Pixar’s new Korean kid on the block

Did you know that the lovable chubby little Russell of Pixar’s latest animated masterpiece, UP, is modeled after Korean-American Peter Sohn?

Peter Sohn, 32, is an animator at Pixar and has been working with the studio since 2000. On creating Russell, Sohn said, “The atmosphere here at work is like playing. We draw each other’s faces in meetings, and Russell’s face was actually my face that someone had drawn. We decided to make the main character of the new film Asian, and naturally I became the model.”

MODEL: Hmm… I hope not, Russell (left) is like SOoOoOo cute. Sorry Pete. 😉

In truth, I just really wanted to blog about this movie because I absolutely loved it and would easily call it the best movie I’ve watched in 2009 (I doubt the rest of 2009 would have anything worth watching anyway). Finding this tidbit is a plus and I can add it to our collection of all things Korean.

The movie just opened in cinemas here in Beijing this month, and being a Pixar fan, I was pushing the kids away to get MY ticket! Har har. However, I think most of the kids in line were there to watch G.I. Joe… which I will be watching too… soon.

UP is a story about the adventure of an unusual pair – an old man and a school kid. Voiced by child actor, Jordan Nagai, Russell is a boy scout who is determined about assisting the elderly. It is the last task he needs to complete to earn the remaining button that would make him a senior boy scout. He is inadvertently whisked away in a floating house when widower, Carl Fredrickson, decides to realize a life long dream.

The story of UP is so simple, so engaging and universal that one does not become concerned with the unnecessary stereotypes and kitsch that package animated movies (or any other live action movie) today. UP reminded me why I love animated movies.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a great movie to kick off the weekend!

Pic Credit: Slashfilm
Source: Chosun Ilbo


4 thoughts on “Pixar’s new Korean kid on the block

  • August 9, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    @ Liz & Orchid: Yes, you have to watch it! You'll leave the cinema smiling. 🙂

    @ kpop_rub: I like how Pixar didn't scream out or market Russell's ethnicity. ^_^ It wasn't important in telling the story anyway. It was perfect. I can't wait for the DVD to come out.

  • August 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I spent a lot of the movie trying to figure out whether Russell was Asian or not. Then at the end his mother looked Asian so I guessed he was too. When i came home I researched and yes he was Pixar's first animated Asian character. To me he seems less based on this Sohn guy and more based on that FAK (fat asian kid) everyone had a grand ole time photoshopping a few years ago, also Korean. http://newsimg.ngfiles.com/132000/132125_FatAsianKid.jpg

    The movie was so touching to me. The animation was the best quality. I loved every moment of this film.

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