Thursday, February 28, 2013

February In Review

This month has been bursting with exciting Pixar news, so in case you missed any of it, here it is in a nutshell.

It was a big month for Monsters University, and it looks like Pixar have got their marketing campaign for the film in full swing. This month marked the release of the film's first full-length trailer, as well as the debut of a marvelous new poster - plus several other little tidbits, like a fantastic little promo.

Director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarfian posing with the golden trophy 

The 85th Academy Awards took place just this past Sunday, and the Best Animated Feature statuette ended up going to Pixar's Brave. Congratulations to Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews, Katherine Sarafian and all the talented artists and filmmakers that put together a wonder of a film!

Monsters, Inc. arrived on Blu-ray 3D this month, bringing with it Partysaurus Rex and a sneak peek at MU! I'll hopefully be picking it up shortly, but if you have already gotten around to buying it, feel free to share your thoughts on the release!

The latest short film to come up of the animation powerhouse, The Blue Umbrella, premiered on the 12th of this month at the Berlin International Film Festival, and a gorgeous poster (above) for the short was also released.

Reports began to show up that the hilarious Albert Brooks, voice of Marlin the clownfish in Finding Nemo, had officially signed on the voice the character once again in the rumored sequel to the 2003 film. If Nemo 2 is indeed a go, then at least it seems Brooks would likely return, because let's face it, you can't make a sequel to Nemo without him. Ellen DeGeneres (voice of Dory) is reportedly in talks to return as well, and director Andrew Stanton would helm the follow-up for sure.

I was originally skeptical of a sequel to Finding Nemo, but if it is really happening then I trust Pixar's judgement, and I doubt they would ever make a sequel just because it would be a huge box office hit. And apparently Stanton has got quite the idea, so I see little chance of them screwing up, especially if they've got the main cast back.

Regarding upcoming films from the studio, the official logo for Bob Peterson's The Good Dinosaur was revealed, and while it had already been rumored, the title for Pete Docter's ambitious 'Inside the mind' film has been officially confirmed to be The Inside Out. Hooray!

So now February comes to a close and we begin March. Rumor has it that a new Monsters University trailer may show up this month, so fingers crossed!

New Cover Art: The Art of Monsters University

And the Monsters University news just keeps on coming. A new and presumably final cover for MU's 'Art of' book has been posted onto Amazon. It's quite lovely, as you might expect coming from Pixar.

Just judging by the trailers and latest poster, it looks like the Monsters prequel is shaping up to be Pixar's most vibrant, colorful film to date. The environments, characters and everything else are simply marvelous and very nice to look at, which always makes a movie a lot more enjoyable.

Look forward to The Art of Monsters University, which arrives in bookstores this June, a couple of weeks prior to the film's June 21 release. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vibrant New 'Monsters University' Poster

When it comes to movie posters, Pixar never fails to impress. Today Nerdist dropped an all-new poster for Monsters University onto the web, and it is quite stunning.

Overflowing with monster college students, some familiar faces, some new, the poster is just exploding with color. The Monsters characters have always been some of my favorites, as well as the Toy Story gang, because of just how vivid and lively they are - not to mention incredibly hilarious and charismatic.

Monsters University already looks like it's got quite the cast of new characters. I personally love the ones that have been introduced so far, particularly Squishy and Art.

Excitement meter continues to rise....nothing new here.

MU hits theaters June 21.

The Oscar Comes Home to Emeryville

The 85th Academy Awards are officially history, but will definitely not be forgotten anytime soon. I mean, come on, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe singing and dancing on a stage together? How exactly do you top that?

It was also an exciting night for Pixar, as the studio's 13th feature film Brave won them their 7th Oscar for Best Animated Feature, which just so happens to mark the 30th golden statuette the studio has ever won.

Be sure to visit this link and watch short yet exciting video of the trophy coming home to the studio in Emeryville and the crew celebrating in Pixar's giant atrium.

Congratulations Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews, Katherine Sarafian and the rest of the team!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Brave Claims the Golden Statuette

Tonight was an exciting night. At the Oscars this year, I think we had the finest selection of Best Animated Feature nominees that we've had in a long, long time. So naming one of these the best was no easy task.

My goodness. Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, The Pirates!, Wreck-It Ralph, and finally Brave. All absolutely amazing films. Brave had won the BAFTA and Golden Globe, but Ralph won the Annie, so ultimately the battle was between these two.

Pixar ended up walking away with the prize and directors Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews (who, unsurprisingly, wore a kilt) came up to receive the award. Many people argued that Ralph should have won the Oscar, but personally I think both films were equally deserving - and at least Ralph won the Annie, and is still a superb and brilliant film.

Congratulations to the team at Pixar for their 7th ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and here's hoping they take home an 8th golden statuette next year for Monsters University!

Today's the Big Day...

With the Oscars just a couple of hours away, I thought it was a good time to have a look back at all the accolades that have been awarded to Pixar's thirteenth feature film, Brave, this awards season. The film is nominated for Best Animated Feature tonight, although it's got some pretty intense competition, including Disney's astounding Wreck-It Ralph, directed by Rich Moore.

Brave took home the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature earlier in the season, beating out Wreck-It Ralph, Frankenweenie, Rise of the Guardians, and Hotel Transylvania. Heaven knows why Hotel T was nominated and Laika's fantastic stop-motion flick ParaNorman wasn't. Last year was the first time that a Pixar film didn't win the BAF prize at the Globes, with Cars 2 having been beat by The Adventures of Tintin.

Pixar's 13th was also nominated for a grand total of 8 Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature, although that award ended up going to Wreck-It Ralph. On the up side, the film was awarded honors for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production and Editorial in an Animated Feature Production, so Pixar did not go home empty handed that night.

At the BAFTAs, Brave once again took home a Best Animated Feature award, beating Frankenweenie and ParaNorman.

Brave has also claimed several other prizes, including honors for Outstanding Animation, Outstanding Animated Character, Outstanding Created Environment and Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation from the Visual Effects Society. Merida, Queen Elinor and the pesky Witch also granted the film an award for Best Animated Females from the Women Film Critics Circle.

Other awards the film has won include:

  • Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing from the Cinema Audio Society
  • Best Edited Animated Feature Film from the American Cinema Editors
  • Best Animated Female (Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald) from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Pixar's had quite the award season this year, and I'd be very pleased to see Brave win the studio a 7th Oscar for Best Animated Feature tonight. But even if it doesn't win, that won't change the fact that Pixar produced a beautiful film, with wonderful characters, gorgeous music, breathtaking visuals, and an amazing story, so I give my sincere congratulations to the talented crew behind Brave.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Message From the Dean of Monsters University

Pixar continues to promote their upcoming prequel Monsters University with astounding promos for MU itself. Today the official MU YouTube channel uploaded "A Message From the Dean", an extended and slightly cooler version of the promo released back in January. Check it out below.

I'll leave it at this: wow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Week Full of Monsters

Oh boy. It's been raining Monsters University news like crazy this week. We got the new trailer on Monday, but that was only the beginning. Check out some of the other monstrous news that has surfaced this week.

First off, you can head on over to this link and take a neat 10-question quiz on the latest MU trailer. See how high you can score, but be warned, you'll have to pay really close attention to lots of tiny details in the trailer!

The wonderful John Goodman (voice of lovable James P. Sullivan) was on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Monday night, where he talked about some of his upcoming films, including MU of course, and the interview also brought us an extended 40-second clip from the film, from the scene where Mike and Sulley first meet. You can watch it below at the 2:10 mark, although I do recommend watching the whole interview. The clip is great and it'll make you wish June 21 was tomorrow!

Also on Monday was this year's Toy Fair event in New York, where Disney unveiled the toy line for Monsters University, and I must say, the toys look fabulous. I personally have very fond memories of the toys for the original film, so I'll definitely be on the lookout for a lot of these, particularly the Funko Pop! Vinyl figures. Head on over to The Pixar Times, they've got some awesome coverage and pictures from the event!

Look for these MU toys and more in stores this spring!

Disney Living also uploaded the following videos: the first one is of Pixar honcho and toy fanatic John Lasseter going over a few of the toys that were revealed this week, and the second is a short recap of the MU panel at the Toy Fair. Check them out below.

Not only were the toys for MU unwrapped at the Toy Fair, but some of the film's cast and crew, including director Dan Scanlon, producer Kori Rae, and star John Goodman, were also there to talk about the new film, and provided a sneak peek at some of the new characters that will make their on-screen debut in this year's Monsters prequel.

Photo credit: The Pixar Times

The new characters include aspiring scarer Don Cartlon (voiced by Joel Murray), bickering brothers Terri and Terry (voiced by Sean Hayes and Dave Foley, respectively), the adorable Scott "Squishy" Squibbles (voiced by Pixar's own Pete Sohn), and the hilariously abnormal Art (voiced by Charlie Day). With all these fantastic new additions along with classic favorites from the original film returning, it sure looks like Monsters University already has quite the unforgettable cast of characters!

That's all for now folks, but stay tuned as we are sure to get even more MU news in the months to come as June 21 quickly approaches!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Full-Length Monsters University Trailer Arrives!

Yup, you read that headline right. The wait is over, and Disney has released the first full-length Monsters University trailer online! Watch the hilarious trailer below, and prepare to be amazed.

Pretty cool, huh? This Monsters prequel looks set to be a thrilling, exciting adventure - much like its 2001 predecessor. I personally think it could turn out to be Pixar's funniest, most ridiculously hilarious film yet. The animation, character designs, and sets all look fabulous, and with all this topped off with a compelling plot, what could possibly go wrong with this movie?

June 21 can't come fast enough...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

MU Featurette Opens Door to New Plot Details

At last. Pixar have listened to our pleas. Well, sort of.

While we are yet to get a full-length trailer for Monsters University (it better come soon), an awesome featurette debuted online yesterday via AnimatedPodcast. Check it out below.

Not only do we finally get to see some actual footage from the film, but director Dan Scanlon gives us a sneak peek at the storyline, some of the new characters, and other things we can expect to find this summer when Mike and Sulley return to theaters. My excitement-o-meter just went up. By a lot.

Monsters University sure looks like it's going to be a heck of a lot of fun, and I am 99.999% sure that fans of the studio, or anyone else for that matter, will not be disappointed.

MU hits theaters June 21. Be there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monsters, Inc. Blu-ray Re-Issue To Include MU Sneak Peek

Fans have long been craving a new full-length trailer for the upcoming prequel Monsters University,  but have been left to starve for quite some time now. No trailer came with Disney's Wreck-It Ralph in November, nor with Monsters, Inc. 3D in December, although they at least attached a neat little MU promo to the latter. However, it looks as if Pixar might finally give us the full-length trailer we have all been waiting for.

While the original Monsters, Inc. is already available on Blu-ray, it is being re-issued this month, and, naturally, it will now be available on Blu-ray 3D. We recently heard that Partysaurus Rex would be included on this release, but a new promo tells us that this is not all the new Blu will include.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are getting a sneak peek at Monsters University. Now this could be the new trailer, but there's the possibility that it is something else. In 2009 when Toy Story and Toy Story 2 came to Blu-ray, both films included some awesome little featurettes with director Lee Unkrich talking about the third installment into the Toy Story series, so perhaps this MU sneak peek will be something similar to that.

What's important is that we are getting a glimpse at Pixar's latest film - isn't that what we're all dying to see?

Monsters, Inc. comes to Blu-ray 3D February 19th!