Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Glorious Return of The Hamm Bank & Other Disney Store Finds

Are you an avid Pixar merchandise collector? If so, you won't want to miss your opportunity to purchase the coveted Hamm Bank from the Toy Story franchise. While the bank was available several years ago, the Disney Store has just recently brought it back for purchase online. The bank is one of the best Disney Store releases we've seen - in fact, it almost feels like it should be part of the official Toy Story Collection line by Thinkway Toys.

The bank is a fully sculpted resin replication of the wisecracking piggy bank, including his removable cork and rosy cheeks. Hamm measures approximately 8" Long, 4.25" Wide and 4.5" in Height. So start saving your coins now to pick up your Hamm bank before it sells out again and jumps back to $70 on eBay.

In addition to the Hamm bank, the Disney Store has released a few other great new products as well. Check out this cool Buzz Lightyear iPhone 5 & 5S case with pop out wings.

Disney Store Links:
- Hamm Bank
- Buzz Lightyear iPhone 5 & 5S Case
- Pixar Pals T-Shirt

Pixar Post - T.J. & Julie

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ratatouille the Adventure Officially Opening July 10 at Disneyland Paris

Nearly five years in the making, Disneyland Paris has just announced the official Date of Ratatouille the Adventure - set to open on July 10, 2014. In a video teaser released by Disneyland Paris, we are treated to a quick behind-the-scenes look into this new attraction.

Ratatouille the Adventure will feature brand new animation to help enhance the experience and bring the characters to life. In addition to the new animation, Disney Imagineering has done an outstanding job shrinking guests down to "Remy"-size with the incredible props and attention to detail within the attraction.

As revealed earlier this year, Composer Michael Giacchino will reprise his musical Ratatouille-role as he and a talented orchestra will add their musical touches throughout the attraction. While the opening date has been announced we can't help but wonder if the rumors of a Linguini face character will be on-hand to greet guests on July 10 - looks like Disneyland Paris may have a few other surprises for us.

Related Posts
- Composer Michael Giacchino Scoring New Ratatouille Attraction
- Linguini Face Character Coming to Disneyland Paris?
- Exciting New Details Surrounding La Place de Remy

Pixar Post - Julie

Pixar Easter Eggs Highlighted In New Disney Movies Anywhere Exclusive Video

Fans of Pixar's Easter Eggs will certainly get a kick out of the new Disney Movies Anywhere exclusive video which explores some (not all) of the hidden items scattered throughout Pixar's movies. While watching the three-and-a-half minute collection of clips, keep your eyes pealed as the easter eggs go flying by - at the end, the video summarizes the hidden items presented so you can see how many you could spot. It's pretty easy to spot them all, but there may just be a few that you haven't seen a certain connection between the first Toy Story and Up

You can watch an abbreviated version of the exclusive video below (set up by Lee Unkrich), but then log in to watch the entire clip.

If you haven't logged in to Disney Movies Anywhere yet (free), be sure to sign up online or download the iPhone/iPad app to watch this exclusive video. As another incentive to sign up, if you remember our post about the upcoming Cars short, Radiator Springs 500½, the short will premiere exclusively through Disney Movies Anywhere.

You can see our many Easter Egg posts with more descriptions as well as many more hidden references from your favorite Pixar films and shorts.

Related Posts:
- Radiator Springs 500½ with additional details on Disney Movies Anywhere
- In-Depth Look at the Easter Eggs from PartySaurus Rex
- Toy Story of Terror Easter Eggs and Review

Pixar Post - T.J. & Julie

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reader Review: Ed Catmull & Pete Docter Speak at the Berkeley Art Museum Theater about Creativity, Inc.

Photographs © Disney•Pixar

With Ed Catmull's newly released Creativity, Inc., many Pixar fans have been excited to finally pick up their own copy of this highly anticipated book. In addition to the book's release, Catmull is scheduled to appear at various speaking events as well as book signings through April (as well as one in June). Our friend and reader, James Dempsey was lucky enough to be in attendance for one of the events at the Berkeley Art Museum theater (April 7) where not only was Ed Catmull present, but Pete Docter was on hand for the event as well.

Below, James briefly shares his experience and thoughts on the event:
On a beautiful California night at the Berkeley Art Museum theater, just a few miles from the Pixar studio, Pete Docter sat down with Ed Catmull to talk about Ed’s new book Creativity, Inc.

The sold-out crowd of over 200 listened intently as Pete interviewed Ed. The questions led Ed to talk about various topics from the book, with Pete jumping in at times noting supporting stories and insights. The audience was truly listening in on two accomplished colleagues having a casual chat about Pixar and creativity.

Photo © Pixar Post
Ed said he believes all people are creative in their own way. If Ed were to ask an audience to raise their hands if they have a "really good idea to make people more creative", very few hands would go up. But, if he asked for ideas on how creativity can be stifled, just about every hand would go up. From his perspective, it’s not about making people more creative, but about getting rid of the things that stifle the creativity that is already there.

As an example of the unpredictable path of the creative process, Pete described the many story changes of Up - with the story initially being about a king and his two sons in a flying castle (at war with the kingdom on the ground). The story (obviously) went through many changes before reaching its final form.

Ed also talked about Steve Jobs and how well he connected with the film directors - both having a quality of committing 100% to the idea they were pitching at the moment, but also able and willing to change their minds quickly to throw out whatever they had just pitched if a better idea was suggested.

Image © Disney•Pixar

A theme that came up a few times during the evening was the idea of the ‘messy place in the middle’ - that a solution is very rarely found at one extreme or another, but somewhere in the middle. Although that place can sometimes be uncomfortable, it is where creativity lives and usually where solutions are found.

For example, in the Q&A after the talk, one question was “How far along does a movie need to be before you can know its release date?”

Ed first relayed John Lasseter’s statement that ‘a film doesn’t get finished, it just gets released’. Ed then said that you can hurt a film by being too schedule-driven earlier in the process, but also by being too indulgent later in the process. Somewhere in that ‘messy middle’ the needs of the film change, but there is no precise formula.

The evening ended with Ed Catmull signing copies of Creativity, Inc.. It was inspiring to hear Ed speak about what he has observed and learned through the years - it's also a great benefit to all that he is willing to sharing those thoughts with a wide audience.

Thanks again to James Dempsey for taking the time to write up a brief review of the amazing speaking event between Ed and Pete. We have previously written a post about James' Pixar and Disney movie tracker iPhone app, Watched Animation List Tracker (WALT) - read our full review.

WALT app logo

Additionally, remember that Ed still has several speaking engagements scheduled through April (and one in June) so be sure to check if he'll be speaking in your area (list of locations at the bottom of our Creativity, Inc. book review).

Related Posts
- Our Review of Creativity, Inc.
Pixar Post Podcast Episode 026, our first take of Creativity, Inc.
- Read an excerpt from Creativity, Inc.
- Our review of the Watched Animation List Tracker (WALT) iPhone app

Pixar Post - Julie & T.J.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fred Armisen Creates A Fake Pixar Movie During 'Late Night With Seth Meyers'

Seth Meyers Image © NBC

If you've seen the evening talk show, Late Night With Seth Meyers, you may have noticed a recurring bit during each episode called "Fred Talks". After the opening monologue, Seth takes a seat behind his desk and greets Fred Armisen (the band-leader for the show's 8G band). It's during this conversation that we get to see Armisen's comedic mind and improvisational brilliance in action as Fred doesn't know what Seth is going to throw at him.

The bit evolves with Seth telling Fred that he overhead him talking to someone (a guest or other crew member) about a typically outlandish story. For instance, in several episodes Fred was "overheard" telling someone that he started a clay-based theme park, or a new exercise craze called "Chase the Donkey". During last Friday night's episode though (episode 28), Fred mentioned that he was going to voice a swimming instructor in an upcoming Pixar movie. Watch along as Fred pieces together his character's story and reveals one of his lines of dialogue, "Get in the water".

Although this is clearly Seth and Fred having fun, we couldn't help but pass this along as it gave us a good laugh.

Pixar Post - T.J.

Our Review of Ed Catmull's Book, Creativity, Inc., Speaking Events & The Pixar Post Book Club

Ed Catmull Creativity Inc Book - Pixar Post
Creativity, Inc. book image © Pixar Post

When you think of Pixar, you more than likely think of their superb collection of films. Maybe you think of the emotions you feel when watching their movies. Or maybe, just maybe, you dream about working alongside some of the greatest creative geniuses in the animation industry.

The rich creativity and collective brainpower at Pixar is something that is often looked upon as a mythical being. It's perceived as magic - a magic that makes us want to rub shoulders with the studio's employees and have some of that creativity rub off on ourselves. The fact of the matter is that it's not magic at all - it's a very conscious effort to look for hidden roadblocks and ensure that an employee's voice is always able to be heard (among many other elements).

Ed Catmull photo © Deborah Coleman (Pixar) / Cover © Disney•Pixar


Ed Catmull, Pixar's co-founder and President, is one of the team of people which continually works to try and identify roadblocks within the studio. With his book, Creativity, Inc. (Random House), Catmull shares some of the wisdom he's learned over the years of watching, listening and growing within the field of computer animation. In fact, Catmull is among the elite few who can say that they were at the very forefront of computer animation and his contribution to the field is inarguable - so when he speaks (or writes), we'll listen. 

The introduction of the book sets the overall tone perfectly - through his styling he lets the reader know that the information being presented will be very detailed, but told through stories culled from his years at Pixar rather than this being a list of studies, facts and figures. Fans of Pixar's history will surely enjoy the opening three chapters as they delve into the history of not only Pixar, but of computer graphics in general. Ed's candor (a term he prefers to use) rings true across the pages - from his lack of managerial skills when Pixar formed, to the ability to listen to employee's needs, Creativity, Inc. really finds it's groove in Chapter four (Establishing Pixar's Identity).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mondo Artist Kevin Tong Shares His Design Process for Up and Wall-e Prints

This past March, at the Annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival (held in Austin, Texas) Mondo Posters and Oh My Disney paired up to showcase a gallery titled, "Nothing's Impossible". The showcase featured seven new prints by four different artists and many of the highly-sought-after prints sold out within a few hours of their release.

Artist Kevin Tong, who collaborated with Mondo, created two Pixar themed screen prints (UP and Wall-e) for the collection and has shared his entire artistic process via and his YouTube channel. Each video shows the progression of each poster - from the rough sketch to final image. The pair of fast forward videos are a great peek into Tong's creative mind.

Related Posts
- Sneak Peek: "Nothing's Impossible" Gallery
- Pixar Themed Mondo Nursery
- Tom Whalen, Michael De Pippo and Dave Perillo Mondo Posters

Pixar Post - Julie