Friday, July 4, 2014

New Details on 'Inside Out', Pixar Announces 'Lava'

2014 has sure been painfully slow in terms of Pixar news, and I am not proud of having only published eight posts this year prior to this one. However, the animation powerhouse did recently give us some insight into what they are cooking up for us at the moment and it all seems very promising.

Of course, we all know that Pete Docter, the mastermind behind previous Pixar features Monsters, Inc. and Up, has been hard at work on his latest project Inside Out for several years now. The film, which takes audiences into the world inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, is due in just a little under a year from now, and last month Pixar previewed the film at the Annecy Film Festival in France, where those in attendance were treated to a clip from the studio's latest feature. The approximately 5-minute-long clip reportedly showed the birth of the character Riley and then progressively introduced each of her emotions in different stages of her childhood. The same clip was later shown at a press event for the Director's Guild of America. If you're interested in reading a detailed description of the screened footage, head on over to Cinema Blend.

Also at that same Director's Guild event, Pixar veteran James Ford Murphy stepped onto the stage to unveil his new short film Lava, which will play in theaters in front of Inside Out next year. Disney and Pixar released an official synopsis for the short:

Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, "Lava" is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years.

From Pixar Animation Studios, director James Ford Murphy and producer Andrea Warren, "Lava" opens in theaters on June 19, 2015, in front of "Inside Out".

An official poster for Pixar's upcoming short film Lava

Early buzz for the upcoming short film, which was screened for attendees at the event, has been very positive.

Yup, that just about sounds like a Pixar short. Innovative, heartfelt, and sweet.

Murphy himself reportedly composed the short's song on ukulele, which will be sung by Hawaiian singers Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Grieg Makua. Again, none of this has been confirmed by Disney or Pixar, but it seems very plausible.

Back to the topic of Inside Out, several tidbits regarding the film have been dropped here and there over the past couple of months, so here are some of the most notable ones.

The official title treatment for Pixar's Inside Out

Pixar released a new official logo for the film (above), as well as a new synopsis for the film:

From the tepuis of South America to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In 2015, he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all - inside the mind of an 11-year-old named Riley. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city,
house and school.

Inside Out will be the second Pixar feature film to have a female protagonist, the first being 2012's Brave. The main character, however, is not the preteen Riley, but rather her emotion Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler. Riley will reportedly be to Inside Out what Andy is to the Toy Story films; while a key character in the story, she is not the protagonist.

Like the new Lava short, the 5-minute Inside Out clip has also sparked wild enthusiasm in those who saw it. Eric Eisenberg tweeted:
On June 19, Pixar's social media accounts posted this funny picture of director Pete Docter showing his excitement for his upcoming film by holding up a sketch of Joy.

We were also treated to a beautiful piece of concept art from the film, showcasing Joy inside the headquarters of Riley's mind.

Photo credit: The Pixar Times

Last of all, Docter signed autographs and gave out drawings like the one above featuring characters from Inside Out last month at Annecy. Expect the film's art book to be packed with fun doodles like this one!

Photo credit: hayleyanimates

This year sure is an odd one for Pixar news. It's been very quiet for the most part, but every now and then we get a sudden burst of exciting news about the studio's future projects. In March they announced the ever-coveted Incredibles sequel (and the not-so-coveted Cars threequel), and now we got a bunch of exciting details about their next feature film, as well as word on what their next short film will be! And though they seem far away now, a year flies by quicker than you think. Just think, Monsters University just turned a year old! So don't you worry, June 19, 2015 will be here in the blink of an eye, bringing two astounding Pixar films along with it.

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