The Blue Umbrella - Pitch Script

Ok, here is a little gift for you that is very dear to my heart!

My “The Blue Umbrella” pitch script.

These are the exact words I spoke when I pitched The Blue Umbrella to John Lasseter & Co.

We made quiet a few changes over the course of the production but hopefully stayed true to its heart and soul.

Ok, here we go:

- - - - -

We are in a city.
A big city,
like New York or Chicago.

The streets are full of cars
and the sidewalks are bustling with people.

Everyone is in a rush.

But then… it starts to rain.

It is not your usual rain though, it pours down like crazy.

A collective sigh goes through the crowd.

All the grumpy people
pull out their umbrellas.
And hundreds of umbrellas

pop up everywhere.

But as we pan up
we see that all the umbrellas, they are alive,
and they are smiling
and laughing
and are happy.

They are all exited
to finally be out again.

And in the middle of them is a bright blue umbrella.

He looks around and with him
we see that
it’s not only the umbrellas that are happy.

Everything in the city that is made for rain is cheering.

They all love the rain so much that together
they start to sing a song.

Rooftops, gurgling rain pipes, bus stop shelters…

…all together
they sing a song
to celebrate the rain.

And in the middle of all of this
the blue umbrella makes his way through the crowd..

…but then suddenly…
…he bumps into something.

He turns around
to see what he just has bumped into.

And in front of him he sees…

…a beautiful red umbrella.

They stare look at each other, they are completely smitten…

…it is love at first sight.

And the city’s song,
just like a Greek chorus…

…becomes a love song.

But then somewhere a pedestrian light turns green.

The crowd starts to move.

The two umbrellas, they get pushed farther and farther away from each other. Desperate the blue umbrella struggles to get back to her

By using gusts of wind,
he pulls and pushes his owner.

She tries the same.

The city follows their struggle and it’s song picks up pace.

By now they are far far away from each other.

Then her owner crosses with her to the other side of a street.

The blue umbrella tries to follow
but he gets yanked back by his owner.

He nearly pulled his owner into the busy traffic.

Impatient he looks for a gap in the traffic.

But on the other side of the street
she starts to disappears into the crowd.

Blue panics.

And by catching a gust of wind…

..he pulls himself free of his owner.

He flies off into the air towards her.

He glides in the wind across the street…

…slowly getting closer and closer to her.

The city holds it’s breath and the song stops.
It gets quiet.

They all watch him,
hoping he will make it across the street.

But then
the wind changes direction…
He tries to fly further by himself.

But a big truck passes by a
and the draft of the truck
send him swirling out of control.

She sees him tumble through the air and gasps.

Then he gets hit by a car!
He bounces off…
Hits another car…

…and skids into the gutter on the side of the road.

Half broken and drenched he lies on the ground.

And the red umbrella is nowhere to be seen.

Slowly the city’s song starts again,
but now it is in mourning of the umbrellas.

The owner of the blue umbrellas arrives.

And he is completely and utterly drenched.

Freezing in the rain,
his owner picks him up
and tries to straighten him out again.

And the rain keeps pouring down on them.

But then, Suddenly,
the rain stops….

Confused the blue umbrella looks around and he sees that…
all around them
it still rains.

Just where they stand it has stopped to rain.

So the blue umbrella,
he looks up.
And above him he sees…

The red umbrella.

She is being held over them
to give them shelter from the rain.

Shyly they both smile at each other.

And around them…
…the city…
…starts to sing their love song again.

Then we cut to inside a cafe.
Somewhere in the back the umbrella owners sit and chat.

But the two umbrellas,
they stand in the front to dry, leaning into each other.

Happy to finally be together,
they smile
and together
look out into the beautiful pouring rain.

From outside the city watches them…

…as it hums the last notes of their love song. 

The End.

- - - - -

When Pixar’s Toy Story came out in 1995, it almost instantly revived the lost art of feature animation. As it advanced the genre into digital animation, it moved away from old-fashioned stories of princesses singing like Broadway ingenues. Along the way, we became enraptured by the secret lives of toy, cars, monsters, and fish.It turns out that Pixar, too, is full of formulas. There’s the one famously enumerated by Pixar freelancer Emma Coats, in her 22 Rules of Pixar Storytelling, as they’ve come to be known.

"It’s the same way that Expressionist painting is the same as Renaissance photo-real painting. [They’re] both with a brush and with a canvas, it’s just how you use it [that’s] different."  

I’m at the Annecy animation festival in France, super exited to show Le Parapluie Blue tomorrow to open the festival before Monsters University. Hope some of you can make it! And how fitting that right now, in Annecy, it rains. Always puts a smile on my face :)

I’m at the Annecy animation festival in France, super exited to show Le Parapluie Blue tomorrow to open the festival before Monsters University. Hope some of you can make it! And how fitting that right now, in Annecy, it rains. Always puts a smile on my face :)

As we celebrated the wrap of Monsters University and our very own The Blue Umbrella, some of us, instead of dressing in a suit, dressed up in character!! :)