“Party Central” filmmakers give behind-the-scenes look at pitching a Pixar short in “Muppets Most Wanted” event

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Releasing to theaters this week, “Muppets Most Wanted” is paired with a brand new Disney-Pixar short film from the world of “Monsters University” called “Party Central.”

Mike and Sulley return to Monsters University for a fun-filled weekend with their Oozma Kappa fraternity brothers. The gang is throwing their first party, but no one’s showing up. Luckily for them, Mike and Sulley have come with a plan to make sure “Party Central” is the most epic party the school has ever seen.

The short’s director Kelsey Mann served as story supervisor on Disney-Pixar’s “Monsters University,” which hit theaters June 21, 2013.

All the original voice cast is back, which normally would be a huge feat with such big stars. But the creative geniuses at Pixar had enough foresight to schedule this short immediately after production wrapped on “Monsters University.” They were able to record all the dialogue for “Party Central” while recording the final pieces of dialogue for the feature film.

Following last week’s “Muppets” press conference, Mann delivered a pitch demonstration, walking reporters through the last minute or so of the short, assuming every role, showing every shot sometimes with crude storyboards and sometimes with elaborate ones.

Sadly, no video recording was allowed – but still photography was, so here’s a taste:

It was an interesting and eye-opening peek into the Pixar process of finessing their stories, one they should release as a bonus Blu-ray feature.

As a gift, Mann gave all attending journalists a crochet project complete with pattern, thread, and little wooden circle. His wife is an avid crotcheter and she created a pattern based off the title card in “Party Central.” It was probably the most thoughtful “swag” I’ve ever received at a press event.

(Kelsey, if you’re reading this, please thank your wife for the kind gesture.)

Below Mann shows off the completed project, a gift his wife gave as a “thank you” to John Lasseter (chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios) upon completion of the short film:

I loved “Party Central.” It is simply hilarious with clever gags that only the world of “Monsters University” could pull off. The short alone is worth the price of admission to “Muppets Most Wanted.”

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