As we stand at what looks like the end of Pixar’s extraordinary run of classics (though hopefully a new streak will start soon), it’s hard to focus on any single work as their best. The steady beat of the Toy Story films set the pace, The Incredibles helped the superhero movie mature, and the stunning triple punch of Ratatouille, WALL*E and Up proved that brilliant stories could be found far from Hollywood’s beaten paths. But if I had to pick one film of theirs as my favorite – one movie that summed up what so many of us love about this extraordinary studio – I’d probably pick Finding Nemo, their fish-out-of-water story that perfectly encapsulates everything we’ve come to expect from them. Hit the jump for my full review of the Finding Nemo Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray.
Pixar recently sent out a holiday card, and the card contains the concept art for the studios 2013 – 2016 slate of pictures. The card includes previously released concept art for Monsters University as well as a first look at The Good Dinosaur, the Untitled Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind (now titled Inside Out), and the Untitled Dia de los Muertos movie. There’s nothing too revealing about any of this concept art, but it’s still nice to have a glimpse at three Pixar films that aren’t sequels or prequels.
Hit the jump to check out the concept art along with loglines for the films. The Good Dinosaur opens May 30, 2014. The Untitled Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind opens June 19, 2015. The Untitled Dia de los Muertos movie opens in 2016.
In the spirit of TIFF 2012 winding down this weekend, I’m interested in hearing what some of our readers most anticipated pics coming out of the festival are. For me, I was already psyched for films such as Looper, Cloud Atlas, and The Master, but early buzz has also peaked my interest in The Place Beyond the Pines, End of Watch, Spring Breakers, Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp, Dredd 3D, and At Any Price among others. What about you? Where there films that showed up on your radar while following the festival? What about a film you were looking forward to that you were disappointed didn’t fare quite as well as you had hoped (for me, this was Passion)? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out this week’s fifth spot for a link that can help you get caught up on all of our TIFF 2012 coverage.
In addition to that fifth spot, also on the docket for this week’s Top 5 is a slew of video interviews for Paul W. S. Anderson‘s Resident Evil: Retribution, the first full trailer for Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln, James Cameron talking the future of Avatar and what his take on Jurassic Park would have been like, and Steve’s video interviews with some of the major names behind Finding Nemo 3D. Brief recaps and links to each lie after the jump.
Opening this weekend is Pixar’s Finding Nemo 3D. Unlike some post-converted movies that are released as a cash grab, Finding Nemo 3D is absolutely worth seeing again, especially in 3D. When the movie was first released almost ten years ago, the gorgeous ocean-set pic looked beautiful and the animation was stunning. However, when Pixar converted the film, they also re-rendered it (without changing anything) and it’s now even more vivid with higher resolution. Finding Nemo has never looked this good and the 3D actually helps tell the story.
Recently, Pixar held a press day for the re-release at The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. While there I was able to speak with co-director Lee Unkrich. We talked about the all-star group of filmmakers that brought Nemo to life, his reaction seeing the film in 3D, how technology has changed Pixar and things have changed ten years after Nemo, his relief that he didn’t screw up the Toy Story franchise (he directed Toy Story 3), and what he has coming up. Hit the jump to watch.
When Disney took the stage for their CinemaCon 2012 presentation yesterday afternoon, they didn’t mess around. Loaded with footage, movie stars, filmmakers and information, the presentation was definitely aimed at letting exhibitors around the world know that the Disney umbrella (which now includes Pixar, Marvel, Walt Disney films, and distributing DreamWorks live-action films) is loaded with a lot of big properties and they have no intention of slowing down. While some of the upcoming properties just had the stars and filmmakers talking about the movie (The Lone Ranger), others like Frankenweenie had Tim Burton on stage with Sean Bailey (President of Production at Disney) talking about why he wanted to make a stop-motion black and white movie, followed by the screening of a full scene.
In addition to what I just mentioned, Kevin Fiege from Marvel talked about Iron Man 3, Captain America 2, Thor 2, and The Avengers. Pixar’s John Lasseter talked about their next four years of movies including director Lee Unkrich‘s untitled Dia de los Muertos movie, Bob Peterson‘s The Good Dinosaur, Pete Docter‘s untitled movie, Monsters University (including world premieriing the teaser trailer) and a clip of Finding Nemo in 3D and the first 30 minutes of Brave. More after the jump.
At CinemaCon today, Disney/Pixar chief creative officer, John Lasseter, announced a few of the animated projects in the studio’s pipeline. Here they are at a glance:
- An animated project based on the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (as of yet untitled) is slated for a 2015 release. Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is reportedly attached to direct with Darla Anderson producing. If Pixar decides to keep the decidedly dark-sounding title, perhaps it will be the studio’s first foray into something a bit more sinister. (And if Unkrich is involved, there are sure to be some references to The Shining.)
- The upcoming project directed by Bob Peterson is now called The Good Dinosaur; the picture is scheduled for a May 30th, 2014 release.
- The untitled feature directed by Pete Docter that will take a trip into the human mind has been pushed back until June 19th, 2015.
Hit the jump for more from Pixar.
Despite being a sounding board for the woes and whines of anyone with a computer and/or phone, Twitter can actually be pretty cool sometimes. Case in point: last night Pixar directors/all-around awesome guys Brad Bird (The Incredibles), Andrew Stanton (Wall-E) and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) participated in a Twitter conversation about the merits of 70mm exhibition and 65mm shooting. The conversation alone would have been enough to satisfy any cinephile, but a tidbit of exciting news came out of the back-and-forth. Stanton, who’s set to release his live-action debut John Carter this March, tweeted the following:
“The Master is indeed in 65. They nearly lost a camera shooting in the Bay.”
The Master is the working title of Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated new drama, and it appears he shot the pic in the high-resolution format. Hit the jump for more.
While the Toy Story saga may have ended this year with the wonderfully perfect concluding chapter Toy Story 3, it looks like that may not be the last time we see the Toy Story gang in action. The short films that precede Disney/Pixar films usually garner nearly as much anticipation and excitement as the films themselves (and rightfully so), and it looks like the short that will play before next summer’s Cars 2 will be a Toy Story one. Disney animator Floyd Norman recently took to Twitter to give some details on the short, saying:
“Ken and Barbie want to go to Hawaii. I don’t know what it’s gonna be attached to. Fun stuff, however.”
Combine that with Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich confirming via his Twitter that a Toy Story short would, in fact, be attached to Cars 2, and it looks like we’ll be getting more of Ken and Barbie next summer (thanks to Stitch Kingdom for putting two and two together). While it’s no Woody and Buzz, Barbie and Ken were one of the highlights of the concluding film, and basically anything Toy Story related is fine by me. Watch the trailer for Cars 2 here, and check out the full flick when it hits theaters on June 24, 2011.
If anyone’s been feeling a bit inhuman lately and needs to show a little emotion, I dare you to watch this clip and say you felt nothing. Back in June we all got pretty teary over Toy Story 3, most notably the incinerator scene, and now thanks to YouTube we can experience it again. This time however, the clip features some of Michael Giacchino’s finest work from the score of Lost, and it’s impossible to not be blown away by it.
I’ll reserve my words for after the clip, so grab some Kleenex, hit the jump, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
by Rob Vaux Posted 2 years, 234 days ago
Every filmmaker stumbles from time to time. Even the greats like Hitchcock and Kubrick have a few boners in their pantheon, along with other movies that do the job and not much more. Part of the ballyhoo over Pixar stems from the fact that they alone seem to have avoided that trap. Everything they produce stands head and shoulders above its competitors, throwing off the filmmaking curve like a genius in remedial English class. At worst, their efforts are pretty good, and at best? Well, at best they produce movies like Toy Story 3. Hit the jump for my full review.
Toy Story 3 wraps up Pixar’s flagship trilogy nicely and could have been a natural place to end the series completely. But director Lee Unkrich confirmed in an interview with MSN that we haven’t seen the last of Woody and Buzz. Although he insists that there are no current plans for another feature length Toy Story, Unkrich stated that Pixar is “going to keep [the characters] alive; they’re not going away forever.”
And where will they show up next? They’re going to star in the short film attached to Cars 2, which hits theaters June 24, 2011. I’m excited to see a Toy Story short, but the cynic in me sees this as Pixar trying to use their strongest franchise to boost their weakest.
After the more outside-the-box family films of Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up, Pixar is going back inside the toy box with Toy Story 3. There’s nothing wrong with being inside the box when there are lots of toys, loads of fun, and plenty of jokes. It’s wonderful to see Woody, Buzz, and the gang team up for another adventure (even if it’s the same rescue/escape narrative structure of the first two films). But Toy Story 3 is so eager to entertain, that it almost never takes a moment to breathe. Instead, it’s a movie that’s a roller coaster in the best sense of the term. Set in the mold of a prison break movie, Toy Story 3 may not break with convention or out from under the shadow of the first two films, but it’s a welcome break from this dreary summer.
Last weekend, I had the incredible privilege of going to Pixar Animation Studios for the Toy Story 3 press day. The experience was so fantastic that I can’t even believe I wrote that last sentence. And then it somehow got even better as I got the chance to interview the cast and filmmakers. I don’t want to spoil the movie, so I’ll just say that it’s probably the most action-packed and thrilling film Pixar has ever done. This is one of the most highly-anticipated films of the summer and it absolutely delivers.
The folks primarily responsible for crafting the thrill ride? Director Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson. Unkrich has been at Pixar since Toy Story and he co-directed Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo. Anderson has also worked on Pixar films since the first Toy Story and so these two are about as veteran as it gets. Hit the jump for what they had to say about the flick and be sure to keep checking back as I’ll be posting a new interview every day this week. Finally, click here for 5 movie clips and 18 high resolution images from Toy Story 3.
With Toy Story 3 getting released next weekend, we’ve been given 5 clips and 18 high resolution images from the film. Also, Matt was just at Pixar to do interviews with the voice cast and the filmmakers, so you can expect a lot more Toy Story 3 coverage next week. Until then, check out the clips and images after the jump.
It was less than fifteen years ago that Toy Story debuted for the Holiday season of 1995. At the time Disney was taking a chance with an entirely computer animated film, especially after their amazing resurgence and recent run of cel animated films – they were only a year off of The Lion King. Now, Pixar essentially runs Disney animation and cel animation is the experiment – completely out of fashion in part due to Disney ruining the brand name (and to some extent DreamWorks making equally mediocre films). But you can’t blame Pixar for being good, and it was the wild success of the Toy Story films that helped cement their legacy. They tell the story of Woody (Tom Hanks), a cowboy doll who is ousted from his position as the sole favorite toy by Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and how the two go on an adventure in the real world. The sequel has the duo facing a toy kidnapper (Wayne Knight), who wants to send Woody to Japan with the toy line he originally came from while Woody confronts his own mortality. My review of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 on Blu-ray after the jump.