Wednesday, May 20, 2009

UP at the El Cap

Got to see a screening of Disney•Pixar's UP tonight at the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. I think people are going to love this movie. As of now it even has a 100% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. A couple parts at the beginning reminded me heavily of Raising Arizona and there was an outright reference to a famous painting and an outright reference to Star Wars.


The adjacent Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store was themed for UP so I took pictures of everything I could. The theatre itself is still themed for the DisneyNature Earth film.


UP was directed by Pete Docter who previously directed Monsters, Inc. Pete always reminded me of my cousin Adam and even has a Shag-designed shirt that is exactly the same as one I have. And Pete and I were the last couple people with any sort of Disney connection to visit Art Stevens who worked on many Disney films from 1940 until about 1981.


I'm wondering if they'll make an UP ride at a Disney park. Maybe guests can get in a house that floats (or seemingly floats) around by balloon power and travel to Paradise Falls in South America. Come to think of it, that's pretty similar to Soarin' Over California at Disney's California Adventure.


One cool thing about UP is that it was dedicated to Joe Grant (and three others). Joe Grant was a longtime Disney story artist who started in 1937 and worked on many of the classic animated features. I was honored to be able to attend Joe's funeral at Forest Lawn even though I never got a chance to meet him in person. I also went to his life celebration at the Alex Theatre in Glendale and here's a poster they handed out of some of the sketches he had made throughout his illustrious career:

Click on the image to see a nice big version. Notice characters he sketched for Snow White, Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Lorenzo, and more. I think Joe is also the only person who worked on both Fantasia films, and that's pretty incredible seeing as how they came out six decades apart. He's also the one who came up with the title for Monsters, Inc.


See the complete photo album here at flickr.

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