Monday, October 31, 2011

'Art of Pixar': Colorscript Awesomeness! (Plus a new 'Toy Story' book!)

Coming out later this week on November 2, The Art of Pixar is a complete collection of Pixar's colorscripts.

I got my hands on a copy, and, lemme tell you, this book will knock your socks off. The colorscript is a true artform in itself, and this book showcases just how detailed and important they can really be. The book, compiled and written by the oh-so-talented Amid Amidi includes colorscripts from every Pixar film thus far, in their entirety, from Luxo Jr. to Cars 2 and La Luna.

Only a fraction of the pages have text on them, but those that do are rich with information and descriptions about the process that Pixar has refined to a fine science.

I highly recommend the book. While it won't have as wide appeal as the typical "Art of" book, it is a very unique look into a process not many know about. It is just beautiful.

Check it out on Amazon here.
Also, Amazon has recently created an entry for a brand new Toy Story 'art of' book,' listed for release in late 2o12. The description reads:

"[The book] recounts the origin and growth of one of the most significant and successful franchises in Hollywood history. Readers... will discover interviews... artwork... and untold details of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that the filmmakers experienced while creating such unforgettable characters."
The book, titled simply The Toy Story Films: An Animated Journey, is being written by the 'Art of TS3' author, animation historian Charles Solomon.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Mary Blair's 100th Birthday

Google's doodle today, seen above, is a tribute to the late and great Mary Blair. The incredibly talented artist behind It's a Small World, with contributions to classics like Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland, was born 100 years ago today.

She has been deemed a Disney legend in more ways than one, massively shaping the style many Disney films and theme park attractions have taken. Her unique touch is hard to miss, and is nothing short of spectacular. Just get your hands on a copy of this or this or this, and be astounded by the manner in which she treats shape and color and contrast and artistic minimalism. It is unlike any artist before her or since.

Today we remember Mary, her wonderful film contributions, her gorgeous murals (now lost to less successful renovations), and the creative spirit she brought to the Disney we all know and love.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs and His Legacy

Today, the world lost a truly great man.

Steve Jobs, father of Apple Computers, passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Although he isn't with us anymore, we can rest assured that he won't soon be forgotten. He instilled in this generation and those past a love for technology. He turned something rigid and data-oriented into something beautiful and human. He made a small bunch of circuits the iPod, and proceeded to the change the world with it. Time and time again he'd shake the foundations of the computing industry with his devotion to simplicity and undying love of innovation.

But, not only did he pioneer the world of technology, but he singlehandedly assured the creation of Pixar Animation Studios at a time when nobody else would believe in them. In a press release from just moments ago, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull say:

Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply 'make it great.' He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar’s DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time.
Steve was also heavily involved with Disney in the past decade or so, after all of his Pixar stock awarded him a seat on the Board once Disney acquired Pixar. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, had this to say:
Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an "original," with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.
The world is certainly a little bit brighter thanks to Steve. He was a truly unique individual with a love for the minimal, a passion for technology and moving forward, and a thirst for life he shared with so many during his outstanding life.

Steve, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

Image: Courtesy of Disney/Pixar


Disney bringing back 'Nemo,' 'Mermaid,' and more in 3D

Hot on the heels of a stellar box office run for The Lion King's re-release in 3D, Disney has announced its plans to do the exact same thing with Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Monsters, Inc., releasing them over the next two years.

Rich Ross, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, says that:

Great stories and great characters are timeless, and at Disney we're fortunate to have a treasure trove of both. We are thrilled to be able to give audiences of all ages the chance to experience these beloved tales in an exciting new way with 3D - and in the case of younger generations, for the first time on the big screen.
Although you know how I feel about 3D, I'm very excited to see these four films in the theater once more. I saw Lion King twice and loved every single giant-screened, surround-sounded, vibrant-colored, popcorn-eating second of it.

But, then again, I saw the 2D version.

Regardless of your opinion on 3D, this is exciting news. It's apparent that Disney's chief goal here is to make money and not necessarily satisfy us diehard fans, but you can't rally blame them. After Simba roared in at $80 million almost two decades after he first bowed at the theater, you can't help but think about the potential there is in the re-release market.

Let the countdown to reliving the fond films of yesteryear begin!