On the latest episode of Movie Mike’s Movie Podcast, Mike talked to Matthew Luhn who is a former Pixar story artist and animator. Matthew is the story guy behind Pixar movies such as Toy Story films, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Up, Cars and more!
Mike listed the Top 5 most emotional moments on the Pixar movies Matthew has worked on. Matthew breaks down how each moment came to be and the ideas behind writing them this way.
1. Toy Story 3
When we thought everyone was going to die. We were all in the feels when Woody, Buzz and the gang were all holding hands about to go into the incinerator. Matthew said they knew all along that the characters were going to have a close to death moment. It was his job to create what that scene would look like and the plot line of how they would be rescued.
The first 10 minutes and you think it’s going to be a movie about Ellie and Carl’s relationship and then bam. They lose a baby…and she dies. And this is all done without any dialogue. Matthew says that was on purpose. He says to create a great scene you should be able to know what’s going on watching it without any sound. He said the opening scene went through many different versions before they found the perfect one that you see in the movie.
3. Toy Story 2
The scene where Jessie gets abandoned and the song “When She Loved Me” plays. We all felt that and the scene pairs well together so well with the Sarah McLachlan song. Matthew revealed that the song was actually written by Randy Newman who also wrote “You’ve Got A Friend In Mine” in addition to other songs for Pixar movies. He was actually going to sing it until they realized they wanted to make the scene a flashback and wanted a female voice to show that it was Jessie experiencing it. So that’s when this version of this song came to be with Sarah McLachlan.
4. Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo's opening scene reveals that Nemo's mom, Coral, was killed by a barracuda. In the movie, this just makes Marlin that much more protective of his son. Matthew said that by having a parent killed off like that is a sure-fire way to have the audience feel empathy for your characters. So, by doing that so early in the movie…it made you want to care about Nemo and his journey throughout the rest of it.
5. The original Toy Story when Woody gets replaced.
There was something just so sad about when all the Woody posters go down The Buzz Lightyear posters go up… Matthew said this idea came about because it’s a thing we ALL worry about. It’s that fear of being abandoned. So, by Woody experiencing this…we are all able to put ourselves into his situation and feel what he feels. Matthew also revealed that Woody was first pitched as being a ventriloquist dummy and not a cowboy…but he looked way too scary for kids.
To hear the full interview….check out Movie Mike’s Movie Podcast!