Move over, Andy Serkis, it turns out you’re not the only guy who can model for animators. In fact, inanimate objects are even getting in on the action. Specifically, a Hawaiian volcano named Uku, who stars in Pixar’s latest short, Lava. Aw, he even has a cute name. Sit, Uku, sit.
For Pixar head of animation James Ford Murphy, that meant giving Uku the feeling of movement by surrounding him with birds, dolphins, whales, clouds, and of course the lava, as well as making the camera swoop up and around him. It also meant telling Uku’s tale — a love story between two explosive rock formations — largely through music and his unique facial expressions.
To create the face of the mountain, Murphy used an amalgam of the faces of Kuana Torres Kahele, the musician who is the voice of the mountain; Honeymooners star Jackie Gleeson, and the bulldog in the Chuck Jones animated classic “Feed the Kitty,” which Murphy considers perhaps his all-time favorite cartoon. “That cartoon has so much heart and so much of the humor comes from genuine emotion,” he says. “That was a major inspiration for us.” [Yahoo]
Dang, I always thought “feed the kitty” was just something your mom yelled at the customers while she was stripping. Anyway, this sounds adorable. I for one can’t wait for one rock formation to be all “Yo, girl, you got me so hot right now, I’m ’bout to erupt.” And then the other one will be like “Uh uh, you best slow your roll, papi. Just ’cause I’m active don’t mean you’re gettin’ in this crater,” and so forth. “C’mon, girl, I’m hard like obsidian. Let me in that molten core and I’ll make you blow like Krakatoa.”
Lava will play in front of Pixar’s Inside Out, opening June 2015. Hopefully they’ll let me write some dialogue between now and then.