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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The next film from Monsters, Inc. and Up director Pete Docter is still quite a mystery — we’ve known next to nothing about the plot and characters — hell, we don’t even have a title. The movie is likely meant to occupy one of the two dates that Disney and Pixar have penciled in for the next couple years (November 27, 2013 and May 30, 2014), probably the later date. We’ve heard that  the script is by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) and is about “the formation of ideas.”

That latter point seems pretty spacy, but new comments from Pixar head John Lasseter make things a lot more clear. Read More »

Here’s a mystery for you to ponder today: what is Pixar’s next original project after Brave? Today Disney penciled in a release date — November 27, 2013 — for an original, non-sequel Pixar film. There is no announced title, and no creative team publicly linked to the project. So what is it? Read More »

Tim Burton isn’t the only notable director whose promise showed from early on — we have here a student film by fellow California Institute of the Arts alumnus Pete Docter, titled Winter. Docter, of course, is one of Pixar’s most prominent staff members and is best known for directing Monsters, Inc. and Up. He has also done screenwriting and animation work on Toy Story, Wall-E and various other Pixar films.

In Docter’s short film, a young child gets excited when he notices falling snow, only to find that once he’s gotten into his winter clothes, he’s so bundled up that he’s unable to actually enjoy the snow. At just one minute and 36 seconds, Winter has probably the highest joy to time ratios you’ll encounter all day. Watch it after the jump.

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Pixar's Up vs. Above then Beyond

In 2005, students of the French academy ESRA (Ecole Supérieure de Réalisation Audiovisuelle) started production on a computer animated short film called Above then Beyond. The film was completed a year later. In 2009, Pixar released their tenth computer animated feature film Up. A year later, people have begun to notice the similarities between the two films. Was Pixar inspired by this French short film, or is it all just a coincidence?

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A Letter From Pete Docter

Pete Docter

Have you ever written a famous person a letter and not gotten a response? Yeah, me neither – who has the time, really? But I always find it interesting what kind of people actually response.

A young man named Adam wrote a letter to Pete Docter, director of Pixar’s Monsters Inc and Up, in 2008 asking for a signed photo. He didn’t get a signed photo, but a few months later he did get a response — not just some form letter, but a handwritten two-sided letter, complete with personal doodles from Docter. How cool is that? Check out the full letter, after the jump.

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Monsters Inc

After over a year of speculation, yesterday it was finally officially announced that Pixar is working on a Monsters Inc sequel. Not only that, but Monsters Inc 2 even has a release date: November 16th 2012.But the one thing absent from the announcement was any mention of a writer or director. Who is writing Monsters Inc 2? What is Pete Docter‘s mystery project? We delve into these questions and more, after the jump.

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John Lasseter and Pete Docter
/Film reader Ezequiel G points me towards a video that was recently uploaded to the official Disney/Pixar youtube page. The video is a flashback to 1995, fifteen years ago, as we get to listen and watch a conversation between John Lasseter and Pete Docter as they figure out the how to best bring to life what a character says through their movements for the original Toy Story film.

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