Pixar Canada Launches with Air Mater
"They are metal so the animators here had to find a balance of not over animating too much, so we had a learning curve to go through with some of the new animators," Gibbs suggests. "They wanted to take Mater all over the place. And it got a lot smoother. He might even be less expressive than in the previous shorts."
Not surprisingly, the upcoming Small Fry, part of the "Toy Story Toon" brand, is very different from Hawaiian Vacation. Rather than trying to cram as many characters into a fast and furious short, this one is more character-driven. Directed by Angus MacLane (BURN•E), Small Fry is about Buzz getting left behind at a fast food joint when Bonnie accidentally takes home the meal toy version. Brown says it's an exercise in pacing and riffing on the wonderful cheap quality of toys.
"I think each film is a new challenge to hit a certain quality bar but also to take a step back and evaluate after each one," he adds. "Shorts bring a new level of interest and refresh your bucket, if you will. For us, we will get smarter about how we use our technology and more savvy as artists."
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and editor of VFXWorld. He has a new blog, Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com), and is currently writing a book about the evolution of James Bond from Connery to Craig, scheduled for publication next year, which is the 50th anniversary of the franchise.