Pixar creative director in Idyllwild to explain his creations
The magic of the Pixar stories told in Disney parks takes you to different worlds — worlds so compelling that they can seem real to both children and adults.
The man behind the magic, Roger Gould, will talk about his tricks at the invitation of the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 17, at William M. Lowman Concert Hall.
Gould, Pixar Animation Studios’ creative director for parks, said he and his team achieve the goal of the Disney parks — “transporting people into new and special places” — by looking for an emotional connection.
Even though the animators, lighting experts and special-effects specialists he directs have mastered their crafts, technical mastery can carry an artist only so far. But Gould’s team members pour so much passion into their work of taking your emotions as well as your senses to faraway places that, as another Pixar executive puts it, they “end up finishing each other’s sentences.” The emotional connection Gould’s team members enjoy with each other powers their ability to connect with visitors to the Disney parks.
Gould earned his current role with brilliant work as creative director of Pixar’s Shorts department after joining the company in 2001. He made a mark right away by directing the Oscar-nominated short film, “Mike’s New Car,” in 2002, and then co-directed another Oscar-nominated short, “Boundin’,” the following year. And in his pre-Pixar days, with Walt Disney Feature Animation, he created the first-ever computer-animated character to share the screen with a hand-drawn character: yes, the 30-headed Hydra that battles the title character in “Hercules” was Gould’s (neither cute nor cuddly) baby.
Gould’s talk should last for about an hour. Then, stick around through a brief intermission to revel in another kind of transport to a different world with the Calder Quartet, whose new album features music by Beethoven and the contemporary Swedish composer Per Anders Hillborg.
Calder violist Jonathan Moerschel, a brand-new addition to Idyllwild Arts Academy’s already distinguished music faculty, will help bring the quartet’s classical magic to a magical Idyllwild summer.