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A day trip to Pixar

by Andy Gibbons

Sometimes I love my job. It is without doubt, the greatest job in the world. And today is one of those days as I’ve just spent the best part of the last 24 hours holed up at Pixar in Emeryville, CA to watch and talk about Toy Story 3. I’m going to give you a full run down of events nearer the film’s UK release (for the record it’s July 21st) but here’s a quick taster of what went on.

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I arrived at the studio Friday night for a special screening of the movie ahead of a bunch of interviews which were scheduled in for Saturday morning and the second I walked into the huge atrium, I was in geek heaven. To my left were huge figures of Mike and Sully of Monsters Inc., to my right were Luigi and Guido from Cars and dead ahead was a huge, full size replica of Ken’s Dream House from Toy Story 3 – complete with stitch perfect recreations of Ken’s many outfits from the film.

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After a bit of a snooping around it was time to head into the cinema for the screening which was introduced by director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson. As usual, before the main movie, we were treated to the latest Pixar short – the wildly creative Day & Night which is frankly rather hard to describe, when you see it you’ll understand why – but then it was on to the main event. However we got two minutes in and suddenly the movie stops, the house lights come up and Darla pops back out to tell us there’s a problem with the sound and they need ten minutes to fix it. Ooops. Anyway the film is back up and running soon enough – I wish I could tell you more about the movie itself but the nice people from Disney would do unsavoury things to me if I did so you’ll just have to wait for my full review.

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(Yes, they are made of Lego)

Then it’s on the bus to the hotel for a couple of hours sleep before heading back out to the studio for a guided tour around the building, a quick tutorial on the main technical differences between TS2 and TS3 from Unkrich himself and a whole host of interviews with the likes of the director, Michael Keaton (Ken), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head), Joan Cusack (Jessie) and a bunch of the technical geniuses who made the film happen – all of which I’ll post in greater detail at a later date.

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Oi, Keaton – look at me when you’re having your picture taken

Ok, so it may sound a bit whistle-stop but for a Pixar geek like myself it was a real treat and I REALLY wish I could tell you more about the movie. But keep checking back as the blog is going to be rather TS3 heavy in the coming weeks.


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