Sunday, September 27, 2009

First double feature reviews

The folks at Film School Rejects, /Film, and Upcoming Pixar have already seen the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature and have published their reviews, naturally very positive. I, on the other hand, have not. Not. Not, not, not, not. Right now, I'm like an envious Jeffrey Katzenberg every time Pixar wins another Oscar.

The advance screening here in Toronto was yesterday but at an insane time and location (at least for me). So I'll be seeing it when it opens in theatres like all/most of you.

Question: Are you as excited as I am?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lasseter talks Toy Story Collection (6)

The sixth and final video in this series (originally it was supposed to have been seven), John Lasseter talks about the Toy Story Collection Buzz Lightyear figure and shares some interesting trivia about the character.

As a side note, there is now an official Disney/Pixar channel on YouTube, but there are currently no new videos except the "Ask John Lasseter" video blogs taped back in July during Comic-Con.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Double feature teaser #2 + TV spot

A second teaser for the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature has arrived online, as has the first television advert for the limited-time motion picture event. The at times hilarious TV spot is embedded below for your enjoyment.

Both of these do a good job explaining the double feature to a perhaps unfamiliar audience.



(via Upcoming Pixar)

Dick Cook resigns

Briefly: Disney veteran Dick Cook resigned late last night from the post of Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, which oversees Pixar through the Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. No word yet on who will be selected by Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger to replace him.

The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and /Film, among other outlets, have full coverage of Cook's "shocking" resignation, which comes on the heals of relatively poor performance for recent Disney releases.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lasseter talks Toy Story Collection (5)

Part five out of seven videos in the series, featuring the Space Alien (aka Little Green Men) squeeze toys.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waking Sleeping Beauty world premiere

I saw the excellent Disney animation-themed documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty last night at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where it had its world premiere.

The film was great and I got to meet director Don Hahn and Disney animator Mark Walton (voice of Rhino in Bolt) and they both told me that they've read The Pixar Blog ―very cool.

Read my full account at The Disney Blog.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Toy Story 3 teaser poster

The first teaser poster for Toy Story 3, pictured, hit the web late last night at LatinoReview.com, which got the exclusive first look.

The design is simply genius. Will get people talking for sure.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Toy Story 3 at D23 Expo

A lot of very cool Toy Story 3 news came out of the D23 Expo ―the first ever official convention for Disney fans― today. In the morning John Lasseter was on hand to host the Walt Disney and Pixar animation panel. Just a short while ago director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson hosted the panel specific to 'TS3'.

A new theatrical trailer for 'TS3', featuring never-before-seen clips from the movie, was screened in 3-D for the enthusiastic audience. The trailer begins with "home video" of the toys' owner Andy growing up, culminating with his high school graduation picture.

Andy, as we've know for some time now, leaves for college (yes, I spelled it right this time!) and the toys get dropped off at the daycare. Cinematical describes the kids there as making "[Sid] in the original Toy Story look like a cuddly hamster". Whoa!

Several major additions to the cast were also announced. Whoopi Goldberg (this is her first time working with Pixar), Bonnie Hunt (you heard it here first), and Jeff Garlin will each be lending their voices to new characters in the film. The original voice of Andy, the now grown-up John Morris, will be reprising his role from Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

At the 'TS3' panel an unfinished scene from the film was shown, beginning with "an 18-year old Andy getting ready to leave for college". Check out IGN for a complete description.

Afterwards, Unkrich and Anderson introduced the North American premiere of the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 double feature.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Toy Story Collection: Sheriff Woody

As if you needed any more reason to envy me for all the cool Pixar stuff I get, this morning the UPS guy delivered a rather large package having come direct from Disney Consumer Products in Glendale, California. Inside, Sheriff Woody from the new Toy Story Collection (and see here) that's been making a lot of news lately.

Made by Thinkway Toys, the deluxe 16″ Woody toy (with stand) is as close to an exact replica of the character from the Toy Story films as possible, produced directly from Pixar's original data files.

As John Lasseter has pointed out, the quality really is superb; the fabric and stitching on Woody's clothing especially stands out. You'll be surprised at the detail when you open the package. The pictures you've seen online simply can't convey that.

The voice recognition feature also works pretty well, but the pull-string is so much more fun for some reason! About that, Woody says a total of fifty different phrases in two different modes.

Honestly, major fun to play with, even if you're an adult. Doctors should hand these out as antidepressants.

All the toys from the Toy Story Collection (including Buzz, RC, and Rex) are now shipping from the Disney Store online and will be in brick-and-morter stores soon.

Questions? Comments?

Timothy Dalton voicing new 'TS3' character + Cars 2 plot details

Actor Timothy Dalton, of James Bond fame, and will lend his voice a new character appearing in Toy Story 3, a toy porcupine (BBC says "hedgehog") named Mr. Pricklepants who aspires to be an actor.

The announcement was made as part of a Disney presentation (with John Lasseter) held today in London, where the 'Venice clip' and a brand-new Toy Story 3 trailer were shown.

Also revealed were some additional Cars 2 plot points involving Mater and a new character, an Aston Martin named Finn McMissile.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lasseter talks Toy Story Collection (3 & 4)

The third and fourth videos in the series, John Lasseter talks about the Rex and RC toys from the Toy Story Collection.



Monday, September 7, 2009

Toy Story 3 clip description

/Film has a you-just-have-to-read-it description of the footage from Toy Story 3 played yesterday to audiences at the Venice Film Festival, submitted by a reader.

The clip takes place early on in the film, with Andy packing for college...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pixarians presented with Venice award

John Lasseter and directors Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Brad Bird, and Lee Unkrich were officially handed the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement prize a few hours ago at the Venice Film Festival.

Speaking at the ceremony, Lasseter called the accolade "a tremendous honour", one he shares with his "best friends and brothers" in filmmaking, his fellow directors at the studio.

"Our dream is always simple: to entertain our audiences around the world, everybody," he continued, summarizing Pixar's goal when making movies.

About George Lucas, who was selected by the festival to present the award to the team, Lasseter later told reporters: "I think anybody else when they sell a company and the company goes on to be very successful, they would feel like they missed out, [but] George Lucas is so proud of us and we are so thankful to him."

(Sources: Associated Press, AFP; Photo via Stitch Kingdom)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Luxo sues Pixar for trademark infringement

Lampmaker Luxo ASA, creators of the original Luxo desk lamp, unexpectedly filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company and Pixar in U.S. federal court* on Friday, ending some twenty-three years of amicable relations between the two companies.

The lawsuit stems from Luxo's discontent at the soon-to-be-released Luxo Jr. Premium Combo Pack of the Up Blu-ray, which will include a working replica Luxo Jr. lamp and also the giant audio-animatronic Luxo Jr. at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Pixar's c. 1986 agreement with the Norway-based lamp manufacturer has long allowed the studio to use the Luxo name in connection with the character from Pixar's first short film Luxo Jr. and to use the character in its logo. But Luxo holds that the making of actual goods, especially functioning lamps, with the name is an infringement on their trademark not covered by the agreement.

While Luxo's statement in their complaint that the Luxo Jr. replicas will "cause devastating damage to Luxo and dilute the goodwill which Luxo has built up" is utter nonsense, someone at Disney's legal department really should have checked with the company as to whether they had any objection to the expanded uses for the character.

Interested to see how this will play out in court...

(via Bloomberg)

*For the legally inclined, the case is officially Luxo AS v. The Walt Disney Company et al, 09-cv-7689, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)

Links...

Four Pixar news items from the last few days that you might find interesting:

  • Q&A with audio engineer Vince Caro [Mix]

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lasseter talks Toy Story Collection (2) + Jessie doll coming soon

Here's part two of John Lasseter's YouTube series promoting the Toy Story Collection. Go here for Part 1 and further details.



In related news, a Disney Consumer Products spokesperson informed me yesterday that there are indeed plans for a Toy Story Collection Jessie doll to "roll out in Spring/Summer 2010", something I had previously wondered about.