WE ♥ PIXAR
"Are you sure you speak whale?" A very interesting story from NY Times' Arts Beat blog today about one of the year's breakout documentaries and the impact it's already having on our society. Blackfish is the doc, from director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, which opens the book on Seaworld and the mistreatment of the Orca whales they keep in captivity. I just saw the doc this week myself and it's a powerful, persuasive doc that will leave you with the feeling of never wanting to visit Seaworld (again). It's that feeling that Pixar has already noticed, as an insider at the animation studio tipped off the NY Times that they're changing the ending of the 2015 sequel Finding Dory because of the response the doc is nurturing with the public. Smart move.
"What if the asteroid missed the earth 65 million years ago?" That's where idea for Pixar's next original movie, The Good Dinosaur, began. It addresses the question of: what if the dinosaurs survived and never died off? The answer: they'd be living with humans and interacting with us like it's normal. Disney's D23 Expo is underway in Anaheim today and the first big presentation was hosted by John Lasseter looking at the upcoming Disney Animation slate. They revealed a quick first look at the new Good Dinosaur movie and announced the voice cast, featuring the likes of John Lithgow and Frances McDormand voicing dinosaurs.
One of the more prominent complaints about Pixar Animation over the past few years is their sudden fascination with revisiting their films by way of sequels. The animation house stationed at Disney has always produced stellar original work, but some fans feel that their efforts in the sequel department, with the exception of Toy Story, haven't been up to usual quality standards. It sounds like Pixar has been listening as a recent conversation Pixar's presdient Ed Catmull had with BuzzFeed indicated that they will significantly scale back the number of sequels that go into production and focus more on original ideas.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "I am going to scare circles around you." The lovable Mike and Sulley from Monsters Inc are back in the prequel Monsters University, the 14th movie from Pixar Animation Studios. While there is no Boo this time, we do meet a whole batch of new monsters including Squishy, Don, Terri & Terry, Art, Johnny and the ominous Dean Hardscrabble. So how is it? Does it live up to Monsters Inc at all, is at as good as that classic, or not even close? Does it have as much heart as there is humor? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Pixar's Monsters University.
In 2001, when Monster's, Inc. came out, Pixar was still in its early years. The company had two Toy Story films and A Bug's Life, which some considered a slight disappointment. Adorable as it was, Monster's, Inc. still didn't quite reach the heights of quality storytelling that would come a bit later with films like Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. It's only natural that now, 12 years and ample amounts of that quality later, the company's trek back to the well brings us Monsters University, a prequel. The results are still fine, adorable as ever, with plenty of laughs from audiences both young and old. And maybe that's good enough.
On this week's episode of The Golden Briefcase, hosts Tim and Jeremy are joined by Kate Erbland, from MSN Movies & Film School Rejects, to go through their picks of the week, the newest DVD & Blu-ray releases, new trailers for Noam Murro's 300: Rise of an Empire and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street and much more. The main topic was a discussion on Pixar's cinematic output since the topic was last broached on the show in 2010, coinciding with Monsters University hitting theaters this week. The group talks over their last few films and how the company has/hasn't changed and where they hope to see them go.
Apparently Disney-Pixar doesn't know the meaning of the word "final." Back in April, the new Monsters University trailer hyping the Scare Games was touted as the final trailer. But earlier this month a short new trailer showed up, and the music of Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia was included, so that was fine. Well, now we're here with the second "final" trailer, but this is called the "final exam" trailer, showing Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) studying their hearts out in college. This looks like it has all the staples of university life we know, plus the heart of Pixar. Watch now!
It's time for the big 5-year update on animation. Walt Disney has confirmed their release plan for the next five years of animated movies from both Disney Animation and Pixar Animation. The news and dates come from ERCBoxoffice (via SlashFilm) but it doesn't contain any titles or information beyond just the dates for a bunch of films coming up through 2018. However, I've organized a complete list of releases, including most of those we do know titles for through 2015 (the last one announced being Finding Dory), but the rest we'll have to wait for the announcement. For now this is just a quick release date update from Disney/Pixar.
Disney and Pixar Animation's summer sequel Monsters University isn't too far away, and following that cute little Mother's Day wish last weekend, the film is now getting some hype courtesy of the trendy online t-shirt company Threadless. They've teamed with Disney and Pixar to sell some custom shirts inspired by Monsters University and Monsters Inc. The cool thing about these shirts is the designs on sale were chosen from 487 submitted designs from artists around the world. Some truly amazing artwork is on these shirts, to the point that I would almost want some of these images up on my wall instead of my shirt. Look!
Some cute little shorts featuring the characters of Toy Story have already made their way to the big screen, even after Toy Story 3 hit theaters. Now another new one is coming this Halloween, but it's a full 30-minutes long and will be getting the TV treatment. Given the timing of the short's premiere, it's no surprise to learn it's called Toy Story of Terror, and it mostly focuses on Jesse (Joan Cusack) as Bonnie takes the toys on a road trip and they end up staying in a spooky motel after the car breaks down. But don't worry, because Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and some of the other toys will be there too.
"They'll always be your biggest fan." It's Mother's Day this weekend in the US, and of course Disney/Pixar is celebrating it with a fun promo video for their animated summer movie - Monsters University. The video features a few clips of the amusing monster mother character, Ms. Squibbles, who is Squishy's mom from the fraternity that Mike and Sully join. We've seen Disney make plenty of these kind of promos for all sorts of different holidays, but this is a fitting one from Pixar since Ms. Squibbles is an important part of the cast and story in Monsters University. Check it out below. To all the mom's out there - Happy Mother's Day!
"If you're not scary, what kind of a monster are you?" The words "final" and "university" used to be the most terrifying combination in my younger years, but when I say the final trailer for Pixar's prequel Monsters University is here, it's all good. This trailer has all of the college fun, along with some new plot information to give us an idea of just how Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) figure out who is better at scaring, but the stakes are even higher than that. This trailer finally gets me on board with the Pixar prequel, especially after the good buzz from CinemaCon last week. Watch!
When the first teaser trailers for Monsters University were released, they featured Sulley (John Goodman) pranking his new college roommate Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal). Now Sulley is back at giving Mike a hard time on a new poster for the Pixar summer release. Duct tape makes for some of the best pranks, and this one puts Mike up on the wall for all the kids to laugh at. It's good to know that these two become such friends after initially being enemies in college. Our own Alex Billington just saw the entire film at CinemaCon, and had nothing but nice things to say. Sounds like this Pixar sequel will be a delight. Look!
Welcome to Monsters University! Disney held their big 2013 presentation at CinemaCon on Wednesday morning, kicking things off with an impressive glance at their upcoming slate (which includes all Marvel Studios, Disney, Pixar and Lucasfilm movies coming up). But the biggest surprise of the day was a screening of Pixar's Monsters University in its entirety. It seemed mostly final (unlike when they screened a rough cut of Toy Story 3 here three years ago) and is an excellent follow-up that made me quite emotional by the end. We also got to watch almost 20 minutes of footage from Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger, which I was actually entertained by (it is another Jerry Bruckheimer movie) although it was overshadowed by MU.