Dear John Lasseter — Re: Disney Shorts

Mickey Mouse Be Mine Boxers

Dear John. I know, my alter ego gets Dear John letters all the time. It’s just our cross to bear, isn’t it?

And now that I’ve bonded us over our very common name, I must say that while I was right to be apprehensive about the Dixar merge–things so far have worked out well. But I’d like to point you back to our list of suggestions for you…and I know you’re probably hard at work on all of them, but:

“Presto,” the short that played in front of WALL-E, was genius. (Was reminded of this while watching the DVD.) And that reminded me: when are we going to see shorts in front of all Disney films? Where was the short in front of Bolt?

I mean, you’ve got this huge stable of beloved characters you can draw upon. And people had said that Mickey Mouse was boring, for example. Below we see what happens when you put Mickey in the hands of some utterly mental animators.

By | 2017-09-24T23:08:47+00:00 December 8th, 2008|Stimuli|0 Comments

Disney Schedule Through 2012

Walt Disney Pictures logo

Disney has announced the ten animated feature films that make up their new release schedule through 2012. Plus some Tinker Bell direct to video bits. And you really don’t want the hoobah of the press release talking about how great it is and ooh aren’t we lovely. No, let’s cut straight to the list.

Oh, wait. You do want to know this bit, though:

Starting later this year with the release of Disney’s “Bolt,” all Disney and Pixar animated features will be presented in state-of-the-art Disney Digital 3-D(TM). Additionally, newly converted 3-D versions of the beloved classics, “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” are set to debut in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Films are not presently scheduled past 2012 due to the impending singularity, or as John Hodgman would call it: Ragnarok.

That last part we had mentioned previously. And I’ll go ahead and tell you: Incredibles 2 is not on the list. Damn you, Disney. Damn you for breaking my heart. Again.

Oh, one last thing–where is Chazzie-award winning director Brad Bird? Making a live action co-produced film for Warner Brothers and Disney/Pixar, apparently, so he’s not on the list. Come back, Brad! Bring me my Incredibles sequel! Please!

Okay, list. What follows is trimmed from their press release. Our additions and comments are in italics.


By | 2017-09-24T23:20:28+00:00 April 8th, 2008|Headsup|2 Comments

To Infinity… And In Your Face!

Toy Story 3-D

Disney is reworking both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 into 3-D. You can expect the 3-D Toy Story to hit October 2, 2009, the 3-D Toy Story 2 to hit February 12, 2010 and then the brand spanking new inherently 3-D Toy Story 3. Now, the first thing you might recall is that back when Disney was going to do Toy Story 3 without Pixar (before their Vulcan mind meld–or, if not a Vulcan mind meld, then some strange version of this–right down to the opening line, “It seemed like a good idea at the time”) they were going to do it 3-D then too.

The obvious question you might ask me is, “Widge, am I pleased or frightened?”

And my answer is: hellifiknow. First up, Disney has this hideous track record of recent years and we’re all extremely gun shy thanks to amount of crap they’ve released. I was afraid they would overpower Pixar with their suck factor.

By | 2017-09-24T23:22:16+00:00 January 24th, 2008|Stimuli|0 Comments

Disney and Proto-Pixar: Where the Wild Things Almost Were

Disney/Pixar test of Where the Wild Things Are, directed by John Lasseter

This is pretty sweet. It’s a CG test for Where the Wild Things Are produced in 1983 for Disney. The director? John Lasseter. The snippet does a good job of describing how they put it together. Bear in mind the film version of this is finally going to hit cinemas in 2008, directed by Spike Jonze for Warner Brothers.

Direct link for the feedreaders.

Found via Drawn!

By | 2017-09-24T23:36:16+00:00 January 19th, 2007|Stimuli|0 Comments

Watch Some Miyazaki, Fold Some Miyazaki

Howl's Moving Castle DVD cover art

So I found this papercraft version of Howl’s Castle from Miyazaki‘s latest film. This was pointed out by the fine folks at MAKE Blog. (Update: It’s been taken down and re-found at its new home thanks to PaperKraft.)

An excellent fantasy that marks a return to coherent form over Spirited Away (of which I was one of perhaps five Miyazaki fans who didn’t dig the movie–c’est la guerre), it’s about a young woman (Emily Mortimer) who runs into the Howl (Christian Bale) of the title and winds up with a curse placed upon her by the Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall). Her quest to return to normal leads her to meet an array of fantastic characters and of course, the normal other-things you run into in a fantastical quest: danger, villains, mayhem, and hijinks. Not necessarily in that order.

While it’s nowhere near the special edition we’re sure this thing got in Japan, this Buena Vista release gives you the most important part: the movie looking damn good. There’s also a short “behind-the-mic” featurette, interviews with Pete Docter and John Lasseter, a visit by Miyazaki to Pixar Studios, trailers, and the complete storyboards of the film.


By | 2017-09-24T23:47:16+00:00 April 15th, 2006|Animation|0 Comments

Kiss the Ring, Disney. Kiss the Ring.

John Lasseter

When I first heard the story about Disney absorbing Pixar, I was apprehensive, to say the least. Sure, the rumors said that Steve Jobs would wind up the #1 Disney megastockholder, but that didn’t seem like enough insurance to me. Disney, after all, corrupts everything that is good and pure and, you know, original and creative…so I was freaking the hell out.


By | 2017-09-24T23:50:02+00:00 January 26th, 2006|Stuff You Need to Know|5 Comments

A Bug’s Life (1998) – DVD Review

A Bug's Life: 1999 Collector's Edition DVD cover art


Written by: Don McEnery, Bob Shaw & Andrew Stanton based on a story by John Lasseter, Joe Ranft & Andrew Stanton
Directed by: John Lasseter & Andrew Stanton
Starring: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Denis Leary, Phyllis Diller


  • Audio commentary with Lasseter, Stanton and supervising film editor Lee Unkrich
  • Early executive presentation starring “Fleabie”
  • Behind-the-scenes coverage of the film with introductions and explanations by the filmmakers
  • Original story treatment and pitch boards
  • Character designs, concept art and color script
  • Sequences abandoned for the final film
  • Storyboard-to-final-film split-screen comparison
  • Behind-the-scenes look at voice talent
  • Early production tests
  • Production progression demonstration with each of the stages of production represented
  • Sound designer Gary Rydstrom on the sound effects in the film
  • Trailers and posters
  • Behind-the-scenes look at how the film was altered to accomodate whackos who like full-frame movies
  • Both takes of outtakes along with a featurette regarding them
  • Pixar’s short, “Geri’s Game”

Released by: Disney
Region: 1
Rating: G
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Own it.


By | 2017-09-25T00:01:32+00:00 December 7th, 2003|Reviews|0 Comments

Monsters, Inc. (2001) – DVD Review

monsters inc dvd cover


Written by: Dan Gerson & Andrew Stanton
Directed by: Pete Docter, with David Silverman & Lee Unkrich
Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Mary Gibbs


  1. Running audio commentary with director Docter, co-director Unkrich, executive producer John Lasseter & executive producer/writer Stanton
  2. “Sneak Peeks” for Finding Nemo, the Beauty & the Beast DVD, the Lilo and Stitch DVD, Inspector Gadget 2 and Treasure Planet
  3. Mike’s New Car: new animated short with audio commentary by Docter & Gould
  4. For the Birds: animated short with audio commentary by director Ralph Eggleston
  5. Outtakes
  6. Put That Thing Back Where It Came From or So Help Me: The Monsters, Inc. Company Play and Program
  7. Pixar production tour
  8. Monstropolis and Setting the Scene featurettes
  9. Color Scripts & Master Lighting galleries
  10. Location flyarounds
  11. Monstropolis art gallery
  12. Guide to In-Jokes
  13. Cast of Characters & What Makes a Great Monster? featurettes
  14. Character Designs gallery
  15. Story is King and Monsters Are Real featurettes
  16. Original Treatment
  17. Story Pitch session: “Back to Work (early version)”
  18. Banished Concepts
  19. Original Sulley Intro
  20. Storyboard to Film Comparison
  21. Animation Process featurette
  22. Early Test Footage with audio commentary by Supervising
  23. Technical Director Thomas Porter, Simulation/FX Sequence Supervisor Steve May and Sequence Supervisor Michael Fong
  24. Opening Title Animation featurette
  25. “Hard Parts” featurette regarding technological innovations
  26. Shots Department featurette
  27. Production Demo
  28. “If I Didn’t Have You” music video and featurette
  29. Sound Design and foley featurette
  30. Binaural Recording explanation and demonstrations
  31. Footage from the movie’s premiere
  32. Toys featurette
  33. Poster gallery
  34. Trailers & TV spots
  35. International Inserts
  36. Multi-Language Clip Reel
  37. Monster TV Treats: interstitial bits from Monday Night Football, the holidays, etc.
  38. Exclusive animation created for the Japanese kids’ show, Ponkickies 21
  39. Peek-a-Boo: Boo’s Door Game
  40. Disney Storytime: “Welcome to Monstropolis”
  41. On the Job With Mike and Sulley animated short
  42. Monsters, Inc. TV commercial, New Employee Orientation Video, and Employee Handbook
  43. History of Monster World
  44. Collectible Monsters, Inc. Scarer Cards, with commentary by Needleman and Smitty

Released by: Disney/Pixar
Region: 1
Rating: G
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Own it.


By | 2009-08-04T12:06:58+00:00 October 8th, 2002|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments