Friday, May 31, 2013

The Luxo Limelight - Issue #1: William Jardine

It's finally here, folks! The very first issue of The Luxo Limelight!

This week we'll be taking a closer look at the one and only William Jardine of! He currently resides in England and runs one of the best animation blogs out there. I got the incredible opportunity to interview him and learn all about the impact Pixar and its films have had on his life, so without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I give you William Jardine.


What is your favorite Pixar film? What is your favorite Pixar short film?
Favourite Pixar film is a tricky one to approach, given that I have loved every single film they've made, and love different films for different reasons. But my favourite Pixar film - my favourite animated film, my favourite film, in fact - is and always has been Toy Story 2. It just has to be a Toy Story, really - they're infallible films. As for shorts, I've always really liked Presto's zany humour.

Who is/are your favorite Pixar character(s)? How do you relate to them?
My favourite Pixar characters are probably Frozone or Dug, given the former's coolness (pun intended), the latter's lovability, and the great voice acting done for both of them. In terms of which character I relate to the most, it has to be Woody: he's a little gangly, perhaps a tad dorky, and maybe he doesn't always say or do the right thing, but he tries, he cares, and he tries his best to be a decent, kind person, to help and care for his friends. I think if we all try to emulate that, even a little bit, the world might be a much happier place.

Who is your favorite Pixarian, and how do they inspire you?
Ooh, now that's a tricky one. My love for John Lasseter is absolutely stratospheric - the man helped make the greatest film studio on the planet what it is, helped revive a fledgeling Disney, helped spur the animation renaissance we're in at the moment, and is just a damned fine storyteller. I'm also a great, great lover of Brad Bird - both in and out of animation. Artist-wise, Dice Tsutsumi's work has always astounded me.

How and when did you first come to be a Pixar fanatic?
That's an interesting story, actually. Obviously I've always been aware of Pixar (as I said, Toy Story 2's been my favourite film for as long as I can remember), but I never became a fanatic until, I think, early 2010. It was when Up came out on DVD here in the UK, I had a few pounds to spare and an itching to see a newish film, so I bought that. I was floored. The quality of the storytelling, the quality of the animation, the great characters, the emotional twists, the good-natured humour, it was all just so poignant and so earnest. The feeling of sheer amazement and adulation I got from watching Up for the first time is one I haven't had before or since. From then, I was hooked: I re-watched their older films that I hadn't seen in a while (A Bug's Life and Nemo, mainly) and caught up on the films of theirs I hadn't seen yet (Ratatouille and WALL-E); I started researching the studio online, came across names like John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton for the first time, memorised facts and details, re-watched the films a few more times, and... well, I became a fanboy. I started A113Animation shortly thereafter. The excitement I had for Toy Story 3 when it hit cinemas later that year was unreal, and that film holds a particularly special place in my heart as the movie which bookended my childhood; it was a very special moment, as a Pixar fan, to look around the cinema on opening day and see that there was nary a kid about, the screen was was packed to the brim with teenagers (and I'd venture there wasn't a dry-eyed one by the end).

On a scale of 1 to Mike when he sees himself on TV, how excited are you for "Monsters University"?
Somewhere around a Boo and a half.

Is it a dream of yours to work for Pixar? If so, what sort of job would you like to have there?
Hard to say, really. I'm starting university myself in September (not MU, sadly) on a Computer Science course. That's the same course Ed Catmull did (although obviously things have changed drastically in the field since the 1970s), so it's entirely possible that I could try and pursue a career linked to animation (a more technical role, likely - I'm hardly an artist), but having not had any practical experience with computer animation techniques, it's hard to say how I'll feel in three years time. I would love to work in the film industry, though.

How do friends and family react to your love for the studio?
Curiously. They humour my obsession as I humour their love of football (or soccer, to you guys). It is great, though, how everyone - old or young, male or female - loves Pixar; the studio has attained a level of respect that animation itself is rarely afforded. Not to say they don't all roll their eyes when I wax lyrical about how Bob Peterson follows me on Twitter, though...

Try to explain the feeling of seeing a Pixar film, feature-length or short, for the very first time in just three words.
Really bloody exciting.

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?
It's hard to say with some of them, because - having grown up with the films - I've been morally affected by the Toy Story films in an almost subconscious way: they teach right from wrong, they teach dealing with jealousy, loss, pain, abandonment... Not to say they're just big lessons, they're rather fun too. But Up, again, is the most recent one I can recall, it hammers home how important it is too make the most of life while we still can. A pretty good lesson, I'd say.

You are in argument with someone who claims Pixar is overrated. How do you convince them otherwise?
Slap them across the face. Failing that, dare them to sit through Toy Story 3 without crying.

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?
The love for what they're making. Nobody can stay on top forever (just look at the armies of doubters that've crawled out of the woodwork since the actually-quite-good Cars 2) and Pixar can't always hit a home run. And that's okay. Maybe every film they put out isn't going to be The Incredibles or WALL-E, but if the film is fun, if the film is filled with characters that the filmmakers have clearly enjoyed bringing to life as much as we enjoy watching them, then they can't go far wrong.

If you could say something, anything, to the founders of Pixar right now, what would it be?
Thank you.


There you have it folks. Before you leave, don't forget to follow William on Twitter at @WilliamKJardine and do yourself a favor and check out his blog to stay up to date with all the latest animation-related news.

Tune in next week for Issue #2 of The Luxo Limelight, and don't forget to shoot me an email if you are interested in participating!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monsters University: Promo Palooza!

As the film's release draws ever closer, Pixar and Disney are busy pumping up the crowds for Monsters University, releasing what seems to be about a promo per day. From Swiffer commercials to TV spots all the way to clips from the film - here's a compilation of all the advertisements for the movie that have been released over the past week or so.

Indeed, Pixar have proven that they can make the most irritating of television commercials amusing and enjoyable. Check out this fun little Swiffer commercial starring the members of Oozma Kappa.

Mrs. Squibbles shows off her Hacky Sack skills in this vignette.

Watch Mike and Sulley's hilarious first morning at the Squibbles residence in this clip.

Lastly, Pixar released a new promo entitled "Acceptance Letter" which captures the essence of the exhilarating moment that is opening the envelope that may determine your future.

Just 24 more days of excruciating waiting...24 more days...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Introducing "The Luxo Limelight" [UPDATE]

After more than 26 years of producing some of the finest animated films of our time, Pixar Animation Studios have created something of a fanbase for themselves. The studio has enthusiasts scattered all across the globe, and I think that is something worth bringing into focus.

Next Friday, May 31, a new weekly column entitled "The Luxo Limelight" will debut here at Pixar Corner. The column is intended to give you a closer look at some of Pixar's most devoted admirers from all over the world and learn just why they all adore the studio the way they do, as well as how the talented folks in Emeryville inspire them. A different Pixar buff will be showcased each Friday.

We're looking for as many fans as possible from every inch of the planet, so if you consider yourself a die-hard Pixar aficionado, please email me at and the Luxo Limelight may next be shone upon you.

Check back next Friday for the first of the series. You're in for a treat!

Update 5/26/2013, 12:46 AM (Pacific Time): For more details regarding "The Luxo Limelight", please visit this page.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Monsters University Disney Infinity Play Set Trailer

One of the many play sets that will be included on the highly-anticipated Skylanders-style video game Disney Infinity will, of course, be the very lively Monsters University play set, featuring Mike, Sulley, and all your favorite monsters from the new film.

The official Disney Infinity YouTube channel posted a fun-filled trailer for all that's in store in the MU portion of the game. You'll get to pull outrageous pranks, explore the university grounds, and, naturally, scare other monsters. Watch the trailer below:

Since Infinity practically comes with an entire MU game within it (along with games for Cars, The Incredibles, etc....shouldn't they just call this Pixar Infinity?), I see little chance for there being an actual video game dedicated solely to Pixar's latest feature, but this more than makes up for that, don't you think? Plus, it's being developed by Avalanche, the same masterminds behind the astounding Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 video games, so expect to be blown away!

Disney Infinity hits store shelves August 18. Are you looking forward to it and will you be getting it? Share with us in the comments!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pixar Website Updated With MU & The Blue Umbrella

After several months of having Brave's Merida posing heroically on the home page of Pixar's official website, the site has been updated with summaries on the studio's latest projects, Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella in the "Feature Films" and "Short Films" sections of the website, respectively.

There's really nothing new on there, but I found it exciting enough to write a blog post on. Plus, Pixar's website is worth visiting every now and then, they have some pretty neat stuff.

Action-Packed 'Monsters University' 1-Minute Trailer

The marketing for Pixar's fourteenth feature film has kicked into full-on hyperdrive. With only a month to go until the film's release in theaters, there are TV spots, commercials, and promos popping up everywhere you look. If you've been to your local movie theater lately you've probably also noticed one or two Monsters U standees.

Today, check out this new 60-second-long trailer for MU, filled to the brim with exhilarating snippets of footage.

If you're getting seriously tired of all this waiting for Monsters University, fear not. A month flies by rather quickly...

Monsterize Yourself!

Ever wondered what you would look like if you were a monster? Head on over to and you'll find a very fun little game where you can find out precisely that!

With the new Create-A-Monster, you can monsterize yourself and your friends, or just come up with your own wacky customized beast. I had a go at it myself:

What do you think?

Don't miss out on this sweet activity, and catch Monsters University in theaters June 21!

(via Pixar Post)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pixar Gives First Glimpse at 'Toy Story of Terror'

Everyone loves Toy Story - it's human nature. Even after an incredibly satisfying finale to the trilogy, we were left hungry for more of our favorite plastic pals. Fortunately, our demands to see more of Woody, Buzz and co. were not ignored, and soon after Toy Story 3, Pixar released the first in a series of short films featuring the beloved characters, and have since made a total of three phenomenal Toy Story Toons, with more on the way. You'll be excited to hear that the studio is also now going beyond your standard 6-minute short film...

In October came the announcement that Pixar is currently hard at work on an all new Toy Story half-hour Halloween television special, entitled Toy Story of Terror!, set to air on ABC this October. That was about all that was said back then, but today the studio unveiled a still image from the upcoming short featuring a petrified Woody, Buzz, and Jessie, and we have also received some new details regarding the plot of the special.

The Pixar Times reports that Toy Story of Terror! will focus on everyone's favorite yodeling cowgirl, Jessie. Angus MacLane (BURN-E, Small Fry) will be directing, and claims the special will pay homage to classic horror films including Psycho, Alien, and Predator, and I'd expect a nod to The Shining in there as well, given Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich's passionate love for that film. We'll also learn more about the toys' new-found life with young owner Bonnie, and fans of the original film will be excited to hear that poor old Combat Carl, blown up by the maniacal Sid in Toy Story (1995), will make an appearance as well, voiced by the one and only Carl Weathers (Rocky, Predator).

No fixed date has been announced yet, but expect to see Toy Story of Terror! air on ABC this October, just in time for Halloween!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day! From Monsters University

Following their newly established tradition to release a Mother's Day-themed promo for their latest feature, Pixar have posted a cute little ad for Monsters University starring Squishy's mom, voiced by Julia Sweeney. Check it out below:

Don't miss Squishy and his #1 fan in theaters next month, and don't forget to wish your mum a very happy Mother's Day!

Who is your favorite Pixar mom?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Monsters Merch Begins Rolling In

I was over at my local Disney Store the other day and was pleasantly surprised to see a whole section dedicated to amping up excitement for Pixar's 14th feature film, Monsters University, which is just a smidge over a month away!

Of course, there was no shortage of furry plush toys, and there was also a wide array of neat action figures and t-shirts. The Disney Store's official website has also now been updated with info on the latest MU goodies, with everything from hoodies all the way to mouse pads and iPhone cases. 

Expect to see other stores such as Target and ToysRUs stocking up on even more monstrous commodities very soon, that is, if they haven't already. You can head on over to StitchKingdom, who got some great coverage of the Toy Fair in New York back in February, for a taste of the impressive batch of MU toys that will be hitting store shelves this month!