Toy Story 3
Posted on 15/07/2010 in Homepage 1, Specials
Who knows if the 2009-2010 season will be remembered for the triumph of the old toys? Only time will confirm that, but it’s a fact that in a few months three similar movies who celebrate vintage toys have been produced: Panique au village by Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier, In the Attic by the veteran Jiri Barta, and now Toy Story 3 3D.
Pixar debuted in 1996 with the first Toy Story, changing the history of cinema with the first digitally animated feature film, then shocked everybody with Toy Story 2 that proved that Pixar wasn’t only guarantee of tecnichal excellence, but also of story telling quality, proved by the narrative complexity of the movie itself. Today, Toy Story 3 faces the challenge of closing a great saga after three masterworks like Up!, Wall-e and Ratatouille.
The plot is once again focused on the attempt by the toys to reunite after a forced separation and reconquest their own space. Little Andy has grown up and is forced to choice which toys to bring at college with him. Obviously his choice is for Woody, and he puts the others in a box. The box is wrongly sent to Sunnyside kindergarten, a sort of nightmare for toys.
The expedient of the kindergarten allows Pixar and the director Lee Unkrich (previously co-director of Toy Story 2) to expand the original cast, introducing new brilliant characters as Ken and many others, that you can see here and here.
The original dubbers Tom Hanks and Tim Allen work with new voices as Timothy Dalton (Mr. Prinklepants), Ned Beatty (Lots-o-Huggins Bear), Michael Keaton (Ken) Whoopi Goldberg (Stretch) and many others.
Lee Unkrich, former editor in Pixar since Toy Story, is the first director of the studio which is not an animator, but with a great background in the live action movies.
According with his own declarations, Unkrich has a different point of view on animation because he has a different education and a “live action taste”.
At the beginning, Unkrich felt very unsure of himself, because he had never worked before with the animators, but soon he realized that his work consisted in explaining to the animators how characters think and act. Unkrich says that directing the animators is almost the same thing that directing real actors and dubbers.
Bobby Podesta, supervising animator of Toy Story 3, agrees with the director and says “My job is to convince you that the stack of polygons on the screen is actually alive”.
Unlike Up!, Toy Story 3 is conceived to be realised in Stereoscopic 3D, but Pixar is not interested in the Avatar’s immersive 3D or in a spectacular stereo-3D like Ice Age 3. A Pixar movie, as Unkrich declares, is always focused on the story, characters and humanity. 3D technology is only a tool to detail backgrounds and actions, enrich the images and exploit better the deeep focus.
Technically speaking, Pixar continues to improve and test new visual solutions: Guido Quaroni, supervising technical director, declares proudly that, for the first time, the technical department was able to fulfill every animation request from the creative staff. “We never said ‘no’ to the director” Quaroni said.
Interview with the sound designers
Backstage of the original dubbing
Lee Unkrich’s Twitter
An article about the making of on Wired
Look at The Mascot, the Ladislaw Starewich’s short film that inspired Toy Story saga