Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bubbling Up

Finally, a new first look at Lava, the Pixar short that will be preceding Inside Out in theaters next summer!

What can I say? It's Pixar, the animation is absolutely lovely, the concept is really cool and unexpected, and I already like the voice of the volcano, which is provided by musician Kuana Torres Kahele.

Director James Ford Murphy also explains that Uku's face is modeled after a couple familiar faces, including Kahele himself and also Marc Anthony's, the bulldog from the classic Chuck Jones short Feed the Kitty. Jones' short was also an inspiration for the sequence in Monsters, Inc. where Sulley assumes that Boo is going through the trash compactor, as he watches and reacts in horror. Uku's face is also modeled after Jackie Gleeson, of all people.

Murphy also spoke of the challenges creating the short while also mentioning his fascination with Hawaiian volcanoes as a child as another source of inspiration for the film…

"We struggled with it a lot. But I feel like, once we were able to embrace the limitations of it, it unlocked all sorts of possibilities. I love that about animation: You can really make a mountain come alive. You can’t do that in another medium…

"I thought that if I could marry the rich imagery and with the power and emotion of music, then I could really make something cool."

He got the idea to combine the growth of islands to music upon hearing a cover of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Quite an out-of-the-box concept, but it's married to a traditional love story like the ones we saw in Paperman and The Blue Umbrella. I know some are already not too keen on this short having that kind of story, nor are they too thrilled with Disney Animation's upcoming Feast having it too, but if the storytelling itself is enough to make it stand out, I'll be happy. (Early reviews say that Feast is told in a way that makes you look past the familiarness of the short.) I'm also one of the few who didn't dislike The Blue Umbrella, in fact I found it kind of charming and fun to watch - typical boy-loses-girl love story or not. I don't know, I guess I just liked how a face was integrated into everything in such a cool, creative way. Oh, and the song too…

On another note, Lava is complete, hence the first look coming before a proper teaser for Inside Out (which I assume will come soon, given the first look that was released yesterday). It has already been screened, but I've seen no reviews…

Unleashed yesterday was a hilarious commercial for the upcoming Toy Story Christmas special, Toy Story That Time Forgot

Courtesy of Pixar Post

It's really nice taste of what's to come, and I already love the Battlesaurs. The whole bit with the "Wi-Fi", I felt, was the best bit along with the rotisserie gag at the end. I absolutely loved Toy Story of Terror!, so I expect the same kind of brilliance with this special. I'll say it again, this is the way to continue the series if they have to. No Toy Story 4

What do you think of Lava? Are you anticipating Toy Story That Time Forgot? Sound off below!

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