Monday, September 26, 2011

Unkrich begins work on next project [UPDATE]

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich began work today on his next oeuvre at Pixar.

"Today is day one on my next project. Every day I'll post a new photo chronicling the journey," Unkrich tweeted one hour ago.

He then posted a link to

It's unusual to see a director talking about a film so early in it's development, even though nothing in the way of theme or title is likely to be revealed anytime soon.

Clearly, Lee wants to stay connected to his fan base of over 100,000 Twitter followers. (If you're not already, follow him @leeunkrich.)

As for the movie, could it be Toy Story 4? In some respects, it would make a lot of sense for Unkrich to be the one to direct the heavily rumored third sequel.
Update: The Tumblr account and Unkrich's tweets about the endevour have disappeared. I've reached out to Pixar for comment but have yet to hear back.

(Updated Oct. 4)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Announcing Big Screen Animation

On Wednesday, November 16, The Pixar Blog will become Big Screen Animation, a general animation blog featuring news from all the major studios, as well as independent outfits and artists.

As the name suggests, the blog will focus mostly on feature animation, but expect to see shorts and other animation-related content as well. I hope to change things up with a modest redesign and insightful guest posts.

So why the change? There’s a number of reasons. For starters, I feel there’s a need for a fresh animation news and discussion site that’s accessible to a wide, non-industry audience.

Moreover, as animation takes a whole new place in the entertainment industry, there are many non-Pixar projects I’d like to cover. New studios are cropping up. I look forward to sharing the latest on the most interesting developments from across the world of animation.

Pixar will, of course, be at the forefront. It is, without a doubt, the greatest animation studio in the world.

Beginning Nov. 16, visitors to will be automatically redirected to the new address, Individual posts from the past four years will still be available and will redirect to their new URLs. Twitter username will change accordingly.

I’ll be away from the blog for the next week starting Sunday, but will be checking (and responding to) comments. Please sound off below.

A closer look at Bambino from La Luna

Here's a new film still from La Luna, a close-up on the lead character, aka Bambino—"little boy" in Italian.

As The Pixar Times notes, this shot is actually in the 30-second clip released back in June. But it's the first time we're seeing it in high resolution.

Bambino's voice sounds (like the other two characters, he doesn't really speak) are provided by Krista Sheffler, who looks after theme park stuff at Pixar.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Q&A with Enrico Casarosa, director of La Luna

Photo by Deborah Coleman/Pixar.
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of finally screening La Luna, via a secure online link. Pixar's latest short film is making the rounds in various festivals and recently had its New York premiere.

Without giving away the plot, it's Pixar's most artistic short to date, marked by simplicity, beautiful visuals and sound, and a boldly European feel.

On Monday afternoon, I spoke with Italian-born director Enrico Casarosa, active on Twitter @sketchcrawl. Read our "spoiler"-free discussion after the jump.

Enrico talks about his experiences developing La Luna, collaborating with talents like Michael Giacchino, and what he's working on now (it's not in any of the press notes).

La Luna will be in thousands of theatres with Brave on June 22.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cars 2 nominated for two HPA Awards

Cars 2 received its first two nominations of the season today, from the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA).

Film editor Stephen Schaffer, A.C.E. is nominated for Outstanding Editing—Feature Film for the 2011 HPA Awards.

Sound editors Tom Myers, Michael Semanick, and Michael Silversis are nominated for Outstanding Sound—Feature Film.

If you haven't heard of the HPA, it's the trade association of motion picture post production professionals and businesses in Hollywood.

Winners will be announced on November 10 at a gala event in Los Angeles.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cars 2 returning to 1,800 theatres this weekend

Cars 2 will play at over 2,000 theatres across North America this Labor Day weekend, up from 233 last week. (The film opened on June 24 at 4,115 locations.)

This extended push, near the end of its theatrical run, will no doubt have a positive impact on the movie's lifetime box office earnings.

So far, Cars 2 has brought in $187.3 million dollars domestically and $334.6 million overseas, to a total of $521,960,986 worldwide.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lasseter on Vanity Fair New Establishment List

Pixar creative chief John Lasseter came in at #8 on the Vanity Fair 2011 New Establishment list, published today.

In 2008, Lasseter tied with fellow Pixar directors Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton for #28 on the annual list, which identifies the world's most influential people.