Monday, January 31, 2011

Unkrich, Newton to participate in Academy nominee panels

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich will be at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills the evening of February 24 to participate in a symposium with the directors of this year's other Animated Feature Oscar nominees.

The filmmakers "will discuss their films' development and their creative processes as well as present clips illustrating their techniques," says the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is hosting the symposium at its state-of-the-art theatre.

Two days earlier, on February 22, the Academy will put on its yearly Shorts! event, featuring screenings of all the Oscar-nominated short films, animated and live action. Day & Night director Teddy Newton will join many of the nominees in an on-stage discussion.

Both events are open to the public. Tickets go on sale online tomorrow for only $5. Expect them to sell out very quickly.

Alice in Wonderland Blu-ray review

Walt Disney’s 1951 classic Alice in Wonderland comes to hi-def Blu-ray Disc tomorrow, in a new 2-disc combo pack.

My review of the "60th Anniversary Edition" Blu-ray is now up at The Disney Blog. It's a fairly quick read, so I encourage everyone to take a look.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Toy Story 3 awards billboard

This massive billboard featuring Buzz Lightyear towers over the streets of downtown Hollywood, celebrating Toy Story 3's five Oscar nominations and other recent achievements. Lee Unkrich shared the photo earlier today on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cars 2 character: Raoul ÇaRoule

On Monday we got our first look at Cars 2 character Carla Veloso, one of twenty new cars being revealed by Disney/Pixar in the coming weeks.

Today we get to meet Raoul ÇaRoule. brings us a high quality image of the "restless" French race car, as well as turntable video and official description.

Check back here for the turntable in HD; I'll embed it as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime head over to ComingSoon to learn more about Raoul.
Update: Here's the HD turntable, via Disney/Pixar on YouTube.

(Updated Jan. 27)

3D-printed Lotso model

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich tweeted this super cool pic of a life-sized Lotso "printed from original data on Pixar's 3D printer."

Unkrich followed with a photo of 3D-printed Woody, Jessie, and "Spanish" Buzz models. Both images have already been retweeted dozens of times by users.

Follow all of Lee's updates on Twitter @leeunkrich.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Classic Randy Newman

Randy Newman spoke to Variety earlier today about his Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for Toy Story 3's "We Belong Together".

What he had to say can only be called 'classic Randy Newman':
"It always is a nice thing to get nominated, since this is my 20th nomination I believe. And it cheers me up especially now, with this cold and a bottle of NyQuil in me."
You can read the rest of comment here.

Unkrich, Arndt talk 'TS3' Oscar nominations

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich and writer Michael Arndt talk to New York Magazine's Vulture blog about the film's five Academy Award nominations.

Unkrich reveals where he was when he learned 'TS3' had been nominated for Best Picture and what he had on his schedule for the day. He also talks about his disappointment that Disney's Tangled wasn't nominated for Best Animated Feature. (Tangled wasn't perfect, but I too share this feeling.)

Arndt opens up about feeling insecure in world of screenwriting. "I always felt like I was ten seconds away from someone coming up to me and going, 'Hey you, you don’t belong here'." He also hints that he's working on another screenplay for Pixar.

Toy Story 3 nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture

Toy Story 3 has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture of the Year, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.).

Nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards were announced minutes ago at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California by A.M.P.A.S. president Tom Sherak and actress Mo’Nique, and in a simultaneous press release.

The other categories in which Toy Story 3 is nominated are:
  • Best Animated Feature Film
  • Adapted Screenplay (Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich)
  • Original Song ("We Belong Together"; music and lyrics by Randy Newman)
  • Sound Editing (Tom Myers and Michael Silvers)
Toy Story 3 is now the third animated film in history to be nominated for the top Oscar prize, following Beauty and the Beast in 1991 and Up last year. It is also the eighth Pixar film to be nominated for Best Animated Feature since the award was created in 2001.

Pixar's latest short Day & Night
also received a nomination, in the Animated Short Film category. I
t is the tenth Pixar short to be so recognized.

In a statement released by Pixar worldwide publicity, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich says:
"It's an incredible honor to be nominated by the Academy. When we began making the first Toy Story, nearly 16 years ago, we never could have imagined the journey on which these films, and these characters, would take us.

For Toy Story 3 to be recognized by the Academy as not only one of the best animated films of the year, but also as one of the ten best pictures of the year, is both humbling and overwhelming. I'm speechless; I feel like I've been blasted to infinity and beyond."
Producer Darla K. Anderson adds:
"We are ecstatic at the Academy's generous and humbling recognition of Toy Story 3. For everyone that worked so passionately to bring these beloved toys back to life—from our artists to the actors—it's incredibly gratifying to be recognized along side these other amazing films today in both the Best Picture and Best Animated Feature categories."
Day & Night director Teddy Newton shares similar thoughts:
"I thank the Academy for this extraordinary recognition. Creating Day & Night with the high quality team of artists and technicians within Pixar was truly a non-stop sensation of positive energy for me. I was constantly amazed by the crew's fortitude to push through challenges and inspire each other with their ingenuity. On behalf of the team that helped bring Day & Night to life, it is an honor to be nominated."
Congratulations to Lee, Darla, Michael Arndt, Teddy, Kevin Reher, Randy Newman, the sound team at Skywalker Sound, and everyone at Pixar who contributed their talents to the films.

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards presentation will be held on Sunday, February 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood at 8 PM ET/5 PT. It will be telecast live on ABC in the United States and CTV in Canada. For international broadcast information, check local TV listings.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cars 2 character: Carla Veloso [UPDATE]

The Walt Disney Studios Italy YouTube channel brings us our first good look at new Cars 2 character Carla Veloso with the turntable video below. Stitch Kingdom has also obtained a hi-res image of the character.

Carla, who hails from Brazil, is one of twenty new characters yet to be revealed officially in the "Cars Showcase" on the Cars Facebook page.
Update: The HD version of the video is now embedded, courtesy of the Disney/Pixar YouTube channel. Disney has also released a full description of the character:
World Grand Prix contender Carla Veloso hails from Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The sweet but powerful Latin diva can dance the night away at “Car-nival,” but spends most of her time on the racetrack.

After setting a new track record at the local Interlagos circuit, she was drafted to join the 24-hour endurance racing team in Europe, where she posted a consistent series of podium finishes.

In the World Grand Prix, the proud Brazilian Le Motor Prototype racer is the only female in the field, and Carla is ready to prove to the world that #8 is there to win for her home country.
(Updated Jan. 25)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Anderson wins PGA animation award

Darla K. Anderson won in the animation category at last night's 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards for her work as producer on Toy Story 3.

Anderson was also in the running for the Producers Guild of America's top prize, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award, but did not win.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cars 2 turntables: Mater, Finn McMissile, Holley Shiftwell

Check out this set of three new turntable videos featuring Mater and Cars 2 characters Finn McMissile (voiced by Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer).

A couple of these have been online for a few days, but in much lower quality. Enjoy them now in HD and read the descriptions provided by Disney/Pixar for the two new characters.

Finn McMissile is a master British spy. Though charming and eloquent, it’s his stealth maneuvering, intelligence and years in the field that enable him to thwart unexpected attacks from bad guys, making quick daredevil escapes.

Finn’s design is sleek and timeless, but he’s also prepared for any tricky situation with an arsenal of ultra-cool gadgets and weaponry, including front and rear grappling hooks, a missile launcher, deployable magnetic explosives and a holographic disguise emitter.

As a seasoned professional in the game of international espionage, Finn believes there is a conspiracy brewing during the World Grand Prix. His clandestine work surrounding the global exhibition race puts him on a collision course with Mater, whom he mistakes for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise.

Holley Shiftwell is a beautiful young British desk agent, turned spy-in-training who’s stationed in Tokyo. Well-educated and sharp, she knows every trick in the book—or rather, she relies on every trick in the spy manual.

She’s armed with the latest state-of-the-art spy equipment imaginable, from hidden cameras and concealed weapons to a telescoping utility arm and a holographic pop-up display. Holley is a highly motivated agent, but is fresh out of the academy, so her experience is based on lessons learned in school rather than real-life situations.

When seasoned international spy Finn McMissile requires Holley’s technical expertise for his latest top-secret field operation, she finds herself pursuing a rendezvous with the most unlikely candidate—Mater, an innocent caught up in the intrigue, who is mesmerized by the beauty of his newest friend.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Toy Story 3 nominated for three BAFTAs

Nominees for the 2011 Orange British Academy Film Awards—the BAFTA awards—were announced a few hours ago by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Toy Story 3 is nominated in three categories:
  • Animated Film (Lee Unkrich)
  • Adapted Screenplay (Michael Arndt)
  • Special Visual Effects (Guido Quaroni, Michael Fong, David Ryu)
The awards will be presented on Sunday, February 13 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC One in the U.K.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Toy Story 3 is a Golden Globe winner

Toy Story 3 took home the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film at tonight's 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

Director Lee Unkrich was in attendance at the Beverly Hilton to accept the prize [video]. Before getting on with his speech, he joked with presenters Justin Bieber and Hailee Steinfeld about whether they were 'even born when the first Toy Story came out'. (Steinfeld wasn't.)

What followed was one of the best (i.e. real) speeches of the night. Unkrich expressed gratitude to everyone at Disney and Pixar, thanking a few individuals by name, like John Lasseter for 'trusting him' with the film; his family; Randy Newman for his 'amazing music'; and the Toy Story 3 cast, 'anchored by' Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.

Finally he gave a big shout-out to the audiences worldwide that have embraced the film, which he called "an animated movie that beat with a human heart".

This is the fifth time in a row that a Pixar film has won in the five-year-old animation category at the Golden Globes, following Up, WALL-E, Ratatouille, and Cars.

Congratulations to Lee and everyone who had a part in the making of Toy Story 3!

Photo credit: ©HFPA

Pixar news roundup (1/16/11)

  • Toy Story 3 wins Best Animated Feature at Critics' Choice Movie Awards []
  • Brad Lewis and Jay Shuster preview Cars 2 at the AutoWeek Design Forum in Detroit []
  • New Cars 2 character images, turnaround videos (low res) and descriptions
Check back tonight for results from the Golden Globes where Toy Story 3 is nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cars 2 turntable: Lighting McQueen

This Cars 2 "Showroom Turntable" video of Lightning McQueen was uploaded to the Disney/Pixar YouTube channel on Friday. Somehow it evaded my notice until today.

Watch it below in HD.

Toy Story 3 is Golden Tomato winner

Rotten Tomatoes officially bestowed its 2010 Golden Tomato Award (Wide Release) on Toy Story 3 this morning.

This comes as no surprise considering 'TS3' is the best reviewed movie of the year on RT, at 99% "Fresh", with 248 reviews counted (245 positive, 3 negative).

Toy Story 3 is Pixar's fourth film in a row (after Up, WALL-E, and Ratatouille) to win the top award and the seventh in total. Like the studio's previous winners, '3' also topped the animation category.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Two more FYC ads for Toy Story 3

Awards Daily shares these new For Your Consideration ads for Toy Story 3. They appeared recently in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

The one on the left is part of the "Not Since..." series, while the one on the right promotes Lee Unkrich as Best Director and lists some of the film's achievements so far, starting with it being recognized by TIME magazine as the best film of the year.

This ad is probably the finest yet. The inset of Oscar-winner Tom Hanks working with Unkrich should remind Academy voters of the top-notch talent that worked on the picture.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

'Incredibles' Blu-ray + Cars BD reissue on April 12 has begun taking pre-orders for The Incredibles on Blu-ray (4-disc BD + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack), revealing a scheduled release date of April 12. On the same day, Cars will be reissued in a 2-disc BD + DVD combo pack that includes an admission to Cars 2. brings us our first (watermarked) look at the final cover art for both titles, as well as a list of a few of the extras found on the The Incredibles Blu-ray. New content will include a filmmakers' roundtable, new Paths to Pixar and Studio Story featurettes, and a look at the creation of the film's end credits.

There's also going to be an interactive feature with the intriguing title ""New Nomanisan Island" Top Secret Redevelopment Plan". Could it be a set up (or hint at) the Incredibles sequel we've all wished for?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Producers Guild nominations for Anderson/Toy Story 3

Nominations for the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards were announced this morning by the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

Darla K. Anderson received nominations in two categories for her work as producer on Toy Story 3:
  • Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
  • Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
This is only the second time the producer of an animated film has been nominated for the Zanuck award, the PGA's top accolade. The first was Jonas Rivera for Up last year.

The winners in each category will be announced at a ceremony on January 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monsters, Inc. 2 a prequel?

Dutch animation blog Animatie reports that Monsters, Inc. 2 will be a prequel to Monsters, Inc. rather than the sequel we've been expecting.

Their story apparently has its roots in a catalog distributed by Disney to theatre operators and was first posted on Disney Plaza Central, a French-language fan forum.

According to the rumor (and do treat it as such for the time being), the film will follow Mike and Sulley back when they were classmates—and rivals—at Monstropolis' University of Fear. Just how did they become best buddies?

A prequel from Pixar sounds like a great idea to me. It would explore the world of Monsters, Inc. from a decidedly original perspective. What about you? Be sure to leave your comment below. Start a conversation!

Monsters, Inc. 2 opens on November 2, 2012, exactly eleven years after the debut of the original.

[via /Film]