Monday, September 30, 2013

Terrifying Tidbits

Don't worry, that headline was a pun. This is actually some pretty good news!

With Halloween just around the corner, Pixar is getting audiences pumped for their first ever television special, Toy Story of Terror (stylized as Toy Story of TERROR!), which airs October 16 on ABC. The special is directed by Angus MacLane (who previously directed the Toy Story Toon, Small Fry) and features the voices of all the original voice actors from the trilogy returning as Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang. Here are some tidbits regarding the special that have been dropped over course of this month.

Entertainment Weekly debuted this poster for the upcoming special. It's not much, merely a previously seen shot of Jessie, Buzz, and Woody pasted on top of a spooky background.

These nifty banners were recently spotted near Disneyland promoting the new short (via The Rotoscopers):

We also got this funny little Sky Broadband commercial starring Bonnie's toys. Check it out:

Be sure to also watch this exciting, fast-paced trailer for the special:

Finally, here is a colorful gallery of stills from the special, which give us a first look at some of the new toys which we'll be introduced to this coming month, including newcomer Combat Carl, voiced by Carl Weathers. You might remember how the notorious Sid blew up a Combat Carl action figure back in the original Toy Story. The one seen in Toy Story of Terror seems to be a different figure than the one that was obliterated but from the same toy line.

Prepare yourself and ready your DVRs, because this October, the toys are back in town!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Year Without Pixar...

Pixar's The Good Dinosaur is now scheduled for release in Fall 2015

It was bound to happen. The upcoming Pixar feature The Good Dinosaur recently lost its original director, Bob Peterson, and no new director was announced. The Pixar veteran soon took to Twitter to share a few words on how he was doing after being removed from the project:

Fortunately, Peterson is still with the studio and reportedly working on a new project, but nonetheless, the upcoming dino flick was left out in the cold without a set director and a  fast-approaching release date less than a year away. So I guess we all should have anticipated that the film would eventually end up being pushed back.

The news broke on Wednesday that The Good Dinosaur had been pushed from its original release date of May 30, 2014 all the way to November 25, 2015. The new date was previously held by Finding Dory, which has now consequently been moved to summer 2016 (boy, Ellen sure isn't going to be too happy). Pete Docter's Inside Out remains untouched and is still scheduled for release on June 19, 2015 and is now the next Pixar film that we can expect to see hit theaters.

So what does this mean? Yes, folks, there will be no Pixar film released next year. 2014 will be the first Pixar-less year since 2005. And while it all does seem very sad, I very much trust the studio's judgement. They wouldn't just push back a film many are dying to see just for the sake of it. If this decision benefits the finished product, then I think another 18 months of waiting is worth it. Pixar president Ed Catmull puts it perfectly:

"Nobody ever remembers the fact that you slipped a film, but they will remember a bad film. Our conclusion was that we were going to give the film some more time."

I think we can all agree that we'd much rather have The Good Dinosaur not come out until 2015 and have it be absolutely magnificent as opposed to seeing it this coming May but having it turn out a mediocre effort. John Lasseter once said, "Quality is the best business plan", and I think it's refreshing to see the studio sticking to that philosophy, even if it means have a Pixar-sized hole in next year's movie schedule.

So let's focus on the bright side of things, shall we? Now the studio has time to nurture all of their upcoming projects to perfection. Also, 2015 will now see the release of two original Pixar movies! That's right, two films within the same year, and two original ones no less! Pretty freaking exciting, isn't it? And if you're still bummed out that you won't be able to go on a new Pixar adventure until 2015, just think of all the other promising movies coming out next year - Disney's Big Hero 6, DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2, and many, many more.

Turn that frown upside down, Pixar is merely taking a quick break so that they can provide us with the best film they can give.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

D23 Madness! Part 3: Finding Dory

Concept art from Pixar's Finding Dory

Pixar really shocked us all back in April when they announced that the beloved Finding Nemo was getting a sequel, scheduled for release in November of 2015. I mean, sure, there had been some rumors flying about prior to the big reveal, but I had personally taken them with a grain of salt. It took a while for me to accept the fact that this was happening (for years I had dreaded the idea of a second Nemo film), but I've really warmed up to the idea now. Whereas some people will cry out "Why? Why, Pixar? Why?", I try to instead ask, "Why not?". Finding Nemo introduced us to an amazing cast of characters who lived in a magnificent setting that looked absolutely glorious in an animated film, so I'm actually now quite looking forward to diving back into the big blue with Nemo, Marlin, and of course, the adorable Dory, who just so happens to be the lead this time around. In Finding Dory, we'll learn more about the forgetful fish's origins and along the way, meet some of her long-lost loved ones. Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres are set to reprise their roles as Marlin and Dory, respectively, but the aquatic sequel will see some great new additions to the cast as well.

  • Diane Keaton voices Dory's mother, Jenny
  • Eugene Levy voices Dory's father, Charlie
  • Ty Burrell voices a beluga whale named Bailey

Nope, no Bill Hader in this one. No word yet on who will provide the voice of Nemo, although it's probably a safe bet to assume Alexander Gould (now 19 years old) will not return to voice the curious clownfish, as Finding Dory is set only one year after the events of the original film, so having Gould back would make for quite the awkward transition between films. Unless, of course, clownfish age really fast...

The plot details that were dropped at the Expo last month really grabbed my attention. As previously mentioned, the film takes place just a year after the first movie and sees Dory now living with Marlin and Nemo (whether she lives inside or outside the anemone is a mystery to me) when a traumatic event occurs that causes her homing instincts to kick in and hence go on a journey across the sea, determined to find her family.

With what seems to be an interesting premise for a sequel and Andrew Stanton back as director, I think Finding Dory is on track to being a worthy follow-up to one of the greatest animated films of all time. Will it be as good as or better than its predecessor? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows. But that's a relatively tall order. As long as it's a solid continuation that complements the original and allows us to spend some more time with these amazing characters, it'll be fine.