April 30, 2013

Post 83:Last News of April and April Recap

Hi everybody! April is ending and today we will say goodbye to the wonderful month. But for now, here's some news.

First, Walt Disney World has shown some artwork from "Monsters University". And also, remember on June 1st will be the day you can get the "Art of Monsters University" book!!! 

Next, Walt Disney World also has new "Monsters University"...well...how about I show you...
Cool huh?

Lastly, Merdia the star of "Brave" got crowned Disney royalty. At where? You guessed it! Walt Disney World! Check it out at Pixar Times!!! 

April was a great month! Let's show you some of the best news of April!!!

First, we got the green flag that a "Finding Nemo" 2 is happening. "Finding Dory"!!!

Next, if you like "Cars" and you like "Star Wars" you will love these "Cars Wars" die cast!!!
Next, we got a peek at the Vinylmation of "Monsters University". It looks like yellow is big in this set.
Lastly, we had a great April Fools and here's the video I put on the day.

We can't wait for all the news in May. And for now, Goodbye, April! And see you soon everybody!

April 28, 2013

Post 82: Mike Takes Over the Earth!!!

Hi everybody! What's the first thing your think of when someone says, Epcot. Spaceship Earth, right? Well, Mike had to make the anncoment that DisneyParks is open 24 hours on May 24. And it's awesome. Check it out below! It's nice that Mike is sharing the Earth with Sulley!

Post 81:Pixar Podcast:Episode Ninty-Eight

Hi everybody!!! Pixar Podcast made their 98th episode!!!
And if you want more about their talking about go to our "Monsters University" Footage post which you can see right here. See you soon everybody and check back here for more Pixar news!

April 26, 2013

Post 80:New Trailer!!!

Today, we have a new trailer for "Monsters University"...
Awesome!!! My favorite parts are the food lady (0:54), Randall (1:59), The CDA (2:10). And my favorite line is...(1:45)
 And see you soon everybody!!!

April 24, 2013

Post 79: SO MUCH NEWS!!!

Hi Everybody! Today, we have lots of news mostly on Monsters University.

First, this is what "Pixar Post" recently just posted:
"As the release date of Monsters University grows closer and closer we will learn more and more about some of the hidden items within the film. We have been lucky enough to view the film in it's entirety and can tell you that there are many more items that can be added to this list, but it's always more fun to have you look for them yourselves!

Here is an official Fun Facts list from Pixar Animation Studios.

• Dean Hardscrabble’s character was modeled after a type of centipede called Scolopendra Gigantea, also known as the Amazonian giant centipede.

 • The design of Archie the Scare Pig was inspired by director Dan Scanlon’s dog Carol, a Japanese Chin.

 • Don Carlton’s business card lists his address as 1200 Dark Ave. Pixar’s Emeryville address is 1200 Park Ave.

 • There were 100,856 storyboards delivered for “Monsters University”—the highest number on any Pixar film.

 • Monsters University’s library is called Bohol Hall, named after Pixar artist Nelson Bohol who designed it.

 • Monsters University was founded in 1313.

 • There are six different schools of study at Monsters University: School of Scaring, School of Engineering, School of Liberal Arts & Monstrosities, School of Science, School of Business and School of Aquatics.

 • The address of the Oozma Kappa fraternity house is the same address as the house where director Dan Scanlon grew up." -Pixar Post

Next up, "Pixar Post" is sharing their Pixar trip here's the first two days:
"My journey to Pixar began on the afternoon of April 9th and my 4-hour flight seemed like a dream, I couldn't believe that I was going to enter Pixar Animation Studios later that afternoon. Once the plane landed I had to find my shuttle group to the hotel for registration and check-in. My shuttle group consisted of 3 other film bloggers from all over the US - it was nice to spend the travel time to the hotel getting to know one-another and discuss our websites.

The shuttled arrived at The Four Seasons San Francisco and the group of us continued to check-in and register with part of Pixar's "Smile Squad" (Monsters University related) where we were informed that the bus to Pixar would leave at 4:30 PM. This gave us just enough time to unwind from our flight and grab a quick bite to eat before departing.

When the bus pulled into Pixar Studios the crowd hushed and peered out the windows in the hope of getting a glimpse of what was to come. As I walked off the bus you could see the enormous Monsters University (MU) archway that seemed to be plucked from the trailer itself. After walking under the MU sign, we were greeted by Luxo Jr. and the Pixar ball - I know it sounds crazy, but it still didn't feel real to me yet.

Before we get too much further, be sure to check out our five-minute high-definition (1080p) video highlighting our adventure (including pictures, video and an interview clip) to prime you for the rest of our two-part writeup. Then, be sure to tune in the week of May 5th when we will also upload episode 11 of the Pixar Post Podcast with a ton of additional details and over an hour of audio from Pixar discussions and interviews.

Standing in front of Luxo Jr. and the Pixar ball you could see the outdoor amphitheater to one side and the incredible Brooklyn building (the second animation building recently added on) to the other side. A large field with a soccer goal post separated the amphitheater and Brookyln bulding - it's just a simple reminder of the fun Pixar employees take part in after (or in between) work.


This is the moment it felt real for me.

After a moment of taking it all in we walked into The Steve Jobs building and into the atrium - many bloggers were already in line waiting to take a photo for our custom Monsters University ID. I just stood there in the foyer of the atrium and looked all around from the wood flooring, to the steel beams, to the amazing natural light that was shining through the ceiling windows. This is the moment that it felt real to me. I was standing inside Pixar Animation Studios, a place that is full of incredible artists that I've looked up to for years and there I was standing in the foyer of greatness - it was a feeling that can't be explained or duplicated, it was amazing.

Once I took my ID photo we were ushered to the Pixar theater where I met fellow Pixar bloggers Greg, Samad and Derrick - all of who are so wonderful and shared with me their previous experiences of being in the Pixar theater. The four of us sat together in the cozy theater and the first presentation was  The Blue Umbrella. Director Saschka Unseld and Marc Greenberg were also on hand to present the film and give a quick insight into the film.

Before the feature short began, the theater went dark and the ceiling turned into a beautiful night sky (complete with shooting stars), but my favorite feature were the chirping crickets that could be heard around the room - the ambiance really added to the excitement of sitting in the official Pixar theater.

T.J. and I were lucky enough to view the short prior to interviewing Unseld back in March, but to see it in the Pixar theater with an audience who had not seen it was magical. We never gave details about the short before but eluded to the photorealism and the gasps from the crowd gave me chills. At one point, I glanced around the room and saw a room full of smiles as the screen flashed bits of light on the crowds faces. We still won't reveal the details of the short yet, but it is an artistic masterpiece with a beautifully simplistic story that carries you through "Blue's" journey seamlessly.

After The Blue Umbrella ended the audience erupted into applause which was so heartfelt. On June 21, you are definitely in for a treat with Pixar's latest feature short.

Immediately following The Blue Umbrella, Monsters University Director Dan Scanlon and Producer Kori Rae approached the front of the theater and spoke about the background between Mike & Sulley and what we could expect in the 40 minutes of footage we were about to see. The theater went dark and Monsters University began. This review will NOT contain any spoilers of the film - from the moment the film began the audience was engaged and everyone was rooting Mike Wazowski along on his journey as Monsters University is really Mike's movie. The music, the lightning, the character designs (old and new) are all amazing and completely on par with what we've come to expect from Pixar. There are so many things to note, but all I can really say is that this is a hilarious and heartfelt Pixar film.

After the 40 minutes were up, the screen faded to black and the audience let out an audible groan as we were all hoping to see more of the film. Keep in mind that after this event, we were also lucky enough to catch one of the MU Pre-screenings in Ann Arbor - be sure to check out some more details here.

Following the groans, we were informed that we would be treated to a The Blue Umbrella themed reception in the Brooklyn building and we filed out of The Steve Jobs building. When we were leaving, I noticed the three large Monsters University concept art hung around the atrium.

The Brooklyn building was just a short walk away and is stunning and regal. We stayed in the atrium on the first floor but were able to glance up and see the open floors above.

During the reception we were treated to delicious hors d'oeuvres and were able to mingle with Directors Saschka Unseld and Dan Scanlon as well as Producers Kori Rae and Marc Greenberg - this was a surprise that was unexpected, but one that I completely appreciated. I enjoyed my talk with Dan as we spent most of time discussing the lighting and technical points that I had noticed in the Monsters University footage. Scanlon was so gracious and was able to share some insight into one of the biggest technical challenges on the movie - the student's backpacks!

I was also surprised by the fact that I was able to meet Director Mark Walsh (PartySaurus Rex) who greeted me as we talked like old friends. Mark was another amazing surprise on this mind-blowing day and I couldn't believe I was actually talking with the originator of the PartySaurus Rex short!

Pixar Animation Studios

As day two of the Monsters University (MU) Press Event kicked off, we boarded the bus back to Pixar Animation Studios in the early morning and the bus hushed with silence once again as we rolled into the Pixar parking lot - it was almost as if we were all here for the first time again. As the bus came to a stop we could here a marching band right outside, giddy with excitement the bus unloaded and we were met with the Monsters University marching band.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

The band had an energy that was so infectious you couldn't wipe the smile off anyone's face while they played and marched around the grounds. I lingered back to take photos and videos of the band as they marched to the center of the MU quad (otherwise known as the location where Luxo Jr. and the Pixar ball reside). The MU Smile Squad were also on-hand again in the "club booths" to hand out paperwork, itineraries for the day, as well as our printed Monsters University IDs!

"I'm officially a college student!"
Another great surprise was Squishy's mom -
 she was there to greet us as well!

Once we received all of our goodies we walked inside The Steve Jobs building for a quick breakfast. Opting to skip the breakfast (as a few us already ate at the hotel), I headed right to the Pixar Studio Store to start shopping! Since T.J. wasn't on this trip with me I made sure to buy him some special items, including a Pixar sweatshirt, t-shirts and of course the La Luna Maquette (which he is obsessed with and will be doing a post about in the coming weeks).

After about 45 minutes it was time for class to begin...wait, classes - am I ready for school again? The Smile Squad had divided the crowd into about five different groups with about five-to-six people per group. Below is a brief description on each class, which were about 25-30 minutes in length. To hear audio of each class in it's entirety, please listen to episode 11 our Pixar Post Podcast (which will be released the week of May 5th)!

English 101: How to Tell a Great Story

Our first class was "English 101: How to Tell a Great Story" with Story Supervisor Kelsey Mann. We were led into a room with cozy blue couches and a large viewing screen. Mann was sitting in the middle of the room surrounded by monitors and animation equipment. We hurried to get to our seats as we knew this was going to be an amazing class.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

As soon as we were settled, Mann began to go over the story process and he revealed that it was a very long process as he has been on the Monsters University film for four years. Mann then jumped up and walked over to a large white board and said "This is how it begins", the director, story supervisor and writers will all go into the story room for hours and days coming up with ideas and placing those ideas that "feel good" up on the white board.

Mann then walked up the aisle and pointed to a large board of concept art that was vaguely familiar and said that this was some of the art that inspired the look and story of the Monsters University March Madness commercial. It was really incredible to see some of the rough story sketches from that short commercial clip.

Here is my quick Mike Wazowksi storyboard sketch.

Towards the end of the class, Mann asked us to pick up the white pad of paper and the sharpie that was placed on our seats and asked us to do a quick short-hand sketch of Mike Wazowksi. At the end of the class we showed our sketches to one another and it was a nice personal touch that Mann acknowledged all of us. I was captivated by this class and by the passion that Mann had when explaining the process - he truly has a drive that could motivate anyone to reach for their dreams!

Physics 250: Global Illumination

Our second class, "Physics 250: Global Illumination" with Jean-Claude (JC) Kalache (DP-Lighting), Sanjay Bakshi (Supervising Technical Director) and Christine Waggoner (Simulation Supervisor) was in a similar neighboring theater room.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

Bakshi began the class discussing the rendering time for Monsters University and how it had doubled for the film. There were also about 400 new diverse characters (mostly background) that were created for the film. An interesting fact that Bakshi shared with the class was that in past Pixar films, a scene traditionally has less than 10 characters whereas in Monsters University there were about 25 characters per scene. Bakshi also shared that the team stayed true to the original cartoon rule that their characters should only have four fingers (including their thumb) on each hand (even though they may have multiple horns, tentacles or heads).

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios
Up next was Professor Waggoner who explained the topic of simulation. "What is simulation? Simulation is motion calculated by software that's too complex to be animated by hand or in a manual fashion". Waggoner then shared some examples of simulation such as Sulley having too many hairs to animate by hand, folds in clothing and the pages in the books seen around the Monsters University campus. During the class Waggoner shared a comparison between Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University as she worked on both films.

Monsters, Inc.                              Monsters University

- Limitation of only one                - 25% of characters were hairy
hairy character per frame    
(in most scenes)                            - 127 simulated garments

- Boo's t-shirt was the only
simulated garment

Another interesting fact that Waggoner shared was that 89% of Monsters University was simulated as the team wanted to get a naturalistic movement throughout the film. "If you don't notice it, we've done our job" stated Waggoner.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

It was now time for the Global Illumination portion of the class, Kalache began the class with a question "If you were to guess how many lights we have on a typicial Pixar scene, what would you guess? The average shot had about 300, 400, 500 lights".

Kalache continued the class explaining how Pixar created six new smart lights that help the team create more proper shadows and warmth within the scenes. I sat in the in the class mesmerized by his discussion of all the technical and lighting information. We will be sure to post the incredible highlights from Kalache's class on our episode 11 of The Pixar Post Podcast (which will be released the week of May 5th).

Dramatic Arts: Bringing a Character to Life

Our third class was "Dramatic Arts: Bringing a Character to Life" with Supervising Animator Scott Clark who began the class by giving a little background information about himself.

"I've been here at Pixar for almost 17 years. I started as an intern when Toy Story came out. My first film was A Bug's Life, but I've been a lead on four Pixar films starting with Monsters Inc. and I was the supervising animator on Cars, UP and now Monsters University" said Clark.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios
Clark then explained what animators do, stating that animators are the actors and stunt people of the virtual world. Animation means bring to life and that's what the animators do. As Clark sat at the front of the room he showed the class how he was working with Presto software (Pixar's custom animation system) and showed the background code from a shot that was somewhat difficult for him to finish.

One shot that Clark had to rework quite a bit was from a scene at a fraternity dance party that featured Sulley and Squishy. The scene itself is just seconds in length, but you could hear the struggles that Clark faced when trying to animate the characters "just right" as these are 18 year old college monsters.

I don't want to give away details of the scene, but it was a great behind-the-scenes look at where this shot began, to what was finalized for the movie. Pixar animators work so hard and tirelessly to get these scenes just right even though it may only been seen for a moment on the screen. The animation department is full of talented, hardworking individuals and it was such a joy to gain this insight from Clark's expertise.

Anthropology 152: Monsterizing the World

It was now time for "Anthropology 152: Monsterizing the World" with Dice Tsutsumi (Shading/Lighting Art Director) and Robert Kondo (Sets Art Director).

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios
Robert Kondo began the class by showing how the team used a trapezoid shape throughout the film - I was at a loss for words as Kondo explained this as T.J. (from Pixar Post as well) has noticed this in the trailers and pointed it out weeks prior. So, to hear it explained and confirmed by Kondo was exciting to hear.

"It’s a subtle thing but on the steps to the Scare school you'll notice that we have two different size steps. So, that bigger monsters and small monsters could comfortable get to their classes. That brings us to the idea that monsters are heavy. And so we liked this sort of idea of bringing this heft to the monster world. So we looked at this trapezoidal shape and found that it was a good heavy shape to carry throughout the architecture. 

You'll see it throughout the film, like in the front gate - we found a way to add the weight to it by adding that trapezoid shape. You'll also notice it in the dorm room on the window frames and the bedposts and of course we wanted to add it into the smaller details such as the brick".

 Kondo continued explaining some of the details that went into the sets on MU. Most of which could go un-noticed but really adds to the authenticity of the University feel of the film...from the perches on top of some dorms (for the new "winged characters" to enter their dorms), to the worn grass in the MU quad. The details are abundant and the team really outdid themselves creatively!

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

Dice Tsutsumi spoke next and he went right into discussing the importance of the color-script. "Now you know how much we put into designing the sets and all these details on film. And it goes the same with color and lighting as well. We put a lot of thinking behind everything we design. This is what we call a color script. You might have heard of color script and basically the color script is our visual road map of our film. It follows color and lighting and kind of keeps track of things like emotion, time of day, seasons and weather".

Tsutsumi continued to discuss how the team used lighting to evoke certain emotions as well as reflect how the characters were coming along in the story. Another interesting detail was the reason that certain colors were chosen in the film. The hero color was green and the obstacle/villain color was red. You'll notice that not only is Mike Wazowski green but the colors of his fraternity OOZMA KAPPA is green. Then notice who is red, well Dean Hardscrabble is red and red is also the primary color of the ROAR OMEGA ROAR Fraternity. This was definitely a great fun fact!

The class ended with a short Q&A session with this question being asked, 

Sociology 203: The Deconstruction of a Character

The final class of the day was the one that I was most anticipating, "Sociology 203: The Deconstruction of a Character" with Ricky Nierva (Production Designer) and Jason Deamer (Character Art Designer). I was completely starstruck with both Deamer and Nierva as these are two artists that I have admired for many, many years and to have this chance to listen to details regarding their character development process was unbelievalbly surreal for me.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

In case you didn't know, the duo has previously worked on Monsters, Inc. and helped create many of the original, now-beloved characters. Deamer shared the challenges on turning back the clock on these characters to make them look younger and Nierva discussed the "tufts of fur" that was created to make Sulley appear to have an adolescent feel.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

The duo went over some of the newer characters within the film, focusing on the OOZMA KAPPA fraternity. It was interesting to hear and see some of the character process that Squishy went through as he looks completely different in the final film than how his character concept began. A fun fact was that it was Nierva who created and designed the glasses on Don Carlton.

The character Art was created by the pose that Chris Farley made in the (now infamous) Saturday Night Live skit of him being a motivational speaker who, "lives in a van down by the river". That's is how the shape of Art came about! 

Deamer explained that in the 15 years that he has been at Pixar, the character design that he did for Dean Hardscrabble was one of the most challenging things he's done. The amount of concept art that was done for Dean Hardscrabble was unreal, as the character was originally going to be male. I surely hope that the Art of Monsters University shares as much of this beautiful artwork as we were able to see, because the transformation of this character was awe-inspiring.

Lunchtime in the Monsters University Quad

As the classes came to end it was now lunchtime on the the MU Quad - we were greeted once again by the MU Marching Band and now the MU Cheerleaders as well!

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios
It was such a beautiful, blue-sky day in Emeryville, California - the perfect day for a tailgate lunch which was very delicious and provided a great variety of food to please even the pickiest of appetites. What made lunch even more special was the fact that it wasn't only lunchtime for us, but for the entire Pixar community. During lunch I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with a Pixarian who had worked on many Pixar films including Wall-E and is now in a new role of promoting the films.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

During lunch I noticed this pesky seagull sitting atop the Brooklyn Building.

After lunch we were ushered back into The Steve Jobs Building where we attended three different roundtable discussions with Director, Sashka Unseld, Director, Dan Scanlon and Producer Kori Rae.

Roundtable Discussions

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios
The first roundtable discussion was with Director, Sashka Unsled, who was warm and inviting from the moment he walked into the room. Unseld's accent (German) added to his charm when he discussed the emotions and story behind The Blue Umbrella. What's great is that all the questions that were asked and discussed during this roundtable were covered (and more) in our interview with Unseld back in March, so if you haven't had a chance to read that, be sure to check it out.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

The second roundtable was with MU Director, Dan Scanlon who greeted us all with a casual hello and smile - it was nice to pick up on the casual nature of Dan. As soon as Scanlon sat in his chair, questions were hurled in his direction. I was able to ask a follow-up question from our previous conversation from the night before;

Q:  Yesterday you kind of spoke briefly on how backpacks were a big technical challenge. Can you explain why? 

Scanlon : No, I can’t (laughs) I have no idea. We were just laughing at the fact that with every Pixar movie there’s some technological breakthrough - hair, the ocean and waves, and it’s usually something that looks really impressive on screen once you’ve accomplished it. And early on, I was told backpacks are really hard and this is a college movie and there are people with backpacks. And I still don’t really understand why technically, but backpacks, especially on fur, and how it’s got to react as they’re moving is. 

And mainly the big technological problem or trick with this film, was just that it was so dense. There are so many students, and I think the issue became so many students with backpacks and needing that to sell the college. But there are some backpacks in there and they look great, but I feel like I’m not sure if people will get up and applaud when they see them, sadly, ‘cause we worked very hard. 

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

Everyone during the roundtable was able to ask Scanlon at least one question which was nice as he is ever so gracious and gave abundant information in his answers.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios

Our third roundtable was with Producer, Kori Rae, who was incredibly passionate about the characters and story within Monsters University. Her love poured over into her answers as she discussed everything from the challenges of producing this prequel, to how the parents of Mike and Sulley almost made it into the film (but the storyline didn't allow - time-wise).

Rae also explained the long search for the voice actor for young Mike Wazowksi. The challenge was to find a young actor with that "Billy Crystal gumption". Rae also explained that Billy Crystal and John Goodman were thrilled to come back to reprise their monster roles.

Another question was asked about how the team figures out when and where John Ratzenberger will voice a character in the Pixar films as he is know as their lucky charm. Rae stated that, sometimes it's decided early on and sometimes it's later in the film process but it always happens organically. After seeing Monsters University from the pre-screening in Detroit, I will say that I was more than pleasantly surprised with John Ratzenberger's appearance in MU.

Activities in the Student Lounge

Once the roundtable discussions ended we were able to take part in some of the activities in the Student Lounge.

There was a rousing game of Monsters University-themed ping-pong going on - though I'm sure the monsters of the JOX fraternity could have put us to shame!

It's all in the details. Photo via Pixar Animation Studios


The Scare-O-Meter was a lot of fun to try out. All you had to do was be enclosed in a very futuristic looking capsule and as you wait in the dark you are instructed to give your best SCARE! I did just that (insert loud scream here) and I ended up ranking as Mike Wazowski with my scare, not too shabby considering I thought I'd rank as the lovable character Art.

Photo via Pixar Animation Studios.

Another fun activity was the Monsters University green screen photo with Mike and Sulley. As you can see above we just stood on the green screen and held up either a MU sign, MU foam finger or the MU megaphone and our photo would magically appear with Mike and Sulley which you can see the final photo below.

Here is my photo with Mike & Sulley. Photo via Pixar Animation Studios.

Once these fun activities were finished it was time for "Snack-time with 'Squishy' (also-known-as), Peter Sohn". I made sure to get to the student lounge early so I could get a front row seat to hear Sohn talk about Monsters University and other upcoming Pixar projects. I also made sure to grab a quick cookie and I must say that the bakery at Pixar is outstanding, it was literally the best cookie I've ever had (M&M sugar cookie)!

Snack-time with "Squishy", Peter Sohn

Here are some of the questions that Peter Sohn answered during snack-time. The entire audio can be heard on episode 11 of the Pixar Post Podcast which will be released the week of May 5th.

Q: How did you get the role of Squishy?

Sohn: It’s funny. I’ve played, Emile in Ratatouille here, and it was like "you’re chubby and you’ll eat funny food, so why don’t you play this guy?" I’m like "okay". And then this is kind of like, "you’re chubby and you’re kinda nerdy too, so why don’t you give this a shot?"

I’m pitching stuff and as you’re pitching stuff you do voices. But this was a straight on kinda casting call for the thing where they wanted me specifically. So it was just Dan (Scanlon) and Kori (Rae) saying come on down and do the scratch for it. Do you know what the scratch voices are? Temporary, like a fake voice just to put something in there, just to feel out how the story’s going to work.

And, that’s how I started, this is just fake dialogue stuff and then it became permanent. It’s really interesting 'cause working here at Pixar and then doing voices, it’s just like it’s kinda this give and take with all the other productions here 'cause it’s so familiar. We're such a family, you want to do whatever you can for each other.

Q:  Describe your character Squishy. What do you like about him? 

Sohn: I like that he’s so sincere and kind of naive about things. You know, like there’s a scene in the film where Mike and Sully want to throw a party. And he’s like, "this is great, grab some couch cushions 'cause we’re gonna build a fort!" I totally connect with that type of guy just 'cause that’s how I grew up with my cousins. We didn’t have the internet, so the world was so "out there".

Q: What advice would you give to young people?

Sohn: I call it love the tree, you know? And I always talk about this because what that means is "love it whole-heartedly". In doing so you’ll start finding all the other branches of it and then you start to learn everything about it and the more knowledge you have of something, the more you begin to understand. The more you love it and become passionate about it, the more you can’t help but just do it.

And it’s hard work - these films are like four to five years. It’s that passion that can create life if that makes sense and in animation that's what it’s all about. It’s about trying to make something real and alive and the only way you do it, is to love it really.

One-on-One Interviews

The day continued and we were each given our custom interview times. I had an interview scheduled with Sets Arts Director, Robert Kondo - which I was ecstatic about. Once it was time for my interview the Smile Squad ushered us upstairs in The Steve Jobs building and we were waiting in a room designed to look like Squishy's mom's living room (OOZMA KAPPA house). There was incredible concept art hanging on the walls and clay maquettes of the main OOZMA KAPPA characters. I was taking a million 'visual' photos as it was an artistic overload.

When it was my turn to interview Robert Kondo, he greeted me and remember who I was from the "Anthropology 152: Monsterizing the World" class earlier that day - it made me smile.

Q: Could you tell me some of the set details that you didn't want to be overlooked in Monsters University?

Kondo: Yes, in the Scare school there are a lot of monster motifs in there but it's a dark room. Being a set designer it's great that the lights are dim as it's very theatrical, but I want people to see this and the reason why we really felt that this was the cornerstone to what's monstery. The Scare School is an extension of Dean Hardscrabble and we really put in a lot teeth motifs. Our graphic designer Craig Foster designed this beautiful scale-like pattern on the ground and that same motif is on the stained glass throughout the Scare school.

It was all about dialing in on the monstery world without having it in your face. Even in the dome of the school it echos the look of Dean Hardscrabble's wings and so we tried really hard to keep it a special room because this is where everyone wants to be, in the School of Scaring. Another thing we did was add brass accents throughout the room as it's set mostly in the dark but these accents would catch the light and give the audience a sense for the room without revealing all the details.

Our conversation continued as Kondo answered many more of my questions including who gets to decide where to hide the coveted A-113 in the Pixar films. You'll be able to hear the remainder of the interview on our episode 11 Podcast that will be release the week of May 5th.

End of the Day Surprise

After our one-on-one interviews we were invited to take a tour of the studio and were gifted with a Monsters University backpack full of great treasures, including Monsters University toys, a book and a real Blue Umbrella, just to name a few. We will have a complete write up on all these wonderful surprises the week of May 5th.

I wasn't able to catch our guide's name as I was late to join the tour, but she was wonderful and pointed out some great tips. Once inside the Brooklyn building we walked by a recording studio and the large center fireplace that also houses a secret lounge! A fun note was that the Brooklyn building also houses it's own cereal bar (just like the Steve Jobs Building - so the residences of the building never have to wander far for a snack. Our guide made sure to point out the small steel Pixar character cutouts that are embedded in the concrete-like floor - the character we found was Wall-E.

As our tour came to an end and we started to head out of the Brooklyn building, Director, Pete Docter walked by our large group! He greeted us with a smile and continued his journey on - it was a really special reminder that even though we were there for the Monsters University event, there are so many more incredible stories that are in production, pre-production or even just written on a white board somewhere, and that has me more excited than ever for Pixar's future."

 -Pixar Post
Next, The Randall "Disney Infinity" toy has been comfired 100% now...
In my taste, say Randall looks the best in toy form. And now he is for pre-order at "Toys R Us" and you can also get him in the 3-pack Villians set.


Next, look at these MU merch,
Last, hers the cast of the film:

A collection of wholesome, good-natured misfits, the adorable brothers of Oozma Kappa (OK) have bonded over their inability to make it through the Scaring Program. With only four bodies in the house, they don’t even have enough members to compete in the Scare Games. What they lack in Scariness and self-confidence, they make up for in heart.

MIKE WAZOWSKI (voice of Billy Crystal)
Mike Wazowski’s lifelong dream is to become a Scarer at Monsters, Inc.—and he’s sure he knows just how to do it. Ever since he was a young monster, Mike’s had his eye on Monsters University, home of the world’s top Scare Program. Now a freshman and hopeful Scare student, he’s well versed in the rich history, theory and technique required to reach his goal, and the little green one-eyed monster has more confidence, enthusiasm, determination and heart than all of his classmates combined. But unexpected roadblocks derail Mike’s plans and he’s forced to team up with a group of misfit monsters and an unlikely ally to give it the old college try and pull off the biggest coup in the University’s history.

JAMES P. SULLIVAN—“SULLEY” (voice of John Goodman)
When it comes to Scaring, Sulley’s a natural—his abundant size, fierce roar and family legacy of a long line of high-achieving Scarers make him a shoo-in for the esteemed Scare Program at Monsters University. But from the moment the overly confident monster steps his big furry feet on campus, it’s clear he’d rather crack jokes than books—and he learns the hard way that his unfettered talent and family ties can only get him so far. With his ego bruised and future in jeopardy, a stubborn Sulley must put his pride aside, team up with an odd bunch of misfit monsters and actually work if he wants to live up to his true Scaring potential.

DON CARLTON (voice of Joel Murray)
Faced with the realities of the economic downturn, Midwestern sales monster Don Carlton finds himself going back to school to learn new skills and pursue a dream career in Scaring. One of Monsters University’s “mature” students and a founding member of the Oozma Kappa fraternity, Don brings his honest hardworking spirit to their endeavors, ensuring that his fellow brothers keep their various heads on straight and their array of eyes on the task at hands.

SCOTT “SQUISHY” SQUIBBLES (voice of Pete Sohn)
Scott Squibbles gives new meaning to the term “undeclared.” A sophomore whose dream of becoming a Scarer was squashed in his first year at Monsters University, “Squishy” is a bit of a wide-eyed wanderer—small, sweet, naïve and quiet—who, not surprisingly, still lives with his doting mother. But with a little help from his Oozma Kappa brothers, Squishy begins to realize he’s more than just that shy monster in the corner.

ART (voice of Charlie Day)
The ultimate free spirit, Art is a mysterious monster with a questionable background. By far the strangest member of the Oozma Kappas, Art bowls over the competition—sometimes literally—with his unique dexterity and wild-card ways. Nothing is scarier than the unpredictable, especially when it comes to this furry ball of bad.

TERRI & TERRY PERRY (voices of Dave Foley & Sean Hayes)
When it comes to Terri and Terry, it’s hard not to ask, “Are two heads really better than one?” These bickering brothers have little in common: Terri with an “i” is a real romantic who’s quick to spot the silver lining in any situation, while older brother Terry with a “y” sports a more cynical outlook on life. If they can stop squabbling long enough to work with their Oozma Kappa brothers—they might be able to put their heads together—literally—and find their place in Monsters University’s Scare Program once and for all.

Big on brawn but short on brainpower, the Jaws Theta Chi (JOX) fraternity brothers are rarely seen without their flashy letterman jackets. The JOX are brutal competitors who never hesitate to do whatever it takes to beat their opponent, even if it’s breaking the rules. Despite practically living at the gym or on the field, these sports-loving monsters often prove that bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to Scaring.

Pretty in pink, the sisters of Python Nu Kappa (PNK) are not to be underestimated. Led by their fearless queen bee Carrie, these ladies are smart, cold-hearted and merciless. Covered in pink from head to toe, the PNKs sweet exterior quickly turns terrifying when the Scare Games begin.

The Roar Omega Roar (RΩR) fraternity is made up of the best of the best. They’re the smartest, most skilled, Scariest monsters at Monsters University, and come from families with a long, proud history of Scaring. While the RΩRs may be preppy in dress, they are ferocious in action and downright ruthless, if necessary. Self-declared as the most elite house on campus, the RΩRs are lead by Johnny Worthington who presides over the house like an all-powerful monarch. Eager to continue their Scare Games winning streak, the RΩRs will do whatever it takes to stay on top.

RANDY BOGGS (voice of Steve Buscemi)
Monsters University freshman Randy Boggs has big aspirations for college life. The peculiar lizard-like monster with his host of gangly arms and legs plans to major in Scaring and lead an active social life filled with fun, friends and fraternity parties. If only he could get his embarrassing disappearing habit under control, he’d be good to go, because how is he ever going to be a great Scarer if nobody can see him?

The athletic sisters of Slugma Slugma Kappa (EEK) spend most of their days working out and running drills to perfect their Scaring skills. Their initiation is a triathlon, and training together 24/7 has strengthened the bonds of sisterhood so much so that these strong, self-assured girls are ready to out-work and out-scare any monster they encounter together.

The Eta Hiss Hiss (HSS) sorority has been around since the beginning of Monsters University and the members are as mysterious as they are terrifying. The HSS sisters might be pale, mysterious and sullen, but these intimidating Goth girls are fierce competitors and tough as nails. Fittingly, their most distinguished alumna is one of the most powerful, Scary monsters on campus who every new Scare student strives to impress—Dean Hardscrabble.

Claire Wheeler is the Greek Council president at Monsters University, and this year she is one of the chosen emcees for the school’s annual Scare Games. Don’t be fooled by Claire’s brooding exterior and monotone drawl—banal in appearance, on the inside she is a galvanizing force of school spirit who diligently warns the Scare Game participants of the dangers they will face.

This preppy-looking fraternity monster has been chosen to assist the Greek Council president in emceeing the school’s annual Scare Games. Jock-like and what some might refer to as a “meathead,” Brock is a loud, enthusiastic emcee who relishes the danger of the Scare Games’ challenges.
See you soon everybody!!! And thank you for making us reach over 1,000 pageviews!!!