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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It’s only fair, I suppose, that if we run articles trumpeting the fact that other Pixar movies have achieved some form of massively positive consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, that when the company finally releases one that falls far short of the same margin, it would be worth noting. So this weekend will stand as a milestone in the history of Pixar, as Cars 2 opens to the first generally negative consensus opinion in the company’s experience. Read More »

When audiences see Luxo Jr. hop across the screen at the beginning of Pixar movie, we expect pure magic every time out. That’s because the pioneering computer animation company has set the bar incredibly high, consistently making some of the best animated films ever. Talk about pressure. Cars 2 is the latest film to be held to that standard and it actually makes the grade. Just barely. The film forgoes the emotional complexity of Pixar’s previous work and distinguishes itself by going the other way. It’s their first mindless action film. Think Pixar does a James Bond sequel.

If Cars 2 was a live-action film with humans, it might be another studio’s best film of the year. But since it’s Pixar, it places near the bottom of their impressive list. Still, it’s my opinion that a slightly sub par Pixar movie is like a piece of perfection compared to everything else. Such is Cars 2. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

If you saw the above image and thought John Lasseter and Steven Spielberg were going to co-direct Scream 5, sorry to get your hopes up. It just so happens each has a bit of news involving the long standing champion in the battle of apathetic filmmaking, the sequel. Sequel Bits won’t be a daily occurrence (like the week old Superhero Bits) but sometimes, when there’s some interesting sequel news that might not deserve its own article, it’s easiest just to round it up. So, after the jump read about:

  • How John Lasseter directed scenes from Cars 2 on an iPad
  • The Weinstein Company setting release dates for Scary Movie 5 and Halloween 3D
  • Tyrese Gibson‘s hilarious notion Steven Spielberg would direct a Transformers 4

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We all have our collections. For me it’s pop culture themed art prints, for Quentin Tarantino it’s film prints and for John Lasseter it’s Hawaiian prints. On shirts. We’ve all seen the Pixar Creative Chief do interviews in what has become his patented Hawaiian shirt and it seems like he’s always wearing a new one. He probably is. The San Francisco Chronicle recently did an interview with Lasseter about Cars 2 and he was gracious enough to give a tour of his house, which included his closet and 374 Hawaiian shirts, all of which are in the current rotation. That’s more shirts than are days of the year. But that’s not even half of it. Read More »

‘Cars 2′ Trailer #4

Just on the off chance that you’d overlooked the fact that a sequel to Cars is being released this summer, Disney and Pixar have released another full-length trailer (after a unleashing a legion of clips and TV spots) for Cars 2. The Disney/Pixar channel on YouTube calls this trailer #4, and who am I to argue? There is some new footage here, and the trailer is cut well, but at this point either you’re on board for Cars 2 or you’re not. If by some chance you’re new to the fact that the film exists, hit the break for the new trailer, or check it out if you can’t wait for the film to open on June 24. Read More »