“Monsters University”, the latest from the Animation Studio Hit-Factory, grossed an estimated $82 million over the weekend and handily beat runner-up “World War Z” in domestic receipts. All 14 of Pixar’s feature films have opened in the top spot at the box office. Monsters U is staged as the Prequel to the highly successful “Monsters Inc.”, the first theatrical release at Pixar’s 13-year-old Emeryville Studio back in 2001. All but their first three feature films (Toy Story, A Bug’s life and Toy Story 2) were created at the Emeryville location on Park Avenue.
A feature-length animated movie is a painstaking process that can take upwards of 5 years and generally requires long evenings and tight-deadlines prior to wrapping up. If that normally polite Pixar employee you see on Emery-Go-Round or your establishment has been a bit more impatient or if you notice a few more lights on at their campus during the wee hours, this is probably why (There’s a reason their campus has so many amenities like gourmet food, free massage, a gym & daycare … they never leave!). While Emeryville residents were yet again shut out of any participation in the fanfare, it seems as though the media was treated to quite a party as evidenced by the abundant “Inside Pixar” articles I’m seeing on my feed and the foot-traffic I’ve witnessed outside their campus. In anticipation of the release, Pixar was redecorated to mimic a College University complete with an iron gate (Allegedly inspired by Cal’s Sather Gate), a student lounge & cheerleaders.
This blog has been critical of Pixar’s recent exclusionary policies toward its neighbors and its impenetrable “Superblock” compound, but we still maintain a level of pride for what they’ve accomplished in our city. We’ve recently reached out to them to try to facilitate dialogue between the company and the residents of Emeryville to preempt the building resentment and hopefully return the relationship to its pre-Disney status. Perhaps Pixar could take a cue from businesses like Novartis or Lucas-film who share some of their vast open-space with the surrounding community. Perhaps they could Sponsor the Skate Park that is being built adjacent to their planned multi-story parking garage? Perhaps a “Dug the Dog” Community Dog-Park? I’ve had conversations with neighbors about a “Pixar Animation Studios/Emeryville, CA” T-shirt & public Souvenir shop that could be very lucrative for them and honor the town that helped nurture the growth of their company.
Whenever the globally famous company debuts a new movie, a slew of press is guaranteed to follow. Here are a few of our favorite posts:
The Hottest Bars In Emeryville, Calif. Are At Pixar Animation Studios
EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Animators, who have to maintain constant creative concentration and inspiration, obsessing over every possible nuance in every single frame of their projects, naturally like to blow off steam at the end of the day.
At Pixar Animation Studios, however, the options for the blowing off of said steam in the immediate vicinity of their Emeryville headquarters aren’t exactly abundant. Ironically, while it sits smack in the middle of the bustling Bay Area, Emeryville is, by comparison, built more for commuting employees than for any sort of revelry.
So Pixar created its own revelry.
Pixar employees built three different locations within the animation wing of their sprawling campus, created specifically for Pixar employees — and visiting VIPs — to kick back and drink.
As part of an exclusive tour of the campus, BuzzFeed spoke with Craig Payne, Pixar’s senior design project manager, about how these pubs/lounges/speakeasies came into being. | Read more at BuzzFeed.com →
The home stretch: How Pixar wrapped ‘Monsters University’
EMERYVILLE, Calif. — It’s early April, and there’s just over two months before Pixar’s newest film, “Monsters University,” hits theaters. For years, the filmmakers at this hit factory have been working like crazy, taking what was once a mere idea for a prequel to 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.” through every step on the way to the silver screen.
Thirty-two miles away, some of the “MU” team is still toiling away, mixing the film’s sound at Skywalker Ranch, but here at the studio’s headquarters, inside the Steve Jobs Building, it’s pretty much a wrap. After four years, the hard work of making a Pixar film is done. | Read more at CNET.com →
How Pixar made Monsters University, its latest technological marvel
Monsters University, the new animated film from Disney’s Pixar division that debuts on June 21, will serve as light summer entertainment for most audiences. But the light-hearted, character-driven film is also a technological marvel, like most computer-generated movies that are years in the making.
It’s about 12 years since Monsters Inc. debuted in 2001. Animated movies can take a long time to make, but they’ve been a gold mine for movie makers and come with huge budgets that enable them to be forerunners in technological progress. Last year’s Brave, which generated more than $535 million at the box office worldwide, took more than six years to make on a $185 million budget. But Kori Rae, producer of Monsters University, said in an interview that her team of 270 people pulled together early in creating its story, which is a prequel to the first film. And that’s why the movie took a “short” four years to make. | Read more at VentureBeat.com →