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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US Postal Service To Release Pixar Stamps in 2011

The United States Postal Service announced today that they will release a series of Pixar image stamps in 2011.

Based on that success, the Postal Service was eager to work with the Walt Disney Company again, choosing to explore the Disney*Pixar films, which offer exciting, contemporary characters and strong themes involving family and friends. This pane of 20 stamps includes five different designs featuring Pixar characters: Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars (2006); Remy the rat and Linguini from Ratatouille (2007); Buzz Lightyear and two of the green, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story (1995); Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Up (2009); and the robot WALL*E from WALL*E (2008). Since the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was introduced in 2001, all seven Pixar films released since that time have been nominated and five of the seven have won, including Ratatouille, WALL*E and Up.

I’ll need to buy some of these for my rare snail mail usage. The 2011 Disney/Pixar Send a Hello stamps will be released on August 19th 2011.

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Pixar has already returned to the money-regurgitating well twice now with 3D re-releases of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, which returned to theaters simultaneously last year. Now it appears as though other entries from Pixar’s library may be getting a similar treatment, according to a recent interview with the studio’s stereoscopic (3D) imaging supervisor, Bob Whitehill.

Ratatouille is the current contender being taken into consideration, and apparently director Brad Bird is open to the process. More info after the break. Read More »

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Chilean-based graphic designer Juan Pablo Bravo put together an awesome infographic showing “100 pixar characters” with their estimated sizes. While it is not perfect (For example, I think Flick from A Bug’s Life is a few times bigger than a normal ant), the graphic gives you a good idea of how most of the Pixar characters measure up.

Bravo created this piece of awesomeness without the help/assistance/encouragement of Pixar, as a personal exercise. It features characters from all of Pixar’s productions — both the short films and the feature films. It even features some of the new toys from the yet-to-be-released Toy Story 3. Check out the full poster after the jump. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Yesterday, CBS News aired a segment on an “ongoing blogger debate” over the representation of black people and negative stereotypes in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. Of course, after previous and longer segments on the failing economy and Air France, even the way in which Katie Couric mentioned “bloggers” carried a decidedly trivial tone connoting birds-on-a-wire. Snob. However, given that hardly anyone has seen a near-complete version of the fourth-quarter film, I have to agree that any “chirped” anger, feigned or genuine, is premature. Also: the world is mad, get over it.

But heated discussions about Disney’s movies, especially in this case, do have precedent: clips from the studio’s infamous 1946 film, Song of the South, are forever available to support and fan the issues of political correctness. Moreover, theories about sociological, hidden and subliminal messages in Disney films and characters are so prevailing that I have enjoyed intriguing classes on the very subject in junior high (for free) and at university (for a repossessed Porsche).

Which brings me to Disney’s Pixar, where animated films are made to awe kids and—and arguably more-so—adults. Feted, beloved, and at times “progressive” as it may be, Pixar is not immune to similarly “bloggy” issues regarding political correctness; a debate over the absence of female lead characters in their films began earlier this year and remains a valid and popular talking point.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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Does Pixar have a gender problem? A blog called Vast Public Indifference thinks so, claiming that the Emmeryville computer animation studio doesn’t have any good women characters as the central protagonists in their stories. Caitlin GD Hopkins claims that most of Pixar’s female characters are “helpers, love interests, and moral compasses to the male characters whose problems, feelings, and desires drive the narratives.” I highly recommend reading Hopkins’ rant as she examines each and every Pixar film, one by one, even taking a look at the studio’s future projects.

Does Pixar have a problem with creating strong female protagonists? I’m a Pixar fanatic and this is a question that has never even occured to me. I would like to think that Hellen/Elasticgirl and Violet were well rounded female characters in Brad Bird’s The Incredibles, and you could argue that WALL-E‘s EVE is both smart and strong. While she is the romantic love interest of the film’s title robot, EVE is a driving force within the story, many levels above Dory from Finding Nemo or Ratatouille‘s only female lead, Colette.

But I do see the point — why does Remy have to be a male rat anyways? Or as someone quickly pointed out in the comments, would that then open the argument up to perpetuating a stereotype by making a female the one who is good at cooking. It might have been more interesting if Linguini was a woman.  Heck, even Colette said that it’s harder for a female to make it in the kitchen.

Discuss: Does Pixar Have a Problem Creating Good Female Characters?

via: Kottke

The Incredibles 1.5 Comes to Comic Books

For me, The Incredibles is the most worthy Pixar film deserving of the sequel treatment. But for one reason or another, Pixar would rather make Cars 2 (boo) and another Toy Story film (which to be fair, could be good… but seems unnecessary) . Instead, The Incredibles sequel (which is being referred to by writer Mark Waid as “Incredibles 1.5”) is being wasted as a comic book series, which will begin to hit comic book store shelves in April. Waid reveals to MTV that the story will take place shortly after the events of the original Brad Bird film, and the first four-issue arc will tell the story of Mr. Incredible, whose powers are begining to fade. Basically, he’s getting older, and he doesn’t want to tell his family or go to the doctor.

Six issues have been written, Darwyn Cooke is doing the cover art, but no artist has been hired yet for the actual inside art. Apparently the plan is to launch other Pixar franchises as monthly comic book series. Toy Story is next, with eventual plans to have six different titles released per month. I’m guessing the line-up will be: The Incredibles, Toy Story, Monster’s Inc, WALL-E, Finding Nemo and Cars As much as I’m actually looking forward to these comics, I’d disappointed that Disney won’t take The Incredibles to the big screen one more time. The storyline in the comic book seems perfect for a sequel. It also seems like they are attracting big name comic talent to provide the art for the books. I’d much rather see some of the in house Pixar arts provide something more unique, rather than the same old comic book style art.

Animatronic Remy The Rat

The Pitch: This life-size animatronic Remy the rat from Pixar’s Ratatouille is used to attract guests to enter a restaurant in Disneyland Paris’ Disney Studios park. Check out another video after the jump.

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