July 10, 2015

Tag Archives: Pixar

Ranking every Pixar film so far

I’m hardly the only one to think of this, but with Pixar putting their new film Inside Out into theatrical release today, what better time is there to rank all of their works to date? I’ve obviously seen all 15 films, from Toy Story and A Bug’s Life all the way to this week’s Inside Out. Again, with a list/ranking, my take is not the definitive one, so just keep that in mind. Especially with Pixar, everyone has a different favorite. I do hope you enjoy my version though, and remember not to miss Inside Out, which is a real special flick of theirs…
Here now is how I’d rank every Pixar movie so far:
15. Cars – Not a bad film, per say, but a strangely un Pixar-like outing. By and large, this follows the same beats as Doc Hollywood, which I much prefer. Here, it’s the voice of Owen Wilson subbed in for Michael J. Fox, which is a downgrade. Oddly enough, the highlight is Larry the Cable Guy. It’s nothing to boo and hiss at, but it’s perhaps their most disposable movie.
14. Brave – Rarely does Pixar play it safe, but it felt like they did here. Their take on a Princess movie doesn’t have the brain of their best work, even if it’s among their most visually stunning. Aside from the look of it, you really have a hard time remembering any of the plot details. It’s not as smart as they usually make their movies, so again…it’s not something you avoid, but it’s clearly part of their lower end of the Pixar spectrum.
13. Cars 2 – Notable to me mainly for just how odd it is, the sequel was an improvement on the first one, but not an undisputed success either. A spy movie this time out, it’s closer to a Bond flick than anything else, which sounds insane, I know. As such, it only sometimes works, but the bold direction does help distinguish it a bit among the bottom tier of their movies.
12. A Bug’s Life – This early Pixar entry has a lot of the ingredients that would go into their classics, but at this point, the meal was still a bit raw. I don’t really have many complaints about this one, though part of my lack of cheerleading for it has to do with my preference for the edgier Antz, which came out around […]

“Inside Out” is a moving and Oscar worthy return to form for Pixar

Up until a few years ago, the annual release of an animated feature from Pixar was greeted with much hype and a sense that the company could do no wrong. Then, a couple of less than universally beloved flicks came out and the brand was running the risk of no longer being the gold standard for animated endeavors. Well, now that Inside Out is on its way to audiences this Friday, I can say that no only is this a return to form for them, it’s one of Pixar’s best yet. One of their most ambitious, Inside Out is in some ways their most mature effort as well. It’s really something to rave about.
With a hugely high concept premise, this one rivals anything else from the studio in terms of ambition. Inside Out tells the story of preteen girl Riley (voice of Kaitlyn Dias), who is uprooted from her comfortable Midwest life and moved to San Francisco by her parents (voices of Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan). In her head, her emotions, which happen to be Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling), and Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) struggle to decide how best to navigate a new city, house and school, and literally life. Also among the voice talent is Richard Kind, Bobby Moynihan, Frank Oz, and Paula Poundstone, while Peter Doctor co-directs with Ronaldo Del Carmen and co-writes with Del Carmen, Josh Cooley, and Meg LeFauve. Pixar mainstay Michael Giacchino composed the score, with the end result truly something that’s special.
Part of what sets this apart from other modern animated fare is the embracing of mature emotions that goes on here. Inside Out isn’t afraid to make the case that sadness is a part of growing up, and as such is an essential emotion to deal with. There are moments here that are as emotionally affecting as anything Pixar has ever done. It’s not an overt tearjerker or anything like that, but they earn those few moments that might threaten to open up your tear ducts. Pixar and Doctor especially have long been adept at this, but it’s as subtly done as ever in Inside Out.
That’s not to say that Inside Out isn’t funny, because it is. In fact, one of the final jokes is a visual gag around the time of the end credits […]

INSIDE OUT- New Film Clip

Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.

When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. (“Up”) and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”), Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens in theaters on June 19, 2015.

Notes:
· Director Pete Docter is the Academy Award®-winning director of “Up.” He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar‘s smash hit “Monsters, Inc.,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature film. Along with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, Docter developed the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar‘s first full-length feature film, for which he also served as supervising animator. He served as a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life” and wrote the initial story treatment for “Toy Story 2.” As one of Pixar Animation Studios’ key creative contributors, Docter garnered an Academy Award nomination for his original story credit on Disney•Pixar’s Golden Globe®- and Oscar®-winning “WALL•E.”
· Jonas Rivera produced the Academy Award®-winning “Up,” for which he was nominated for best picture. Prior to “Up,” he had worked on nearly every Pixar film since joining Pixar Animation Studios in 1994, beginning with “Toy Story” for which he served as production office assistant. His subsequent credits include “A Bug’s Life” (as art department coordinator), “Toy Story 2” (as […]

THE GOOD DINOSAUR / New Teaser Trailer and Poster

The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

Peter Sohn made his directorial debut with the Pixar short film “Partly Cloudy.” He has worked in the art, story and animation departments, and also has voiced the characters of Emile from Academy Award®-winning “Ratatouille” and Scott “Squishy” Squibbles from “Monsters University.”
Denise Ream produced the Golden Globe-nominated film “Cars 2” for Pixar Animation Studios, and served as associate producer for Disney•Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning film “Up.” She also has an extensive background in producing visual effects and animation for live action films.

“Inside Out” heading to the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival for its World Premiere

Academy Award® winner Pete Docter, who helmed Disney/Pixar’s ‘Up’ (the first animated film ever to be the Festival’s Opening-Ceremony film), directs ‘Inside Out,’ an original new movie from Pixar Animation Studios. Docter, producer Jonas Rivera (‘Up’), and co-director Ronnie Del Carmen (‘Up’) will be on hand in Cannes, along with members of the all-star English-language voice cast.
“We are overjoyed at being included in this year’s official selection at Cannes,” said Docter. “With ‘Inside Out,’ we spent years imagining and then building never-before-seen settings and characters within the mind. It was an incredible, fun and exciting challenge and now we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

ABOUT THE MOVIE
Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney?Pixar?s original new film ?Inside Out? ventures inside the mind to find out.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley?s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned?both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.
When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind?taking some of her core memories with them?Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places?Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. (“Up”), co-directed by Ronnie Del Carmen (“Up”) and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”), Disney?Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens in U.S. theaters on June 19, 2015.

The ten films most likely to lead the 2015 box office

As much as I clearly obsess myself with trying to accurately predict the Oscars, I also have a slight fascination with attempting to figure out which film will wind up as the most successful at the box office, even if the actual numbers are incredibly difficult to pinpoint. Sadly, most of the time the movies in contention for that crown are iffy at best in terms of quality, but his year might very well be different. 2015 offers up a number of potentially very strong flicks that will vie to be number one at the box office, including a couple that might actually contend for the all time crown. That’s pretty rare (though with the numbers we see year in and year out, it’s slowly getting less and less rare), making the next nine months or so possibly very interesting…
As a quick refresher, this was what the top ten box office hauls of 2014 were, including what some of these made after the calendar changed over:
1. American Sniper ($341,380,905) *and counting
2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 ($337,103,873) *and counting
3. Guardians of the Galaxy ($333,176,600)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259,766,572)
5. The LEGO Movie ($257,760,692)
6. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ($254,916,285) *and counting
7. Transformers: Age of Extinction ($245,439,076)
8. Maleficent ($241,410,378)
9. X-Men: Days of Future Past ($233,921,534)
10. Big Hero 6 ($221,690,346) *and counting
Here now are the ten most likely films to run away with the 2015 box office crown:
10. The Good Dinosaur – The first of two Pixar releases on this list (as well as the first of two to involve dinosaurs), you know that an animated feature is going to rake it in during 2015…the question is just, which one? This has been a slightly troubled production, so that might be an issue, but if it’s not, watch out. Marketing wise, this is a dream for Disney/Pixar.
9. Trainwreck – I spoke about this comedy yesterday, but there’s a chance that this could be even bigger than Bridesmaids. Consider this Judd Apatow flick a dark horse. I think it’s possibly the least likely, but it’s still one very much worth keeping at least one eye on. A comedy always seems to break out, so why not this one, particularly if it’s the critical favorite it’s shaping up to be?
8. Terminator: Genysis – Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator in a franchise sequel/prequel/reboot that could bring in […]

“Toy Story 3″: The Top 25 (Best Animated Feature)

Onward we go folks with this weekly series of mine that I’m doing here at the site. Yes, we’re talking the top 25 Oscar winners in just about every single one of the Academy Award categories out there to be discussed. As you know, aside from the shorts and something like Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing like I already mentioned previously, I’ll be hitting them all over the coming weeks and months. Of course, that includes the big eight categories, a few of which I’ve already knocked off. I’m also potentially going to do one that doesn’t exist (a fictitious Best Ensemble category), but that’s just an idea I currently am toying with. We’ll see about that one.
Today I’ll be tackling a category I teased you all about last week, with this one being the…Best Animated Feature field. As you all certainly know by this point, depending on the category in question, I may wind up discussing the individual winners I’m citing pretty specifically or just giving more of a broad overview of the winners. For now though, I’m still keeping it fairly simple and saving the more expansive installments for the biggest of the categories. Like I’ve said over the past month or so though, in all honesty, you all mostly just want to see the lists anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that particular regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next couple of paragraphs once again. Also of note here, there won’t be 25 winners listed, since the category isn’t 25 years old yet (and in actuality is still just a teenager). In short, I’ll be ranking the entire history of the category.
This time around, I’m going to be taking the overview route again, since as mentioned above, it’s an abbreviated list. Still, there are a number of different types of animation on display below, from anime to hand drawn to computer animated, so it’s another week where the list contains something for everyone. As such, it’s again a matter of taste, at least to some degree. Are you a Pixar fan? A back of Hiyao Miyazaki? Either way, there’s a cartoon for you here.
I’ll basically just discuss my top ten a bit now, even if that’s a good portion of the entire category’s history. To me, the best winner of this category so far to […]

“Monsters University” and “Pacific Rim” take Hollywood Film Awards Honors

The 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards announced today that Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University,” directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, will be the recipient of the Hollywood Animation Award, and Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures “Pacific Rim” visual effects supervisor John Knoll will receive the “Hollywood Visual Effects Award” at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony.
The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the Hollywood Film Awards. He said: “John Knoll’s groundbreaking work on Pacific Rim sets a new standard in visual effects. The robots and monsters in the film truly come to life through the best visual effects of the year. Once again, the animation and storytelling of “Monsters University” reflects Pixar’s creativity and greatness.”

The award will be bestowed at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony on Monday evening, October 21, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The Hollywood Film Awards honors cherished stars, filmmakers and up-and-coming talent, and traditionally kicks off the film awards season with the biggest stars and top industry executives in attendance.
“We are very proud to be the first stop of the awards season. In the last ten years, a total of 96 Oscar® nominations and 34 Oscars® were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards,” said de Abreu.
Last year’s awards show received more than 41 million media impressions, in addition to more than 300 million online and print readers’ impressions.
About Dan Scalon
Dan Scanlon made his animated feature directorial debut with Disney/Pixar’s 14th feature film, “Monsters University,” which has grossed over $700 million dollars worldwide since its June 2013 release. He also co-wrote the film’s story and screenplay. As a youngster in Clawson, Michigan, Scanlon possessed a love for Warner Bros. cartoons, animated Disney films and, as fate would have it, Pixar short films. His passion inspired him to study film and animation in high school and in college where he focused on illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD). Upon graduating from CCAD, Scanlon began working as an animator and story artist for Character Builders, a 2D animation company that produced feature and commercial work in Columbus, Ohio. Scanlon joined Pixar Animation Studios in September 2001 as a storyboard artist on Disney/Pixar’s award-winning features “Cars” and “Toy Story 3.” During the initial production stages for both films, he worked to translate the director’s story ideas into […]

“Brave” Hits Bullseye With $66.7 Million

HollywoodNews.com: Another year, another $60-$70 million Pixar opening weekend. Brave (review) is their thirteenth release, as well as their thirteenth number-one debut and their eighth film to open between $60 and $70 million since 2001. Brave, which attracted headlines due to the fact that it was Pixar’s first film with a female lead (and a female director until Brenda Chapman was replaced by Mark Andrews), opened with an estimated $66.7 million this weekend, putting it (for now) just above Cars 2’s $66.1 million debut and a bit below Up’s $68.1 million opening as the fifth-best debut in Pixar history.
Brave pulled in $24.5 million on Friday, which gives the film a 2.71x weekend multiplier, which is actually pretty low by Pixar standards. Still, it’s close enough to the 2.73x multiplier for Wall-E ($23m/$63m), the 2.68x weekend multiplier for Toy Story 3 ($41m/$110m), and the 2.64x weekend multiplier for Cars 2 ($25m/$66m) to avoid any alarm. Movies, even most animated ones, are just a bit more front-loaded these days and Pixar films tend to play like sequels in a popular franchise than stand-alone entries. In terms of total box office, there is always the chance that Brave could play like Cars 2, which (comparatively) flamed out with just 2.8x weekend-to-total multiplier ($191 million domestic) and end up below $200 million.
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Brave is an artistically superior picture

HollywoodNews.com: Beset by production troubles and changing schedules, Brave enters theaters as a fable without an author. I don’t know what happened behind-the-scenes with original director Brenda Chapman nor do I know what replacement director Mark Andrews added to and removed from the final product. But Brave is an almost irrelevant entry in the Pixar cannon. While it is visually scrumptious (in 2D, natch) and boasts a terrific lead vocal performance by Kelly MacDonald, the overall story is both painfully slight and lacking any deeper meaning beyond surface-level morals. While it is technically a superior film to Cars 2, that film was arguably a ‘one for me’ project with Pixar founder John Lasseter indulging his love of the Cars universe and his love of old-school spy pictures.
Brave is an artistically superior picture that is still pales in comparison to both the better efforts from both Pixar itself and the various animation rivals (Blue Sky, Dreamworks, Illumination, etc.) nipping at its heels.
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