Woody and Buzz are arguably two of the most popular characters Disney has created in decades. They’re friendly, they’re funny, they’re leaders and models of good behavior. Except, of course, when some crazy person them mods them into the world of Grand Theft Auto.

What follows isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s a strong possibility that seeing the stars of Toy Story blowing up police cars and shooting guns all with a terrifying smile on their face, could really screw you up. Or it’ll make you laugh. Check it out below. Read More »

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Real toys influenced the creation of Pixar’s debut feature, Toy Story, which led to a marketing bonanza of additional toys based on the characters in the movie. Now a couple of young guys have used those toys to create a live-action stop-motion remake of Toy Story, and the result is pretty endearing.

The Live Action Toy Story Project is the latest example of fans recreating their favorite movie property, but the unique nature of this one sets it apart slightly. For one, the fact that the main characters are all inanimate objects means that this remake can use the audio for the original film. That inks this recreation more closely to the original than most fan remakes. And the stop-motion and puppetry used to create most of the film is clearly the work of people new to the craft, but pretty charming because of the basic tricks used to make the scenes work.

Watch the full-length Toy Story remake below. Read More »

Seems like NASA is going to infinity and beyond with their latest space suits. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration just revealed a new prototype space suit, called the Z-1, and it bears a striking resemblance to the one worn by everyone’s favorite Space Ranger, Buzz Lightyear from Pixar’s Toy Story series. Check out the image below. Read More »

The latest Toy Story short, Partysaurus Rex, premiered recently in front of the 3D re-release of Finding Nemo, and just showed up on television this week, thanks to the Disney Channel. The short gives Rex the dinosaur a brief starring role, as he turns into an unlikely party maven when left alone with a new group of toys. Now you can watch the short online. Read More »

The Toy Story franchise may be done with feature films (for now), but Pixar has ensured that their mega-successful series lives on in other ways. Like on the small screen, for example. Rex (Wallace Shawn) got his day in the sun last month with the short Partysaurus Rex, which premiered in front of last month’s Finding Nemo 3D rerelease and is slated to make its television debut tonight. In addition, it now looks like the gang will reunite again for Toy Story of Terror, a TV special due out next year. Read more about both titles after the jump.

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Rex the dinosaur gets to be the star, at last, of Pixar’s upcoming Toy Story short Partysaurus Rex, which debuts in front of Finding Nemo 3D on September 14. The short sees Rex, in the home of new owner Bonnie (as per the end of Toy Story 3) coming in to his own during and after bath time. That’s part of one first look, above, and there’s another rave-tastic image below. Read More »

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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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Brave Logo Art

This weekend saw the release of Pixar’s latest film, Brave, a movie that easily won the weekend, garnering an overall “A” CinemaScore from appreciative audiences. Still, at only 74 percent on RottenTomatoes (Pixar’s second worst), and a 7 out of 10 from Germain Lussier, it is clear there is a bit of room for dissent.

Out there in audience-land, did you notice something a little “off” about Brave? Perhaps there are lessons that can be learned, or conversations to engage in?

To provide some context, and on the off chance we have completely different taste, here are my top five Pixar efforts:

1. WALL-E
2. Up
3. Toy Story
4. Finding Nemo
5. Monsters, Inc.

Until now, the only Pixar film I flat out didn’t enjoy was Ratatouille, though I admit to only having seen it once, and folks say I’d like it much more if I were to re-visit. Even Cars 2 had redeeming qualities. I can truly say I’ve never found a Pixar film entirely lacking, and that statement includes Brave. There’s no question the film had amazing visuals, setting a new standard for excellence within the animation genre. Unfortunately, the story lacked a bit of … what’s the word I’m looking for? Ooomph. As such, I’m compelled to break down where I feel the problems were, if only to restore everyone’s favorite animation house to the glory they so richly deserve.

One final note, just to head off the obligatory “comparing Brave to the rest of Pixar’s work isn’t entirely fair” argument, we’re in complete agreement there. It’s not fair, and in many ways Pixar’s own ambition and commitment to excellence have raised the bar for all movies. So no, Brave isn’t a bad movie on merit, it’s merely an average one, which animation houses make all the time without compelling anyone to write a 3,000 word article on the subject. But within the greater context of Pixar’s previous work, Brave does come up short, and I think we’ve got a bead on the reasons why.

Note: Massive SPOILERS follow, naturally.

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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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