Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pixar Canada website active

Briefly: The official website for Pixar Canada is now up at pixarcanada.com, although it appears that construction may not yet be completed. The 5-page site has basic information about the satellite studio and current/future career opportunites.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Toy Story 3 international trailer

A second full-length theatrical trailer for Toy Story 3, aimed at "international" audiences, was discovered on YouTube today and is embedded above.

Running just under 1:30, it's made up of largely of the same shots seen in the (vastly superior) first trailer released in October, but with a different introduction, editing, and soundtrack. On Twitter, director Lee Unkrich calls it "just an international version" of the first.

Perhaps the best part of this trailer is the soundbite of Andy saying "no one's going to want those old toys" —strikes a real emotional chord. Ouch!

Your thoughts?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A few stories...

A selection of stories from over the weekend:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pixar Canada creative director at VFS

Following the listing of the first career opportunities for Pixar Canada in Vancouver, Pixar animator Dylan Brown, creative director for the satellite studio, was on hand yesterday at the Vancouver Film School (VFS) to speak about what's in the works. Pictures of his visit and presentation are on Flickr.

In his presentation, Dylan revealed what looks to be the logo for the Vancouver studio. Quite cool, although the "Canada" could have been made smaller, like the Google Canada logo.

Not much else can be deduced from the photos, so if any readers were at VFS yesterday, please share event details by emailing pixarblogunofficial@yahoo.com.

By the way, this seems like a good moment to point out that, while I always carefully read each email readers send, I'm unable to respond to all due to the sheer volume of mail I receive. My apologies.

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Pixar Vancouver studio job listings

The first job listings for Pixar's future studio in Vancouver, British Columbia have appeared on the web (here and here) at two independent websites (they're not yet posted on the careers page at Pixar.com).

The positions Pixar is seeking to fill are Manager of Information Systems, Production Manager, and Layout Artist. The Production Manager will report to the general manager of the Vancouver studio and their producer in Emeryille.

Each of the listings term the satellite studio Pixar Canada, a "wholly-owned subsidiary of Pixar Animation Studios". As we've known since the project was announced, "the Vancouver studio will produce short-form animation focusing on legacy Pixar characters from films such as Toy Story and Cars".

A well-placed source confirms that the new campus will be up and running "sometime in 2010".

Saturday, November 14, 2009

'Up' "For Your Consideration" ad in Daily Variety

In true Hollywood style, Up was advertised to as "the best reviewed film of the year" on the front page of yesterday's edition of Daily Variety, as part of the ongoing Oscar campaign for the film.

Expect a lot of similar ads promoting the film to A.M.P.A.S. members in the coming weeks. Academy Award nominations will be handed out on February 2.

Thanks reader David S. for linking to this in comments

Thursday, November 12, 2009

'George & A.J.' [UPDATE]

This is interesting: Along with theatrical short Partly Cloudy and DVD/Blu-ray short Dug's Special Mission, the iTunes Extras [requires iTunes] release of Up (in standard definition and HD) includes an exclusive feature-based short storyboard film entitled George & A.J., not available on the DVD or Blu-ray.

I haven't seen it, considering I got the Blu-ray, so I really can't say much, only that it follows George and A.J. (pictured above) the Shady Oaks retirement home nurses/caretakers who come to take Carl away in the film following his 'public menace' conviction. It runs approx. 4 minutes and was written and directed by Up storyboard artist Josh Cooley.

(via Pixar Talk)
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Update: Disney/Pixar posted George & A.J. for free on Facebook today. Pretty funny actually. Watch it here.

(Updated Nov. 19)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Twenty animated features submitted for Oscars

A record twenty animated feature films, including Pixar's Up, have been submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.) for consideration in the Best Animated Feature Film category at the upcoming 82nd Academy Awards.

According to A.M.P.A.S. rules, if at least sixteen of the films qualify for competition (and they should) there will be five nominees in the category rather than the usual three. That would be a very welcome change.

Of course, Up remains the front-runner for the feature animation award, as well as a strong contender for a Best Picture nomination, if the Academy's historic bias against the art form doesn't get in the way.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Carl Fredricksen supports hearing loss awareness

Up's Carl Fredricksen graces the latest cover of Hear the World, the magazine of hearing aid maker Phonak's hearing loss awareness initiative.

A PDF of the cover article, explaining Carl's 'agreement' to becoming the latest 'celebrity ambassador' for the cause, can be downloaded free of charge at the magazine's website.

Fredricksen is the first fictional person to appear on the cover. Previous celebrities who have taken part include Plácido Domingo, Lindsay Lohan, Rod Stewart, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

(via Total Film)

Docter working on secret 2013/14 project, not Monsters, Inc. 2

Speaking with New York magazine's Vulture blog, Up director Pete Docter casually mentioned that he is already hard at work directing his next, currently secret, feature at Pixar.
"I’m mostly focused on the next film that I have in development already. ...I just started. We finished Up, I took some time off, spent some time in Europe and Japan doing publicity over there, so I’ve only been on this for like a couple weeks," he says.
Asked whether the project is the long-rumoured sequel to Monsters, Inc., Docter replied:
"I'm not working on ... I'm working on something else, but I cannot announce what it is."
In answer to the next question he suggests a 2013/2014 release date, stating that "it generally takes at least four years, if not five" to complete a feature film at Pixar.

It goes without saying that this is really exciting news. I can't wait to find out what this new, previously unheard-of film is going to be about. But also exciting is the fact that Docter began his response by saying, "I'm not working on... [Monsters, Inc. 2]." (Italics mine.) If you ask me, that wording strongly suggests that somebody else at Pixar is working on it, like so much other evidence suggests.

Check out the complete interview here; it's an excellent read. Discussion highlights include the level of detail visible on the Up Blu-ray and the film's chances at the Oscars.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

'Up' Oscar campaign begins

The Walt Disney Studios' campaign promoting Up as a contender for the Academy Award for Best Picture at the next Oscars started this week. Disney is beginning to run ads (see below for example) in online and print film industry publications and have updated the Disney Studios Awards website –aimed at Academy voters– accordingly.

Of course, Pixar's tenth feature is also being offered 'for consideration' in all Oscar categories including the following:
  • Best Animated Feature
  • Best Director
  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Sound Editing
  • Best Original Score

Theatrical short Partly Cloudy is being advertised less-specifically "For Your Consideration in All Categories", though in actuality it only stands the chance of being nominated for Best Animated Short Film –still a very big deal.

Up's chances of being nominated for Best Picture are higher than any of Pixar's previous animated masterpieces due to this year's rule change which will see ten Best Picture nominees rather than the longstanding five.

The 82nd annual Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Nominations will be announced just under three months from now on Tuesday, February 2.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ronnie del Carmen talks Dug's Special Mission

Animation Magazine just published an original Q&A with Ronnie del Carmen, Up story supervisor/head of story and director of the feature-based short film Dug's Special Mission, exclusive to the Up DVD/Blu-ray.

Del Carmen answers nine questions about the new short in the interview. Curiously, in a couple of his responses he appears to hint at the chance that we might someday see more of Up's canine characters.

Jobs named CEO of the Decade

Steve Jobs is named "CEO of the Decade" in the latest issue of Fortune magazine, primarily for his achievements at Apple Inc., but also for his work 'nurturing' Pixar.

Jobs—co-founder of Apple and Pixar, Chairman and CEO of Apple, former CEO of Pixar, board member and largest individual shareholder of The Walt Disney Company—certainly deserves the title. Apple's outstanding, world-changing products have made Jobs the "arbiter of cool" when it comes to consumer electronics.

It's worth remembering (Fortune should have pointed this out), that from 1997 until 2006 when Disney aquired Pixar for $7.4 billion, Jobs was CEO of the then-independent studio and Apple concurrently. Two seperate, publicly-traded companies sharing a CEO is believed to be a singular achievement in American business.

Read the complete article online at CNNMoney.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Luxo lawsuit settled [UPDATE]

An "amicable settlement" to the Luxo, Jr. trademark infringement spat has been reached, reports The Hollywood Reporter's law blog THR, Esq.

Luxo ASA, the Norwegian lamp manufacturer responsible for creating the original Luxo lamp upon which Pixar's Luxo, Jr. mascot is based, withdrew its 2-month-old lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company, Pixar's corporate parent, on Tuesday.

No details on the settlement, which wisely avoided a protracted legal fight, were made public, as is to be expected.
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Update: If anyone's interested in taking a look, at right is a copy (click to enlarge) of the official Notice of Dismissal filed in court on November 3, obtained through the U.S. Courts PACER service.


(Updated Nov. 5)

Links...

Clearly, there hasn't been much major Pixar news in the last week or so. But a few minor items have emerged that may be of interest to readers. And here they are:
  • Up DVD/Blu-ray launch party at Fentons Creamery [/Film]

  • Hi-res versions of retro Up posters released [Collider]