At last, Pixar has revealed its first big marketing materials for Toy Story 4, which includes a brief teaser trailer, several character posters, and more recently a “teaser trailer reaction” video that pokes self-aware fun at the franchise in almost parody form.
From Angela Watercutter at Wired:
Late Tuesday night, after 32 years, Ed Catmull announced he would be retiring at the end of this year. This is not sad news, though—it’s a chance to give Pixar a new future.
I’m late on this news because I was out of town and thus not blogging when the announcement broke (and somewhat silently from what I can tell). I didn’t even here about Catmull’s retirement until a day after everyone else, and I’ve been stewing in my thoughts ever since.
In the cited piece above, Watercutter details how Catmull’s retirement is “an opportunity, not a loss.” And of course, Catmull himself claimed in his 2015 book Creativity Inc. that it was always his goal to leave Pixar with a strong legacy of lasting leadership (hence, Catmull is staying on as advisor through next July). It’s very Pixar-esque to look at a problem as an opportunity, and for now, I share in the optimism painting this upcoming era, but for a very different reason than even I expected.
It’s looking like Pixar is reclaiming its independence from Disney, albeit one promotion/departure at a time.
It’s finally happened. T.J. Wolsos of PixarPost and I have collaborated on a project. Above, you’ll hear our full conversation on all things Pixar, mostly centering around the feeling that the animation studio’s best days are in the past. T.J. and I have a hearty debate and discussion about whether or not this is really true, and if it is, what caused the change (or “evolution” as T.J. aptly points out).
Is Pixar making too many sequels? Did Disney cause all of this? Has Disney animation surpassed Pixar? And what movies are coming next from the Emeryville campus? We answer these questions and tons more, plus we read your tweets and comments to parse out how everyone else feels about the subject. This is one podcast episode you Pixar fans don’t want to miss.
Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (yes, that is the full title) gives us a lot to chew on with its latest trailer. While the earlier teasers focused on the general conceit of a Disney-fied internet, this second official trailer introduces a fully baked story and some actual…ideas.
“Why the president of Pixar doesn’t believe in mission statements” – from Simone Stolzoff at Quartz:
Mission statements get plastered on office walls and then forgotten about, which is why Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, doesn’t believe in them.
At messaging company Slack’s annual summit last week, Catmull told the crowd that Pixar, which he cofounded, doesn’t have a mission statement. “When you come up with a mission statement, you come up with an answer,” Catmull said. “And an answer is the wrong place to start a discussion.”
If you’ve been following the recent controversies surrounding Pixar and its treatment of employees, you have cause to be worried about the future of the animation studio. But the above is a good point for Catmull to make. He explains that any “mission statement” for a business should be an “ongoing dialogue among employees,” as Stolzoff describes it.
Pixar movies aren’t really known for having great plot twists. But there are still a few good ones here and there that we can appreciate.
So which Pixar “plot twist” is the best? This isn’t an easy question to answer, and obviously Pixar fans will spar and disagree over the top 5, let alone the very best. That said, I’ve devised my own rating system for each of Pixar’s most relevant plot twists, and to answer this question for myself, I’m breaking down the Pixar filmography movie by movie to assign these ratings and form my own conclusion accordingly.
Effects Artist Jason Johnston on the process behind Jack Jack’s powers:
“We met with the Art Director, Ralph Eggleston, and he was very specific in that Jack-Jack is the source of the fire, he’s not on fire,” Johnston added. “And what that means is that there’ll be no smoke and no embers ever coming off of him, but things that he has lit on fire can have them.”
Another crucial element: “We also don’t want it to be scary.”