Coco - A minor introduction to Mexican cinema and more...

A minor introduction to Mexican cinema and more from Film School Rejects

Gran Casino (1947)

Jorge NegreteJorge Negrete is one of two Mexican music and movie icons who inspired the Coco character Ernesto de la Cruz. He also has a cameo in the animated feature at de la Cruz’s big party. The easiest introduction to this Golden Age star is with this Luis Buñuel flop that barely kicked off the filmmaker’s stint in Mexico. Negrete, guitar in hand, sings his way out of prison and into the story of a murdered oil man. Libertad Lamarque, Argentine star of song and cinema, plays the oil man’s sister and eventual love interest for Negrete.

Gran Casino is little more than a B-movie Western, representative of the country’s cheapie “churro” variety and is arguably a lesser example of the otherwise popular charro singing cowboy genre. For the start of this kind of ranchera musical, see the 1936 Tito Guízar vehicle Allá en el Rancho Grande, and for Negrete’s breakthrough there’s ¡Ay Jalisco, No Te Rajes!, which isn’t easily seen in its preferred full version. Another easily seen but not beloved Negrete classic is the Hal Roach-produced Fiesta.

Nosotros, los Pobres (1948)

Nosotros Los PobresPedro Infante is the other icon on whom del la Cruz is based. Also a famous singer outside of his movie stardom, he was not as much known for leading in musicals. One of his most famous films is the Golden Globe-winning export Tizoc, a romantic drama for which he was posthumously named best actor at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1957. Another, also by Ismael Rodríguez, is this first entry in his popular “Pepe the Bull” trilogy, which also includes Ustedes los Ricos and Pepe el Toro. Translated as “We the Poor,” Nosotros, los Pobres is a social melodrama about a carpenter (Infante’s own initial trade) trying to get by while raising an adopted daughter in a poor neighborhood in Mexico City.

Both Negrete and Infante died young in the 1950s, which surely helped cement them as cultural legends. Like de la Cruz, though, Infante’s death was in an accident — the aviation fanatic was killed in a plane crash rather than being crushed by a giant bell. Despite being one of the inspirations for the Coco character, he too makes a cameo appearance in the party scene. And if you want to see both real Mexican cinema icons together on screen for real, you should check out Two Careful Fellows, a musical comedy in which they play best friends who become enemies, not unlike de la Cruz and Hector in Coco, though their clash is over a woman rather than their professional collaboration.

I should note that some are also referencing Javier Solís as an inspiration for de la Cruz, because he was the third of the iconic Mexican stars who made up the “Three Mexican Roosters.” He was younger (and died younger) than the other two and didn’t even appear in his first movie until after Negrete and Infante were dead — he may have actually been seen as a replacement for fans. I can’t say I know a good title of his to recommend.

Day of the Dead (1957)

Ff DdndbCharles and Ray Eames are much more known for their furniture and architectural design, but they also made a number of films. This one, inspired by Charles Eames’s time in Mexico in the 1930s and produced for the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, is of course about the Day of the Dead. Instead of being a straightforward educational documentary on the subject, the 15-minute film is a cultural tribute, sharing a slightly informative yet emblematic look at the special objects and rituals of the occasion.

A good portion of this short is devoted to the significance of the ofrenda, particularly to all the food placed on the altar and how dead ancestors will come home to feast on their favorite treats. You’ll also see the aztec marigolds, the sugar skulls and skeleton art, and the visiting and maintaining of grave sites that are also part of the story of Coco. While it’s not going to make you much more knowledgable of Mexican culture than Pixar’s movie already provides, there’s no better documentary about the holiday, as far as I’m aware (the Fernando Rey-narrated short Día de Muertos seems decent but I’ve only seen it available in Spanish). Watch Day of the Dead via the Eames Office here.


The Little Priest (1964)

AjaarAnother Mexican cinema icon seen in Coco, easily caricatured in skeletal form, is Cantinflas. He is often likened to Charlie Chaplin, because every national cinema apparently needed their own Chaplin equivalent. He’s also been called a kind of cross between Chaplin and Groucho Marx. Fans of the Mexican comedy legend would probably rather he be honored on his own without need for comparison. Even Chaplin apparently referred to Cantinflas as the greatest comedian alive. I haven’t seen it mentioned officially, but his trickster characters may have been an influence on the creation of Coco‘s Hector.

While the easiest introduction is with the 1956 version of Around the World in 80 Days, for which he earned accolades including a Golden Globe as the valet sidekick Passepartout, and maybe the best place to start is with his 1940 breakthrough Ahí Está el Detalle, which established his catchphrase (translated literally as “there’s the detail”) and cemented him as a star. But many consider his 1960s features, following his Hollywood debut, to be his best work, and El Padrecito, aka The Little Priest, is arguably his best among those. He stars as a young priest who becomes a bullfighter and politician to the delight of the townspeople.

Land of the Dead (1970)

Muertos SantoAnother easily spotted figure in CocoSanto is the most iconic Mexican masked wrestler, or luchador. In addition to his professional career in the ring, he became a movie star specifically in his own genre of lucha libre superhero movies, which actually began without him in the role of his own character back in the early 1950s. They also tended to involve horror premises where Santo fights zombies or vampire women or mummies or Martians. Sometimes, as in this installment, Santo would team-up with fellow Mexican wrestler Blue Demon.

This one is neither his best known (Santo Versus the Vampire Women is most famous for being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000) nor one of his most celebrated. But, in case the title doesn’t make it obvious, Land of the Dead has Santo visiting the afterlife. As imaginative and colorful as the Land of the Dead is in Coco, the one here is pretty lackluster and only comes into play near the end. Tinted in red and accompanied by stock footage and clips from other movies, the Hell that Santo and Blue Demon encounter is sort of a joke. A lovably cheesy joke.


Incredibles 2 Official Teaser Trailer

John Lasseter To Take Leave Of Absence Due To Misconduct Allegations

John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer at both Disney and Pixar, has announced he’s taking a six month sabbatical after several women came forward with stories about his recurrent misconduct. The Hollywood Reporter detailed the claims of several employees.

Ana Ramírez - Pixar Concept Artist for Coco

Ana Ramírez
Pixar concept artist and CalArts alum Ana Ramírez detailed her contributions to creating the colorful world of Coco at this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Her graduate film is above - So Long, Yupi


Emotions Of Pixar

In anticipation of "Inside Out", I made a video showcasing the emotions in Pixar movies.
Hope you like pop music and mush!

Edited By Lindsay McCutcheon
Music: Breathe Me - Sia & You Know We Can't Go Back - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Toy Story
A Bug's Life
Toy Story 2
Monster's Inc
Finding Nemo
The Incredibles
Toy Story 3
Monster's University

Thanks to Rishi Kaneria's "ROYGBIV" for the title screen idea.

Coco - Official US Trailer

Pixar reveals an all-Latino cast for Coco (and a new poster!)

Along with a beautiful new poster, Pixar released details today of the large cast of characters that we can look forward to seeing in Coco later this year, all voiced by actors of Latino descent (including Gabriel Iglesias, Renée Victor, Sofía Espinosa, and Edward James Olmos). It’s worth remembering that Pixar put a lot of effort into making the cast of Brave entirely Scottish or of Scottish descent (save a few lines of dialogue, like the now-essential John Ratzenberger cameo), so it’s great to see them doing the same and more for Coco.

 Read More Here...

Pixar's new 'Lou' short tackles playground bullying

I'm so excited to announce that I'm directing Pixar's next short film "Lou"! #insidepixar #himom

A video posted by Dave Mullins (@dave.mullins) on

Not many studios could get mainstream audiences excited about a new short film, but Pixar isn’t most studios. The company has just released a cute little teaser announcing their next new short: Lou, directed by longtime Pixar animator Dave Mullins.

Lou will be Mullins’ first directing credit, but he’s an old hand when it comes to Pixar magic. He’s been with the animation studio since 2000 and has worked on many of their features including Monsters Inc.Finding Nemo, The IncrediblesRatatouilleUp, and both Cars movies.

From USA Today By Brian Truitt...

For its latest animated short, Pixar takes one of its tried-and-true treasure tropes — a box filled with toys and other goodies — and brings it to life.

An unseen creature in a school’s lost-and-found bin helps teach a bully a lesson in Lou, a six-minute short directed by Dave Mullins, produced by Dana Murray and showing in front of Pixar’s next feature film, Cars 3 (in theaters June 16).

With baseballs for eyes and cloaked in a red hoodie, the title monster keeps a watchful eye on the kids on the playground in secret from his box. A boy named J.J. is a real terror, snatching a video game from his classmate and kicking a girl’s stuffed animal into a basketball hoop, and Lou decides it’s time for a high-jinks-filled comeuppance.

Pixar's Recruiting Team Shares Invaluable Information During Twitter Q&A Session

Via Pixar Post

Twitter has become one of the most unique social media tools allowing its user base to have a digital connection to people and companies that they admire the most. On Monday, December 19, the Pixar Recruiting team held a very informative Twitter Q&A session - answering more than 100 questions in just over an hour.  If these types of Q&A sessions sound familiar - you'll remember that director Andrew Stanton and most recently director Lee Unkrich both held impromptu Q&A's while experiencing travel delays.

The Pixar Recruiting team did a wonderful job tackling a broad range of topics and sharing invaluable information with those who submitted their questions. This also reminded us of the Steve Job's video, "Don't be afraid to ask for help", where he states, "Most people never pick up the phone, most people never ask, and that's what separates sometimes, the people that do things between the people that just dream about them". 



@PixarRecruiting what are some intangibles you look for in candidates & some suggestions to highlight them?

@medsan14 Be your authentic self! Other than appreciating our movies, know why you want to work here. That'll help us understand you better!


@PixarRecruiting What helps a reel or portfolio stand out from the rest?

@thalliez succinct (no more than 1:30) put only ur best work, keep focused to the discipline you're interested in



@JoyOfodu yes absolutely! all interns are paired with a mentor and receive consistent feedback


Is it possible for some1 who has no formal film-related xperience but is extremely interested in Pixar to get a job there? @PixarRecruiting

@_nikkipoison Yes, there are many jobs that don't require film experience. Check out our careers page! 



@PixarRecruiting Story Intern: Does enrollment in a workshop CEU qualify to be an Intern candidate?


@PixarRecruiting are you hiring for freelancers?

@deborahatorres We don't typically hire freelancers. For shows, project-based positions are called ROS (run of show). Good luck!


@PixarRecruiting Hi, and thanks for hosting this! Do you ever do internships for experienced (Gen IT) people who want to work @ Pixar?

@LRacer2 We're glad you're here! Interns must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, or graduated w/i the year


@PixarRecruiting Do technical interns contribute to PIxar's feature films or short?

@vfxchrono Yes! The TD interns work on films in production. We also have a classroom based internship that is only offered in the summer.


@PixarRecruiting What advice would you have for a college sophomore applying for a marketing internship?

@dreespinosa Use your cover letter to tell us about you and why you are interested in marketing. We read all of them!


@PixarRecruiting Set Shading: Is coding a must have quality? I focus more on the artistic side.


@PixarRecruiting When looking at student reels (for internships), do you prefer the reel that is flawless or the one that has potential?

@CyrusMickaela We like to see projects, finished pieces and work in progress. We're looking for potential for certain!


@PixarRecruiting For PUP many different types of application materials are suggested, which do you most like to see?

@jtishler22 Pick a medium that aligns with where you'd like to go: for tech roles: Github/code samples, for art/anim: portfolios, etc.


@PixarRecruiting What is the most creative, striking thing you've seen in a story/anime reel that lead to hiring the artist?

@brushmechanic_ clear story telling without any dialogue. knew what characters were feeling by their expressions and body language


@PixarRecruiting Can you tell me a little bit about the interview process? Assuming there is one.

@Jdunk55 every discipline has a different interview process but the basics are phone interview, video interview(s), and onsite interview(s)


@PixarRecruiting for TD effects internship, what kind of work do you look for in a reel?Does having Live Action film experience help?

@alex_nny LA good; anim better! Houdini exp = great! We need to see that you have a good visual eye.


@PixarRecruiting How much does being an intern affect your chances of being hired later down the road?

@OliviaLovesSnow Depending on which internship, it can be a feeder into a more permanent role, depending on studio needs


@PixarRecruiting Is it OK to have a degree in animation but apply to work in art or story?

@wendi_locklar absolutely! There are many people working at Pixar in areas that have degrees from other areas. We look for passion!


@PixarRecruiting what is your least favorite thing people do when trying to get a job at Pixar? (Besides tweeting at you) ?

@theHsEdition Apply for every open position. We are a studio of specialization and look for individuals with an interest in a specific role


@PixarRecruiting Do you hire remote software developers?

@dustineichler Due to the collaborative nature of our Studio, all our employees are here onsite.


@PixarRecruiting Do you like to see 2D animation as well as 3D?


@PixarRecruiting I am applying to the story internship. What should I definitely have in my portfolio? What are things to avoid?

@chelsealerond17 Story boards she be included. Also include your sketch book. Make it easy to navigate


@PixarRecruiting since a lot of editing software is very similar, is being proficient in the one Pixar uses required for an intern?

@_BAMFOn Basic knowledge of the Avid makes us smile in Editorial. Final Cut great, too. Don't have to be pro but we need to build on it.


@PixarRecruiting Is there a career path from architecture school to Pixar, designing settings? Many people there with that background?

@imagineerland Yes, there are folks with architecture bg's. They usually do well in modeling depts doing digital assets and sets.


@PixarRecruiting @DisneyPixar I would love to work for Pixar. I am a graphic designer currently working at a local newspaper. Need any good graphic designers? ?

@thismeltingsnow @DisneyPixar We don't hire graphic designers often but check our website from time to time

Insight: Brad Bird on Animation

Brad Bird, writer and director of animated films 'The Iron Giant', 'The Incredibles' and 'Ratatouille', gives an insight into his writing process, how he directs animation and why many people fundamentally misunderstand the medium. Subtitles available.

Find out which animated film that one clip was from by turning on the 'English CC' subtitle track.

This video combines excerpts from the three audio commentary tracks on home releases of 'The Iron Giant', 'The Incredibles' and 'Ratatouille', as well as fragments from the behind-the-scenes documentaries. Watching the films prior to watching this video is recommended, but not entirely necessary.

Edited by Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr., © 2016. This non-profit project was made solely for educational purposes, not aimed at breaking copyright law. All rights to all material remain courtesy of their respective owners.


A mother bird tries to teach her little one how to find food by herself. In the process, she encounters a traumatic experience that she must overcome in order to survive.

In Pixar Animation Studios' new short, "Piper," a hungry sandpiper hatchling discovers that finding food without mom’s help isn’t so easy.

Piper is directed by Alan Barillaro (supervising animator "WALL•E," "Brave") and the short will debut in front of Finding Dory, in UK cinemas on July 29, 2016,

Pixar and the Aesthetic Imagination

Animation, Storytelling, and Digital Culture | Pixar and the Aesthetic Imagination

Eric Herhuth (Author)

In Pixar and the Aesthetic Imagination, Eric Herhuth draws upon film theory, animation theory, and philosophy to examine modes of animation storytelling that address aesthetic experience within contexts of technological, environmental, and socio-cultural change. Since producing the first fully computer-animated feature film, Pixar Animation Studios has been a creative force in digital culture and popular entertainment. But more specifically, its depictions of uncanny toys, technologically sublime worlds, fantastic characters, and sensorial intensities explore aesthetic experience and its relation to developments in global media, creative capitalism, and consumer culture. This investigation considers Pixar’s artificial worlds and transformational stories as opportunities for thinking through aesthetics as a contested domain committed to newness and innovation, as well as criticism and pluralistic thought.

Pixar Developing Four New Original Movies

Finding Dory just came out and Cars 3, the Incredibles II and Toy Story 4 are in the horizon. After the superhero sequel comes out in 2019 the next four Pixar movies will be originals, according to Pixar President Jim Morris. And that means since Disney’s acquisition of Pixar in 2006 there will have been 14 original movies and 7 sequels by the time these four come out, thus fulfilling the promise Catmull made years ago.


read more here...

John Lasseter - A Day in a Life - Full Length Documentary

John Lasseter – A Day in a Life – Full-Length Documentary



Kuana Torres Kahele, Napua Greig, James Ford Murphy // Disney Pixar's LAVA from Simian Design on Vimeo.

Animation: Marty Kane,Kyle Cogan, Adam McArthur, Casey Drogin, Jim O'Boyle and Adam Kane
Producer: Kyle Cogan
Record Label: Walt Disney Records
Post Production: Simian Design
Director Representation: Morgan Lane of LARK Content

Pixar USD

Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD) Software

Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD) software aims to compile content from multiple animation programs into one view so animators don’t have to jump in and out of various applications to perform different functions. This is done by generalising assets into a common format that is compatible with any digital content creation tool. The open source nature of USD will also allow smaller studios and independent animators to create their animation in a streamlined way that was previously only possible at big studios using proprietary tools.

Pixar is still working to fine-tune USD but it has already been in use for a year for the upcoming movieFinding Dory, the highly-anticipated sequel to Finding Nemo. It is currently being tested by a handful of animation studios as well, including MPC Film.

The software should be available for release by mid-2016. You can find out more about USD here.


Chicano Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz Hired to Make Sure Pixar Doesn’t Fuck Up Dia de Muertos Film ‘Coco’

"Coco will be released in November 2017. In that time, let’s just hope the Pixar team doesn’t do anything dumb, lest Lalo have to take out the chancla."

~ read more here


Lalo Alacarez




Stealth by John Lasseter's Son, Bennett Lasseter Nominated for 2015 Student Academy Awards

Scene from Stealth from Bennett Lasseter on Vimeo.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the finalists for its 2015 Student Academy Awards and in the narrative category, Bennett Lasseter, the son of Pixar and Disney chief creative officer John Lasseter, earned a nod for Stealth, produced at the American Film Institute Conservatory. His father, John, won the Student Academy Award twice, once in 1979 for Lady and the Lamp, and again in 1980 for Nitemare.   (From Cartoon Brew) 

...kind of hard to hear him, but you get a little bit more about his film.

Disney's Hyperion Renderer

Disney's Hyperion Renderer

Disney's Hyperion Renderer

Nicely put together webpage explaining Disney's Render - Hyperion.

Just in time for Siggraph 2015

The swipe comparison on the page and the overview video for explaining rendering is really nice!

Good Dinosaur

Trailer - The Good Dinosaur

Trailer - The Good Dinosaur


Pixar Chief Says the Studio Is Addressing ‘Major Issues'

From Bloomberg Business - Pixar Chief Says the Studio Is Addressing ‘Major Issues'

Inside Out, the first release from Walt Disney’s Pixar in about two years, is a hit with critics and at the box office—even as the animation studio has been working through “major issues,” according to Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. For example, he said, Pixar had to redo The Good Dinosaur, a film that had been slated to come out last year before it was postponed and taken over by a new director. “There are major issues we’re addressing at Pixar now,” Catmull said, without elaborating.

~

Inside Out Characters

Quiz: Which Inside Out Character are You?

Quiz: Which Inside Out Character are You?



I kinda knew I would be this one...

Inside Out - Disgust

You're Disgust!

You’re highly opinionated, extremely honest, and have standards that you refuse to compromise. If people want your advice, they have to be prepared to handle the truth, which means they’re especially careful about asking you to listen to their mixtapes.

Monsters Inc Screams

Trivia - Monster's Inc. Screams

All the child screams in Monsters, Inc. were supplied by the animators’ kids.


That’s the ultimate “Bring Your Kid To Work Day” activity.

Inside Out Characters

Animated Features - Character Videos from Inside Out

Over at Yahoo Movies, new clips featuring each of the five emotions in Inside Out.

USD is a flexible FileFormat Plugin System From Pixar

Here is the USD Google Group mailing list:
"USD contains a flexible FileFormat plugin system that allows arbitrary file formats to be parsed, dynamically translated (if required), and composed into USD. USD will always ship with (at minimum) a complete, stable, ascii representation, as well as an efficient binary representation that may evolve over time. We have found the ascii representation to be tremendously valuable for debugging, and plan to also use it for archiving "legacy" assets such that current software will always be able to parse the assets without needing to maintain support for deprecated binary back-ends."

Animators Roundtable: Full Interview

The Los Angeles Times uploaded an interview with 
five directors who worked on various animated films in 2013. 


TRIVIA THURSDAY: The voice of the boy perched on his tricycle in Mr. Incredible’s driveway was voiced by Brad Bird’s son.

The Good Dinosaur is pushed

Bad news, everyone! As the LA Times confirms, Pixar has pushed back the release date for The Good Dinosaur to November 25th, 2015. The movie had its director replaced not too long ago. Currently, The good Dinosaur ix helmed by Pixar studio heads and former directors John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich and Mark Andrews and the film’s original co-director Peter Sohn.
This new release date was the original date of the Finding Nemo sequel, Finding DoryHowever, Finding Dory will now also be pushed back to the Summer of 2016. We don’t know if this means there won’t be a Pixar film in 2014, but as Ed Catmull says in the article: “Nobody ever remembers the fact that you slipped a film, but they will remember a bad film. Our conclusion was that we were going to give the [dinosaur] film some more time.”…If we have to wait, we’ll wait. 

Bob Peterson is Off 'The Good Dinosaur'

Bob Peterson is Off 'The Good Dinosaur'; Various Pixar Directors Helming Film

Earlier this week, we reported on a very worrying rumor that longtime Pixarian Bob Peterson has been removed as director of The Good Dinosaur. Today, Pixar spoke out and confirmed the truth: Bob Peterson has been pulled off the project and replaced by a makeshift team of directors.

Ed Catmull confirmed the news to the LA Times, going on to explain the rationale behind the decision. "All directors get really deep in their films. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to get the idea out. Sometimes directors … are so deeply embedded in their ideas it actually takes someone else to finish it up. I would go so far as to argue that a lot of live-action films would be better off with that same process."

With no replacement for Peterson and a release date quickly approaching, various members of Pixar’s Brain Trust are working with original co-director Pete Sohn to continue work on The Good Dinosaur; John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, and Mark Andrews are now overseeing various segments of the film. Denise Ream is producing in place of John Walker.

While directorial changes are nothing new for Pixar, having four directors juggle a project nine months before release doesn’t inspire much confidence. Pixar remains committed to the May 30 release date, but personally, I’d rather see them push the release back if it means a more polished result.

The good news: Peterson is still at the studio, set to direct another film.

Disney & Pixar announce dates for the next 15 films

Disney & Pixar announce the release dates for the next 15 animated films until 2018 with 2 movies a year and 3 in 2013/16 and 18 . See below for the full list of dates: Pixar’s Monsters University in 3D – June 21, 2013 - via Spline Bomb
Disney’s& Planes in 3D – August 9, 2013
Disney’s Frozen in 3D – November 27, 2013
Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur in 3D – May 30, 2014
Marvel’s Big Hero 6 in 3D – November 7, 2014
Pixar’s Inside Out in 3D – June 15, 2015
Pixar’s Finding Dory in 3D – November 25, 2015
Disney Untitled Animation in 3D – March 4, 2016
Pixar Untitled Animation in 3D – June 17, 2016
Disney Untitled Animation in 3D – November 23, 2016
Pixar Untitled Animation in 3D – June 16, 2017
Pixar Untitled Animation in 3D – November 22, 2017
Disney Untitled Animation in 3D – March 9th, 2018
Pixar Untitled Animation in 3D – June 15, 2018
Disney Untitled Animation in 3D – November 21, 2018

How Pixar made Monsters University

How Pixar made Monsters University

Even w/ more than 24,000 cores, 

 it still takes 29 hours to render a single frame of Monsters University.

Paper Man Short

In case you have been living under a rock...