Pixar theory

The films of Pixar seem as if they are primarily separate stories. (With the exception of the obvious relationship between sequels.) One theory, however, posits an elaborate timeline in which the advanced technology seen in Wall-E is developed over the course of hundreds of years, with a starting point seen in Up and the Toy Story films, and which explains the stars of Cars and the ever-evolving intelligence of animals. And Boo, the young heroine of Monsters Inc., has a surprising role in the whole cycle. Watch the Pixar Theory video below. Read More »

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The Man Who Named Pixar Quietly Retired Last Week

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We know so many of the names connected to the birth of Pixar: George Lucas, Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter, for starters. But the man who actually named the company is largely unknown. His name is Loren Carpenter, and he’s worked on virtually every Pixar film in some capacity, all the way from Toy Story to last year’s Monsters University. Carpenter, however, reportedly retired from the company last week at the age of 66. Read More »

Pixar Canada Has Been Closed

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Briefly: Bad news for those hoping to see more shorts developed out of Pixar’s office in Vancouver. The three-year old animation studio offshoot was closed today, as Pixar decided to concentrate all resources in its main branch, in Emeryville, CA. A Disney rep told The Province, “A decision was made to refocus operations and  resources under the one roof. Staff were just told today. Not great news, obviously. It was just a refocussing of efforts and resources to the one facility.” Read More »

Ranking the Best & Worst Pixar Movies

How is it that a movie studio that produces kid’s films can be responsible for so many of the best films in cinema?

Twenty years ago, that question would be directed at Disney. Now it’s more likely to refer to Pixar, Studio Ghibli, or even Dreamworks of late. What is it about children’s entertainment that has, time and time again, managed to capture the hearts and minds of adults as much as it has their offspring?

Perhaps it’s a result of these films rekindling our lost sense of childlike wonder and naively adventurous spirit. Perhaps it’s their universally accessible narrative simplicity, always ready to charm away our worries with the awe-inspiring visual splendor through which these tales are so often told.

Whatever the case may be, with thirteen films under their belt, the Pixar formula is one that’s proven itself to leave a lasting impression, transporting us to spectacular, gorgeously rendered and thoughtfully defined worlds — second only to the passionately heartfelt and funny stories of family and friendship embedded within.

What’s more, Pixar is able to achieve this mixture while emboldening children to think for themselves; to challenge the status quo; to recognize their true potential, as well as their limitations. As fun and charming and pretty as Pixar’s films are, it’s the complex ideas and emotions they explore that makes them truly special, affording youths the opportunity to confront the realities of the world around them in a way they can understand and cope with. While everyone else is content to pander to kids, Pixar knows that the best way to communicate with children is to treat them as equals.

But equality is not a trait shared by the current roster of Pixar films. Despite the technical virtuosity on full display with every production, it takes a lot more than stunning animation to make a film great, and that’s not a balance that Pixar always strikes — at least not recently. At one point it may have seemed like the studio could do no wrong, but that was a short-lived romantic notion, and hardly one that merits much deliberation. No, far more instructive would be to scrutinize their missteps in conjunction with their successes, and try to determine what exactly it is that makes any one of their works richer than the other. After all, what better way to understand what makes a story great than to study the best? Read More »

This one is going to be short and sweet. After the jump you can link to Pale Designs, the blog of Jess Fong who has created a gorgeous Pixar themed wallpaper for your iPhone home screen. Check it out below. Read More »

When Steve Jobs died in October of last year, it was a blow to us all. The loss was felt especially hard at Pixar, the successful film company he helped not only create, but isolate from the Hollywood machine. John Carter, directed by one of Pixar’s most prolific directors, Andrew Stanton, comes out next week and though it’s not Pixar, the film is dedicated to the memory of the legendary businessman and inventor. During the credits, a card says:

Dedicated to the Memory of Steve Jobs, an Inspiration to Us All

At a recent press junket, Stanton was asked why he decided to dedicated Carter to Jobs and his answer was both logisically sound and beautifully poignant. Read it after the jump. Read More »

VOTD: ‘25 Years of Pixar’

We’ve featured a handful of director montages here on /Film recently, and while this “25 Years of Pixar” compilation isn’t quite that, it’s actually pretty similar. In terms of look, tone, and quality, I’d say Pixar is as consistent as many directors.

For the video, NkMcDonalds pulled scenes from works spanning over decades — from ’80s shorts to this year’s Cars 2. If you like Pixar as much as I do, it’ll definitely make you smile and it might even make you tear up a little tiny bit. Watch it after the jump.

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If you collect toys and love Pixar, then these videos will start as exciting and turn into depressing. It shows a wing at Pixar Animation Studios that specializes in 3D printing. Basically, employees can take a frame from any of the Pixar movies and, through specialized printers, output a picture perfect, plaster, 3D model of a character or object from a movie.

While toy companies who deal in Pixar materials can certainly make merchandise that looks like it’s from the movie, these machines make models that are precisely from the movie. Which is incredible. But the fact that I can’t have the little alien in the video – that exact one – on my desk right now, or ever, is upsetting. Watch at your own risk, and find out exactly what these models are used for, after the jump. Read More »

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