A sharp-eyed reader at Upcoming Pixar recently spotted some very intriguing artwork in the background of the Up B-roll #1, seen at minute 4:07 directly behind Pixar production artist and character sculptor Greg Dykstra (screenshot above).
The top image, as you can see, is of a herbivorous dinosaur with a person standing next to it. Below that are two images of a small, inquisitive-looking boy. All three images look like they're photos of clay sculptures (compare with the colour and texture of the Carl Fredricksen sculpture in the foreground). Not clearly visible is a fourth image, a drawing, that seem to show another view of the dinosaur.
Everything about these indicate they are concepts for a Pixar film ―announced or unannounced, short or feature― in production. Asked about it on Twitter, Up story supervisor Ronnie del Carmen responded that he, of course, does know what the artwork is for but he's "not telling".
Please tell us.
Update: Pixar Touch author David A. Price just sent me an email pointing me to some interesting postings made by Pixar animator and paleontology buff Austin Madison on his personal blog earlier this month.
Madison recounts a trip taken by a group of dino enthusiasts to the badlands of South Dakota last month, many (most?) of whom were Pixarians. These included a production assistant, Brandon Hyman; a technical artist, Chuck Waite; and an assistant editor, Zack Keller.
Now get this: Greg Dykstra, in who's workspace the 'boy and dinosaur' concept art was spotted in the Up B-roll filmed months earlier, was also on the outing, keenly interested in the topic, as seen in the photographs posted on the site. He is apparently quite a paleontology buff himself.
These facts point to this having been a research trip for an unannounced upcoming film, almost certainly being directed by Dykstra. This would undoubtedly be a short since Dykstra hasn't directed before at the studio.
(Updated at 9:30 PM)