Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pixar News Articles for May 17, 2015

I know I've said it before, but this is such an exciting year for Pixar fans! Yes, the excitement always builds as we approach a new theatrical release. But this year we have not one but two releases, and both are looking to be amazing. Plus, not only are we looking to the future with these new films, but we can look back to the studio's first feature length film, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of Toy Story. Here are a couple news stories surrounding Toy Story. The first is a story that KTLA aired, going into how dependent Pixar was on the success of their first film. I love hearing from some of the long-time employees like Bill Reeves and Tom Porter, and hopefully with more attention being paid to Toy Story we'll be seeing and hearing from more of these artists who really created the computer animation industry.

Twitter user e_pixar retweeted a Variety article which recapped a recent speech John Lasseter gave at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He began by talking about technology and the part technology plays in film grammar. Then he went on to talk about the importance of learning the fundamentals and continuous learning, the importance of showing your work often, and surrounding yourself with people you trust, who will give you honest and candid feedback. I love these themes of learning and trusted mentors, and how they permeate the Pixar culture. I mentioned this in a post earlier this year where I highlighted some of my favorite Pixar interviews from 2014, and how often these topics came up in those interviews. I strongly recommend listening to the speech; if you want to hear it, head over to the Pixar Post and grab episode 38 of their podcast where they have a recording of it.

As I started writing this article, I noticed I had started another article a few weeks ago that I never finished. That post contained links regarding Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli's new book Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader. The first link was to a great BusinessWeek cover story written back on November 23, 1998, just days before A Bug's Life was released. Titled Steve Jobs, Movie Mogul, the in-depth article covered the beginnings of Pixar back at the New York Institute of Technology, through Job's purchase of the company from Lucasfilm, their film agreements with Disney and even hinted at a future where Disney might buy out Pixar. One quote I enjoyed was from Ed Catmull, who stated "We're not jumping on the bandwagon, we're making it." In addition to the cover story, the BusinessWeek site has links to other related information such as how the company brings a character like Flik to life and some estimates of how much profit Pixar could make from A Bug's Life. I will have to dig deeper into that last one and see how it compares to reality.

Another article related to Becoming Steve Jobs came from Business Insider and talks about how Jobs split his time between Pixar and Apple, and how he was more hands off, and therefore more relaxed, when he was at Pixar. The article states that Apple employees would try to meet with Jobs on Fridays when he was at Pixar as he was less likely to get upset.

A fun factoid, I found these last 2 articles through tweets from long-time Pixar employee AJ Riebli. If you read the BusinessWeek story, you'll recognize that it was Riebli who won the 1998 Halloween contest mentioned in the first paragraph of the article!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Inside Out Emotion Garden at Epcot

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Inside Out marketing is in full force. Besides the great pre-production artwork at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Epcot is getting in on the upcoming film during the Flower and Garden Festival with its Inside Out Emotion Garden. The garden has displays of plants matching each emotion, and can be found near the Imagination Pavilion in Future World.

If you have the chance, make sure to stop by and see the garden. Don't forget, Inside Out will hit theaters June 19, 2015!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Inside Out Pre-Production Artwork Walt Disney World

The marketing for Inside Out is in full swing! The blogger press event is occurring at the studio this week, new trailers were recently released and billboards are up advertising the film. At the Magic of Disney Animation at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, they've set up an exhibit with some great pre-production artwork from the film.


The artwork clearly shows the level and range of emotion that will be in the film

I love the truth in this drawing by Pixar artist Don Shank

I also love the San Francisco landmarks and architectural details

Can I just say I have no idea what role this unicorn will play in the film but I love it!

I am so excited for this film to open, and this artwork just increases my excitement! Keep your eyes on my Twitter and Instagram accounts as I'll be posting more pictures while I'm at Disney World this week.

Monday, March 30, 2015

ThisDayInPixar Giveaway Details! UPDATED With Winner

As I mentioned earlier, I thought the fact that I had reached 2000 followers at about the time that I would be in Disney World lent itself well to a giveaway. So here I am in Disney World and I think it's time for the giveaway!

To celebrate 2000 followers, I'm giving away a Finding Nemo tumbler. This travel mug has a stainless steel interior and comes with wonderfully cute seagulls artwork and the seagulls favorite (only?) word, "Mine". The tumbler has a twist-off lid and slide-lock sipper.  Note, it is not microwave or dishwasher safe, and should be thoroughly washed before first use.

The rules for entering the giveaway are simple! To enter, you must be at least 18 years of age and live in the 48 contiguous United States. If you are under 18, you can have a parent enter. Only one entry per person will be accepted. Multiple submissions will be ignored. No purchase necessary to enter. The giveaway starts NOW and will end Friday, April 3, 2015 at 11:00pm Eastern Standard Time. One random winner will be chosen and contacted via the email address used to enter the contest. Once the winner claims their prize, I will announce it here in this post and on Twitter.

If you're good with all that, then just fill out the form below and good luck!!

UPDATE (April 6, 2015)
Congratulations to Savannah V. on winning the contest! Also, on the giveaway entry form I ask, "What is your favorite Pixar film?" Out of the responses received, Up took first place with almost 22% of the votes. Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and WALL•E came tied for second, each with about 13% of the votes.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Announcing The First Ever ThisDayInPixar Giveaway!!

I've just crossed 2000 followers! Wow, what a milestone! Time is one of our most precious commodities, and the fact that you follow me and spend a few minutes of your time reading my posts, well,  I am very grateful.

To show my appreciation, I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway. The timing is perfect, as I will be at the Walt Disney World Resort in a little over a week. Once there I'll find some Pixar-related merchandise (I'm hoping there's some Inside Out merch!), then announce the details of the giveaway on Twitter and this blog. So keep an eye on my Twitter feed, and again, thank you!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pixar News Articles for March 15, 2015

It's been a few weeks since my last news article, but since then there have been a few great interviews and articles I wanted to point out. The first, brought to my attention by Twitter user Everything Pixar, is an interview with ex-Pixarians Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, on leaving Pixar and their Academy Award nominated short film The Dam Keeper.

This next article I originally saw on John Huikku's Twitter feed, and is a look at how Pixar has been able to create 14 straight hits with $8.5 billion in worldwide box office receipts. This interview with Pixar and Disney Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter has a number of great lines, such as "Hard work. Great people. Honesty. Focus on creativity." and " amount of great animation will save a bad story."

Finally, John Lasseter and Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios President Ed Catmull recently shared Variety's Creative Impact in Animation Award. Variety published a number of articles for this award with ones highlighting both Lasseter and Catmull. The award was part of Variety's 10 Animators to Watch event, which included Toy Story 4 co-director Josh Cooley and former Pixar Canada Creative Director Dylan Brown.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pixar News Articles for February 8, 2015

It's been a busy week for Pixar-related articles and interviews! Here are a few of them. First, former Pixar story artist Matt Jones retweeted a post from The Independent that linked to an article showing how Pixar (along with Marvel and Lucasfilm) has helped propel Disney to the top of the box office, and how this success has translated to a growing business in merchandising and at their theme parks. The article also discusses the merger of Disney and Pixar and how Disney CEO Bob Iger won the trust of Ed Catmull.

The next article was brought to my attention by John Huikku, and covered a speech Ed Catmull recently gave at Brigham Young University on breaking down the barriers that get in the way of creativity. If you've followed this blog for a while, you know I've been interested in Pixar's culture for a long time, so needless to say I loved this article.

Sticking with Ed Catmull and creativity, Thought Economics published an interview with Catmull, director Nick Park and Distinguished Research Fellow in the English Department at Washington & Jefferson College Jonathan Gottschall. The interview goes into the secrets of creativity and the importance of storytelling.

Last is an interview with Ronnie del Carmen that I found from Annie Alejo. del Carmen was story supervisor on Finding Nemo and Up, and now is co-directing Inside Out. I'm a huge fan of Ronnie's personal projects, especially his books on Nina. Ronnie was born in the Philippines and this interview took place when he recently visited there. It's a very personal interview as del Carmen recounts how his father's business failed and they moved to the United States, and how he showed storyboard sequences from Up to his hospitalized dad. Ronnie's story is definitely one of perseverance!