Last October, Pixar ventured into new territory with the release of their first 30-minute television special, Toy Story of Terror!. The special almost unanimously received high praise and even set up Pixar to plan their first Christmastime special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, coming this holiday season. But before any full-length film, short film or television special can be enjoyed by fans everywhere, a large amount of detailed work goes into prepping the story, lighting, character designs, set designs and so much more.
Last week, Pixarian Paul Abadilla (UPDATED: Paul’s blog is now private, link removed), released some great set design work that he created for the Sleepwell Motel in Toy Story of Terror! and we wanted to pass along this great artwork.
If you notice, you’ll see so many familiar elements from the special – The basket that Mr. Jones (iguana) places his found treasures in (along with the bell on the floor), the corkboard where Ron (manager) puts pictures of the items he has up for auction on eBid, as well as many more gems. I also love all the typical elements you’d find in a roadside motel, like the rack of local attractions (in the lower-left corner of the bottom image).
Paul captured the natural light of the scenes perfectly – for instance, if you look in the bottom image again, you’ll see how the light from the window on the left spills across the room and slowly falls off (take a close look at the drop ceiling and the details there). We love when Pixar employees share their early concept work, especially for shorts and specials like this since they’re often not compiled in books like the “Art of” series that are released alongside feature films.