Lego Disney Minifigures

An image was leaked the other day of a new set of collectable Lego minifigures. They are all based around Disney characters. It is common knowledge that Disney has had a link with Lego for years. So this new series makes perfect sense. I will go through the characters and discuss some others that I think we will see in future series.

Lego Disney Minifigures

The characters in the first series are:

Mickey Mouse

Minnie Mouse

Donald Duck

Daisy Duck

Peter Pan

Captain Hook

Dash

Syndrome

Aladdin

Genie

Buzz

Alien

Stitch

Ursula

Ariel

Maleficent

Alice

Cheshire Cat

I would say this is a great start to a series. We haven’t got all the famous characters out, so they have something to bring out in future lots. I also find it great to see some Pixar characters. I have not seen a single classic Disney film like Aladdin, Snow White, or The Little Mermaid, but I am a massive fan of everything Pixar. If I were to collect these I would probably try and “feel out” the Pixar characters and probably Mickey and Donald, while leaving all the other characters. I was a fan of some of the old Disney cartoons like Recess and Fillmore, so if they decided to bring out some figures from that I would also be interested. I know Stitch is probably a more popular character than those from Recess and certainly more popular than Fillmore, but you can’t blame a guy for dreaming. Who wouldn’t want a minifigure of TJ, Spinelli, Gretchen, Gus, Vince, or Mikey?

recess lego disney minifigures

Lego-Disney-Series-16-Collectible-Minifigure-Series

This image above has circulated a few sites recently. This is supposedly some of the figures we can expect from the new series. Some of them seem plausible as we have seven of the characters confirmed. The look slightly different in the real pictures, but the representation is pretty spot on. I don’t buy this image though. Six figures representing Kim Possible? I don’t think so. A Barbie and Ken figure? Unless Hasbro has done a licensing deal with Lego this is never going to happen. That is why I question the validity of the picture. You can believe, but unless most of the figures get made I won’t be.

In the confirmed image, the different properties featured are varied. We have the classic Disney characters like Mickey and Donald, the old cartoon characters, as well as the modern 3D characters. With some of the characters you can almost guess some other characters that will appear.

As we have Buzz and the Alien we can only assume we will have Woody too, maybe even Jessie. I can’t see them being the same as they appeared in the sets a few years ago. The alien still looks the same, but Buzz has lost his special moulded head and has a normal head with a decal. This is why I think Woody and Jessie would also have a normal head and probably have normal length legs too.

toy story lego disney minifigures

The inclusion of Dash and Syndrome can only mean Helen, Bob, and Violet are to come? I would like to think so. Why would Lego put in the two characters if they didn’t plan on adding the other three characters? I wouldn’t say Syndrome and Dash are the most popular characters. If they do make a figure of the rest of the family I will find it interesting to see how they make the figures portray their special powers. Will Helen and Violet be taller? Will Bob be a bigger figure?

incredibles lego disney minifigures

With it being the first series, it is obvious why they included the favourites of Donald, Mickey, and Minnie. These three characters are Disney personified and are the faces of the company. Putting these main characters in the first series is a good start and hopefully get people in the series. I am slightly bemused by the inclusion of Daisy though. Unless Daisy is more popular in the US than in the UK, I can’t see she has the same kind of pulling power as the other three, but maybe she is there as the “girlfriend” of Donald, like Mickey and Minnie.  These four main characters are good for a start, and it also leaves room for another lot of characters to be the linchpin of the other series. I would like to see Goofy and Pluto in the next series. Characters like Oswald the Unlucky Rabbit, Chip and Dale, and Scrooge McDuck will be some other well-known Disney characters that could be included.

The rest of the characters hint at some more characters we could be seeing. No Lilo with Stitch? No Tinkerbell with Peter Pan? We should be seeing the rest of the characters from the films represented. We will probably see all the Disney Princess represented in future series. I can see Tinkerbell, Lilo, Mad Hatter, Jasmine, and Snow White being made later on to fit in with the characters already here.

This leaves me to question what characters I think they should do. I think having a couple of Princesses in each series will really draw people in. Lego have already made the princesses in the Friends style. I also think a good spread of Pixar characters will see them right. They will probably continue with characters from old films too, like Dumbo, Pinocchio, and Winnie the Pooh.

Now onto the characters that I want to see.

As I have mentioned I would love to see some Recess characters. If they have done Lilo and Stitch they obviously don’t mind taking characters from Disney Toons.

I love the Pixar films so including a few main characters from every film would be great. I don’t think they will try to do any Cars or Finding Nemo characters, but I think they could mould some heads for Bugs Life, Monsters Inc, and Ratatouille characters.  If they could pull off some great likenesses of these characters I will be more than happy.

Now I like Pixar, but I also like some of the original Disney 3D films. Some figures representing this side of Disney would also be cool. I would love to see some Chicken Little, Wreck It Ralph, and Big Hero Six characters.

big hero six lego disney minifigures
What they could look like.

I love Phineas and Ferb too. So some figures of them would be nice. I do know Lego planned to use the two in a Lego game before so you never know!

lego phineas and ferb disney minifigures
Lego Phineas and Ferb Board Game

This has also got me thinking. Will Disney be taking any characters from Live action properties? Will we be seeing High School Musical, Suite Life, or National Treasure characters? I doubt it. What about Muppets?

muppets lego disney minifigures

I am excited about this development, and will certainly be buying some of the bags. I hope they include some great characters and both sides, Lego and Disney, do well enough from it that they carry it on until almost every Disney character has been done!

 

 

 

pixarpediafeature

Welcome to the first in a new format of Sunday Suggestions, where instead of suggesting alternatives to products, I will be reviewing them. As it is Pixar week I have decided to review one of my favourite books when I was younger, Pixarpedia.

Pixarpedia Review Blog Blowfish

Details:

The Pixarpedia is a book dedicated to everything Pixar created by DK. DK like to produce books like this centered around different films, shows, and games. This book was written in 2009 and features all the films and shorts from before that date. They did do an updated version where they included Toy Story 3 and Cars 2. The book has 352 pages with 3 main divisions. These divisions are:

Forward – A  forward by Andrew Stanton, an introduction into the history of Pixar, a timeline, and how they make the films.

Movies.. – Dedicated to every Pixar film, character, and setting. Each character gets a write up with information about them, while each setting is explored and described.

…and Beyond – A few pages for each film including easter eggs, hidden details, fascinating facts, and staff interviews. It also includes an index of all terms mentioned throughout the book.

Content:

As a huge Pixar fan having a book full of every character you can think of, including non talking characters, is great. Each character has a description of them; with the more well-known characters having more written about them. I find the sheer breadth of characters astounding. The fact that the authors found time to write up descriptions on obscure characters is brilliant. Throughout the book there are various text boxes containing little snippets of info separated from the overall content. All the pictures and image have been taken straight from the films. In the Movies section all the characters are seen as the characters they were in the film, so for example, Hamm from Toy Story has info about his role in the film, a fact file containing his full name, occupation, and talents, as well as some plot points he was involved in. It is in the Behind the Scenes pages where they list the credits. Each film has it’s own style with different fonts, colours, and decals. The Behind the Scenes pages are very nice with some great facts and hidden details. They show where each A 113, hidden Mickey, and Pizza Planet truck appears in the films. The staff interviews are good too.

pixarpedia pages review Blog Blowfish
Example pages from Pixarpedia

Final Thoughts:

Pros:

A great book for any Pixar fan.

A good way to learn the different characters and their roles in the films.

The superb behind the scenes pages.

The insane amount of supporting characters.

Cons:

Maybe the main font could be nicer. (All I could think of)

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Pixar, character design, and animated films in general. It is a great reference book, which you will find you dip in and out of. I would give this fascinating book…

4.5/5

If you would like to buy this book it is available on Amazon UK.

 

 

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Even though Cars isn’t the most popular Pixar film, the characters are some of the most recognisable. I am sure we have all seen the films and know the premise of it. The world is made of cars; cars with eyes and mouths. So today I will show you how you can make your vehicle, whether a car, truck, bike, or even plane, look like it belongs to the Pixar universe.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

First open up a picture of a car you want to turn into a Pixar character.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Make sure the image is on a separate layer, and the background layer is transparent.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Next select the area of the windscreen using the Quick Selection Tool (W). I find this tool the easiest to select a particular space. You must click and drag the tool over the windscreen to add to the selection. If you have included too much in the selection, just hold down alt to deselect a particular part.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Now delete the windscreen selection. No go to the gradient editor and create a gradient similar to the one pictured. Grey to White then back to Grey will work. Try to slant the gradient to the windscreen’s curve.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

We now need to create a new layer on top of the other two. You can do this by going to Layer>New>Layer.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) create an outline for the eyebrows. I got the curves by creating the points of the lasso close together. Try to give the eyebrows expression.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

With the eyebrows selected, we can go again to the gradient editor. If you click one of the colours in the gradient you should bring up an eye dropper. With the eye dropper select the lightest and darkest colours from the shine on the vehicle. Don’t worry if the colours don’t match exactly. All we need to do is make them look similar. Again, try to slant the gradient relative to the bend in the windscreen.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

While still on the eyebrow layer, go to Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Add a drop shadow to the eyebrows. The settings with the best effects are Angle 90, Distance 20 px, Spread 0%, and Size 5 px. This should give a convincing shadow under the eyebrows.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Next, select the entire windscreen from the image layer and copy it onto a new layer above all the other layers.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Once this is done, use the eraser tool to rub away the area with the eyebrows. I find this gives a better finish as it looks like the eyebrows fit within the windscreen.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Copy and paste this image of an average Pixar style eye into your image twice. I added the extra white circle. You can do this too, by using the ellipse tool (U) and the colour white.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Move the eyes to the windscreen.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

I decided to sink the yes lower into the bonnet. At the moment, the eye is overlapping the edge. Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (W) highlight the overlapping area and delete it on both eyes.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

On a new layer, again using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (W), select a space on the front of the vehicle in the shape of a mouth. Then add a grey to white gradient to the selected area.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

With the same tool, cut out a shape from the mouth and delete it.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Lastly, select the licence plate in the image layer and copy it to another layer. Make sure this new layer is ontop of all the others.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

You should end up with something similar to this. I hope you like this tutorial and find a way to use this.Maybe you could customise a friends car for them. If you do end up trying this out feel free to share it in the comments.

Cars 2 Action

As a massive fan of anything made by Pixar, I find it hard to listen to the criticism that is associated with their 2011 film, Cars 2. It is the worst rated Pixar film to date, and is often slated by film fans. I think much of the criticism given to this film is unjust and unfair. I hope to highlight some points as to why this film isn’t as bad as everyone makes out.

Storyline

The storyline of Cars 2 follows Lightning as he tries to win the World Grand Prix while his mate Mater (ha ha) found himself stuck in the middle of a crime syndicate spanning the globe. The film focuses more on Mater’s spy escapades rather than Lightning much to some dismay from the fans. I don’t mind Mater and I felt his performance as a spy was a good choice as he, as a yokel, struggled to get to grips with the procedures and gadgets associated with the spies. I think this lightened up some of the more serious moments in the film. The story had some of the most violent scenes we have seen from a Pixar film with bombs and guns being used throughout, but I really think it fitted the genre it was emulating. Pixar created such great action scenes with the cars that would be good enough to grace any spy film. Many people say that the plot was bland, but I personally enjoyed the storyline and was kept guessing all the way through.

Cars 2 Poster
Cars 2 Film Poster

Why make a Sequel?

Many have gone as far to say the sequel was not needed because they didn’t enjoy the first Cars film. But lets think what a good sequel needs? More characters? Cars 2 had the whole gang from Radiator Springs plus all the racers in the World Grand Prix as well as all the many spies. Better locations? The first film was based in Radiator Springs, while Cars 2 was set in Tokyo, Paris, Italy, and London all with different landmarks and local colour. Better storyline? The focus of the first Cars was Lightning getting to know and love the crew in Radiator Springs with the climax of the story when he loses the Piston Cup to help The King cross the line. Cars 2 has a story set in many countries of the world, a worldwide spy syndicated, and a plot to kill the Queen. Which movie would you rather watch?

Radiator Springs Card
A Postcard from Lizzie?

Animation

As a massive fan of animation, I can marvel properly at the quality and craftsmanship of the animation in this film. The scenes in Tokyo are mind-bogglingly good with lights and reflections everywhere. The streets are filled with signage for different brands as well as hundreds of cars that line the streets during the races. To have so many extras in the film that are all so nicely rendered is a great thing to see. As I have mentioned the fight scenes in the movie are so well choreographed that they would be worthy to appear in a James Bond film. Considering the characters are cars it is amazing how the animators were able to get them fight in such a realistic way you would assume that is how they would do it in real life if they could.

Cars 2 Tokyo
Does animation get any better than this?
Cars 2 Action
How Crisp is that?

Sell Out?

Many have accused Pixar and John Lassester of selling out Cars 2 to just make money from it. I don’t think this is the case. John said in an interview after Cars came out, that they would need a good story before they would make a sequel. I also know John created the original Cars as a homage to some happy times he had as a child, so I really think he was personally invested in the film, and would not have churned out any old rubbish just to line his pockets.  Disney on the other hand have, in my opinion ruined the Cars franchise in the way they have created the Planes films and created merchandise. Many people don’t like Cars 2 because they feel that Planes stemmed from it and the tat brought out to coincide with the film.

Cars 2 Merchandise
Just some of the Cars 2 Merch

 

The problem with any new Pixar film is that it will always be compared to its predecessors, which, in the industry, are the golden standard of animated films. Cars 2 fell to this because although it is called the worst Pixar film, it still beats many of its competetiers. I hope I have pointed out some interesting details about Cars 2 and have opened your eyes to why I still think it is a film Pixar can be proud of.