Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
During the earnings call, CEO Bob Iger spoke about the "solid" quarter, which narrowly surpassed Wall Street expectations, being buoyed in part by positive results from the ESPN network and the Disneyland Resort in Paris.
About Pixar's WALL-E, Iger said:
"WALL-E is a big hit, generating nearly $200 million at the domestic box office so far, and, in a testament to its quality, has been the best reviewed film of the year, animated or otherwise. We believe WALL-E will continue to provide substantial value over time as one of our classic films."The 'Street' responded sluggishly to the report, sending the stock down roughly $0.75 in after hours trading.
He says: "When I followed up with Doctor about [the ideas for a sequel being considered] all he would say is "I can neither confirm nor deny". (And he did it in a nervous voice)."
Adler believes that "Doctor’s revelation... is a far cry from an actual announcement", or confirmation. Yeah, that's what people said back in February when Disney CEO Bob Iger said that it was "a relatively good bet" that there would be a Cars sequel. The film was officially announced to be in production exactly 2 months and 2 days after Iger made his comments.
So now it's "a relatively good bet" that there will at some point be a Monsters, Inc. 2 (Yay!). The big question should be when and who'll be directing. If it's Docter himself, then the film could be out no earlier than 2014/15. If it's another director (and Pixar seems to be more comfortable with switching directors these days) then possibly even earlier than that.
They're actually photographs of five of the still images that were shown at Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday. (Cropped and enhanced them using Photoshop.)
On Monday, the Pixar PR person who confirmed BURN-E for me also told me that the stuff presented at SDCC would not be released online. Hence, take a good look now, 'cause I might be hearing from Disney soon...
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The Q&A covers topics ranging from the differences between Up and Docter's previous masterpiece Monsters, Inc. to the 12-person research team sent by Pixar to the exotic Tepui mountains of South America to the very square head of Carl Fredricksen, Up's geriatric lead character, who, we learn, was in the balloon retail business.
Read it here.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Of course, BURN-E has been all but confirmed before this. Since the title was leaked late last month, we've learned that BURN-E is the welder robot who gets locked out of the Axiom in WALL-E. Thus, the short will likely feature him trying to find his way back in.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
The panel began with director Pete Docter getting up on stage and talking about Up's plot; he also introduced each of the clips, one of which was an entire, though partially unfinished, sequence from the film.
From both Docter and the clips themselves, audiences learned that the film's star, Carl Fredricksen, is a "grumpy old man" who lives in a big city. He's refused to sell his home to developers who have, in turn, built around it. As has been known for a while now, Carl is a widower. When his wife Ellie was alive, he had promised her that they'd go on a big adventure one day —to some "fantastical" mountains in South America (i.e. Venezuela). Since she never got the chance, Carl really wants to go on the adventure, in keeping with his promise.
(Pixar sent actually sent a research team, which included Pete Doctor, to Venezuela. Pixarian Ronnie del Carmen has a couple of photos of the trip on his blog.)
One day, just when he's about to be taken away to a nursing home, he decides to attach a bunch of balloons to his house, as seen in the film's title card. The house takes off, with Carl shouting “So long, boys!” to the nursing home guys. People on the street and in the surrounding buildings "look on in disbelief" as the house flies higher and higher. Using sails he 'charts a course South', towards Venezuela, looking down at the ground below and then at a picture of Ellie.
The house now floats along smoothly, right between the clouds. Carl sits down to take a rest. Suddenly, he hears a knock at the door... (Clip ends) It will turn out to be a chubby little boy scout named Russell who had somehow stowed away on board the house, Docter explained to the audience, which is said to have received the footage enthusiastically.
The next (and final major) clip began with the house finally landing. Carl and Russell slide to the ground using a garden hose, which can be seen in the above picture. This was followed by some unfinished footage.
With all the clips shown, the question-and-answer portion of the program began. According to reports, a sizable amount of people are said to have left at this point (see update).
Docter proceeded to get a couple of question not related to Up. He was first asked the perennial question about "what sort of classes" are necessary for someone wanting to working in computer animation. After his answer to that, he got asked about the possibility of a Monsters, Inc. sequel. "We’ve thought about it... If we find a story worth telling, we’ll do it. Otherwise, we won't", was his response. Following that, several questioners stood up and asked about the Up's message and theme.
So if reports are correct (see update), it was probably a somewhat tough day for Pete Docter. It happens! All the better on opening day...
Oh, there's one more thing: The official Up website (disney.com/Up) launched as the presentation was in progress. As with the WALL-E site this time last year, nothing much is available on the site, just a Flash 'teaser' of the house flying with Carl standing on the front porch (cropped still pictured above).
(Sources: SpoutBlog; /Film; FirstShowing.net)
Update: I'm being told that the claim that a fairly large portion of the audience members left at the start question and answer portion (sourced from SpoutBlog) may be quite exaggerated. My apologies if that is the case. I've edited the article to make this clear, and for better general clarity.
(Updated on July 27)
The conversation, roughly 20 minutes long, features Stanton discussing:
- The differences between Finding Nemo and WALL-E
- How Disney's legendary Nine Old Men and the Pixar "Brain Trust" compare
- WALL-E's Best Picture Oscar chances
- John Carter of Mars
- Disney theme park rides based on Pixar movies
- His involvement with Toy Story 3
Shout out to Harold R. of D-log.nl for sending me the link to the audio file.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Notably, Hauser reveals in the interview that he is currently working on The Art of Up and another book, The Pixar Treasures. No details were provided as to Treasures, except that it will be published by Disney Editions in 2009.
(via Upcoming Pixar)
Too bad. It was pretty funny...
The San Mateo Daily Journal has published an article on the reason behind the listing of the San Mateo County Bomb Squad in the Special Thanks section of the WALL-E end credits.
As it turns out, back in 2005 the squad lent Pixar their "vintage" Mini-Andros robot (pictured), usually used to neutralize explosives, so that Pixarians could spend a few hours studying and recording its movements, taking, in fact, "thousands" of pictures, that according the police sergeant interviewed in the Journal story.
Why this robot? Well, it's old —kinda like WALL-E. According to the article, San Mateo County, which, like Pixar, is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is one of only two counties in the United States still actively using the Mini-Andros. The 'bot first went into service in 1993.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and junior senator from Illinois told the media today that he saw WALL-E with his daughters last weekend in his hometown of Chicago.
His thoughts: "WALL-E was great. Thumbs up. It's terrific. I really enjoyed it."
(via Upcoming Pixar)
(Photo credit: David Katz for Barack Obama/Flickr)
The inside of the elevator doors bear the tagline GO UP! 05-29-09 –May 29, 2009 being the film's release date.
*On Saturday, Comic-Con attendees will be getting their chance to enjoy an exclusive 'first look' at Up. Check back here Saturday evening for all the latest to emerge from the show.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
A preview book (cover pictured) will be available at the BOOM! Studios Comic-Con booth for $5.
Read the full story at IGN.com and Comic Book Resources.
Update: The Disney Snowglobes blog has some plot details regarding the first series of Incredibles comics. The series will should span "about four issues" and will deal with "Mr. Incredible slowly losing his powers and trying to keep [the] secret from his family."
(Updated on July 24)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
(Sony Pictures Imageworks and Pixar biological parent Lucasfilm will also be hosting their own production nights.)
Complete details are available at the SIGGRAPH website.
This is not the only presentation at SIGGRAPH 2008 to feature a high-profile Pixarian: As reported back in March, Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull will be one of three keynote speakers at the computer graphics conference.
Monday, July 21, 2008
The article has some great descriptions of the ride's different features which will include an "elaborate recreation" of the Monsters, Inc. lobby and 'scare floor', as well as the 'door vault' sequence. And there will be audience participation.
Now this sounds very exciting. These are the type of attractions that make Disney parks so wonderful.
Of course, a Monsters, Inc. ride would be only the latest of many, many, attractions to open at Disney parks based on Pixar's movies and characters. John Lasseter is, after all, the Principal Creative Adviser at Walt Disney Imagineering, The Walt Disney Company's theme park and attraction design and development arm.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Quint got the never-before-given okay to "shadow" Lasseter for one day each month as he works at WDAS (located in Burbank, California) as a very involved executive producer* on the studio's next release Bolt, which will be in theatres this November.
(via Upcoming Pixar)
*While nearly all online sources currently omit mention of Lasseter as an executive producer on Bolt, Walt Disney Animation Studios publicity recently confirmed for me that he will indeed be credited as such.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
(Updated July 17)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
If you recall the scene in Ratatouille pictured at top, around 16 minutes into the film, where Remy is barked at by a dog who remains off-screen, except for his shadow –well that same dog will be seen in Up.
This reference –the latest in a long line of Pixar in-jokes– was discovered on the special commentary feature of the Ratatouille Blu-ray disc, where director Brad Bird mentions that the dog (a drawing of which is included in Animated News' post on the subject) will be in 'Pixar's next film after WALL-E'.
Surprisingly, the comment had not been previously noticed, even though the 'Rat' Blu-ray has been out for around eight months now.
The tour consists of 18 photographs (including the one shown above) of the studios and the surrounding property.
I know, I know, I've linked to this kind of thing before but, personally, I can't get enough of this type of thing...
(Photo: Rotten Tomatoes)
Monday, July 14, 2008
It all started with an entry posted yesterday on Spector's blog where he says:
"My team and I have been working hard on our own and (get ready for the cool factor to go way up) in collaboration with folks from Disney Feature Animation and Pixar. If I say anymore, I’ll get in trouble, so let’s just leave it at that."What could this be about? On the Pixar side of things, put your money on Toy Story 3. It can't be Up; Pixar's contract with game publisher THQ runs through Up, ending thereafter. Or perhaps it's something else entirely...
Saturday, July 12, 2008
In the editorial, Morgenstern expresses concern at the known possiblity that Disney corporate may not campaign for WALL-E to get the Best Picture nod due to historical doubts about whether an animated picture can break out of the Best Animated Feature category. Thus, he tells Disney: "Do the right thing". (Echo that.)
This is great. To see the mainstream media paying attention really gives one hope that this could be Pixar's year for a Best Picture nom. Or win.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Also, tacked on is a separate chat with Jerry Herman, who conceived the music of Hello, Dolly! (both the film and the stage musical it's based on) nearly half a century ago. As previously reported, Herman is ecstatic over WALL-E's use of his songs. He says of Stanton: "I think this guy is some kind of genius".
Well said, Jerry, well said.
Update: Hollywood trade publication Variety has also spoken to Herman, in particular about the prospect of a new Broadway production of WALL-E's favourite musical.
(Updated at 11:42 PM)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The panel will be taking place at Comic-Con on Saturday, July 26th between 3:00 and 3:30 PM. Not surprisingly, director Pete Docter will be attending the event to present "the first-ever look" at Up, Pixar's tenth feature film, set to be released to theatres next year on May 29.
As for when the rest of us will get our first glimpse of the movie, I suspect we'll be seeing the first teaser trailer attached to Disney's unspeakably dumb-looking Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which hits theatres on October 3.
Thanks to JV for the tip.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
In the piece, Collins takes the WSJ on a tour of her wardrobe and talks about her choice of clothes for various occasions. For example, she talks about her decision to wear a white EVE-inspired gown to the WALL-E wrap party.
Read it here.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The piece looks at WALL-E's chances when faced with the Academy's historic bias against animated films, balanced by the extraordinarily postive critical response the film has gotten.
Unbelievably, though, the article says that it is currently "not clear" whether The Walt Disney Company actually wants to campaign for the top prize.
This story isn't going anywhere. Stay tuned...
Saturday, July 5, 2008
According to Variety, WALL-E is the fifty-eighth film in the history of The Walt Disney Company to hit the $100 mil mark.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Don't know why this story took this long to come out, but anyways...
Remember the young woman, "Courtney", who a while back posted onto YouTube a video of herself crying at the WALL-E teaser trailer, particularly every time WALL-E appeared? (If not, see video embeded above.) Well, as it happens she was invited by Pixar to the WALL-E wrap party which took place in San Francisco on June 1st; just yesterday she posted her account of the "adventure" on her blog.
Speaking at the party, Andrew Stanton expressed Pixar's appreciation of her fandom by saying,
"Six months ago... we were only halfway done with the film, and we weren't exactly sure how we were going to get it done. We were exhausted. And then, one day, a movie showed up on YouTube showing a girl watching the trailer for WALL-E... When we saw that, we knew we were on the right track." "Well," he continued, "We invited Courtney here tonight."
Needless to say, lots of applause followed. Later on in the evening she got to chat with Stanton and also Brad Brad, among other Pixarians. The next day, she got a tour of the studio. Really, you must read her complete post; a lot more specifics.
Does sound like a lot of fun. Hmm. Guess what I'm going to do when the Up teaser is released... ;( Just in time for the WALL-E Oscar party :)
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The comedic short, which follows a magician and his disgruntled rabbit, runs 5 minutes 17 seconds.
(via Upcoming Pixar)
He tells the newspaper: "It really blew me away. You're talking to someone still in a haze. I couldn't believe how beautifully the songs expressed the entire intent of the film."
As it turns out, Herman was "not aware of how the songs were going to be used"; he was thinking something along the lines of background music.
This is not in the article, but Herman probably has more reason to smile: Royalties. And he's hoping for renewed interest in the film and musical, perhaps even a Broadway revival.