thing; WALL-E is in the picture, but he's probably the most difficult to find in the whole illustration.

See how many of these iconic robots you can recognize, and see if you can find the #1 robot of all...WALL-E.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Full Plot For "Small Fry"

We now have the full plot for the upcoming Toy Story short about Buzz Lightyear and his adventure in a fast food restaurant, in which he encounters several cheap-quality "Happy Meal" toys.

"In the latest Toy Story Toon, Buzz Lightyear is left behind at a fast food restaurant when a kids’ meal toy version of Buzz takes his place. While Bonnie's toys are stuck with the annoying 3-inch-tall Buzz impersonator, the real Buzz is trapped in the restaurant at a support group for discarded toys. As Woody and the gang devise a way to rescue their friend, Buzz tries to escape the toy psychotherapy meeting."

Annoying 3-inch-tall Buzz impersonator? That's going to be hilarious!

Catch the hysterical short, Small Fry, in theaters November 23 with Disney's The Muppets.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pixar Announces TWO New Films!!!

Drumroll please...

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment we've all been waiting for, Pixar announces their two new films scheduled for Fall 2013 and Summer 2014!!!

In 2013, we have Bob Peterson, co-director and writer of Up, stepping up to direct a whole new adventure...

What if that deadly asteroid that presumably vanquished the dinosaurs from existence had missed Earth? In this exciting new tale, Bob Peterson shows us what the world would be like if the dinosaurs had never gone extinct.

Wow. A Pixar movie about dinosaurs in the modern world? Say no more. I'm going to the midnight screening.

Peter Sohn, inspiration for the character of Russell (Up), voice of Emile (Ratatouille), and director of the Pixar short Partly Cloudy, will co-direct, and John Walker (producer, The Incredibles) will serve as producer for this currently untitled dinosaur-centric adventure.

As for the May 2014 movie, this is the highly anticipated Pete Docter (director, Monsters, Inc., Up) directed film that has remained completely top secret until now...

In Pete Docter's next tale, he will take us into a world even more mysterious than the monster world...the human mind.

The human mind...this world opens up thousands...maybe even millions...of possibilities for a Pixar film, it's giving the film makers even more freedom than they had with Monsters, Inc., so I'll bet we're in for a real treat.

Ronnie Del Carmen (director, Dug's Special Mission, story supervisor, Up) will be co-director, and Up producer Jonas Rivera will once again be producer in a film directed by Pete. Also, it is rumoured that Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt will return to write the screenplay.

Although we still don't have much details on these two projects, at least now we know what they'll be about, and by the looks of things, we've got a load of Pixar awesomeness awaiting in the years to come...Brave next year...Monsters University the year after that...the dinosaur movie a few months later...then Peter Docter's "human mind" film...what's next?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cars 2 Coming to Home Video Nov. 1st

After having recently heard some of the Blu-ray and DVD details about Cars 2, we now have an actual release date! The film is set to hit store shelves on November 1st, and will feature an all new Cars Toon, entitled Air Mater. A clip from the Toon has been posted onto YouTube by Disney/Pixar (watch below). I've heard rumours that this Air Mater is being produced at Pixar Canada. Just take a look at this picture that was posted on the web when the Vancouver studio first opened.

The Cars 2 Blu-ray and DVD will also include Hawaiian Vacation, which premiered alongside Cars 2 in theaters in June.

Here is the clip for Air Mater:

Pretty good stuff, don't you think?

Stay tuned as we will probably soon see a list of bonus features that will be included on the Blu-ray.

Cars 2 arrives in stores November 1st, 2011!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Upcoming Toy Story Toon Titled [BIG UPDATE!]

The news about a second Toy Story Toon coming in November attached to Disney's The Muppets broke way back in February, but no plot details or even a title were announced until very recently at D23 Expo.

The short film will be called "Small Fry" and will focus mainly on everyone's favorite space ranger, Buzz Lightyear, just like how Hawaiian Vacation was essentially about Ken and Barbie.

At first when I saw the title of the short, I wondered whether it would have something to do french fries, but I thought it would be a little strange for a Toy Story short film to be centered around a popular side dish served with ketchup. I guess we'll have to wait a little longer to find out what "Small Fry" means.

Catch Toy Story: Small Fry on November 23 alongside The Muppets!

UPDATE: The Pixar Times, having been present at D23 Expo, has stated the plot for the upcoming short film. It will involve Buzz getting left behind at a fast food restaurant (think McDonald's) and meeting a group of "Happy Meal" toys, including a mermaid toy voiced by Jane Lynch from Glee. So as it turns out, Small Fry actually will have something to do with french fries. Silly me.

Also, the short will be directed by Angus MacLane, who I believe was in the picture which Tom Hanks once posted on Twitter of himself doing voicework as Woody for the Toy Story Toons next to "3 directors". Considering Bobby Podesta and Mark Walsh were also in Tom Hanks' photo, expect to see them directing their own Toy Story short sometime soon. Angus has previously directed BURN-E. In further news regarding Pixar shorts, La Luna has been confirmed to play in front of Brave next year. I can't wait to see all these new Pixar shorts, they all sound so creative.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pixar Stamps Available Friday!

Back in December, USPS announced its new line of Pixar stamps featuring characters from some of Pixar's most beloved films. When I first wrote the post about the stamps coming in August, it seemed like such a long time to wait, but time flies, and the stamps are out this Friday!

Lee Unkrich tweets:

USPS Pixar Stamps available this Friday. Sorry, rest of the world.

Lee also posted this link.

 If you're a stamp collector, a Pixar fan, or just want to send a letter to someone with a cool stamp, then be sure to get your hands on these Friday!

Cool Cars 2 Target TV Spot!

I was at Target the other day checking out the Cars 2 toys and die-casts when this cool Target commercial featuring McQueen, Francesco, and Mater showed up on the screen. It really caught my attention so I searched it up on YouTube and sure enough it was there for me to post on the blog. I really like the animation and idea behind this ad, very impressive and creative. And I love the little Target pitties seen in front of the store! Watch below, and check out the official Cars 2 Target page here.

"Mike Wazowski" Talks Monsters Prequel

Ever since the upcoming "Monsters" prequel, Monsters University, was announced, we hadn't gotten much news about the anticipated film. Luckily for all us fans who have been starving for more news on the monstrous prequel (pun intended), Billy Crystal, the man who breathes life into everyone's favorite green one-eyed ball on legs, Mike Wazowski, was recently interviewed on Hero Complex, and he told us what he had to say about the film. He did not reveal any plot details however, all except one tiny one...

Although in the film Mike and Sulley despise one another, Billy Crystal says that it's quite the contrary with him and John Goodman (voice of James P. "Sulley" Sullivan) while doing the voicework for Monsters University.

“We’re having a blast together,” Crystal said Friday after a marathon recording session for “Monsters University,” which is planned for summer of 2013. “It’s really a great script, it’s really funny.”

“John Goodman is a genius and he’s great and we’re really funny together,”

It's good to know that the two actors are working well behind the scenes. You might also remember that when the original Monsters, Inc. came out, Mr. Crystal and Goodman did a duet for the film together, called "If I Didn't Have You", a song about the importance of friendship.

As I stated, Crystal only gave us one little piece of information about the film:

“It’s college pranks with monsters. And I wear a retainer. Mike has a retainer.”

Mike with a retainer. Now that is going to be pretty funny. I can imagine him yelling furiously at Sulley for whatever reason and then his retainer accidentally falling out of his mouth, much to his humiliation.

Many people are hoping for Monsters University to live up to the hilarity of the first film, and by the sound of things, it's shaping up to be quite a funny movie.

“I spent five-and-a-half hours today for our fourth session on ‘Monsters Inc. 2.’ And I have to tell you something, it is hilarious. The Pixar people are geniuses.”

Read the full interview here, and don't miss Monsters University, in theaters June 21, 2013!

New Pixar Project Scheduled for May 2014

Back in June, it was announced to the public that there is an upcoming Pixar film scheduled for release on November 27, 2013, which would make 2013 the first year that Pixar would release two movies in the same year (the first one would be Monsters University, set for June 21, 2013). The only thing we were told about this November 2013 release was that it would be an original project and not a sequel/prequel. Other that that and the release date, no further details were given.

Last week we found out that another untitled Pixar film is now scheduled for May 30, 2014. This time, however, it was not specified whether or not this project will feature original characters or if it will be expanding on a previously created Pixar universe. Could it possibly the much rumoured Toy Story 4? Or is it finally time to move past the "sequel era" at Pixar and once again go back to making all original stories and characters all the time, which is what many Pixar fans would prefer, unless, that is, if they were making a sequel to The Incredibles. Whatever this movie is, I'm sure it will one day sit on millions of people's shelves as a treasured classic, like Toy Story, or Finding Nemo.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Inside the "Up" House Replica

A few weeks back, we heard about a house that was recently built in Utah to replicate Carl and Ellie Fredricksen's home from Pixar's 2009 film, Up. Although we did get quite a few pictures from the outside, we didn't get a very good look at the inside. Check out the video below to get the inside scoop on the amazing replica. Very cool stuff. I love how they even have Carl and Ellie's chairs, and they're mailbox on the outside!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pixar at D23 Expo

At last, some Pixar news to share with you all.

You've probably heard of D23 Expo, often called "The Ultimate Disney Event for Fans and Families". This year, for the first time ever, Pixar will be present at the event, and it seems that it will be pretty hard to ignore Pixar's presence at D23.

Many Pixarian "celebrities" will be present at the event, such as Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd from Pixar's upcoming release, Brave, Ricky Nierva, production designer for Monsters University, Jim Morris, general manager of the Pixar studios, and best of all, a group of almost all of Pixar's directors, from John Lasseter, all the way to Dan Scanlon! Not to mention, legendary Pixar composer Michael Giacchino will be there too. Wow, if I was lucky enough to be attending the event, I'd probably pass out from all the excitement.

Here is an official list of all the Pixar-related panels to enjoy at the giant event:

A Conversation with the Pixar Creative Team
Enjoy a rare opportunity to spend some time with the key figures responsible for Pixar’s unprecedented success, including John Lasseter (chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios), Jim Morris (general manager, Pixar Animation Studios), Pete Docter (director, Monsters, Inc., Up), Andrew Stanton (director, Finding Nemo, WALL-E), Bob Peterson (co-director, Up), Lee Unkrich (director, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (director, Brave), and Dan Scanlon (director, Monsters University).

The Characters of Monsters University
Director Dan Scanlon and Production Designer Ricky Nierva discuss how they combine hair, horns, and a lot of heart to bring the wonderful Monsters University characters to life.

Michael Giacchino’s Music of Pixar
In this musical presentation, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino explores his early influences through the creation of modern-day classic scores from Ratatouille, Up and Cars 2.

The Art of Brave
Production designer Steve Pilcher and shading art director Tia Kratter show how they and their team put paint to canvas and fingers to computer keys to create the stunning visuals of Scotland for Disney•Pixar’s upcoming film Brave.

Pixar Shorts
This retrospective screening of the animation studio’s legendary short films will be followed by a panel discussion with several of the filmmakers, including Ralph Eggleston (director, For the Birds), Andy Jimenez (director, One Man Band), Angus MacLane (director, BURN-E), Pete Sohn (director, Partly Cloudy), Teddy Newton (director, Day & Night), and Enrico Casarosa (director, La Luna).

So not only will many Pixar celebs be there, but we'll probably get our first peek at Monsters University, and see more concept art from Brave! This is sure shaping up to be one heck of an event!

Visit D23's official website for further details, and if you are interested in attending, you can buy tickets there as well.