‘Coco,’ ‘Toy Story 3’ Director Lee Unkrich Trading Pixar for Personal Life

After a quarter century serving as part of the creative core of Pixar Animation Studios, director Lee Unkrich has announced he is leaving the company and stepping away from the Hollywood animation game. The helmer of numerous globally beloved and critically acclaimed films — including animated feature Oscar winners Coco and Toy Story 3 — confirmed his decision on Twitter Friday:

In a statement, Unkrich said, “I’m not leaving to make films at another studio; instead, I look forward to spending much-needed time with my family and pursuing interests that have long been back-burnered.”

Pete Docter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar, lauded Unkrich’s creative contributions to the studio over the years:

“Lee arrived at Pixar as we were crafting Toy Story, and he’s had a profound effect on all Pixar films since. He literally taught us rookie filmmakers about staging, composition, and cutting. His artistry and expert craftsmanship as an editor and co-director became a major reason for the high quality of our filmmaking, and as Lee went on to direct, his ability to find the deep humor and emotion enabled him to create some of the strongest films we’ve made. He will be sorely missed — but we are enormously grateful for his tireless dedication to quality, and his ability to touch the hearts of audiences around the world.”

Unkrich began his Pixar career as a film editor on the first Toy Story. His credits with the studio also include the smash hit features Toy Story 2 (co-director & editor), Monsters, Inc. (co-director & additional editor), Finding Nemo (co-director & supervising film editor), Toy Story 3 (director & story writer), Coco (director & story writer), and the Coco short Dante’s Lunch (director). He was also executive producer on Monsters University and The Good Dinosaur, and conceived the original story for this year’s Toy Story 4 (June 21), directed by Josh Cooley.

In addition to the two Best Animated Feature Film Oscars and an adapted screenplay Oscar nomination for Toy Story 3, Unkrich has racked up two animated feature BAFTA Awards (Coco & TS3) plus one Children’s BAFTA nomination (Finding Nemo); four feature production Annie Awards, a VES Award and numerous other festival and critical honors.

[Source: Deadline]

Animation Magazine

‘Coco,’ ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Pick Up Saturn Awards

Saturn Awards

Saturn Awards

Pixar’s Coco and Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels were the big animation winners at the Saturn Awards on Thursday. Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther was the evening’s mightiest champ, taking home five top awards (including Best Comic-to-Film Movie and Best Director for Ryan Coogler) at the 44th Annual Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films awards. Also, Mark Hamill won for Best Actor for his role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Best Actress award went to Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot.

Disney/Pixar’s Coco was the recipient of the Best Animated Film Saturn. The Other nominees were Cars 3 (Disney), Despicable Me 3 (Universal),The Boss Baby (Fox) and Your Name (Funimation). On the TV side, Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels beat the other nominees­— Archer (FXX), BoJack Horseman (Netflix), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Cartoon Network /Sony Television), Family Guy (Fox), Rick and Morty (Adult Swim) and The Simpsons (Fox).

Here is the complete list of winners:

Film Awards
Best Science Fiction Film: Blade Runner 2049
Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture: Black Panther
Best Fantasy Film: The Shape of Water
Best Horror Film: Get Out
Best Action/Adventure Film: The Greatest Showman
Best Thriller Film: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best International Film: Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
Best Animated Film: Coco
Best Independent Film: Wonder
Best Actor: Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Best Actress: Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
Best Supporting Actor: Patrick Stewart (Logan)
Best Supporting Actress: Danai Gurira (Black Panther)
Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Best Director: Ryan Coogler (Black Panther)
Best Writing: Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Best Production Design: Hannah Beachler (Black Panther)
Best Special Effects: Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

TV Awards
Best Science Fiction TV Series: The Orville
Best Horror TV Series: The Walking Dead
Best Action/Thriller TV Series: Better Call Saul
Best Fantasy TV Series: Outlander
Best Animated TV Series: Star Wars Rebels
Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series: The Flash
Best New Media TV Series: Star Trek: Discovery
Best New Media Superhero Series: Marvel’s The Punisher

Home Entertainment Awards
Best DVD/BD Release: Dave Made a Maze
Best DVD/BD Collection Release: Dracula Complete Legacy Collection
Best DVD/BD Television Series Release: American Gods (Season 1)
Best DVD/BD Special Edition: Night of the Living Dead (Criterion Collection)

Special Achievement Awards
The Producers Showcase Award: Jason Blum
The Dan Curtis Legacy Award: Sarah Schechter
The Special Achievement Award: Don Mancini (Chucky)

Saturn Awards

Saturn Awards

Animation Magazine

Coco’ Producer Darla Anderson Exits Pixar

Darla K. Anderson

Darla K. Anderson

Darla K. Anderson, one of the top and few women producers at Pixar is leaving the company. Anderson, who just won an Oscar for Coco last week, is pursuing other creative and philanthropic endeavors after 25 years with the Emeryville-based studio.

“I’ve had a magical and privileged experience working at Pixar for over two decades,” Anderson told The Hollywood reporter. “The creativity, imagination and innovation at Pixar is second to none. I’m truly grateful to have been a part of this historic journey and hold excitement for my next chapter.”

Anderson joined Pixar in 1993 after working at Angel Studios in Carlsbad, Calif. During her time at the CG animation powerhouse, she produced feature such as A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3 and Coco. She also produced the he shorts It’s Tough to be a Bug, Mater and the Ghostlight and Dante’s Lunch. In 2008, Anderson set a Guinness World Record for the highest average movie gross for a producer, at $ 221 million per movie

She leaves Pixar at a difficult juncture in the company’s history as after the studio’s chief creative officer John Lasseter stepped down after admitting to “missteps” in his behavior at the office. She served as a mentor for many of the female producers and has been a strong champion of LGBTQX community and orgs that empower women.

Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “Darla has been a creative force in animation and a strong voice at Pixar for 25 years. She’s made an indelible mark on the industry as an Oscar-winning producer and a relentless champion for stories that reflect the diversity of the global audience. She takes my best wishes with her as she sets a course for her next adventure.”

Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney Studios Animation and Pixar noted, “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Darla for over 25 years. She was there from the beginning, when we were all figuring out how to make a computer-graphics animated film, and I personally owe her a debt of gratitude for all her contributions to our studio and our industry.”

Added Pixar chief Jim Morris, “Darla is not only a storied producer, but one of the true pioneers in the creation of computer-animated films. From A Bug’s Life to the sublime Coco, Darla has produced a remarkable body of movies that have not only raised the bar for animation but for cinema as a whole.”

Bob Iger and Darla K. Anderson

Director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson

Animation Magazine

Los Angeles Gets Animated to Declare “Coco Day” Feb. 27

Coco

A fabulous new fiesta is coming to the streets of Los Angeles, as Councilmember Gil Cedillo of the First District will declare “Coco Day in L.A.” at City Hall on Tuesday, February 27, in honor of Disney-Pixar’s latest critically acclaimed animated feature. The celebration is set for the same day that Coco makes its Blu-ray and DVD debut. (Check out cool new clips be

Director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), producer Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3) and Anthony Gonzalez (voice of Miguel) will be in attendance, and the proclamation ceremony will include a special performance of “Un Poco Loco” and “Remember Me” by Gonzalez with the Mariachi Divas. Other cast members confirmed to attend include Renee Victor (Abuelita), Alfonso Arau (Papa Julio), Natalia Cordova Buckley (Frida Kahlo), Selene Luna (Tia Rosita), Lombardo Boyar (Mariachi/Gustavo) and Blanca Araceli (Emcee).

Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Animated and nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original Song – “Remember Me”), Coco has been a major success. It is the all-time highest-grossing movie in Mexico set box office records in China, and has taken in $ 732 million worldwide sinces its Thanksgiving weekend release.

The “Coco Day” declaration will kick off with a press conference at 9 a.m., followed by a presentation in Council Chambers at 10.

Fans should also be sure to check out the new Coco As Told By Emoji video.

Coco

Coco

Animation Magazine

Oscars: Nominated ‘Coco’ Song Performers Announced

Natalia Lafourcade and Miguel

Natalia Lafourcade and Miguel

Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, producers of the 90th Academy Awards, have revealed the talented performers who will be bringing this year’s Best Original Song nominees to life on stage. As previously announced, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s moving tune “Remember Me” from Pixar flick Coco is the sole animation nominee in the category this year. The film is also up for Best Animated Feature at the 2018 Oscars, taking place Sunday, March 4.

“We’re excited to have these talented artists showcase the powerful contribution music makes to filmmaking,” said De Luca and Todd. “It’s a privilege to welcome them to the 90th Oscars stage.”

Performing “Remember Me” from Coco will be Gael García Bernal (voice of Héctor) and the soundtrack’s recording artists Natalia Lafourcade and Miguel. Bernal’s credits include the Oscar-winning films Babel (2006) and The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), as well as the Oscar-nominated films Y Tu Mamá También (2002) and Amores Perros (2000). Lafourcade is a Mexican pop-rock singer; she’s been nominated for four Grammy Awards and won in 2016 for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album. Miguel won a Grammy Award in 2013 for his song “Adorn,” and has been nominated an additional 10 times. He and Lafourcade teamed to record the end-credit version of “Remember Me,” with Miguel and Steve Mostyn producing.

The stage will also welcome Mary J. Blige, performing “Mighty River” from Mudbound; Oscar winner Common and Andra Day, performing his song “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall; Keala Settle, performing “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman; and Sufjan Stevens, performing his song “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name.

Presenters announed for this year’s Oscars are Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Chadwick Boseman (Marshall, Black Panther), Oscar winner Viola Davis (Fences), Laura Dern (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club), director-writer-actor Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), Mark Hamill (The Last Jedi), Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name), Oscar Isaac (The Last Jedi), actor-composer-songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana), writer-actor Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Gina Rodriguez (voice of Una in Ferdinand), Eva Marie Saint (Winter’s Tale), Oscar winner Emma Stone (La La Land), Wes Studi (Hostiles), Kelly Marie Tran (The Last Jedi), opera singer-actor Daniela Vega (A Fantastic Woman) and Zendaya (The Greatest Showman).

The 90th Oscars will be held March 4 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will broadcast live on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. More info at oscar.com.

Natalia Lafourcade and Miguel

Natalia Lafourcade and Miguel

Gael Garcia Bernal

Gael Garcia Bernal

Animation Magazine

Lumiere Awards: ‘Coco,’ ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Win Advanced Imaging Honors

Blade Runner 2049

The Advanced Imaging Society (AIS) held its annual Lumiere Awards on Monday night at the Steven J. Ross Theater on the Warner Bros. studio lot. Among the leading innovators in 3D, VR/AR, HDR and other visual entertainment advancements honored were WB’s sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 (Best Live Action 3D Motion Picture; Best Live Action Motion Picture Stereography; Best 2D to 3D Conversion) and Disney-Pixar’s dazzling “Coco (Best 3D Animated Motion Picture; Best Animated Motion Picture Stereography). WB’s The LEGO Batman Movie, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast and Focus Features’ Atomic Blonde also earned top honors.

The 2018 gala kicked off AIS’s tenth anniversary year. “It was a brilliant night, celebrating amazing work that showcases the creativity and innovation that marks this community,” AIS President and CEO Jim Chabin said. “Each year, the work gets more spectacular and the creators and productions up for awards grows larger. We’re so proud of the work this group created, and we can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Honorary awards were also bestowed on Sony Corporation, which received its second Sir Charles Wheatstone Award for its vital technology contributions; USC Shoah Foundation / MPC / HTC Vive, which earned the Special Jury Prize for their The Last Goodbye VR Holocaust Memorial; and Darla K. Anderson (producer, Coco, Toy Story 3), who received the Harold Lloyd Award from the film pioneer’s granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd.

“Like my grandfather, who moved global audiences with heart and humor, Darla has also shown a steadfast commitment to powerful storytelling, as Coco so clearly demonstrates,” Lloyd commented.

2018 AIS Lumiere Award Winners:

BEST 3D SCENE OF THE YEAR
Beauty and The Beast “Be Our Guest”
Walt Disney Pictures; Conversion by Prime Focus

BEST MOTION PICTURE LIVE ACTION
Blade Runner 2049
Warner Bros.

BEST 3D MOTION PICTURE LIVE ACTION – BEST STEREOGRAPHY
Blade Runner 2049
Warner Bros.

BEST STEREOGRAPHY ANIMATED FEATURE
Coco
Pixar; Darla K. Anderson, Lee Unkrich

BEST 2D TO 3D CONVERSION
Blade Runner 2049
Warner Bros.; Conversion by Stereo D

BEST STEREOGRAPHY ANIMATED FEATURE
Coco
Pixar; Bob Whitehill, J.V. Jones

BEST USE OF HDR IN AN ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE
The LEGO Batman Movie
Warner Bros.

BEST USE OF HDR IN A TELEVISION PROGRAM
Chef’s Table
Netflix

BEST USE OF HDR IN A LIVE ACTION MOTION PICTURE
Atomic Blonde
Universal Pictures & Focus Features

BEST VR LOCATION BASED ANIMATED SHORT
Tree
New Reality Company

BEST VR DOCUMENTARY
Sensations of Sound
The New York Times & Lytro

VR – DOCUMENTARY JURY PRIZE
The Last Goodbye
Moving Picture Company

BEST VR BRAND EXPERIENCE: MOTION PICTURE
Spiderman: Homecoming VR Experience
Sony Pictures Entertainment

BEST BRANDED EXPERIENCE: SPORTS
F1 Experiences
Grabit Interactive

BEST VR BRAND EXPERIENCE
Born in Baja
Ford

BEST VR GAME
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality
Adult Swim & Owlchemy Labs

BEST SPORTS VR EXPERIENCE
Take Every Wave: Laird in VR
RYOT

BEST MUSIC VR EXPERIENCE
Alex Aiono feat. T-Pain “One at a Time”
Interscope & Two Bit Circus

BEST LOCATION BASED VR: ANIMATED
Raising A Rukus
The Virtual Reality Company

BEST LIVE ACTION VR
Rose Colored
Invar Studios & Adam Cosco

BEST AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCE
Altered Carbon
Netflix

BEST VR ANIMATED
Asteroids!
Baobab Studios

BEST VR SCIENCE EXPERIENCE
A Journey Through the Milky Way
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

BEST 3D DOCUMENTARY
Amazon Adventure
SK Films

BEST 3D SHORT ANIMATION
Chrysalis
ADM

Coco

Coco

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

Animation Magazine

Clips: Pixar Digs Up New ‘Coco’ Deleted Scenes!

Coco - Celebrity Tour deleted scene

Coco – Celebrity Tour deleted scene

In anticipation of next week’s release of Disney-Pixar’s Coco on Digital and Movies Anywhere, the studio has released two deleted scenes never seen in theaters — with introductions by director Lee Unkrich and co-director/writer Adrian Molina.

The multi-award-winning motion picture is coming home with plenty of awesome extras this month, starting with Digital & DMA on Feb. 13 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on Feb. 27.

“Dia De Los Muertos”

“Celebrity Tour”

Coco - Celebrity Tour deleted scene

Coco – Celebrity Tour deleted scene

Animation Magazine

‘Coco’ Conquers at 45th Annie Awards

annie-awards-150

ASIFA-Hollywood held its 45th Annie Awards ceremony Saturday night, honoring the best in animation production and individual achievement across 36 categories (including this year’s six special juried awards recipients). The Awards were presented by industry icons including director Nora Twomey, animator Floyd Norman, and familiar Annies face Tom Kenny (who scored an award for voicing SpongeBob).

With so much incredible work under consideration, Pixar’s awards season favorite Coco came out on top with an impressive 11 wins. These included Best Animated Feature; Best Animated Effects – Shaun Galinak, Dave Hale, Jason Johnston, Carl Kaphan, Keith Daniel Klohn; Character Animation – John Chun Chiu Lee; Character Design – Daniel Arriaga, Daniela Strijleva, Greg Dykstra, Alonso Martinez & Zaruhi Galstyan; Directing – Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina; Music – Michael Giacchino, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina; Production Design – Harlye Jessup, Danielle Feinberg, Bryn Imagire, Nathaniel McLaughlin, Ernesto Nemesio; Storyboarding – Dean Kelly; Voice Acting – Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel; Writing – Adrian Molina, Matthew Aldrich and Editorial – Steve Bloom, Lee Unkrich, Greg Snyder, Tim Fox.

The Best Animated Feature-Independent was awarded to Twomey’s The Breadwinner (Cartoon Saloon/Aircraft Pictures/Melusine Productions).

Major wins also went to Revolting Rhymes (Magic Light Pictures) – Best Animated Special Production; Dear Basketball (Glen Keane Productions, Kobe Studios, Believe Entertainment Group) – Best Animated Short Subject; June (Broad Reach Pictures/Chromosphere/Lyft) – Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial; Rick and Morty – Episode: 30 ‘Pickle Rick’ (Williams Street Productions) – Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production; We Bare Bears Episode: Panda’s Art (Cartoon Network Animation Studios) – Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children; Octonauts Episode: Operation Deep Freeze (Vampire Squid Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media company, in association with Brown Bag Films) – Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children; and War For The Planet of The Apes (Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, River Road Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Daniel Barrett, Sidney Kombo-Kintombo, Emile Ghorayeb, Luisma Lavin Peredo, Alessandro Bonora) – Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production.

The evening was dedicated to the late, legendary June Foray — an accomplished voice actress and the driving visionary force behind the Annies.

“This year, we paid tribute to our beloved June Foray, who always delighted in seeing how the event she founded continued to grow year after year. This year was no exception,” said Frank Gladstone, Annie Awards executive producer. “June would have enjoyed the increasing numbers, but more important to her, and to us, has always been seeing the proof, inherent in the Annies, that the capability of people, worldwide, to create animated films has also continued to diversify and increase.”

And the winners are…

Best Animated Feature
COCO Pixar Animation Studios

Best Animated Feature-Independent
THE BREADWINNER Cartoon Saloon/Aircraft Pictures/Melusine Productions

Best Animated Special Production
REVOLTING RHYMES Magic Light Pictures

Best Animated Short Subject
DEAR BASKETBALL Glen Keane Productions, Kobe Studios, Believe Entertainment Group

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial
JUNE Broad Reach Pictures/Chromosphere/Lyft

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children
OCTONAUTS “Operation Deep Freeze”
Vampire Squid Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media company, in association with Brown Bag Films

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Children
WE BARE BEARS “Panda’s Art”
Cartoon Network Animation Studios

Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production
RICK AND MORTY “Pickle Rick”
Williams Street Productions

Best Student Film
POLES APART Paloma Baeza

Animated Effects in an Animated Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
Shaun Galinak, Dave Hale, Jason Johnston, Carl Kaphan, Keith Daniel Klohn

Character Animation in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
TROLLHUNTERS “Homecoming”
DreamWorks Animation Television
Bruno Chiou, Yi-Fan Cho, Kevin Jong , Chun-Jung Chu

Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
John Chun Chiu Lee

Character Animation in a Live Action Production
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, River Road Entertainment, 20th Century Fox
Daniel Barrett, Sidney Kombo-Kintombo, Emile Ghorayeb, Luisma Lavin Peredo, Alessandro Bonora

Character Animation in a Video Game
CUPHEAD Studio MDHR
Hanna Abi-Hanna

Character Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
SAMURAI JACK “Episode XCVI”
Adult Swim
Craig Kellman

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
Daniel Arriaga, Daniela Strijleva, Greg Dykstra, Alonso Martinez, Zaruhi Galstyan

Directing in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE “The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!”
Walt Disney Television Animation
Dave Wasson, Eddie Trigueros, Alonso Ramirez-Ramo

Directing in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

Music in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE” The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!”
Walt Disney Television Animation
Christopher Willis

Music in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
Michael Giacchino, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina

Production Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
SAMURAI JACK “ Episode XCIII”
Adult Swim
Scott Wills

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studio
Harley Jessup, Danielle Feinberg, Bryn Imagire, Nathaniel McLaughlin, Ernesto Nemesio

Storyboarding in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE “Bee Inspired”
Walt Disney Television Animation
Eddie Trigueros

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
Dean Kelly

Voice Acting in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS Nickelodeon
Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel

Writing in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
RICK AND MORTY “The Ricklantis Mixup”
Williams Street Productions
Ryan Ridley, Dan Guterman

Writing in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
Adrian Molina, Matthew Aldrich

Editorial in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
SAMURAI JACK Episodes “XCIII,” “XCIV,” “XCIX”
Adult Swim
Paul Douglas

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production
COCO Pixar Animation Studios
Steve Bloom, Lee Unkrich, Greg Snyder, Tim Fox

Coco

Coco

Animation Magazine

‘Coco’ Wins Pixar’s 8th Golden Globe for Animation

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Pixar Animation Studios’ magical, music-filled ode to Mexican traditions Coco was announced as the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Animated at Sunday night’s 75th annual awards ceremony in Los Angeles. The win marked the eighth such victory for the studio, and the 10th to go to the Disney family of studios since the category was introduced in 2006/7. In accepting the award, Lee Unkrich thanked “the incredible people of Mexico and their beautiful traditions of Día de Muertos.”

Directed by Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo), co-directed/written by Adrian Molina (The Good Dinosaur, Monsters University) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3, Cars) Coco tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who undertakes an incredible journey to the land of the dead to uncover the truth about his family’s ban on playing music. The picture was up against DreamWorks’ popular family comedy The Boss Baby, Fox/Blue Sky’s Ferdinand and indie darlings The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent.

Last year’s animation Golden Globe went to Disney Animation Studios for Zootopia.

Fans of VFX artistry (and great filmmaking in general) were excited to watch Guillermo del Toro win Best Director – Motion Picture for his romantic take on B movie monsters The Shape of Water, beating out Steven Spielberg (The Post), Ridley Scott (All the Money in the World), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). The Best Motion Picture – Drama prize, for which Shape was also nominated, went to Three Billboards.

For the second year in a row, animation was passed over in the Original Song category despite filling out most of the nominee slots — “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman won out over “Home” (Ferdinand), “Remember Me” (Coco) and “The Star” (The Star) as well “Mighty River” from live-action flick Mudbound. Alexandre Desplat took the Original Score prize for his work on The Shape of Water.

Appropriately, in a night which saw an (almost) entirely black-clad red carpet turnout to raise awareness for sexual harassment and abuse in the industry in line with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements — and dress for the absolute burial of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey by host Seth Meyers — The Handmaid’s Tale won Best TV Series – Drama over The Crown, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and This Is Us.

Cecil B. DeMille Award honoree Oprah Winfrey (starring in Ava DuVernay’s upcoming A Wrinkle in Time) earned enthusiastic applause for her address of these and other industry issues in her acceptance speech, telling men who abuse their positions of power in the industry that “their time is up.”

“It’s not lost on me that at this moment, there are little girls watching as I become the first black woman to receive this award,” Winfrey said. Her powerful speech closed with: “I want all the girls watching to know a new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure they are the leaders to take us to the time where nobody has to say ‘me too’ again.”

The winning Coco crew were called upon to address the cloud of harassment claims hovering over Pixar during their turn with press backstage. Anderson commented that the studio has “been looking at a lot of things as safe as possible with as much integrity possible.” Unkrich added, “We can all be better. We have been taking steps and continue to move forward to create art.”

The complete list of winners and nominees can be found on the official Golden Globes website.

Coco

Coco

Animation Magazine

‘Coco’ Sweeps the Box Office in U.S. and China

Coco

Coco, Disney/Pixar’s Day of the Dead-themed movie, certainly brought the U.S. box office to life with a $ 71.2 million Thanksgiving Weekend. Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, the movie had the fourth best debut at the domestic box office over the weekend after Disney’s Frozen ($ 93/5 million), Moana ($ 82 million) and Toy Story 2 ($ 80.1 million), per Deadline.com. The movie also received a very impressive A+ Cinemascore from audiences. According to Screen Engine/ComScore Hispanic audiences made up 36 % of all ticket buyers next to 43% Caucasian and 8% African American and 8% Asian.

Coco, which has already become the biggest movie of all-time in Mexico, had a spectacular opening in China, with an $ 18.2 million weekend opener. This makes the movie the second highest launch ever for a Disney and/or Pixar animated title, coming in behind only Zootopia. The total global take for the weekend was $ 30.7 million in 22 markets for an international cume of $ 82.2 million and a worldwide tally at $ 153.4 million to date.

Other animated and/or vfx-related titles at the weekend box office:
2. Justice League (Warner Bros.) Five-day: $ 59.7 million (Cume: $ 171.5 million)
4. Thor: Ragnarok (Disney) Five-day: $ 24.2 million (Cume: $ 277.5 million)
7. The Star (Sony), Five-day:$ 9.5 million (Cume:$ 22 million)

Coco

Coco

Animation Magazine

Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Delivers Terrific Tuesday Preview

Coco

Disney/Pixar’s well-reviewed Coco passed its opening night in the U.S. with flying colors. The studio’s 19th feature release delivered $ 2.3 million from its Tuesday night screenings, and is estimated to bring in around $ 60 million or more in the next five days Stateside.

Industry observers are looking at the performance of the feature closely since it coincides with yesterday’s revelation that studio head John Lasseter will be taking a six-month sabbatical after allegations of inappropriate behavior were revealed in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Vanity Fair. However, it’s unlikely that the news is going to have much of an impact on the movie’s performance. Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, The Day of the Day-themed family pic has had a phenomenal few weeks in Mexico since its release on October 27, making over $ 49 million and becoming the country’s highest grossing movie ever. The movie has a dazzling 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes review site.

According to Deadline, Coco’s preview performance is only $ 300,000 short of Moana’s $ 2.6 million performance a year ago. In 2015, The Good Dinosaur brought in only $ 1.3 million ($ 9.76 million on Wednesday), while Frozen took in $ 1.2 million in 2013 ($ 15.1 million on Wednesday).

Coco

Coco

Coco

Coco

Animation Magazine

‘Coco’ Ready for Thanksgiving Weekend Fireworks at the Box Office

Coco

Coco

Pixar’s Coco, Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina’s music-filled valentine to Mexican culture, offers stunning colors, fantastic CG animation and a joyous appreciation of both life and death.

“Quien con la esperanza vive, alegre muere. He who lives with hope dies happy.”

— Mexican proverb

Every child has a dream of what they will become. For Miguel, the tween lead in Pixar’s highly anticipated new film Coco, that vision is to become a musician.

But it’s not going to be that easy. This 12-year-old boy living with his very extended family in the fictional Mexican town of Santa Cecilia is forbidden to play music by a longstanding family curse, and expected to go into his family’s shoe business. The story is set during Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which becomes the perfect time for Miguel to explore his family history in hopes of making a future as a musician for himself.

To prepare for Pixar Studio’s 19th animated feature, director Lee Unkrich and co-director/screenwriter Adrian Molina took a deep dive into the traditional celebrations surrounding Día de los Muertos by taking multiple trips to Mexico with the crew to learn how the holiday is celebrated today. They pulled most of their ideas from the Oaxacan festivities they observed. Though Día de los Muertos has roots in 500-year-old Aztec culture, today the faithful fashion ornate altars featuring skeletons, favorite foods of the deceased and vibrant flowers.

For Unkrich, who grew up in the Jewish faith, the Mexican traditions were a fascinating and uplifting contrast to his own. “It was just so comforting and vital to see people passing on these stories about their loved ones as part of Día de los Muertos,” says Unkrich. “You have these vibrant colors and the ofrendas (objects placed on a ritual altar during the celebration) full of things their loved ones enjoyed, which was so different from what I grew up with—the Yahrzeit—the Jewish tradition of lighting a candle for a loved one who has died, which seems much more somber to me.”

Inspired by the Colors of Mexico

Unkrich, who won an Oscar for directing Pixar’s 2011 feature Toy Story 3, says visiting Mexico and witnessing how meticulous people were with their ofrendas, the movie’s lighting and color became very important to him. “The lighting of the candles plays a huge part in this holiday, as do the bright, vibrant colors you see everywhere and in everything,” says Unkrich. “If we wanted to tell the story of this holiday, those elements had to be just right.”

“When I first heard of the idea for Coco, I was still a storyboard artist, but I knew I would do anything to be part of the movie. So, I pitched Lee my ideas and he was very supportive,” says Molina. “The more we talked, the more we realized our ideas of how the story should be told were totally in sync.”

“We wanted everything in the film to feel like the culture, stories and people of Mexico, so going there to experience those things was so important,” adds Molina. “We were welcomed into people’s lives and that made it possible for us to absorb the details of the places where we went.”

Designers, musicians and animators collaborated to create city architecture and use colors that were authentic. As the film opens on the city invented for the movie, viewers can see brightly colored papel picado banners (a traditional cut-paper decoration) attached to all the buildings.

Since this is a film about an aspiring musician with a family history rooted in song, the sounds of the movie became crucial. Coco‘s score is written by composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Ratatouille), and features a catchy Bolero Ranchero-style song titled “Remember Me” by fellow Oscar winners Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez (Frozen).

The film features the voice talents of Edward James Olmos, Benjamin Bratt, Cheech Marin, Alanna Ubach and Gabriel Iglesias. The central character Miguel is played by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez, who Unkrich says “…can do everything and anything that the character needed.” In addition, Gael García Bernal voices Miguel’s sidekick, Hector: a Mexican trickster spirit in the guise of a skeleton.

Creating Lively Skeletons

For Pixar’s animators, telling a story set during Día de los Muertos meant they would have to take a symbol of death—fleshless skeletons—and somehow make them alive and real, even when they stood next to the “living” characters in the film. Supervising animator Gini Santos and her team added depth to the eyes of the skeletons by using eyelids and shaping the eyes so they were as expressive as possible. They also gave them mustaches and lips.

“We wanted their eyes and faces to tell the story and invite people into the story, so they’re not meant to be scary, but more like living people,” says Santos.

Animators also had to make the movement of the skeletons in their clothing seem alive. If they simply placed cloth on the skeletons’ bony structure it would fall flat and look too lifeless. In early tests, the clothing even fell in-between the ribs on the skeletons’ ribcages. They eventually had to set up “rules” that told their software there were no gaps in the ribcages. For the female skeletons, they created parameters that puffed out their dresses as they danced so it looked like a living woman with flesh was wearing the frocks.

Crafting a See-Through Canine

Miguel’s dog Dante came with his own endearing, yet complicated set of challenges. As a hairless Xolo dog, his entire body would be visible to the audience and nothing could be hidden underneath fur. Animators would have to rely on techniques they developed while working on the bears in Brave. One was volume simulation that gave natural movement to the part of the dog that wiggled while he walked, and the other was a skin simulation that made the stretch of Dante’s uneven, imperfect skin seem believable over his skeleton.

The film’s most striking visual achievement is the Land of the Dead, created by production designer Harley Jessup and lit by cinematographer Danielle Feinberg. Miguel finds himself transported to this place where his ancestors live when he dares to pick up an old guitar and play it. Once there, we watch him traverse an astonishing Victorian-inspired city that’s stacked into the skies. Multiple generations of the dead have come to live here, each one building on the structures created by the previous group of the deceased.

Feinberg found ways to create a unique lighting strategy by working with code. There are shots of the Land of the Dead that contain about 7 million individual lights, which makes for the otherworldly look achieved by the team. But hand-placing the lights would have simply been impossible, according to Feinberg, because of the cost and time needed. Feinberg realized that if they used a bit of code created during the 2014 movie The Good Dinosaur, which groups lights together, it would be possible to get the look they wanted. With this code, lighting artists could tell the computer to find all the streetlights in a shot, for example, and put a little light inside them. So the computer considers them all one light and the shot becomes relatively simple to stage.

“There are always things we’ve never done before, but that’s part of what interests and excites me about making this film,” says Unkrich. “I wanted this world to look like nothing we’d ever seen.”

Disney-Pixar’s Coco comes to U.S. theaters on November 22.

Animation Magazine

Coco: Under the Spell of Mexico

Coco

Pixar’s Coco, Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina’s music-filled valentine to Mexican culture, offers stunning colors, fantastic CG animation and a joyous appreciation of both life and death.

“Quien con la esperanza vive, alegre muere. He who lives with hope dies happy.”

—   Mexican proverb

Every child has a dream of what they will become. For Miguel, the tween lead in Pixar’s highly anticipated new film Coco, that vision is to become a musician.

But it’s not going to be that easy. This 12-year-old boy living with his very extended family in the fictional Mexican town of Santa Cecilia is forbidden to play music by a longstanding family curse, and expected to go into his family’s shoe business. The story is set during Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which becomes the perfect time for Miguel to explore his family history in hopes of making a future as a musician for himself.

To prepare for Pixar Studio’s 19th animated feature, director Lee Unkrich and co-director/screenwriter Adrian Molina took a deep dive into the traditional celebrations surrounding Día de los Muertos by taking multiple trips to Mexico with the crew to learn how the holiday is celebrated today. They pulled most of their ideas from the Oaxacan festivities they observed. Though Día de los Muertos has roots in 500-year-old Aztec culture, today the faithful fashion ornate altars featuring skeletons, favorite foods of the deceased and vibrant flowers.

For Unkrich, who grew up in the Jewish faith, the Mexican traditions were a fascinating and uplifting contrast to his own. “It was just so comforting and vital to see people passing on these stories about their loved ones as part of Día de los Muertos,” says Unkrich. “You have these vibrant colors and the ofrendas (objects placed on a ritual altar during the celebration) full of things their loved ones enjoyed, which was so different from what I grew up with—the Yahrzeit—the Jewish tradition of lighting a candle for a loved one who has died, which seems much more somber to me.”

Inspired by the Colors of Mexico

Unkrich, who won an Oscar for directing Pixar’s 2011 feature Toy Story 3, says visiting Mexico and witnessing how meticulous people were with their ofrendas, the movie’s lighting and color became very important to him. “The lighting of the candles plays a huge part in this holiday, as do the bright, vibrant colors you see everywhere and in everything,” says Unkrich. “If we wanted to tell the story of this holiday, those elements had to be just right.”

“When I first heard of the idea for Coco, I was still a storyboard artist, but I knew I would do anything to be part of the movie. So, I pitched Lee my ideas and he was very supportive,” says Molina. “The more we talked, the more we realized our ideas of how the story should be told were totally in sync.”

“We wanted everything in the film to feel like the culture, stories and people of Mexico, so going there to experience those things was so important,” adds Molina. “We were welcomed into people’s lives and that made it possible for us to absorb the details of the places where we went.”

Designers, musicians and animators collaborated to create city architecture and use colors that were authentic. As the film opens on the city invented for the movie, viewers can see brightly colored papel picado banners (a traditional cut-paper decoration) attached to all the buildings.

Since this is a film about an aspiring musician with a family history rooted in song, the sounds of the movie became crucial. Coco’s score is written by composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Ratatouille), and features a catchy Bolero Ranchero-style song titled “Remember Me” by fellow Oscar winners Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez (Frozen).

The film features the voice talents of Edward James Olmos, Benjamin Bratt, Cheech Marin, Alanna Ubach and Gabriel Iglesias. The central character Miguel is played by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez, who Unkrich says “…can do everything and anything that the character needed.” In addition, Gael García Bernal voices Miguel’s sidekick, Hector: a Mexican trickster spirit in the guise of a skeleton.

Creating Lively Skeletons

For Pixar’s animators, telling a story set during Día de los Muertos meant they would have to take a symbol of death—fleshless skeletons—and somehow make them alive and real, even when they stood next to the “living” characters in the film. Supervising animator Gini Santos and her team added depth to the eyes of the skeletons by using eyelids and shaping the eyes so they were as expressive as possible. They also gave them mustaches and lips.

“We wanted their eyes and faces to tell the story and invite people into the story, so they’re not meant to be scary, but more like living people,” says Santos.

Animators also had to make the movement of the skeletons in their clothing seem alive. If they simply placed cloth on the skeletons’ bony structure it would fall flat and look too lifeless. In early tests, the clothing even fell in-between the ribs on the skeletons’ ribcages. They eventually had to set up “rules” that told their software there were no gaps in the ribcages. For the female skeletons, they created parameters that puffed out their dresses as they danced so it looked like a living woman with flesh was wearing the frocks.

Crafting a See-Through Canine

Miguel’s dog Dante came with his own endearing, yet complicated set of challenges. As a hairless Xolo dog, his entire body would be visible to the audience and nothing could be hidden underneath fur. Animators would have to rely on techniques they developed while working on the bears in Brave.  One was volume simulation that gave natural movement to the part of the dog that wiggled while he walked, and the other was a skin simulation that made the stretch of Dante’s uneven, imperfect skin seem believable over his skeleton.

The film’s most striking visual achievement is the Land of the Dead, created by production designer Harley Jessup and lit by cinematographer Danielle Feinberg. Miguel finds himself transported to this place where his ancestors live when he dares to pick up an old guitar and play it. Once there, we watch him traverse an astonishing Victorian-inspired city that’s stacked into the skies. Multiple generations of the dead have come to live here, each one building on the structures created by the previous group of the deceased.

Feinberg found ways to create a unique lighting strategy by working with code. There are shots of the Land of the Dead that contain about 7 million individual lights, which makes for the otherworldly look achieved by the team. But hand-placing the lights would have simply been impossible, according to Feinberg, because of the cost and time needed. Feinberg realized that if they used a bit of code created during the 2014 movie The Good Dinosaur, which groups lights together, it would be possible to get the look they wanted. With this code, lighting artists could tell the computer to find all the streetlights in a shot, for example, and put a little light inside them. So the computer considers them all one light and the shot becomes relatively simple to stage.

“There are always things we’ve never done before, but that’s part of what interests and excites me about making this film,” says Unkrich. “I wanted this world to look like nothing we’d ever seen.”

Disney-Pixar’s Coco comes to U.S. theaters on November 22.

Animation Magazine

Disney-Pixar Reveals New ‘Coco’ Poster, Trailer Coming Soon

pixar-150

Director and Pixar brain-trustee Lee Unkrich unveiled a colorful new poster for Disney-Pixar’s upcoming underworld adventure, Coco (due out Nov. 22). The helmer also noted in his tweet that the first trailer will bow in theaters next week.

The — err, lively? — poster art shows a quite pleased dog with a large bone in its mouth (named “Dante,” per a nearby bowl) being patted on the head by a skeletal arm, and a lovely bone-white guitar with a skull shaped headstock.

These focal points rest against an old brick wall topped by strings of  bright papel picado flags which hint at scenes from the movie, so get your zoom-clicking fingers warmed up.

Unkrich has reunited with his Toy Story 3 playmate, producer Darla K. Anderson, for Coco, which is being co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist, Monsters University).

Synopsis: Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael Garcia Bernal) and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Coco

Coco

Animation Magazine

Skywalker and Pineapple Express in Coco under 600W

On Sunday, October 9th we started our first grow.

My wife and I initially planted 5 Pineapple Express (Hybrid Indica dominant) and 5 Skywalker (Hybrid Sativa Dominant) in pre-rinsed coco coir.

My set up is a 4′ x 4′ x 6.5′ grow tent with 600w HPS light with extra included spectrum–I’ve read in several places that this is completely OK at my level. I do not plan on switching lights for this grow. Also I have a 6" exhaust through the light and carbon filter and running out the tent. In the next couple days I’m going to be buying a fan tower to blow over the little ones.

I’m not sure if having Indica and Sativa dominant plants in the same grow is a good idea, but it is what I had available and I wanted a little variety in my grow.

I had 2 extra clones and I couldn’t give them away, so I planted #11 and #12 Skywalkers on Monday.

I have been working the light closer and closer so as not to hurt the clones. A few days into it, and it appears they really like the intense light. Also, I didn’t expect heat to be a problem in my air conditioned house–but I’ve had to completely open the bed room door to lower the temperature. I also have a possible window I can crack.

Okay here are a few pictures to start–I’m not a photographer, so perhaps you can use your imagination.

Darn–I can’t figure out how to post pictures. Can someone bring me to speed. Thanks.

Brian…

Marijuana.com