Incredibles 2 on Blu-ray and Digital Download!

Incredibles 2 on Blu-ray and Digital Download!

Incredibles 2 has just been released on blu-ray and digital download. The Incredibles has always been my favorite Pixar animated film and Incredibles 2 improved upon the formula from the first film. When Disney sent over my review copy, I plugged in the digital code and started enjoying the film on the Movie Anywhere app immediately.

But let’s talk about all of the incredible extras and special features that are part of the blu-ray and digital download!

Incredibles 2 BONUS FEATURES (may vary by retailer)
Digital Exclusives:

  • The Coolest Guy in Show Business – In this partially illustrated documentary, Samuel L. Jackson reflects how his childhood and love of comics shaped his passion for film and imaginative storytelling.
  • 2 SuperScene Breakdowns – Casual commentary-style pieces looking at specific scenes in the film (The Racoon Fight and Mrs. Incredible) through a particular creative focus like action choreography, set design or story.

Incredibles 2 Blu-ray & Digital Bonus Features:

  • All-New “Auntie Edna” Mini-Movie – When Bob Parr visits super-suit designer Edna Mode looking for help with his high-energy toddler Jack-Jack, Edna pulls an all-nighter designing a suit to harness the baby’s seemingly limitless powers.
  • 10 Deleted Scenes With Introductions – Suburban Escape, Kari Revisited, Return of the Supers, Chewed Out, Late Audition, Slow Day, Frozone and Honey, Restaurant Robbery, Fashion Show and Security Breakdown.
  • Super Stuff – From buildings and vehicles to costumes and props, every action movie requires a lot of really cool stuff. Meet the makers and learn what it takes to design and build such a uniquely incredible world.
  • Heroes & Villains – A collection of mini-docs about the backstory and major design ideas behind the “Incredibles 2” characters — featuring voice actors, director Brad Bird, and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters feel real.
  • Ralph Eggleston: Production Designer – This short piece explores the many ways a single production designer has influenced the look, feel and character of the Pixar universe, culminating in “Incredibles 2.”
  • Strong Coffee: A Lesson in Animation with Brad Bird – Brad Bird’s passion for animation dates back to his childhood and mentorship under Disney’s Milt Kahl, and that enthusiasm and powerful insight emanates from every film he’s made. Take a deep dive into Brad’s early years at Disney Animation Studios and his time at Pixar.
  • Paths to Pixar: Everyday Heroes – At its heart, “Incredibles 2” is about family dynamics and the challenges of being a working parent. Meet the parents of Pixar as they discuss their personal connections to the film and their experience with stretching to balance work and family.
  • SuperBaby – A documentary/hip hop music video hybrid hosted by Frankie and Paige from Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark. This piece explores how Jack-Jack came to life onscreen — from design to special effects to animation — all set to a hot beat.
  • Commentary – Get inside commentary from animators Alan Barillaro (supervising animator), Tony Fucile (supervising animator, story artist and character designer), Dave Mullins (supervising animator) and Bret Parker (animation second unit and crowds supervisor).
  • Theatrical Short: “Bao” – An aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively, giggly dumpling boy.
  • Making “Bao” – Director Domee Shi shares her secret recipe for making an animated short — discussing how her rich cultural heritage, unique relationship with her mom, and her love of food all informed the making of the food-fantasy “Bao.”
  • Outtakes & Stories – Raccoon Fight Story, Evelyn Animation Outtakes, Puppet Animator Interview, Outtakes Goofy Arms Story and SuperBaby Music Video.
  • Character Theme Songs, Vintage Toy Commercial TV Spots , Toolkit Montage and Global “Incredibles 2” Trailers

Should You Buy Incredibles 2?

The Incredibles 2 blu-ray and digital download offer some of the best special features content that I’ve experienced on a release in a long time. The “Auntie Edna” mini-movie was a stand-out, along with the Strong Coffee documentary about animation, Brad Bird and his history with the Disney Studios. Animation fans and stunts are going to be thrilled with the extras packed on this disc.

Overall, Incredibles 2 is a superb addition to your collection, whether you’re purchasing the physical blu-ray or the digital download. Personally, I always opt for the package with the blu-ray and the digital copy so that I can enjoy the movie anywhere.

FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the author for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Disney Pixar Pop-Up A Celebration

Disney Pixar Pop-Up A Celebration

A review copy of Disney Pixar Pop-Up A Celebration arrived and I was pretty excited to check it out. Matthew Reinhart is known for creating intricate works of pop-up art.

Video Review of Disney Pixar Pop-Up A Celebration

Let me know what you think about the new pop-up book all about the Pixar films and shorts. Is it something that you would buy?

Don’t forget to stop by my YouTube channel to subscribe and leave a comment! I post weekly videos about Disney, Dollywood, Carowinds, theme park history, roller coasters and Disney books.

FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Cars 3 on Blu-ray, a review

Cars 3 on Blu-ray!

Cars 3 on blu-ray has just been released. Are you going to add it to your collection?

The original Cars was released in 2006 and became the most lucrative franchise that Disney owned. After a billion-dollar expansion of Disney California Adventure to create Cars Land, we’ve seen two sequels and a number of shorts. Honestly, I never thought that Pixar would make sequels, but it seems as if Lasseter is doing his best to beef up the Disney coffers.

It’s Cars 3 on blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD!

Cars 3 is the third part of Lightning McQueen’s journey. At first I wasn’t really interested in seeing the film, simply because I couldn’t imagine where they could take it. Would it be like the Rocky films? You know, where he was on top and then got beat down? Then he had to find his way back up.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the turns that the film took. There were some surprises with the plot and characters, as well as some very charming moments. An eye-opening moment after watching the film concerned the lack of a perceived villain. Except for McQueen feeling out of place, it was refreshing to see a family film with no clear-cut villain.

The film is absolutely gorgeous and showcases how far technology and artistry have come. The part of the film that takes in Thomasville, North Carolina, really had the flavor of the rural area. On a different note, all of the main characters from Cars were played as ancillary to the story. They were all there, but they were mostly ties to Radiator Springs and McQueen’s older life.

Cars 3 on Blu-ray: The Bonus Features!

The bonus features added a lot to the film, especially thinking about how they had to make a sequel in the series. How would you characterize changing a character as well as how to create a story that wasn’t formulaic.

Bonus Features*

Blu-ray & Digital:

  • Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool (Exclusive new mini-movie) – Enjoy blindsided testimonials from the Crazy 8’s, touting the transformative impact Miss Fritter’s Racing School has had in reshaping the direction of their lives.
  • Theatrical Short: “Lou” – When a toy-stealing bully ruins recess for a playground full of kids, only one thing stands in his way: the “Lost and Found” box.
  • Let’s. Get. Crazy. – Get schooled in the world of demolition derby, the “rules” of figure 8 racing, and how Pixar puts the crazy in the Thunder Hollow Crazy 8 race. This piece is hosted by Lea DeLaria.
  • Legendary – a close, historical look at the racing legends Wendell Scott and Louise Smith, whose tenacity and perseverance got them into the race even when they weren’t invited.
  • Ready for the Race – Disney Channel’s Olivia Rodrigo and NASCAR Racer William Byron check out the Hendrick Motorsports campus to showcase how real-world race training influenced the filmmakers.
  • World’s Fastest Billboard – Blink and you will miss all of the graphics and “car-ified” advertisements created by Pixar’s Art team to make the ”Cars 3” world as believable as possible.
  • Cruz Ramirez: The Yellow Car That Could – Join Cristela Alonzo and the filmmakers on their journey to create a race-car trainer turned champion racer.
  • Generations: The Story of “Cars 3” – For the story team, creating Lightning McQueen’s next chapter didn’t involve just a tune-up, but a complete overhaul.
  • My First Car – A collection of illustrated first-car stories as narrated by members of the “Cars 3” cast and crew. “A Green Car on the Red Carpet with Kerry Washington,” “Old Blue,” and “Still in the Family.”
  • 5 Deleted Scenes – Each deleted scene is set up with an introduction as to why it was removed from the film. Deleted scenes include “The Boogie Woogie,” “The Jars of Dirt,” “Lugnut,” “The Bolt,” and “More Than New Paint.”
  • Cars To Die(cast) For – Take a look at the phenomenon of die-cast toy collecting and the more than 1,000 unique designs that exist in the Cars universe.
  • Commentary – Brian Fee (Director), Kevin Reher (Producer), Andrea Warren (Co-Producer) and Jay Ward (Creative Director)
  • And more…

Are you going to check out Cars 3 on Blu-ray?

FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Monsters University, a blu-ray review

Monsters University, a blu-ray review

Monsters University was originally released on blu-ray in November, 2013. Jeff and George reviewed this title on Communicore Weekly during its original release.

George: Pixar’s been on a winning streak since Toy Story. Critics and fans alike question how long Pixar can keep cranking out the hits. Monsters’ Inc has always been a favorite in our house, because it’s been the film that seemed to elevate Pixar character animation to the next step. There was a believability and honesty with the characters that we hadn’t seen before. When I first heard about a Monsters prequel, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would Monsters University live up to the hype?

Jeff: Monsters Inc is definitely in my top two Pixar films, so like George, hearing they were making a prequel made me a little uneasy. Prequels are always tricky ground and don’t always turn out well (coughStarWarscough). Though, I was still excited to see it. Unfortunately, Monsters University came out the same time that I moved cross country, so I missed it while it was in theaters.

George: (Hangs head in shame.) We missed it in the theaters, too, so I was excited to get the review copy. We watched it the first weekend and I’ve spent the rest of the week watching the extras. I enjoyed the film and thought it was a great Pixar film and a good addition to the Monsters universe. The characters were still incredibly well-defined and even when Pixar brought in more of a stereotype character, it still fit into the film extremely well. I did miss Boo but seeing the development of friendships and rivalries kept the story going and kept us cheering for Mike.

Jeff: I really like how the story itself focuses on Mike, from how he initially grew up wanting to be a Scarer, and how his friendship with Sulley formed. I found the film to be extremely charming and it had quite a few moments that made me laugh out loud. Like George said, it really felt perfect for the Monster’s universe, and it made sense, filling in the blanks before Monsters Inc.

“MONSTERS UNIVERSITY” (Pictured) YOUNG MIKE. ©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

George: What’s funny is I didn’t know there were blanks until I saw this film! To me, Pixar really did a great job of using the college experience as a character. Most everyone is going to be able to relate to the film whether they went to college of have seen the many films about college life (Animal House, anyone?). Jeff and I are always concerned about the special features when there’s a blu-ray release. We’ve seen a dearth of special features on recent releases and hoped for the best with Monsters University. We’re both happy to say that there’s good news.

Jeff: I have to say, the amount of special features, and the depth that they go, was a pleasant surprise for this disc. I was concerned at first, after viewing the film, and seeing that the only special feature on the disc was audio commentary. It then took me a moment to realize that there was a whole other, second disc, devoted completely to special features. The inner film nerd in me cried out in joy. Every single featurette in the special features was fantastic to watch. My personal favorite was “Campus Life,” a day in the life of making the film.

ARE WE HAVING FUN YET? – When it comes to college life, Mike and Sulley have VERY different ideas of what it means to have a good time—it’s a wonder these two mismatched monsters ever settled their differences. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, “Monsters University” scares up audiences on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D in select theaters. ©2012 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

George: Watching Campus Life made me mad! I want breakfast, lunch and dinner provided at my workplace everyday. Of course, most Pixar employees work through their lunch breaks. I did enjoy the features and like Jeff, was a little confused when I noticed the special features weren’t on the main disc. But a whole disc dedicated just to the features is A-OK in my book (but not my Book of the Week). Here’s a list of the special features: Campus Life, Story School, Scare Games, Welcome to MU, Music Appreciation, Scare Tactics, Color and Light, Paths to Pixar – MU Edition, Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective, Deleted Scenes, and “The Blue Umbrella”

What do you think about Monsters University? Which Pixar movie is your favorite?

The Good Dinosaur, a review

The Good Dinosaur, a review

The Good Dinosaur was just released on blu-ray. It was the first time that Pixar released two films in one year. How does this film compare to the other Pixar releases?

George: The Good Dinosaur is Pixar’s 16th film. That’s a pretty long run of hit films for any company, especially an animation studio. But, the Good Dinosaur might be the first Pixar film that doesn’t quite cut the muster. At least in my opinion, anyway.

Jeff: It’s got all the elements of a Pixar film to make it shine: great characters, gorgeous animation, tons of heart…but for me, it kind of fell flat. It seemed like someone told this one out of the oven too soon, and was very cookie-cutter, by the book formula.

The Good Dinosaur

George: My initial thought was that it really needed to be a 25- or 45- minute special. Something that could be released on television or as a download special. As Jeff mentioned, it was very cookie-cutter and the best comment I heard was that The Good Dinosaur is The Lion King meets Cars! But it does have slightly more merit than that.

Jeff: There was a shake up when the original director of the film stepped down, and someone else replaced him. The story was revamped, and they basically started from scratch, but with the same release date. I think they may have hurt them all in the end.

Arlo and Spot make the trek to Expedition Everest! AN UNLIKELY PAIR – In Disney•Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR, Arlo, an Apatosaurus, encounters a human named Spot. Together, they brave an epic journey through a harsh and mysterious landscape. Directed by Peter Sohn, THE GOOD DINOSAUR opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Arlo and Spot make the trek to Expedition Everest!

George: Despite the issues with the story, the film is incredibly gorgeous and the most photo-realistic animated film that I’ve ever seen. Pixar has water down pat and it looks good. The rest of the scenes are just as beautiful and I found myself paying more attention to the backgrounds than the actual characters or the story. It’s been hard to put my finger on what’s missing, but it’s just not on the same level.

Jeff: Like George mentioned the backgrounds and environments are top notch. To contrast, the animators made the characters goofy-looking. It works, for the most part, but I can’t help but wonder if this is why I was kept out of the film a little bit?

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Pictured (L-R): Arlo, Spot. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

George: I think the dinosaurs and other talking characters had to be drawn like cartoon characters, but they also threw in some very real-looking animals. It seemed like it drew a line between the characters that had emotion and intelligence versus the animals that were just animals. It was odd. But, the disc did come with several features, but I’m not sure if they lived up to everything I wanted to see from the film, either.

Jeff: I, honestly, enjoyed most of the features. I feel like Pixar special features go a little bit beyond the corporate drivel put on usual Disney Blu-rays, so I was thankful for what we got. There is a look at the journey of the film, from the very beginnings, to scheduling it, and production. Then there is also a look at the digital construction of the dinosaurs, along with a feature on the lies they came up with for the film.

AN UNLIKELY PAIR — In Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” Arlo, an Apatosaurus, encounters a human named Spot. Together, they brave an epic journey through a harsh and mysterious landscape. Directed by Peter Sohn, “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

George: My favorite special was the Recyclasuarus competition. The Pixar employees all had to make dinosaurs out of found material. It was incredibly entertaining to see how Pixar goes to great lengths to take care of their staff and engages them, especially during crunch times. The Sanjay’s Super Team short was very impressive and I’m glad it was included. I love that Pixar gives up-and-coming directors the chance to sharpen their skills.

Jeff: Bascially, most of the extras here were a total win for me. Kudos to them for putting together some cool stuff that wasn’t just fluff. It’s shame that the movie wasn’t as good as the rest of it, though.

George: I don’t want it to sound like we hated The Good Dinosaur, but it just wasn’t as inventive and exciting as most of Pixar’s previous films. And those are extremely high standards to live up to. My youngest really enjoyed it and it seems like most people are going to have a good time watching the film. If any animation studio had released it, people would be raving about it, but it just didn’t seem like it was up to the Pixar standard.
Jeff: Even Pixar’s bad films are better than most films, period, so it’s still worth checking out, I think. Give it a rental, and see what you think.

What did you think about The Good Dinosaur?

Pixar Short Films Collection 2, a review

Pixar Short Films Collection 2, a review

The Pixar Short Films Collection 2 was originally released in 2012. Jeff and George reviewed in on Communicore Weekly (the Greatest Online Show) during the original release of the blu-ray. Enjoy this Retro-Review!

Jeff: If you’ve ever seen a Pixar film, you know that they always show a short film before the theatrical release. And I’d say that 100% of the time, the short film is incredibly charming and heart warming. Pixar is known for their feature length masterpieces, but I have to say that their short films are what really connect with me. So, needless to say, I was happy when they announced they were releasing the Pixar Short Films Collection 2.

George: The short films have been used as a training ground for up and coming directors/producers. This gives them an opportunity to stretch their wings a bit and try some new flight paths. I also love the short films because Pixar will take a lot of chances with new styles, methods of storytelling and techniques. When the review copy came in, I was thrilled to watch it!

Pixar Short Films Collection 2 included shorts:

  • Your Friend the Rat (2007)
  • Presto (2008)
  • BURN-E (2008)
  • Partly Cloudy (2009)
  • Dug’s Special Mission (2009)
  • George & A.J. (2009)
  • Day & Night (2010)
  • Hawaiian Vacation (2011)
  • Air Mater (2011)
  • Small Fry (2011)
  • Time Travel Mater (2012)
  • La Luna (2011)

Jeff: For the most part, you’ve seen all of these shorts before. They’re even included on the DVDs/Blu-Rays of the films they were packaged with. It’s nice to have them all in one place, though. But, the real star of the show here are all the extra features they jammed onto the disc. I personally thought that the audio commentaries included for each short were very informative, and showed an interesting thought process behind each one.

George: I agree that the extras were really good. I would balk at purchasing this collection just for the shorts, but the extras add enough to justify the purchase. What I noticed right away was that there were more shorts with established characters than before. The first set had three (out of twelve) shorts from feature films. Volume two has seven (of twelve) short films with established characters. Granted, the shorts helped expand the stories of the films, but it seemed like Pixar was not being as creative as before.

Jeff: I think, earlier, it was the case of trying to establish themselves as storytellers. Now, they have a vast array of story universes to choose from when it comes to making shorts. I will definitely agree that this causes them to sort of lose a bit of their creativity. That’s not to say that their animated shorts based on Toy Story or Cars (OK, well, maybe just Toy Story) aren’t good. But I really feel like their original, short films are their strongest asset to this set.

Presto from the Pixar Short Films Collection 2

George: To me, the standout short has always been Presto. Pixar has done a great job of animating physical storytelling and they reached a new high with Presto. It was much more of a Tex Avery short than a Disney short. It is also the one that makes us laugh uncontrollably each time we watch it.

Jeff: I also think that the short student films, included in the bonus features, are a big win. Showcasing the early works of John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter, they really do show a progression of story telling and film making for each director, and it’s fun to see some of their original work. And, as expected for a Pixar collection, the Blu-Ray transfer looks incredible on HD TVs, with every line being crisp and the colors really popping. Overall, this one is a definite buy for me.

Did you pick up the Pixar Short Films Collection 2 on blu-ray? Which one is your favorite short? Tell us in the comments!

Brave on Blu-ray, a review

Brave on Blu-ray, a review

Brave was released on blu-ray in 2012. Jeff and George originally shared this review on Communicore Weekly (the Greatest Online Show).

We both saw Brave in the theater and discussed the film in an episode of Communicore Weekly. While we both really enjoyed the film, we walked away thinking that something was missing. Is the film worth picking up on Blu-ray?

George: I saw Brave in the theater with my wife and kids. We all enjoyed the film, but the boys (13 and 8, at the time) didn’t seem as impressed as I was. Technically, the film was gorgeous, but it seemed to be missing something. When the review copy hit the door, we watched it as a family over two nights. The 13 year-old seemed to enjoy it a lot more than my younger son, but we all seemed to laugh and enjoy more at home.

Jeff: Like George said, when I first saw Brave, I felt it was missing a little something. I didn’t hate it by any means, but I didn’t fall in love with it either, like I do with most Pixar films. However, unlike George and his family, watching it this second time at home, I seemed to like it even less. Visually, the film is stunning, but I was left feeling like there was an emotional impact missing from the heart of the film.

George: As much as I love the movie theater experience, with the advent of Blu-ray, high-definition TV and amazing surround sound, I find I enjoy the home movie experience more than the theater. Brave was made for hi-definition; the images are crystal clear and stunning while the audio is superb. I noticed the background music and songs more at home than in the theater. Once again, Disney/Pixar proves that they can cast excellent actors for the voices. I agree with Jeff that the movie is missing some heart, but I think I enjoy the film more because of my own relationship with my teenage son. His hair looks just as crazy at Merida’s.

Jeff: I’m sure he’d love you comparing his hair to Merida’s! Speaking of, on the flip side, Alex, my nine year old, seemed less into the film than I did. His reaction was a resounding “Meh, it was alright.” He also agrees that the visuals were stunning, but his favorite part was when “that bear started tearing it up.” Straight from the mouths of babes, folks.

Brave Blu-ray Extras

George: The blu-ray combo set is chock full of amazing extras about the creation of the film. The theatrical short, La Luna is included and it is just as charming as in the theaters. The new short, the Legend of Mor’du is presented and it is a fantastic addition to the film and the Pixar repertoire. I was blown away by the number of the specials in this package. As expected, there are a lot of bonus features about the making of the film. With a technical achievement like Merida’s hair, you can imagine the behind-the-scenes segments would be technical but they’re presented in a style that kids and adults will enjoy. My youngest even spent time watching them with me. My guess is that there are over 3-4 hours of extras. The extras really do add to the overall viewing experience.

What did you think about Brave? How does this film fit into the Pixar pantheon?

Art of Brave by Jenny Lerew, a book review

Art of Brave by Jenny Lerew, a book review

The Art of Brave book by Jenny Lerew captured my attention as much as the first teaser images from the film did. The a shock of red hair as it played against the background of grays, blacks and blues was quite a teaser image for the film. (I did review this book before seeing the film in the theaters back in 2012.)

Each Pixar film since Toy Story (1995) has been more beautiful than the last. Usually, the beauty is shown in the technological advances and with Brave this holds true, but there is a deeper level of artistry at work. The trailers and stills from the film were haunting in their beauty. The greens and reds show a life that we haven’t seen in a film since Finding Nemo. As the trailers allude, we can also expect a fantastic story and amazing character development. As with other Pixar films, it looks like Brave will be full of rich family relationships.

When my copy of The Art of Brave by Jenny Lerew arrived, I tore into it with some trepidation. I usually shy away from the Art Of… books until after I have seen the film. Spoilers, you know? The Art of Brave, though, was a little too tempting for me not to pick it up.

About the Author
Jenny Lerew is a blogger and animation historian at Blackwing Diaries. She is a Cal Arts graduate, a story artist and has worked at Warner Bros., Amblimation, Turner, Disney and Dreamworks.

Like most Art of Books, Jenny follows a standard format looking at the origins of the film’s art and story and how the film evolved into what we see on the screen. What always surprises me is how long these films take to bring to the screen. The first inklings of Brave were actually doodled in 2005 when story artists, concept artists and other Pixarians started working on the film and hashing out ideas. Part of the journey of the book is seeing how the characters evolved as much as the filmmakers.

Jenny chronicles the research trip to Scotland that the artists took, which includes pictures of the crew and the inspiration for the background, weather and fauna. The majority of the book does look at the development of the characters, especially Merida and her family. We learn about the journey of the characters as well as the journey of the artists that created them. As much as Jenny is telling the story of Brave, she is also telling the story of Pixar and the creation of a modern animated film.

One of the interesting stories that Jenny relates is how the film mirrors the relationships of several of the producers/directors and their own daughters. Brenda Chapman, the film’s producer, discusses how her daughter had the same “stubbornness, determination, and strength of character” as Merida; it was obviously a heavy influence on the film.

There are astounding images of concept artwork with striking images on almost every page. You really get a great sense of the amount of art that goes into a film, especially the variety of types of art and the types of artists. Jenny also includes a lot of the digital storyboards and a color script which looks at the lighting, color, weather and time of day of the film. Pixar is renowned for their color scripts.

I reviewed the Art of Pixar which collected and presented a large number of color scripts:

A quote from the book about Pixar and technology:

The studio’s efforts have been so successful that the tremendous challenge of taking an unforgiving technology and bending it to produce a seemingly natural world is virtually taken for granted today. In fact, in an age when animation is appreciated and recognized as never before the artists’s who produce it are still aware that many believe “it’s all done by computers.”

Since I reviewed The Art of Brave before seeing the film, I assumed there would be a few spoilers, but I didn’t see anything that made me less excited about the film. If nothing else, I am convinced that this is going to be the most beautiful and dramatic story that Pixar has ever told. It looks like it is a film that is going to be spectacular on so many levels.

As can be expected, this is a book that you have to own if you are a fan of animation. I usually love the Art of… books released by Chronicle Books and give them high marks for the care that is put into reproducing the artwork. The Art of Brave is no different and the publishers have taken full advantage of the imagery from the film. Jenny’s text is well-written and perceptive. As an animation artist, she brings a special insight into the making of the film and I applaud Chronicle for tapping animators, animation experts and industry specialists to write these titles.

Do you collect the Art of… Books? Do you have any favorites? Are you going to add the Art of Brave by Jenny Lerew?

Inside Out Blu-ray Review

Inside Out Blu-ray, a review

George: I’ve been one of the few people in my circles that hasn’t been completely enamored with every Pixar film. I know this is a heresy, but sometimes the movies just haven’t clicked with me. It’s usually a shock when people find out that Finding Nemo and Wall-E are two of my least favorite films. Which is why I still have trouble when I think about the Inside Out blu-ray. Part of me really liked it and another part really didn’t.

Jeff: Pixar films have always tugged at the heart strings to me, even the ones that I don’t fully connect with. That said, plenty of people adore everything they put out, and rightfully so, however, much like George, I felt the same way when it came to the Inside Out blu-ray.

Disgust, Anger and Fear must cope with unexpectedly being in command of Headquarters in Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out”. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
George: I saw it in the theater with my kids and the inimitable Captain Leo. My youngest son liked it so much that he saw it a second time. Captin Leo raved about the film and reviewed it for us. I’ll admit that it’s one of the most beautifully animated films. It’s so close to photo-realism that the backgrounds and props look amazing. But, something left me a little sad.
Jeff: I absolutely agree. The visuals of the Inside Out blu-ray are gorgeous, top notch, and made other adjectives that I can’t think of right now. Pixar never fails with that stuff. I even really enjoyed Pixar’s look at human emotions. It was fascinating to see how things could be governed in our brain, but at the end of the day, Joy, one of our lead emotions, is an island surrounded by four other negative emotions in our collective heads. And for some reason, that really bummed me out.

George: The voice casting was amazing, but I did wonder if the Inside Out blu-ray was too heavy for most people. I was very glad that Pixar chose to look at depression and sadness–anytime that mental disorders can be brought to the forefront is important. Still, it did seem a little formulaic. I remember a meme that looked at the Pixar films: Toy Story: your toys have emotions; Bug’s Life: insects have emotions; Finding Nemo: fish have emotions; Cars: your car has emotions; Inside Out: your emotions have emotions!

Inside Out Blu-Ray Extras!

Jeff: All the emotions! At the end of the day, though, it’s a Pixar film, and it’s a hit. People love it, and it tells a pretty heart-warming story. I was very surprised, however, by the overwhelming amount of extras with the disc. So much that they had a whole separate disc to contain them. I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again: I am obsessed with this stuff. The fact that they included so much is a great thing. Pixar always delivers on extras.
INSIDE OUT Director Pete Docter. Photo by Debby Coleman. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

George: I agree. We’re not bashing the Inside Out blu-ray by any means, but it just wasn’t my favorite. Now the extras were pretty good. There were several in-depth scenes with Pete Docter and many of the cast and crew that created the film. It really was quite eye-opening, especially after having read so many books about the early years of Disney animation. Making a CGI-based films is just as difficult as hand-drawn.

Jeff: Any time we get a look into Pixar’s process is always a treat. They never skimp in this area, and getting to see every aspect of the film, from initial concept to animation to the music, is just a great peek behind the curtain. It never ceases to amaze me how much love and heart goes into the creation of the films…and how much film they all seem to be having making it.
George: Lava and Riley’s Date were both wonderful shorts and I’m glad they were included on the Inside Out blu-ray. Riley’s Date takes us back into the minds of the “people” from Inside Out and brings some new insight into the characters. Lava is a beautiful Hawaiian tale that moves me every time I see it.
Jeff: “I have a dream…” will get stuck in your head for days. But at the end of the day, if you’re a Pixar fan, you can’t go wrong with the Inside Out blu-ray. It’s packed with extras and it will definitely be a good purchase for you.

What did you think about the Inside Out blu-ray?

Pixar Animation Studios to Hit D23 Expo2015

Who’s ready for the D23 Expo this August? It looks like it’s going to be an incredible event with so much to see and do! Make sure to find me during the Expo and say, “Hi!”


Pixar Presents Its First-Ever D23 EXPO Booth, Plus Provocative Panels and a One-of-a-Kind John Lasseter Hawaiian-Shirt Exhibit


BURBANK, Calif. – June 25, 2015 – Buzz Lightyear will welcome visitors to D23 EXPO 2015 as Pixar Animation Studios celebrates the 20-year anniversary of Toy Story, among a host of exciting presentations, demonstrations and panels that pay homage to Pixar’s past while looking ahead to its roster of exciting new films. The fearless space ranger, who appeared in Pixar’s groundbreaking CG-animated feature-film debut Toy Story in 1995, as well as Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010), has taken flight in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® six times as a giant character helium balloon, measuring 67.7-feet long, 39.9-feet wide and 34.3-feet tall. This summer, the Disney•Pixar Buzz Lightyear balloon travels to the West Coast for the first time ever, welcoming guests to D23 EXPO 2015 as it soars outside the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. D23 EXPO 2015 takes place through August 16.


Every Story Is a Journey: The Upcoming Films of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios

Friday, August 14, 3:00 pm  – Hall D23

After meeting the Emotions inside the mind of an 11-year-old, taking a trip to San Fransokyo where a boy genius and his robot save the world, and falling in love with a queen with icy powers who wants to “let it go,” come see where Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios plan to take you next. In what has become a D23 EXPO must-see, host John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, presents “Every Story is a Journey.” Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage from Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory and Disney Animation’s Zootopia and Moana. The event will include surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by the films’ star voice talent.Cell phones, cameras and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.

Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” takes us to the most extraordinary location yet – inside the mind of Riley. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Anger (voiced by Lewis Black), Disgust (voiced by Mindy Kaling), Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), Fear (voiced by Bill Hader) and Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. Directed by Pete Docter and produced by Jonas Rivera, “Inside Out” is in theaters June 19, 2015.

In Conversation with the Filmmakers and the Emotions Behind Inside Out

Friday, August 14, 2015, 11:30 am – Stage 28

Get the inside story on the making of Pixar’s latest summer release Inside Out. Hear from Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (UpMonsters, Inc.) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up) as they reminisce and share their personal stories of creating a world that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen.

Pixar Secrets Revealed! Hear the Stories They Didn’t Want You to Know!

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 3:00 pm – Stage 28

Ever wonder where your favorite Pixar stories began? Hear the stories you don’t know about the classic films that you love. Pixar senior development executive Mary Coleman hosts this experience, welcoming the storytellers behind some of Pixar’s most successful films, including Darla K. Anderson (A Bug’s Life,Monsters, Inc.Cars, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (The IncrediblesRatatouilleBrave), Ronnie del Carmen (Up, Inside Out) and Dan Scanlon (CarsToy Story 3Monsters University), as they talk about the twists and turns of crafting a narrative and share some of the crazy story ideas that didn’t make the final cut.

Toy Story: 20 Years Later, the Original Crew Looks Back

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 4:30 pm – Stage 23

From flipbooks to feature films, animation has taken audiences to fantastical new worlds, far beyond the limits of any real-world setting. Pixar Animation Studios has been at the forefront of this evolution, blurring the line between art and technology and bringing beloved characters to life with heart and humor. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1995’s Toy Story, the first computer-animated feature film, join members of the original crew, including filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Galyn Susman, Ralph Eggleston, Sharon Calahan, Eben Ostby, Bob Pauley and Bill Reeves as they share their stories and the challenges they faced along the way.


Animation – Show Floor Exhibition

For the first time ever, Pixar Animation Studios is creating a show-floor experience at D23 EXPO. Pixar teams up with Walt Disney Animation Studios for an unforgettable adventure that showcases magic from both animation studios, featuring live demonstrations, presentations and autograph signings with top filmmakers, free giveaways and interactive displays. With highlights from films like Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Zootopia, Finding Dory and Moana, animation fans will get the inside scoop on their favorite films and characters.

“The Good Dinosaur” tells the story of Arlo, a lively Apatosaurus with a big heart who sets out on a remarkable journey, gaining an unlikely companion along the way—a human boy. Directed by Peter Sohn (“Partly Cloudy”) and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”, “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters Nov. 25, 2015. ©2014 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Say Aloha to John Lasseter’s Film-Themed Hawaiian Shirts

Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter takes Disney and Pixar animation to heart—literally. For nearly every film—from Finding Nemo and Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen and Inside Out, Lasseter has commissioned an exclusive movie-themed Hawaiian shirt. And those who know the Oscar®-winning storyteller know that he loves his Hawaiian shirts—and dons one for almost every occasion. Animation fans will see their favorite film characters “materialize” before their eyes in this colorful collection, which will be exhibited on the show floor.

Fans can take home their own shirt, thanks to Disney Store at D23 EXPO. This D23-exclusive Reyn Spooner-design features characters from all the feature films produced under the creative guidance of Lasseter. The simple, appealing collage joins many of Disney’s and Pixar’s most beloved recent characters on one wearable canvas. The shirt will retail for $99.95.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Through June 30, 2015, tickets are $67 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $58 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $188 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit

About D23 EXPO 2015

D23 EXPO—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 EXPO 2015 news, visit Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 EXPO conversation, make sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23EXPO.