Pixar's newest short film, Lou, was announced this past October as long-time animator turned-director Dave Mullins' pet-project. Lou, set to debut with Cars 3 this summer, explores how to combat bullying, portrayed through the "eyes" of peculiar monster made up of schoolyard toys and goodies from a [L]ost-and-F[ou]nd box. Check out our very first glimpse of Lou in the exclusive USA Today interview with Director Mullins after the break!
Short Film Synopsis:
With baseballs for eyes and cloaked in a red hoodie, the title monster keeps a watchful eye on the kids on the playground in secret from his box. A boy named J.J. is a real terror, snatching a video game from his classmate and kicking a girl’s stuffed animal into a basketball hoop, and Lou decides it’s time for a high-jinks-filled comeuppance."
Just like most of Pixar's projects, Mullins' directorial debut tells a story inspired by personal experience. Lou's central message is essentially about dealing with bullying; Mullins felt out of place as a kid primarily because his family moved several times during his childhood. In his interview, Mullins explains how “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 sight.”
On bullies, Mullins notes how “they’re usually just acting out because they’re awkward or young and don’t have their moral compass set. In a weird way, the bullies sometimes feel invisible, too. If you can find out what their motivations are, maybe you can solve some things. That’s what I like about Lou: True happiness comes from giving.” Director Mullins remarks how Lou “gets J.J. to understand that and through that, what J.J. wants really is to be accepted by the other kids.”
Lou also will act as a love letter of sorts to Mullins now-passed father, who is dedicated by a simple "For Dad" at the end of the short. "His father died while Mullins and his team were developing Lou's story and influenced the end result. His dad was a football fan, while Mullins was more of a skater punk growing up, but the common love between the two was going to the movies. So in Lou’s box, there’s both pigskin and a skateboard. '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.'"
LOU opens with Cars 3 on June 16th, 2017.
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