Sunday, June 26, 2016

'Cars 3' Filmmaker Live Hangout Summary - Brian Fee, Bobby Podesta & Jay Ward

Early Sunday morning, Pixar fans were treated to a live Facebook hangout (or tailgate) with several of the Cars 3 filmmakers. Hosted by Jay Ward (Cars Creative Director and franchise guardian), the crew reminisced about the first Cars film, noted a few easter eggs from the first film and mentioned the beauty of the new film. Unfortunately, there was no mention of the new characters (Jackson Storm or Cruz Ramirez), or any updated plot points — although Ward mentioned that, "It is turning out to be the most amazing film - it is beautiful." Watch the 30-minute chat on Facebook.

Easter Eggs Noted

From the first Cars film, Bobby mentioned that one hidden item that came from a personal John Lasseter experience was a pair of cars characters spitting over the edge of the stadium walls. If you want to catch it yourself, you can look for two cars as their panning over the final race between Chick, The King and Lightning.

Additionally, Brian Fee noted that he provided the voice for Al Oft (the Lightyear blimp) and said his line of "woo - oh yeah" "was originally in story reels to be a camper coming out of the bathroom", but was re-used to signify the excitement of the blimp as the race was getting under way.

Updated Synopsis

The official Pixar site has also updated the official synopsis for Cars 3 as well as noted the film's producer, Kevin Reher (Casting Director, Producer of A Bug's Life).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

'Finding Dory' News - Get Your Daily Dose of the Adorable, Baby Dory & Insights regarding Gerald


If you've seen Finding Dory, you've certainly fallen for the adorable baby Dory (voiced by Sloane Murray – Producer, Lindsay Collins' daughter). With her giant eyes, sweet voice and fantastic character design, she's an instant "aww" moment in theaters. Check out the latest clip released yesterday on Pixar's YouTube channel featuring Baby Dory getting ready to play hide-and-seek with her parents, Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy). 

In addition to the Baby Dory clip, USA Today also chatted with Director, Andrew Stanton noting some great details surrounding the water and kelp in the film, as well as insights into the bucket-holding sea lion, Gerald. The article notes that Bob Peterson (voice of Mr. Ray and Pixar veteran) created the ridiculously hilarious character — Stanton noted, “Bob’s kind of the Gary Larson of the group, bringing The Far Side element to our special sauce”. In the story room and in brainstorming session you often hear of Bob's impact crafting wacky and hilarious characters — the now fan-favorite, Gerald, is no exception.

With a fantastic collection of new characters to choose from, who would you say is your favorite new new addition to the film (yes, Baby Dory counts even though it's still Dory)?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Andrew Stanton's 'Finding Dory' SoundWorks Collection Interview

Image courtesy Pixar (via SoundWorks Collection). Photo - Deborah Coleman

Andrew Stanton recently sat down with SoundWorks Collection to discuss Finding Dory as well as his collaboration with Thomas Newman and the team at Skywalker Sound. The 25-minute interview begins with a broad question — "When you think of sound, when you think of music, what were some of those early influences, whether movies or experiences, that caught your attention to listen in differently?" This sets the stage for the audio-centered interview as Stanton explores the films that inspired him early on as well and shaped his view of film.

As the discussion continues, he speaks of his close collaboration with Thomas Newman (Finding Dory composer) and why they work so well together. Stanton says, "He can't do anything simple - it has to have layers, it has to have complexity to it and I think I'm the same with anything that I'm writing. I want it to have a lot of contradiction, a lot of conflict, a lot of controversy, a lot of diversity." We couldn't agree more, Newman's score is extremely layered and utterly unique.

Along the way, Stanton revealed a few additional insights that were very interesting:

  • He mentioned that he didn't take himself seriously as a writer until he was 27 (when working on Toy Story) and made the connection that it's just transcribing the story that's already in his head (since he always struggled prior to that thinking about the structure and such).

'Finding Dory' Smashes Weekend Box Office Record

The numbers are in and the heartwarming and hilarious Finding Dory has broken box office records. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the film has garnered $136.2 Million (domestic) in its opening weekend — which is the highest net opening for an animated film (previously set by Shrek the Third at 121.6 Million). Pre-release estimates predicted that Finding Dory would pull $115 Million in its opening weekend, but with extremely positive user/critic ratings, as well as Fandango reporting that Dory was its highest pre-sale animated film to date, the hugely successful opening may just be the tip of the iceberg.

In 2003, Finding Nemo's worldwide box office totaled $936.7 Million and its opening weekend garnered $70.3 Million. As we look forward to the next few months of box office success, it will be interesting to see how quickly Finding Dory may approach the $1 Billion mark (a feat only reached by four other animated films — Frozen [1,276.5 Billion], Minions [1,159.4 Billion], Toy Story 3 [1,063.2 Billion] and most recently, Zootopia [1,012.0]).


June 16 (Thursday) – Previews – $9.2 Million (animated feature film record)
June 17 (Friday) – Official Release date – $54 Million
June 18-19 – Opening Weekend - $73 Million (domestic) and another $50 Million (international)

Domestic Total - $136.2 Million
Worldwide Total - $186.2 Million

Congratulations again to the entire Finding Dory and Pixar team for their hard work in bringing this brilliant film to life. If you haven't yet, read our full review of the film and soundtrack – then be sure to head to the Pixar Post Forum and share your Finding Dory review with other Pixar fans.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

'Finding Dory' Soundtrack Review - The Tragedy & Beauty Therein

In a recent interview with SoundWorks Collection, Finding Dory director, Andrew Stanton said there is "beauty in sadness" when describing Thomas Newman's dramatic score. We could think of no better way to summarize the tone of the score — as we listen we can't help but feel tragedy, sadness and elements of horror and action films all embroiled into its 34 tracks (33 scored by Newman and Unforgettable performed by, Sia). Among all of those emotions and types we just listed, the stunning heartfelt beauty of the score (as Stanton mentioned) comes through as clear as "the world's most powerful pair of glasses" (wink).

As much as The Good Dinosaur score brought a new flair and eclectic nature to Pixar's family of films, the Finding Dory soundtrack takes the genre mixing edginess to a whole new level. Just listen to Nobody's Fine and you'll hear the brilliant 83-player orchestra mixed with electronic elements, world music undertones and an underlying suspense drawing similarities to John Powell's Bourne-series of scores. Nobody's Fine may be our favorite track on the score for its unique feel — plus, we can't think of another time a flute riff had our head nodding so much (the riff also appears in Almost HomeOK With Crazy and Three Hearts).

Heart-Wrenching & Hilarious: Our 'Finding Dory' Film Review 9/10

The follow-up to Pixar's hugely successful Finding Nemo (2003) has been anticipated for 13 years with Finding Dory winning our high praise. The storyline captivated us from the very beginning with beautiful imagery and lighting queues that transported us down into the sea alongside the characters. The film slightly mirrors Finding Nemo with Dory taking on the "lost child" role as she searches for her parents, Charlie and Jenny. Though Dory's usual short-term memory still plagues her, it's the memory flashes of her past that really get the story going. With the film primarily taking place a year after Finding Nemo (with the exception of Dory's flashbacks), Marlin and Nemo assume the side-kick role as they help Dory venture through the Marine Life Institute in California meeting a new cast of unforgettable characters along the way. (Spoilers below.)

We were thrilled that the film felt wholly original despite having familiar characters and similar story elements. The fast-paced editing and wonderful direction by Andrew Stanton (and co-Director, Angus MacLane) hooks you so intensely that you can't look away for even a moment without missing something. Of course the visuals were equally stunning — the work the team put into making us feel as if we were in an real aquarium absolutely paid off. The feel, the lighting, the colors — everything felt true-to-life and allowed the audience to become even more immersed in the film.

Immersion into the story was also intensified by Thomas Newman's dark, delicate and action-packed score. (Read our entire review of the Finding Dory score/soundtrack.) The writing and vocal cast were also superb as well — it was great hearing the quick-hitting and witty vocal pacing (similar to many of Pixar's classic films).


The vocal cast within the film proved to be the perfect accompaniment to the heartwarming storyline with our emotions reeling from young Dory (voiced by Sloane Murray). The innocence and vulnerability behind young Dory imprinted on our hearts and had us rooting for her in a much different way than in Finding Nemo. Speaking of Dory, Ellen DeGeneres' performance is brilliant and she delivers her most emotional work to date — we're still not sure how she pulled off some of the subtle vocal nuances she did when reuniting with her parents, or in other moments of introspection.

Monday, June 13, 2016

'Piper' Clip - Her First Experience Searching For Food

Check out this adorable new clip (via Disney UK) from Piper — watch as she searches for food on her own for the first time (with a little parental encouragement of course). With this clip, you also get a continued look at the amazingly beautiful scenery, extremely shallow depth of field and detailed work that the team put into the short film. As we mentioned in last weeks post (with two new high-resolution images from the short), we were lucky enough to have interviewed Director, Alan Barillaro about the creation of Piper. Stay tuned as we'll be releasing the interview after it is released in theaters alongside Finidng Dory Friday, June 17.

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