Breaking – Pixar’s Next Short "Lava" Will Premiere Ahead of "Inside Out" in Theaters & More "Inside Out" Details

Inside Out and Lava logos

Pixar has just released additional details about their upcoming feature film Inside Out as well as officially confirmed their new musical short, Lava (releasing in theaters ahead of Inside Out on June 19, 2015). With the breaking news of Lava, individuals who have already been lucky enough to have viewed a sneak peek (watching the short in its almost finalized state) are already raving about its beauty and sweet nature.


Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, “Lava” is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years.

From Pixar Animation Studios, director James Ford Murphy and producer Andrea Warren, “Lava” opens in theaters on June 19, 2015, in front of “Inside Out.”

From the description of this being a musical love story, we can’t help but think of the simplicity and beauty of The Blue Umbrella as well. It will be interesting to see the contrast between the two stories, which on the surface, could sound similar – although we bet they won’t be similar at all. The poster for Lava is stunning and depicts many pairs of animals in love – but the star of the show, the volcano, appears to be missing a mate.

Pixar Lava Poster

The short will be directed by James Ford Murphy, a studio veteran who started back in 1998 on A Bug’s Life as a character designer and animator. With Murphy’s eye as an animator (6 Pixar projects), supervising animator (For The Birds, Mater and the Ghostlight), and directing animator (Cars), we’re certainly looking forward to his unique take on this love story. It will also be intriguing to see how the musical element will play into the film and who the composer will be?

Lava’s producer, Andrea Warren also started on A Bug’s Life as Art Department Production Assistant and worked among the Art department as a Manager and Coordinator before taking on the role of Production Manager for WALL•E and Brave.

As a side note – interestingly, there has been a lingering rumor of a short titled Lava in production at Pixar for quite some time. We’re glad that the rumor is true and even more intrigued now that we have more information.

UPDATE 1: from this article on Coming Soon, it appears that James himself has composed the song for Lava (on ukulele). It is a Hawaiian-inspired song that attempts to get you to feel the same emotional touches of Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

UPDATE 2: It should also be noted that Animation Scoop (UPDATED: The link has been removed since it is no longer active) is also reporting that vocal work for the song will be completed by famed Hawaiian vocalists Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Grieg Makua.

Here is a link to Kuana Torres Kahele’s beautiful rendition of Haleluia, (a.k.a. Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, made famous by Jeff Buckley) and a link (YouTube) to Napua Grieg Makua singing her popular song Lawakua. Wow, with all of this emotion in their voices, this seems like Lava will be a poignant short.


Inside Out Logo

Pixar has also released its official press release for Inside Out (though most of this information was revealed earlier on their official website). With the press release, also came confirmation that the official Inside Out logo will in fact be the updated version seen last week at the Annecy International Film Festival (be sure to check out our wrap-up post of the festival for more details on the film).

Pete Docter announces Inside Out

Inside Out press release details

From an adventurous balloon ride above the clouds to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In Disney•Pixar’s original movie “ Inside Out,” he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all—inside the mind.

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

— Director Pete Docter is the Academy Award®-winning director of “Up.” He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar‘s smash hit “Monsters, Inc.,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature film. Along with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, Docter developed the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar‘s first full-length feature film, for which he also served as supervising animator. He served as a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life” and wrote the initial story treatment for “Toy Story 2.” As one of Pixar Animation Studios’ key creative contributors, Docter garnered an Academy Award nomination for his original story credit on Disney•Pixar’s Golden Globe®- and Oscar®-winning “WALL•E.”

— Jonas Rivera produced the Academy Award®-winning “Up,” for which he was nominated for best picture. Prior to “Up,” he had worked on nearly every Pixar film since joining Pixar Animation Studios in 1994, beginning with “Toy Story” for which he served as production office assistant. His subsequent credits include “A Bug’s Life” (as art department coordinator), “Toy Story 2” (as a marketing and creative resources coordinator), “Monsters, Inc.” (as art department manager) and the Golden Globe®-winning “Cars” (as production manager).

UPDATE 1: An additional piece of concept artwork has shown up online as part of a D23 article highlighting the release of the news. 

Inside Out Concept Art at Disney World

UPDATE 2: Empire was one of the media sites in attendance who discussed the special preview of Inside Out as well as the screening of Lava yesterday in Los Angeles. Below is an excerpt from their review – the comments from Docter about channeling Tex Avery has us extremely excited and intrigued.

With the movie now a year away (which Rivera joked would skip by in a minute because animated film schedules go by like dog years), the animation is roughly 50 per cent complete, but already looks very different to other Pixar films. Docter said that he’d pushed the various teams to channel classic Tex Avery and other ‘toons to employ more of a colourfully cartoonish environment than previous work. The result, even in its rough stage, is a fascinating, funky, funny guess at what the mind might look like, or as Docter put it, “an Apple store crossed with It’s A Small World…”

UPDATE 3: An additional description of the discussion with Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera from the Actor’s Guild of America event last night, was posted on Coming Soon. The article highlights some amazing new details regarding Inside Out. It discusses in more detail the clip that was also shown at the Annecy Festival last week and contains some spoilers, but it’s so fascinating and really gets us even more excited for the story’s plot. Thanks for the heads up on this article, Dan.

UPDATE 4: A new article from Animation Scoop, also mentions some additional details on Inside Out (spoiler) and notes that –

In terms of the unique character design of the five emotions, Docter and his team came up with forms of energy comprised of particle simulations on top of self-illuminating screens. These are as squashy and stretchy as you will ever see at Pixar, and they even leave wisps of particle trails. And I understand that Poehler’s Joy (who reminds me of Tink) is the star of the movie and proved the most challenging to develop and animate.

So with all this big news, are you intrigued about Lava and the additional news of Inside Out, are you erupting with excitement over this (bad pun, we know). We’re also wondering, with this being a musical, who do you think will be scoring Lava? I would have originally guessed Michael Giacchino, but with him scoring Inside Out, I’m not sure if he’d be booked to do both, would he? We started a post in the forum to share your thoughts with fellow Pixar fans about Lava – be sure to check it out here, we can’t wait to hear from you.

Comments 8
  1. Yeah, it seems to be a pretty split group of people. Although we have heard that it's not final yet and that it may have another version before the films release!

  2. I think it will have more hawaiian vocals (based on the artists they selected. So I'd guess it will be more of a The Blue Umbrella vibe (much like Sarah Jaffe's vocals on that soundtrack). Also – you bet, Craig – we'll keep it coming for sure!

  3. Keep it coming! One thing that caught my eye, \”musical\” — is this like The Blue Umbrella \”musical\” or Frozen \”musical\”? These shorts usually don't have spoken words, so i'm guessing more like Blue Umbrella.

  4. I sure hope we do get one soon, but time will tell!! And, you bet, this is awesome news for both Lava and the new details on Inside Out!

  5. Awesome news! With all this news I expect a teaser to release really soon! (Probably in front of Planes 2)

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