In our most recent contest announcement for the Monsters University (MU) custom dream journal (autographed by Dan Scanlon), we mentioned that we were lucky enough to have attended our second advanced screening of MU – but this time it was also a charity event that was packed with exclusive artwork and other items up for auction. Below are some samples of the artwork and other memorabilia that we were in awe of viewing (and knowing that we could potentially win as well).
The image of young Mike Wazowski above, created by the masterful Dice Tsutsumi, was our most sought-after piece (because of the unique charm and feeling the piece emitted) – but unfortunately, it must have been on the radar of a lot of other people as well. We reached deep, but our maximum bid was more than doubled when it was all said and done – whew.
We were lucky enough to have won one of the best pieces in the auction, though — a Robert Kondo complete pencil drawing of the MU library with a ton of characters in it. We enjoyed viewing all of the pieces, but we loved how this was a complete piece rather than a single character drawing.
What did make our win a little more stressful (and fun) though was that we got into a bidding war with Dan Scanlon himself! When we were chatting outside prior to the event, Dan mentioned that we would probably be in a war over that piece and he was right. We were in love with it immediately and knew we had to have it – especially since Julie conducted a one-on-one interview with Robert Kondo while she was at the MU press event at Pixar.
The final item we were bidding on was the Archie the Scare Pig drawing that Dan Scanlon completed – it was just so cute and really captured the essence of that little guy. After the auction, we were ushered into the massive theater to begin the screening. Dan kicked off the event with a brief introduction about the beauty and realism of The Blue Umbrella short film, his experience working on MU, as well as discussed the amazing teamwork which enabled the film to come together.
After Dan’s introduction, the lights dimmed and The Blue Umbrella kicked off – although we had seen the short previously (and discussed it with Director Saschka Unseld), we hadn’t seen it on the big screen before. As we’ve said on many other occasions, the film is just so beautiful and the story is so charming, we can’t wait for everyone to see it.
As MU started, the audience’s anticipation was felt throughout the theater. There was a young girl sitting next to Julie and I that said to her father, “Is this it?!” with such excitement in her voice you couldn’t help but smile!
Viewing the complete movie for the second time was amazing and allowed us to concentrate on some smaller details and really absorb the jokes again. Without giving anything away, I can say that although those details are so small, they truly enhance the film in every way. One of the details that I noticed this time around can be seen in the Final MU trailer that was released last week – where the Oozma Kappa gang are working out in the early morning and you can see their breath in the cool morning air.
After the credits rolled, Dan Scanlon came back to the front of the theater to discuss the charities that were supported by the event and the importance of those to him and the community. He told a personal story of how Digital Arts, Film & Television (DAFT), helped get him started on the filmmaking path with their great programs. We were even treated to a high-school-aged video of Scanlon being interviewed after his short film won an award at a local film festival. While watching the clip Dan chuckled about how he flicked his hair back with a quick head thrust. As a side note, seeing Dan with his perfectly parted (down the middle), ear-length locks completely reminded me of my own ’90s-hairstyle – whew!
As we exited the theater and headed to the after-party, everyone was given a copy of the official MU double-sided movie poster. Guests loved receiving the poster as many of them realized that they would have an opportunity to meet with Dan and have him sign their poster. He was so gracious to meet with everyone in line, sign some items, and even take a few photos.
As the evening was winding down we were informed that we would be able to keep a few of the extra items that were placed around the room to promote the event – a set of MU drink coasters, MU school temporary tattoos, and some of the MU quad paper advertisements. On our way out, we also took our time taking in all the great concept artwork that was on display as well – we even noticed one piece that showed the Roar Omega Roar crew in Slugma Slugma Kappa gear (which was later converted to a sorority rather than a fraternity).
To read more information about and support the charities from the evening’s events, click the links below –