Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Recap: First Look at 'Toy Story That Time Forgot'

In January, Pixar announced that this holiday season they would premiere their second television special, once again starring the characters from the beloved Toy Story films. Now this year's San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and we have some new details about the upcoming Toy Story That Time Forgot, directed by Steve Purcell (co-director and head of story on Brave).

Last month Pixar released this awesome poster for their new TV special, created by the talented Mike Mignola. The poster indicates that dinosaur toys, including Trixie the Triceratops (voiced once again by the hilarious Kristen Schaal), will feature heavily in the new 22-minute special.

The Battlesaurs (photo credit: stitchkindom)

Toy Story That Time Forgot reunites us with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang shortly after Christmas. Somehow, the toys find themselves lost in a strange new world, populated by a group of "dangerously delusional" dinosaur action figures known as the Battlesaurs. It's up to Trixie to get everyone back safely to Bonnie's room.

The Toy Story gang and newcomer Angel Kitty (photo credit: stitchkingdom)

As always with Toy Story shorts and specials, the original cast is all back - Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Wallace Shawn as Rex, Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, and Joan Cusack as Jessie. Of course, there are also some newcomers to the Toy Story world. Kevin McKidd, who previously voiced Lord MacGuffin in Pixar's Brave, joins the cast as Reptillus Maximus, one of the various Battlesaurs in the special.

Toy Story That Time Forgot panel at Comic-Con (photo credit: @FindingMickey)

The great Michael Giacchino scored the last Pixar special, Toy Story of Terror, and he returns once again for That Time Forgot. Giacchino's work never fails to impress, so his score for the new special ought to add some additional flair to what will surely already be a brilliant new adventure in the Toy Story world.

Pixar is taking the Toy Story characters where they have never gone before, and I for one cannot wait to see the strange new world that the artists at the studio have crafted this time around. The character designs for the Battlesaurs are phenomenal, and if Toy Story of Terror is any indication, this special will be funny, quirky, and heartfelt. There is plenty to get excited for!

Toy Story That Time Forgot airs on ABC on December 2.

Summer Recap: First Look at Pixar's 'Lava'

This summer (and this year in general) have been relatively quiet for Pixar, but they have dropped little bits of news here and there. Last month, they released the still seen above, giving us our first look at their latest short film, Lava. Pictured here is the short's protagonist, Uku, a gentle, warmhearted volcano who finds himself falling for neighbor volcano, Lele.

Lava is described as "a musical love story that takes place over millions of years". Director James Ford Murphy spoke with the LA Times about the short, which is inspired by Hawaiian culture and backed by a song which Murphy composed himself on the ukulele. The song is performed in the short by Hawaiian singers Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig.

"I thought it would be so cool to fall in love with a place who's also a character," said Murphy. "I wanted to make Uku appealing and likable but also look like he's been carved out of lava flows."

At Pixar, short films are often used as a way of testing the waters for new technology and visual styles. Lava challenged the artists at the studio to create detailed wide shots like those in a live-action movie.

Be sure to check out the full LA Times interview here.

The short will premiere this month at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, which starts on the 21 and ends on the 25, but the rest of the world will get to see it next summer when it hits theaters alongside Pixar's next feature-length film, Inside Out, on June 19, 2015.