In the Summer of 1994, while deep in production on their first feature film Toy Story, the key Pixar creatives (including John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Joe Ranft) had a now famous lunch in a diner called Hidden City Cafe in Point Richmond. During this lunch meeting they ended up brainstorming the ideas that eventually became the films A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and WALL-E. The story has become mythical, a part of film animation legend and a cornerstone moment in Pixar’s history. It was even featured in the teaser trailer for Andrew Stanton‘s WALL-E.

Sadly, the cafe has closed its doors after over 20 years of service, with unconfirmed reports that it was shut down for rats (Ratatouille anyone?).
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For Disney and Pixar fans, if there’s one person they’d love to talk to about future projects, it’s John Lasseter. The Chief Creative Officer has his finger in everything at both companies, offering his helpful criticism and suggestions to even the smallest projects. Of course, he’s now out stumping for Brave, Pixar’s latest film, but as is usually the case, reporters can’t resist asking about other upcoming projects.

We currently know of four Pixar films in development: Monsters University, The Good Dinosaur and then untitled films about the human mind and Día de los Muertos. In a new interview, Lasseter himself offered detailed pitches on The Good Dinosaur and the human mind film, directed by Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, respectively.

In other Pixar news, two new Toy Story TV specials will reportedly air in 2013 and 2014 and three more Toy Story Toons are on the way. Read about this all below. Read More »

Disney/Marvel

When it was announced in 2009 that Disney had purchased Marvel, many wondered if the mouse house would adapt any of the superhero stories into animated features. When the deal was announced, CEO Bob Iger mentioned that they “talked about this internally” and that Pixar head John Lasseter had already “talked to the Marvel guys” about possibilities “and they all got excited about it.” Nothing was announced, but Iger concluded saying “We think there’s ultimately some exciting product that come of that. Sparks will fly!”

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After years of development, Disney’s The Snow Queen adaptation looked to be dead once more when it was shelved back in 2010. But late last year, the project came roaring back to life under a new title, Frozen, and now the studio’s wasting no time putting the pieces together. Kristen Bell has just been announced for the lead role of the film, a 3D computer-animated feature due out late next year from Tarzan and Surf’s Up helmer Chris Buck. More details after the jump.

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Q&A: How Does A Pixar Short Film Get Made?

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about how Pixar develops and produces their feature animated films, but we’ve learned very little about how the beloved short films get created. So I decided it was time we find out. I shot a message over to Enrico Casarosa, the director of Pixar’s next short film La Luna, who was happy to shed some light on the process.  “How Does A Pixar Short Film Get Made?” Find out, after the jump.
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Poor Mater and McQueen: After a 35% Rotten Tomatoes score gave Cars 2 the unhappy distinction of becoming the worst-reviewed Pixar movie of all time, it is now tracking to earn Pixar’s lowest domestic gross since 1998′s A Bug’s Life. Read on after the jump.

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Last month, Tom Hanks let it slip that Pixar is currently devleoping another sequel in the Toy Story franchise. At the time we chalked it up to the fact that the Toy Story stars have signed options for further sequels, and maybe Hanks didn’t know what he was talking about (I mean, the door is always open, right?). Well John Lasseter was in the UK promoting Pixar’s latest movie Cars 2, when BBC hosts decided to ask him if there was any truth to Hanks’ claims. Lasseter didn’t seem to want to answer the question. Watch him squirm and try to dodge the question in the video embedded after the jump.
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Walt Disney Animation Studios has released a 25 minute documentary titled A Day in the Life of John Lasseter, which follows Pixar Animation Studios as Chief Creative Officer and director of Cars 2 from the moment he wakes up through the end of his work day. The documentary short was shot on March 23rd 2011, at the tail end of production on Cars 2. John is prepping a footage presentation which would be shown a month later at the movie theatre owner convention CinemaCon, approving shots on an iPad, and finding a creative solution which would allow the removal of the word “radiation” from the film due to the then recent incident in Japan. We also get to see John’s Emeryville office, and a glimpse inside his Sonoma Valley house (complete with hidden passageways). Watch the documentary now embedded after the jump.
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