Dave Mullins, a 16-plus year veteran of Pixar Animation Studios was announced as the director of the forthcoming short film titled, Lou, back on September 28, 2016. His playful announcement was highlighted in a 10-second video (embedded below), where Mullins sketched Lou peeking out of a lost-and-found box. Since that first teaser, we have been eager to learn, “who is Lou”? In a sneak peek from USA Today, Lou debuted as a creature clad in a red hoodie with baseball and button eyes mischievously grinning from a school’s Lost & Found bin.
The storyline surrounding Lou features a bully named J.J., who seems to have Sid-like qualities as he snatches toys and tosses them aside. It is then that Lou decides to create a bit of playful high jinks to teach this bully a lesson. Mullins explained that the purpose of Lou’s existence is for him to give things back and setting up the storyline with a bully felt complete. As most Pixar films are created from a personal experience or storyline, Mullins noted that the idea for Lou came from moving a lot during his childhood and feeling out of place.
You either feel invisible because you don’t know the other kids or you’re embarrassed and you want to be invisible. I thought it’d be really cool to have a character who could hide in plain sightDave Mullins
Watch the teaser sketch on Facebook.
The first-time director has been working in the animation department at the studio for many years (with his first Pixar credit being Monsters, Inc.), taking on roles ranging from animator, directing animator, and supervising animator across many of our favorite films. During the development of Lou, Mullins’ father passed away influencing the end of the short with a sweet and personal touch.
Growing up, Mullins veered toward skateboarding with his dad admiring football, however, the two would come together with their love of movies. In Lou’s Lost & Found box, you’ll see both a football and skateboard, as Mullins explains, “The football ended up becoming a device for J.J. to annoy the kids at the beginning of the film and then connect to the kids later.”
That’s what I like about Lou: True happiness comes from giving. He gets J.J. to understand that and through that, what J.J. wants really is to be accepted by the other kids.Dave Mullins
Lou will be released alongside Cars 3 on June 16, 2017. Be sure to share your thoughts on the new details — leave a comment below or chat all about Lou with other fans in the Pixar Post Forum.