Adventure is out there! And what better way to enjoy it then with some delicious Up inspired s’mores!
Because when you are traveling through South America you are gonna need some treats to keep your energy up. So why not something fluffy and sweet? We think s’more is a fantastic idea specially if they are in the form of “My Adventure Book” from UP!
12 large rectangular Graham crackers
12 oz of chocolate bar or chocolate candy coating melted
6 peanut butter candy melts
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1-2 tsp of vegetable oil (optional)
Your favorite homemade marshmallow recipe
Red fruit leather or fruit tape
2 tbsp each of tan, yellow or orange and black icing
1 tbsp each of purple, red, blue and white icing
7 piping bags fitted with #1 or #2 tips for each of the colored icings
1 piping bag fitted with #44 tip for the white icing
INSTRUCTIONS TO CREATE UP INSPIRED S’MORES:
Step 1: Make the covers of the Adventure Book using a serrated knife and cut 2 inches off the length of each graham cracker. The remaining cracker should be 2×3 inches
Step 2: Dip each cracker in melted chocolate. You can thin the chocolate with oil if you need
Step 3: To create the book binding, cut out a 2×1/2 inch strip of the red fruit leather or fruit tape. Use a bit of melted chocolate to attach it on the left side of the book cover
Step 4: Pour the marshmallow mix into a 9×13 inch pan heavily dusted with powdered sugar. Fill the pan evenly to a depth of 1/2 inch and allow to set
Step 5: Using a thin knife brushed with oil cut out 6 rectangles of marshmallow of 2×3 inches each
Step 6: Use the tan colored icing to draw a square and circular borders on each “Adventure Book”
Step 7: Attach a peanut butter candy melt chip under the text area. Then use black icing and a toothpick to draw the shape of North and South America on it
Step 8: Write “My Adventure Book” with colored icing fitted into pipping bags. Then pipe a black icing ribbon tie on the red fruit leather binding. To finish, pipe a thick line of white icing on the top left side of the globe to simulate a piece of tape
Step 9: Place a cut marshmallow in between one book cover and one plain graham cracker to complete your UP inspired s’mores!
And done! Now it’s time to enjoy your Up inspired s’mores while exploring the wilderness or watching Up on Disney+!
Credit: Disney Family
From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Other Disney Stuff, Disney Snacks & Treats, Pixar, Disney Family, Disney Recipe, My adventure book, Pixar Up, Smores recipe, Up, UP smores
You may be surprised to know that a trove of Disney directors, animators, and yes, even LEGENDS, all went to the same college! It’s no coincidence that California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts, happens to be an unofficial hotspot for Disney talent! Today we’re taking a peek at the place that started the careers of so many Disney superstars — and checking out some hidden Disney details.
Why are there so many successful CalArts alumni working at Disney?
CalArts, which is located in Valencia, California, was actually founded by Walt and Roy Disney back in 1961. Back then, it was a merger between two art schools in the area and became an official college in 1970. Walt’s vision was to create a school where emerging artists could hone their craft in a “community of the arts.” Walt wanted the school to be built around real-world experience as opposed to the traditional academic setting.
Since the college opened, it has been a hotbed for producing talented artists across multiple disciplines. But many know CalArts to be one of the best ways to get a foot in the door at Disney. The school quickly became known as “Mickey Mouse U.” for its outpouring of Disney elites. Its close proximity to the Disney headquarters in Burbank and Glendale also helped!
You may have seen a nod to this influential school from its alumni in a HUGE number of projects — both Disney-related and not! Ever heard of the A113 easter egg? This tradition became popular among CalArts grads to hide the term A113 in television and film productions as a nod to the graphic design and animation classroom that all of these grads went through at CalArts.
Believe it or not, you can find mentions of A113 in movies ranging from The Princess and the Frog to Avengers: Endgame and beyond! It’s in hundreds of movies and TV shows! The room number is quite popular in Pixar films and is even hidden in Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios! (Hint: it’s near Woody’s Lunch Box!)
Some of CalArt’s most notable alumni
While there are countless names on the list of CalArts alumni who have gone on to have successful careers with Disney (too many to include in just one post!), there are a select few who have truly stood out and become icons in the film industry at large. Some of these alumni have even gone on to become Disney legends!
Many Disney fans know the work of Tim Burton very well! Although most of his work has been outside of Disney, his work as the producer of The Nightmare Before Christmas remains to this day a revolutionary feat in stop-motion animation! But his career with Disney spans much further than one film!
Burton was scouted out by Disney when the animated short he worked on while at CalArts, Stalk of the Celery Monster, caught their attention. He was offered an apprenticeship at Disney where he worked on Fox and the Hound, TRON, and The Black Cauldron. This was followed up with a stop-motion animated short Vincent, which brought Burton’s unique style front and center.
Screengrab from the animated short “Vincent”
His first full-length feature film with Disney, Frankenweenie (no, not the animated 2012 film he ALSO made with Disney — this was a different 1984 version!), actually resulted in him getting fired from the Company as the film was considered too dark and scary for children. Even when Burton returned to Disney to produce The Nightmare Before Christmas, it was produced under Disney-owned Touchstone Pictures due to its darker nature.
Burton has continued to have a working relationship with Disney to this day, which has included that animated re-make of Frankenweenie in 2012!
Glen Keane graduated from CalArts in 1974 and started working for Disney that same year. Since then, he has gone on to work on classic Disney films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Tarzan, and, more recently, Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph. He was inaugurated as a Disney Legend at the 2013 D23 Expo.
Fun fact — did you know Glen Keane has art in his blood? His dad was Bil Keane — the creator of the Family Circus comic strip — which Glenn’s brother, Jeff, still creates. Glen’s daughter Claire also got involved in filmmaking. You know all those whimsical paintings and drawings Rapunzel creates in Tangled? Those were her artwork!
Joe Ranft joined Disney in 1980 and worked in their animation department for over a decade. He worked on films such as Oliver and Company, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast. In 1991, Ranft was hired by Pixar as their head of story. He worked on every single film produced by Pixar until his untimely death in 2005.
Like many other creative contributors at Pixar, he got involved in other elements of the films he helped create. In this case, Joe enjoyed contributing as a voice actor! You might recognize his voice as Wheezy in the Toy Story films or Heimlich in A Bug’s Life (“Oooh! A little butterfly!!”). He even voiced a character in another CalArt’s grad’s production — he was the voice of Igor in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas!
Brad Bird is a multi-talented filmmaker who was actually awarded a scholarship by Disney to attend CalArts. After graduating he began working for Disney, but he was ultimately fired for criticizing upper management for not taking enough risks.
Years later he was hired by Steve Jobs to work at Pixar. His biggest accomplishments include two Academy Awards for The Incredibles and Ratatouille.
He also went on to create a couple of notable live-action films including one of the Mission: Impossible movies and the 2015 Disney film Tomorrowland. He also serves as part of the “Brain Trust” at Pixar of creatives who oversee all their films AND he’s lent his voice to a famous character you might not realize was him — Edna Mode from The Incredibles (“NO CAPES!”).
You may not know who this next guy is from looks alone but we guarantee you’ve heard him. He’s responsible for over 100 film and television scores including The Simpsons theme, the score for Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Batman, and so much more. He attended CalArts at the same time as Tim Burton…well, kind of.
While Danny Elfman technically never officially enrolled as a student at CalArts, he started sitting in classes and befriended a number of students, including Tim Burton. Ever since, Burton has used him as the primary composer for most of his films, including The Nightmare Before Christmas. Elfman was also the singing voice of Jack Skellington in the film! He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2015.
Even MORE Successful CalArts Alumni
There are way too many alumni to list who have gone on to have successful careers with Disney. But this list should give you an idea of the long-standing reputation of CalArts to produce some of Disney’s best and brightest artists.
School of Art – Graphic Design
Amanda Lui (BFA 14), graphic designer, Walt Disney Imagineering
School of Film – Character Animation
Mark Andrews (BFA 93), animation writer-director (Brave) — Academy Award
Chris Buck (78), animation writer-director (Frozen) — Academy Award
Brenda Chapman (BFA 87), animation writer-director (Brave, The Prince of Egypt, The Lion King) — Academy Award
Peter Sohn (BFA 99), story animation director (The Good Dinosaur), voice actor
Andrew Stanton (BFA 87), story animation and live-action writer-director (Finding Nemo, WALL·E, Finding Dory), Pixar Brain Trust — 2 Academy Awards
Genndy Tartakovsky (cer. 92), story animation writer-director (Hotel Transylvania), creator of Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars — 3 Primetime Emmy Awards, Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award
Gary Trousdale (82), story animation writer-director (Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Kirk Wise (cer. 85), story animation writer-director (Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
School of Film – Experimental Animation
Henry Selick (MFA 77), stop-motion animation director (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas) — Academy Award nomination
Jack and Sally Meet and Greet
School of Theater – Performance
Michael Jung (MFA 94), director, VP of Theatrical Development, Walt Disney Imagineering
Paul Reubens (73), screen actor, creator of Pee-wee Herman and Pee-wee’s Playhouse — 3 Primetime Emmy nominations, also the voice of R3X on the original Star Tours and DJ R3X in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!)
DJ R3X at his new home in Galaxy’s Edge!
When it comes to a career at Disney, there are MANY ways to get your foot in the door! The school was created specifically to produce well-rounded artists — just like what Disney is looking for in its hires! It’s clear that many of the students that make it through the programs at CalArts are primed to go on to careers with Disney. Saying you attended the school Walt Disney had a hand in creating certainly helps!
Are you a Disney history buff? How many of these CalArts alumni did you know about? Let us know in the comments!
From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney Entertainment, Featured, History, Special Stuff, brad bird, CalArts, California Institute of the Arts, danny elfman, disney legend, glen keane, joe ranft, Pixar, Tim Burton, Walt Disney
ABC’s ‘The Wonderful World of Disney‘ to Continue with ‘Toy Story 3‘. ABC and Disney have announced a surprise 5th week of The Wonderful World of Disney, this time featuring Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 3!
“The Wonderful World of Disney” buzzes on with Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning “Toy Story 3,” WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (TV-G) “Toy Story 3” welcomes Woody (voice of Tom Hanks), Buzz (voice of Tim Allen) and the whole gang back as Andy prepares to depart for college, and his loyal toys find themselves in … daycare! Untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice, so it’s all for one and one for all as plans for a great escape get underway. A few new faces – some plastic, some plush – join the adventure, including Barbie’s counterpart Ken (voice of Michael Keaton), a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants (voice of Timothy Dalton) and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (voice of Ned Beatty). “Toy Story 3” is a comical adventure directed by Lee Unkrich (co-director of “Toy Story 2” and “Finding Nemo”), produced by Pixar veteran Darla K. Anderson (“Cars,” “Monsters, Inc.”), and written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine”).
PHoto Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios/Disney/Pixar
ABC is your broadcast ticket to Disney magic moments at home this summer with the return of The Wonderful World of Disney and presenting several iconic feature films. For four consecutive Wednesday evenings, beloved titles, currently available on Disney+, will be shown in prime time on ABC. Additional titles that were featured this summer included Disney’s Academy Award-nominated Moana, Marvel Studios’ Thor: The Dark World, and Academy Award-winning films Up from Disney and Pixar and Disney’s Big Hero 6. As a bonus, ABC and Disney-Pixar will feature Toy Story 3 for a fifth week of The Wonderful World of Disney.
Looking for more Disney Magic? At DisneyMagicMoments.com, fans and families can find entertaining stories, videos and activities from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic that inspire imagination and discovery. These titles are currently available to stream via Disney+ with hundreds of other Disney titles at your finger tips. To sign up for Disney+ and get a one week free trial CLICK HERE.
Be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for all things Disney!
California Says Film Studios Can Resume Filming as of June 12th With Some Conditions. At the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, filming for television and film ended on a moments notice and has just begun getting the all clear to resume around the world.
This week, the California Department of Public Health made a formal announcement stating: “Music, TV and film production may resume in California, recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020, and subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations,” the department shared. “To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers.”
According to the report from LA Times, “On Monday, a task force of studios and union officials submitted a 22-page white paper to governors in California and New York; its proposed health and safety guidelines aim to protect workers and performers as production resumes. The paper calls for dramatic changes to what had previously been routine practices in the film and TV industry, which was booming before the pandemic because of the demand for content by multiple streaming services. The shutdown drew focus to long-standing problems with hygiene and sanitation on film sets, including a lack of hand-washing stations.”
It should be noted, some of our favorite upcoming titles are currently or scheduled to be filmed in various locations around the U.S. and the world, so this would only affect titles currently scheduled to film in the State of California. No formal announcement has been made for nationwide filming to resume. We do know that films such as the Avatar Sequels have resumed filming in New Zealand and Prague recently re-opened to international filming and will be one of the filming locations for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier coming to Disney+.
Be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for all things Entertainment!
From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Movies, Animation Studios, Disney & Co, Disney Gossip, Disney+, Marvel, News, Pixar, Star Wars, disney, disney movies, disney pixar, filming, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios
A post shared by Kai (@lifeofkaix) on Jun 9, 2020 at 8:30am PDT
Did you know Luxo Jr. was created by John Lasseter in 1986? He used a Luxo lamp on his drawing table to experiment with the model, using it for motion studies. After using the animation for a festival in Brussels, he was asked to give it a backstory, so he decided to get some inspiration from the young son of another team member, Tom Porter, and that’s how Luxo Jr. was born. Interesting right?
Kai might also remind you to another character, Dug from UP! He wears a cone of shame during some part of the movie and is extremely adorable as well.
So do you think your puppy might want to join Kai and do the #PixarChallenge as well? Comment with your pictures!
And don’t forget to check out Pixar’s new short “Out” on Disney+ if you haven’t yet!
From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Pixar, disney, Luxo jr, Out, pixar challenge, pixar short, pixar short out
Enter for your Chance to Win These Toy Story Themed Reeboks. I can’t let you throw your chance away at getting these Woody and Buzz inspired Reeboks by Disney and BAIT. The Toy Story themed raffle was shared online by @baitme on Instagram with photos of the shoes and the caption:
“BAIT x Pixar Toy Story x Reebok – Buzz And Woody. Releasing at BAITme.com via online raffle, is the long awaited BAIT x Pixar Toy Story Instapump Fury. Buzz and Woody have become an iconic duo ever since the first Toy Story release in 1995 and we wanted to highlight that by releasing these two together as a pair. The left pair features Buzz’s Space Ranger’s uniform and the right pair highlights Woody’s cowboy outfit. Each pair comes in special ‘toy’ packaging. Also available in the capsule are all new apparel pieces to tie back to the beloved characters. You can sign up for our raffle now at http://www.baitme.com/bait-toy-story-reebok-instapump-fury-og-woody-buzz”
From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Pixar, Disney Snacks & Treats, Other Disney Stuff, Disney Family, Disney plus, Disney Recipe, Mike and Sulley, Mike Wazowski, Monsters Inc, monsters inc cake jars, Monsters University
The Walt Disney Company and Dole are partnering up for an eight-month campaign to promote healthy eating. Sure, we miss eating a Dole Whip in Adventureland, but we can all enjoy Dole’s fruit with Disney magic at home, too!
Dole is featuring 15 different Disney and Pixar characters on their fruit packages. You can find them in U.S. and Canadian grocery supermarkets. The fruit packages have characters taken from the following films:
A Bug’s Life
The Good Dinosaur
The initiative to promote healthy eating and nutrition is a great message for kids. Fresh fruit and vegetables are vital for a healthy lifestyle. In the meantime, you can play Dole’s Banana Sticker Peel and Play by collecting 25 unique stickers featuring Pixar Animation characters. Go here to download the sheets for the Banana Sticker Peel and Play activity at home. Here’s a chart of all the unique Pixar character banana stickers to collect!
Remember, Dole’s Healthy Eating Campaign with Disney’s Pixar characters runs through December 2020. Next time you go to the grocery store, keep an eye out for Dole fruit packages featuring your favorite Pixar characters!
Disney Mom Creates ‘Up’ Themed Playhouse for her Kids. Lately, a lot of Disney fans have had a bit of extra time on their hands and Disney Mom Candace, decided she would tackle a DIY project that had been on her mind. Candace decided to paint their family playhouse to look like Carl and Ellie’s house from Disney-Pixar’s Up.
“We bought the playhouse last year and I kept thinking about painting it like this. Finally I had the time to motivation to make it happen!” shared Candace in a post to their family Instagram account: @epicfamilyquests. “This was probably one of my favorite photoshoots to do, because of all the work put into it.”
Check out the posts shared by @epicfamilyquests of their adventures with their new “Up” playhouse:
We love seeing Disney Fans express their creativity and passion for all things Disney. What truly makes moments like this magical is how the family comes together to make the dream come true! Candace’s children, Vanessa and Jack, absolutely love their freshly painted playhouse and are ready for some epic journeys into the world of imagination and exploration. Remember Disney Fans “Adventure is Out There!”
Be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for all things Disney!
New Pixar SparkShorts “Out” Features First Openly Gay Protagonist. A new Disney-Pixar SparkShorts, “Out” has premiered on Disney+ and it features the first openly gay protagonist for the studio.
“On an average day, Greg’s life is filled with family, love and a rambunctious little dog – but despite all of this, Greg has a secret Today is different, though. With some help from his precocious pup, and a little bit of magic. Greg might learn that he has nothing to hide.”
Disney shared the news via social media with a photo of the short along with the caption: “The latest heartwarming tale from @Pixar’s #SparkShorts. Start streaming Out tomorrow on #DisneyPlus.”
Harveys is at it again with another fabulous new Disney collaboration! This time a new Monsters University Harveys Collection is coming to shopDisney! If you missed out on the previous Monsters inspired Harveys collection, you won’t want to miss this one!
Harvey’s has been releasing sneak peeks of the new collection, which will launch on shopDisney on May 22 at 7:00 AM PST! The collection will feature Mike and Sulley in their college days at Monsters University. That means we’ll see them in their MU, and OK Frat outfits, as well as their MU friends and foes.
The showcased crossbody will even come with an MU pennant coin purse! It’s reversible too, one side is an MU pennant, while the other side is an “OK” pennant! I truly love the details that Harveys puts into their collections. Harveys collections do tend to sell out quite quickly, so make sure you aren’t late if you want to snag some of these monstrous pieces.
Monsters INC, and University have always held a special place in my heart, so I can’t wait to see this entire collection! Will you be adding a new Monsters University Harveys bag to your collection?
From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Shop, Disney Handbags and Accessories, disney bags, Disney Purses, Harveys, Monsters Inc, Monsters University, Monsters University Harveys, Pixar
This a capella group normally fills The American Adventure at EPCOT with patriotic melodies. Today, they’re using their musical talents to give you a #DisneyMagicMoment wherever you may be. In this new video, the Voices of Liberty reunite virtually for special performances of two beloved Disney tunes all about friendship: “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “Friend Like Me.”
Feel free to sing along, too, using your own #VoicesFromHome. And stay with us here as we unveil more #DisneyMagicMoments in the days ahead!
Disney and Pixar’s new movie Onward may have magical creatures, grand adventures, and a sentient pair of pants, but like any Pixar classic, it’s also full of heart. Onward tells the story of two elf brothers, Ian and Barley (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt), who were raised by single mom Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) after their father passed away when they were young. The brothers discover that their father left behind a wizard staff and a spell that could bring him back for a day. But magic isn’t as easy as it looks, so when they are only able to resurrect half of their father — and yes, we mean that literally — Ian and Barley must team up for an epic quest to meet the rest of their dad before time runs out. We recently sat down with director Dan Scanlon, producer Kori Rae, and stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland to dig a little deeper into what made Onward a truly magical experience for everyone involved.
Though Onward is Pixar’s first foray into the traditional fantasy genre, it may be one of the most personal stories to come from the studio as it was directly inspired by Dan Scanlon’s real life. His own father passed away when Dan was a year old and his brother was three, so the two always wondered what he was like. “That question became the seed of Onward, which was, ‘What if you could meet him? What if you could have one day? What would you learn? What would you ask?’ And then we added elves and sprites to that incredibly sad story,” Dan shared with a laugh.
While the movie is definitely emotional (both Dan and Kori admitted to crying at various stages of the filmmaking process), what really won over people at Pixar was the human relatability at the movie’s core. Early on, Kori Rae’s way in was her relationship with her sister. “I would talk about my relationship with her and how she supported me and what she did for me. And as we had filmmakers come on, everybody started telling their stories, and what was amazing was that while it’s a personal story, it’s also got so many universal elements to it that I think will resonate with the whole world.”
The connection to a sibling became an important element for the two brothers in the movie. Even though in real life he is an older brother, Tom Holland felt an immediate kinship to his character, younger brother Ian. He described himself in his early teens as a “nervous kid [who] had a hard time at school,” but his experience joining the cast of the Broadway musical Billy Elliot brought him out of his shell. He explained, “It wasn’t until I went on [that] adventure [that] I became more confident in myself and I believed in myself. And what drew me to this character is that we get to see that entire journey that I went on as a kid in him throughout this film.”
As for the real-life family who helped inspire the movie, we asked Dan Scanlon what it’s been like to share Onward with them. He enthused, “I kind of made [the movie] for [my brother]… I showed [it to] him two weeks ago, and he loved it. He was blown away. He gave me the longest hug, and we talked for hours about it after, and he’s been texting me about it.” Dan and his brother are also excited and nervous to share Onward with their mother. “It’s her experience too in some ways, in losing her husband and raising these two kids alone. I mean, in a lot of ways, I think it’s more her story in terms of the drama of it. She’s one of the funniest people I know and one of the best storytellers.”
For a celebration of love and family you’ll want to share with more people than just your siblings, join us for the heartwarming journey of Disney and Pixar’s Onward, in theaters now!
The team behind Disney and Pixar’s Onward goes behind-the-scenes on the making of the film.
In Disney and Pixar’s newest film, Onward, audiences join teen brothers Ian and Barley as they embark on a quest to reunite with their dad, whom they lost at a young age. Like any great Disney and Pixar movie, this film has a great cast (including Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, just to name a few!) and is full of heart, humor, and compelling characters. As if that weren’t enough, here are four more things to look forward to when the film arrives in theaters on March 6!
A World Blending the Fantastic with the Familiar
From a Monster world hidden just behind our closets to a kitchen in Paris, Pixar films taken place in some pretty interesting locations. Onward, which is set in a suburban fantasy world, is no exception.
For the filmmakers on Onward, placing the film in this setting helped them create a space where there could be both possibility and scarcity, fantasy yet also familiarity. A world where, through magic, Dad could potentially come back — but also a world in which that magic would not necessarily be easy to produce. “If we had other people who knew magic in the world, Ian and Barley could easily just go down the street and ask that person to fix Dad for them, but we knew we couldn’t do that because we knew we needed the characters on the journey,” shared production designer Noah Klocek.
After several iterations, the team refined that suburban fantasy world even further, eventually settling on a style that was 70% familiar and 30% fantastic. Oftentimes, the 30% was easy to achieve, as the team soon realized that by simply placing an elf or a troll in a scene, they would instantly meet that threshold. It was balancing that out with the familiar that proved to be more difficult. To get inspiration for the familiar, the team took a research trip to Los Angeles, where they surveyed houses in the neighborhoods of Los Feliz and Frogtown and also looked at everyday mundanities like parking lots and power lines.
Magic Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before!
Another major challenge for the team was determining exactly what magic would look like in the film. We’ve all seen many a fantasy film with magical elements in the past, but how do you craft a version of magic that can both fit the tone of your tale and also be completely unique to your film?
It takes a brave soul to embark on such a quest, and luckily Pixar’s internal club The Fellowship (consisting of fantasy geeks throughout the company) were the perfect people for the task. Together with director Dan Scanlon, they determined the three essential components of a spell:
Heart’s Fire – This is the passion you bring to a spell that makes it come to life.
Magic Decree – Used in the more intermediate to advanced spells, this is the specific state of mind you need to be in to cast the spell.
Assist Element – An ingredient necessary for the most advanced spells, without which your spell would be rendered useless. In the case of the Visitation Spell attempted by Ian and Barley to bring back their dad, the assist element is a phoenix gem.
Using these components as a guide, the team was then able to move on to more features of the magic, like what a spell should be named and what magic should look like. When it came to the look, the team considered many factors, including the color of the magic, how one’s confidence can affect the shape and style of the magic, and how much space a piece of magic should take up on the screen — which came together to create the final version seen in the trailers.
Pixar is famous for their incredible Easter eggs, and Onward is no exception. Look closely while watching the film and you just might spot a troll or two or three, or nearly one in every frame! How did these trolls end up there? You can thank the Crowds team for that!
On an animated film, it’s the Crowds team’s job to populate and animate the background characters of a shot. For Onward, these included everything from elves to satyrs to goblins. The magical species that was exceptionally hard for them place were the trolls. Animation Crowds Supervisor Sequoia Blankenship shared, “When we’d put a troll in a shot, it’d be so big that it would immediately suck up all the visual oxygen of the scene.” Determined to find a way to still incorporate trolls as background characters, the team took it upon themselves to not only find the right places for the trolls in scenes with lots of characters, but also the right place for trolls in every scene. Voila! An Easter egg is born!
And of Course, Awesome Animation
One of the great challenges but also great opportunities of animating Onward was determining the movements of several characters that don’t exist in our real world, like a person missing a top half, or the part-horse, part-man centaur. In these cases, the animators really had to think outside the box and use their imaginations to craft movements that felt fantastic, but not outside the realm of familiarity.
The character of Dad offered that perfect challenge. “With Dad, we really had to ask ourselves, how can pants communicate and express emotion?” shared directing animator Allison Rutland. Before the actual animation even began, the animators did several green screen tests with Scanlon to test how a pair of pants would do things like sit down, be pulled by a leash, or perhaps even do a high-five. (For that, a leg would lift to tap a hand.) The flop of Dad’s top half offered the perfect jumping-off point for scenes where they needed Dad to show a bit of sass and attitude for comedic effect. In contrast, more subtle elements like foot tapping ended up becoming effective tools for Dad to connect in heart-to-heart moments with his sons. Combine all those elements together and you’ve got a character who can be both funny, sincere, and have a true personality — and do it all as pants. In short, the power of animation!
Making a movie, let alone an animated movie, requires a lot of people to work together among a lot of moving parts. Yet when those parts come together in just the right way, it can be pure magic! Experience that magic first-hand when Onward comes to theaters March 6.