Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Grammy wins for 'Up'/Giacchino

Up was announced this evening as the winner in two of the three categories it was nominated in at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards: Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media and Best Instrumental Composition (for the track "Married Life").

The nominations and wins recognize the work and talent of composer Michael Giacchino in creating the spectacular music of the film.

This win cements Up's position as the frontrunner for the Best Original Score Oscar at the upcoming 82nd annual Academy Awards. On that point, Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday morning at 8:30/5:30 PT and I'll have complete coverage as it relates to Up and Pixar. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LEGO Steve Jobs

I usually never post stuff like this but this is honestly one of the best things I've seen all day. Pixar animator Angus MacLane built this miniature "CubeDude" Steve Jobs out of Lego pieces. The resemblance is incredible!

MacLane is well known for his many Lego creations, which include Pixar characters from time to time, but I believe this is the first time a Pixar co-founder has been the subject.

As a side note, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich recently tweeted that he's on the guest list for tomorrow's big Apple event where Jobs is expected to introduce the long-awaited Apple slate/tablet iPad. "Whenever I'm invited, it's something awwwwwwesome..." He's on Steve's "nice" list, I guess.

(Photo credit: Angus MacLane/Flickr)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rivera wins animation prize at Producers Guild Awards

Up producer Jonas Rivera was awarded the Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures at last night's 21st Annual Producers Guild Awards, presented by the Producers Guild of America.

Rivera did not, however, win the most prestigious prize, the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award for which he was nominated for Up.

Pixar creative chief John Lasseter received the lifetime achievement honor David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures as had been previously announced.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lee Unkrich Pixar memorabilia auction for Haiti

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, a longtime Pixarian, is kindly auctioning off a selection of items from his personal collection of rare Pixar memorabilia on eBay to benefit the victims of the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti.

I emailed Lee earlier today asking for a comment on the auction and the reasoning behind it. He replied:

"I've been accumulating a lot of memorabilia over my fifteen years at Pixar, but while it represents good memories of the films I've been lucky to work on, it's still just stuff.

Like everyone else, I've been horrified by what happened in Haiti, and the sheer enormity of dealing with the injured and homeless. I saw these auctions as a simple way to not only do my bit to help, but to also send some memorabilia out into the world that others will appreciate.

Some have said to me, "What about supporting the problems in our own country?" Well, I do, as we all should. But as a human being, I couldn't sit back and do nothing while people were suffering through one of the biggest disasters of our time."

It must be emphasized that the auction is being organized by Lee personally —that's "ts3lee" on eBay— and not by Pixar or Disney. Of course, everyone at the studios surely supports Lee in this endeavour.

You can browse and bid on the items here. They include Toy Story 3 Woody one-sheet posters signed by Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (pictured; I'm currently the top bidder!), a large variety of production crew apparel from Pixar's ten feature films, and one very cool 4-pack of Jones Soda.

New items are still being added as of right now. Check @leeunkrich on Twitter for updates on the auction (retweeted @The_Pixar_Blog).

Friday, January 22, 2010

More "For Your Consideration" ads for 'Up'

Awards Daily has brought online a few more "For Your Consideration" ads for Up that have been published in the print edition of Variety over the past few days.

The one at right was taken out by The Walt Disney Studios to celebrate the film's two Golden Globe wins last sunday.

See all (or most) of the FYC ads for Up here.

Cars 2 concept art in '09 Disney report

What may be the first piece of publicly-released concept art for Pixar's summer 2011 feature Cars 2 is published in The Walt Disney Company's glossy annual report, "The Year in Review", for 2009, distributed to shareholders and available online for the general public. I've captured and cropped the image for your enjoyment here.

The international flavour of the film can be easily appreciated from this scene. The cars appear to be traveling through Japan with what looks like a stylized Mount Fuji visible in the background.

Thanks to reader Jason for taking the time to email me about this

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Four BAFTA nominations for 'Up'

The nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts 2010 Orange British Academy Film Awards —the BAFTA awards— have been made public. Up is nominated in the following four categories:
  • Animated Film (Pete Docter)

  • Original screenplay (Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

  • Sound (Tom Myers, Michael Silvers, Michael Semanick)

  • Music (Michael Giacchino)

The awards will be presented at the BAFTA awards ceremony on Sunday, February 21 in London.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Multilingual Toy Story 3 trailer

Already retweeted this @The_Pixar_Blog on Twitter: Lee Unkrich is sharing with his Twitter followers (now over 75,000 of them) a very special version of the first teaser trailer for Toy Story 3, with the characters speaking in some of the forty plus languages that Pixar's films have been translated into. And yes, that does include Icelandic!

Watch it here (link opens video).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Two Golden Globe wins for 'Up'

©HFPA

Up won in both categories in which it was nominated (list of all nominees and winners), Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score -Motion Picture, at tonight's 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

The animation prize, introduced by one of the world's greatest musicians, Sir Paul McCartney, was accepted by director Pete Docter who had an "Ellie Badge" pinned to his tux.

In his heartfelt, humorous acceptance speech, Docter thanked everyone at Pixar and Disney, including writer Bob Peterson and producer Jonas Rivera, and made no secret of his love for the studio. He also mentioned his kids who watched the show from home and his wife Amanda who joined him at the ceremony.

Up's success in the animation category tonight is really spectacular considering that the award was introduced by the HFPA only four years ago and Up is the fourth Pixar feature to win!

Michael Giacchino later accepted the Golden Globe for Best Original Score -Motion Picture for his incredible musical compositions for Up. In his speech he referred to the studio as 'family'.

Giacchino's win tonight, and yesterday at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, certainly shows that Up stands a very good chance of being nominated for and winning the Oscar for Best Original Score at the upcoming 82nd Academy Awards. Oscar nominations will be announced on February 2. The ceremony happens March 7.

Congratulations to everyone at Pixar and Disney for Up's success at the Golden Globe Awards.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Amazon UK lists Finding Nemo Blu-ray [UPDATE]

Amazon.co.uk is listing Finding Nemo on Blu-ray for pre-order with a shipping date of May 1, 2010. The product page includes box art, shown at right, but does not mention the region code for the disc.

Does this mean that the long delayed release of Finding Nemo in the high definition format will finally happen this year worldwide? Or is this just another false alarm? No official announcement has been made by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment regarding a 2010 release.

I'll be looking into this further, scouring the internet and checking with sources as soon as the weekend is over.

Thanks to Adam B. for the tip
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Update: Dropped from the Amazon page, it can no longer be pre-ordered. The only option is to "sign up to be notified when this item becomes available". Go figure.

(Updated Mar. 23)

Two Critics' Choice Awards for 'Up'

Up did well at the Broadcast Film Critics Association's 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards Friday night, winning in two of the four categories it was nominated in: Best Animated Feature Film and Best Score (Michael Giacchino).

Director Pete Docter was at the ceremony to accept the Best Animated Feature Film prize. He thanked the Up crew, writer Bob Peterson, producer Jonas Rivera, and others.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

'Up' wins Golden Tomato awards

Up was handed the Golden Tomato Award (Wide Release) by Rotten Tomatoes today, recognizing it as the best reviewed widely-released picture of the year with a Tomatometer score of 98% Fresh. It also won in the animation category against some unusually serious competition.

A Golden Tomato win is becoming a sort of tradition for Pixar films. Up is the studio's third film in a row (after WALL-E and Ratatouille) to win the top award and the sixth overall.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

'Up' wins People's Choice Award

Briefly: Up won the Favourite Family Movie award at last night's 36th annual People's Choice Awards.

A complete list of winners and nominees is available here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Disney Blog post: 'Beauty' in 3-D postponed indefinitely [CORRECTION]

Already linked to this on Twitter @The_Pixar_Blog but it's big news worth featuring here: The digital 3-D re-release of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, previously scheduled to arrive in theatres next month, has been postponed indefinitely and possibly even permanently shelved by Disney.

Read my exclusive post at The Disney Blog.
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Correction: My post at TDB is in error and has thus been corrected. Beauty and the Beast will see its 3-D re-release in 2011 to coincide with its 20th anniversary. Great news!

(Updated Jan. 7)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

'Up' "For Your Consideration" THR cover

While reading up on the PGA Awards nomination story, I came across the cover of today's print edition of The Hollywood Reporter, graced by a heartwarming "For Your Consideration" advertisement for Up.

As you can see, the ad zeros in on the Best Picture nomination everyone hopes the film will get from A.M.P.A.S. next month.

PGA Award nominations for Jonas Rivera/'Up'

The nominations for the 21st Annual Producers Guild Awards have been announced by the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

Up producer Jonas Rivera (pictured) is nominated in the top category, the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, as well as in the animation category.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, this is the first time the producer of an animated film has been nominated for the Zanuck award. The nomination of Rivera for Up in what is effectively the Guild's "Best Picture" category is thus being recognized as a hopeful sign for the film's Best Picture Oscar chances.

Pixar will be well-represented at this year's PGA awards, which take place on January 24. This past October, the Guild announced that Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter would be receiving the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in recognition of his career in the industry.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Toy Story/Toy Story 2 Blu-ray trailer

The online trailer for the release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 on high definition Blu-ray Disc, happening March 23, 2010, is now on YouTube. Check it out below. Pre-order info is here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lee Unkrich signed Toy Story 3 posters arrive

The autographed Toy Story 3 movie posters promised to me by director Lee Unkrich earlier this month arrived in the mail yesterday. (Should have posted earlier.)

Originally, I was expecting only one poster, but Lee sent me three: Buzz, Woody, and the minimalist '3' one I loved so much, all signed by him "Thanks, Mike! Lee Unkrich". On the Woody one he added "The Pixar Blog is awesome". Hahaha! Haven't taken any photos of them but they are large 27" x 41" double sided one-sheets, printed on both sides.

As if that wasn't enough, Lee threw in a Toy Story 3 crew T-shirt in my size. Not available for purchase anywhere (not even the Pixar studio store, which is not open to the public), it's a lightweight American Apparel-made shirt exactly like the one Unkrich is wearing in this picture, with the slightly distressed '3', but silver-coloured instead of black.

I want to make clear that I'm not posting this to show off or anything —or to make anyone seethe with envy :)— I just want to illustrate how cool Pixar is a company, how cool they are are to their fans, you know? James Cameron should take some lessons.

New 'TS3' preview with first look at Mr. Pricklepants

The new preview of Toy Story 3 hosted by Lee Unkrich embedded below is currently airing on the Disney Channel. It's only about a minute long and doesn't give us any footage we haven't seen before, but it gives us an exciting first ever look at one of the new characters from 'TS3' hedgehog actor Mr. Pricklepants, voiced by Timothy Dalton. Also, the production values are very good.