October 31, 2014

Pixar Review: 'Toy Story OF TERROR!'

Hi everybody! It's Halloween and before you go trick-or-treating let's look back on last year's Toy Story OF TERROR! (P.S. This review will have the same format as my movie reviews.)

One stormy night the toys are on a nice trip to Bonnie's grandma's house, but then after a tire gets flatted they have to have at a hotel that looks nice but is the most terrifying place for a toy. When things get really creepy, Jessie is the one to save everyone. Will they make it?

Cast Highlights:
This cast highlights are different then the movies because for the returning characters they have the same voice actors. Also, I forgot the voice actors for the new characters, so I'm just going to say that PEZ cat and Combat Carl and great voice actors.

Final Thoughts:
This is a great Halloween special to watch along side other Halloween classics like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Nightmare Before Christmas. (And because today is Halloween you might want to watch it tonight.) There isn't much to say expect this is a great example what Pixar can do in just 30 minutes. Even tough I admit that I was it was a bit longer. So, I'll give it...

My Rating: 9/10

What do you think of the special? And what are your plans for this Halloween?

October 30, 2014

Post 168: New 'Cars Toon': 'To Protect and Serve'

Hi everyone! We all remember the recent Radiator Springs 500 1/2 if you liked that short, then here's a recent news story that you'll might enjoy:

View this image from To Protect and Serve in high-resolution
"Fans of the Cars franchise know that each Cars Toons short packs a punch with fast-paced action and quick-witted hijinks. Through the shorts, Mater has found himself in countless conundrums, Guido has wowed crowds with his sign spinning abilities and most recently, we've seen Lightning McQueen challenged to a Baja-style race in Radiator Springs 500½. Today, we have the exclusive first look at Pixar's next Cars Toons adventure titled, To Protect and Serve, in which the residents of Radiator Springs are in a sticky situation with a pair of rookie Sheriffs from Carburetor County. The official synopsis for the short is -
When Sheriff takes a mandatory vacation, two overzealous rookies from County take over his duties in Radiator Springs. Bent on making a good impression to score commendations, the rookies over-do every aspect of their jobs, finding “crimes” at every turn and turning the quiet little town into a hotbed of taped-off crime scenes. No one is safe and everyone’s a suspect until Sheriff senses an imbalance and returns home to right the “justice” that’s been served.

Aziz image courtesy Billboard / Wendi image courtesy Hollywood
The Sheriffs, Didi 05 (white car) and Mike 07 (blue car) are voiced by Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs) and Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation). Wendi and Aziz are cast perfectly for the overzealous Sheriffs as they both have strong comedic backgrounds with a serious-yet-sarcastic tone to their voice. This tone which will certainly match the seriousness of their characters perfectly.

The remaining vocal lineup features many familiar voices from the original Cars movie, including:
  • Owen Wilson (Lightning McQueen)
  • Larry The Cable Guy (Mater)
  • Michael Wallis (Sheriff)
  • Bonnie Hunt (Sally)
  • Lloyd Sherr (Fillmore)
  • Cheech Marin (Ramone)
  • Tony Shalhoub (Luigi)

 The short airing in 2015 (specific date announced at a later time) is directed by Scott Morse, co-directed by Rob Gibbs and produced by Mary Alice Drumm as well as Nicole Paradis Grindle." -Pixar Post

I think this is a great idea for a short film and has great potential to get people looking at what Cars 3 might have to offer. Anyways, there isn't much to say expect that this is a short be interested in. See you soon!

What do you think of the short film so far?

October 27, 2014

Post 167: Inside (But Not Out) Pixar

Hi everyone! As you know, Pixar usually doesn't let anyone just come in. The only ways are you have to be a employee, know a employee, or get invited for a special event. But now, there is a new article that shows I great detail what it is like if you get a chance to go there.

Here are some of my favorite sections from the article:
"We passed a restaurant and a trophy case filled with Pixar’s awards, including Oscars, postcards created by children, and a much loved Woody doll to our first stop–the studio store that overflowed with Monsters University merchandise. I eyed a pennant and a couple T-shirts, but what really made me smile was an open-the-flap children’s book illustrated with ink and pen drawings. Most storybooks from Disney and Pixar usually repurpose art from the movies and very rarely is anything new made. Not only were these new drawings, but they were also an original artist’s interpretation of the movie. While studying the book, a mother and her daughter were looking at some items close to me. I glanced up as the child reached across the table in front of us and my eyes locked onto the mother. It was the same woman as the night before, who thought I was a teenage hoodlum. She did not notice me at first, but when she raised her head her eyes rounded in surprise and her mouth dropped open. Her daughter was pulling on her arm towards a stack of stuffed Sully’s and Mike’s, but she ignored it in favor of confused blinks. I waved my hand, smiled, and purchased the book. I wish I knew what thoughts buzzed through her head as she watched me leave the store.

Victor was curious about what I purchased and enjoyed the book as much as I had (it was new to him as well). He was curious who had illustrated it and after looking at the title page said it was someone he knew from Pixar. My eyes popped out when I heard that, because I did not think Pixar took active participation in merchandising. Talk about in-house care. Victor politely told us not to take pictures of anything he was about to show us as most of what he was showing us was under strict copyright protection.   Not wanting to offend Disney brass, so off went the iPad and cellphone as we trekked up the stairs to the second floor of the Steve Jobs Building.

The entire floor was a museum to the Monsters University film. One can assume the idea behind this was to give the animators a place to sit down and be totally immersed in the movie world or it was set up after production for the press and other guests. The walls were covered with framed concept drawings and doodles of characters and places in the film, while model statues, used by animators to see how light and shadow play off the character’s angles and to see how they would actually look in a 3D world, were under glass cases. The model statues were surrounded by the concept art that led to their creation. It was amazing seeing how the artists conceptualized how a character should look and how the idea evolved into the final product. Different ideas were tested out as much as possible. Some of my personal favorites were the ouroboros librarian and the reference art for Dean Hardscrabble.

Another feature in the pseudo-museum was a tablet loaded with maps and information on locations in the Monsters University world. Victor mentioned in his class that computer animation requires animators to build worlds from scratch. Animators can then play around in these environments and I have always wanted to do to explore these places on my own. In Monsters Inc., I wanted to see what was around the corner of Mike and Sully’s apartment or what was in the alleyway behind Harryhausens and in Finding Nemo I want to know more about Marlin and Nemo’s neighborhood. DVD features can only take you so far and this tablet gave me the opportunity to visualize Monsters University in a life size landscape.

IMG_0408The only thing that was able to tear me away from the tablet (along with the Sesame Street rule of sharing) was Sherri Squibble’s living room from the movie. Sherri Squibble is Squishy’s supportive mother, who would make every sitcom mother proud as well as raise an eyebrow due to some of her odd habits. Everything was perfectly replicated down to the floral pattern on an armchair to the brick on the fireplace to the cross-stitched picture of a house. If I thought the tablet was great, the living room was fantastic. The tablet offered me the chance to get a scope of the monster world, but the living room had little details one cannot see on the screen even with an HD television and pause button. Pictures of Squishy as a child and other relatives paired with monster bric-a-brac gave the illusion that this living room did not belong to a human.
Also on the second floor was a gallery for animators to display their personal art. Pixar not only sports talented animators, but these folks are also skilled in other traditional mediums. I sadly do not remember the artist’s name, but his or her exhibit consisted of candy still lives. Still lives are never the most exciting exhibits. They require a patient eye to sweep out the details and how the colors play with light and shadow. Candy, because of its many colors and shapes, was the perfect way to make them more intriguing. The artist’s simple use of color immediately caught my eye and drew me closer to inspect each painting, but before I could spend the next hour to absorb all the sweetness we were pulled away to explore the inner sanctum also known as the office area."

"A Bug’s Life was a financial success and it gave Pixar the funds to build the Steve Jobs building (the building we were currently in). When they were crunching numbers to purchase office furniture, it was discovered that cubicle walls were expensive. As an alternative, some brilliant genius noted that garden sheds at a local hardware store were cheaper.

The sheds resembled a child’s playhouse more than a place to store tools. Each shed was roughly ten by fifteen feet with a window, a door, and roof. They fitted two people comfortably with room to stretch. Rather than have a bunch of dull, wood tool sheds in a large workspace, Pixar allows its employees to decorate their offices however they want. The studio unleashed a creative barrage as the animators attacked the sheds with fervor to transform the ordinary into the entertaining. One shed had been painted like a plastic dollhouse, another employee had transformed his shed into a medieval castle, and, my favorite was a jungle treehouse fort that someone had added a second floor to. Victor said the more elaborate an office was directly proportional to the amount of free time a person had–usually the workers who did not have families waiting at home.
Situated among the sheds were regularly built offices that were no less decorated with themes and props. Victor told us he had worked in a shed once upon a time, but was booted out of his workspace for one of the more traditional offices. While he took us to his little corner of Pixar, he was unable to let us see his personal domain, hinting that he had confidential material relating to Inside Out stored inside.   I could only imagine the concept art he was using for inspiration and wished there had been something on display for the new feature.

Most work places forbid their employees from partaking in alcohol while on the job, but Pixar takes the opposite approach by actually building bars within the studio. Victor’s office was actually next to one of the more easily accessible bars called Ye Olde Knife and Fiddle, which comes complete with bar stools, a booth, fake fireplace with a mounted gun over the mantle, and kitschy knick-knacks supplied by the animators. It reminded me of those family-friendly restaurant chains that decorate their walls with junk from thrift stores. Ye Olde Knife and Fiddle added attitude to the same theme with an aesthetic quality that bespoke of inside jokes and love for Pixar’s characters. There was a fist-sized hole in a wall that someone had framed. Victor told us that one of his co-workers had punched the wall when they had found out Disney bought Pixar. I guess not everyone was as pleased with the acquisition as I thought it made sense financially. There was also a portable tiki bar off to the side complete with a wooden tiki god that could have easily slipped into my backpack, but I am sure someone would have missed the little idol and I left him to stand guard over the bar. Someone suggested we pop open one of the bottles and share a drink, but sadly Victor pointed out that one of our group was not of legal drinking age. The kid flushed and looked sheepish, but we brightened the mood by heading off to see The Blue Umbrella." -Whitney Grace, Rotoscopers

Those were just two sections from the article, their is many more sections but if you want to see the full article click this link. Pixar is a wondrous place that wants to keep their plans for safety and doesn't want to show you everything just yet, so I understand why they barely let people in the company. But when "the cat is out of the bag" about one of their projects you can check on this site and see what Pixar has to offer in the future. See you soon!

Do you want to ever go to Pixar?

October 25, 2014

The Pixar Points #7: Pixar Shorts: Volume 3?

Hi everyone! There has been a thought on my mind that I been thinking. What will Volume 3 of Pixar Short Films Collection be like? Well, I came up with a prediction of what it will be like. Let's start with what shorts are possibly going to be on the collection.

(Possible) List of Shorts:
  • Partysaurus Rex (2012)
  • The Legend of Mor'du (2012)
  • The Blue Umbrella (2013)
  • Party Central (2013, It was first shown in D23 Expo 2013)
  • Toy Story of Terror! (2013) *
  • Radiator Springs 500 1/2 (2014)
  • Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014) *
  • Lava (2015)
  • If Inside Out has any direct-to-video short (2015)
  • The Good Dinosaur's Original Short (2015)
  • If The Good Dinosaur has any direct-to-video short (2016)
  • Finding Dory's Original Short (2016)
  • If Finding Dory has any direct-to-video short (2016)
I would have added two more shorts onto the list because we don't know any more upcoming shorts of movies. Also, the last five were predications of what short would be after Lava. Also, I have stars next to the two Toy Story TV specials because those two might not be on the collection because, Of Terror! already had a Blu-ray release and That Time Forgot will most likely have its own Blu-ray. Anyways, let's talk about what the bonus features might be.

(Possible) Bonus Features:
  • Audio commentaries on all of the shorts
  • The Cars Shorty Shorts
  • A Paths to Pixar about short films
The audio commentaries are the bonus features that are most likely going to be on the collection, so there isn't that much to talk about. If you forgot what the Shorty Shorts were they were made in 2013 during a Disney Channel screening of Up in 2013, since they are shorts I think the perfect place to put on the collection as a bonus feature will be Cars' Shorty Shorts. The last one I think would be a clever way to how the progress any Pixar short, and to show how newcomers at Pixar get their short made. Anyways, the last thing I what to say is what the possible release of the collection will be.

(Possible) Release Date: Fall 2016 or 2017
I say 2016 or 2017 because then there will be enough shorts to make a collection out of. The usual amount of shorts in a collection is 12-13 shorts and Pixar usually make 1-3 shorts per year, so I think '16 or '17 will be just right. Anyways, those were my ideas for a Volume 3 of shorts and until next time, I'll see you soon!

What do you think a third volume would be like?

Next Time on Pixar Points: Changing Stories and Plots (Coming November 1st)

October 24, 2014

Pixar Review: 'Luxo, Jr.'

Hi everybody! It's time for my review on the official first Pixar film, Luxo, Jr. What do I think of it? Let's find out!

A baby lamp named Luxo, Jr. finds a ball to play with and it's all fun and games. Until suddenly, the ball pops. The older lamp thinks he will relax now. But then out of no where Luxo, Jr. finds another ball, this time ten times bigger.

The Pixar Legacy:
Time for a little history lesson! In 1986, Steve Jobs turned a little computer division into Pixar. After they got about 40 more workers they wanted to make a film to show who they are and John Lasseter looked at his desk lamp and wondered what will happen if it was alive. So from there they made this film. And it became an important part in Pixar history. And Luxo, Jr. is in the current logo and so everyone knows Luxo, Jr. and also the short got nominated for a Oscar. So it's safe to say this short has a Pixar legacy. (Also, this short is what this blog is what named after.)

Final Thoughts:
While being a short and barely having a plot, it does have groundbreaking storytelling. You might be surprised the it has good storytelling, but the reason is because they tell a story that could be hard to explain without voices, but here they do it. And the animation actually looks great and they put work into it even tough of its a short film. My only complain is that the setting looks empty, and they could do a bit more even tough they were low money.

My Rating: 9/10

What do you think of the classic short film?

October 23, 2014

Post 166: Quickie: Pixar.com Adds New Projects

Hi everybody! Time for another News Quickie! A couple months ago Lava was added to Pixar's website but I was thinking, why isn't there a section on the website for Inside Out? But now Pixar has updated their official site with a peek at not only Inside Out but also Toy Story That Time Forgot.

For Inside Out, we have so far on their page the first ever official picture of Inside Out that we got along with the current logo. In the icon of the movie where you can see the previous Pixar movies you can see Sadness which is once again from the first official picture. And finally, they have the synopsis of the movie along with the teaser poster and a link to the teaser trailer. Also, as a side note by the Sadness icon of the movie they list the project as "InsideOut" without a space for some reason, I think they will change that later.

And for Toy Story That Time Forgot, we have the main image from the poster for the title page. For the icon there is a picture of one of the Battlesaurs which I forgot his name. And for the plot slide there is a new still from the special which shows Buzz and Woody meeting one of the Battlesaurs for the first time along with the synopsis of the special. Also, as a side note by the icon they list the special only as "Toy Story TV Special" I don't know why but hopefully they will change it. UPDATE: It is now listed as Toy Story That Time Forgot but Inside Out is still listed as "InsideOut".

I hope that both of these Pixar events are great and will be remembered as classics and if you want to see these two projects you can see Inside Out on June 19th and Toy Story That Time Forgot on December 2nd on ABC, and with that I say, see you soon.

What do you want to see on the official Pixar website?

'A Little Lamp' Celebrates 2 Years!

On October 23rd, 2012, A Little Lamp made its debut and was introduced with these words:

"I hope you love my new blog called, A Little Lamp! I hope you like it! Every week you'll see something new from the world of Pixar. Enjoy!"

Ever since I posted those words I've tried my best to stay true to those words. Also, now the blog has changed and has now tried to be a look at what Pixar has done and what they will do. Today, A Little Lamp turns 2 years old and still up and running. I've tried many things over the years some are still being produced and others faded. But the goal to tribute Pixar has stayed the same. You can look back now and see how the many posts changed in quality. In 2012, the posts were small and showed little pieces of what Pixar could do. In 2013, I tried to be more informational. And this year, I've tried to be a blog that shows all of what Pixar can do along with using stuff that I used 2 years ago. Anyways, cheers to 2 years and hopefully 2 more years.

See you soon.

October 22, 2014

Post 165: The Good Director

Hi everybody! The Good Dinosaur has had a rocky road with its production including:
  • The original director (Bob Peterson) being kicked off of the project.
  • Them pushing back the release of it from May 2014 to November 2015 thus also pushing back Finding Dory.
  • And redoing the entire story of the movie.
But now we see that Pixar still has fate in the project by via Twitter letting the cat out of the bag of who is the new Good Dinosaur director:

"After much speculation, we now have confirmation from Pixar that Peter Sohn will take over the directing reins for The Good Dinosaur, set for a theatrical release on November 25, 2015. Just over a year ago, we learned that The Good Dinosaur lead director Bob Peterson would be stepping off the project as the film had concerns with the story. Peter Sohn, the film's co-Director (at the time) was a natural fit to step in as the new lead director, but Pixar was mum on assigning the role officially until everything was sorted out with the story. (In fact, Pixar management brought in a power-team of veteran directors and storytellers to work out the kinks before announcing the role.)

After the film's delay, fans have been eagerly awaiting news and in August of this year, we learned that the film underwent a
substantial story change as stated by John Lithgow, the voice of Poppa Dinosaur. This was the first breath of fresh air that The Good Dinosaur was firing on all cylinders again. The Good Dinosaur will be Sohns' feature film directorial debut, though he previously dazzled audiences with his artistry and storytelling in the heartwarming short that he both wrote and directed, Partly Cloudy.

In the
video, Pixar officially broke the news on Twitter as Peter sketches Arlo, the film's main character.
In the background of the video you'll also notice Spot, another one of the film's main characters. This artwork has our mind wondering if perhaps Spot will continue to be in the rewrite of the film and what role he may play." -Pixar Post

I think this is great piece of news and I like this choice for a director. Peter has been at Pixar since 2003 as a story artist and directed the short film Partly Cloudy so he know how to make a story at Pixar right. And I also have a few after thoughts after hearing this, if Peter was the old co-director but is now the main director, who is the new co-director? Also, if this recent video proofs that Arlo and Spot are still in the movie then does that mean the main idea of the movie is the same? Anyways, I'm getting a little more excited for the film and what it would finally be like after all the changes. And if you want to see the movie you will be able to on November 25th, 2015. See you soon!

Let's brainstorm! What do you think the final movie will be like?

Post 164: 'Party Central' Time!

Pixar Post: Party Central &emdash; Hi everybody! I've said it a million times before and I'm going to say it again, 2014 might not have any Pixar movies but that doesn't mean its a Pixar-less year. And one of the things from Pixar that we got was the Monsters University sequel short, Party Central. The short was shown to everyone along with Muppets: Most Wanted. Recently, the Blu-ray came out for the movie and like the first movie the Pixar short wasn't included. But now you have a way to watch the short film before you wait for Pixar to make a Pixar Shorts: Volume 3. Here's how!

"Party Central, the raucous short film inspired by the door technologies at Monsters University is now available to watch in its entirety on Disney Movies Anywhere. The five-minute-and-forty-second short was previously only seen in theaters ahead of Muppets Most Wanted and to date, hasn't been released in any format. This is great news for fans of the short, as the release date has been questioned for some time. For some viewers, this may even be the first time they will be able to view the short film!
You can access Disney Movies Anywhere directly through the website, or on your Apple iDevice by downloading the free Disney Movies Anywhere app." -Pixar Post
So now you can watch the short as many times as you want on DMA, if you want to. Also, people have been saying that they should put Party Central along with Lava on the Inside Out DVD and Blu-ray. And that sound like an awesome idea! And if not it would most likely be on Pixar Shorts: Volume 3. Anyways, you can watch the short film now as many times as you want now so have fun watching and see you soon!
What do you think the first time Party Central will be on DVD or Blu-ray?

Post 163: MU Spirit Lives!

Hi everybody! If you recently saw Monsters University and want to show your fandom of the movie, a popular and important icon is now returning to the Disney Store! Can you guess what it is?

Monsters University Baseball Cap for Adults
"Ever since the removal of the storefront from the amazing, yet fictitious, Monsters University website, we've received many inquiries regarding the Monsters U baseball cap. The number one question is how it can be purchased now that it has been removed from the store. Well, good news friends, the Monsters University hat is back (temporarily) at DisneyStore.com, so be sure to pick it up before it's gone.

You may notice that this version of the cap has the frayed brim, just like Mike Wazowski's hat did in the film. Previously, this cap (with the frayed bill) was only available in Disney Parks as the prior DisneyStore.com version had a clean brim. I always enjoyed this extra detail on the hat and thought it added a fun level of authenticity." -Pixar Post
This looks like a fantastic thing to wear on any occasion. Ether you want a good baseball cap, a way to show your Pixar or MU pride, or because Halloween is right around the corner you can dress up like Mike with his favorite baseball cap. Anyways, you can get it now for a limited time at Disney Store. See you soon!
Will you buy the MU hat?

October 18, 2014

The Pixar Points #6: A Pixar Fan's Thoughts on 'The Iron Giant'

Hi everybody! It's time for another Pixar Points' A Pixar Fan's Thoughts. And today we have an animated movie by Brad Bird that wasn't with Pixar and also failed to make money, The Iron Giant from 1999. Something you might be surprised about is that I actually saw it for the first time recently, but here is where you get to know what my thoughts are on Brad's movie! So get your whip cream and Twinkies because this is my thoughts on the one and only Iron Giant.
My Thoughts on the Movie:
One of the first things I noticed is that the main character, Hogarth, felt like what Dash would be like in The Incredibles about five years later in Brad's career. Anyways, the humor of the movie is something that I enjoyed and the characters were likeable. I really enjoyed the animation and some of this stuff looks great for a movie of its period. And the character of the Giant himself is probably on of the coolest robots ever in animation up there with WALL-E and maybe Baymax from the upcoming Big Hero 6 movie. This is a great movie with loveable characters, awesome animation, and an interesting story the only thing that I didn't like is that it felt a bit short, I feel like if they included some of the deleted scenes it would have felt a bit more completed. Anyways, if I would give this a rating I would say its a 8/10. Anyways, that was my thoughts on The Iron Giant. Until next time, see you soon!
What do you think of the movie? (No spoilers!)
Next Time on Pixar Points: What Will Pixar Short Films: Volume 3 Be Like?

October 17, 2014

Pixar Review: 'The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.'

Hi everybody! It's time for my first Pixar short film review, these are the same as my movie reviews expect because short films rarely have voice casts, I'm replacing Cast Highlights with a thing called, The Pixar Legacy which will talk about the legacy the short film has with Pixar. Also, I will spoil the shorts because there isn't that much of a twist then in the movies. But don't worry I will still do Cast Highlights and will not spoil with the movie reviews. Anyways, for my first short film review I'm reviewing one of the very first pieces of CG animation that Pixar ever did.

After waking up in a forest, Andre wakes up to find a bee named Wally B. who is ready to sting him. After being chased trough the forest Wally B. finally stings him with an iconic Goofy yell thrown in. Then Andre gets back at him and throws his hat at him.

The Pixar Legacy:
To quote the official Pixar website: "Tough it was created at Lucasfilm, Pixar is featuring it here because it was the first time 3D animated film."  All that the website said was true, this was Lasseter's first CG animated film and showed what could be done with it and he would later proof this more with Toy Story. So this is a very special short, also you can see Wally B. on Bonnie's backpack in the Toy Story 3 and later the Toy Story Toons. So, this is as a big legacy!

Final Thoughts:
This is a short that people don't really talk about but people still know about it, because there isn't that much to talk about. But the humor I enjoyed and the characters were likable, their isn't that much to say other then it's a good short with a great legacy, but I should note that because it was made in1984, the animation isn't that outstanding.

My Rating: 9/10

What d you think of the short?

Post 162: Quickie: Another Still to "Lava"

Hi everybody! Time for another News Quickie! Today, We have another animal still from Lava. Including two turtle in "lava" and I think this is a more beautiful still then the whale one from last time.

And also, does anyone else think the turtles look like Finding Nemo? Because the male turtle looks a lot like Crush, could this be a hint at what the characters in Finding Dory would look like? Could the whales, turtles, dolphins and birds from the short have cameo in the movie? Anyways, speaking of Nemo I love seeing how technology has changed since then, I mean just look at Crush from the 2003 hit movie:
Anyways, if this is a Dory sneak peek or not, this is an amazing still from the short. And I can't wait until June 19th! See you soon!

What you think of the new still? And do you think its a Dory sneak peek?

Post 161: We'll Miss You, Mirage

Hi everybody! Today, I have another Quickie and my first short film review, but first I want to share with you a sad loss of a brilliant person who voiced Mirage, Syndrome's right hand woman who also helped the Incredibles, in The Incredibles named Elizabeth Pena who died at the age of 55 recently. Here is a nice tribute by the wonderful people at the site, The Rotoscopers:

We'll miss you.
"Almost two months after the unfortunate passing of actor and comedian Robin Williams, we have news of another loss of talent.

Elizebeth Pena, best known as the voice of Mirage in Disney and Pixar’s The Incredibles, died on October 14 due to natural causes brought on by a brief illness in the Ceders-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 55.
Her death was confirmed the following day on Latino Review by Mario-Francisco Robles, Pena’s nephew and film critic. The nature of her illness has not been disclosed as of current.
Pena was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1959. She spent her early years in Cuba before moving to New York at the age of eight. There she graduated from New York’s High School of Performing Arts in 1977.
She would go on to star in a number of roles, including stints on TV shows such as Hill Street Blues, American Dad, Justice League, and Modern Family. She also had roles in movies such as La Bamba, Rush Hour, and *batteries not included. Interestingly enough, one of the writers of *battaries not included was Brad Bird, who would later go on to direct The Incredibles 17 years later.
In that movie, she was the voice of Mirage, Syndrome’s seductive right-hand woman who lured Mr. Incredible into a James Bond-esque lifestyle that allows him use of his superpowers, only to later get ensnared in Syndrome’s diabolical plot. Eventually Mirage has a change of heart and decides to help The Incredibles in their mission to stop Syndrome.
Her last on-screen appearance was a recurring role as Maritza Sandoval, the mother of DEA turned CIA agent Tony Bravo (played by Gabriel Luna) on the Robert Rodriguez-produced TV series Matador.
A truly sad and sudden end to a wonderful career of a truly talented actress. Unfortunately, her passing leaves her role open to be recast in the recently-confirmed The Incredibles 2 (assuming Mirage would have made an appearance in that film).
She is survived by her husband Hans Rolla and their two children." -Brandon Smith, Rotoscopers
Sorry if this was a sad piece of news, today I do have a happier piece of Pixar news and a review on the happy little short. See you soon!
What was your favorite thing about the work of Elizabeth Pena?

October 16, 2014

Post 160: The Trailer That Time Forgot (Man, that is a lot of Ts!)

Hi everybody! If you read post 159, then you basically know what's happening. But if you don't know, what is basically happening is Pixar is wanting us to focus a bit more on their other projects aside from Inside Out apparently. Because we have gotten a lot of news from both Lava and Toy Story That Time Forgot. Anyways, here is today's Toy Story That Time Forgot news:

"As the December 2 television premiere of Toy Story That Time Forgot approaches, more and more news of the 21-minute special has been hitting the internet. For those that watched the re-airing of Pixar's first television special, Toy Story of TERROR!, on October 15 (8:00 PM) you were treated to the first television commercial highlighting the dinosaur-inspired film. The 30-second commercial sets up a great juxtaposition between the humor of the television special, paired against the intense, gladiator-style battles - check it out below.

To highlight some of the hilarity that was shown cinematic commercial, we have included a few screenshots below. Who couldn't love the crayon smashing scene with Reptillus Maximus with the ultra slow motion debris flying into Buzz and Woody's faces?! Or the all-too-hilarious moment with Rex uttering, "well this seems festive" while sporting his new mechanical arms!" -Pixar Post
Like with Lava, this looks like a great special toon that will maybe become an annual Christmas special for me. Anyways, see you soon! 
What do you think of the trailer?

Post 159: Interviews to "Lava"

Hi everybody! Yesterday, I posted two news stories on two upcoming Pixar projects: Lava and Toy Story That Time Forgot. And now, today we have more news on both of these projects yet again, starting with Lava.

"Alongside the June 19, 2015 release of Pixar's next feature film, Inside Out, theatergoers will also see the release of Lava, the volcanic short film wrapped around a love story. You may not immediately think of a love story when you think of volcanoes, but in a recent interview with Coming Soon (thanks to a tip from our reader, Bryan L.), Lava director Jim Murphy chats about everything from the beauty of the Hawaiian islands (where the short film takes place), to the emotional elements of music, to the actual pitch process at Pixar. It really helps set up the element of "two ships passing in the night" looking for love - or, lava.

We also found it very interesting to learn more about Pixar's storied research process. Jim mentioned that although they (of course) had to take some liberties with talking volcanoes, they did stay true to one element of the geological history of the Hawaiian Islands. Volcanoes form and grow over hotspots in the ocean and over time, as they continue to drift along with the tectonic plates they drift off and another volcano will take its place. With the story of Lava, Pixar kept true to this premise as we know that the love story takes place over millions of years and involves the movement of Uku (the film's main character) and Lele within the Hawaiian waters.
Finally, we were also excited to hear Jim mention Aaron Hartline, who was the Supervising Animator on Lava, as we recently interviewed Aaron as part of our Pixar Pipeline Project (Listen to episode 31 of the Pixar Post Podcast to hear more details on Lava). Oh, and was anyone else thinking, "Hey, that Lava shirt Jim is wearing is so cool!", when watching the interview?"

Shortly after posting the interview above, we spotted
another great interview with Jim from a TEDxDetroit talk. How we missed this event even though it was literally in our backyard is a big bummer for us, as we're from the Detroit area. Keep in mind though that if you watch the TEDx talk below, there are spoilers as Jim shares some wonderful concept artwork from LAVA." -Pixar Post
To see both of these interviews go this link. 
This looks like a great short, it was a great story and isteresting characters. I basically can't other then I can't wait to see the short in front of Inside Out which debuts on June 19th, 2015. Until that happen, see you soon!
What was your favorite thing about the two interviews?