12 Existential Facts About Pixar Movies
This weekend sees the release of Lightyear starring Chris Evans, a film that fans glowingly call "the first bad Pixar movie." We haven't seen it ourselves, but we have seen all the other ones, enough to know all their tricks (including the ones they don't talk about).
We dug up special info on Soul, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Up, and more. But Pixar also has a dark side, full of backstabbing and predation. And, worse, sad story beats.
Here's a look back at the facts we learned this week. The links all lead to full articles with much more info, so click every one that interests you, or you will be strapped to a garbage truck's grille.
1. For a while, every single Pixar movie had the exact same twist.
It concerned the way the main character suddenly realized their whole quest was misguided, and Pixar returned to this idea this again and again.
2. A driver for Pixar guessed what their next movie would be about.
He drove several Black passengers to the studio and so correctly predicted that they were working on a "Black movie"—emphasizing how rarely anyone Black came to Pixar other than when one movie's premise demanded it.
3. Someone actually lifted a house with balloons like in Up.
National Geographic attached 300 huge helium balloons to a house and so lifted it and its passengers 10,000 feet into the air.
4. They have an informal rule to discard every first idea.
So though Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and Wall-E were originally conceived to be about toys, monsters, and a robot, the first plot outlines of each bore no resemblance to the stories they eventually went with.
5. Sid from Toy Story returns in Coco.
6. Bill Murray won the lead part in Monsters Inc., but no one could reach him.
He tested for the part of Sully, and Pixar picked him, but the director only had access to Murray's 1-800 voice mail service, and the acceptance message got lost in there.
7. Pixar went to court to prove they invented 'unicycles.'
They claimed that the game Uniracers stole the design from their obscure short film Red's Dream, even though both simply used the design of a standard unicycle.
8. Their first film would have adapted the source material behind Dragon Ball Z.
The source material that Dragon Ball Z LOOSELY adapted. It was called Monkey, but before they could finish work on it, Pixar split from LucasFilm, shifted to hardware, and went the next decade without putting out a feature film.
9. Sure, it's tough watching sad parts, but not as sad as explaining them to your kid.
10. The "America's Ass" line in Avengers was a reference to an inside joke about Chris Evans.
And no, it wasn't about the future Lightyear star having a good ass. It was about him having a tiny one, earning him the nickname "Little Ass."
11. Toy Story 3 was originally going to be about Buzz getting recalled to Taiwan.
A separate Disney studio, Circle 7, was working on this and several other Pixar sequels. The studio eventually closed without making anything.
12. Pixar abandoned the man who brought them together and backed them.
Alexander Schure assembled the team in hopes of making a fully CGI film. He gave them a long leash and loads of money since the tech was years away. They stealthily left him, and Schure lost everything.