Today is a long awaited day in my book – Cars 3 is in theaters everywhere! Remember when I told you I was invited to the Cars 3 Event in San Francisco? I probably mentioned we were able to screen about 40 minutes of the film on that trip, and my excitement has built up to this week for some time now. I know my heart was beating fast as we walked into the Cars 3 screening earlier this week. …and it was worth the wait! (Read interviews from Cars 3 directors and more behind the scenes of that trip here!)
Make sure you buy your tickets to see Cars 3 this weekend and make plans to get to the theater early – you won’t want to miss the Pixar Short, Lou, which will play right before Cars 3 starts!
While I will not spoil anything for you, I will say Lou is a great story, focusing on a bully on the school playground. It’s a story with a great lesson, and one parents will appreciate.
When we visited Pixar headquarters, we spoke with Director Dave Mullins who told us how Lou came to creation. Mullins showed us about John Lasseter’s influence on the thought and creation process, then showed us a presentation on Lou’s start to finish.
John Lasseter has said something about Pixar films once that always stuck with me. Pixar films have very specific ingredients. Pixar films have heart, entertainment, setting and animation. Heart meaning the main characters flawed and experiences personal growth. Entertainment meaning the story has to be unpredictable and funny. Setting meaning the film needs to transport the viewer or audience to some place that is exciting and new and animation meaning the film must be called to be animated and must use animation’s full potential. I love these guidelines because it gave me a road map for what to pitch at the studio. It’s these ingredients that appeal to a wide audience and help create a really compelling film.
In 2005, Mullins began to come up with different ideas for short films. He began with the concept of telling a story through beavers, then had a few other ideas with cars and then another thought for a pirate, a mermaid and a creepy monster. (We didn’t get too many details on these ideas because they are still a possibility!) Dave pitched ideas for years and nothing ever really stuck until he sat down and thought about his childhood:
When I was a kid, I moved around a lot. My dad was very driven and that meant that we moved every year or so for his job. I was always the new kid and it was tough leaving old friends behind every year and having to make all new ones. At times, being the new kid made me feel invisible. So I thought about that experience and it gave me an idea for an invisible character that could hide in plain sight at a school and longed to be accepted by the other kids. Something that would be kind of funny yet creepy at the same time. So I drew a bunch of different creatures and finally landed on one that was great! It’s a pile of stolen toys that is actually a little kid underneath.
In 2012, Dave pitched a short film titled Lost and Found. He showed us the storyboards that he pitched the first time around that told a story of a pile of toys that steals from the kids and eventually learns to give them back, finally becoming accepted by the other kids at school. This idea grew, the storyboards changed and the result is one not to miss!
Cars 3 is in theaters today!