Friday, October 31, 2008

WALL-E DVD/Blu-ray | Complete details

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment announced via an advance press release today (not currently online for public; will link as soon as possible) complete details regarding the release of WALL-E on DVD and Blu-ray Hi-Def home video formats (Region 1) on Tuesday, November 18, 2008.

Here’s all you need to know:

Standard 1-Disc DVD

Features WALL-E presented in its widescreen original theatrical aspect ratio (2.39:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Surround Sound audio options; audio commentary from Andrew Stanton; Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds from The Sound Up (Ben Burtt’s introduction to “the art of sound design”); deleted scenes + "easter eggs"; Presto (Pixar’s most recent theatrical short); the much-anticipated DVD/Blu-ray-exclusive short BURN-E, and “more”.

3-Disc Special Edition DVD set

Includes all of the above plus six exclusive “behind the scenes” featurettes; BNL Shorts (five short films “straight from the BnL archives”); Leslie Iwerks’ acclaimed feature-length documentary The Pixar Story; early WALL-E development test, DisneyFile digital copy (allows transfer of film to Mac, PC, portable media player or genuine iPod), and more.

2-Disc Blu-ray set

Includes everything listed for the Standard Definition DVDs plus high definition presentation in 1080p; Cine-Explore (in-movie filmmaker’s commentary with behind the scenes visuals); Geek Track (additional commentary of “obscure references” and “little known trivia”); Axiom Arcade (suite of “retro” video games, as follows: Eve’s Bot Blaster, WALL-E’s Dodge & Dock, M-O’s Mop-Up Madness, BURN-E’s Break Through); 3D Set Fly-Throughs, trailers, and even more.

3-Disc Blu-ray set

Adds DisneyFile digital copy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Variet•E and first WALL-E Oscar ad

The campaign begins!

Today's issue of Daily Variety (that's the daily newspaper edition of Variety) speaks for itself. Disney bought the cover to promote WALL-E for "consideration in all categories including Best Picture and Best Animated Feature".

Additionally, this ad is now running online at Variety.com. More ads are sure to follow.

Clips from Cars Toons [UPDATE]

/Film has discovered these clips from Cars Toons, the series of made-for-TV shorts featuring the characters of Cars that have started airing on the Disney Channel, Toon Disney, and ABC Family, etc.

Rather underwhelming...

For more on Cars Toons, check out these two interviews with Rob Gibbs and Victor Navone, who co-directed the shorts.
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Update: The clips have been removed from YouTube "due to a copyright claim by The Walt Disney Company".

(Updated at 1:49 PM)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Newt crossing sign at Pixar

A great pic of this very cool sign that's apparently now up outdoors at Pixar's Emeryville campus.

Don't have any more details, but Newt, of course, will be Pixar's 14th feature film, now slated for a 2012 release, and will deal with –big surprise– newts!

(Photo credit: Treducks/Flickr)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First reports from 'Up' test screening

Blogger Larry Fire writes about his experience at an early test screening of Up (which will be in theatres on May 29 of next year) that took place yesterday evening.*

Not to be confused with a press screening of the completed film, a test screening of an animated movie includes not only the completed parts but also storyboards and unfinished animation.

Fire's positive account just sent my heart racing. He writes, in part:
"The movie plot was completely original but somewhat dark with many adult themes (aging, loss, separation and unfinished promises). Both my wife and I welled up at a few scenes..."
cbh;trjwklnqr7b!

Oops, sorry. I seem to have blacked out for a minute from the excitement and hit my head on the keyboard :)

(via Upcoming Pixar)

*Independently confirmed this happened.

For Your Consideration: WALL-E

It's official: The Walt Disney Studios will launch a campaign to promote Pixar's WALL-E as a contender for the Best Picture of the Year award, among others, at the upcoming 81st annual Academy Awards, The New York Times has learned. The campaign begins this week.

(If you're wondering what an Oscar run generally entails, read this article from the BBC.)

The decision to launch the campaign comes after months of insider talk that WALL-E could be the film to break through the historic and ugly Academy bias against animated films.

There was previously the worry, as first expressed in July by respected Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern, that Disney would opt not to go after the top prize due to the poor odds and high costs of industry promotion. However, says Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios: "If we didn't do it, I don’t think we'd be giving the movie its due."

Ditto.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

THR names Lasseter Innovator of the Year

The Hollywood Reporter today named Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter as its Innovator of the Year for 2008.

Citing his role as a "key player" in the production of Pixar's WALL-E and Disney's Bolt (in theatres Nov. 21), and the studios behind them, the publication concludes the obvious: "Lasseter has become not only the most prominent successor to the Nine Old Men, but arguably the most important figure in animation since [Walt] Disney himself."

Good to see the Hollywood trade press taking note of the "cartoonists"...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apple learns from Pixar; starting Apple University

It seems that Apple is again taking a page from its corporate sibling. In 2009, the company will start an employee educational program –Apple University– that should prove similar to Pixar's well-known and very successful Pixar University, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple revealed today that they have hired the dean of the Yale School of Management, Joel Podolny, to head the program.

(via MacDailyNews)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

'Pixar Story' coming to iTunes Store

Upcoming Pixar reports that they have information confirming that The Pixar Story documentary, chronicling Pixar's history and culture, will soon be made available for purchase through Apple's iTunes Store (U.S.).

The film will be arriving on home video next month (Nov. 18), included on the WALL-E DVD and Blu-ray Special Edition releases (Region 1).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hooray! Eisner not a Disney Legend

The Disney Legends awards for 2008 were handed out yesterday and they did not include Michael Eisner (pictured, with apologies for broken monitor), former Walt Disney Company CEO and Pixar archvillain.

Jim Hill Media claimed in August that Eisner would be on the 11-person inductee list for this year's awards. JHM's list proved accurate except for Eisner's inclusion. Rather than Eisner, inducted was Toshio Kagami, chief executive at The Oriental Land Company, which owns and operates under licence the Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan.

Simply said, an outrage averted. Now, who's up for a bottle of Moët? Nectar Impèrial is very good.

Monday, October 13, 2008

'Up' teaser poster

Disney released this beautiful first official teaser poster for Pixar's Up today (click to enlarge). Basically a vertical version of the flying-house-and-clouds vista we've seen before, but with the '2009' and 'Disney Digital 3-D in Selected Theatres' text added.

(via CanMag)
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Relatedly, no teaser trailer for Up has yet premiered (not counting the Flash intro at Disney.com/Up).

With Walt Disney Pictures' Beverly Hills Chihuahua already in theatres with no attached teaser for Pete Docter's latest oeuvre (big, big mistake, the movie having topped the box office the last two weeks ―most surprisingly― and it would have worked demographically), the next best chance seems to be November 21 with Disney's Bolt, and likely a few days prior online.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

'Ratatouille', based on a true story... Part II

Once again, a bit off-topic, but it's about rats. In a restaurant. Enough said; see here.

"...Health inspectors scoured an entire... block... after photos and videos posted online showed rats frolicking in a popular neighbourhood restaurant."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Q&A with Me

Hey everybody! Last week, reader Greg McLaughlin emailed pixarblogunofficial@yahoo.com (the place to send your Pixar-related tips, especially during these slow news weeks) asking if he could interview me for his blog Cornfedtech.com, where he features selected technology and related stories.

Honestly, I really didn't want to do it at first, replying only "Why would anyone want to interview me?" He sent me his questions anyways. So as not to be a jerk (and 'cause they were pretty easy and 'cause I enjoyed his writing style), I agreed to email him back my answers.

The Q&A, prefaced by Greg's glowing review of TPB :) and covering a variety of topics about Pixar, the blog, and myself, can now be found at Cornfedtech, if you're interested. Included is a brief recounting of my ultimately pointless "Tale of Two Nerds", that involves me and Michael Cera.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pixar hiring Luxo Café cooks

Nothing much to report today, so I'll post this: Pixar is searching for a couple of line cooks (one specializing in soup, the other preferably having "experience with pizza". Mmm... pizza!) to join the team at Luxo Café (isn't it Café Luxo?), Pixar's in-house, employee-only eatery.

Qualifications include, among other things, ability to follow "proper safety and sanitation" guidelines, a "minimum of 2 years of experience in kitchen preparation and cooking" and "at least 6 months experience in a similar capacity" elsewhere.

As it points out in the job listing, Pixar is an equal opportunity employer, so any rodents with the required skills are welcome to send in their résumés. (The "lifting of objects of up to 50 pounds" requirement will be waived.) Other prerequisites do apply: Must be cute, anthropomorphic, with extensive knowledge of fine French cuisine :)