TVAndMovies

12 Facts About Pixar's Adorable New Creature

Meet Lou.

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Pixar shorts are the best, whether you're crying over Lava or squeeing at the unbelievably cute Piper.

And now we have a brand-new short to add to the collection: Lou, currently playing in theaters before Cars 3.

Courtesy of Disney/Pixar

Lou tells the story of a magical monster who dwells in a playground lost-and-found box, and teaches the school bully, JJ, a valuable lesson about kindness.

BuzzFeed News caught up with Lou writer-director Dave Mullins and producer Dana Murray at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March to learn all about the adorable new short.

Here's the coolest stuff we learned:

1. All the kids on the playground are characters from Inside Out and Finding Dory that animators tweaked slightly. The only new characters are Lou and JJ.

2. The little girl on the playground holding a pig toy is based on Mullins' daughter, and JJ's eyes are modeled after his wife's eyes.

3. Once a Pixar short film idea is approved, it takes around a year to create.

4. Lou took roughly two months to render — i.e., to determine the colors of each pixel in an image — at final film quality. For comparison, a single average image from Inside Out took about 29 hours to render.

5. Creators completed roughly 10,000 drawings and storyboards for Lou.

6. Lou is gender neutral.

7. Lou was originally going to be a child covered in toys, and their true identity would be revealed at the end. But Mullins thought it would have been "kind of weird."

8. John Lasseter, renowned animator, director, producer, and chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, helped Mullins come up with Lou's name.

9. Nothing else on the playground is red except for Lou's red sweatshirt, which is meant to pop and stand apart from the green surrounding the playground.

10. JJ's flashback scene was based on a scene from David Fincher's

Se7en. "There’s a moment when John Doe (Kevin Spacey) has a gun up against Detective Mills’ (Brad Pitt) head, and [I wanted] the lighting from that — the rain’s coming down, the color’s a steel gray and brown," Mullins said. "I went to our lighters and gave them a GIF of that scene."

11. Mullins intentionally avoided giving any of the kids cell phones or screens of any kind. "We wanted [the story] to be a little more timeless," he said.

12. Ultimately, Mullins hopes the story teaches kids to be more tolerant. "There’s a lot of division happening in the world, and instead of just assuming [someone is] acting out because they’re a bad person, it’s better to find out what's going on underneath," he said.

UPDATE

Per comments from Mullins and Murray, an earlier version of this article indicated that Lou was female. The post has been updated to reflect that the character is gender neutral, upon Pixar's request.

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