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  • Blog Post: "Toy Story of TERROR!" brings the fun & the wit of this acclaimed Pixar film trilogy to the small screen

    Given that -- back when John Lasseter first began toying with the idea of building a movie around the secret life of toys in the late 1980s / early 1990s -- Buzz & Woody's very first adventure was supposed to have been a holiday special , it's kind of fitting that Pixar has finally circled...
  • Blog Post: Huffington Post -- How Sony Pictures Animation is reinventing the way that toons are made

    As the staff cuts at DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney Studios prove, bigger is no longer thought of as better in Hollywood. The suits are now angling after a far more efficient business plan. Tinsel Town 2.0, if you will. A place where smaller teams follow shorter production schedules and work within...
  • Blog Post: "Brave" makes it Lucky 13 for Pixar favorite John Ratzenberger

    With " Brave " opening at No. 1 this past weekend , that now makes it thirteen hits in a row for Pixar Animation Studios . A box office winning streak which has been applauded & envied by many in Hollywood for nearly two decades now. And speaking of thirteen in a row ... By doing the voice...
  • Blog Post: Are Pixar's animated features too emotionally manipulative?

    Did you catch that piece about Michael Barrier that the Huffington Post ran last week? Where this noted animation historian said that the films that Pixar produces " ... are emotionally manipulative in a fundamentally dishonest way." Well, no disrespect to Mr. Barrier (By that I mean: I'm...
  • Blog Post: How Don Rickles became Mr. Potato Head's voice for Disney Pixar's "Toy Story" films

    In honor of Super Bowl Sunday (that annual television event that turns tens of millions of us into couch potatoes, when we wolf down handful of greasy potato chips and/or platters full of toppings-laden potato skins), I thought that - today - it might be appropriate to pay tribute to that most cinematic...
  • Blog Post: Pixar's Darla K. Anderson's slow & steady path to success

    Here's kind of a depressing fact to start 2011 off with: 88% of all people will fail to keep their New Year's resolution . With 45% of those folks falling off the self-improvement wagon by the end of January. And why is that exactly? To be blunt, it's because a lot of us aren't willing...
  • Blog Post: How Pixar's Lee Unkrich went from attending USC to directing "TS3"

    So what's the very best way to break into the biz? Does going to some four year school like Emerson College or CalArts (which specializes in Communications and the performing arts) really give you an advantage? Or would it better in the long run to just hook up with some outfit like pabootcamp and...
  • Blog Post: "Toy Story 3" gets put on ice tomorrow at Lakeland Center

    " Toy Story 3 ," you've just crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office . How are you going to celebrate? "I'm going to Disney On Ice ." Or - rather - Pixar's latest hit is about to become an ice show. Which will actually have its world premiere tomorrow afternoon...
  • Blog Post: Looking back on the early, early days of the “Toy Story” franchise

    With “Toy Story 3” earning over $365 million worldwide since this Lee Unkrich film was released on June 18 th (More importantly, with the “Toy Story” franchise having produced over $8 billion in global retail sales to date), it is sometime hard to remember that – just 15 years ago – there weren’t a whole...
  • Blog Post: There’s Lotso great stories to be found in “The Art of Toy Story 3”

    If you read my March 16 th non-review of that Showest screening of “ Toy Story 3 ,” then you already know that I’m a huge fan of this Lee Unkrich film. But you know what truly impressed me about this Pixar production? That in the months leading up to the release of this acclaimed animated feature, no...
  • Blog Post: “Ramayana: Divine Loophole” is filled with inspiration for aspiring artists & animators

    It’s that time of year again. When high school and college students all over the country are graduating. More importantly, when JHM readers reach out and ask for my suggestions when it comes to the perfect graduation gift for the would-be animators and Imagineers in their families. This year, though...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: “Toy Story 3” aims to be less like Fredo & more like Frodo

    Let’s start with the obvious question: Is Lee Unkrich concerned that he’s going to be the guy who breaks Pixar’s now-10-pictures-long winning streak? When I got to talk with the director of “ Toy Story 3 ” as part of a roundtable session at Comic-Con last year, Lee admitted that – with each new hit that...
  • Blog Post: “Toy Story 3” is a triumph, puts exhibitors at ShoWest in tears

    A few days ago, Lee Unkrich tweeted this phone message that he received from someone named Geordi. Who – upon learning that Lee was directing “ Toy Story 3 ” – actually left Unkrich voicemail which said : “Please, please don’t screw (this movie) up … Make it big. Make sure that something very important...
  • Blog Post: An Olympic-sized Why For

    First up, Davis P. writes to ask about JHM’s American International Toy Fair coverage this week : I thought that Jim Hill Media was a website that mostly covered Disney’s theme parks and animated films. What made you decide to go to New York and cover Toy Fair this year? Dear Davis P. Why did Nancy and...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Never mind "Leggo my Eggo." Check out this LEGO John Lasseter

    With its turn-of-the-century architecture, Gotham Hall has long prided itself on being that spot in New York City “ … where style meets sophistication.” Well, yesterday morning, all of that style & sophistication gave way to silliness. As Disney Consumer Products turned this seven-story-tall gilded...
  • Blog Post: Is 2010 the year that Walt Disney Studios begins showing its movies online?

    Have you looked at the calendar lately? No, I’m not talking about how there are just seven shopping days ‘til Christmas. I mean that – as of today – we’ve just two weeks left ‘til 2010 gets underway. Well, the folks who run The Walt Disney Company are clearly already making plans for next year. Over...
  • Blog Post: What to know what’s “Up” at Pixar? Then buy a ticket to next month’s Cartoon Art Museum benefit

    So what are the odds that – all on your own – you’ll ever get to see the inside of Pixar Animation Studios ? To be honest, they’re not good. At an “Up” preview screening that was held in Hartford, CT. back in May of this year, Donald Evans (i.e. the Senior Vice President of Animation Marketing for Walt...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Will “Toy Story 3” will be that rare sequel that equals the original?

    According to John Lasseter, the folks at Pixar Animation Studios have been dying to make “Toy Story 3” for years now. But – that said – that doesn’t mean that it’s been all that easy to come up with a storyline that was a worthy follow-up to the much-beloved “Toy Story” & “Toy Story 2.” As John recalled...
  • Blog Post: A special "Where's WALL-E" edition of Why For?

    Bernie W. writes in to say: Jim -- Can you please help me win a bet at work? A co-worker of mine says that WALL-E makes a brief cameo appearance in " Ratatouille ." More importantly, this guy has bet me $100 that I'll never ever be able to find that robot in this movie. Copyright 2007 Disney...
  • Blog Post: "To Infinity and Beyond!" is an entertaining look back at Pixar's first two decades

    There's this genuinely eerie passage in Karen Paik 's " To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios " ( Chronicle Books , November 2007), which talks about how a single book basically changed the course of John Lasseter 's life. In ninth grade, Lasseter was searching the art section...
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