First Clip of Pixar’s Upcoming Short ‘Lava’

Pixar Lava short screencap

Pixar’s Volcanic love story is set to hit theaters alongside Inside Out on June 19, 2015 – but today we have our first glimpse of the poignant short thanks to Yahoo! Movies. The clip, shows Uku (pronounced ooh-koo) singing a love song in hopes of finding love for himself – but how does an immovable formation of earth find love? That’s the element that director, James Ford Murphy (Jim) wants to tell in a way that moves you emotionally and visually.

Check out this clip below, uploaded to Pixar’s YouTube channel.

You can tell from the clip above that Uku seems to be the only one who is alone – heck, even the clouds are coupled-up and seem to have arms outstretched towards each other. So, how do you make a giant volcano show his emotions when he can’t easily move? The Yahoo! Movies article mentions –

To create the face of the mountain, Murphy used an amalgam of the faces of Kuahna Torres Kahele, the musician who is the voice of the mountain; Honeymooners star Jackie Gleeson, and the bulldog in the Chuck Jones animated classic Feed the Kitty, which Murphy considers perhaps his all-time favorite cartoon. “That cartoon has so much heart and so much of the humor comes from genuine emotion,” he says. “That was a major inspiration for us.”

Pixar Lava Screenshot of the clouds

Lava recently had its premiere at the Hiroshima Film Festival in which famed Hawaiian singer, Kuahna Torres Kahele (voice of Uku), posted some photos from the festival on his personal Facebook page. Be sure to check out the Forum post (started by Dan the Pixar Fan) to view some additional details and more photos. In addition to the great photos, we also think we have found three additional film festivals in which the short may be shown as well (read our finding in the Lava Forum post).

Potential Film Festivals that Lava may be shown at:

  • Telluride Film Festival starting August 29 – September 1, 2014
  • Hawaii International Film Festival, scheduled from October 30 – November 9, 2014
  • Sonoma Film Festival March 25 – 29, 2015
Pixar Lava Poster Signing
Photo of Kuahna Torres Kahele, Producer-Andrea Warren & Director-Jim Murphy from the Hiroshima Film Festival

Very excitingly, we talked with Lava supervising animator, Aaron Hartline on August 27 as part of episode 31 of the Pixar Post Podcast. In the interview, Aaron talks about some of the technical challenges, working alongside Jim Murphy as well as another facial inspiration for Uku which wasn’t mentioned in the Yahoo! Movies article. So, what are your thoughts on the first public clip of Lava?

Comments 4
  1. After watching a few times, I figured out that it looks unnatural to me because Uku is bobbing his head back and forth a little bit, but the smoke coming out of him does not follow the same motion. I know it's a small thing to complain about, but it just stuck out to me lol.

  2. Hmmm – I'm not 100% what you're mentioning. I started watching at 0:19 and noticed the lava spatter and plume of smoke…are you saying that it looks like the smoke is further back from the edge of the volcano – like it's really not part of the volcano? If that's what you were referencing – I can see what you're saying. I'm not sure how I feel about it though – I'll have to watch again a few more times. Interesting observation though! – T.J.

  3. Is it just me, or does the animation look sort of sloppy in the video? I'm specifically talking about the depth of field at 0:19 where the smoke is coming out the top of Uku.

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