Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Pixar Comic!

Briefly: Everybody's favorite holiday is coming up. . . That's right! May 2nd is Free Comic Book Day! This is the 8th year of free comics books, and Disney, as usual, is contributing. But this year, instead of their usual Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse comic, they are sending out something from Emeryville.

Cars #1 from BOOM! Studios (pictured at the top of this post) will be one of many comics that will be available at any participating retailer for free on May 2. From the official Free Comic Book website, here's the comic's synopsis:

Take a peek under the hood of BOOM! Studios' line of Cars comics, based on the hit Disney/Pixar movie! This issue includes an exciting excerpt from Cars #1, revealing the plucky origin of Lightning McQueen! In addition, readers will be treated to never-before-seen sketches, character designs and script pages!

The Cars comic is listed as one of their 10 "Gold Comics" for this year, making Pixar, as usual, the best of the best.

I can't wait to get my free Pixar comic!

Oh, and, by the way, you can download a 5 page preview of the comic right now!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Link Roundup

It has been a fairly slow week when it comes to news, but there are still various tidbits that are worth mentioning:

  • Upcoming Pixar has details regarding the very exciting wrap-up party for Pixar's upcoming film Up. Attending the party and showing of the film were John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Andrew Stanton, and, of course, director Pete Docter. Everybody loved the film and had a great time at the party; I cannot wait to see Up!

  • Marty Sklar has very suprisingly announced his retirement. He is a true Imagineering legend, and will be permanently leaving Disney, after 53 years of working for 'em, on July 17 (Disneyland's birthday) of this year. He is currently the President/Vice-Chairman and Principal Creative Executive of Imagineering, and I know he will be missed.

  • Upcoming Pixar has also posted an article which states that Imagineering is planning to create an animatronic Luxo Jr. for the Pixar section of Walt Disney World in Florida. I think that this would be very interesting, and very cool, especially if the imagineers are able to give Luxo the ability to jump and walk, which I am sure they will.

  • Last, but absolutely not least, is a 30-second clip from the long-awaited Pixar short Partly Cloudly that will precede Up, has been released. Here it is in all of its musically-wonderful, beautifully-animated glory:

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    Friday, April 24, 2009

    The Pixar Treasures

    Amazon has now started taking pre-orders for the exciting new book The Pixar Treasures. It is by the author of The Art of WALL-E and The Art of Up, Tim Hauser. It is a "scrapbook of instinct and inspiration, experiences readers can touch, and visions that exist only in the imagination." It will have a separate chapter for every one of Pixar's films, as well as other chapters about the creation of the studio. The book will become available on September 22 of this year. It looks amazing with all of its "removable keepsakes" and stories, I am definitely going to get it, and I'd recommend it to anyone who loves Pixar.


    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Tom Hanks Talks All About Making 'Toy Story 3'

    Toy Story 3 is the next Pixar film after the soon-to-be-released Up. As such, it is already starting to gets its fair share of Hollywood buzz (no pun intended). Tom Hanks, as you most likely know, plays Woody, the film franchise's main character alongside Buzz Lightyear. Tom Hanks did an interview with Empire Magazine, and had some very, very interesting things to share.

    The most interesting to me, was that Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and John Ratzenberger all sat in a theater and watched "a complete story reel of the entire movie, with storyboards moving from one to the next, and the people up at Pixar recorded some voices with some music and sound effects." I found this pretty amusing: they saw the film before reading the script. According to Hanks, right after the viewing, the three of them said, "This is great, let's get to work!"

    I have always been so intrigued with these early stages of Pixar's films. I would love to see exactly what Hanks saw at that viewing; it would be very entertaining to compare the early moving storyboards and scratch voices with the final product. I hope Pixar will eventually add these very early versions of their movies as bonuses on DVDs. Oh well, at least we get the "Art of" books. . .

    Tom Hanks also shared with Empire the fact that he has done three major recording sessions for the animated flick, and he plans to do another in around eight months. He then goes on to discuss that: "Then eight months after that I'll do a mop-up and have three more sessions after that. Those movies are beasts."

    You heard it from Mr. Tom Hanks himself: Pixar's "movies are beasts."

    Read the full article here, and keep checking back for the latest and greatest news all about Toy Story 3, and everything else about Disney, Pixar, Movies, Gadgets, and everything in-between.


    More 'Up' Concept Art

    Here are some wonderful new photos taken at the Up exhibit in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. The images are very cool, and feature some things about the movie I have never seen, including an age progression of Carl, some actual "Wilderness Explorer" memorabilia, various images of Ellie and Muntz, and much more. For your enjoyment, more concept art from Up:


    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    'Up' gets Official PG Rating

    Today the MPAA announced that Pixar's upcoming feature, Up, will be rated PG for "Some Peril and Action." No surprise here; after seeing the trailers and featurettes, you have to admit it looks like it is very action-packed.

    Every other Pixar movie besides The Incredibles has gotten the milder rating of G. Bolt, the critically-acclaimed animated Disney film released last year (read my review here), received the same rating as Up for a very similar reason of "mild action and peril."

    I do not think that this rating is that big of a deal; I don't predict any decline in the positive ratings or box office numbers due to this slightly more mature rating. You didn't see any of that with Bolt, and you won't with Up. Bottom line: everybody that has loved any of Pixar's last movies (and who hasn't?), is sure to see Up, regardless of "some peril and action." In fact, I think this PG rating makes the flick appear more exciting than previously thought. . .


    Monday, April 20, 2009

    First Screening of 'Toy Story 3' Trailer

    Earlier today, the very first trailer for Toy Story 3 was screened. It was only a teaser trailer and it was screened in Las Vegas at the industry convention for the National Association of Broadcasters.

    According to Variety, the trailer consists of "Woody supervising the Toy Story characters as they improvise a sign for the pic, only to have Buzz upstage them all with a high-tech version."

    This sounds very simple; I can imagine what the trailer looks like already.

    I imagine that this will be the trailer that premieres before the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 double feature being released on October 2 of this year, but this trailer's movie theater-premiere isn't yet official.

    Toy Story 3 will be released on June 18, 2010.

    Source: The Pixar Blog


    Pixar's Greatest Songs CD

    DisneyShopping has released the product information for the forthcoming "Pixar's Greatest Hits CD." The CD will be released on May 26 of this year, and features songs from every single Pixar movie, even Up! It will feature 25 tracks which include songs ranging from scores to character-sung ditties:

    • You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story performed by Randy Newman
    • If I Didn’t Have You from Monsters, Inc. performed by Billy Crystal and John Goodman
    • Life Is a Highway from Cars performed by Rascal Flatts
    • Le Festin from Ratatouille performed by Camille
    • Down to Earth from WALL•E performed by Peter Gabriel
    • The Incredits from The Incredibles -- Score
    • Memories Can Weigh You Down from Up -- Score
    And many more! The previously unannounced track from Up, as you can see, is called Memories Can Weigh You Down. How exciting!

    Pre-order and see the full track list at DisneyShopping.com.

    Source: The Pixar Blog


    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    Inside Up: Kevin the Undiscovered Species

    Another 'Inside Up' video has just been released. (Watch it now on Disney.com). It quickly describes the premise of Up, but then moves on to describe one character in particular: Kevin the Bird. His animation is very unique due to the way he walks, his vibrant colors, and his numerous (and hilarious) antics involving Russell and Carl and Chocolate. The video also goes on to describe the rather humorous fact that Russell named the bird Kevin, not knowing it was a female! The video has some great interviews from the crew of Up, coming out May 29 of this year!


    New 'Partly Cloudy' Still

    Ain't it Cool News has gotten their hands on a brand new, gorgeous still from the short that will precede Up, entitled Partly Cloudy. Click for a much higher resolution.

    I cannot wait to see Partly Cloudy, its premise is so simple, but also has a lot of room for humor. I think that it will be one of my favorite shorts to come out of Pixar yet.


    'Inside Up: Unlikely Heroes'

    Here is a pretty short featurette about Up. It has some good tidbits from the movie, as well as talk from Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, and John Lasseter. Enjoy:


    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Wednesday Link Roundup

    There hasn't been a ton of news lately, but there have been some interesting things that have come up in the last couple of days that are worth mentioning; not worth a whole post, but worth mentioning.

    • Blue Sky Disney, which always has wonderful and insightful Disney news, has a gorgeous gallery of art from one of my favorite animated features of all time, The Incredibles.

    • JoBlo has posted the poster for the upcoming live-action Disney film Old Dogs, which stars John Travolta and Robin Williams.

    • I love when Disneyland or any of the other Disney parks celebrate the anniversary of a ride. I especially love it when Shag is involved--his style is just so unique, and so cool. Anyways, Disney and More has a large gallery of the items designed by Shag for the Haunted Mansion's 40th anniversary.

    • The Pixar Blog has a pretty comprehensive article about Up's publicity push. It makes for a pretty good, quick read if you are as excited for Pixar's upcoming film as I am.

    • While we're talking about Up, I'll also mention that Upcoming Pixar also has a good article about the various pre-screenings of Up that have already taken place.
    That's about all of the Disney, Pixar, Movie, Gadget, and every in-between news that's out there right now. The biggest thing happening right now is the very, very close release of Pixar's Up which comes out on May 29.

    I can't wait! Can you?. . .


    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    California Adventure Changes Begin to Take Shape!

    About a year ago, Disney announced their plan to do a major overhaul of Disney's California Adventure. They had plans to add a huge, new Carsland, theme the entire park to match California in the 1920s, and many other much needed improvements including new attractions and refurbishments. These changes should be completed by around 2012, but they have already begun work, and some aspects of the renovation are already completed.

    One of my least favorite parts of DCA was the boardwalk games. They were boring, unoriginal, and made Disney look like it was just trying to make a quick buck. Well, after some renovations and re-theming, I can't wait to get to the park and see the new games! They look amazing, see a photo gallery on the MiceChat forum here. The games now feature everybody's favorite Disney characters and other neat details that make these games uniquely Disney. See a video of the wonderful new boardwalk games below:

    More progress is being made on Paradise Pier since the Sun Wheel is transforming into Mickey's Fun Wheel! The Mickey Mouse head from the concept art that can be found below has been added to the Ferris wheel, as can be seen in this sadly poor quality photo:

    Concept Art:

    Addition of the Mickey to the Sun Wheel (now Mickey's Fun Wheel!):

    That's about all of the updates for now. Although, there was a pretty interesting rumor brought up on Blue Sky Disney that states "Iger is getting worried John Lasseter is spreading himself too thin and hanging out in the parks too much". I think that this is a far-fetched thing for Iger to say, and, if he does actually think this, I think Lasseter can handle himself--a funny rumor nonetheless.

    I'll keep you updated as more DCA park renovations are completed; especially Carsland, The Little Mermaid dark ride, Buena Vista Street, and much, much more!


    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    Tuesday Link Roundup

    Here are some interesting links all relating to the highly, highly anticipated upcoming animated feature, Up!

    The New York Times has published an article about Up stating that folks on Wall Street "are fretting about the film’s commercial potential." This is absolutely ridiculous since everybody loves Pixar's films which are flawless when it comes to original storylines, stunning animation, and simply superb filmmaking. Mike over at The Pixar Blog has some pretty humorous responses to this outrageous NYTimes article.

    There are some very cool wallpapers, screensavers, and other things that you can download right now from the official Up website!

    After seeing the Up trailer, my favorite character is Dug the Dog. And it has been confirmed on the official Up website that Bob Peterson, the co-director and screenwriter for Up as well as the voice of Roz in Monsters, Inc., Mr. Ray in Finding Nemo, and Geri in Geri's Game, will "lend his voice" to Dug. How exciting!

    Expect to see much more similar news as Up's release gets closer and closer. . .


    More 'Up' Vignettes and Trailers

    Briefly: The international trailer for Up, which features some new scenes but most of what we've already seen, has just been released. View it above.

    Also, the third UPisode, entitled Snipe Trap has been released and can be viewed here. It shows Russell trying to catch a pesky snipe.



    Saturday, April 4, 2009

    'Snow White' Coming on Blu-ray

    Briefly: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated feature by Walt Disney, and the first movie to sell one million DVDs in a single day, will be released on Blu-ray on October 6. The Blu-ray will be released as a combo pack with a DVD of the movie, and will cost around $39.99. Oddly enough, the 2-disc DVD will not be released until November 24, seven weeks after the Blu-ray is released. This is the first time that Snow White will be available for purchase since 2001! (Note: The above Blu-ray is a mock-up made by me; the cover art for the release has not yet been released)

    Source: THR


    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Pixar to Recreate all Disney Classics [BREAKING!!]

    Pixar has just unofficially announced (to some of their higher up employees who I am in contact with) that, starting in 2015, they will begin to recreate the classic 2-D films put out by the Walt Disney Animation Studios since 1937. According to my extremely reliable source from high-up at Pixar, these features will begin production after Pixar finishes its current slate of films which include Up, Toy Story 3, newt, The Bear and the Bow, Cars 2, and, maybe, A Bug's Life 2.

    The animation studio will release their rendition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on a tentative date of around June 29, 2016. The studio will then release one Disney animated classic remake on an average of once per year. The list moves on to Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, and Cinderella; all the way through Lilo & Stitch. It is not yet known how far Pixar is planning to go on the long list of Disney's animated features, but, if they go on to finish all of their remakes, they will end up with 42 feature films by 2058!

    This is very, very exciting news! Everybody loves Pixar's wonderful animation and storylines, and, when mixed with the nostalgia and classic premises of Disney's numerous animated features, the results should be fantastic!

    This new set of films by Pixar are being led by John Lasseter, who is one of the most influential people in both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He believes that "combining the existing magic of the Walt Disney Archives and past animated classics with the creative minds and technology available at Pixar, the sky is the limit." He also believes that this will usher in a "new era of both animation and movies in general" as "audiences around the world re-experience the movies of their childhoods, but with the unique feel of a Pixar production".

    I can't wait for 2016 when the first film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (no word yet on whether or not Pixar will change the title), comes out of this wonderful new Pixar plan!