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Friday, August 10, 2007

New Pixar Documentary: 'The Pixar Story'

I'm eager to see the new doc 'The Pixar Story' when it's broadcast on TV, released on DVD, or released theatrically. (It played last month at Comic-Con.)

It was directed by Leslie Iwerks, the granddaughter of Ub Iwerks, who was Walt Disney's original partner. (An earlier film and book she produced focused on Ub's career.) Her production company has a Web site, but it's woefully short on clips from her work -- including the new Pixar project.

From Peter DeBruge's Variety review:

    The movie is, above all else, a celebration of animation in all its forms. Iwerks naturally has a firm grasp of the medium's history and rightly sees Pixar as the catalyst for the recent resurgence of audience interest in animation.

    Early in the movie, Lasseter credits the book "Walt Disney's Art of Animation" with inspiring him to enter the field, and Iwerks' film will no doubt have a similar effect on future generations. She focuses less on Pixar's behind-the-scenes methodology (with good reason, considering how exhaustively those details are chronicled on the Pixar DVDs themselves), but presents a treasure trove of rare footage, including clips of Lasseter's first two Student Academy Award-winning film-school projects, "Lady and the Lamp" and "NiteMare," which presage "Luxo Jr." and "Monsters Inc."

    Iwerks also includes the computer-animated "Where the Wild Things Are" demo Lasseter and Glen Keane developed for Disney, as well as Catmull's U. of Ohio experiment in rendering his own hand (the first 3-D computer effect featured in a movie) and Loren Carpenter's 1980 fractal landscape experiment "Vol Libre" (which enabled Pixar's work on "Star Trek II").

Here's the IMDB info.

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