Nearly a month after we first announced the upcoming arrival of ‘Pixar Shorts Voume 2‘ on Blu-ray (available to own November 13, 2012), Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has officially confirmed the release and date along with a list of all of the shorts included in the second collection of short films from Pixar Animation Studios as well as student films from John Lasseter, Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton.
The included shorts are as follows:
- BURN-E – BURN-E is a dedicated, hard working robot that finds himself locked out of his ship and quickly learns that completing a simple task can often be a difficult endeavor. Based on characters from WALL-E. (Directed by: Angus MacLane)
- Dug’s Special Mission — In this funny short based on the character from Up, Dug is sent on a foolish mission by Alpha, Beta and Gamma so that they can hunt for the Bird of Paradise Falls by themselves. Soon Dug discovers that where he belongs is not where he’s been looking. (Directed by: Ronnie del Carmen)
- George & AJ — Inspired by Carl’s escape, senior citizens around the city unite to make their own ‘escapes,’ much to the chagrin of George and A.J., in this short that features characters from Up. (Directed by: Josh Cooley)
- Air Mater – In this hilarious short, Mater decides he wants to learn how to fly and is accidently recruited by an elite group of formation flyers, the Falcon Hawks. (Directed by: Rob Gibbs)
- Time Travel Mater — When a clock lands on Mater’s engine, he travels back in time to 1910 where he meets Stanley, the founder of Radiator Springs. (Directed by: Rob Gibbs)
- Your Friend The Rat — Ratatouille’s Remy and his brother Emile guide fans through world history from a rat’s perspective. (Directed by: Jim Capobianco)
- Partly Cloudy — This humorous short features baby-delivering storks who receive their special packages high in the stratosphere, from clouds who sculpt babies and bring them to life. (Directed by: Peter Sohn)
- Presto — When Presto, a great turn-of-the-century magician, neglects to feed his rabbit one too many times, the magician finds he isn’t the only one with a few tricks up his sleeve. (Directed by: Doug Sweetland)
- Day & Night — This short follows Day, a sunny fellow, who encounters Night, a stranger of distinctly dark moods. As their suspicions turn to curiosity, they are delighted to find that this budding friendship can offer a new perspective on the world. (Directed by: Teddy Newton)
- Hawaiian Vacation — Fans will love this ‘Toy Story Toon,’ as Woody and Buzz lead a group of toys in giving Ken and Barbie the Hawaiian vacation of their dreams – without ever leaving home. (Directed by: Gary Rydstrom)
- Small Fry — Fans’ favorite team of toys is back in this clever ‘Toy Story Toon.’ Buzz Lightyear is left behind at a fast food restaurant where he finds himself in a support group for discarded toys. As Woody and the gang devise a way to rescue their friend, Buzz tries to escape the toy psychotherapy meeting. (Directed by: Angus MacLane)
- La Luna – The timeless fable of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances, in which he discovers his Papa’s and Grandpa’s unusual line of work. (Directed by: Enrico Casarosa)
All of the shorts are presented in 1:78 aspect ratio except for Presto which is in 2:39 format and La Luna which is in 2.
In addition, student films by Lasseter, Docter and Stanton will include Nitemare, The Lady & The Lamp, Somewhere in the Arctic, A Story, Winter, Palm Springs and Next Door.
Disney Store has released a 12″ plush of Bambino, the star of the upcoming charming short La Luna, coupled with a 9″x9″ 40 page book based on the film which will open in theaters on Friday, playing before Disney/Pixar’s Brave. The accompanying book comes signed by director/writer Enrico Casarosa.
La Luna is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise is in store for the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa, or his Grandpa? Or will he be able to find his own way? This charming picture book is filled with incredible illustrations, and its unique story based on the Disney/Pixar short film is sure to delight.
This combination follows in the footsteps of a Nessie plush/signed book that was released for the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ short The Ballad of Nessie which quickly sold out, so it’s likely this item won’t be available for very long, especially after the short makes its theatrical debut.
For more information or to order this exclusive set, visit its page on DisneyStore.com.
For being the first to correctly identify the favorite childhood Miyazaki series of writer/director Enrico Casarosa on Twitter this morning (the answer is ‘Future Boy Conan’), Stitch Kingdom won the right to exclusively premiere a brand new still from Pixar’s latest short, La Luna (full image after the jump).
La Luna is a coming of age tale in which a young boy is stuck between the stubborn ways of his Papa and Grandpa, each of whom expect Bambino to follow precisely in their footsteps. One night, when Bambino joins his elders as they tend to the unusual family business, he learns that the best way to be is to simply be himself.
Pixar also recently released the following clip from the short which follows Bambino as he learns the nature of his family’s legacy.
La Luna, which has earned an Oscar nomination for Animated Short, will open in theaters nationwide on June 22, alongside Disney/Pixar’s Brave. A hardcover book inspired by the short is slated to be available in stores on May 15 and is currently available for pre-order from Amazon.com.
The 84th Annual Academy Awards will be televised on the ABC television network on February 26th, 2012.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that out of the 44 animated short films submitted for Oscar consideration, ten have been shortlisted to be further considered for nominations in the category. Among the ten selected is La Luna from Pixar Animation Studios, the short that will play before Brave when it opens next year. Pixar Animation Studios has quietly arranged for the short to show this year enough to meet eligibility requirements, meaning an Oscar nomination — let alone a win — will become a valuable marketing tool for Brave in 2012.
Written and directed by Enrico Casarosa, La Luna is a charming story of a young boy named Bambino who is caught between his father and grandfather who see the world in completely different ways. On his first excursion at his family’s unusual occupation, Bambino soon learns to that it’s okay to choose his own path in life.
The other shorts being considered are:
Dimanche/Sunday, Patrick Doyon, director (National Film Board of Canada)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, directors (Moonbot Studios LA, LLC)
I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat, Matthew O’Callaghan, director and Sam Register, executive producer (Warner Bros. Animation Inc.)
- Luminaris, Juan Pablo Zaramella, director (JPZtudio)
- Magic Piano, Martin Clapp, director and Hugh Welchman, producer (BreakThru Films)
- A Morning Stroll, Grant Orchard, director and Sue Goffe, producer (Studio AKA)
- Paths of Hate, Damian Nenow, director (Platige Image)
- Specky Four-Eyes, Jean-Claude Rozec, director and Mathieu Courtois, producer (Vivement Lundi!)
- Wild Life, Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, directors (National Film Board of Canada)
The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in January 2012.
The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
This past Sunday, the Japan Society in New York City held a one-day animated short film festival titled ‘Films for Hope’ in order to benefit those affected by the devastating earthquake on March 11. The centerpiece of the festival was a joint presentation of Dai Soto’s Five Numbers and Disney/Pixar’s La Luna, which is the short that will open alongside Brave on June 22, 2012. A presentation and brief Q&A session with La Luna writer and director Enrico Casarosa was also offered following the screening.
According to the official synopsis, La Luna is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa, or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?
Even though the film was screened at a panel during the 2011 Disney D23 Expo, I was unable to attend it and so this was my first time seeing the short and the only thing preventing me from saying it was worth the wait is the constant nagging, desire to see it again and wishing I had seen it again before and can see it again now — I can only assume those of you that have already seen it know what I’m talking about. It’s a visually stunning, enchanting piece that delivers its message quickly, clearly and quite sweetly, in a way that will make you want to watch it over and over.
Casarosa, who grew up in Italy but lived in New York City for many years, has a strong connection to Japan, who he says inspired the film along with Italy, where it takes place (although it quite literally could take place anywhere). As a child in Genoa, he was able to watch much of the animated shows being produced in Japan on local television. Although it took many years to realize it, he credits Japanese animation and Hayao Miyazaki in particular amongst his influences in the medium. There is even an homage, or ‘love letter,’ to Miyazaki in the short, where gravity temporarily loses its old on protagonist Bambino.
Via a presentation laden with hilarious sketches, photos, footage, concept art and more, Casarosa took the audience through the process of directing his first film at Pixar, from conception to completion. With his directorial debut being a short, he said the go-to analogy for most is to say to him ‘so they’ve handed you the keys to the little car,’ to which Casarosa counteracts with ‘it’s still your first car,’ although he noted he much rather prefers sea planes, so he switched the analogy to that and took us through the sea plane construction process as it applied to a Pixar Animation Studios short.
For Casarosa, who set out to create a modern fable, the story began with heart — a personal and emotional story, that’s ‘fantastic.’ For Enrico, it was memories of growing up in Italy with generations in his family being in disagreement with each other (demonstrated in sketch form through the use of perennial visual aid, minestrone soup). For the fantastic element, Casarosa found inspiration Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince and the books of Italo Calvino in addition to Miyazaki. The goal for his story was to create a ‘Moon myth, rooting it in something personal and familiar.’
Once the idea is formed, the first step is to pitch it to Mary, Kiel and Karen, the development team at Pixar Animation. Then the idea progresses as ‘you tell it on your way to work, then on break, then at home — too much.’
From there, it progresses to the storyboarding process which starts with image boards in watercolor. ‘I don’t write on the computer,’ he later explained, ‘I write with images.’ A sketch showed Enrico frenetically pitching the story to a completely calm and relaxed Lasseter (in truth, traditional storyboarding has been replaced with a proprietary package known as ‘Pitch Docter’ — a nod, to Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter). Lasseter had but a couple of notes, the primary one insisting that this would be the boy’s (Bambino) first time with his father and grandfather at work, so that the audience experiences it with him, a plot point that Casarosa had not originally considered. Lasseter also influenced the character design, but I will address that later on.
Casarosa talked about how scratch (temporary) voices are generally used alongside the story reels, but quickly moved on to the actual casting process and the struggles they had with the use of gibberish in lieu of dialogue, even though the film would arguably have worked just as well without any vocals at all. They first called on John Gilkey of Cirque du Soleil fame; Gilkey had worked with Pixar before on Ratatouille to work out some of the pantomime. Showing footage of Gilkey performing opposite Pixar’s Bob Peterson, Enrico explains that it wasn’t living up to his expectations, but after considering passing on the idea on gibberish altogether, they found animator Tony Fucile to ‘voice’ Papa and actor/storyteller Phil Sheridan to voice Nonno. Casarosa recalls Sheridan’s initial offer: ‘with teeth or without?’ They went without.
Casarosa then moved on to the character design and showed several pieces of concept art from fellow artists such as Robert Kondo, Katy Wu and Daisuke ‘Dice’ Tsutsumi. Dice, who had worked with Enrico at Blue Sky on films such as Robots, was ‘such a friend,’ that he began creating illustrations for the short before it had received the green light.
Seeking a 1920s-1930s feel of Mediterranean peasants/fisherman, Casarosa explained his intent for Bambino to have a large head with large eyes, so that he is open to the world, ‘looking around’ with child-like wonder. Papa, however, is physically opposite, set in his ways. Italian actor Massimo Troisi was used as reference for big, over-the-top gestures while actress Giulietta Masina served as the real-life inspiration for Bambino.
Not wanting to place an emphasis on facial features, Casarosa felt using facial hair would be a simpler, less expensive way to animate the film — something he learned quickly wasn’t the case. ‘We had Toy Story 3 technology, we wanted Brave technology,’ he half-joked, referring to the technological advances made since the short was animated. He showed test footage of grandfather/Nonno from when they were ‘about 70% there’ speaking with his eyebrows and beard moving rather dynamically. With the idea of facial hair, Casarosa saw the opportunity to make a successful visual gag involving the older generations’ tools. It was Lasseter’s experience as a sweeper at Disneyland that influenced the specific look of broom-bearded Nonno whose broom (and beard) have a distinct look as a result from constant use.
For the look of the film, Casarosa looked for ‘stylized reflections, naturally simple and naturally beautiful,’ using texture as the key word (Casarosa later explained that ‘a glow is never just a glow — I want it to have texture). Support came in the form of watercolors by Greg Couch and a pastel by Bill Cone that operated as the film’s backdrop (Cone also provided the color script for the short). They went to shoot reference video for the moon’s reflection upon the water on a lake at John Lasseter’s home. The moon was full, but was not visible from where they were, so they walked away with no footage, but ‘it was great team building.’
For the boat, the team went to Genoa in Italy to visit a boat building company called Cantiere Navale Topazio, where Casarosa recalled hearing an older, traditional builder complain about how newer boats made of fiberglass lacked soul. Casarosa wanted the boat to feel as it had been handed down through generations, so he decided that it had received at least three coats of paint through the year and they mimicked the real world process they had seen by painting each plank individually before mapping it to the boat, a process that worked so well, they applied it to other elements in the film. For the stars in the film, Casarosa envisioned they were frosted candle lights, each dimming with age, and the overall sensation that they were effectively tiles as they moved around, producing noise.
Another crucial element in the production is, of course, the crew. Casarosa gushed over the group of animators and filmmakers he worked with on production of the short, using a company pasta sauce competition, inspired by the film, as an example of the camaraderie, though he fell short attempting to explain how a Spaniard had won. Casarosa offered a special note of thanks to film composer Michael Giacchino, who was ‘very patient’ and ‘bombarded with strange, Neapolitan music.’
Casarosa closed his presentation with the film’s message, which he hopes will deliver a positive influence on children: ‘Trust your inspiration. You can stand on the shoulders of tradition and still find your own way;’ for adults, he hopes that it helps remind them of what it was like to view the world with the eyes of a child; and as for his own family, he just wants to let his father and grandfather he doesn’t want to pick sides and loves them both.
One interesting note to close on is just how personal the film truly is for Enrico Casarosa. With the hopes to inspire to find one’s own way in the world, it wasn’t until his early 20s that Casarosa decided to enter the field of animation; until then, he was an engineering student.
To enter the giveaway, please visit our sweepstakes page on Facebook. The contest will run through September 30, 2011, after which one person will be chosen at random to receive the poster. The contest is open to residents in the United States, aged 13 and up.
And if you look hard enough, you just may also catch a glimpse (or two) of the moon in it as well.