Billy Crystal Screen Test for Toy Story

Whenever Pixar Animation has a strong desire for an actor to lend their voice to a certain character, they like to take dialogue from one of their performances and create animation to illustrate what the character would be like with their voice. This was especially true when Pixar was looking to make Toy Story their first feature film, and they had to show actors just what the movie was going to be like with their voice attached to it.

Even though Tom Hanks and Tim Allen ended up landing the roles of the cowboy doll Woody and the space ranger action figure Buzz Lightyear, Pixar had someone else in mind for the latter role, and it would have changed the character dynamic between the two characters severely. Believe it or not, Billy Crystal was the first choice to voice Buzz Lightyear, and Pixar wanted him for the role so badly that they animated Buzz Lightyear along with dialogue from When Harry Met Sally.

Watch the Toy Story screen test with Billy Crystal after the jump. Read More »

When Harry Met Sally Video Essay

Romantic comedies where a man and a woman who are at odds eventually fall in love are a dime a dozen. That’s a story that has been kicked around Hollywood for decades, but audiences keep eating it up. More often than not, nothing new is brought to the table in these movies, but in the case of When Harry Met Sally in 1989, director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron crafted a romantic comedy that adhered to the conventions of the genre but also played with them in a new way.

A new video essay from the Lessons from a Screenplay YouTube channel breaks down how When Harry Met Sally succeeds where many romantic comedies fail, proving why the film is one of the most highly respected, praised and imitated in the genre. Watch the When Harry Met Sally video essay below. Read More »

Billy Crystal Muhammad Ali Eulogy

Last weekend brought the sad news that boxing icon Muhammad Ali had passed away at 74 years old. Yesterday the memorial service, which was open to the public, was held in Louisville, Kentucky and lasted hours. Speakers such as President Bill Clinton and sports reporter Bryant Gumbel spoke at the event along with a statement from President Barack Obama read by White House adviser Valeria Jarrett.

However, if you’re only going to watch one eulogy from the memorial, it should be the tribute from comedian Billy Crystal. For those who don’t know, the City Slickers star and sports fan got his big television break while appearing at an event in 1974 honoring Muhammad Ali. During his speech, Crystal did an impression of Ali being interviewed by ABC sportscaster Howard Cosell, and after that, the comedian and boxer became friends who were close for the rest of their lives.

Watch the Billy Crystal Muhammad Ali eulogy below. Read More »

Labyrinth sequel

The Jim Henson Company is moving forward with an animated adaptation of Eva Ibbotson‘s 1979 book Which Witch?, with Billy Crystal co-writing and set to play a role. But that’s not the bit you might be excited to read about. The bit that could get your attention is that, along with that film, The Jim Henson Company is also developing a slate of films tied to properties you might be more invested in already. The big one is that a Labyrinth sequel is in development at the company.

Update: Another source says the Labyrinth sequel talk is over-inflated, and not to expect anything to come of it.

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Robin Williams Emmys tribute

The 2014 Emmy Awards were full of emotional moments for TV makers and their fans alike, but the part that had everyone blinking back tears was when Billy Crystal took the stage to honor his departed friend Robin Williams.

“He made us laugh. Hard,” Crystal began. He then launched into a somber reflection on what made Williams “the brightest star in a comedy galaxy,” sharing a couple of funny anecdotes along the way. Watch Crystal’s full Robin Williams Emmys tribute after the jump.

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Monsters University short Party Central

A dozen years passed between Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University, but Disney/Pixar isn’t waiting nearly that long to bring the dynamic duo of Mike and Sulley back again. The Monsters University short Party Central is due to be released in theaters with Muppets Most Wanted later this month, and today we have a new clip featuring the Oozma Kappa brothers getting a bit devious. Watch it after the jump.

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Galifianakis Hangover

FX has landed some major comedic star power for a bunch of new pilots. Billy Crystal has a show called The Comedian, Tracy Morgan has a show called Death Pact, Denis Leary has a show called Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and that’s not the half of it.

There are 12 new pilots in total and the two most exciting might be a new show created by and starring Zach Galifianakis, which will be co-produced and co-written by Louis C.K. It’s the first show in C.K.’s new deal. Then, Oscar-winning writer Charlie Kaufman‘s new show How and Why has cast John Hawkes and Michael Cera in key roles. Read More »

Monsters University

The completed Monsters University hit theaters this summer, but now director Dan Scanlon is back to earn some extra credit with two new deleted scenes. The clips were released as promotion for the film’s home video release, which will hit in time for Halloween.

The first offers a better look at the Monsters University campus and curriculum, including a lesson on gathering information about kid targets. The second shows Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal) and Sulley (voiced by John Goodman) butting heads yet again, this time in the context of a drama course. Hit the jump to check them out.

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Monsters University Bunk

Pixar’s favorite monsters, Mike and Sulley, return to the big screen this weekend as the excellent Monsters University has finally been released. To mark the occasion, College Humor has imagined the moment when Pixar first revealed the younger versions of the characters to their voices, John Goodman and Billy Crystal. The results are hilarious. Read More »

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Monsters University versus

Monsters University features all the entertainment and heart you’ve come to expect from Pixar, and then some. We meet Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) during their college years, as the company’s first prequel is set years before the events of 2001’s Monsters Inc.

Director Dan Scanlon turns that simple story idea into a great, fast paced college comedy with an intriguing blend of emotional highs and lows. Every single character and moment is played to near perfect effect, leaving the audience dumbfounded at how the movie constantly keeps raising the bar. Just when you think it can’t get better, it does, and you’ll leave the theater fulfilled, but also wildly surprised at where Pixar goes this time around.

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