(Infinity and Beyond is a bi-weekly series in which Josh Spiegel looks back at the history and making of every feature in Pixar’s filmography. In today’s column, he takes a look at the 1998 film A Bug’s Life.)
As the story goes, documented in the David Price book The Pixar Touch (and mentioned in an early teaser for the 2008 sci-fi film WALL-E), a year or so before the release of Toy Story, there was a lunch. A number of the creatives involved in the making of the first fully computer-animated feature — John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Joe Ranft, and Andrew Stanton, among others — got together to figure out what they would do if the best-case scenario occurred. What if Toy Story became a hit? What would they do next?
A number of important ideas — including that of WALL-E, but we have a long way to go before we get to that story — were pitched during that lunch. One that held a certain appeal was a story all about a colony of ants. The lead would be a nerdy type whose unorthodox manner put him at odds with the rest of his colony, even though he would manage to woo and romance the ant princess and eventually live happily ever after. The idea got the green-light and Pixar proceeded as planned.
But the studio, when they released A Bug’s Life in November of 1998, would seem as if they were a month late with this concept. Because to the untrained eye, it sure looked like another computer-animated film, and another animation studio, beat them to the punch.
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Every movie has its early drafts, some of which never see the light of day. But the rise of concept art books and juicy “How Did This Get Made”-style oral histories have left nary a stone unturned in the vast movie development landscape.
Pixar boasts some of the most critically acclaimed and universally beloved animated films of the past 20 years, largely in part thanks to the animation studio’s meticulous attention to detail and story. Pixar films can take up to six years to get made, with films going through several drafts and concepts before they finally hit the big screen. Early versions of films like Toy Story or Finding Nemo may be virtually unrecognizable to us. But Pixar has opened its tight vault of undiscovered ideas to fans, and revealing some of its weirdest and most intriguing scrapped ideas for its films.
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We’ve talked before about the weird world of Pixar’s Cars. The universe is filled with sentient automobiles, with no humans in sight. We have birds that look like planes and bugs that look like tiny VW Beatles with wings. It’s madness!
But are the cars in Cars really just automobiles? A new theory suggests that there is more to these amorphized vehicles than meets the eye (and we are not talking about Transformers).
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Movie goes have gotten used to seeing competing movies about the same concept hit theaters in the same year. Back in the 1990s there was Volcano and Dante’s Peak, Babe and Gordy, Armageddon and Deep Impact and more. In recent years, we’ve had the likes of Jobs and Steve Jobs, Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, Hercules and The Legend of Hercules. But there are even more that you’ve probably never heard of.
Outside of Hollywood, there are production companies who specialize in creating straight-to-video movies that are blatant rip-offs of popular blockbusters hitting theaters at the same time. The Asylum has been behind several of these movies that are either trying to trick clueless movie goers or attempting to coax viewers into watching a movie simply because they think it will be so bad that it’s entertaining. But there are several animation houses who have done the same thing by ripping off Pixar movies with much worse results.
Find out about some truly terrible Pixar ripoffs after the jump. Read More »
Gallery Nucleus has been host to some pretty cool artwork exhibitions inspired by pop culture. They don’t get featured quite as often as Hero Complex Gallery or Gallery 1988 since they don’t have new pieces available as frequently, but they still have some incredible artwork. A new exhibition opening this weekend is no different with artwork inspired by each of the films of Pixar Animation, from Toy Story to Finding Dory. There’s one for each movie, and what’s awesome is that each piece was handpicked by Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter for the show.
Check out the Gallery Nucleus Pixar artwork after the jump. Read More »
The movies of Pixar Animation are known for having little easter eggs that reference the other movies from the animation studio. However, they’re also chock full of references, homages and tributes to other classic movies. Some are more obvious, such as Rex seen in the sideview mirrors of the Barbie Corvette in Toy Story 2, just like the T. rex in the original Jurassic Park. But others you may have never noticed before. And if you’re curious about the dozens of classic movie references in the Pixar movies, a video has assembled a ton of them for your perusal. Read More »
While Pixar Animation is nearly 30 years old, it’s only been 20 years since the company ventured into feature length, computer animated filmmaking with Toy Story. The film was an instant classic in 1996 and it spawned two successful, acclaimed sequels with a fourth installment on the way in 2017, and it was just the beginning of what the animation house had to offer.
In celebration of Pixar’s milestone anniversary this year, editor Kees van Dijkhuizen has paid tribute to Pixar with a supercut of the films they’ve made over the years, from their early shorts to this year’s feature films. You might find yourself getting some tears in your eyes since it’s accompanied by Michael Giacchino‘s score from Up. Read More »
This summer, Pixar Animation made tears come out of our face all over again with their touching story Inside Out. As one clever chart pointed out, all the Pixar movies have been about giving non-human things feelings, right up through Inside Out where even the feelings had feelings.
And in honor of this summer’s emotional adventure inside the mind, Pixar fan Lindsay McCutcheon put together a wonderful montage of some of the most emotionally powerful moments from the history of the animation house’s feature films. Watch the fantastic Pixar emotions montage after the jump! Read More »
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Posted on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 by Angie Han
Inside Out stands out among the Pixar stable for a number of reasons, and one of those is its emphasis on female characters. The two main characters, Joy and Sadness, are both female. So is Riley, the 12-year-old kid in whose mind the whole film takes place. That’s quite a welcome change of pace from Pixar, which didn’t get its first female lead until 2012’s Brave — its 13th film.
But that’s not to say Pixar didn’t have great female characters before that. Though they’re typically relegated to supporting roles, sharp women and interesting girls have always been part of the Pixar canon. To celebrate the studio’s new girl-driven film, here’s a look back at some of their most memorable ladies. Read More »
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 »