Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pixar President Reveals New Originals Are on the Way

Looking at Pixar's current slate, one thing sticks out; of the five feature films they have scheduled from now until 2019, only one is an original (Lee Unkrich's Día de los Muertos-inspired Coco), while the rest are sequels to past Pixar hits. Sequels are by no means a bad thing, but Pixar's legacy has been built through breaking boundaries and taking audiences to thrilling new worlds, so naturally, fans are also hungry for more original films.

Fortunately, it seems like the studio has more up its sleeve than it has made public. In an interview last month, Pixar president Jim Morris revealed that there are in fact several unannounced original films currently in production at the studio. He briefly mentions that Peter Docter and Jonas Rivera, director and producer of last year's smash hit Inside Out, are currently working on "a new and equally weird idea" and goes on to namedrop Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) and Mark Andrews (Brave), stating that they too are directing new original films. Andrews was known to have been working on a new project since early 2013, but it had not been mentioned since. Newcomer Brian Fee, a story artist at Pixar and part of the studio's Senior Creative Team, is also directing a new film, though Morris did not specify whether this one is a sequel or another original; my money is on the latter.

All in all, exciting news! I always figured that there were plenty of originals in the works, but it's nice to finally have confirmation. Each of the studio's original films always manages to break new ground while being fresh and distinct from anything done before, so I can't wait to see what they have in store.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

30 Years

The original Pixar logo

It has now officially been three decades since Steve Jobs bought the Graphics Group, a computer division of Lucasfilm, and Pixar Animation Studios was born. No one could have predicted what would come next.

To celebrate the studio's 30th anniversary, Disney put out a six-minute video featuring one of Pixar's founding fathers John Lasseter. He talks about the studio's beginnings and the basis upon which it was built.

The cultural impact that Pixar and its films have had in just 30 years is monumental, to say the least. Through combining art and technology, the wizards at the studio revolutionized the animation industry and have created characters as beloved as Mickey Mouse, and continue to do so to this day.

Where Pixar has truly excelled, I think, is in making audiences around the world believe that the computer-generated creatures on the screen are real, living beings. Their films are much more than visual eye candy; they have heart. You forget the fact that you are watching a movie and become fully immersed in the fantastical worlds and, above all, the characters. Corny as that may sound, I'm sure many people would agree.

It's crazy to think that what started as a meager computer company has gone on to create some of the most beloved films of all time and inspire a whole generation of artists. I cannot wait to see what they accomplish in another 30 years.