Pixar’s next short, Lava is about a singing volcano in Hawaii. It follows Uku, said lonely volcano in the Pacific Ocean, as he pines over a million-years for love.
The director, James Murphy was inspired by his honeymoon some decades ago in Hawaii, where he grew attached to a volcano. Murphy is primarily a musician, but has directed and written a short called Little Duck (2013) and served as a composer for a short, Song 1 (2012). Currently, he is involved in “U.S. Open Sessions,” to turn each game of a tennis tournament (running from August 25 to September 8) into an electronic score. Murphy is collaborating with Patrick Gunderson to create live-streamed algorithms.
Murphy learned to play the ukelele following his honeymoon, and wrote the cute song for Lava. Hawaiian musician Kuana Torres Kahele stars as Uku and Napua Greig performs as the lover, Lele. In an interview with Honolulu’s KOHN, Kaheele admitted that this short is a tear jerker: “Bring a tissue, because you’re gonna need it for the first two or three minutes.”
We’ll have to wait until the theatrical release of Pixar’s Inside Out on June 19, 2015 to discover if Uku will find his love. Pete Docter’s (Up and Monsters Inc.) Inside Out follows a girl named Riley, as she and her anthropomorphized emotions adjust to a move from the Midwest to San Francisco. As we previously mentioned, the emotions (joy, anger, fear, disgust, and sadness) will advise from the headquarters of Riley’s mind.
The seven minute short, Lava, premiered at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival in Japan, and will be also shown at the Hawaii International Film Festival.