And we're back with yet another issue of The Luxo Limelight, where you get the chance to learn all about Pixar superfans from all across the globe. This week, I got to chat with the very awesome Forster Keenoy, one of the biggest Pixar geeks you'll ever come across.
What is your favorite Pixar film? What is your favorite Pixar short film?
I'd have to say the Toy Story trilogy. All three combined. I grew up with the first two and the third is the only movie that I consistently cry at (curse you Lee Unkrich!!!). It's harder to pick a favorite short. If you held me at gunpoint and asked me to pick, I'd say Knick Knack. The comedy in the short is great. The characters in the short are great. Everything about that short is great. I love it.
Who is/are your favorite Pixar character(s)? How do you relate to them?
It is incredibly difficult to pick my favorite Pixar character because I just have so many! But the first character I fell in love with was Buzz Lightyear. Having been inundated with Toy Story ever since I was a little kid, I've been a Buzz fan for all these years. The gags that are done with his character over the course of three films are some of my favorite comedic moments, especially whenever he's in his deluded state. In fact, my favorite comedy scene in any Pixar film remains the Mrs. Nesbit scene. I feel like I relate to him in his steadfast loyalty to his friends. I consider myself lucky to have such great friends, both in and out of the Pixar fandom, and I would do anything for them, much like Buzz does for Woody in TS1 and TS2 and Jessie in TS3. He will always be my favorite character, no matter what.
Who is your favorite Pixarian, and how do they inspire you?
Now I'm really on the spot. xD Out of the thousands of people who work at the studio, I'm going to narrow it down to three people: John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, and Dan Scanlon. Let's start with JL. Obviously, everyone loves JL. He's the one who started it all. Without John, Pixar wouldn't even exist: Ed Catmull specifically hired John to do animation for the company when it was still under Lucasfilm's umbrella. However, that is not the only reason. John Lasseter seems like the most genuinely, heartfelt, funny, passionate man ever. Just looking through the barrier of a computer screen or television at his interviews, appearances on audio commentaries, even his viral videos for TS3, Cars 2, and MU, he seems like a guy I would like to give a big bear hug to. He's the best. Now Lee is up there because he is also a very funny guy. Listening to him doing the commentaries for TS2, MI, and Nemo, he seems to be someone who would always have a new joke everytime you met him. I also love him because he was the first director to connect with fans through social media. During TS3's development, Lee's Twitter was the place to be. Everyday he'd tweet behind the scenes pictures, reveal important news, or just interact in a whole new way. One of my early Twitter memories was, during one of Lee's Twitter Q&A's he used to do, he answered me back. I was on Cloud 9 right then. Lee was also the first director to personally respond to one of my (many) pieces of fan mail to the studio. It also helps he directed TS3, one of my favorite films of all time. Now, the reason Dan Scanlon is in my top three is kind of unorthodox. While, yes, Monsters U. was a fantastic film, Dan did something that still stands as one of the coolest things I own. June 23rd, 2011. I'd been thinking about writing a letter to Dan Scanlon ever since it was announced he was directing MU. That day, I just did it. I wrote something about being excited for MU and wishing him luck. I addressed it, stamped it, put it in the mailbox and put the flag up, expecting a reply in a month or so. Fast forward to . I had been out with my family doing random things. We got home and, as usual, I went to check the mail. I pull out the mail, casually flipping through it when I arrive an envelope addressed to me with just the return address Pixar (with Heimlich as the I). I flipped out. I ran inside and opened the letter. Out came a hand written note from Dan saying "Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you like the first film. I was a fan of that film myself. I'm looking forward to sharing MU with you and the rest of the world. Dan Scanlon." Also in the envelope was a hand drawn sketch of Mike and Sulley signed by him to me. Needless to say I was kind of excited. Immediately, Monsters U. jumped to the very top of my most anticipated Pixar films and, two years later, I'm happy to say it did not let me down. Thanks Dan. You're still the best! :D
How and when did you first come to be a Pixar fanatic?
It's hard to pinpoint just when I became a Pixar fanatic. I guess we can go back to my early years. In 1996, a film called Toy Story came out on VHS. My dad, for whatever reason, decided to purchase it for me. I fell in love from the start. Obviously, being a year old at the time I don't remember this, but my mom tells me that, every time she put Toy Story in the VCR, she knew that she had an hour and a half of free time to get stuff done around the house because I was just mesmerized. Then Toy Story 2 came around. Understandably, I was excited. We went to McDonald's a lot around that time because they had Toy Story 2 toys. Then we saw it in theaters and it became the first movie I ever saw in the theater. After that, I was hooked on Pixar films. For every film from MI to Cars, I would spend hours on its website. I was in heaven. Also, in, I'd say 2003ish, I decided to pop in the third disc in the Toy Story Ultimate Toy Box I had. And from that day on, making of featurettes became my favorite part of any Pixar DVD. Then, in August 2009, I rediscovered a forum that I had off handedly signed up for in 2008. That forum was Pixar Planet. It was a place where I could geek out with people like me. From then on, I was a very active member of Pixar Planet. I got lucky because in 2010, the place was really hopping with TS3 coming out. I joined a group called the Pixarteers at the beginning of summer 2010. By the end of that summer, they were some of my best friends. We would talk so much that even by the time we finished a five word post, three posts would have appeared! Those are two of the best summers ever (2010 and 2011). Then, in early 2012, I discovered a new Pixar fandom: the one on the Twitter. I am happy to say that I belong to two Pixar fandoms (which are starting to intermingle, which is awesome) that I love and am very glad to be a part of. I love you guys.
Which upcoming Pixar film excites you the most ?
Out of the four confirmed future films (not counting the one alleged in development from MAndrews and Teddy Newton), I'll pick two. First up is Inside Out. I'm pumped because Pete has made two fantastic films and I have all the reason to believe number three will knock it out of the park. I'm also intrigued by the idea of it taking place inside of the girl's head. That opens up so many storytelling possibilities, it's not even funny. I'm super excited. The other one I'm pumped for is the Untitled Pixar Film About Dia de los Muertos. Obviously Lee has shown he can direct with TS3 and it's reunited Lee and Darla, so it really can't go wrong. I'm also interested to see what it will even be about. It seems like a slippery slope for Pixar to take, but I have all the confidence in the world in the duo of Lee and Darla, so I'm ready.
How do friends and family react to your love for the studio?
My family and friends are very supportive of my fandom. Even though I'm 17 years old, my parents will still take me to go see Pixar films or buy Pixar memorabilia. As for my real-life friends, as supportive as they are, I feel like they get a bit tired of hearing me drone on and on about Pixar. Because I talk about it A LOT. However, if my friends ever need an argument about something Pixar or film-related, they usually come to me. Of course, I have a lot of friends in the fandom and of course, they are the most supportive because they are in the same boat as I am. That's why I love the fandom.
Try to explain the feeling of seeing a Pixar film, feature-length or short, for the very first time in just three words.
OH. MY. GOD.
Pixar's films teach us many valuable life lessons. Can you recall a particular time when you implemented any of these lessons into your life? Which moral lesson showcased in a Pixar film resonates with you the most?
Honestly, it's really hard to pick just one specific time that I've used a lesson a Pixar film has taught me because I use them every single day! If I had to pick one moral lesson from a Pixar film that resonates with me and that I use the most, it's the friendship lessons portrayed most skillfully in the Toy Story films and the Monsters films. The closeness that Buzz and Woody and Mike and Sulley feel are feelings that I strive for with my friends. Those duos are inseparable and I want my friends and me to be that close.
You are in argument with someone who claims Pixar is overrated. How do you convince them otherwise?
I just tell them to look at the facts. Look at the critics' scores (except Cars 2) and, especially, the audience ratings. Obviously, people are going to say Pixar is for kids, and, while, yes that's their opinion, I try to stress the lessons that Pixar teaches that are still relative in today's adult world, not just in the world of kids. I usually just go with facts, instead of my opinion, which is, of course, Pixar is the greatest thing in the world.
Pixar have created something of a legacy for themselves ever since they began back in 1986. What part of said legacy do you hope the studio holds on to for as long as they are in existence?
I just hope that they hold onto their tentpole of great storytelling. One of my favorite quotes is JL's "The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art." I hope that, even through this patch of sequels/prequels and for years after, they continue to tell great, emotional stories that inspire millions around the world.
If you could say something, anything, to the founders of Pixar right now, what would it be?
Thank you so much for creating this wonderful company that has been such a huge part of my life, is a huge part of kids' lives, and will continue to be a huge part of people's lives for generations to come. Thank you.
Forster also sent in a picture of some of the treasures he's acquired over the years, and if you're a Pixar buff who has ever received a letter straight from the studio, then you can probably relate to his excitement when finding one of those nifty little envelopes in the mailbox. Check it out:
Be sure to follow Forster on Twitter (@pixarfan9510), and stop by his blog, Yet Another Pixar Blog, as well. Like him on Facebook (pixarfan9099) and add him on Instagram too, and finally, you can find him on the Pixar Planet forums under the username pixarfan9099. And of course, here's the mandatory weekly reminder to readers that if you would like to participate in The Luxo Limelight, all you need to do is simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (don't be shy).
Thanks for tuning in! Check back next Friday for the next issue of The Luxo Limelight!