Friday, July 31, 2009

Disney registers Monsters2.com

What could this be for?

Jim Hill Media has discovered, and an independent WHOIS search confirms, that Disney Enterprises, Inc. registered the domain name monsters2.com on Wednesday, another sure sign that Pixar is working on a sequel to Monsters, Inc.

The domain monstersinc2.com remains owned (for the time being, at least) by an apparent domain squatter from Texas.

RenderMan site redesigned

The RenderMan section of Pixar's official website recieved a welcomed new redesign overnight, adding useful information on the industry-standard rendering software aimed at mostly professionals.

The new sleek and modern page design is really refreshing. Hopefully something similar can be done to the entire Pixar.com website.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pixar tattoos

Last month, I posted on a couple who had a Pixar-themed wedding. At the time, that seemed like the height of Pixar fandom.

Well, just yesterday, a reader by the name of Matthew Locascio from Pasadena, California emailed me pictures of the two permanent tattoos he got recently, of Pixar favourites Woody (pictured at right) and Carl Fredricksen. "They are there for life, it's awesome!", he says.

I'm at a loss for words.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Toy Story/'TS2' 3-D double feature trailer

The trailer for the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature premiered online this evening at Disney.com/ToyStory and already it's been re-posted on countless video sharing and entertainment websites. The trailer has been playing in front of 3-D screenings of G-Force since last Friday.

A very well done teaser, with lots of humour from start to finish. The exaggerated 3-D effects are sure to get audiences excited, as will the recession-friendly offer of "2 movies for the price of 1".

Notice that the Disney Digital 3-D logo doesn't have words "In Select Theatres" below it as usual. The re-release of the first two Toy Story films will be exclusively in 3-D, unlike Toy Story 3 which will be presented in regular and 3-D versions when released next year.

John Lasseter video blogs

As part of a wider strategy of reaching out to fans online, Disney/Pixar has put together a series of video blogs featuring John Lasseter answering questions posed by Pixar fans on Facebook and Twitter. The first answers the question of why the beginning of Up is so serious and emotional.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beauty and the Beast in 3-D

Just to let everyone know that I'm guesting again at The Disney Blog with a short post about the exciting upcoming digital 3-D re-release of Disney's classic Beauty and the Beast, out February 12 next year.

As a matter of fact, I'm going to be covering the re-release for The Disney Blog in the coming months as a regular guest author, and will be posting on general topics early next month when editor John Frost goes on vacation.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Unkrich talks Toy Story 3 at Comic-Con [UPDATE]

/Film has posted a 8 1/2 minute on-camera interview with Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, conducted yesterday at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

No new details about "TS3' are revealed, but Unkrich does shed some light on the storied history of the project, for example, why the final plot was selected.

One thing that stands out is how well-spoken Unkrich is. Disney publicity needs to get him on Letterman, Conan, or any of the big daytime or late-night talk shows come next June, perhaps putting him on together with Tom Hanks or Tim Allen.
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Update: The folks at Collider have posted their own video interview with Unkrich, as embedded below. (Updated July 31)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pixar at SDCC 2009 recap

Following yesterday's attention-grabbing panel previewing the upcoming live-action films from The Walt Disney Studios, the Disney Animation Panel at San Diego Comic-Con was held this afternoon to great enthusiasm from attending crowds and the media.

As expected, John Lasseter and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich were on hand (pictured above on stage), as well as famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyasaki, and a number of other individuals.

The Pixar part of the panel appears to have been surprisingly light on content, but there were highlights. Lasseter spoke about the impending 3-D double feature release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, saying:
"Toy Story came out in 1995. Think of how many kids were born since then. They only know us from the home videos. These films were meant to be seen on the big screen".
About 'TS3', Lasseter revealed that the character of Barbie will have "a much larger roll" than in Toy Story 2. ***Go Barbie!*** A never-before-seen clip from 'TS3' featuring Barbie's boyfriend Ken was shown. Many outlets made headlines of the formal announcement by Unkrich that Michael Keaton is voicing Ken, but we've known about that for almost a year now.

In conjunction with today's panel, Disney.com/ToyStory got a very cool update to focus on the 'TS'/'TS2' double feature. The page now informs us that the trailer for the 3-D re-release will arrive online this coming Tuesday, July 28.

The Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature opens on October 2. Toy Story 3 arrives in theatres on June 18 next year.

***Supposed to look like pom-poms. Hilarious, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Toy Story/Toy Story 2 in 3-D trailer with G-Force

Briefly: /Film is reporting that the first (and possibly only) trailer for the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature is attached to Walt Disney Pictures' talking guinea pig movie G-Force, opening in theatres this Friday.

A short description of the trailer submitted by a reader can be found on the page.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Toy Story/Toy Story 2 in 3-D poster

A refreshing piece of news during a very slow news month, Collider has spotted one of the very first posters for the re-release of Pixar's Toy Story and Toy Story 2 as a 3-D double feature, starting October 2 and continuing for two weeks only.

While the quality of the image at right is not great, it's a nice preview of what we can expect from Disney's marketing campaign for the release.

Relatedly, I was told recently that the first press/advanced screenings of the films in 3-D will probably happen sometime after 'early September'.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dumb analyst who feared 'Up' failure eats humble pie

Need I say more? Read the story at The New York Times' Media Decoder blog.

Pixar at SD Comic-Con 2009

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures announced earlier today their panel lineup for this year's Comic-Con International: San Diego.

From Pixar, the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature (out in under three months now) and next year's Toy Story 3 will be previewed as part of Disney's very exciting Animation Panel on Friday, July 24 at 12:45 PM.

Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios chief creative officer John Lasseter will host the event and will be joined by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich as well as several other big names from the field of animation.

Following the presentation, Patton Oswalt, voice of Remy in Ratatouille, will moderate a group question-and-answer session "which will include filmmaker insights, trailers and select film sequences."

Furthur details can be found in the official press release.

SDCC 2009 takes place July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pixar at SIGGRAPH 2009

As they do every year, Pixar will be attending the SIGGRAPH 2009 conference and exhibition next month, organised by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Of note, Bob Whitehill, the studio's Stereoscopic Supervisor in charge of 3-D, will speak on how the technology, when properly applied, can add value to a film. Whitehill will demonstate this with clips from Up and Toy Story/Toy Story 2 in 3-D

SIGGRAPH 2009 happens August 3 to 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Stay tuned for all the latest.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nancy Cartwright talks to Brad Bird

Online at the Animation World Network (AWN) is an excellent original Q&A with Brad Bird, director of Pixar's The Incredibles and Ratatouille and the forthcoming, Pixar-supported, Warner Bros. live-action, historical-fiction feature 1906.

In the interview, conducted by Nancy Cartwright, famous as the voice of Bart on The Simpsons, for the AWN's Animation World Magazine in print, Bird discusses in detail his successful (to say the least) career in animation. Also a very interesting use of reverse psychology by his mother when he was 13.

Read it on the web here.