This summer (and this year in general) have been relatively quiet for Pixar, but they have dropped little bits of news here and there. Last month, they released the still seen above, giving us our first look at their latest short film, Lava. Pictured here is the short's protagonist, Uku, a gentle, warmhearted volcano who finds himself falling for neighbor volcano, Lele.
Lava is described as "a musical love story that takes place over millions of years". Director James Ford Murphy spoke with the LA Times about the short, which is inspired by Hawaiian culture and backed by a song which Murphy composed himself on the ukulele. The song is performed in the short by Hawaiian singers Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig.
"I thought it would be so cool to fall in love with a place who's also a character," said Murphy. "I wanted to make Uku appealing and likable but also look like he's been carved out of lava flows."
At Pixar, short films are often used as a way of testing the waters for new technology and visual styles. Lava challenged the artists at the studio to create detailed wide shots like those in a live-action movie.
Be sure to check out the full LA Times interview here.
The short will premiere this month at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, which starts on the 21 and ends on the 25, but the rest of the world will get to see it next summer when it hits theaters alongside Pixar's next feature-length film, Inside Out, on June 19, 2015.