Cars Revisited

(Infinity and Beyond is a regular bi-weekly column documenting the 25-year filmography of Pixar Animation Studios, film by film. In today’s column, writer Josh Spiegel highlights Cars.)

In the early days of 2006, the Walt Disney Company made a dramatic change whose impacts are still being felt today. Michael Eisner had once been the CEO of the Disney conglomerate, and while he’d grasped a modicum of the success that Pixar Animation Studios would bring, he’d always been standoffish to the idea of Pixar being fully brought into the fold. For many reasons, Eisner was pushed out of Disney in 2005, when Robert Iger became the new CEO. As Iger wrote in his recent memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime, one of his first acts of business was to do what Michael Eisner refused to do: make Pixar an official part of Disney.

So in January 2006, Disney confirmed a $7.4 billion deal to acquire Pixar Animation Studios. The deal was such, though, that it really felt like Disney was asking Pixar to join them, instead of throwing billions at them. John Lasseter was installed as a creative lead at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering, too. That same year, Lasseter returned to the director’s chair, for a true passion project. It was technologically as bold and daring as anything else Pixar had done. The studio’s prior film, The Incredibles, had focused entirely on humans, for the first time. For Cars, though…well, Cars was another story.

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Update 2: Disney has announced that their theme parks “will remain closed until further notice.” You can read the full statement below:

While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVD-19, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees remains The Walt Disney Company’s top priority.

As a result of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with direction provided by health experts and government officials, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice.

The Walt Disney Company has been paying its cast members since the closure of the parks, and in light of this ongoing and increasingly complex crisis, we have made the decision to extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.

Update: Hours after Disneyland announced its closures due to the coronavirus, Disney has announced (via WDWMagic) that Disneyland Paris and Florida’s Walt Disney World theme park are closing their doors from March 15 until April 1, 2020.

In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort, beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, through the end of the month.

Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, through the end of the month.

The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during that closure period. The hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice. The retail and dining complexes, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, will remain open.

Our original article follows.

For just the fourth time in history, Disneyland will fully suspend its operations. The closures, which also apply to the neighboring Disney California Adventure park, will begin the morning of March 14 and last for the rest of the month, due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. But it seems as if Knott’s Berry Farm is staying open for business…at least for now. Read More »

Hot Toys Life-Size Baby Yoda Figure

Sideshow Collectibles already showed off their life-size Baby Yoda figure inspired by the character known as The Child in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian on Disney+. But the high quality collectible company is also distributing a life-size Baby Yoda figure from the upscale action figure creators at Hot Toys, and the first images of the little guy have just been released. Read More »

The Mandalorian Prints

It’s a shame we won’t have any new episodes of The Mandalorian to watch until later this year, especially since the series will bring Ahsoka Tano into the live-action Star Wars universe in the second season. But while we wait for the return of the series on Disney+, artists Dave Perillo and Christian Waggoner have unveiled new The Mandalorian posters going on sale today.

Dave Perillo has come through with two prints for the second and third episodes from the first season, “The Child” and “The Sin.” Meanwhile, Christian Waggoner has delivered what might be the best piece of art featuring the little guy lovingly referred to as Baby Yoda. And they’re all officially licensed by Acme Archives. Check out The Mandalorian prints from Bottleneck Gallery below. Read More »

Ashley Eckstein Responds to Ahsoka Tano Casting

Last week, we dropped a huge exclusive scoop about Rosario Dawson bringing The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated character Ahsoka Tano to life in live-action form in the second season of the Star Wars series The Mandalorian on Disney+. Needless to say, the reaction from fans was mostly one of pure excitement that this character was being brought in to the live-action Star Wars universe. However, not everyone was thrilled about the news.

Ashley Eckstein is the voice actress who has played Ahsoka Tano for years (seen above right cosplaying as the character), and she’s one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe. She’s long hoped to play Ahsoka Tano in every possible form, so it should come as no surprise that a contingent of Star Wars fans have expressed disappointment and even anger that Eckstein wasn’t asked to bring the character to life in The Mandalorian season 2. But as Ashley Eckstein has responded to the Mandalorian season 2 casting, she’s taking the high road. Read More »

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Honest Trailer

Last year, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ended the Skywalker saga, not with a bang, but with a whimper. That’s because the final chapter of the Skywalker saga desperately tries to cling to whatever nostalgia is left for the original trilogy rather than delivering a satisfying, cohesive story. However, as the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Honest Trailer reminds us, unless you were reading one of the supplementary books, paying attention to interviews with co-writer Chris Terrio in the weeks following the movie’s release, or playing Fortnite, you wouldn’t have heard that whimper. Read More »

Ray Winstone Black Widow

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow has been delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean the passion has abated for fans who have been wanting a Natasha Romanoff solo film for years. Now a detail about one of the movie’s supporting characters has made its way online, and it turns out that the Ray Winstone Black Widow character has a connection to Joss Whedon’s groundbreaking 2012 team-up movie The Avengers. Read More »

Creating Babu Frik

If you loved or hated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, chances are pretty high that you walked out of the theater loving Babu Frik, the pint-sized alien technician who helped out heroes in a time of great need. /Film recently spoke with creature and special make-up effects creative supervisor Neal Scanlan about the origins of the goofy little droidsmith, building the character model, collaborating with actress Shirley Henderson on the final product, and more. Read More »

Star Wars Labyrinth tribute

Though The Muppets creator Jim Henson never officially worked on a Star Wars movie, he did work with George Lucas on the 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth. And it turns out that Neal Scanlan, the creature and special make-up effects creative supervisor for the five most recent Star Wars films, also worked on Labyrinth in the early days of his career as an effects artist.

With that cinematic connection in mind, Scanlan reveals that he and his team embedded a Labyrinth tribute in last year’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, paying homage to Henson and the movie’s big furry creature Ludo. Read More »

Little Mermaid remake soundtrack

Alan Menken, the legendary composer who is responsible for providing the scores for several Disney animated classics, was hard at work on the studio’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid when the coronavirus ground Hollywood to a halt. And while we already knew that the new movie would feature new music, we weren’t sure about exactly how much to expect. But now we know: the ebullient composer recently revealed that there will be four new songs for the film.

Read on for his exact quotes, plus news about Disenchanted, Hercules, and more. Read More »

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