The man behind Disney’s Up

The man behind Disney’s Up

Pixar Director Pete Docter speaks exclusively to City Times

Published: Thu 11 Jun 2015, 9:06 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:46 PM

THIS MONTH ON CNN’s Ones to Watch an animation industry pioneer will take the helm and point viewers in the direction of the most colourful new talent. Pixar Director Pete Docter is the brains behind Up, Monster’s Inc and Inside Out which opened at the Cannes Film Festival last month to critical acclaim.

Docter spoke ahead of his CNN interview airing in the UAE this Friday.

This interview is courtesy of CNN Ones To Watch. Peter Docter’s episode will air at these times:

Friday 12 June at 1330 GST and 1930 GST

Saturday 13 June at 1730 GST and 2330 GST

Sunday 14 June at 0430 GST

Monday 15 June at 0730 GST

Tuesday 16 June at 1330 GST and 2030 GST

Wednesday 17 June at 0730 GST and 1230 GST

Are there things animation can achieve which other art forms can’t?

Absolutely! To me animation has the potential to be a moving form of caricature. It’s intentionally selective; it takes the incredible complexity of real life and leaves out anything irrelevant to what’s being said.  If done well, animation can feel simultaneously artificial and hyper-real at the same time, which I find fascinating.  Because of this, I also think animation can go places and reach people emotionally that other mediums can’t. Some of the stuff we do in Up, for example, would probably come off as schmaltzy in live action.  Somehow we get away with it in animation.

What drove you to become an animator and director?

 As a kid I was attracted to the craft: I loved skilled drawing and virtuosic movement.  Later, the craftsmanship became less important and I was captivated by how a good animator can make a character feel as though it’s alive, like the character is thinking. Today, I’m in love with storytelling and the idea of saying something about life, as highfalutin’ as that sounds. I want to capture some experience I’ve had, and put that across to the audience so they feel that same feeling. It’s about communication; being able to talk about the world through sounds and images.

Which work are you most proud of in your career?

Right now, Inside Out. Who knows how I’ll look back at it in 20 years, but today I feel like it captured what I felt watching my kids grow up. That change from child to adult is sad and difficult - and beautiful and necessary - and the film says that better than I can here using words.

What can audiences expect from Inside Out?

Hopefully they’ll have fun.  I hope they see their own inner world brought to life in ways they recognise but have never really thought about - like explaining where dreams come from, or why songs get stuck in their heads. I’m hoping we give everyone a bonus souvenir to take home.

More news from City Times