For the Birds
Ralph Eggleston is the Production Designer on Incredibles 2 from Pixar, with a stellar career running back through from the original Toy Story, and includes Wall-E, Monsters Inc., Inside Out and many others. I’m writing some articles for a couple outlets about the making of Incredibles 2 and wanted to share this snippet ahead of time. This quick aside was just one of many cool additions during our chat last week.
In 2002, Ralph Eggleston won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, for Pixar’s For the Birds. This short for Pixar had a story which drew on a life lesson using the plight of a large bird, being bullied by a group of smaller birds.
Eggleston was never sure about the story being the next short film for Pixar but he drew up a pitch and threw his all into the effort. “I knew I had a ‘hook’ at the time when the producers were deciding which stories would be the next short,” he told me on the phone from his home in California.
So, Ralph Eggleston had some props in the pitch meeting. “One was a Model A car horn. They used to call them an ‘Aaa-huugah’ horn,” he says. Ralph had found one of those at a junk store and he brought it along because he wanted that to be the voice of the big bird. “I was pitching the story and I had that horn as the voice,” he remembers.
“When I let it go, the three or four people sitting in front of me hearing my pitch just burst into laughter, and they all got it. The film is only three minutes long. The next morning I came in and there was this big thing of flowers on my desk and they said, ‘Yours is the next short film!”