3D World

Shorts story

Pixar pres­i­dent Jim Mor­ris dis­cusses Wall-e and how it re­lates to the stu­dio’s short films

- Entertainment · Arts · Filmmaking · Animation · Movies · Shorts · Trousers · Pixar Animation Studios · Finland · Lucasfilm, Limited · Star Wars · Blade Runner · Oscar Pistorius · Andrew Stanton

Ex­plore Pixar’s Spark­shorts pro­gram, de­signed to en­able sto­ry­tellers and artists to tell their unique and evok­ing sto­ries

When he joined Pixar An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios in 2005, Jim Mor­ris did so to pro­duce An­drew Stan­ton’s up­com­ing sci-fi fea­ture Wall-e, the story of a lonely ro­bot who finds love on a trash­cov­ered Earth. Mor­ris’ ex­pe­ri­ence at Lu­cas­film, where he pro­duced VFX for nu­mer­ous sci-fi fea­tures, al­lowed him to help Stan­ton re­alise his vi­sion for the film. “An­drew wasn’t par­tic­u­larly ex­pe­ri­enced in live ac­tion,” he ex­plains, “but he had this in­ter­est in try­ing to in­tro­duce the feel of cam­eras and lenses from the 70s.” Mor­ris was able to use his tech­ni­cal un­der­stand­ing of live­ac­tion film­mak­ing to em­u­late the style of films like Star Wars and Blade Run­ner.

With 39 di­a­logue-free min­utes, Wall-e has much in com­mon with Pixar’s early short films, such as Luxo Jr. and Tin Toy. “It’s not a film that re­lies on di­a­logue to tell its story,” adds Mor­ris. “I’ve al­ways liked films where you can turn off the sound and you still know what’s go­ing on.” Wall-e’s first act and the ma­jor­ity of its sec­ond act fea­ture pre­dom­i­nantly phys­i­cal in­ter­ac­tions be­tween Wall-e and his new friend EVE. Pixar’s an­i­ma­tors rel­ished the chal­lenge of telling a story through pan­tomime and phys­i­cal­ity.

“It forces you to get a lit­tle more pure in your sto­ry­telling and cin­e­matic arts,” Mor­ris con­tin­ues. “In some ways it was an out­growth of the ex­plo­rations they were do­ing in vis­ual sto­ry­telling and pan­tomime,” Mor­ris con­tin­ues. “It tied in to all the things I liked in films and as­pired to do. The sto­ry­telling and so much of the emo­tion comes through in the film’s vis­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics.”

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