The Blue Umbrella is a fully computer animated Disney Pixar short film that will be viewable right before Monsters University in theaters. It’s directed by Saschka Unseld and Produced by Marc Greenburg.
While attending the Monsters University Event at Pixar recently, I was able to interview the director, Saschka Unseld. First, I must say, I absolutely LOVE the Blue Umbrella short film. I was able to view it at Pixar and again when I watched Monsters University. My almost 7 year old also watched it with me before Monsters University and he enjoyed it as well. He was giggling through most of it, so I know he really enjoyed the film. Just to give you an intro to the film without giving anything away, it takes place in a city and the city comes to life during a rainstorm and follows two umbrellas through the city.
Saschka was asked where this story came from and his response was:
The core of the story was… I was living here already since, like, four years or something like this. And it really rarely rained. And then finally it was raining. And I went for a walk through the city, and I saw an umbrella someone had thrown away on the side of the street. And I took a picture of it. Like, I think, on the, on the Tumblr blog I have, the first post of that is that photo I had taken. And I had this weird, incognito blog called Rainy City Tales on Tumblr that I actually was running during the production.
I thought about first the umbrella wants to get back to the owner, and it’s kind of a break-up story, like, someone broke
up with you and you still want to be with that person, and I couldn’t find a happy ending to that, sadly. I abandoned that
story, and then it became, the owner wants to move to somewhere where it never rains, and the umbrella doesn’t want to, but
I couldn’t find a happy end for that either. And then I was thinking of why do I like the rain so much? And it became me
thinking about where I grew up it rains much more than here. And I really like cities in the rain a lot. Um, I think they
become beautiful. Um, and that picture stuck with me and, and I was thinking about stories I wanted to tell. I just… It’s this weird thing. You see this umbrella and it’s just an object, but it looks so sad, and it looks kind of so down and drenched and,
like, some, some kind of, of the ribs are sticking out, and it just, I don’t know. It’s a super sad sight. And, I wanted
to tell a story with that.
Once Saschka has the main idea of the story down, he visited major cities around the world to get inspiration and ideas for the scenery. He visited New York City, Paris, San Francisco, and MORE. When you view the short, take note of the detail and I’m sure you will see pieces of each city in the scenery.
The Blue Umbrella is truly a great film. I laughed, and even welled up with tears at one point. I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as my son and I did. And, having a little background from the Director should put a little more meaning to it!
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY releases in theaters on June 21st – watch the Blue Umbrella right before Monsters University!