April 30, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Dan the Pixar Fan Interview

Hi everyone! This is a really exciting blog post because this is my first actual interview on my blog! (Not counting that weird nature center interview back when I started this blog) Anyways, I got a chance to interview Dan the Pixar Fan, who I link to at the end of this post. He was so awesome for doing this of my blog so for without further a duo, the Dan the Pixar Fan interview!

1. When did you're love of Pixar start?
It all started back in 1995 with the release of Toy Story in theaters. I was five years old at the time and I instantly fell in love with the film. I can't explain why it captivated me so much (I wish I could go back inside my five year old head to see what I was thinking), but it did. I know it wasn't the technological achievement or the fact that it was the first CG animated film (I don't think I totally understand that at the time), so it must have just been something about the characters, music, story and overall feel of the film that hit home for me. As the years went on, I continued to anticipate every new Pixar release. One film after another, Pixar impressed me (even at a young age) with their near perfect combination of heart, reliability, tasteful humor and memorable, iconic characters. That mentality is still with me today.

2. How many items of Pixar merchandise do you currently have?

I've never counted every single item, so I couldn't give you an exact number, but I know it is well over 1,000 items (and it continues to grow almost daily).

3. What was the first Pixar product you got?

If I'm not mistaken, I think it was either the original Thinkway Toys Buzz Lightyear or Woody. From there, I had the determination to get every toy from Andy's room (which I'm still working on today).
4. What is your favorite Pixar product you have?

That's a real tough one. I have so many great items! The first things that came to mind, however, were my 1999 Toy Story 2 bookends and my 2010 Toy Story snow globe.

5. What is your favorite Pixar bonus feature?

Easily "The Pixar Story" documentary by Leslie Iwerks (which was released on the 2008 Wall·E DVD)

6. What is your favorite non-Pixar movie?

If we're talking any movie, my favorite non-Pixar film is Star Wars (I'll just group the entire saga under one). As far as animated, possibly The Lion King or The Iron Giant.

7. What is your favorite Pixar short?

If I had to narrow it down to one, I would pick Partly Cloudy. La Luna, For the Birds and Day & Night are also up there on my list of favorites as well.

8. What is your favorite Pixar character(s)?

It's hard for me to name just one character, since I really think of many of my favorites Pixar characters as pairs. For example, I don't think I can say Buzz or Woody are my favorite characters all on their own, but Buzz and Woody as a duo (their interactions and overall story arc) would be my all time favorite. Mike and Sulley are a close second for me. As far a secondary character that I just find hilarious, I gotta say Edna Mode!

9. What is your favorite Pixar scene?

Since there are 100 scenes that I could probably say are in my top favorites, I'll just name the first three that immediately popped into my head: When Buzz flies at the end of the first Toy Story, Sulley says goodbye to Boo in Monsters Inc. and the "Define Dancing" scene in Wall·E.

10. Favorite line said by a Pixar character?

Boy, these are not easy questions for someone with so many favorites in the Pixar universe! ;) Every Pixar film has a plethora of funny and/or meaningful lines that stand out to me. "To Infinity and Beyond" might be an obvious choice, but I get the chills every time that's spoken in the original Toy Story. I also love Anton Ego's beautifully written review/speech at the end of Ratatouille as well as Edna Mode's "I never look back darling, it distracts from the now".

11. Favorite joke in a Pixar movie or short?

I always thought the running joke in Monsters Inc. (with Mike being covered up in all the publicity shots) was hilarious. Also, you can't go wrong with the inside the mind jokes near the end/during the credits of Inside Out. Every Pixar film has countless hilarious and clever gags though. I could go on and on! Their sense of humor is such a big part of their charm as a studio.

12. What is your favorite Pixar movie?
Toy Story (can I say the trilogy as one?) is my favorite, with Monsters Inc. and Ratatouille rounding out my top three. My favorites seem to be always changing though as I learn to appreciate each film more (for example I didn't love Ratatouille when it first came out, but over the years it has taken a spot in my top three of all time). 

13. What is your favorite animated TV show?

Star Wars Rebels is the only animated show I watch currently. Other than that, I haven't watched TV cartoons for years. As a kid in the mid to late 90's though, my favorites were The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Arthur and The Magic School Bus.

14. What made you decide to make your blog?

In 2013, near the release of Monsters University, I started really getting involved with the Pixar online fan community for the first time. I stumbled across various Pixar news sites run by Pixar fans and they became part of the core sites I would check daily. I began to notice that there was only a handful of consistent Pixar sites out there (unlike Star Wars, for example, where there are countless fan sites dedicated to every aspect of the franchise) and so I thought "hey, I could do something like this!" I wanted to take a different approach, however, and didn't want to go the news route (since that was already covered and I wasn't looking to get competitive).

That's when I had the thought of sharing my Pixar collection with daily posts (roughly one item per day). I had never seen a full Pixar toys/collectibles site before, so I thought it would be a unique approach. I knew I wasn't the only Pixar mega fan/collector out there and figured others would appreciate it. Also, not only would it be great documentation of my collection on my end (and of Pixar merchandise in general), but I would also be able to help other Pixar fans find info on products they might be looking for (or had never heard of). I knew I would love to come across a site like that (since I was always looking for detailed info/pics about Pixar stuff), so I said "what the heck, I'll make it myself!"

Honestly, I thought it would last maybe a couple of months, and yet here we are almost three years later. The blog literally has changed my life and I'm so thrilled to have been able to help so many people who have found it. To everyone who has visited, thank YOU for the support! It really makes me feel great; knowing that people have found my blog and that it has been some kind of help to them keeps me going every day. 

15. Why did you choose Dan the Pixar Fan as your blog name?

This might sound weird, but I actually don't remember! I can't recall when I first came up with that name. I knew I wanted something catchy and memorable (if not a bit cheesy) and that just came to me. I guess it stuck! 

16. Is there any pastime that you do when not working on your blog?

When I'm not working on the blog, my wife and I enjoy cooking together, watching shows together, going out to restaurants, taking walks, going to the gym, going to the movies and so on. We love vacationing and planning our next adventure or event. In the summer, you can find us laying out by the pool and in the winter you can find us on the couch in front of the fire. Additionally, I love filmmaking and have been making films since I was a kid, so I love to do that when I get the time. I also love browsing the internet to learn new skills and, of course, to discover the latest Pixar, Star Wars and general movie news!

 17. What is the best place you've visited for one of your blog posts?

A few stand outs were going to Pixar in Concert in SLC, going to the NYC advanced screening for Inside Out and attending the 2015 D23 Expo. To check out all of our Pixar related events and experiences like that, you can visit the "Events" label on my blog home page.

18. What has been the best experience for you since starting the blog?

For sure it's been all the friends I've made. I can't tell you how life changing it has been to meet so many other great Disney/Pixar fans (you all know who you are). They have been such a huge help and support to me! I've loved being involved with different podcasts and interviews (like this) and have enjoyed some pretty cool interactions with other Disney/Pixar artists and employees. 

19. Is there any plans for your blog in the future?

My plans are to just keep going! I don't have any new features in mind currently. If anything, I hope to be more active on YouTube with more unboxing/review videos.

20. Is there any advice for people who also want to start a blog?

Be consistent. I've seen many people say they want to start a blog and they do…but then it doesn't last longer than a few posts because they get bored, can't find the time or don't know what to write about. Keep going and strive for meaningful, entertaining and helpful content. Always be trying to improve your writing skills and make sure to add your personality as well- have fun with it! Also, don't get discouraged when people aren't finding your blog right away; it takes a while! Don't give up.

As Dory would tell you "just keep swimming…"

Once again, thank you so much Dan for doing this interview. Who knows, maybe we can collaborate again in the future ;). Anyways, you can find Dan at these links:
Blog: http://www.danthepixarfan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danthepixarfan/?ref=bookmarks
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyi3enAOzPtJC924j_CnIHA
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danthepixarfan/

See you soon!


Pixar Post said...

Nice interview - agree with Dan that it's all about the relationships which have formed due to starting the site...who knew it would lead to friendships because of a simple website.

Gegeua said...

Thanks! It was great to get to know more about Dan when working on this, it's also cool see you leave a comment on my blog. ;)