Pixar’s ‘Luca’ – Brand New Story Details, Theories, and More

I’ll be honest. Until now, I’ve been pretty uninterested in Luca, the next Pixar film. It’s due to release this June, but we still don’t know much about Enrico Casarosa’s first feature film. That changed dramatically this week with the release of an exclusive preview in Empire magazine. It includes a new screenshot along with some exciting new details surrounding the story, characters, and inspiration for the setting.

I discussed all these new developments and more during the latest live stream of Jon In Theory, which you can view above. Enjoy the stream, and be sure to subscribe and ring the bell so you can watch these videos live. Would love for you to say hello via the live chat!

What the Future of Pixar Currently Looks Like

It’s 2021. And the next slate of Pixar movies (and shows) is looking to be far more unique than in previous years. From brand new originals to unlikely sci-fi spinoffs, Pixar is swinging for the fences. And that’s not just a reference to their softball series coming in 2023. On the latest Jon In Theory, I explore just about every new Pixar show or movie set to release from now until 2023. And I also do my best to explain where I think Pixar is headed creatively, and how these choices might shape the studio’s legacy forever.

If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my channel and ringing the bell for notifications. That way, you can join in on the live chat and interact with me in real-time. And definitely leave me any questions you might want me to cover on a future live stream.

‘Soul’ Might Be The Last Pixar Film Directed By Pete Docter. Is This For The Best?

Pete Docter has directed some of the most widely celebrated films in Pixar’s history. But now he’s saying he’s done directing. I explore his comments, and why this decision might actually be for the best. Especially when it comes to Pixar’s creative and commercial future as an animation studio.

You can find more of my live streams on my YouTube channel, Jon In Theory. Be sure to subscribe and ring the bell so you can join the live chat. If you missed the stream, please leave any comments you want me to address on a different day. And if you have any topics or questions you want me to cover, let me know when you know. Ya know?

‘Soul’ Theory: Does 22 Become Riley From ‘Inside Out’? (No)

WARNING: Spoilers for Pixar’s Soul

Yesterday, I did a longer stream covering some of the critical backlash to Soul, which you can check out here. And toward the end, someone in the live chat asked me if I think 22 (voiced by Tina Fey in Soul) might’ve become Riley from Inside Out after being born. So today I decided to devote a full live stream to covering this theory, which apparently debuted on Reddit and/or Twitter. I cover some of the arguments being made for the theory, and then dive into the reasons I think this one just doesn’t work at all. Plus, some positive speculation on who 22 could reasonably be tied to down the road.

Toward the end of the stream, I lightly touch on some early thoughts I have about how Soul fits into the overall theory. Plus, I go over the three “types” of fan theories that are out there. Hope you all enjoy this one.

The New Pixar Theory Book – When It’s Coming Out And Why It’s Taking So Long!

I went live on my channel, Jon In Theory, to talk about my next book, the updated version of “The Pixar Theory.” As you can hopefully see from the thumbnail, I also reveal the cover of the book and discuss a rough timetable for when you can get your hands on a copy.

A lot of you have reached out about trying to get a copy of the original book, but as I explain in the video, it is currently out of print. I’m working as hard as I can to get this new version of the book completed and published in due time. So if you’re interested in pre-ordering your copy, please message me or comment below, as I am keeping track of all the requests.

Thanks for your patience, everyone. I’m excited to finally get this new book out into the world.

What Do The Critics (And I) Think of ‘Soul’?

Yup, I’m doing live streams, now. Be sure to check them out so you can join the live chat and leave me some constructive feedback! I had a blast talking about Soul on here, mainly how critics are reacting and my overall review of the film.

The First Trailer For Pixar’s ‘Onward’ Imagines A Magical World Without Magic

I should’ve known Pixar had a few hidden tricks up their sleeve for this one. We’ve known for some time that Onward centers around two elvish brothers on a quest to find some trace of magic left in the world connected to their deceased father, which is a relic of an idea that traces back to director Dan Scanlon’s real life experience of finding an old object containing a memory of his own dad.

Now, we see this “quest” has a few curveballs, as shown in the trailer. Looks like the “magic” object is a staff, and there are some cartoony rules that dictate how and when their dad can actually come back to life. So it’s a blend of Brave and Coco in that respect.

At first glance, this familiarity worries me. How many times have we seen kids in Pixar movies trying to beat a deadline to save their parent, or the other way around? It’s well-worn plotting at this point for the studio, but this is a unique enough setting to keep me interested, plus the two main characters (voiced by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland) have no shortage of charm and chemistry to make this one a proper Pixar feels trip.

onward

The “modern mythological” setting is still a blast to discover and learn new details about, including the gag of pixie bikers harassing the dad corpse. Speaking of which, said corpse is a fun nod to Weekend at Bernie’s, which is one of many references to 80s pop culture in the movie we can connect back to Scanlon’s work on Monsters University. There’s a reason that “Quests of Yore” spell book closely resembles a Dungeons and Dragons manual, which for me is just brilliant world building.

The look, feel, and energy of this movie is just so Monsters University, down to the humor itself. As a lot of you know, I absolutely adore that film despite its baggage as a prequel, so this familiar tone only boosts my expectations for a road trip movie with enough twists and turns to make the latest original story from Pixar a positive step forward for their brand.

Pixar Theory stuff:

  • The voiceover narration says that “in times of old, the world was filled with wonder and magic.” This might squash any early speculation that Onward takes place in the future, post Monsters Inc., but all that said, it’s hard not to notice a lot of similarity in design between some of these characters and “Monsters.” One era Pixar has never really covered is the long stretch of time between WALL-E and Monsters Inc., so take that as you will.
  • The “Visitation Spell” sounds pretty similar to the rules of how the dead can visit the living for “one day” in Coco. And we see the same sort of thing in Brave with how the “wisps” are implied to be spirits of dead ancestors.
  • At minute 1:29, you can just barely spot an ad in the gas station referencing Poultry Palace, a fast food restaurant seen in Toy Story 4 and the Toy Story short “Small Fry.”
  • In the gas station scene that follows, you can clearly see “Triple Dent Gum” being held by the pixie uttering “you got a problem, Shades?” This particular gum brand traces back to Inside Out, of course. Don’t act like you forgot the theme song…
  • At minute 1:38, you can see a formation of rocks that resemble not just Stonehenge, but the rock formation where Merida encounters the wisps for the second time in Brave.
  • The tavern is full of creatures that resemble monsters, as noted before. Worth considering if this movie shows us an early inception of how the monsters came to be, but it’s hard to square that sort of assumption with the movie’s established vibe of European folklore. Plus, we would have to explain those two moons, and writing it off as some sort of alternative universe just seems boring to me.

Did I miss anything? Of course I did. Let me know what stuck out to you in this trailer by commenting below.

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