Friday 19 August 2011

I'm Back - A Collection of Things You May Have Missed

Apologies for the hiatus, I've been on holiday for the past few weeks, so - while I have been able to keep up to date on the latest animation news - I have been unable to post about the large slab of news that has been coming out (thankfully, though, I am back in time to cover all that happens at D23, starting today). So, to avoid spamming you with post after post, I'm compiling all of the news over the past couple of weeks into one big post here for you.

Firstly, news surfaced over a week ago (via The Hollywood Reporter and Box Office Mojo) that we can expect another Pixar film in 2014. Following only a few weeks after the announcement of a, as of yet unnamed, new Pixar feature coming on November 27, 2013, we were told that the 2013 film would be an original concept, so not a sequel; no such thing has been said of this 2014 release, giving credibility to the belief that this 2014 film could be the rumoured Toy Story 4.

Pixar, seemingly, are being a lot more secretive with their upcoming slate as of late, announcing less details about further off films, this could likely be to avoid another scenario like what we saw with Newt, where early announcements led to Pixar losing some face by having to cancel the project due to perceived similarities with Rio and Alpha & Omega. But we may get details on this, and the 2013 film, from D23.

This new Pixar film is scheduled for release on May 30, 2014.

But that's only a little bit of the news that I haven't covered over the past few weeks, read the rest after the jump break.

Next, as D23 starts today, while I was away the stacked schedule for the event was published online. The full schedule can be read here, however, amongst some of the coolest events set to take place at the event are the ones that focus on Pixar; while D23 is a Disney Fan Expo, a lot of the focus (at least in terms of films) seems to be on Pixar, which has been a far more reliable animation company for Disney than it's own animation department in the past few years, despite improvements by Disney since the 2006 merger.

In terms of Pixar, the five major events for them are on Saturday (as in tomorrow), and are as follows:
  • A Conversation with the Pixar Creative Team – Enjoy a rare opportunity to spend some time with the key figures responsible for Pixar’s unprecedented success, including John Lasseter, Jim Morris, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, Lee Unkrich, Mark Andrews, and Dan Scanlon.
  • The Characters of Monsters University – Director Dan Scanlon and Production Designer Ricky Nierva discuss how they combine hair, horns and a lot of heart to bring the wonderful Monsters University characters to life.
  • Michael Giacchino’s Music of Pixar – In this musical presentation, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino explores his early influences through the creation of modern-day classic scores from Ratatouille, Up and Cars 2.
  • The Art of Brave – Production Designer Steve Pilcher and Shading Art Director Tia Kratter show how they and their team put paint to canvas and fingers to computer keys to create the stunning visuals of Scotland for Disney•Pixar’s upcoming film Brave.
  • Pixar Shorts – This retrospective screening of the animation studio’s legendary short films will be followed by a panel discussion with several of the filmmakers, including Ralph Eggleston, Andy Jimenez, Angus MacLane, Pete Sohn, Teddy Newton, and Enrico Casarosa.
These events sound phenomenal and I'm incredibly jealous of all the lucky people who get to go, it sounds great and should provide great insight into the upcoming Pixar slate.

Thanks to The Pixar Blog for this news.

Next in this gigantic stream of updates, is one concerning Pixar's first 2013 feature, Monsters University. The prequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc. is due out on June 21, 2013 and this past week, Billy Crystal, the voice of Mike Wazowski in the film, talked to The Los Angeles Times about the role.

In the course of the interview, Crystal shared his joy at being reunited with John Goodman (voice of Sulley), saying:

“We’re having a blast together,”

In terms of the plot and continuity of the film, he goes on to say:

"it is hilarious. The Pixar people are geniuses. It’s 10 years since the first movie. Yeah, it’s crazy. And it’s a prequel. They’re in college. It’s how they met, it’s how Michael and Sully meet, and plan to become scarers at Monsters Inc. — so this movie ends where the other one starts.”

Whether Crystal is talking literally, and the film will literally end where Monsters, Inc. started, remains to be seen, but it certainly sounds promising. In terms of the "college" theme of the film, Crystal also adds:

"And I wear a retainer. Mike has a retainer.”

I honestly can't wait to see, not only the follow up to the Monsters, Inc., but also how Pixar handle their very first prequel; we will surely see more about the film come D23.

Also, as Cars 2 is set to be released on DVD and Blu Ray on November 1, we have been granted a sneak peak at a brand new accompanying short film, Air Mater. The clip (above) was released by Disney and Pixar a couple of days ago, and this, as the tenth Cars Toon, will provide a link-in, from the Cars world, to Planes, the direct-to-DVD spin-off from the Cars world, coming from Disney Toon Studios in 2013.

Finally, and briefly, Disney/Pixar have decided to end their boycotting of the Annie Awards (which resulted in Toy Story 3 being completely shut out of this year's awards), apparently pleased by the changes the boycott caused (via The Pixar Blog). In terms of Disney news, CEO Bob Iger said that Disney is looking at purchasing some more characters, similar to how they did with The Muppets and Marvel and, way back in the day, 101 Dalmations and Winnie the Pooh. Head on over to Blue Sky Disney for an interesting look at what this could mean.

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