By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist June 10, 2011 at 3:30AM
We're be decidedly un-enamored of Pixar's recent approach to their features: this year's "Cars 2" looks, if anything, worse than its predecessor, and being jammed between last year's "Toy Story 3" and 2013's "Monsters University," the studio, one of the true bastions of creativity in the industry, seems to be heading towards the sequel-happy approach of every other big company, with next year's "Brave" being the only confirmed original project on their slate (although we've got no doubt that there are plenty of other films in the works), and big name directors like Andrew Stanton and Brad Bird being wooed away to the live-action world for films like "John Carter" and "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol."
The approach is even extending to the company's shorts, which debut before their big-screen releases: rather than the beautiful likes of "Presto," "Partly Cloudy" and "Night & Day," "Cars 2" will be preceded by "Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation," which centers on Ken & Barbie from the popular trilogy. What's even more confusing about that is that the company have another short already in the can that won't be going out with "Cars 2," and it looks just as lovely as their very best work.
"La Luna," directed by Pixar vet Enrico Casarosa, who worked as a storyboard artist on "Ratatouille" and "Up," premieres this week at the Annecy International Animation Festival, and glimpses have started to sneak out, in the form of a poster, courtesy of Recent Movie Posters, and a clip, which Bleeding Cool dug up over at Animation World Network Television. It looks gorgeous, with a lovely score, and a touching premise (even if the character design of the father seems to be lifted from James Caan's dad character in "Cloudy With Chance of Meatballs") -- so why are we getting another "Toy Story" clip in front of "Cars 2?"
Still, we assume it'll see the light of day at some point -- possibly on the "Cars 2" DVD, or in front of "Brave" next year, but we hope that this doesn't mean the wonderful shorts are starting to fade away at the studio. Read a full synopsis below, courtesy of Anne Thompson, and watch the clip.
"La Luna" is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa, or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?