Cool Stuff: U-Command Wall-E Remote Control Toy

U Command Wall-E Remote Control

More than almost any Disney character in recent memory, everyone wants a Wall-E. He’s cute, he’s got personality, he’s helpful and he cleans up after you. What could be better than that?

Unfortunately, we’ll never own an actual Wall-E because they don’t exist. He’s a figment of the imagination of director Andrew Stanton and hundreds of other talented people at Pixar. There are some cool Wall-E toys though, and fans have even taken it upon themselves to build ultra-realistic versions of the robot.

Disney has now done something right in the middle, releasing a “U-Command” Wall-E, which is remote controlled by an infrared waves. It has all kinds of articulations in the hands, face, voice controls and more. Check out the U-Command Wall-E Remote Control video below. Read More »

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There’s been many a fan-made LEGO Wall-E, but none created by one of the people who worked on the film. Angus MacLane has been working for Pixar for years — he’s credited as animator on many of the company’s films, going back to Geri’s Game and A Bug’s Life. He directed recent short works such as Small Fry and the great Toy Story of Terror! special. And he’s a LEGO enthusiast, who has submitted his own Wall-E design for review through LEGO Cuusoo.

(For those unfamiliar with the LEGO Cuusoo process, designers can submit plans and models for potential LEGO sets, and those scoring 10,000 votes are reviewed quarterly by the company, with the potential for one to be picked to market as an actual product. That’s how the Back to the Future DeLorean came to be on shelves.)

Check out MacLane’s design below, with a link to his Cuusoo page to vote.  Read More »

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Michael McMaster from Bakersfield California decided to try to build a working life-size replica of Pixar’s WALL-E. McMaster belonged to the R2D2 Builders Club and decided to try to test his skills to recreate that other robot voiced by Ben Burtt. Since Star Wars was a live-action film, the R2 builders have a ton of real life prop and blueprint references to work off of. But WALL-E exists only in the computer, so they needed to create a design out of screen-grabs and various pieces of concept art that had been released by Pixar. The resulting remote controlled robot took five years to complete (or, so far — he’s still “working” on improving the robot). Watch a video of WALL-E in action after the jump.

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For all the hate, garbage and stupidity the Internet brings us on a daily basis, every once in a while it provides a global platform for something awesome. In this case, Jon Negroni‘s Pixar Theory. Negroni wrote a post that has been circulating since last week which goes through every single Pixar movie since Toy Story and surmises they’re all set in the same universe.

So, for example, the theory states Brave sets a precedent for why animals can interact with humans, which explains a lot of Ratatouille, which maybe inspired the characters in Up to invent tech to communicate with their animals, which possibly inspired the beginnings of Buy-N-Large from Wall-E, and so on and so on. It’s obviously much more detailed than that and I totally don’t believe it’s “real,” from Pixar’s perspective, but it’s a fun read that does make some sense.

Below, we’ll link to the original post and even show you a video that details it. Read More »

Many who watched the trailer for Joseph Kosinski‘s upcoming sci-fi film Oblivion might have had the same lingering question. “Haven’t we seen this movie before?” The aesthetic is certainly similar, but many sci-fi films are. It’s the story that rings a bell. A lone wolf, cleaning up a desolate Earth after the planet was destroyed. Hmm. Wait a minute, it’s the same thing as Wall-E!

Andrew Stanton’s Oscar-winning 2008 Pixar film seems to share a very similar DNA with the upcoming Tom Cruise action film, and YouTube user Giant Mimosas took the visuals from the former and audio of the latter creating an eerily perfect mash-up that’s both funny and clever. Check it out below. Read More »

VOTD: Pixar Fan Builds Real Life WALL-E Robot

Going by Pixar’s timeline, we’ve got about 800 years until WALL-E is a reality. Thanks to California resident Mike Senna, we’re a tad ahead of schedule. Senna spent the last two years building a life size, working WALL-E that has to be seen to be believed. Since actual materials, decals and parts from WALL-E don’t exist, he was forced to build the entire thing from scratch and the results would likely make everyone from John Lasseter to Andrew Stanton proud. Check out the video and more after the jump. 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 »

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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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