Creating Art From Life in The Blue Umbrella #MonstersUEvent

Disclosure: I was a guest of Disney/Pixar for a media event where travel and accommodations were provided. No compensation was received. All thoughts are 100% my own. Pictures used with permission by Disney Studios.

I didn’t know what I was in store for when I headed to Monsters University in April and learned I would also be screening “The Blue Umbrella” directed by Saschka Unseld. So walking into the screening room, I sat and watched and though… “wow, this is a beautiful story… and I wonder how they got those items to do all that?” It was only after the fact, when I met the director at the after party was I told, it’s all animated!


My mind was blown (yours will be too, I promise). Later, we all got a chance to sit down and talk to Saschka about his new animated short and got a little info on his Tmblr- Rainy City Tales, where he posted pics, and info about his short.

20130410MULongLeadPressDays082-w600-h600 THE BLUE UMBRELLA

As I said, the thing that struck me the most was I seriously (SERIOUSLY) thought it was real. That maybe it was CGI or something that brought this objects to life. Saschka says that, “During my pitch, I said the city comes to life, and everyone’s, like, yeah, okay.  And then I, after the pitch I said, oh, by the way, when I said that, this is what I mean, and I showed a test I shot on my phone and animated on my computer at home.”

Saschka based a few characters just from objects he had seen a few blocks away from where he lived in San Francisco, as well as others he had seen on trips with the team to New York, Berlin and Paris. Each item, making a life of it’s own, “the complexity and, and the beauty of all these details you can see in, in, in the city.  And a lot of it was me, ” says Saschka, “and the team going on trips into the city and looking at all these details, like, on the side of a newspaper box there’s streaks of probably someone tying their shoelace, and then you have the streak of the black rubber from the shoe there[…]Everything kind of tells a story to it.”


In watching the short, I thought it was all equally beautiful… and each part had it’s own uniqueness and moment of artistry. But Saschka knows his magic moment, “The first drops that fall down on the ground,” he says, “because it’s something you wouldn’t normally even stop for.  And for me, it’s a beautiful moment, just kind of a rain drop hitting the asphalt, hitting the mailbox, making a different sound.  And somehow, for me, that’s, that it feels very personally important to me, just this, this detail thing of the beauty of just a rain drop hitting the floor.”

I completely agree. Catch The Blue Umbrella before each Monsters University showing. Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella open everywhere June 21st.


  1. Ari T. says

    Wow, I bet it will be beautiful to watch! I can’t wait to see it. The Pixar shorts are always my faves!

  2. Sandy Cain says

    I am so technologically behind – the animation is just amazing with the computer. I still think of animation as being drawn cel by cel, by hand – like back in the cartoons of the ’50s and ’60s. But that’s ok, in a way – like a little kid, I just stare in wonder at things like this. (Or maybe I’m just in my second childhood!!) How lucky you got to see this – but in LA, you probably go to a lot of events like this.

  3. Tammy S says

    I am more and more amazed what they can do with computers. This looks like a great Pixar short as always.The colors are so vivid. I can’t wait to see it when we see Monsters University.

  4. Nina says

    Watched it.beautiful.But toooo damn long for my kids especially with all the other “commercials” on top this seemed eternity for the movie to play!

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