If you don’t have plans for the next couple of summers yet, you may be tempted to take some theme park trips after you read this post. After the jump:

  • Disneyland Paris will get a Ratatouille attraction in 2014
  • Check out the first model image from Shanghai Disneyland
  • Disney’s Imagineers will be the subject of a new documentary
  • Universal Florida‘s Transformers ride prepares for its launch
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem opens in Hollywood next year
  • Stephen Chow is making a Journey to the West-themed park

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I’ll read anything by Tim Ferriss — The bestselling author of the Four Hour series of books (Workweek, Body, and now, The 4-Hour Chef) is part genius, yet equal part mad man. In his books, Ferriss explains how to hack your life to happiness by accomplishing more with less work. Some of his insane theories have changed the way I live my everyday life, while some of the others are much less practical (but still a fun to read about).

His latest book, The 4-Hour Chef, is probably my least favorite of his trilogy, focusing on cooking (something I’m not great at and have very little interest in). But the book tries to tackle more than cooking, promising to teach how to become world-class in any skill in record time. This is the area that interested me the most, and these chapters alone make the book worth buying (and for those of you who own a tablet, the Kindle download version is less than $5).

To help promote the release of The 4-Hour Chef, Tim offered to let us publish an excerpt from the book featuring his favorite cooking-related movies and television shows. Read that short excerpt after the jump.

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Pixar films ranked

The release of Inside Out is an invitation to revisit all the films from Pixar, going back to the studio’s 1995 debut Toy Story. That movie changed the landscape of feature animation with stunning immediacy; after Pixar hit the scene nothing was the same. The twenty years since have given us a total of fifteen animated films from the studio, and we can’t resist the urge to do a little comparison between them. Read our own Pixar ranking, below.
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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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Even as we dive into the heart of the summer movie season, some of the most promising imminent releases could be titles that aren’t new at all. Pixar is re-releasing four of its recent hits — Toy Story 3, Ratatouille, Up, and Wall-E — into AMC theaters for four days over Memorial Day weekend, from May 25 through May 28. The films will be be up against the horror Chernobyl Diaries and the sci-fi sequel Men in Black 3. Yeah, given those options, I may just opt to revisit one of the Pixar classics too.

Especially since tickets will be going for as low as $6 each. Considering that regular screenings generally cost twice that in my area, that’s quite the bargain. Further sweetening the deal, each screening will also include a classic Pixar short and a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at Pixar’s next project, Brave. Head to the AMC website for more info on locations, pricing, and showtimes.

And speaking of Brave, hit the jump for details on its world premiere, which will coincide with the debut of Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

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Going to big conventions is a lot of fun until a few days later and you hear what you missed. Recently, this happened at Comic Con when I heard what happened at the Lost panel. Speaking of Lost, that show’s composer, Michael Giacchino, apparently had an amazing panel at the D23 Expo. Which we missed. Giacchino’s panel, The Music of Pixar, unfortunately ran up against Disney’s epic movie panel but, thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can now all watch the Oscar-winning composer talk about his inspiration, and music for, the Pixar films The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up and Cars 2. We’ve got the full panel embedded after the jump. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

VOTD: ‘[the films of] Pixar Animation Studios’

For the past seven months, Kees van Dijkhuizen‘s been releasing tribute videos for his yearlong “[the films of]” project, each showcasing the work of a different director via a montage, and we at /Film have been with him since the beginning. For his newest installment, however, van Dijkhuizen chose to go a slightly different route: Rather than select one auteur to focus on, he’s chosen an entire company. Watch “[the films of] Pixar Animation Studios” after the jump.

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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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/Film reader Derek Stettler has compiled a video titled “Reel Wisdom: Lessons from 40 Films in 7 Minutes,” which does just what it claims. Here is more from the editor:

I made this video because I love films and I think there is great wisdom inherent in the film medium. This video represents some of the best wisdom from films, edited together as a single coherent piece of advice on everything from life, death, and purpose, to anger, regret, and destiny. In creating this video, I tried to feature a broad array of films, from action/adventure and sci-fi films, to dramas and traditional/CG animated films in order to show how all genres of film have something important to say.

Watch the video embedded after the jump.

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