I have been doing a lot of travelling around lately; I was working in Portland for a few weeks and then flew to the East Coast to spend a week with my brother and his family at their new home in Virginia. Then, before coming back to Portland, I made a quick trip to San Francisco to attend the wrap party for Pixar’s latest movie, WALL-E.
This is definitely one of the most ambitious pictures that Pixar has ever made. Seeing Pixar’s version of sci-fi is a lot of fun (I have always had a soft spot for cartoon science fiction, such as DUCK DODGERS). A lot of people are going to fall in love with the main character of this film. Thanks to some great design and some superb animation, that rusty robot is a very, very appealing little guy on screen. I worked on WALL-E a few years ago, doing a little work in the art department, followed by a short stint in the story team. And yet, it has been so long since I had seen any of the story reels that there had been quite a few changes to the story, so I had some surprises in watching the film. Being able to watch a movie that you’ve worked on with more-or-less fresh eyes is a treat.
The big surprise for me was seeing PRESTO, the new Pixar short directed by Doug Sweetland. I had heard nothing at all about what this project was about, although I knew that it was being made, and that some great talents (such as Doug Sweetland, Teddy Newton and the mighty Ted Mathot) were working on it. Because I knew nothing at all about it, it was a real joy to watch. It has a great premise that is beautifully designed, full of clever ideas, involving some really funny, broad physical comedy… all brought to life with whip-crack animation timing and great posing. It is probably my favourite Pixar short, so far. I wont say anything more, lest I spoil the fun for the rest of you.