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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The Original Pitch For Monsters Inc.


One of the many things that sets Pixar apart from other animation studios (less so Disney these days, you might imagine) is their dedication to nurture and cultivation. This applies both to the talent, the animators and directors, but also to their projects. As such, many of their films begin with a pitch that’s rather different than the film we finally end up with in cinemas.

On the recent publicity rounds to support Up, Pete Docter was given a chance to recount his original pitch for Monsters Inc. You can read a transcript of what he said after the break.

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Monsters Inc

A Monsters Inc sequel has been rumored to be in the works for the last couple years. But that might not be the case after-all.. or atleast not with writer/director Pete Docter at the helm. When talking to New York Magazine about Up, Docter let it slip that he is already working on his next project:

“I’m mostly focused on the next film that I have in development already,” said Docter. “That one I just started. We finished Up, I took some time off, spent some time in Europe and Japan doing publicity over there, so I’ve only been on this for like a couple weeks.”

When asked if this project was the rumored Monsters Inc 2, Docter replied “I’m not working on … I’m working on something else, but I cannot announce what it is.” He confirmed that the project would probably be ready fr the big screen in 2013 or 2014. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a Monsters, Inc sequel isn’t in development, it just means that he’s actively involved in “something else.” Anyone have any ideas what this project might be? E-mail me anonymously.

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The Up Subplot That Didn’t Make The Cut

pixar up egg

According to an interview at MTV, Pixar‘s Up was originally an even more overt adventure movie, as a subplot featured Carl Fredricksen protecting a giant egg (laid by the bird Kevin) that is believed to be a sort of fountain of youth. The fact that a subplot was dropped from the film isn’t a big deal, as it happens all the time in many films of all types during development, but this detail provides an interesting glimpse into the film as it was originally conceived. Read More »

Pixar Confirms Monsters Inc Sequel?

Monsters Inc

At the licensing fair in Las Vegas, Disney/Pixar revealed to buyers behind closed doors that they have yet another sequel in the works. Despite what Brad Bird said on stage at WonderCon two years ago, Pixar is now in the sequel business. Cars 2, Toy Story 3, and now Monsters Inc 2. According to Jim Hill, buyers who attended these limited preview sessions were sworn to secrecy by Disney officials, but several have confirmed that Pete Docter will be following up Up with a sequel to Monsters, Inc.
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The Art of Up

For every Pixar movie, a color script is created, which is essentially an at a glance look at the color keys and tones for the entire film. A color script gives you a good look at how the color arcs in a film relate to the story. Lou Romano created the color script for Pete Docter‘s Up, which you can see after the jump. As a color script is an overview of the entire movie, be warned that it not only contains spoilers, but is a giant spoiler.

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